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Old March 24, 1999, 02:11 AM   #28
Staff Emeritus
Join Date: November 23, 1998
Location: a small forest in Texas
Posts: 7,075
In the early 1970s a young Army troop in Germany and I became pretty good friends. He did not re-up. He came back to the States and fell on very, very hard times.
When I met him again in the late 1980s, he was taking care of a ranch for an elderly widow lady in return for (really sub-standard) housing.
In the course of our visit, he showed me his rifle - a rather beat-up .22 magnum with a low-power scope (I forget exactly what power). He asked what a box of shells cost - I didn't know. He said he only had (I believe he said) eight shells left out of a box of 50. He then floored me by telling me the 42(more or less) shells used had accounted for practice, sighting in the scope, and thirty (30!) deer.
Yep, he was a poacher. But he used everything on each deer, now I mean everything! The meat they ate or bartered for food they couldn't grow in their garden. The hides they tanned and sold to folks who said they were going to make buckskin garments or whatever. He even sold the HOOVES to craftsmen to make hat/coat racks. The antlers he sold to yuppies so they could mount them and tell great (but totally fictitious) hunting tales. Nothing went to waste.
Illegal? Sure! Immoral? Well, he fed his family the only way he knew how.

My point is, if he could take thirty deer with a .22 magnum, with mostly one-shot kills, why do we have trouble with the .243? Gee whiz, guys! Do you think hunting skills and shot placement might be factors? He took only head shots, always under thirty yards. (It is brush country where he lived and hunted.)
I realize topography differs, but with his results you can no longer call it luck. He had skill.

By the way, the venison he cooked was delicious. (I brought the beer.)
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