More by luck than skill but I finally checked off the goal of a deer harvest with the 4 inch SW 686. It wears a Weigand rail and a Matchdot II red dot. Aftermarket white polymer grips complement the stainless. I used a self-cast LBT WFN 185 grain water dropped bullet with gas check. Driven by 12.5 grains H110 so not a max load but still pretty stiff (As Max chuckles at this puny recoil).

30 Dec: I had a funeral visitation to attend and needed to be home and ready to leave at 5 pm so I grabbed the 686 and walked into a thick area just to see what might happen with the short time I had to hunt. While standing in the debris of a dead tree I had small doe walk by going in what would generally be the wrong direction. Later a second doe went by again in the ?wrong? direction. A few minutes later a group of 4 came by again headed up the mountain instead of down. Also apparently the rut has started in North Alabama because I had a small 4 point trail them then a few minutes later a spike wandered thru. I was about to sneak out when I just happened to spot a brown body and bino's revealed a main beam. Feeling very exposed and just knowing the swirling wind would betray me I stood as still as possible. The 8 point just stood for a long time and the spike was slowing moving to where I just knew he would smell me and blow out taking the 8 point with him. The bigger buck was a good 80 yards away in some thick cover. The spike walked within 15 yards but then turned and went back the way he came so I still had a chance. The 8 point slowly moved in my direction, worked a scrape but mostly used the licking branch, so cool to watch! The buck was at about 80 yards when I saw him and the area is ultra-thick even with no leaves so shot opportunities are few and with this pistol I had a 50ish yard limitation imposed by choice. I could see him but a shot was not possible. I lost sight of him while trying to keep track of the spike and I thought he might have followed the bench he was on around but he finally reappeared coming on the same path as the spike. I used the tree to brace but he moved thru two shooting lanes too fast for me to get a good sight picture. He finally stopped where I could only see his shoulder in the 6 inch gap between two trees at about 50 yards. I held mid shoulder and pulled the trigger. To my astonishment he simply dropped. I had spined him so I approached and shot again as he still moved his head and I was afraid he might get up. Autopsy seemed to reveal the spine shot hit mid spine from the side and did not exit. The second shot entered in the rear rib area, also grazed the spine then came to rest under the skin in the opposite front shoulder. Needless to say I was late but my very forgiving wife was patient while I dragged the deer out and my awesome son hung and gutted while we went to the visitation.

Pictures in the bragging board show the spine area and the hole in the rib is in line with the first shot but I think it and the recovered bullet is from the follow up shot. Bullet is pictured and I think it shows the slight smear from grazing the spine much further back. The follow up shot went thru about 18-20 inches of compressed deer since he was laying on his side. One picture shows the lump where the bullet was recovered. I did not find the first bullet but I think it is buried in the spine. Processor said he would look for it. This deer must have been a fighter although maybe not a very good one. His face is scared up and his ear was broken and healed folded as you see in the picture.
Pictures are in the bragging board. Now I have to get the .45 SBHH into action and maybe initiated before the season runs out.

Edited by short30 (01/02/20 02:29 PM)
First Handgun Deer: ~1982 8" S&W .38Spl
SW 686 4" with Matchdot II
SBHH .45LC 7.5"
Contender G2 .35-30/30 (Bellm), .22LR, .22 Hornet