Well, I’ve gone out for deer twice, once with the muzzle-loader and once with a centre-fire rifle. The first episode was miserable. I’d dressed too lightly and after a couple of hours was chilled to the bone. Today, I dressed much more warmly, probably good to -20C and it was only -8C.
Anyway, we had just settled into our position when a little buck came out and walked across the opening we were guarding. The scope had to be zoomed to check for antlers… They were there but this took a few seconds and the deer was almost across. A slightly rushed shot resulted in high placement just behind the last rib. Not good. Still the deer was knocked over and managed to walk only a few steps before bleeding out. The heavy round-nosed bullet loaded in a 7mm Remington Magnum downloaded to about 7X57 velocity went clear through at 200 yards and expanded normally even on such a light animal’s abdominal wall.
This sets a new record for my shortest time on station to bag a deer. 20 years ago I was happy to have a deer in ~15minutes. At least I know the right place to be at the right time. Still, it’s a bit of a let-down. Last year I hunted days and my partner hunted weeks before one deer was bagged. Conditions are good for another if we want. All this week, winds are forecast to be light and temperatures just below freezing. Snow-cover is good for easy walking by both deer and hunters. Shopping for more freezer-space is in order.
On the lighter side, we’ve hunted for grouse for several days and never saw one. Today, when I was carrying the giblets back, a grouse was encountered just walking around in the underbrush eating seeds of weeds. It would let me get within about 15 feet always keeping some brush between us. When I quit watching and walked on by, the grouse did a “U”-turn and went back to finish his meal. It would have been an easy shot for a .22 RF but we are not allowed to carry those while hunting deer. Another happening was us forgetting an expensive hunting knife on the snow by the carcass. We realized our mistake when it came time to skin the beast. We drove back to the bush to fetch it and by then, just an hour or so later, the ravens and magpies had taken everything they could eat. I thought we were at the top of the food-chain. Those guys are good at what they do.