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The Boy Stikes Again!!! Third Whitetail of the Season.

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 27,674 Senior Member
We got a last minute invite to hunt a ranch we'd not hunted before. So, we quickly packed up our gear and headed out the door about 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Arriving at the ranch, we met the owner at the lodge and he said to load up in his suburban. Throwing our gear in, we jumped in the back seat. Beginning what seemed like a safari!

On the way to the stand, we passed Wildabeast, Springbok, and about 30 turkeys! The gobblers were even beginning to strut!! Gotta love warm Texas weather.

We get to the stand and the owner drops us off to settle in and wait. This was the biggest Box Stand I've ever been in! I could have laid on the floor and taken a nap!

The deer were slow to move, but the African game never ceased! Continuing to see Springbok, we peered out the windows of the blind.

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And then a pair of Sable showed up at a protein feeder and hung out for about 45 minutes. Moving in and out of the brush. My boy quite enjoyed the show.

Finally, 4 does showed up. But, unlike the African game, they were quite wired.

I don't know if you've ever seen those nature shows of the feeding flamingo flocks in Africa..........but that band of deer looked pretty much the spitting image.

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Moving around in a tight group, never standing still, and only a couple feeding at a time while the others kept watch. I had a heck of a time trying to get my boy lined up on one. He would track one, waiting for her to turn broadside. Just to have a different one step clear and present herself. By the time he'd get aimed in on her, she'd be covered up by the group. This went on for several stressful minutes until they finally got spooked by a darting around Springbok and they headed for the brush. I was worried that we'd blown our chance. But, I shifted around the rifle Rest where he could comfortably sit in my lap when the time came and we got back in wait mode.

After what seemed an eternity, I saw two deer step out into another long Sendaro. The same one the Sable had been occupying earlier. They started our was and I slowly got my boy ready.

We waited for them to come closer, but they hung up at 130 yards and started doing the nervous pacing again. Great!!!

We bounced back and forth as to which one to aim at. Never presenting a stationary broadside shot. My boy finally asked if he could just shoot one in the neck while it faced us. I contemplated that, but decided we'd better wait for a more assured shot angle.

The minutes passed and I got frustrated again. Finally......one stood still, but it was quartering slightly towards us. We'd always practiced following the back of the front leg up to the chest. Then, moving halfway up the body to place the shot just behind the shoulder. Well, that just wasn't happening. When that sucker stood still like a statue, I quickly told him, "The right one! Follow the FRONT of the leg up to the chest. Halfway up the body. Shoot it right in the center of the shoulder as it's facing us!!!"

My boy quickly locked on and said, "Now?"

"Send it!"

The gun went off and I heard the impact. Watching the shot through binos, I didn't see the deer hunch, jump, or falter in any way. Just heard the hit and the deer spun and took off in a lope down the sendaro and then into the brush.

My boy said, "Did I miss? I think I missed!"

"No, I heard it hit. Did it feel steady when you shot?"

"Yes. But after I shot, all I saw was white!"

That was the sky. He'd never shot a deer from this flat an angle and the recoil bounced the Scope up into the sky beyond.

We sat a few minutes and then gathered our stuff to walk down and look. Arriving at the last stand of the deer, I began to walk along the sendaro following its path. No blood! But, I HEARD it hit!!

We get to the edge of the brush where I guessed it had left the sendaro. I'm looking and trying to decide where to go..........and I see a white belly lying on the ground about 15 yards ahead in the bushes.

Yes!!!!!

Walking up to it, we notice that it was a young buck who had apparently only had one small horn that he had already lost. One side had a small scabbed over pad where an antler had been and the other was just a little bump of skin.

Live%20Oak%20Buck%2002-13-17%2012%20-%20Copy_zpshxdbpvrf.jpg

I'm proud of my boy. This was a frustrating hunt with wired deer that would not stand still more than a few seconds. Talk about stress!! And, he made his longest shot to date at 130 yards!!

The buck was standing quartering towards us where the arrow is pointing.

Live%20Oak%20Buck%2002-13-17%207_zpsiucreykc.jpg

I can't express how awesome the Spec-Rest has been in providing a stable yet fluid platform for my boy to shoot from. This thing has been an invaluable piece of kit. He's used it for all three of his deer this year.

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The bullet struck perfectly in the center of the shoulder as he quartered towards us. Passing through and taking off the top 1/3 of the heart, it shredded the off side lung and lodged under the skin on the off side. The buck ran approximately 54 yards after impact.

People discredit the .243 Winchester as a youth cartridge. Stating that while effective, it is too anemic for marginal shots. Well, I'm here to tell you that the low recoil of the cartridge combined with muzzle and sound suppression has allowed my boy to consistently place precise shots on on 3 deer and hit every one in the heart so far. The internal damage has always been significant and resulted in dead deer after a short run. It may not cause the biggest blood trails, but with a proper bullet and shot placement, that cartridge flat out works!!!

It all boils down to either the kid can shoot or not. Setting them up with a heavier cartridge that is going to induce poor marksmanship is the wrong way to go about things in my book. I have a young boy who can attest to its shootsbility and effectiveness on game.

I am yet again, a proud father.
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

Replies

  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,050 Senior Member
    Its always a pleasure to see a youngster follow in his fathers footsteps.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    The young man must be thrilled. These are some outstanding opportunities you've sent his way. Good on you!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,159 Senior Member
    I guess you have him hooked, hey.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    People discredit the .243 Winchester as a youth cartridge. Stating that while effective, it is too anemic for marginal shots. Well, I'm here to tell you that the low recoil of the cartridge combined with muzzle and sound suppression has allowed my boy to consistently place precise shots on on 3 deer and hit every one in the heart so far. The internal damage has always been significant and resulted in dead deer after a short run. It may not cause the biggest blood trails, but with a proper bullet and shot placement, that cartridge flat out works!!!

    It all boils down to either the kid can shoot or not. Setting them up with a heavier cartridge that is going to induce poor marksmanship is the wrong way to go about things in my book. I have a young boy who can attest to its shootsbility and effectiveness on game.

    I couldn't agree more on all fronts, and those same attributes apply for adult hunters. The .243 Win is WAY more formidable than people give it credit for.

    "You shoot mule deer with a .243 Win??"

    Yes.

    "You'd even shoot big deer with it??"

    Yes.

    From your son's experience, to mine, to my friends who have now adopted it as their go-to western deer cartridge after seeing my results, the .243 will impress if you give it a chance.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,603 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    I couldn't agree more on all fronts, and those same attributes apply for adult hunters. The .243 Win is WAY more formidable than people give it credit for.

    "You shoot mule deer with a .243 Win??"

    Yes.

    "You'd even shoot big deer with it??"

    Yes.

    From your son's experience, to mine, to my friends who have now adopted it as their go-to western deer cartridge after seeing my results, the .243 will impress if you give it a chance.

    Biggest cow elk I ever personally saw killed was taken by my dad with a single shot from a .243 Win. Now he was a "behind the ear" shooter, never took heart/lung shots but I expect the result would have been the same had he done so.
    Good memories. Sure do miss that man.

    Sako

    Edit to add congrats to your boy Zee, he is doing a fine job with that .243:worthy:
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,049 Senior Member
    The 243 and 25-06 are IMHO the best balanced deer cartridges ever made.

    PA hunting boards are having a hissy right now. The game commish is allowing semi autos for the first time. Mag restriction to 5. You should see the whining on some of the boards because a "223 is to small for deer" along with folks saying a 243 is marginal. It is a butt ton load of anecdotal he said evidence.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,591 Senior Member
    Outstanding!!! :applause:
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    I guess you have him hooked, hey.


    He kinda likes hunting now.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    That's crazy.
    I've seen grownass men using "grown up" deer cartridges not drop deer with one shot. Heard tell they plum run off, even after a "perfect" shot. Of course, some of those were "Bullet failures"....


    Uh......yeah.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Biggest cow elk I ever personally saw killed was taken by my dad with a single shot from a .243 Win. Now he was a "behind the ear" shooter, never took heart/lung shots but I expect the result would have been the same had he done so.
    Good memories. Sure do miss that man.

    Sako

    Edit to add congrats to your boy Zee, he is doing a fine job with that .243:worthy:


    One of the biggest bull elk I've seen in person was dispatched by a friend of mine following up a bad shot by another hunter with a larger cartridge. He tracked the bull into the aspens and jumped him from his bed after the other hunter wounded it. One shot in the neck from his .243 dropped the bull onthe spot.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    The 243 and 25-06 are IMHO the best balanced deer cartridges ever made.

    PA hunting boards are having a hissy right now. The game commish is allowing semi autos for the first time. Mag restriction to 5. You should see the whining on some of the boards because a "223 is to small for deer" along with folks saying a 243 is marginal. It is a butt ton load of anecdotal he said evidence.

    I just don't get it. As with ANY cartridge.......bullet selection and shot placement. It ain't rocket surgery!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    And thank you all for the kind words.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,367 Senior Member
    Your son is a very lucky young man to have a father like you. His childhood will hold many memories of quality time spent with his dad in the great outdoors, memories that will shape and guide him along the right path in future years. I wouldnt be surprised if he doesnt end up in a career that involves outdoor pursuits.


    As for you, I cant begin to imagine the pleasure you get from watching him grow up and providing the opportunities you do. :worthy:
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    For the record, the .243 is as small as I've gone for deer, purely due to opportunity. I have had a .223 in the woods with the intention of taking a deer with it a few times, the opportunity just never came during those times.
    The 243 and 25-06 are IMHO the best balanced deer cartridges ever made.

    PA hunting boards are having a hissy right now. The game commish is allowing semi autos for the first time. Mag restriction to 5. You should see the whining on some of the boards because a "223 is to small for deer" along with folks saying a 243 is marginal. It is a butt ton load of anecdotal he said evidence.
    Zee wrote: »
    I just don't get it. As with ANY cartridge.......bullet selection and shot placement. It ain't rocket surgery!!!

    I am following that disaster over on that message board and just shaking my head. The ignorance of those against the allowance for semi-autos is mind-blowing. I think Varmintmist is being exceptionally kind by calling what the anti-semi/anti-AR-15 crowd is citing as evidence being even anecdotal. Most of it just straight being pulled out of their asses. Better still is the deafening silence when you point out that an AR-15 with a 5-round mag holds the exact number of rounds as a Marlin 336 lever gun. According to some, guys with the AR are going to be more prone to spray-and-pray. Like nobody with a lever rifle has even done that in the PA deer woods...
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Nice job again! That boy is having a great hunting season.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    You boys got links to the clown show?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    You boys got links to the clown show?
    Indeed - standby for PM...
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    I used to think .243 was marginal, from some of the horror stories I have heard but ten I realized that most of those people probably grabbed a box of varmint ammo thinking all .243 is .243 for deer. With a proper bullet and good placement, I am now convinced that even .223 is plenty of gun.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • Hondo341Hondo341 Member Posts: 448 Member
    Zee, tell that boy of yours Uncle Hondo said congratulations!!! Heck, do you want to adopt a 54 year old? I need to hunt more.
    "People are responsible to play a role in their own safety." Sheriff David Clarke 2016
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    Hondo341 wrote: »
    Zee, tell that boy of yours Uncle Hondo said congratulations!!! Heck, do you want to adopt a 54 year old? I need to hunt more.

    Will do. Thanks.

    Adoption is out of the question. However........How good do you look in a French Maid outfit?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Biggest cow elk I ever personally saw killed was taken by my dad with a single shot from a .243 Win. Now he was a "behind the ear" shooter, never took heart/lung shots but I expect the result would have been the same had he done so.
    Good memories. Sure do miss that man.

    Sako

    Edit to add congrats to your boy Zee, he is doing a fine job with that .243:worthy:
    That's impressive!

    I should add, there is a video floating around out there somewhere of a gal taking a cow elk with a .243 at something like 600 yards. Clean kill.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Hondo341Hondo341 Member Posts: 448 Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Will do. Thanks.

    Adoption is out of the question. However........How good do you look in a French Maid outfit?

    Better than Zorba
    "People are responsible to play a role in their own safety." Sheriff David Clarke 2016
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,545 Senior Member
    So proud of him and so proud for you.
    Not many folks have a Spec-Rest to shoot off of:jester:
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,463 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    My boy finally asked if he could just shoot one in the neck while it faced us.

    Thought it over, planned it out, thought he could do it, checked it with the boss, held tight.

    I'm liking this kid. . .a lot.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,253 Senior Member
    Your lad sure is growing up fast and maturing quickly.
    Give him a big congratulations and old fashioned high five for me. He is getting to be more and more like you, before you know it he will be making long shots from weird positions.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Excellent work from you both.

    The .243 is one of my favorites. I have had one "bullet failure" using it, a Winchester Power Point blew up after passing through the shoulder at ~20 yards. That doe went maybe 60 yards. I would not be worried if I took mine after bigger stuff.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,674 Senior Member
    Thank you, gentlemen.

    Going to try and get him an axis and/or another Whitetail before the season ends. I have room in my freezer for about 1-1/2 more deer.

    We have tried twice for an Axis now but the right one continues to elude us.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,587 Senior Member
    The 243 and 25-06 are IMHO the best balanced deer cartridges ever made.

    PA hunting boards are having a hissy right now. The game commish is allowing semi autos for the first time. Mag restriction to 5. You should see the whining on some of the boards because a "223 is to small for deer" along with folks saying a 243 is marginal. It is a butt ton load of anecdotal he said evidence.

    For Deer rifles, magazine capacity is only relevant for practice.

    Unless I was worried about confronting something like an angry bear, I don't know why I would even load five rounds.
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