carbines and white tails

Discussion in 'tales of the hunt' started by grumpyvette, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    back a few years ago here in florida they allowed access for the first time in years to a rather remote and hard to get into management area, it was reasonably close to where we lived so we put into a lottery for permits and to the amazement of both one of my friends (Jack) and myself we actually drew permits for the area.
    now the area was mostly palmetto scrub and jack pine interlaced with groves of oak and myrtle with occasional swampy clearings so hunting it almost required a rifle/carbine rather than the shot guns loaded with slugs or rarely buckshot , that many of my friends commonly used for deer and hog hunts where the brush tended to be thicker and ranges on shots of over 30-50 yards were rather rare, because the ranges could and occasionally did extend out to 150 yards..
    having walked thru the area a few times we knew it was loaded with deer and hogs but we also knew we could easily spend hours walking deer trails in Florida,s hot sun, and that we might get shots out to 80-120 yards, or a bit more on rare occasions, so that more or less indicated a carbine, with its lighter weight and longer range would be about the best choice, that was both easy to carry without becoming overly tired and something with the range and power to handle 120 yard or a bit longer shots.
    Jack who was my hunting partner at the time was a designated sniper on the local police swat response team, so he selected a 308 win caliber Remington carbine and I selected my marlin 44 mag lever action carbine.
    now if your familiar with firearms you know that a 308 win caliber carbine packs considerably more punch than a 44 mag carbine... at least on paper.
    Jack had loaded up some 165 grain ammo, loaded to about 2700fps from his 20" carbine (fairly hot loads) , Id loaded the same 300 grain hard cast bullets that left my carbine at about 1400 fps .
    for anyone who,s not familiar a CARBINE is generally a smaller lighter, version of a typical RIFLE with a shorter barrel (generally 16.5-20" long for a carbine, and 22"-26" or longer for a rifle barrel, and carbines are generally a pound or so lighter in weight )and commonly chambered in a fairly light recoil level cartridge ,because of the carbines lighter weight and shorter barrel , which makes the recoil and muzzle flash of the bigger calibers less pleasant to shoot, from the smaller firearm.....although there,s plenty of exceptions to that caliber rule
    common carbines are your typical 30/30 and 44 mag lever action rifles but there,s dozens of other configurations.
    we spent weeks at the range sighting our carbines in perfectly, both carbines easily shot similar 1"-1.5" groups at 100 yards with the ammo we used. and having a few beers or coffee and discussing the up coming hunt was what we did for weeks prior to the hunt and the discussion between us always seem to drift around eventually to the big difference in the carbines and calibers.....JACK being a SWAT team member got to practice BOTH at work and on his off days with me at the range, while I was at the time limited to one morning every other weekend.
    well eventually the big opening day arrived and Jack and I drove over to the area and checked in with the game and fish guys manning the area gates at about 5A.M. and after checking our permits where we were informed, that the area was (WALK IN ONLY) so we parked jacks truck, got our back packs and gear and started walking into the area along with a group of about 20 other guys, the dirt road we followed for about 2 miles constantly split off in random directions so after awhile jack and I found one we liked the look of and left the group, to explore the side road accessed area.. after it was about 7AM we found a well wooded area with a good deal of fresh game sign, so we decided we would both find a comfortable place to sit about 100 yards apart so we could let the area quite down and perhaps have some deer or hogs walk thru giving us a chance to fill our tags.
    After about 4 hours Jack and I had seen little, and the mosquitoes were a real P.I.T.A. even with insect repellent which we hate to use because its odor is sure to alert any game down wind of your location, that your there.
    Well as we were discussing the humor in putting yourself out in the swamp to feed a billion mosquitoes ,sweat so bad our camo was soaked and paying for the privilege to do so, while spending a good deal more cash on equipment,while operating under the absurd idea we were having fun...jack suddenly whispered, that he saw a couple deer moving our way, and jack having spotted them, he naturally got the first shot , so we both got into a kneeling or sitting position.
    typical palmetto thickets where 20 -40 yard shots are the normal range, and where some areas where use of a climbing tree stand offer's you a big advantage


    It took the small group of deer at least 40 minutes to feed slowly out into a small clearing. once jack was 100% sure of his choice and shot angle he whispered he would take the buck on the left side of the group, which was at about 80 yard out, and he suggested I take a very similar buck near the center of the group.
    Ive shot a good deal more deer than JACK , has so I just nodded and decided that if Jack shot a deer we would have our hands quite full dragging or packing the deer back to the truck so I was not going to shoot a deer unless it was rather exceptional, which at that moment did not seem to be the case.
    At jacks shot All the deer started running, Jack slapped off a second shot at his fast departing white flag, indicating his deer was exiting the area.
    I just started laughing ......SWAT TEAM ..... HILARIOUS....308 win!!! I could hardly breath , I had tears running down my face looking at Jacks expression,I was laughing so hard.
    We walked over and found a sparse blood trail, 80 yard further along we found jacks deer with the lower edge of his heart and a bit of lung punched with a neat 30 caliber hole in and out of the deers lower chest, Florida deer are small and jacks hit was at least 6" lower than he had planed the result was the bullet hardly had time to expand before it exited.
    the good part was we found the deer and his one hit was quickly fatal and we wasted zero meat....well that and I got too verbally abuse jack, because the deer ran off showing zero indication it was hit!!
    and what made it even better was that two weeks later Jack was watching when I got my deer, it dropped so fast he swore I missed it, but the heavy cast slug from my 44 carbine busted thru one shoulder and shattered the spine, instantly killing my deer.
    id thought the distance was about 150 yards so I had placed the cross hairs on the scope to look like the horizontal line was on the deers upper back.
    and the real grin was I hit that deer at really near 140 yards, so the bullet hit a bit higher than anticipated. .
    while neither deer kill proves anything, about either carbines real effectiveness and only shows shot placement is critical, it was still damn entertaining, a good conversation topic for years and of course meat for several bar-b-ques .
    yes Jacks a good shot, he regularly makes me look bad at the range, but he practices mostly off a bench rest or using a bi-pod while I spend most of my practice sitting or shooting off-hand.....there,s no bench rest in the hunt areas

    308 win data ... type=Rifle
    44 mag data ... pe=Handgun
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2018
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    it helps a great deal to have a GPS for what should be very obvious reasons.
    get and use a decent back-pack
    carry a note book and pen and camera, that stores digital pictures , carry extra batteries, carry water, Toilet paper a cell phone
    game does not report to a certain location at a set time, (no bus to catch too work, no restaurant seating hours.
    they move due to changes in hunting pressure, changes in food sources,major environmental changes,and mating season and weather.
    the more time you spend becoming familiar with the area youll hunt the better your grasp of the wildlife and how it spends its time and where it spends that time,
    game will detect you about 80% more often than you detect game, observe by finding a concealed area and sitting, it will take 30-45 minutes for the natural process to resume.
    learn the local food sources, be aware of changes, oaks don,t drop acorns all year.
    will be to your benefit, wear a watch take notes and what I do is divide the map of the area into roughly 1/8 mile grid squares,
    label them A-Z then you can make readable notes like
    "8 am, oct 12, zone G- kicked up 3 does, found several game trails converge south of oak stand 30 yards from north end of canal" or
    "11Am zone D,oct 28, found perfect tree for climbing stand for winds from north, over mixed myrtle and oak, lots of hog digging sign "
    "5pm zone C oct 26 large oak grove obviously torn up by hogs"
    organize notes by zone, and month on your home computer data base
    learn to be a damn good shot from field positions (shooting skeet also helps)
    you can aimlessly and randomly wonder around like most "hunters"and occasionally see game
    or you can up your odd markedly by understanding where when and why game move and where they are more likely to be.
    youll also up your odds by getting in before dawn and hunting till after dusk.
    go to the local fish & game office and grab all the local area brochures ,of areas your likely to hunt
    once you find an area that appeals to you get a detailed topo map and sat photos
    talk to the biologist, if you do your home work, its not that hard.
    visit the local rifle ranges and larger mom & pop gun-shops you might find a knowledgeable & helpful mentor
    get up off the computer and grab a compass, and a map a back pack with water and a snack, your cell phone, etc.
    and actually walk through the area,take pictures and get familiar with the ares,
    in many cases your allowed to as long as you follow a few simple rules
    after a few dozen trips youll get a clearer mental picture of the area
    after several seasons youll know pretty much where to set up a stand to have an excellent chance of success,
    as youll have a good grasp on how and when game moves,
    if theres been a grass fire or the game department used a dozer to cut a new dirt road through the area,
    or the adjacent farm burned sugar cane or it rained enough that your walking through knee deep water most of the time
    , it will effect the game travel patterns. the basics are simple you'll need to learn to be able too,
    consistently find game on a regular basis,
    and once found you need to be able to quickly place lethal shots precisely.
    knowledge of where and when the game travel and skill with your equipment helps immensely.
    being able to see down between the brush and optically cover a very large surface area (several acres)from an elevated tree stand helps in both cases
    be paitient, get a good stand location, relax be observant,
    have a quality set of 8x or 10x compact binoculars
    never leave your stand over time someone will steal it
    never piss near your stand
    the higher the tree stand , generally the more area you can observe
    wear a safety tree stand fall harness, let the wife know the grid (s) on the map your likely to hunt
    charge your cell phone, ideally have a spare battery or battery charger
    put a sling on your rifle use a cartridge holder butt sleeve
    ideally youll want a pack large enough to carry most of the boned out meat from a deer.
  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I got asked about the log book and grid area notes concept
    its really not difficult and over time its a noticeable advantage over the throngs that wonder aimlessly hoping to luck into stupid deer.
    you order the map of the area you hunt , get a ruler and a black pen and grid off the generally 24" x 36" map into about 4" to 5" square grid sections
    neatly label each square on the grid A-Z an if required to have more, AA-ZZ use your GPS to identify where your at when hunting, label and photos or notes with the grid location and date
    over time youll see very definite patterns in game travel emerge, now when my DAD was alive he had a private pilot licence so I had him fly the grid prior too and post season, so I could get a grasp,
    on how the Arial view was but thats just a bonus.
    you'll want a quality binder to protect notes that has easy access to add pages and a place for a calendar and several pens for dates photos and a gps
    you'll also want a couple 2.5 gallon zip loc bags to protect the notes and binder in your truck or back pack,
    yes it takes a bit of extra effort, but youll be far more successful as a result of the knowledge gained and retained.


    Florida Public Land AreasSelect the public land area you're interested in to start designing your custom map.

    Ownership TypeArea NameCOUNTYAlligator Lake Management AreaCOUNTYDevil's HammockCOUNTYLake TraceyCOUNTYThomas Creek PreserveFEDERALAbe Trull Research Natural AreaFEDERALApalachicola National ForestFEDERALApalachicola Savannah Research Natural AreaFEDERALArthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALAvon Park Air Force RangeFEDERALBig Cypress National PreserveFEDERALBig Mullet Key Research Natural AreaFEDERALByrd Hammock Research Natural AreaFEDERALChassahowitzka National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALChipola Experimental ForestFEDERALChoctawhatchee National ForestFEDERALCoggins Branch Research Natural AreaFEDERALCottrell Key Research Natural AreaFEDERALEglin Air Force BaseFEDERALEverglades National ParkFEDERALGreat White Heron National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALGum Swamp Research Natural AreaFEDERALHoney Creek Research Natural AreaFEDERALKey West National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALLake Woodruff National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALLevy Ditch Research Natural AreaFEDERALLittle Mullet Key Research Natural AreaFEDERALLower Suwannee National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALLoxahatchee Slough Public Use Natural AreaFEDERALLoxahatchee Slough Research Natural AreaFEDERALMerritt Island National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALOcala National ForestFEDERALOkefenokee National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALOsceola National ForestFEDERALSt. Marks National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALSt. Vincent National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALTen Thousand Islands National Wildlife RefugeFEDERALTyndall Air Force BasePRIVATEFlint Rock TractSTATEAllapattah FlatsSTATEAndrews Wildlife Management AreaSTATEApalachee Wildlife Management AreaSTATEApalachicola National Estuarine Research ReserveSTATEApalachicola River Water Management AreaSTATEApalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEAucilla Wildlife Management AreaSTATEBabcock Ranch PreserveSTATEBayard Conservation AreaSTATEBelmore State ForestSTATEBig Bend Wildlife Management AreaSTATEBig Shoals Conservation AreaSTATEBig Shoals State ForestSTATEBig Shoals State ParkSTATEBlackwater River State ForestSTATEBlue Cypress Conservation AreaSTATEBox-R Wildlife Management AreaSTATEBuck Lake Conservation AreaSTATECamp Blanding Military ReservationSTATECaravelle Ranch Wildlife Management AreaSTATECary State ForestSTATECedar Key Scrub State ReserveSTATECharles H. Bronson State ForestSTATEChoctawhatchee River Water Management AreaSTATECypress Creek Conservation AreaSTATEDinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management AreaSTATEDunns Creek Conservation AreaSTATEDupuis ReserveSTATEEconfina Conservation AreaSTATEEconfina Creek Water Management AreaSTATEEmeralda Marsh Conservation AreaSTATEEtoniah Creek State ForestSTATEEverglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management AreaSTATEFellsmere Water Management AreaSTATEFisheating Creek Wildlife Management AreaSTATEFlying Eagle RanchSTATEFort Drum Marsh Conservation AreaSTATEFort White Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEFour Creeks State ForestSTATEFred C. Babcock-Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management AreaSTATEFrog Pond/L-31 N Transition LandsSTATEGeorgia Pacific-Lochloosa Conservation EasementSTATEGoethe State ForestSTATEGreen SwampSTATEGuana River Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHalf Moon Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHerky Huffman/Bull Creek Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHilochee Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHoley Land Wildlife Management AreaSTATEHolton Creek Conservation AreaSTATEJ. W. Corbett Wildlife Management AreaSTATEJennings State ForestSTATEJoe Budd Wildlife Management AreaSTATEJohn C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEKissimmee Chain of LakesSTATEKissimmee RiverSTATEL. Kirk Edwards Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATELafayette Forest Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATELake George Conservation AreaSTATELake George State ForestSTATELake Monroe Conservation AreaSTATELake PanasoffkeeSTATELake Talquin State ForestSTATELake Wales Ridge State ForestSTATELake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATELittle Big Econ State ForestSTATELittle River Conservation AreaSTATELochloosa Wildlife Conservation AreaSTATELog Landing Conservation AreaSTATELower Escambia River Water Management AreaSTATELower Steinhatchee Conservation AreaSTATEMallory Swamp Restoration AreaSTATEMarjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation and Conservation AreaSTATEMatanzas State ForestSTATEMiddle Aucilla Conservation AreaSTATEMyakka State ForestSTATENewnans Lake Conservation AreaSTATEOcklawaha Prairie Restoration AreaSTATEOkaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management AreaSTATEOlustee Creek Conservation AreaSTATEOsprey UnitSTATEPerdido River Water Management AreaSTATEPicayune Strand State ForestSTATEPine Log State ForestSTATEPoint Washington State ForestSTATEPotts PreserveSTATERaiford Wildlife Management AreaSTATERalph E. Simmons State ForestSTATERelay Tract Conservation EasementsSTATERiver Lakes Conservation AreaSTATERock Springs Run State ReserveSTATERoss Prairie State ForestSTATERotenberger Wildlife Management AreaSTATESalt Lake Wildlife Management AreaSTATESanta Fe Swamp Conservation AreaSTATESeminole Ranch Conservation AreaSTATESeminole State ForestSTATESnipe Island UnitSTATESouthern GladesSTATESpirit of the Wild Wildlife Management AreaSTATEStormwater Treatment AreasSTATESuwannee Ridge Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATET. M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management AreaSTATETate's Hell State ForestSTATETate's Hell Wildlife Management AreaSTATEThree Forks Conservation AreaSTATEThree Lakes Wildlife Management AreaSTATETiger Bay State ForestSTATETosohatchee Wildlife Management AreaSTATETriple N Ranch Wildlife Management AreaSTATETroy Spring Conservation AreaSTATETwelve Mile Swamp Conservation AreaSTATETwin Rivers State ForestSTATEUpper Chipola River Water Management AreaSTATEUpper HillsboroughSTATEUpper Lakes Basin WatershedSTATEUpper Steinhatchee Conservation AreaSTATEWakulla State ForestSTATEWatermelon Pond Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental AreaSTATEWithlacoochee State ForestSTATEYellow River Water Management AreaSTATEYellow River Wildlife Management Area - Escribano PointSTATEYucca Pens Unit
  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    Like with most things in life the more effort you put into honing increased skill, and increasing knowledge the better your results,tend too be,
    experience counts.
    statistically about 25% of the hunters are consistently successful, they tend to be a bit more serious about learning the skills required than the 75% who rather aimlessly wonder and occasionally run into a deer.
    it will take some effort on your part, but if your willing to do the research, and spend dawn till dusk in the field, on several weekends,
    in most areas, honing your skills even a first year hunter,
    will have little trouble killing a couple deer with a 308 win in florida, that is certainly something you can accomplish.
    btw it helps to concentrate your initial searches for game and game trails in the "EDGES"
    places where theres an obvious change in the terrain,
    like stream banks, places where grass meadows meet myrtle, oak or cypress groves,
    deer don,t want too need too push thick palmetto brush, or saw grass or walk chest deep in water any more than you do,
    but will do so to get away from hunting pressure in a heart beat.
    ,look for semi-open areas that provide cover and feed,look for areas that don,t have easy road access.
    if you have to cross a stream or drainage ditch, or walk 1/2 mile to get access,
    to get there its a good bet many hunters will not hunt the area.
    or where open grass fields butt up to palmetto scrub.
    a great deal of Florida wild life management area terrain is subjected too,
    occasional and irregular cycles of drought and flooding and occasional wild fires.

    if your serious about being far more successful than average take the time and effort,
    to call and talk to the local fla fish & wildlife biologist and game wardens, be polite
    have a list of reasonable and specific questions
    what are the deer populations in area (XYZ)
    what are the deer primarily feeding on in area (xyz)
    when is the rut, in XYZ

    [it will take some effort on your part, but if your willing to do the research, and spend dawn till dusk in the field, on several weekends,
    in most areas, honing your skills even a first year hunter, can vastly up his odds of success., given a couple years experience, you can pick off deer regularly and hogs are a no -brainer.


  5. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I can,t be the only one on this web site to spend 40 -50 years hunting in Florida,
    wheres the other knowledgeable old experienced geezers ,
    who are willing to, help the younger generation out, by adding too hunting tips?

    for the last 7-8 years Ive been mostly using a 44 mag loaded with a lee 310 grain hard cast gas check bullet over 20 grains of H110 powder

    a shoulder holster makes it easy to walk in with other gear, and with practice shots from a tree stand with a revolver,sitting resting your arms on your knees, at typical 40-60 yards are not very difficult
    [​IMG] ndgun&Order=Powder&Source=
    MOLD DC C 430-310-RF
    the 44 mag silhouette with adjustable front site and 10 5/8" barrel

    how far away do you think youll see a hog thats at most 28"-32" at the shoulder

    my BLR in 358 win is very well represented
    as is my 257 roberts ruger
    my 44"barrel hawken style 58 caliber rifle with a round patch ball and 100 grains of 1f powder devastates deer

    your rifle of choice is far less critical to success than your skill using it,
    damn near any centerfire rifle you can accurately use will work,
    most of my friend,s use marlin 44 mag, 45lc, or 30/30 or 45/70 lever actions,
    and your ability to locate game, consistently,not the rifle caliber is the critical factor/skill.
    and shots tend to be under 100 yards in most areas
    some guys prefer bolt actions,some guys like semi autos,
    thats fine you'll rarely need a fast second shot or longer range power, from what I've seen.
    I have hunted northern California in the warner wilderness,
    WYOMING in several areas
    idaho once
    all over mid Colorado and the white river areas , meeker,eagle,gypsum,rifle, gunnison , and near woodland park, aspen etc.
    dozens of years
    some areas in northern MAINE up near paterson
    and in florida several dozen, management areas
    ocala, corbett,browns farm, bear island.....
    (too many to remember them all)

    keep in mind the basics remain constant, get the proper licences,
    you first need too research the area regulations,
    try to talk to game wardens and biologists several times prior to the season,areal photos help if current.
    youll need to know what your hunting, and any limitations,
    like shotguns only or 500 sq inches of orange in a vest and hat.
    or limits on tree stands or vehicles camping or road access.
    re-read the whole thread several times,you increase the odds by being alert and noting details
    get a topo map, of the area, youll need to stay safe, warm, dry , you need decent boots and a day pack.
    if available get a map marked with local property boundary lines
    call the local fish and game office get current info, if you can find a local mentor so much better.
    use your brain,look over the terrain and be aware that most deer will try to avoid roads and camp sites.
    you need to know what the local game eats where it tends to bed, and be able to recognize potential feed like white oak,
    wondering aimlessly hoping to see deer is a waste of effort in most cases , work smart not hard, if water is scarce, water holes are a used asset.
    if theres a big camp site try to use the flood of foot traffic at dawn, to your advantage,
    look for natural funnels like fenced highways or cliff faces that tend to force game traveling through an area too bunch up
    look for escape routes. realize most hunters are adverse to putting in the effort to cross streams or climb steep embankments
    some of the best areas may require wading a small stream or climbing a steep grade to gain access.
    if you get a shot never assume you missed, even well hit deer can rush off as if totally untouched only to fall 50 yards into the tree line.
    be aware of whats beyond the target, you don,t want a bullet to carry into property and cause damage.
    get a decent cooler and bags of ice, youll need cold water or soda and if you score youll need to cool the venison.
    a quality tree stand can be huge asset as can quality binoculars
    If you intend to hunt the area regularly start a log book a and buy and use an accurate GPS.
    log terrain, take pictures ,note game, vegetation, and time of day and date seen info
    divide and label the area in your log, into 1/8 mile squares for reference

    heres a quick memory jog list, for MY hunting day pack (you may not need everything but it may jog your memories or cause you too think.)
    (remember you might be forced to stay out over night, & weather is unpredictable)
    skinning knife
    compact blade sharpener
    area topo maps
    cell phone (car charger and/or back-up batteries)
    several lighters
    several mil surplus trioxane heat tabs
    granola bars
    rain poncho
    2 gallon zip lock bags
    small block & tackle hoist & rope(50 ft parachute cord)
    spare ammo
    heavy hoodie jacket
    large plastic tarp
    other meds
    lip chapstick
    water purification tablets, or filter/pump
    down vest
    pack of wetnaps
    toilet paper
    emergency food
    on your belt
    large knife or light tomahawk, or kukuri
    the cold steel (TRAIL MASTER, or ( KUKRI) are good choices

    anything that could get screwed up if you fall in a creek like medicine, licences, cell phones etc. gets double zip loc bagged

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