So I ended the season with having used quite an array of guns for deer.
It started with a 460sw Encore for a state park deer reduction hunt. This barrel/gun is a bastard. Kicks like a mule, and is not accurate with high power loads. So I had bullseye69 thread it and try several muzzle brakes. Nothing worked. Decided the fast burning pistol powder doesnt produce enough gas in a rifle length barrel to work thru a brake. Finally decided to abort, and make a threaded collar to cover the threads, then just port the barrel itself. That worked the best, at least knocking down the muzzle rise. Anyway, I couldnt get anything shooting very good with full power 460 loads, so I handloaded 454 Casull brass with 300gr Barnes MZ Expander bullets at 2k fps. That was the ticket, calming it down some. After all that, a 25yd heart shot on a broken rack buck layed him right down.
Next up, I finally got a shot with a 243 Ruger American. I had my 7yo boy with me. I motioned to plug his ears, then shot a doe at 60-70yd offhand from the ground. She only went 25yd. I handloaded 85gr Sierra hpbt. Put a golfball sized hole thru her.
Next up was a heck of a hunt. This is my new favorite gun I have built. Encore in 270win. Got the barrel from bullseye69 (new, unfired). It started out a problem child with a short throat causing high pressure. Had to send it back to MGM, where they fixed it right up free of charge. Now it is simply awesome. Shoots most anything accurately, but I settled on 130gr Sierra Pro Hunters. MOA and under to 350yd. Anyway, had a group of does come in, but was waiting for a buck to follow. Nothing. So, while waiting, I let this big doe almost get past me too far, and I had to shoot her offhand in the neck at about 35yd. I turned back and watched the rest of the group while TRYING to get another shell out of the shell pouch. I didnt pull any out loose prior, hoping to need ony one shot on a buck. After fiddling around, I finally got one out, took a shot at another big doe between two trees, again offhand because of angle, and the deer just stood there! About 90yd. Got another shell in and lined up, can see hit on tree. She finally took a few steps and I crumpled her with a high shoulder shot. The deer scattered and stopped. I shot another one with a sharp quartering away shot. She took off and made a semi circle behind some trees and a ridge. About 10-15sec later, there was another one walking behind a rise. I had a full rest and spine shot her. That was it!!! I was in a county that allowed 4 antlerless, so I had to quit. Upon rounding them up, we bloodtrailed the quartering deer that made the semi circe, and she was the one walking that I spine shot. The first shot was so angled, it only got the liver and one lung. She was dead on her feet, but able to make it far enough to walk in to another bullet. Thank god my friend picked them up with a loader bucket for me. Lol.
Then the final hunt was in deep snow, about 15". My friend snowblowed a path around his place and to a stand for me. A big group of does came out thru the woods towards a food plot. I shot the biggest doe at about 100yd, and she ran towards me 70yds. Got her with the ole Savage smokeless mz. Used a 200gr Shockwave bullet. Again, lucky to be able to use his loader to retrieve her. I had a light bout of pneumonia going on, so I was limited to hunting where I could get a hand. We still had over 2 weeks of hunting left at that point. But we had more than enough in the freezer at that point, so I pulled the plug.
So all in all, it was a good ending to the season. Started out rough, and seemed to really drag on for me this year. Hoping for better weather and more deer seen so I can get my boy on one this next year.