Rancher friend needed to cull a couple deer to give to the folks who take care of his yard. He wanted to try and take them with his Remington 700 in .223 Remington on Sunday evening. Well, we went out and saw lots of does and yearlings, but he wanted to take young/cull bucks and none showed up.
He asked if I had any guns I hadn't taken deer with and I said, of course. So, he told me to bring them on Monday afternoon and we would see what we could do.
I decided to take my Dominator Pistol in .35 Remington and my Benchrest Rifle in .260 Remington. Figured I had everything from 0 to way out there covered.
If they came to the feeder, I'd use the Dominator Pistol.
If they came to one of the sendaros, I'd use the rifle.
Eventually, some does and yearlings came out in all the places and we watched them awhile. Finally, a 4 point walked out by the feeder and I tried to get lined up on him. But, he never would stand broadside and eventually walked back into the brush. After awhile, a spike came out in one of the sendaros and my friend told me to head shoot him with the rifle. Sure.
So, I got set up and aimed in on him. He was moving around and watching a doe and fawns. Not standing still for very long. But, my friend started recording and whistling at him, so i guess it was go-time. Right at the shot, or right before I guess, he dropped his head to feed and the bullet went right over his head as I aimed between his ears.
The gun goes off, the dust kicks up, the deer all jump and try to figure out what just happened. Surprisingly, he didn't bail out of there. Now.........I gotta reload a single shot BR Rifle without an ejector! I open the bolt, remove the spent case from the extractor, grab another round, drop it in the action, and ease the bolt closed as the rifle has a 3 ounce trigger. I find the buck in the scope, he stops and stares my way............bad move.
I put a 140gr A-Max smack dab between his eyes. POP!!! And down he went.
Early enough in the evening, so we waited to see if anything else would come out and after about 20 minutes........they did. Does and BIG bucks!!! Sure were nice to look at.
Just when we were going to call it quits and retrieve the first deer, the original 4 point came back out to the feeder. This time, he was interested in eating and I got lined up on him.
At 104 yards, I launched a 158gr XTP at 2,242 fps at him and put it behind his shoulder as he quartered slightly away. Dropping him on the spot. Something I didn't really expect.
And like that..........we were done.
The .260 Remington Benchrest Spike
The bullet blew his head up like a balloon. Popping his eyeballs and crumbling his skull into tiny pieces. At a MV of 2,920 fps, the bullet wither didn't exit, or exited out his left ear hole area as there was a ton of blood coming from that location.
The .35 Remington Dominator Pistol Buck
This is the fruition of a dream. I had always wanted a Dominator as a young man. Reading articles and seeing pictures of Bob Milek hunting with them. It was a dream come true to finally get one 33 years later and take a deer with it.
Thank you, Ernie. We helped each other in this case.
Loaded the deer in the setting sun and headed to the barn.
At the barn, the folks were waiting for their deer. I just gutted them as they were going to take them whole. So, I didn't get to do the usual autopsy on the .35 Remington results. But, here is the abridged version.
Entry Quartering Forward
Broke 2 Ribs on Entry and 1 on Exiting the Chest Cavity
Entry to Lungs
Exit from Lungs
The bullet lodged under the hide of the off side shoulder without striking any large bones.
Retaining 125.9gr of it's original 158gr weight.
At first glance, I'd say the bullet held together, mushroomed, and penetrated. But, when I look at the "base", it appears that the core separated, reversed itself, and refused with the core. I don't know. But, I cannot separate the two without the possible use of tools. Looking at the jacket, it looks inside out.
Either way, an unquestionably DEAD deer, some well fed people, and a very happy hunter. It was a good time, the fulfillment of a dream, the use of a BR Rifle built by a friend, and time spent with another.
How can that not be a great day?