Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012 Wadded Up

From last night. It's post-rut and this group of does, and several not pictured, are making a regular appearance in front of the cam.  They're all looking pretty healthy. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23, 2012 First Shots

I took my eldest out to shoot the .243 this afternoon.  First we burned through a bunch of .22 shells and then he said he was ready to move up to a bigger caliber.  Apparently he was right!  As you can from the photo above he grouped three shots, two of nearly in the same hole, very close to the bullseye.  His aim was true but more importantly he remained safety conscious our entire time we were shooting.  I'm looking forward to more time on the range with my kids.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 15, 2012 Odocoileus Alabamus I

4:30 came early this morning but when the alarm began buzzing I was up like a light.  We, my second-born, Z., and I were headed to Alabama to chase whitetails.  It was going to be his first "true" deer hunt and my first return to the Heart of Dixie since being back in the States.  To say we were pumped would be an understatement!
Most of the day was spent in transit.  I always love seeing America but hate being cooped up in a car.  We stopped a couple times for gas, food and an obligatory visit to one of the three Bass Pro Shops we passed.  After 9 1/2 hours behind the steering wheel we pulled onto Steedley Farm.   After stopping off to see our gracious hosts, LC and Mrs. Kay, we drove down to the cabin to check on the boys.  Emory, Steve, Rusty and David were all present and accounted for.  After hugs and handshakes we stowed our gear, donned our camo and headed into the woods.      
The Ameristep blind was placed strategically at the end of a recently cut firelane and a footplot full of winter wheat.  It was a great spot.  Unfortunately the deer did not cooperate.  We did, however, have a very close encounter with the largest bobcat I've ever seen.  Just at sunset, as I was staring intently out the blind's window, a shadow walked, no floated across the fire lane.  I tapped Z on the leg and pointed, whispering, "Hey, I think there's a deer."  He was holding the binoculars.  He looked down the lane and shook his head, "Nothing!"  "Look again!" I hissed.  So he mounted the Leupolds to his face again.  This time I saw his entire body tense.  "DAD! It's a bobcat!" As loud as he could whisper.  Sure enough it was and it was making it's way, effortlessly and directly toward us.  I gripped my Mission tightly and clipped my release on the bow string.  Maybe I'd get a shot.  The bobcat continued easing toward us and then stopped directly in front of the blind, no more than five feet from where we sat, trying to breath.  He took a couple steps and I drew my bow.  Just as I put the 10 yard pin on him the bobcat whipped his head back toward us, started a millisecond in our direction and then bounded off, unscathed.  I looked over at my son, who finally let out sigh.  Apparently he'd held his breath through the entire ordeal.  "DAD! Why didn't you shoot!"  He wanted that bobcat.  So did I. 
On the walk out we talked about ethical shot placement, celebrated our close encounter and thanked God for a wonderful afternoon in the stand.  Maybe tomorrow we will get a shot....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14, 2012 Savage Axis

I've been searching for a .243 for the kids for a while now.  They have a sweet A-bolt in the safe but it's a tad long and heavy for them yet.  After much research I'd pretty much settled on either the Mossberg 100 ATR or the Savage Axis after handling the Savage won hands down. 
I picked it up from the Gun Vault in High Point and Mark added some Weaver rings and bases, installed a Leupold 3x9x40 Vari-Xii I'd removed from another rifle, bore sighted it and slapped on a Butler Creek sling. A
A couple days later I took it out for a test run and I was pleasantly surprised with the results (see below).  After a couple boxes of shells B and some windage and elevation adjustments to the scope the Savage is dead on at 100 yards.  I can't wait for the kids to shoot this thing.  

A.Figuring out the sling was the toughest part.  It works well enough but too cumbersome to install.  Will go with another model or brand next time.  
B. I shot Remington CoreLokts in 100grain and Hornady Custom 95grain bullets.  The performance was pretty similar but I plan on hunting with the Hornadys.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012 1-800-I-Got-One

I connected with deer #3 this afternoon.  I did a little grunting and this buck made the mistake of coming within bow range to investigate.  So grateful for the opportunity to hunt and God blesses our family with meat in the freezer. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012 Sparring

Looks like we're getting pretty close to rut in central Carolina as I've several of photos of sparring bucks at a couple locations.  With these cooler temperatures, it may not be a bad idea to get in the woods.