Author Topic: My White Whale  (Read 334 times)

Steelhead

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My White Whale
« on: December 25, 2018, 09:48:42 PM »
This sneaky buck has been cruising my back yard for almost two months. I've been after him for two years now and he never pokes his head up until after the season closes; not even on trail cams. I've seen him every day for a week and my neighbor sent me this pic that he picked up on his trail cam about 150 yards from my house. He's not the most glamorous blacktail (he's only a fork) but he has size and character. A walk looking for turkeys a few weeks ago found him, a 4x4 with eye guards, and a few of their gang mates sitting in the oak patch just past the 200 yard stake on my range.

As much as I want this old timer, I'm grateful that I shot my pb blacktail this year and I was able to fill both of my buck tags. Good luck to all of the hunters this coming year and have a safe and fruitful year.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 10:46:46 PM by Steelhead »


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Alan

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 04:25:15 AM »
Time to buy yourself a Umarex Hammer!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

steveoh

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 01:04:08 PM »
Time to buy yourself a Umarex Hammer!

If hunting black tail were legal here I’d lend Kevin a DAQ. But alas we only get to shoot coyotes, and feral exotic deer, goats and sheep. One day...
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Steelhead

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 07:02:56 AM »
If it were legal, the 154 grain out of the Texan would be no problem. The real slap in the face is when a buck walks out in the middle of my shooting session and proceeds to use my 150 yard stake as a scratching post. Of course when I bring the powder burner out and leave it close by this never happens.

Looking forward to Saturday's shoot.
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steveoh

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 01:59:11 PM »
If it were legal, the 154 grain out of the Texan would be no problem. The real slap in the face is when a buck walks out in the middle of my shooting session and proceeds to use my 150 yard stake as a scratching post. Of course when I bring the powder burner out and leave it close by this never happens.

Looking forward to Saturday's shoot.

No doubt your .308 will go in one side and out the other of a deer!
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Steelhead

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 02:54:53 PM »
I have no doubt either. I think the hardest thing with airgun big game hunting down the road will be hunter discipline. Much like bow hunting it's essential to pick a shot carefully and be willing to pass up a non-optimal shot due to placement, range, or the target moving. Here in our deer zone, a lot of powder burner shots (I'd say 7 out of 10) are taken at a moving or running deer. That has to do with the behavior of blacktails in general, terrain, and hunting situations. Blacktails aren't big, and they're forgiving with shot placement with high power center fire rounds. I wouldn't feel comfortable shooting at a walking deer outside of 100 yards with my Texan and a running deer...forget it. I don't want to lead them or make a big shot placement. With my powder burner I can pretty much hit them somewhere between the nostrils and the bung hole and it's a kill shot. That may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

The point I'm making is that it takes a lot of practice to know what the big bore airgun is capable of and what it's not capable of. Even different models in the same caliber are vastly different.  A .357 Bulldog is not the same as a .357 Texan, and you can use that scenario with dozens of others too. By comparison, with a bow it's generally understood that it's a given that hours and hours of practice is required. There is an overload of information on every aspect of that method of take from draw weights, broadheads, custom fitting, etc., and it takes some physical strength to do it as well. However, anybody can buy a big bore PCP and start hunting.

It's incumbent on us hunters to be responsible and practice, practice, practice. We owe it to our quarry and also to the future of the sport. A big bore PCP is not a powder burner. Not even close. There's math, energy, foot lbs., and these are all good things to know and tools to use. But make no mistake, my .308 Texan is not in the same ball park as my .308 Remington. I say this after a couple of years of shooting both of these guns a-plenty and as an airgun hobbyist and a sportsman I think that it's important to make that distinction so that we can hopefully continue to open new avenues and opportunities.
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Alan

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2018, 03:56:31 PM »
Kevin, you are correct, but to a point. Terminal ballistics are reliant on many factors besides shot placement. In other words, what should have been a quick kill, often isn't.

Tuesday evening, I watched a deer hunting series on the Outdoor Channel. In this case, the shot (arrow) was well placed, as video review clearly showed, but the deer was lost. I've also seen shots where the placement was mediocre at best, yet the deer fell as if hit by lightning!

My favorite game is pigeons. I only got two today, and both were instant kills. But yesterday, I hit the same pigeon three times! It finally fell out of the sky about 3 minutes after the last shot. The postmortem was gruesome to say the least, and any of the shots, should have killed that pigeon outright! But they didn't, and THAT is the point!
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Steelhead

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2018, 07:58:19 PM »
Sorry, I grant that I'm playing a little bit of devil's advocate. I want to use my air gun for big game more than anything and I'm confident that I would be lethal AND ethical with it. But we have to be careful and not over-sell the capabilities. I know hunting is not an exact science and ironically it's the variables that make it so much fun.

I'm not being condescending, Alan, but OF COURSE animals run/fly and get lost with well placed arrows, bullets, pellets, and bolts.  25+ years ago I would've walked away from a dead deer if not for the more experienced hunter I was with. I made an approximately 200 yard off hand at a deer trotting away. He jumped, kicked it into overdrive and I watched him run into the trees at about 400 yards. Never bothered with a second shot. Shortening a story, the guy I was with insisted on following up on the deer. I was reconciled to a clean miss, but I figured we'd maybe jump him again. Sure enough that deer was dead just inside the tree line with a perfect chest shot (.308, 150 gr.)  That taught me a lesson as a hunter.

I want to reiterate that I WANT to be able to use my big bore PCP on big game. But I think as airgun owners in a very new arena that we have to be conscious of what we represent. A big bore PCP does not replace a powder burner for effectiveness. To argue that is ignorant. Nor does a bow, crossbow, or even blackpowder. It's just physics. But it's easy (and fun) to get enamored with the concept of big air power. And it IS cool, and effective in the right hands. I watched a video of guy taking an exotic goat on a high-fence hunt at 200 yards with a .45 Texan. I had mixed feelings on that. On one hand it was great demonstration of power, accuracy, and what an experienced airgunner is capable of. On the other hand it can be looked at as an experiment on a caged animal that could be tracked/found and dispatched if need be if the shot sucked (and the video wouldn't have been posted)  That's not a condemnation of the hunt or the hunter, just an observation. But this whole big bore/big game thing is new. Is it about what's right/ethical or more about selling merchandise? That's a valid question and I don't think it's a simple answer.

I'm sorry that this is long-winded and I know I sound somewhat obsessive. It's a topic that's close to my heart. I live in a state (as most do) where ag's are not legal for big game. Through luck I happen to live on one of the coolest pieces of property that's so perfect for ag hunting it's ridiculous. Tree layout, grazing areas, spot & stalk to stationary animals; it doesn't get any better for blacktails. If legislation is to change, it is my opinion that we as hunters need to be stewards of the resource and of reason, and that means being open and honest. It's ok to say that a given big bore PCP has an effective KILL range of 100 yards (or 50 yards, or 150 yards) even though we can plunk steel and targets at much longer distances. I'm not saying making laws for range, but increasing the education of our fellow sportsmen and women to PROPERLY and ETHICALLY use a high powered air gun is incumbent upon us. I think that's being done by discussion and debate like this, but this is a delicate time. For many states it can be 'make it or break it'. I'm not a politician (in fact I despise politics in all forms...don't get me started), just a hunter. I just don't want to see the door shut before it gets a chance to open based on misinformation or misrepresentation.

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steveoh

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2018, 08:40:42 PM »
Well thought out and passionate Kevin. You know I agreed with every thing you’ve said on the subject.

I keep plugging away, trying to improve my marksmanship at short, medium and longer distances. I still suck when I’m walking around trying to guess distances.  I need to carry that rangefinder with me. Went hiking with the kids yesterday and saw three deer. I guessed them to be 200 yards, but I really haven’t a clue.

So if I were to point any of my airguns at those three deer and take a shot, it would be a Hail Mary. I need to pick an airgun and Ammo and make a range card. Then I need to practice reading distance.

Maybe one of our shoots we could set up steel targets all through a section of woods and edge of woods and stalk our targets. Range find, and refer to range card and keep score.

I was looking at airgun killed game on several different websites including Eric Henderson’s old site and Dennis Quackenbush’s.  Almost all game including deer, pigs, goats, etc were shot between 25-75 yards. Others were shot out to about 100 yards. Certainly one reason for sticking close is that an airgun loses a lot of stopping power at 75-100 yards and beyond, and of course beyond this you are lobbing chunks of lead in a rainbow like arc. Harder to hit your target for sure, and you have to fret about having reasonable energy far down the range.

There’s so much to chew on.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 08:43:40 PM by steveoh »
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Alan

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Re: My White Whale
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2018, 04:31:47 AM »
Yes, Kevin, and wouldn't it be nice if firearm hunters were as ethical? Most are... Alas, too many aren't. Personally, I do my best to pursue game I know I've hit, even when it is a lowly pigeon! As my father taught me... Work ethic is just as important in the field, as it is in the office!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.