I was afraid that this season was not going to happen. The fires had me on hold until four days before the opener. Heat and heavy smoke from the nearby forest fires finally subsided due to calmer winds and cooler temperatures. Otherwise, almost a DeJa’Vu of last year’s hunt, but the deer did not seem to be as disoriented by the smoke. Saw fewer deer compared to previous years but located them gobbling acorns during preseason scouting. Opening morning was heavily overcast with the promise of rain. I found this one working acorns at mid-morning. The heavy long tined antlers and thick beams made him a handsome prize! Normally, I wait until later in the hunt to take my shot, but the approaching rain and the possibility that Mr. Long Tines seek refuge from the weather made my decision. I pulled the trigger on the big.35 Whelen Improved just as the first raindrops fell. The 245 gr. Shock Hammer did its deadly job and the old deer died in its tracks.
Live weight 167 lbs. 8 points plus, eye guards. Official Score is yet to be determined but I estimate him to be in the SCI Top Ten Columbia Blacktails taken with a handgun. Armament was the same as last year, with the addition of the Shock Hammer bullet. Blued Steel T/C Encore Frame tuned by SSK and fitted with a Pachmayer Grip and Bullberry modified rifle forearm. The Bullberry 16 7/8" barrel in .35 Whelen Improved ensured consistent accuracy. Optics were a converted Burris Ballistic Plex 3 x 9 scope clamped to a Bullberry 6-hole elevated base by four Warne steel Maxima rings. I use this mounting set up on most of my hunting pistols, and it is a rock-solid arrangement,
Good Shooting Makes Good Hunting
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Life Member RMEF, SCI, NSRPA, CRPA: Member, FTRF, HHI #7108, CBA