Deuce Does with Doc

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Jeff Hoover

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
This past Saturday was opening day in my home state of Md. and my good friend Doc Barranti was coming down to get a jump on the deer season from his home state of Pa. After a nice dinner out, a few drinks, and conversation, it was off to bed to get a good nights rest(yeah right) and an early start to get to our spots well before sunrise.

I couldn’t believe it! Doc was in the shower when I woke up, and we had a good leisurely hour to have coffee, and get dressed. I packed the lunches, loaded the truck and was waiting on Doc while sitting in the truck as it warmed up, sipping coffee when Doc made it out of the house after finishing his last call of nature. Dang! We actually got off on time! About half way to the farm we were about to hunt, Doc asked me if I closed the door and locked it on the way out? I reminded him that he was the last one out and I was waiting for him in the truck. A quick U turn and some high speed driving back home found the door wide open. Doc jumped out and closed the door with him in the house. What’s he doing now? 10 minutes later Doc comes out with a huge bacon and egg sandwich. As we drove to make up lost time, I mention how good the sandwich smells. Doc replies,”Ya should have told me, I would have made you one……”

With stomach growling, we make good time to our destination and park. We make it to our spots ½ hr. before sunrise. The area we are hunting is a finger of woods about 200 yds. long and anywhere between 10 and 40 yds. across. I had Doc in a ladder stand overlooking a cut thru of the woods. The finger of woods separates 2 large cut corn fields. The morning was chilly, about 30 degrees with 30-40 mph wind gusts. It was going to be hard to stay out all day.

For this hunt I was carrying a Ruger converted .475 Linebaugh, done by the man himself, and Doc was carrying a 7.5” FT Ruger Blackhawk .44 mag, and also my .50cal CVA muzzleloader for long shots.

I was hunting a dry tributary creek bed and was about 100 yds. or so down from Doc. I was using my climber tree stand and was 20 feet up well before sunrise. When sitting in the dark, up a tree like this, shivering as I cool down, I always ask myself what in the heck am I doing this for? But as the darkness turns to grey, and the grey to a brilliant display of colors as the sun creeps up from the horizon, a calmness comes over you, and great anticipation of a big old gnarly buck getting in your sights excites you.
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The sunrise was gorgeous as pink and purple hues painted the sky. But man, was it cold! After 2 hours of getting beat by the wind, I decided to climb down and sit in the creek bed on the ground to stay out of the wind. It worked.

Around 1100, I saw a group of 7 or 8 does with a buck trailing behind them about 80 yards from me in the field. Being opening day, they were anxious and on edge. I was hoping they would head along the wood line and walk right into Docs ambush. Dang if the lead deer, an old grizzled, white faced matriarch of a doe didn’t duck into the finger of woods I was sitting in. She was heading right for me. I had the Linebaugh drawn and ready, but was still hoping she would turn up towards Doc so he could get a shot off. Tip toeing up a well worn trail between the wild rose as if they were in a mine field, the lead doe was making a bee line right towards me.

The wind was at my back, and I figured when she caught my scent, she and the rest of the deer would blow out of there the way they came. However, if I shot, I have seen deer in the past freeze up, get there bearings, and then explode in all directions. At this point I was sitting on the ground, knees drawn up, arms extended, with the Linebaugh pointing at the lead doe. With both eyes open, sight alignment was made, which lead to sight picture. The doe turned to my right, away from Doc, giving me the classic broadside shot. I pushed the front sight tight behind her shoulder and the gun went off as if by mental telepathy.

No one likes a 420 gr. SWC crashing thru their chest. This doe was no exception. At the shot, she mule kicked with her rear legs and twisted in mid air, swapping directions as she did so.

As the muzzle of the Linebaugh came down in recoil, my left thumb instinctively cocked the hammer for a quick follow up for any other deer. As luck would have it, another large brown doe with a confused look on her face was standing angled towards me. Her right shoulder knuckle made a perfect point of aim to send a home cast slug thru her vitals at this angle. This doe was a quick study. For on impact, she did a perfect impersonation of the first deer, and mule kicked and swapped directions in mid air also.
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Entrance wound from second deer.

Both deer ran low and hard, both with a flopping front leg, and stumbled to the ground. The lead doe made it 50 yds., and the second doe 30 yds. Not bad performance for sucha simple, antiquated projectile. The range for the first deer was a scant 10 yards, and the second shot was double the first.

My load for this hunt was 24 grs. of H110 under a RCBS 400 gr. SWC, sparked by a Large Winchester Pistol primer. I got this load and gun from good friend Glenn Swaggart. Glenn got the gun from Charlie Smith, and the load from John Linebaugh. Charlie Smith won the gun at a John Linebaugh seminar. Being good friends with Chuck Smih, the gun has a special meaning and connection to me that non gunners just wouldn’t understand. The gun was carried in a Barranti Leather NW Hunter shoulder rig that Doc and Glenn gave me as a birthday present. Most of my hunting gear has a story behind it, and is the way that I like, to add or make it much more personal. Though Glenn, Chuck, or Charlie weren’t physically there, I was thinking of them during lulls, while sitting in the woods, where we all do our best thinking!
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The deer were tagged and given to friends, as I was leaving the next day to hunt in PA at my families farm. Ol' Doc had a mishap with the muzzleloader and I'll let him explain. It was a good day! New memories were made and time spent with a great friend is always good. The wind beat us pretty good, and Doc and I were both pretty darn stiff and sore at the end of the day. A hot shower, separately, felt good :shock: :roll: :lol: ! We went out for another dinner at a close by restaurant and Doc got stuck with the bill :mrgreen: :shock:
 

callshot

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
952
Location
Pocatello, Idaho
I been waiting for this story and pictures. Sounds like you had fun and some work. I have went into hibernation now, so will you wake me up next spring in time to hunt squirrels.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,074
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
As I too understand the feeling a hunter has in the woods,, along with good friends,, I could "feel" your hunt as I read the words. Congrats Jeff,, and I know you relish every minute of such days.
PS; callshot,, you can go back into your den,, no free huckleberry shakes to be found!
 

Lee Martin

Hunter
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
2,313
Location
Arlington, Virginia
Great account Jeff. Pegging two deer within seconds of one another with a handgun must've been a rush. Thanks for the post and excellent photography.
 

mb111263

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
452
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Lee Martin said:
Great account Jeff. Pegging two deer within seconds of one another with a handgun must've been a rush. Thanks for the post and excellent photography.

No kidding, Lee! I heard two shots, less than 2 seconds apart...that's some quick game shooting!!
 

Sam Summey

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 24, 2009
Messages
237
Location
Flat Rock, NC
Jeff good hunt, excellent company and you did the sighting with blind eyes and no glass except for your spectacles. At the range though, a scope would have been a hinderance.
 

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