Long Shot

A few years back I had the opportunity to go on an Axis deer Doe hunt. The exotic deer on this particular ranch in the Texas hill country were free range and extremely leery and spooky. There were two large herds of Axis deer that roamed the ranch and it was going to be a task getting in range of one of them. I was aware ahead of time that I might need to take a longer shot than I was use to taking. So I spent a few weeks at the range practicing long range shots with my rifle. I wanted to go into this hunt confident and prepared. I practiced shooting from shooting sticks and in the prone position. Between these two options one would more and likely be the position I would use if I got in range of the heard. I have always been intrigued and watched long range hunting on TV. Going on my first hunt where I might have to take one of these longer shots was exciting and intimidating all at the same time. Having spent the time practicing helped my nerves a little.

What I expected to be a long stalk and possibly days of waiting for an opportunity was the exact opposite. I had only been on the hunt for fifteen minutes when I stumbled upon the Axis heard on the run. I didn’t have time to think, just react. I dropped down into the prone position, quickly adjusted the bipod, chambered a round, and got the heard acquired in the scope. At this point the heard had ran over two hundred yards from me and had stopped under some trees. I started to look over them to see which doe I wanted to take. You have to be very careful hunting exotics because they drop their antlers at different times during the year. What you think might be a big doe could be an antler less buck. Paying attention to the way the Axis run can help. The bucks will still duck when running under trees even when they don’t have their antlers. You also have to pay attention to the belly size of the does. If they are fatter than other deer in the herd they are probably pregnant.

I saw her standing alone next to a tree. She was a mature doe and clearly not pregnant. I hit her with the range finder one last time….234 yards! This range was well within my comfort zone. Crosshairs ready, I took a deep breath, exhaled and gently squeezed the trigger! It was immediate satisfaction with the hunt and all the practice I had put in to make it successful. She was down, no tracking involved. I was super excited! It was not an extremely long shot but it was the longest I had ever taken on an animal and I was proud of it!

May 28, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 1


One comment on “Long Shot

  1. Tom Payton

    Mine was a whitetail doe In MT. Was zeroed out to 400.
    Shot her at 440 yards. Shot went about 6″ further right. But was a successful one shot harvest!

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