My 2019 Missouri Deer Season started about this time last year. Around March or April 2019 I started building the walls to put a roof on the wifes Tower Stand. I prefabricated the walls, and roof at the house. I then used a rope to raise the walls one side at a time. Using a ladder I installed the 2x6 rafters and then the 2x4 the metal roof would screw to. I installed all but the last sheet of metal roofing from the 5' ladder setting on the stand floor. I had a buddy from Church bring his bucket lift out to install the last sheet of metal roofing. I left about 16" inches open above the counter top. I installed parachute cord around all four sides to attach camo or a towel to, to keep the sun off the scope in the evenings when this stand is the most active. This cord also acts as a retainer to hold things on the 2x4 shelf formed around the bottom of the siding. I then cut some rubber trailer floor mat to keep the floor quiet. I have a couple of ancient square bucket swivel chairs on hand. They were hard to swivel, and had the padding eaten or rotted off years ago. I considered replacing one of them with a new one for this stand. The choices were both limited, and expensive. I decided to try a rebuild. Changing out the swivel did not look promising, so a liberal dose of silicone was sprayed on the swivel on multiple occasions, and this limbered it back up to normal operation. Next was a trip over to Ambers upholstery shop for padding and seat covers made from Marine Vinyl. Amber has made several handgun cases for both Mark Hampton and myself. She builds a great gun case, along with her legendary upholstery work on vehicle seats and furniture. This work complete,the tower stand is ready for November.
The next project was rebuilding some Double Wide Ladder Stands. I gathered up several sticks of 1" X 1" tubing, and made an appointment with a welder friend of mine to rebuild the stands to be more handgun friendly. Over the years I have added plywood tops to the Five double wide ladder stands my brother and I own. This has been a learning experience. We have had issues with sagging plywood and the tops being springy, then we have the not quite as big a table top as would be optimum for handgun use issue. My brother and I did some discussing and came up with a top size that we considered to be big enough. We then came up with how the metal members needed to be added to the stand to best support the new larger top. Armed with a plan the welder added the tubing to the stands. We painted them, and added the tops to two of them. We installed the newly rebuilt stands to cover the Southeast corner pasture where my brother hunts most of the time, and to my old stand location on the lease North of the house on the point overlooking what I believe was the old garden site of an 1800's homestead. If you have read my hunting stories most of the deer I have harvested the last few years with my 480 Super Redhawk were from this stand.
We did discover an issue with the new stand design. We need to bob off the front corners. Probably 12 inches back from the point. You have to lean way out to install the camo netting around the stands top, and the corners being so far out can block the view, as well as getting in the road. The front and sides are now about as good as you can make them to get a comfortable rest with a handgun, just the front corners need bobbed to be perfect. A project for this years preseason preparations.
Next was getting my brothers new 15.875" MGM 30-30AI barrel up and running on a new G2 frame. We made an order for a 10" forend from Tony, and had a 4 gill brake installed. I did a little load development, and did a final sight in just before deer season started. My brother did not get a chance to shoot the G2 before season started.
I really like my 7.62 x 54R Encore barrel, however I have always wanted a 358 Winchester deer rifle. Considering I have not rifle hunted in several years, the 356 Winchester was more practical in an Encore handgun with it's rim. I made an order to MGM for a Stainless Steel 15.875 inch Encore barrel. I have owned a set of 358 RCBS reloading dies for over 20 years in anticipation of owning a 358 rifle, so I was set up to reload for the 356 Winchester. When the barrel arrived I had a four gill muzzle brake installed before ever firing it. For a scope I installed a 2.5-10X Weaver Classic Extreme rifle scope. This is the same scope I have on my 7.62 x 54R barrel, as well as my 260 Remington barrel. I normally have my variable handgun scopes set on 2.5X when hunting deer. What I have found is that the 2.5 - 10X Classic Extreme scope has plenty of eye relief for my Encore handgun when set on 2.5 - 3X. This scope has a 30mm tube and also has dial-able knobs with covers.
After getting the package all together I started load development and bullet testing. I worked with Hornady 180 SSP's from my stash, 180 Fury PSP's, as well as the Speer 180 FP. I liked all three of these bullets in the 356 Winchester.
My brother and I both work at the local hardware store. We both worked opening morning as best that I remember.
Sunday morning I skipped Church and headed to the Point Stand on the Lease behind my house just after daylight. I drove my Polarus Ranger 570 around the barn, and through the gate behind the house. The doe who has been hanging around the house since last deer season watch me drive by at about 40 feet. I flushed another deer within 100 yards of the house. It was also a doe. I climbed into my newly rebuilt stand and got comfortable. I had trimmed up the brush around the stand. I had also cut up a big old oak that had blown over in the valley, and brush hogged the valley well before season. Everything was looking good, and it was a nice morning to be on stand. I had my table mats down to keep noise down on the plywood. I had my front bags placed on three sides of the stand so I would not need to adjust anything much to prepare for a shot. My water bottle was in the 3" PVC Coupling with slotted Drain Cap End zip tied to a stand vertical member out of the way. I was all ready to put in a morning of enjoying being in the woods.
About 45 minutes after getting to the stand I spotted movement in the valley to the east. I saw horns on the deer. The 356 Winchester Encore was already set up on the Northeast corner of the stand and did not require much adjustment of the sand bags. A look through the scope and I determined the deer to be bigger than a 6 point, so I started setting up for the shot. The buck started around the point coming my direction. I waited for him to stop. The range was approximately 100 yards. I put the cross hairs of the Weaver Extreme Classic Scope set on 2.5X on the back of the right front shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The deer ran about 50 yards or so and piled up. He was down for the count. I checked to make sure he was dead and discovered he was a nice 8 point buck. I headed up the trail back to the Polarus Ranger's parking spot. When I got the Polarus Ranger in sight I had a bigger buck that the one I had just harvested looking the side by side over from about 10 feet. I went to the house and got the tractor to haul the deer out. On my way back to load the deer, I spotted three more deer on the way back to the valley.
My brother was hunting the following weekend from his rebuilt ladder stand with the 30-30AI G2 Contender. He spotted a buck entering the field near the South East corner. He started setting up the shot. The deer stopped broadside at 135 yards. The deer ran a short distance and piled up in the field. This was the first shot my brother had made made with the 30-30AI G2, as I had sighted it in for him due to his work schedule. This buck was a 5 point.
The next day my wife killed a 10 point with her 270 Browning BBR rifle from the same stand. The deer was standing in almost the exact same place where my brothers deer had went down.
We still had a few any-deer tags left between up, but no freezer space.
Edited by Bob Roach (03/23/20 12:08 PM)
See You At The Range