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by James Swidryk a.k.a. jamesfromjersey Last updated: 2009-08-03 19:58:11
Giving to those less fortunate then us is always a good thing. Thats why I along with 50 other handgunners from acroos the US were gathered at the YO Ranch in 2006 for the SCI sponsered "Handgun Hunt for the Hungry" event.To attend this get-together you first, must be a member of SCI`s handgun hunting chapter and second,you must have a burning desire to stalk and kill game animals.I qualify on both accounts....I was teamed with our guide David,John MacGirvin, a preacher from the mid-west and Andy Rowe, the owner of Cast Performance Engineering,a custom ammo maker from Arizona.Hanging in my shoulder holster was the always faithful FA`s 454 along with a S&W 22mag kit gun that was on my belt.
The first day hunting was rare for south Texas with temps in the high 20`s and a howling wind that was the edge of a tremendous winter blizzard that was north of the state. To say the game was spooked would be an understatement...they were down right terrified.I was first up to shoot after spotting a small herd of Red Sheep, with David and I putting on a nice stalk that got me into position for an 80yd shot.The shot felt good but nothing happened, with the Red Sheep taking for the hills on the next blast of wind.No blood,no hair, nothing.We let it go and a few hours later ran into the same group of sheep, with the guide getting me close enough for a 60 yard shot.I was thankful for a second chance and with my back against a boulder and the gun resting on my knees I made what I thought was an easy shot.After the shot I know those sheep must have said "there`s that guy from Jersey...don`t worry...just stand here and he`s sure to miss"....Not believing I was that bad I asked the guide to stop at target range to check my sights and since dinner was near we agreed to wait until tommorrow.
Long before sunrise and breakfest at the Chuck Wagon our guide woke us to get an early jump on the sheep before they got to spooky.The only problem I had was never going to the range to check the sights on my 454. Having doubts about the accuracy of your weapon when hunting is a sure way to have a bad hunt.With this in mind and as luck would have it we ran into a small group of aoudad rams just as the sun broke the horizon.My guide ranged the group of 5 rams at exactly 100 yards adding that the largest was the last in line.Since I did not check the sights on my 454 and was worried in making a bad shot I said to pass on the ram when Andy offered me the use of his handgun.He was using a Ruger Blackhawk Hunter that was worked over by Gary Reeder and customized to shoot the .41GNR that had a 170grJHP moving out at 1600FPS.The Blackhawk was topped with a Burris 2X which Andy said was dead on at 50 yards.
At this point I had to make a quick decision on whether or not I was going to use this pistol for a shot on the aoudad.The sun was rising with it`s rays showing a picture perfect broadside view of an excellent ram.....I took Andy`s gun....the grips felt familiar to me along with the added weight from the barrel mounted scope that was so much like my much used Redhawk.It had been a long time since I used a 2 power scope and I really had to concentrate on what would normally be a larger sight picture of the animal in my crosshair.Since Andy said the gun was on at 50yds, my aim point was just below the back in line with the front leg.After a slow squeeze on the trigger the gun went off followed by the smack of the bullet meeting the animal.The rams took off.....My doubts on whether or not this was a good shot were soon eliminated with the amount of clearly visable blood that was covering the front leg of the last ram.After a few more steps the ram was down and everyone was happy for first blood.Here is where my good luck came into play because on closer inspection I found that my shot had not hit the vitals but caught a main artery that bleed him out fast.I kept my mouth shut....
By the way let me add that after a quick trip to the range I found that there was nothing wrong with the scope on my 454 and it was on at 100 yards. The only problem was my lousy shooting which is why I`ed rather be lucky then good anyday.....
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