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Buck fever!

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Bookmark Man, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Bookmark Man

    Bookmark Man Grants Pass, Oregon Member

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    Talking about the funnest deer doesn’t mean the biggest trophy for me. In fact it is not even a buck. I used a .223 with a 22" light barrel. I decided on Nosler solid base 60-grain bullets. The velocity is barely over 3,000 feet per second. To get ready for deer season, I fired three shots at 100 yards, 200 yards and 300 yards each . There was a slight breeze. The group at 100 yards measured 9/16” and centered about one inch above the bull’s eye. The 200 yards group was 2” across about one inch low. When I was ready to shoot at 300 yards, the wind totally disappeared. The group measured 1 3/8”. It was eight and a half inches low and centered in the first mildot down in the Tasco. “Perfect,” I thought. Obviously, it was accurate enough. I figured I would limit myself to about 200 yards, because the velocity dropped to about 2,200 feet per second at that range.

    On opening day of doe hunting season I headed up the big ravine. About an hour from the road, I saw a deer way down on the side. It looked so small. It was about 150 feet below my position. I guessed it was about 200 to 250 yards away. Since it was below me, I knew the bullet would hit slightly higher than I aimed. The doe was leisurely feeding toward me on a trail. The shot should be easy. Should.

    Most of the time I could make this shot with ease by no more than sitting down or leaning against a tree. In the old days I would do it off hand. But then I was practicing five days a week. However, this time I had a terrible attack of buck fever. My breathing was uncontrolled and heavy. My heart was pounding. I was shaking like a leaf in a windstorm. I was having so-o-o much fun.:) “I need a rest! ” I excitedly told myself. I looked around searching for something, anything to help support the rifle. A log! I flopped down on it to no avail. The deer was dancing all over in the scope. “A branch! I need a branch to wrap my arm around to steady this thing!” I slid along the log. “Where’s the deer? I can’t see it from here! Where is it?! Keep moving along the log,” I told myself. “Will I be able to see the deer from there!? Just go,” I reminded myself. I couldn’t believe my own thoughts. I never get this excited. It sure was fun. I slid over looking for a spot where I could wrap around a branch and still see the deer. “This will work,” I told myself. I wrapped my right arm around the branch and took a hold of the pistol grip. After pulling myself hard against the branch I sorta pushed down against the log.

    I put the cross hair of the Tasco 2 ½-10X40 Varmint/Target scope on the deer. "That's better," I told myself. But again, I realized I could not hit it while shaking this badly. I turned away from the scope and took several deep breaths. I looked in the scope and what do I see? An empty deer trail! What!? Where'd it go!? Excitement welled up again. Wait! There it is coming out from under an overhanging tree. I settled the crosshair of the scope solidly on its head. I turned up the magnification from the 2 1/2X to 10X. I could easily see the eyes of the quarry. “Good,” I encouraged myself. I dropped the crosshair to the top of the chest where the neck starts up to hopefully recover the bullet. I started squeezing trigger. (Most factory rifles have trigger pull weights in the five to eight pound range.) The gunsmith adjusted twenty-five ounce trigger seemed hard. Very hard. I kept concentrating on holding the crosshairs on the selected spot by pulling against the branch and continued struggling with what most would call nearly a hair trigger. Eventually the trigger broke. The Action Ears muffled the shot and allowed me to concentrate on the impact of the bullet. It was as if the deer was connected to the trigger. The trigger broke and the deer dropped. There was no problem checking the range where I shot it since it DDRT (dropped dead right there). Out came the Leica 1200: 222 yards. On inspection I discovered the 60 grainer exited behind the diaphragm.
     
  2. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    I got a case of buck fever while in a tree-climber in North Carolina; I had just begun to hunt Whitetails @ 1985.

    I was hunting on the S/W boundary of Ft Bragg and "Billy-Bob" was running dogs on the adjacent lot of private land. If you know anything about running dogs, you know how the anticipation builds with the vocal-sounds of the dogs approaching.

    After 30 or so minutes of hearing the dogs approach, the herd of does jump the fence with the dogs right behind them. The dogs were trying to turn the deer, but the deer decided to use razzle-dazzle under my tree.

    Not having a doe tag, I watched and waited for a buck in the midst of the mayhem for 15 or so minutes until they all ran off. The deer and dogs were coming and going out of the brush and kudzu from every direction. It was crazy.

    It worked me up into a state of buck fever, I felt like Wile E. Coyote (when he ate the earthquake pills)....I couldn't stand, sit, or climb down for an hour...or so.

    Will never forget that one.
     
    salmonriverjohn and v0lcom13sn0w like this.
  3. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Oathkeeper, that is what you call fun , intense and about as good as it gets buddy! And I truly enjoyed the telling, thank you.

    If you ever loose that feeling, it just becomes killing and that's no place a true hunter wants to find themselves in. Good on you.
     
    Oathkeeper1775 likes this.
  4. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Bookmark, you sir are a wordsmith!
    I swear I felt just like I was there with you.
    I abhor those who think hunting always hinges upon the kill, its those hunts like the hunt you describe that will always are the best.
     
    coyotecaller likes this.
  5. Bookmark Man

    Bookmark Man Grants Pass, Oregon Member

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    WOW! Thank you, sir.
     
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  6. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    I just call em like I read em buddy.
     
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  7. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Cowlitz County Active Member

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    Never had buckfever until after the deer is dead... Really hard to gut em when the knife is shaking all about haha