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bobbythehunter

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PostSubject: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 8:34 am

Firearms opener comes and at the last minute I decide to break tradition and switch my opening day hunt from Storrs to Brooklyn.  Because it’s a larger parcel (over 10 acres) it means I’m no longer  relegated to the shotgun and I can hunt with a rifle. Although I love my single shot 20 gauge, a beautiful crisp dry still morning calls for the Ruger No. 1 International in 7X57 mauser.  It also happens to be my “lucky” rifle so that’s what I decide carry.  As my friend Mike is apt to say, when you can carry a high powered rifle why carry a shotgun?  I couldn’t agree more. I arrive nice and early, walk my raked path and climbed up into a basic ladder stand. The stand location is on the very top of a high hill which drops off fairly quickly in all directions. The only direction I can’t shoot is left due to the fact that this drops into space and there are houses off in distance. It’s also my offhand side due to the fact that I’m a lefty. It was a relatively quiet couple of hours with nothing but gray squirrels out and about and I’m reading when I hear some heavier footfalls, (you guessed it), to my left.  I put my book down and quickly grab my gun from it’s hanger. A doe quickly pops over the hill at about the 10 o’clock position (40  yards)  followed by a real nice buck (maybe an 8 pointer)  and a third deer. The buck pushes her further to my left at about the 8 o’clock position and they drop down over the crest again. The smaller deer which looks like a doe to me at first is just standing there looking in my direction. After maybe 3 seconds it too drops over the edge and they’re all gone. It all happened very quickly. I’m listening and hoping but can’t hear a sound. Then finally (maybe a minute or two later, I hear something behind me to my left at about the 7 o’clock position and I take a quick peek and I can see the doe. I lean to my right look around the back of the tree and what do I see but the doe back up on top of the hill with the buck in hot pursuit. They are now running behind me to my right and heading down the other side of the hill. I bring the scope up but the buck is moving too fast. Why I didn’t yell or bleat or call I don’t really know, no time, but for some reason, just as the buck is ready to go over the crest down the hill he STOPS! He turns and looks right up the hill towards me and I just slide the Leupold duplex to the center of his chest and touch it off.  Well,  MLD knows full well what happened next. The 175 grain round soft point Remington bullet hit right where I was aiming low throat top of chest and it just finishes him before it even starts. This deer never heard the shot and goes down like a sack of potatoes and is out of my sight. Everything stops, not a rustle of a leaf, nothing. The doe is now standing still 30 yards away to my right at 3 oclock. Don’t ask me how she got there but maybe that is why he stopped quick.  The third deer, a spikehorn actually is standing 70 yards away at 5 o’clock looking in the direction of the larger buck.  He walks back and forth just looking and sniffing for about a minute or two or three then looks at the doe flairs his tail and the chase is one once again, down over the hill they go to my right this time and as quick as they came they’re gone, all except one. Maybe 3.5 to 4 minutes in all if that.  
I hang the gun on the hanger, take a deep breath, and then start to shake just a little. After a few minutes I pack my stuff. Climb down and make my way over to where I last saw the deer. There he lays about 5 yards from where I shot him (he just slid down the hill a bit) and he’s a beauty. A big heavy bodied deer, big everything. Big legs, feet, head,  front shoulders. Wow. What a nice deer. Photos don’t do him justice. Nice wide rack (I’d guess 20 plus inch inside spread, 8 points, decent mass, short tines) It won’t score very high but that’s ok.  174 pound fully dressed (only 9 pounds lighter than my biggest ever from Maine in 2013.  It’s interesting because a have a trail cam photo from 2010 about 200 yards from where I now sit of a deer with the exact same type and size rack. I included the photo of that deer as well for comparison. If it were the same deer that would make him 9 or 10 years old so probably not, but believe me I will be checking the teeth.
I hope you’re all having an equally enjoyable safe hunting season.  Till the next time
Bob





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Fishunt

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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 9:10 am

Nice recap of the hunt and pretty deer.
Congrats
Glenn
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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 9:25 am

Nice hunt story, mate. Nice deer, too! 

Question? I often worry about the throw on my high power rifles since everything 
has gotten so close today. Ten acres was your safety zone? Can you talk to me about 
how you came to that safety conclusion?

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bobbythehunter

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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 11:52 am

Thanks Colonel. The issue of which firearm is allowed is a legal one in Connecticut. On parcels less than 10 acres it is supposedly illegal to use anything other than a shotgun or muzzleloader. The way I read the law it is illegal to give permission to someone (has to be written and new slip each year) to hunt with a rifle. I've always felt the landowner could use a rifle and did so myself when I had 9.9 acres to hunt of my own. Of course, in addition you must be 500 feet from a dwelling or domesticated animals. any properties over 10 acres it is the landowners descretion on which implement may be used. This is why the second property is so dear to me. It is the only property i have to hunt in CT where it is legal for me to use my deer rifles. I ussually spend a week in Maine each year hunting with rifle. In New England. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut (on stateland or land less than 10 acres) have laws prohibiting the use of rifles for whitetail deer.

This does not included muzzleloaders. all three states have seasons dedicated to the ML and at least in MA and CT you may use a muzzleloader during "shotgun season".

all of this being said the property where i killed the deer i would not fire any weapon to my left in the direction of that high hill because a miss would send that projectile into space. No good backdrop there.
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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 12:14 pm

That is good information.

I was told that even a .22 long can travel over a mile.
So I have been hesitant with my .300 Win Mag Browning
for one example.

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bobbythehunter

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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 1:22 pm

interesting colonel. i do most of my hunting from treestands so in most instaces a miss just goes into the ground. I try to rememebr the 10 commandments of gun safety i learned as a young boy. know your target and what's beyond i think was one of them. good luck to you
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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 2:03 pm

Nice deer, Bobby.

I can't imagine hunting on a 10 acre piece unless it was with a bow. I would be paranoid.

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bobbythehunter

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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 20th 2015, 7:50 pm

Thank Bob. It's not as bad as it sounds. There are probably 50 contiguous acres to the 10 acre piece I have permission to hunt. as I was saying to the Colonel, you just have to be disiplined not to shoot in an unsafe direction. Closest house is the landowner about 400 feet away. There are a couple of houses down the hill at maybe 1200 feet. You can't see these and there is safe shooting at probably 70 % of the circle around the stand. I've killed maybe 6 or 7 deer there over the years. Open hardwoods
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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 21st 2015, 4:56 pm

Awesome buck and hunt recap bobbythehunter Exclamation    

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p.s. Wide racks are always majestic looking :rtup
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Tony

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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 21st 2015, 6:48 pm

Nicely done. Great buck!!

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PostSubject: Re: opening day magic   November 21st 2015, 7:56 pm

Congrats on the nice buck.  That photo is interesting because it does look like the same deer.  The buck you shot has a lot more gray in the face which would make sense.

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