well Jack was over this afternoon.

Discussion in 'tales of the hunt' started by Grumpy, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    and Jack was showing me one of his new 308 caliber long range target rifles and he reminded me of the first mule deer hunt he had when he was using a 308 win carbine that he had built specifically for hunting mule deer.
    he had found a remington model 7 , he had bought the rifle dirt cheap as the wood stock had water damage but the action and barrel were obviously very lightly used, so he had purchased and installed a composite synthetic stock, and installed a 2x-7x leopold scope, in weaver mounts, and had the whole rifle , scope, action,stock and barrel,camo painted in irregular, grey and light sage and dark olive stripes, off white and mottled gray patches on the rifle, would have matched the woods better.
    similar to this rifle pictured here
    I had decided to carry my remington 7600 35 whelen, loaded with 250 grain speer bullets, over 55 grains of WW760, (not a hot load but very accurate in my rifle) but On this particular hunt I never got a shot as there was nothing I kicked up worth a shot!
    we had found a huge area covered with aspen in the white river national forest that had a dirt road that followed along its lower edge for about a mile or a bit more,the aspens upper edge were along a fairly open and treeless ridge or in places open barren fields, and the roads lower side was basically clear open meadow in most areas so we figured that the large patch of aspen that extended about 400-500 yards up from the road and formed a mile long or longer band of trees that was an ideal area to look for mule deer and maybe if we were lucky, even elk.
    visibility in thick aspen is generally under 100 yards at best, shots tend to be at under 40-70 yards at slowly or occasionally running deer or elk, so a fast accurate carbine with a good bit of penetration and stopping power tend to be favorites and flat trajectory is not a big concern, thus the 358 win, 35 whelen, 45/70 and 308 win are all well liked under these conditions.
    you don,t necessarily need a fast repeater, but semi autos and pumps and lever actions seem to be preferred by many of the guys I hunt the aspens with, the BLR and Remington pump actions are common, but a few guys like the single shot falling lock winchester high walls or ruger number ones.
    It had already snowed for several weeks at this altitude in the colorado rocky mountains, and the aspen had lost leaf cover, and snow on the ground should make tracking fairly easy.
    in practice you move only 3-to-7 steps, at a time you lean on an aspen trunk and slowly and carefully observe all movement, listen carefully and look for deer or elk, for several minutes before you proceed, you make an effort to not change altitude or direction and you use a compass, you try to keep from going up or down slope, you try to disrupt your outline by stopping against brush and staying in the shadows when you can.
    your goal is to move slowly and carefully so you see the game well before you are seen, and of course you pay attention to the wind direction, your wasting your time if the wind flows from you to the direction of travel.
    the plan was that JACK and I would enter the patch at one end spaced about 200 yards apart with Jack starting about 100 yards up from the road and I would be about 300 yards up from the road while Allen and Ron would start in from the opposite end of that aspen stand at a similar spacing and all 4 of us would slowly work toward the center of the stand of aspen, in theory forcing any game avoiding one hunter to most likely provide a different hunter a potential shot. we started in at about 7 am, and in theory thats when ALLEN and RON started in at their end of the aspen from the opposite end, after dropping us off and driving the truck to the far end of the aspen grove.

    once we entered the aspen it should be obvious to experienced hunters that maintaining correct accurate spacing or identical progress and distances would be rather difficult if not impossible over the 1/2 mile or more of travel before , in theory the two merging lines would meet, in the center of the aspen patch.
    Id also point out that tracking would be a P.I.T.A. as the whole area was covered in old and recent tracks by the look of every place we looked.
    It did not take long before I heard distant rifle fire , and yes within a few minutes Ron had found and shot a legal but rather scrawny 4 x 4 mule deer, the buck was instantly down, as Rons 250 grain 35 caliber bullet from his BLR (44 grains of IMR 4064 over a 215 federal, primer ) had impacted mid chest, as the buck faced him at a range of about 70 yards, I spotted dozens of mule deer does over about an hours hunt, but mostly in groups of 3 -to-5 , Jack was seeing probably the same does that either he or I had disturbed, as they circled to avoid each of us.
    by 9 a.m. I figured Id be seeing the other guys mid aspen grove, but once Ron had dropped his buck, Allen had also stopped to help him dress out the deer, and at about 10 a.m. I heard a shot lower down the slope but slightly too my front, that turned out to be Jack who had shot and wounded a a nice 4 x 5 buck, that ran about 60 yard before stopping where Jack got a second and instantly lethal shot, we later found his first hit was a bit to far low barely punching the lower ribs and exiting on a broadside shot, the hit was, a bit too far forward, the second raking shot (the only angle available) punched directly through the liver from the rear and angled up into the lungs,, then exited the lower chest, on the far front side, Jack was using 200 grain Speer 30 caliber bullets over a stiff load of 45 grains of WW760 and a 215 fed primer which were a favorite of the group I hunt with in the 30/06 and 308 win as they penetrate well at those reasonably velocities , and the loads very accurate,. so the net result was the plan worked but not the way we envisioned

    308 LOAD DATA
    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=308 Winchester&Weight=All&type=Rifle&Source=

    358 win
    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=358 Winchester&Weight=All&type=rifle&Order=Powder&Source=



    35 whelen

    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=35 Whelen&Weight=All&type=rifle&Order=Powder&Source=



    the aspen looked similar to these pictures I found posted, but the aspen we hunted were on a slope and the grade or angle varied from maybe 15 degrees to 30 degrees, and there were areas of conifer intermingled
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017

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