Buck - Left Handed
It was cold and windy this morning, so I decided to go way down back of my son's 140 acre property in what we call the "scrub field", around which there's a good mix of hard and softwoods and some open areas near one of our tree stands. We'd seen plenty of sign there, but the tree stand is quite exposed to the field, and I'd never seen a deer there. From my tree stand, I called in this 130 lb spikehorn buck with my grunt call. It passed almost under me, went off about 35 yards (about 3:00 from my sitting direction), smelled my deer lure, stopped and looked back.
I brought the rifle up left-handed and tried to shoot him as he looked toward me, but the sling covered the trigger guard and I couldn't shoot. As I wiped the sling away with my left hand, the deer saw me and took off running directly away, down the woods road. I found it in the scope and shot it in the back, just behind the shoulder at about 50 yards. It went down instantly, but needed another one to finish it off. Time was 7:30. This is the first time I've ever shot a high-powered rifle left-handed, but practiced bringing the rifle up several times while in/on other stands and it felt fairly comfortable.
The Hornady all-gilding metal GMX 130 grain bullet did it's job very well. It's the first non-lead bullet I've used to kill a deer and it performed perfectly. The gilding metal bullets don't leave copper fouling in the bore like the previous all-copper bullets I'd been testing.
As you can see in the picture, shooting a deer on my son's land has it's advantages. We didn't have to drag it, just roll it into the loader bucket and clean it out while standing up. Son Mike brought arm-length plastic gloves and surgical gloves placed over them, so I didn't get much on me. He then drove it up to my truck at the house and dumped it in the body. Then, it was off to the tagging station/meat cutter and on to breakfast at Greg's Place in South China, ME..our favorite hunting breakfast place. Quite the morning!!!
Of all the deer I've shot, this was about my most exciting experience. I had to wait a few minutes to let the adrenalin effect stop (and wipe the grin off my face) before climbing down from the tree stand. Falling out of the stand and/or dropping my rifle were not going to happen.
People are like rifles. Some are tried and true, having great eyes, personality, and fun to be with. Others never seem to hit the mark with you. Still others go off half-cocked. Still, it's nice to know most of them.