SPECIAL ON MONTANA WHITETAILS

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sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Do I hold above the limb or below the limb, that was the thought racing through my mind as I eased the 44 special into position for the shot.
For the last 3 years I've traveled to western Montana for what has become one of the highlights of my hunting year. Hunting these little lightning bolts is really addicting.
The first year I took 2 (whitetail doe's) using a different sixgun each day, last year I only took one gun, my Lipsey's 4 5/8" 44 special loaded with the Skeeter load of 7.5 grs of Unique & the 250 Keith cast slug. This year was going to be extra special as I attempted to truly break in my 7.5" 44 special by giving a couple of whitetails some serious lead posioning.
I actually had 2 guns with me again & almost took 3, deciding at the last minute to leave the Harton 480 at home, it had already taken a badger & a bull moose this year, it would stay. The second gun was my scoped 10 1/2" 357 Maxie using a 205 gr cast slug running at 1450 fps, this would be my go to gun if I had to stretch the barrel a bit.
In Montana a non-resident (except for Utahans) :cry: can buy up to 5 tags over the counter for $75 each, this is for doe's only. The catcher here is that most of the better hunting is on private property along the many riverbottoms in this game rich state. Gaining access can be tricky.
Since this was our 3rd year we kind of knew our way around & getting permission to hunt wasn't that much of a problem.
There are also lots of places in Montana where its public & every year we've also hunted some of those places. I actually prefer the public land hunting even though there aren't as many deer & there are more hunters close by. The reason is, I'm a bushwhacker, I need that deer to come to me, hopefully relaxed & ready for some hand to hand combat!
On the private land its usually much more open & not many, if any other hunters to move the deer. The private land was the main reason the 357 Maxie got to come along although on this trip I never let it stretch its legs.
At 7:30 am we wheeled into a little town & bought our tags, there were 7 of us & we bought 5 doe tags & 2 of the guys (locals) bought buck tags & we were on our way, yippee!
This entire season I've been taking a small aluminum folding stool along, it only weighs abought a pound & sure comes in handy. I plop it down in a little shady spot, whip out the Trigger Stick & start glassing for these little jumping jacks that folks call whitetails. I use the short Trigger Stick & its becoming a favorite, its quite simple to pull the trigger, extend it to its maximum length then lean it against my left thigh & put my left elbow in the fork of the Stick, its very steady!
The morning would be spent hunting a large piece of public land along a river, this area is covered with old cottonwood trees that must be at least 100 yrs old, there are numerous little fingers of water running back through the trees making it very difficult to get around but its a whitetail supermarket.
Anytime you can get direct support under that left elbow you are going to be very steady at sixgun distances. You can see the Trigger Stick under my left elbow.

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My normal routine is too have the Trigger Stick poking out the top of my backpack, if I need it I just reach back & pull it out. For longer shots with a scoped sixgun the backpack works best, I place a piece of thin leather over the backpack to keep from burning a hole in it from the cylinder gases.
After walking across a huge downed cottonwood tree that spanned a small stream I took up refuge next to another log where I had a good, dark background with another little finger of water in front of me & a little clearing beyond that...I was ready!
It didn't take long for the opening bell to ring, I heard some shots off in the distance & knew that my amigos were coming my way. After 20-30 minutes I spotted 4-5 doe's on the far side of the open area & wondered if I should have packed the scoped Maxie, this distance was probably 150 yds & the grass was so tall you could just barely see the bouncing little rascals as they weaved their way through the downed trees & brush. These things jump around like a yoyo on steriods & its quite amusing for a western boy to observe them after hunting mostly mule deer for 50 years.
Off to my right I suddenly spotted 2 more deer & they were much closer, at first I though they would cross the water & run right up the bank to me but at the last second they stayed on the other side & worked into some grass that was clear up to their ears. To make matters worse there was a large limb sticking out & covering the vitals of the only one I could make out in the grass.
With my left elbow firmly on the rest I decided to try & shoot under the limb, the shot missed but both deer held their ground & I eared back the hammer for a rematch, this time I decided to go over the limb & take a head shot. I've always been very much against head & neck shots but this deer was quite close & I felt comfortable with the shot. At the shot the deer dropped straight down & the other one took off with that 8" flag waving good bye.
The 240 gr Miha cast hollowpoint had worked perfectly along with the Skeeter load of 7.5 grs of Unique. Because I was using my 7.5" 44 special I was also using Shootist 44 special brass....a special gun, a special bullet in a special case with the classic 44 special load, what an experience!
I reallly didn't want to get wet wading the steam but had no choice, measuring the best I could it figured out to 41-43 paces to the downed doe, the shot had entered one side of the head & exited the other for an instant slam dunk on my first whitetail of the year.
My friend Carmello had brought along 2 of his daughters & they were fun to have along. I had to wade the stream in the background, it was above my knees, it would have been above the waist for the "man with no neck"

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You can see the exit hole just under the eye, not much of an expansion test for the new hollowpoint. You can also see the tree limb on the other side of the water, the doe was just behind it.

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Carmello's daughters, they were asking a million questions!

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Some of the others had got some shots but no one connected & we decided to spend the afternoon on some private property. After a quick lunch (my favorite time of the day) we were back at it. I immediately knew I was in trouble, this ranch was as flat as a pool table with almost no cover, it was hay fields & ditch banks & little patches of cattails...this was rifle country, pure & simple. I hauled out the barrel stretcher (357 Maxie) from the Barranti rig & dropped 6 rounds of the 205's down the cylinder, this was going to be interesting!
Towards dark the deer started showing up but nothing was even in the same zip code for an old fat boy with a six banger in his hands. Two of the others filled their tags & we were off for a nice steak supper....I love supper!
The next morning I don't know if they were feeling sorry for me or what but everyone wanted to go back to the public land for a rematch & off we went. I went back to the same spot, it seemed to be somewhat of a funnel area & I had measured the distance the day before & felt comfortable that deer would use my new found honey hole.
The morning was quiet, no birds, no squirrels & no deer. Off in the distance I could see one of the others working his way through the heavy cover, this stuff is a nightmare to walk in, the grass is tall & down underneath it is downed logs, you have to be very careful where you step.
I heard a shot quite close & out of the heavy brush a nice 8 pointer came blasting through the tall grass, since I could only shoot slick heads he was just eye candy but I was facinated with how he ran! I waved my friend in the direction the buck had ran & 10 minutes later was of the others got him.
I decided I needed to be a little closer to the action so I eased back down into the water & waded across to the other side & took up hiding in front of a large bush, I don't like to get behind cover, I want to be in front.
It only took a few minutes for the move to pay off, 2 doe's & a 6 months old fawn started working their way towards me, they were very nervous & getting very close. The gun had already been cocked with my left thumb between the frame & hammer, when the lead doe stopped at 22 paces I punched her ticked & she dropped like hammer hitting an anvil. The big hollowpoing had entered the left ribcage & exited just forward of the right ham...impressive, very impressive, this is going to be a great bullet for deer size game.
This is a good size Montana whitetail & I truly had another wonderful hunt in Big Sky country.

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In 2 weeks I'll be in Arizona enjoying the sunshine & having a snack with my buddies (I love snacks) but the memories will last a lifetime!

Dick
 

2 dogs

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
1,400
Location
South Texas
Well done my friend....Thanks for the story!

You should know I swim about like a cinder block wrapped in chain.

Henry has about got that first set of stocks fit up to Nimrodito. The other set is going on my Bowen Nimrod 475!

Thanks again Dick!
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,122
Location
+4020
Cool story, cool gun, cool pics! What's not to like? Well done! :wink:
 

Zeus

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
717
Location
Olathe, KS
The meathammer strikes again. I bet the Game and Fish people cringe when they see that truck with ID plates roll into town. Good shooting and thanks for the story Dick! Take care buddy. GS
 

Jeff Hoover

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
Way to go , Dick ! I believe that gun has whacked a few carp, now some does, whats next ? You got the fins and fur, what are the feathers going to be ? Pheasant, grouse, yard bird ? Maybe some of them river ducks by your house. Again, great shootining, and keep us posted on anymore hunts.
 

G2

Hunter
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,190
Location
UT/AZ
Dick,

Great Story, Hunt and Pictures.

Would you please explain this;

In Montana a non-resident (except for Utahans) can buy up to 5 tags over the counter for $75 each, this is for doe's only.

What's the thinking ???
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
G2, now you've known me long enough to know that I always pick on Utahans! Every time I go fishing or hunting I run into someone from Utah...but its all in fun...I was born in Logan!

Dick
 

G2

Hunter
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,190
Location
UT/AZ
Well I thought it "might be" you pokin fun at us.

I'm headed to AZ next monday but only staying thru Thanksgiving this year.

Looking forward to some Sixshot Snake Tales from the river bottom.

FYI... The new bridge is open at Hoover. Sight to see.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,201
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Since this old easterner only has whitetails to hunt,, not mulies,, I can fully relate to your hunt. The thick stuff,, they sure do love it. Where I like to hunt,, the thicker,, the better.
You had an excellent trip,, and the deer allowed you to enjoy "testing" a few bullets.
All in all,, very good story,, with good pics to boot.
Tells us more about the Trigger Stick,, and some better pics of it. You have my interest,,,!
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
Tyrone, the Trigger Stick (stik) is made by Primos & comes in varying lengths, I like the short one for handgunning. It actually has a little trigger on it, you pull the trigger & it extends out to about double in size....or anywhere in between, it works really slick.
In the shortest position its 21" long, extended its about 31" long & weighs about as much as the lips on a pheasant! On the top is a soft rubber "fork" for placing your rifle, handgun, etc. As I mentioned I like to sit on this little folding stool I carry, extend the Trigger Stick full length & rest it against my left thigh, now its very steady & I just place my left elbow in the fork. I'm using it more all the time.
This is the Trigger Stick & my 4 5/8's Lipseys 44 special from last year, you can see the trigger touching the top of the barrel.

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Dick
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,201
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Now that's just slick. So,, I'm assuming your walking stick is getting a little rest from all it's hard work?
I may have to look into one of those things,,,!
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
6,512
Location
Milo Maine
Dick as usual good story of your hunt. Over here the Whitetails love the thickets seem the big boys hang out in cedar swamps almost impossible to hunt, thick, wet, almost zero visibility, makes for quite a challange. Enjoyed the story and pics Thanx. ps
 

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