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#196955 - 01/06/19 11:31 PM Ended the season with a bang (literally)
Chance Weldon Administrator
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Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 4243
Loc: Martin, Tennessee

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As rays of sun began to break over the eastern horizon this morning, I set out for my last hunt of the regular deer season. This season has been one of the worst we've had in years. Deer sightings were few and far between, and most of the bucks that roamed the area vanished well before season. There are a variety of reasons, I think - multiple delays in harvesting soybeans left large swaths of food for the deer to eat elsewhere, a very unusual rut had the bucks running does early and often, and multiple coyotes in the area scared the remaining deer off.

All I wanted was a doe. I had a few opportunities early on, but passed on them since they weren't ideal shots, or else the "does" turned out to be buck fawns. I didn't get it done during muzzleloader season, despite it usually being a guarantee. During gun season, three of my hunts were interrupted by a coyote. One of them fell to my 460, while another had the scare of a lifetime when my sister's 270 bullet rustled the fur on his chest. But still, no does.

I'd been busy at work, too, covering multiple shifts for several coworkers throughout December, which severely limited my hunting opportunities.

As I slowly ascended the creek crossing into a 14 acre hay field, a loud sound startled me. A doe in the woods to my left blew out in alarm, and she and her fawn bolted away into a neighboring field out of sight. Fearing I may have blown my opportunity for the morning, I carefully trekked up the hill near the field entrance into the hay bale blind overlooking the rest of the field. It was almost 30 minutes before I saw anything of note - a doe in the left corner some 300+ yards away. It was a doable shot for my Encore, but incredibly risky, not in the least because she was near the property line and facing it. Pass.

Nothing else showed up, and I began considering heading in. As I raised my head to get a better look around, I was taken aback by a deer in front of me and to my right. A quick glance through my binoculars revealed a doe, walking alone into the field. She hadn't noticed me, and she was relatively close. I pulled my earmuffs on and ranged her at exactly 100 yards - an easy shot for my 460.

I set the mighty 14" S&W Model 460 on a small sandbag atop the hay bale and found the doe in my scope. However, she looked kind of small in it, and I wondered whether I had a bad reading from my rangefinder. It was pretty chilly this morning, after all, and cold temperatures can mess with electronics. I quickly ranged the doe again as she continued her determined walk across the field. Again, I got a reading of 100 yards.

The cylinder rotated a cartridge into position as I pulled the hammer back. My hands clasped around the cold rubber grip as I held it firmly. I shouted at the doe to stop her, and she stood broadside eyeing me. I took a breath, exhaled, steadied the crosshairs on her, and quickly squeezed the trigger.

A brief gout of flame melted all the frost on the hay bale on either side of the cylinder gap. Recoil broke my view through the scope, but I managed to catch a glimpse of a cloud of debris from the bullet impacting behind the doe, which quickly spun 180 degrees. She trotted back towards the woods she came from with a slight stagger, her tail up and waving.

I waited for the inevitable collapse, followed by perhaps a moment's thrashing. But, it never came. As she approached the woods, the doe turned left and travelled along the edge of the trees. I became increasingly concerned. The potent 460 should have put her on the ground well before now. I pulled the hammer back again, but she was already approaching 200 yards. Before I could attempt to send another round her way, she finally turned and darted into the woods.

My mind was racing. What in the world had just happened? The shot felt pretty good, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt I'd rushed the shot. And why did she appear so small? Was she further away than I thought? Had I shot one of her legs out from under her, or else wounded her? That might explain the staggering trot. One answer became apparent: I had left the scope on 2.5x power, so it was no wonder she appeared so small.

I decided to wait for 30 minutes, and to possibly to call my sister to help me look and bring some compact rifles for the follow up. But, 5 minutes later, I couldn't stand the thought of doing nothing any longer. Pistol in hand, I impulsively set out to look for signs of blood. Unfortunately, in the middle of an open field, it's hard to find the exact trail the deer took. I couldn't find any blood near the trees, either. She wasn't in the woods, nor was she in the creek. If she was wounded, there was no way she could cross it. I continued further up the treeline. Still no blood. I kept looking.

There she was, scarcely 20 feet into the woods, somewhat hidden by some brush. I raised my pistol, but I holstered it when I saw the massive bullet wound right in the center of her chest.




She wasn't huge, but wasn't exactly a little doe either. Plenty of good venison on her.

My sister's husky has a terrible predatory instinct. He kept wanting to take a bite out of her, but he knows who's alpha.



The 200 grain XPB bullet impacted at slightly under 2,000 fps according to my calculations and passed completely through the chest cavity perfectly intact, leaving no fragments behind. The hole through both lungs and the exit wound were impressive.







Thus ends my deer season. Can't say I'm disappointed with how it ended. I finally got a deer with my 460, which has been my goal since I started handgun hunting in 2012. Not only that, I also managed to get my first coyote kill with a handgun on the first day of season. Despite the setbacks and struggles, I can't be all that disappointed.
_________________________
Formerly TN Lone Wolf

"We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided." - J.K. Rowling

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#196961 - 01/07/19 02:15 AM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: Chance Weldon]
Okie Hunter
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Registered: 07/08/09
Posts: 659
Loc: Oklahoma

happy Online
Congrats. Deer movement was slow here too.
_________________________
With God all things are possible. Matt.19:26

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#196963 - 01/07/19 02:31 AM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: Okie Hunter]
KRal
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Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 6464
Loc: MS

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Congrats! Great shot, as well!
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It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger squeeze.

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#196965 - 01/07/19 05:26 AM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: KRal]
Randy M
old hand


Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 950
Loc: New Braunfels, TX

content Online
Congrats Chance! And great write up too.
_________________________
The meat won't fry if the lead don't fly.

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#196966 - 01/07/19 07:56 AM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: Randy M]
REDHAWK1954
Pooh-Bah


Registered: 08/01/14
Posts: 1842
Loc: Statesville NC

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Congratulations. I am glad you got one the last day. Our season was not so good either with all of the rain and then 18 inches of snow. I did get four deer, one with the crossbow and three with my posts but it took a lot of trips into the woods to do that. I think I made about 35 trips this season.
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Michael Joe Moore

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#196967 - 01/07/19 07:57 AM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: Randy M]
45MAN
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Registered: 08/13/17
Posts: 1239
Loc: brownsville, texas

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CHANCE: CONGRATS. BTW, MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE 200gr XPB's IN MY 10 1/2 PC 460 XVR IS THAT THEY ARE GOOD KILLERS BUT NOT NECESSARILY QUICK KILLERS. WITH THE POINTY BULLET THE INITIAL "WHACK AND SMACK" JUST ISN'T THERE.
_________________________
"ADAPT OR DIE". I USE ALL CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I AM YELLING, BUT BECAUSE IT IS AN OLD HABIT FROM MY ARMY DAYS, PLUS IT IS EASIER TO TYPE AND READ.

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#196970 - 01/07/19 01:11 PM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: 45MAN]
jamesfromjersey Moderator
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Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 9016
Loc: New Jersey

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good going Chance...
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Life member-NRA-SCI
Member-HHI #2900-HHASA #067
Colt-Ruger-Freedom Arms-and S&W Collector Assoc.s
"I have more guns then I need but not as many as I want" "Handgun hunters HAVE to be good"

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#196977 - 01/07/19 06:36 PM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: jamesfromjersey]
PsTaN
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Registered: 07/18/15
Posts: 528
Loc: Alabama

content Online
Grats!!

Nice story and a very good ending to your year. Season has been a struggle here as well with unseasonably warm weather and tons of rain. Hopefully our rut will change the situation.
_________________________
PsTaN

-Smith & Wesson Model 69
-Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter
-Encore Pro Hunter

"Hold your horses, the elephants are coming, and out stamped Alabama"

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#196979 - 01/07/19 06:45 PM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: PsTaN]
wvhitman
old hand


Registered: 12/04/05
Posts: 872
Loc: WV

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Congrads. I agree totally with Rey. Small opening Xs do not performs nearly as well as larger opening Xs. Big difference. Try some other .45 XS with bigger holes. You'll like it.

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#196981 - 01/07/19 07:36 PM Re: Ended the season with a bang (literally) [Re: wvhitman]
Mark Hampton
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Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 635
Loc: Missouri

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Nice going - congrats!

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