Nevada mule deer buck success

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Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Heck, I'd rather see the GUN with the game than either of YOU two! The guns are assuredly more attractive.

    :-)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    I like the deer, the guns and the pictures, way to go.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Heck, I'd rather see the GUN with the game than either of YOU two! The guns are assuredly more attractive.

    :-)

    Well...I got nothing. Can't say I disagree. :tooth:
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,849 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Hey now! I already feel bad enough for forgetting to get that pic. It's all good, though. It won't be the last hunt with that gun and I'll be sure to correct my mistake.
    Hell, bring it to the heart of Dixie w/ you when you figure out how to get here. These Bama deer don't take a lot of killing and less than 150 yards is as far as you'll be able to see to shoot one (unless we see one in the hay fields on the way in or out)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Hell, bring it to the heart of Dixie w/ you when you figure out how to get here. These Bama deer don't take a lot of killing and less than 150 yards is as far as you'll be able to see to shoot one (unless we see one in the hay fields on the way in or out)

    This .243 would be perfect fo that task. It was actually pretty surprising to see it blow right through a 180 poundish mule deer at 250 yards with no trouble at all. No question it would do great with a southern witetail.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,546 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    This .243 would be perfect fo that task. It was actually pretty surprising to see it blow right through a 180 poundish mule deer at 250 yards with no trouble at all. No question it would do great with a southern witetail.

    The consistently worst busted-up deer I've ever seen was accomplished by a 14 YO, with a .243 Win loaded with Win Power-Points at ranges of 60-100 yards. Over the course of 3 years, I saw him bring back probably twenty deer. The ones he shot once usually incurred some pretty bad damage, and the ones he shot more than once looked like they'd been hit by a truck once you'd skinned them.

    Personally, I like the Ballistic Tips simply because I'm prone to take longer shots where the velocity has bled off a little bit. The damage isn't quite as substantial at longer ranges.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    The consistently worst busted-up deer I've ever seen was accomplished by a 14 YO, with a .243 Win loaded with Win Power-Points at ranges of 60-100 yards. Over the course of 3 years, I saw him bring back probably twenty deer. The ones he shot once usually incurred some pretty bad damage, and the ones he shot more than once looked like they'd been hit by a truck once you'd skinned them.

    Personally, I like the Ballistic Tips simply because I'm prone to take longer shots where the velocity has bled off a little bit. The damage isn't quite as substantial at longer ranges.

    Mike

    Good food for thought. Perhaps that would explain why at 250 yards,I didn't see terribly bad meat damage from the .243 on this mule deer, but there was a noteable amount in the flank and part of the backstrap. I guess distance is you friend when you're sending a relatively small bullet rip-roarin' fast at a game animal if you don't want busted up meat.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    The consistently worst busted-up deer I've ever seen was accomplished by a 14 YO, with a .243 Win loaded with Win Power-Points at ranges of 60-100 yards. Over the course of 3 years, I saw him bring back probably twenty deer. The ones he shot once usually incurred some pretty bad damage, and the ones he shot more than once looked like they'd been hit by a truck once you'd skinned them.

    Personally, I like the Ballistic Tips simply because I'm prone to take longer shots where the velocity has bled off a little bit. The damage isn't quite as substantial at longer ranges.

    Mike

    Mike, is this some characteristic of the .243, or was the kid using ballistic tips?

    Nevermind, you said power points..
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,546 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Mike, is this some characteristic of the .243, or was the kid using ballistic tips?

    I think it's a characteristic of the chambering. You have a relatively lightweight projectile launched pretty fast hitting a relatively "heavy for bullet weight" target. The .22's simply don't have the mass to do a tremendous amount of damage, while the .270's and up have probably zipped through the target before they expand enough to reach their maximum damage potential.

    I'm not saying the bigger rigs don't do a lot of damage. They certainly do, especially when they encounter bone. But all in all, 6mm bullets launched at 6mm velocities hitting a whitetail weight target often results in damage you can't replicate with any other combination.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,272 Senior Member
    Nice buck Luis, with your luck you could find a shootable buck in a trash dump. You are a true hunter, you do the work and are rewarded justly.

    Sako
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    That's extremely flattering, Tom - thank you very much. I have had luck on my side many times this year. There was definitely some luck in this hunt as I can guarantee a lot of guys went home empty handed. Last year's published success rate for this season in this area was 36% and they added 50% more tags this year, increasing the competition for an already tough hunt. In fact, the three other guy I was going to go wth if I got drawn for their part of the state all got skunked. However, I have to admit that there was a lot of work involved in this one, too. I put in nearly 30 miles of mountain hiking during the three days that I hunted to find that buck and many hours of driving, as well. I definitely don't want to do the math on how much gas money I spent, that's for sure!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,849 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    This .243 would be perfect fo that task. It was actually pretty surprising to see it blow right through a 180 poundish mule deer at 250 yards with no trouble at all. No question it would do great with a southern witetail.
    Yep, because 180# on the hoof is a HUGE Alabama whitetail

    edited to add: Mature does average 80-100# and Bucks another 25-30.

    There are a FEW bigger ones, I have bucks of 240#, and 170# as my 2 largest (live weights) in 30+ years of hunting
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,508 Senior Member
    Nice work, Luis! Sounds like a great hunt. Mulies are curious critters, that's for sure. Congrats.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    Thanks, jb! Best of luck for the rest of your season, too, and congrats on the fine elk!

    As an epilogue to theis hunt, I have asked around from some of the guys at work who mad it out for the early season and things aren't much different from what I was hearing in town. Most of the guys here got skunked and rest shot 2x2's. I'm feeling more and more fortunate by the day.

    On a different note, I forgot to point out one other interesting thing I noticed about mulies vs. whitetails. My mulie had a LOT more fat on it than any whitetail I've ever shot. There was tallow for days on that thing. I wish I had a place to put it in the field. There would have been plenty to render and use for sealant and patch lube on my flintlock.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,483 Senior Member
    Wow! For a traveling hunter, you know how to find what's available and go do it.

    Bellcat
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,553 Senior Member
    A belated congratulations, Luis. I'm glad you got your deer.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,386 Senior Member
    Luis what area in Nevada did you hunt?
    The only hunting I have done in Nevada is chucker out towards Paradise but have seen some nice deer there.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    You hev no idea how much I enjoy your hunting stories. Thanks for taking the time to share them Luis!

    I love sharing and reading all of the great stories this place provides. It's my pleasure to bring something to the table once in a while and I'm glad you enjoy it! That keeps me motivated to keep writing them.
    rberglof wrote: »
    Luis what area in Nevada did you hunt?
    The only hunting I have done in Nevada is chucker out towards Paradise but have seen some nice deer there.

    rberglof - I was in Area 161 near the Atla Toquima Wilderness in central Nevada. Chuckar will be next for me, right after the Southern Region duck opener on November 3rd.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,386 Senior Member
    I have driven through that area a couple times but that is all.
    I use to spend a fare amount of time in Winnemucca and hunted up around Chimney Reservoir, there was a lot of chucker in that area.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,553 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    On a different note, I forgot to point out one other interesting thing I noticed about mulies vs. whitetails. My mulie had a LOT more fat on it than any whitetail I've ever shot. There was tallow for days on that thing. I wish I had a place to put it in the field. There would have been plenty to render and use for sealant and patch lube on my flintlock.

    Luis, I shot a 3x3 (4x3 if you count a brow tine) mulie several years ago in the flat tops that had at least a 3 inch layer of fat on the top of its rump. The next year, in the same area, I shot at one running, knocked it down, thought it was down for good, only for it to jump up and run off as I was approaching it. I never did find it, but I did find a chunk of fat at least 2 inches wide near where it fell. I think my bullet grazed the top of its rump and temporarily disabled it.

    All of which goes to say I have also seen that some mulies carry a lot of fat on them. Also, the one that I did kill was the largest deer I've ever killed. I'm guessing its field dressed weight was at least 175 lbs. I know I had to butcher it in the field and carry it out in pieces to get it to camp.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,729 Senior Member
    Very cool! Great hunt and nice deer.

    Congrats!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »

    Ok, now that I’m back, let me preface this hunt report by stating outright that mule deer might be the weirdest, least jumpy animal I have ever hunted. With that out of the way, I’ll give you some details.

    Back in June, I was drawn for Nevada’s Any Legal Weapon early season for a mule deer buck in Game Management Unit 16. This area is massive, covering roughly 12,000 square miles and much of central Nevada. The season runs from Oct 5-22, but based on the advice of the friend who accompanied me (a retired game warden named Frank who used to work this area, who didn’t have a tag and just came along for the fun of the hunt), I chose to go the second week instead of the opener. The early season is a considerably easier draw than the late season, but it’s also notoriously tough with a much lower success rate. The bucks are in scant bachelor herds this early in the season and are not rutting. Simply finding them would prove to be a helluva task given the scale of the country I was hunting.


    The weapon of choice for this hunt was my lefty Tikka T3 Lite Stainless in .243 Winchester with a Harris field length bipod. This is the same rifle that the artist formerly known as “BPSNIPER” custom painted for me with his very own carny hands. It was an absolute joy to carry all day in those mountains given how tough the terrain was. The ammo was handloaded 100 gr. Sierra Pro Hunter soft point bullets over Ramshot Hunter powder. I also brought along my Leupold Gold Ring HD spotting scope, my Nikon ATB 12x binos, and my Leupold RX-1000 TBR rangefinder.

    Day 1:
    After setting up camp the day prior, we got to hunting the high country. I saw well over 40 deer this day, but nearly all were does. We saw most of them after posting up high on a vantage point and peering near a mountainside mahogany thicket. One group walked rather unassumingly past our truck as if they expected to see us there. I say again, mule deer are weird. The only bucks we saw this day were a single spike and a forkhorn that was with a doe. I passed on both. There was lots of action this day, but little worth fussing over.

    Day 2:
    We tried a lower area in the mountains on the second day, following the banks of a creek. The edges of the creek had mountains and rocky crag formations around it. Within 10 minutes, we spotted deer, but again, they were does. We continued walking and spotting more does…and more does. We didn’t see a single buck this day and I was starting to get a little nervous. We saw fewer overall deer and not a single buck after walking 4 miles in and out of the creek bottom.

    Day 3:
    The morning effort was a disaster. We went nearly 6 miles down a different mountain creek bed without spotting a single deer. We saw nothing on the way back out either. Now I was starting to get really worried. Being new to mule deer hunting and knowing how tough this particular season is to hunt, my goal was “anything better than a forkhorn.” At this point, that forkie I blew off on the first day starting to haunt me and make me wonder if I just should’ve shot what I was given. We still had a few days left, but this was looking bleak and chats with the locals reflected the exact same sparse buck encounters. One guy apparently passed on a 4-point (8-point, for us whitetail folks) and ended up having to shoot a forkie as he ran out of hunting time. Another simply couldn’t find anything better. Maybe I was being a little too smug in my initial expectations given how the locals were doing.

    Then, I decided to go back to basics. I told Frank that I wanted to hit up the same canyon I scouted in the summer, even though I only saw does back then. I knew it held deer, we just had to see if there were now bucks where once there were not. He agreed with my logic and we headed for the spot. On the way out, an obviously insane coyote decided to cross in front of the truck, hold up at 50 yards off the side of the road while I pulled over, wait for me to retrieve the handgun case from the back seat of my crew cab and retrieve my Colt Anaconda, wait further for me to get ammo out from under the hardcover over the bed, load the gun and fire a shot right into its neck. It made for a nice little diversion hunt.


    After I smoked the coyote with a 240 gr. Sierra SportsMaster JHC bullet from the .44 mag, we drove deep into the high country over some brutal terrain to find my old, high vantage point. However, looking at the fact that this would be an evening hunt, I decided we needed to get closer to the mountain, as we wouldn’t have time to spot a deer and move in on it in the waning light from as high up as we were. We would trade some elevation and viewing distance for a much closer seat to where the deer previously appeared. It was a gamble, but that decision proved to be the best one of the hunt.

    As I drove the truck down the other side of the mountain toward a new, lower vantage point, I almost immediately spotted 3 deer on the low edge of the adjacent mountain. They looked close, but I had no choice to bail out of the truck as they watched and hope they wouldn’t spook. They didn’t (did I mention that mulies are weird?) Given how we had seen almost nothing but does up to this point, I wasn’t immediately excited. Then, a flash of antler changed my mood slightly until I noticed that all three deer were forkies…bummer. I painfully mulled over the thought of lowering my expectations for the sake of filling my tag given that precedent up to this point did not lend itself to the notion that there would be any more opportunities. Just then, a 4th deer appeared and a quick look through the spotting scope showed that he had 3 points on one side. For the purposes of this hunt, he was immediately considered a shooter.

    A quick laser reading confirmed that this was a very doable 262 yard shot. The problem was that my buck and one of the forkies were leapfrogging next to each other while feeding, presenting a very real risk of hitting both deer. Worse, they were about to feed behind a large tree. They did just that before I could shoot, forcing me to gather up and run up my new mountain vantage point a bit higher before they fed back out and saw me in full sprint. I got back into shooting position with the bipod legs fully deployed to clear the sage brush. When my buck finally fed clear of his buddy, I shot. My buck just stood there for a moment, and then gradually started walking like he had a bad back. None of the other bucks around him did much more than look up to see what his problem was. About 15 seconds later he came rolling down the mountain. The post-mortem would later show that the 100 gr. Sierra Pro Hunter got total pass-through and double-lunged him.


    Not a terribly large or well-spread rack, but I found out upon recovery that he had a 4th point on his far side that I didn’t notice in my haste to set up. Given how poorly most of the other hunters I talked to had done, bagging a 4x3 buck was a very nice treat. Another nice treat was his buddies hanging around for a photo opportunity after he fell dead no more than 100 yards away to watch us recover him (weird, no?)

    Regardless, I had my mule deer hanging in camp just a few hours later and that was more than I could ask for.

    Nice Sixgun, and you're suckin' double right now Bro!!! Hey, sincerely, congrats on a great hunt. I'm gonna kill me a local whitetail this weekend as this is the season opener here.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    Soory I took so long to reply. I've been Nebraska for the last week on my final traveling hunt of 2012.
    rberglof wrote: »
    I have driven through that area a couple times but that is all.
    I use to spend a fare amount of time in Winnemucca and hunted up around Chimney Reservoir, there was a lot of chucker in that area.

    I need to get up that way one of these times, but Winnemucca got hit hard by wild fires this year. So hard, in fact that they closed the sage grouse season completely this year! It'll be a while before that region is back to normal, it seems.
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    Luis, I shot a 3x3 (4x3 if you count a brow tine) mulie several years ago in the flat tops that had at least a 3 inch layer of fat on the top of its rump. The next year, in the same area, I shot at one running, knocked it down, thought it was down for good, only for it to jump up and run off as I was approaching it. I never did find it, but I did find a chunk of fat at least 2 inches wide near where it fell. I think my bullet grazed the top of its rump and temporarily disabled it.

    All of which goes to say I have also seen that some mulies carry a lot of fat on them. Also, the one that I did kill was the largest deer I've ever killed. I'm guessing its field dressed weight was at least 175 lbs. I know I had to butcher it in the field and carry it out in pieces to get it to camp.

    You've got that right about the fat. My one friend in Nebraska commented that this deer looked like a farm-raised steer in the fat department compared to your average whitetail and I have to agree. The fat on this one's rump was definitely around 2 inches thick at the heaviest parts.
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Very cool! Great hunt and nice deer.

    Congrats!

    Thank you, sir!

    snake284-1 wrote: »
    Nice Sixgun, and you're suckin' double right now Bro!!! Hey, sincerely, congrats on a great hunt. I'm gonna kill me a local whitetail this weekend as this is the season opener here.

    Thanks, to you, too, snake. best of luck on your Texas hunt and be sure to post some pics and a report when you get one!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Yep, because 180# on the hoof is a HUGE Alabama whitetail

    edited to add: Mature does average 80-100# and Bucks another 25-30.

    There are a FEW bigger ones, I have bucks of 240#, and 170# as my 2 largest (live weights) in 30+ years of hunting

    Where did you kill the 240# whitetail? What county in Alabama did you get this deer? Hey, how about some pictures, I would like to see that big deer?
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