Tuesday, December 1, 2015

First Deer with Henry Big Boy 44 Magnum

It was a cold but not fridged day that began at 5am.  First packing my Henry Rifle in its padded ducks unlimited water proof padded case, and box of factory Winchester 240 grain jacketed soft point amunition. The night before, and my general layers of clothing.  I then managed my routine of moving kids, yes kids to activities, for sports.  Then departed and arrived on stand right at legal shooting hours.  

The wind was blowing into my face as I looked across the field at the wood lots edge, 100 yards away.  ITs the perfect vantage point for gun season.  From this my stand you can peer all the way threw the small section of wood lot that is 100 yards wide. Tracking any and all movement, where with the 444 Marlin, a caliber I would love to see Henry offer, you can with optics make a shot to the far side, on two shooting lanes that bisect the woods.

I had intended to capture video, but as one person, with out a go pro, I just couldnt do it.  
So as the story continues, this is the Doe taken with the Henry!  I sat on my stand untill 10am.  Hearing shots ring out from the far side of the woods, and other surrounding woodlots.  But not seeing a single deer.  In years past when shots are fired at the far corner of the woods, deer generally flow to this side and most often out of the center right toward this stand to bed down on the river.  Not a single one.  So being cold from the wind and not seeing any of that traffic, or deer coming from those otther near and distant woodlots. I returned to terrafirma and slowly crept acorss the frost covered field.  
Upon reaching the woods edge, I squated for a good 30 min.  Listening for any tell tail sounds of deer and for the squirls to again resuming their full bore crashing and dashing.  One last visual sweep outside the woods and I crept inside.  A good 20 yards to a down tree, where slowly sweept leaves from the ground, so I could move in silience around my seat.
I wait untill about noon.  Still nothing.  Oh the shots were still ringing out, but not so much as a glimpse from my location.  I was now warmer and more comfortable, so the big orange parka and traper hat were left slung over my tree.  I had an orange vest still as required by law that covered my sweat shirt and polar tech vest.  I began a slow and low creep to the center of the woods.  A location I have normally reserved for my bow stand.  A great high traffic are, where when yo arrive supper early you can catch the deer returning to their bedding.  
It was while standing a top a stump of a massive oak that had been harvested I made my first shot...though not at a deer.  I fired at a Coyote! Who became aware of my presence.  I made a clean kill...of an 1 1/2 wide sapling.  I now know why the deer were avoiding the area, as I seached and found its den...Ill be back and work a  varmint hunt to exact my revenge.

 Ohio, has a deer driving tradition.  Some agree with it, some do not.  Its not legal in some states, but is legal in Ohio.  Every year we drive deer.  As long you have a good comunication and posters, know how many drivers there are, and where they are, and what the safe shooting lanes are, drives are fun, and safe.  At about 1pm my good friend Gene made his way into my woods.  I joined him and the other man and we pushed our way to his adjacent woods where where we began pushing his woods to a waiting posters.  two deer came out, one went due west, eluding the posters, the other made her past me, where I got a shot off, but missed my mark in a safe lane...on a very large tree, lol, and she made her way then right to the rear gaurd and was taken.  that was it.
The drivers then went off to the North and began driving south.  I posted up in a creek on a open field leading to the woods.  A doe, my doe came running across the field.  She angled up and away after being fired at by another hunter.  I guessed she was at 100 yards to 120.  She slowed her speed and elected to take a shot, as moved at a speed far closer to a walk.  I took aim just behind her front left shoulder.  Squeezed the trigger and she summer saulted forward in a heep.  A NICE SHOOT came from my fiend Timmy, and then She put her head up, and was rocking like she was getting up.  I swung the lever forward and back chambering another round.  Rose to my feet took aim at the center of her neck and fired.  She fell to the ground where it was over.  The First deer with the Henry was taken.

(Caution this paragraph is desriptive about the bullet wounds)

Upon arriving at my doe, we could see that it was good I took her.  At some point, either the shot before mine, or earlier that day, a low shot had taken her front right foot off.  The next thing we saw was neck pass threw.  That bullet entered and took her main artery and passed out the other side leaving a fairly large exit.  The first shot, is the bullet you see above.  We looked at the entry and it crashed threw breaking two ribs, both lungs and made its way threw ribs and then oposit shoulder bone and bullet as you see it was laying on her, half in and half out of the exit.  The soft point did a fanstastic job.  The solid base drove and stayed in tacked.  The petal on the left is the only one protruding, three are folded back perfectly along the base and opened and collapsed back two look to have been floded across and over the folded back...maybe from "tumbling" on entry from the ribs or between more ribs and shoulder bone?  but by count only one pettal is off, and it was in the shoulder bone.
By any measure, my 98 football ref paces from firing point to impact is 100 yards.  The Winchester 240 grain jacketed soft point.  Listsed as good for black bear and deer, most certinly lived up to advertised ability.  
The Henry Rifle, fired and cycled perfectly, and I would strongly recomend this as a good factory amunition.  The Henry Rifle fired to my point of aim at 100 yards, straight and true with the standard sights and I was not wearing my glasses to being the front bead into perfect focus.  In time I will be using my glasses, and or adding a 1-4 leupold or Nightforce, to aid my aging eyes. 

This wildman, is Joe.  Joe maybe the number one deer slayer in this motly crew.
Joe and Buck 2015!