Blowing Up Little Furry Things
- Posts: 99
- Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:30 pm
- Location: NW North Dakota
I left Williston at 8:44 a.m. and arrived at my parking place on the west end of the dog town I was going to shoot in at 10:00 a.m. It had begun to rain when I was about 8 miles from the dog town. I had parked my pickup in the trees on the west end of the PD town and needed to check the point of impact on the two rifles I was going to use today. I had checked the weather forecast and there was a tiny chance of rain, but not much. Well, that “not much chance of rain” had been falling for quite a while. It kept raining even after I parked my PU so I set my wrist watch alarm and was going to take a nap when I noticed an object up on the top of a scoria butte to the NNW of where I was parked. I got my binoculars out and saw that it was a pretty nice antelope buck. I grabbed my camera with the big zoom lens and zoomed in to 300X and snapped a couple photos. I thought I could see some additional antelope down below him on the sunny side of the butte and sure enough there were four does there.
Here’s the photo that turned out the best. The pictures get rather grainy when I zoom up to 300X. I didn’t range how far away they were, but I’d guess they were over 3/4 of a mile away. I took a nap and when I woke up, the buck was lying down, but still up at the top of the butte.
When the rain quit around 11:00 a.m., I set up my target box at 100 yards west of my pickup and started shooting. After a few shots I glanced up towards where the antelope had been and they were not there. I finished sighting in my two rifles and got my gear ready and set off to see if there were any PDs around to shoot at. I had 22 rounds for my Stiller Predator action .17 Remington I wanted to use up. I had a load of 22.9 gr. of Varget and that is almost a half grain over the max and the bolt lift is somewhat hard when trying to eject those spent casings. I’ll be working up a load that isn’t as hot. I also had 20 rounds of 25 gr. FBHP Kindler Gold reloads for my tight neck .17 Remington with the BLACKNITRIDED™ barrel that I wanted to shoot. That’s the last of the four hundred 25 gr. Kindler Golds I bought several years ago. Now, I’ll have to decide if I want to shoot the 30 gr. T-000 Nagels, the 25 gr. T-000 Nagels or the 25 gr. V-Max. I’ll probably save the 30 gr. T-000 Nagels for coyotes and since I only have 400 of the 25 gr. T-000 Nagels I’ll use those up and start using the 2,000 25 gr. V-Max bullets I have on hand. I’ll probably wind up using the 25 gr. V-Max bullets for prairie dog shoots for all my .17 Remingtons. That’s the bullet I’m reloading for my son and grandson’s rifle and once I have shot all the 25 gr. T-000 Nagels, I’ll use the 25 gr. V-Max in my tight neck .17 Remington for PDs in the summer. The 25 gr. V-Max has a BC of .225, which I think is higher than the BC of the 25 gr. T-000 Nagels. However, the 25 gr. T-000 Nagels shoot great out of my .17 Remingtons so I might change my mind about ordering more of those.
I finished getting the scopes adjusted at 11:40 and was walking ENE in the PD town by 11:55 with the Stiller Predator action. I ordered the Stiller’s Picatinny rail for this action and it is chambered in .17 Remington. I added a Remington 700 BDL conversion kit in silver for the bottom metal. The stock on this rifle is a Bell & Carlson Tactical Medalist vertical grip stock in tan with black webbing. The scope is a silver Leupold VX-3 in 6.5-20x4mm LR with the fine duplex reticle. I wish I could have found silver rings!! When I had this rifle built I added a Jewell trigger and also added an aluminum trigger shoe to that trigger.
I figured I should be able to get those 22 shells fired and be back at my pickup in an hour or so in time for lunch. I shot my first PD of the day at 11:59 and had to take a photo of that one. Here’s the rifle and the first victim.
This PD was turned somewhat sideways and looking my way when I shot him. I hit him just inside his left front shoulder and blew the stuffing out the other side. Here’s a collage of the entrance wound on the left and on the right is a close-up of the exit wound. I don’t think he suffered very much.
My second shot happened at 12:05, and third shot at 12:15. Seventeen minutes later I took my 7th shot of the day. SLOOOOOWWW GOING!!! So the time required to shoot 22 rounds DID NOT WORK OUT the way I planned. There weren’t many PDs out and when there were a couple out and I shot one, the others disappeared and didn’t come back up. At 1:13 p.m. I started to walk in a big circle so I would wind up back at the pickup. I still had 6 unfired shells and finally found a spot where there were some PDs that stayed above the ground even after I shot a PD pretty close to them. I finished shooting all 22 shells and was back at the pickup by 1:34 p.m.
I drove east along the 2-track trail and parked in the shade of some trees so I could have lunch and take a short nap. As I was approaching those trees, the antelope buck and his four does evidently had circled all the way around me and got down wind and I scared them up out of the trees. They ran off to the north. I had lunch, took about an hour long nap and got my tight neck .17 Remington out and ready for the afternoon outing.
I only had 20 shells I needed to shoot and was hoping it wouldn’t take me an hour and 35 minutes to shoot 20 shells like it had for me to shoot 22 shells in the morning. I found a couple spots where there were 3 or 4 PDs I could pop from one spot, but most of the time it was a singleton here and a singleton there. I managed to finish off the last shell at 4:42 so it only took me one hour and 12 minutes to shoot those 20 shells. I had gone 20 for 22 with the Stiller Predator action .17 Remington and went 18 for 20 with the tight neck .17 Remington. In the first hunt I tried a couple of shots in excess of 225 yards with a direct side wind of about 10 mph and missed on those. In the afternoon hunt the missed shots were ones where I was using an old dead tree branch to rest the rifle on and I was wiggling like a bunny’s nose wiggles and missed on those 2 shots. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!
Sorry, but there isn’t a “Hero Photo” and there’s no blossom photos for today either.
- Posts: 1583
- Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:58 pm
- Location: La Porte Indiana NW
Wow you really opened the dog up!!
Yes when you get out past 225 yards with wind ,it is really challenging with the 17's.
But its fun to try!
BTW that is a nice buck!!
- Posts: 99
- Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:30 pm
- Location: NW North Dakota
bullseye-69--I was surprised that there was as much damage as there was. I was using the 30 gr. FBHP Starke bullets. They have a fairly large opening and have been GREAT bullets on coyotes, especially if you can push to a muzzle velocity around 3,900 fps. The load I was using is only giving me 3,757 fps. I have been told that the Starke bullets only have a BC of .209 and at the 3,757 fps velocity the wind moves them around a little bit more than the 25 gr. Golds.
The load I had for the 25 gr. BTHP Kindler Golds moves those bullets out of the muzzle at 3,991 fps and the BC for that bullet is .225. so the wind doesn't move those sideways quite as much as it does with the Starkes. However, with a 10 mph side wind on a 200 yard shot the 30 gr. Starke bullets are supposed to deflect 4.1 inches and the 25 gr. Gold is supposed to deflect 3.8 inches. That's not a lot of difference. You should be able to aim at center mass with either bullet and still hit the PD.
When the wind starts blowing up a storm I usually reach for one of my .204 Rugers that shoots 39 gr. Sierra BlitzKings with a BC of .287 or my .22-250 where I use the 53 gr. V-Max bullets with a BC of .290. Sometimes though, if the wind is wafting too hard, I stay home
A buddy of mine has a tag for an antelope buck in ND this year so I always try to let him know when and where I spot a wall-hanger buck. I know I would shoot that one if I had a license. I think it is a bow only season on antelope, but I'm not sure. We have had some real tough winters and the antelope population has had major problems recovering.
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