I've taken two antelope with my MOA Maximum SP in .308 Winchester and 168gr Hornady A-Max bullets. But, I'd never taken a whitetail deer with it until yesterday evening. Went out to the field I oft hunt and took two handguns with me. One, the 6" Ruger GP-100 w/158gr XTP bullets and 2x Weaver for any close work and the other my 14" MOA Maximum in .308 Winchester w/168gr Hornady A-Max bullets and 2-7x Burris for anything further out. Set up in a little different spot this time, trying to edge my chances of getting a shot with the .357 Mag at a little closer distance. Crawled into a tall patch of grass and built up my hide.
As the evening progressed, I saw a unique buck enter the field to the North of me at about 275 yards. He had a small 3 point rack on his right side and a tall 4 point rack on his left that rose high, then arched over to the right like it wanted to touch the other rack. Thought he looked kinda cool. So, I swapped the Ruger for the MOA and waited to see if he would come any closer and present a better shot.
Where he was, he was slightly uphill and over a rise so the wheat and clover obscured most of his body. The majority of the time, I could only see his head and neck when he raised it to look around. Of course, had I been sitting where I was the last time I hunted this field about a week ago and took a doe with my .260 Remington..............it'd be a chip shot. But, that's how things go. So, I waited and bleated at him with my voice. And, every time I did, he raised his head and looked my way but, wouldn't come closer. After what seemed an eternity, he finally started heading my way!!! At an angle, of course and I waited for the chance at a shot.
But, he had different plans. Seems my bleating at him and his subsequent looking my way caused him to notice some does behind me in a neighbors field about 300 yards away. He took off at run and jumped the fence into the East pasture. Skirting around my position, he dropped down into a low spot where I lost sight of him. When I finally found him again, he was to my SE and.................further away from the truck............in a somewhat rugged portion of the field. I considered shooting.........but, with a broken foot.............I wasn't going to haul him outa there with any ease. I let him go.
Then, I noticed a doe and yearling crossing the East pasture from the South. But again, it's a rugged pasture with multiple tiers (angling uphill towards me) and bumpy ground littered with large clumps of grass. Not an easy location for a game cart and one leg to haul a deer out of. Another pass.
The sun set behind me with a beautiful show.
I kept the Ruger in my lap, still hoping that a deer would pass by at close range.
Finally, way off to the East, I saw a herd of deer enter the pasture and head my way. The clock was ticking. Would they make it to me in time?!? This is always the case with this spot. The majority of the deer don't enter the field until the VERY last bit of light. I waited and watched the clock. Willing them to hurry up get here before legal shooting time was up.
Finally, they made it and one by one, the does and yearlings started jumping the fence into the field. I scanned the herd looking for the largest doe. Then looked across the fence to the East pasture as there were still some deer over there that hadn't crossed the fence yet. That's when I saw him. A buck!
He was too far away and it was too dark to count points with the 7x scope, but he seemed decent enough. He was chasing a doe like a quarter horse. Trying to cut her off from entering the field. Running my way down the fence, I followed him in the scope, hoping he would come to a stop and give me a quartering towards shot at a little over 100 yards. Wasn't going to happen. The doe made an offensive maneuver to try and get around him. She shucked.........he jived and did an about face to counter her move. Swapping ends, he was now running away from me at a steep angle trying to get in front of the doe again. Crap!!!
It's getting dark........I have 2 minutes of shooting light left..........the buck is running further away as we speak.............training kicked in.
I panned the BOG-Pod PSR to my left. Like shooting at a flying dove, I passed the buck through the scope until I had the lead that felt natural as he ran.
Here is the funny part. I didn't "think" about pulling the trigger. Just like bird hunting.............you don't "think" about your lead. When it looks right, you shoot. As soon as the gun went off I thought, "Holy crap! I can't believe I shot!" It was one of those moments when, if you think to much............you'll pass.
As soon as the gun went off, I heard the "POP!" of the bullet impacting. Why? Because like a dummy, I forgot to push my ear plugs all the way in my ears in the heat of the situation. Oh well.
Coming out of the minimal recoil, I relocate the buck in the scope and see him making his death run. Tail clamped firmly to his body, he runs faster and faster..........lower and lower........until, like a plane crashing..........he dives into the ground and flips.
That's the best shot I've ever made with a handgun. The distance wasn't great but, all the factors combined (fading light, running deer, angle of shot, handgun, 7x, platform, etc.) made for something I couldn't have done if I'd thought about it. Probably couldn't do it again. But, I'll take it once.
Shot was 151 yards and he ran 33 yards after impact.
Maroon Line = Odd Racked Buck from the North
Blue Line = Doe and Yearling from the South
Yellow Line = Herd of Does from the East
Red Line = 6-Point Buck from the East
1 = My Position
2 = Impact
3 = Recovered
4 = Truck
Yellow Line = Line of Shot
Orange Line = Route to Truck
Loaded the buck on my Game Cart and............hauled him back to the truck.
He ain't big. But, being my first deer with this gun and the shot itself..............I am very pleased.
Autopsy to follow.