Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deer Hunting 11/17/2014

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My dad bought me a muzzle loader for my birthday last year, though it was after the muzzle loader season (well, the week between just muzzle loader vs gun).

But, we did dial in the iron sites on it, which I have to admit, CVA does a good job on the iron site selection. Afterwards, the gun was put in a case and left.

Muzzle loader season opened this past Monday. After getting work done, I was able to slip out and head towards the mountain. My dad had built a new shooting house in an all new location that I thought was going to be perfect, especially considering the 10 mile and hour wind that was pelting the west side of the mountain. Located on the lower south east side, it would offer me some protection. Well, I should say, it offered my scent some protection from any sniffing deer. I climbed the steps in to the shooting house and buckled down. In Zach terms, that means I read a book.

It was obvious that I had under-dressed. Most of my stuff is packed away in the attic still. I thought I could get away with a single Under Armour layer, jeans, and coveralls. My gloves and hat were still in my fishing stuff, left over from the travesty that was Fishing on 11/15/14.

As I read "The Martian", I was afraid that my fears were confirmed: the high wind was keeping all the deer at bay. The temperature was beginning to fall and the weathermen had suggested it would hit the high 20s. I definitely could feel it starting to bite. I like to hear the woods, so I keep the windows open, which guessed it....I get cold.

But I am a big boy and I dealt with it, especially as I watched two of the biggest squirrels play on the tree next to me, wishing I had my 10/22 so I could wear them out as I had last week in my Squirrel Hunts. Instead, I just watched their interesting lives and how they go about them, wondering how their little minds worked. And as I followed one as it ran across a woods road, I saw a deer slip from one side to the other.

It was amazing that I ever saw the deer. I would be a liar if I said that I sometimes wonder just how many deer I have not seen in the woods, and just what percentage I see on dumb luck. This was just another situation where luck led my eyes. But as soon as I saw the deer, it slipped into a pine tree thicket, which we had planted after the F5 tornado in the late 90s. But, I kinda knew where it was going. The shooting house sits on the crossroads of two woods roads, one leading down the mountain and one leading north/south. But, only 50 yards from the crossroads is a food plot. I figured that was where the deer was heading, though I would catch glimpses of it rooting around. I was surprised that it seemed to be alone. I already knew it was a smaller deer, but with it being alone, it might be a button buck. Chances were, that's exactly what it was.

But almost as soon as I had dismissed the deer on these assumptions, another deer came walking down the road at the edge of the food plot. This one was obviously a mature doe.

We enjoy eating our deer and the freezer was almost empty. I was really hoping to fill it before devoting time to a buck. After all, it's been a few years since I killed a buck.

I setup the GoPro and hefted the muzzle loader, picking a spot between trees. I admit that I didn't really consider the range. I am so used to hunting with a rifle that the range isn't an issue. This was every bit of a 50 yard shot. Not terribly difficult for a muzzle loader, but certainly on the outside of the envelope with iron sites. But again, we had sited it in, so I wasn't too worried.

I picked a spot between two trees and the deer trucked right on towards them. When the deer came full broadside in between the trees, I let one rip.

Then something smacked me in the face. Hard. And I thought: "OMG THE GUN JUST BLEW UP IN MY FACE!"

Eventually I figured out that my head was still intact and on top of my neck. The deer had taken off and it was obvious that I hadn't hit it. After all, you hit something with a 50 cal, it's going down. Now, it may get back up eventually, but it might need a Peter Griffin moment.

After looking around, I found what had been knocked off. It was my read dovetail site. Apparently it had been knocked loose at some point during the last year. Who knows where I shot!

Well, it's back to last years post about Understanding Your Firearms Performance. Ugh. Right back to where we were in 2013.

Anyway, enjoy the vid!