It has been strange Spring so far. We had a few nice days and then it became cold again with snow on the hills and in the forestry. I decided to give it a go anyway and got to the forestry gate at the very first light. Some of the rides had been cut and on the very first that been recently cleared I spotted a something white. There were still some patches of snow here and there, but when I looked again through my binoculars the white patch disappeared…
It was still too dark to see anything so I decided to wait. After couple of minutes I saw a movement closer to me. It was quiet and not much cover, but I slowly got a bit closer on the ride. There was a roe deer, but I was still not sure whether it was a doe or a buck.
After 10 minutes or so I could see little roe’s backside with no anal tush… so it was a wee buck. I got a tiny bit closer and could now see it was a spiker still in velvet. I got my rifle off the shoulder and on sticks and waited a bit more hoping it could get light enough to get some decent footage, but then another buck popped out off the trees and crossed the ride.
It looked like they were together and the spiker would soon follow his 6-pointer friend, so I decided to take a shot before it was too late.
It was not easy as now the buck was quartering away and sometimes I could only see the neck and its back. He was going to follow the 6-pointer so when he stood broadside with his head down I pulled the trigger.
It dropped on the spot kicking. I reloaded, but the kicking soon stopped and he was not going anywhere.
Hornady 87gr bullet did a good job and it was a low neck shot. Very pleased with this .243Win reloads so far, damaging on neck shots but surprisingly little meat damage when through the ribs.
I have been also getting on well with the Blaser, I ended up using it a lot recently. More often than any other rifles.
Thanks a lot for watching my videos, I am getting close to 1,000,000 views on YouTube. I hope you enjoy my videos, even if this particular one was filmed in low light and is not the best quality, but it is stalking and not every buck is shot in good light.
I recently got a batch of once fired Winchester brass in .243 and wanted to use in my Blaser. I prepared the brass as I usually do, full re-sized it and started loading process. First thing to do was to prime the brass. I used my usual tool which I used for last couple of years -Lee Auto Prime.
Lee Auto Prime is probably most popular hand priming tool in the world. It is cheap as chips and easy to use giving good control when sitting primers. It comes with two round trays for large and small primers and has to be used with dedicated shell holders – these are different from shell holders used with a press and are caliber specific.
Auto Prime is a great tool, however, built quality is not to the highest standard and I saw many with bent handles or broken, but to be honest this must have been to improper usage by home loading gorillas
One thing that Lee re-designed a few years ago was the trays. They introduced new square trays to prevent theoretically possible chain reaction as it could be possible to accidentally detonate a primer that being seated and as the rest of the primers held in the old round trays were not separated. In the re-designed square tray (Auto Prime XR) they put a simple mechanism to separate primers from the tray from the one being seated. The same square trays were used in new Ergo Prime.
When I started reloading my new batch of Winchester brass I soon got a case I just could not squeeze in a primer. It just would not sit flush with the bottom of the case and Lee Auto Prime handle would just bent. I used K&M primer uniformer (I never had to do this before) but it did not help. Some of the primer pockets were just tight and it was real muscle exercise to seat primers.
I started looking for an alternative to Auto Prime and spotted new Ergo Prime from Lee Precision. I am a fan of Lee and generally all they do is low cost but it works. I spotted Ergo Prime on Amazon and just got it.
First impression was very positive. Nice red handle and two trays packed nicely with instructions. It was easy to use and the shell holders I got for Auto Prime could be reused.
I got back to this stubborn Winchester brass and reloaded all remaining cases in no time. It was pleasure to use and never noticed any tight primers. I even used this tool on primed cases with already fitted primers previously with Auto Prime that were not exactly flush with the bottom of the case, and it worked a treat. Really pleased with it.
If you broken your Auto Prime or feel tired after fitting 100 primers with it, have a look on Ergo Prime. It is great little tool for not much more.
A friend kindly invited me for a morning stalk. Weather was nice, at least it was dry this time and not too windy. We drove to the edge of a young plantation he manages deer on. I got instructions how to get to a high seat and marched on. It was still early, but just enough light to walk comfortably without a torch. After 15 minutes I got to the high seat and climbed on, made myself ready and waited for the first light.
The high seat was standing on a ride with the plantation on the back and little clearing in front of me with some older wood further on. I did not have to wait long when a single doe appeared on the ride. She was too far away for a shot, but at least I knew roe deer started moving.
I soon spotted a movement to the right in front of me. I looked through my Zeiss 8×56 binoculars and saw a single roe doe coming my way. I made myself ready as she was coming towards me and there was a convenient gap between the trees right in front on me.
All looked good and the doe was only a few steps away from my chosen spot when she became alert and ran across the clearing without stopping…
I thought she must have winded me and that was it as I expected to see her again further on, but nothing happened for the next 15 minutes.
I wanted to put the rifle back when I heard a deer running and soon spotted a roe deer behind some branches to my left. I could not see the back end of the deer so I did not know whether it was my doe or something else. I watched the deer through the scope and it soon moved a bit and I could see the tush, so it was my doe.
She was grooming and licking herself and not in a hurry to cross the open space. She was looking intensely in one spot, but I could not see whether there was anything and I preferred to keep an eye on her though the scope in case she moved. Later on I could see on the video there were two or three more deer, but I did not see them at the time. This was not a first time I could see something on a video and I did not see when stalking… That is a bonus of taking a camera when stalking.
The doe soon moved a few steps and started running. I just knew she would have run across the open without stopping… I barked and she paused looking straight at the high seat. I aimed behind the shoulder and squeezed the trigger. She dropped on the spot and I could see she soon was lying still.
I went down and dragged her to the ride. I gralloched her and saw the bullet went a bit high through the lungs, but did not touch a shoulder nor the spine.
This was my first deer shot using new 87gr Hornady reloads. Hard to judge the load from a single kill, but there was very little meat damage and the doe dropped on the spot, what else can I wish for…
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As mentioned in my previous post, after shooting twice in the evening I wanted to come back following morning just to check the area and make sure I did not do anything silly such as shooting two different deer. Unfortunately these things happen from time to time at last light or in high vegetation. I heard a few similar stories about people shooting twice to what they thought were the same animal and later finding two deer dead. It was quite unlikely, but I wanted to make sure as I could not see anything suspicious in torch light and could not make myself believe I missed a deer at 40m heart-lungs and neck shot at 100m…
I got to the forestry quite early. It was still too dark to check the spot I shot the doe previous night so I slowly walked the forestry track pausing in various places. It was a bit too windy to my liking. The wind was picking up and it was unlikely to see any deer in open places.
I sat at the corner of freshly cleared ride and the forestry track, but nothing showed up. I was getting cold so went to the place I shot the doe. I went to the place I was standing taking the shots. I went back to the place the doe was and where she ran, but no pins or paint. Nothing. Only some blood in the place I shot the second time. It looked like the first shot was a clear miss…
It was still early so I thought I could have a look along the forestry edge. I went maybe 100m and spotted something in front of me. I looked through the binoculars and it was a doe already looking at me. I was by the forestry but slightly skylined and the doe must have seen the movement. She soon disappeared but I was sure she was not alone. There was at least another one.
Stalking along the forestry edge would have been difficult and I had better idea to get under the canopy of the sitka trees. It was quite windy and it should help and silence my steps. There was a path running in parallel to the forestry edge. I was hoping to spot the deer before they could see me, if not at the edge of the forestry then crossing the path in front of me.
I soon got to the spot I could see straight 40m of the path in front of me and right towards the forestry edge. Nothing showed up on the path so I thought the deer still must have been feeding near the fence and decided to risk and have a look. I made a few steps and saw the movement between the trees. It was a buck kid. He was quite close, but no chance of a shot through all the branches on the way. I knew there was still a doe and possibly something else. The kid moved away and I was searching for a gap between the branches to get a shot when I spotted a movement to my left. Another buck kid showed up. He was feeding along the edge of the trees and got to my side of the branches so I could get a clear shot.
It was no more than 20m and I had no time to use sticks so I raised the rifle and shot off hand. The deer dropped on the spot and the other kid and the doe ran away.
I gralloched the deer, dragged it to the doe I left previous night, packed them both into a roe sack and went back home.