I am particularly proud of this Muley as he and I crossed paths many times throughout the fall of 2011. I saw him many times while hunting antelope during the archery and rifle season. I was not able to hunt opening weekend of 2011 as I was with my wife who gave birth to our son a few days before the season opened.
The following weekend we were met with a Friday night blizzard that dropped several inches of snow across the high plains. After a discussion with my father in law there was no question about heading out following the storm. I loaded Tire chains, a shovel and tow strap into the pickup and we headed out.
The following morning there was a heavy fog that rolled in as we were putting the stalk on a heavy 5×5 cutting visibility to 20 yards. When the fog cleared, so had the buck and his does. We never saw him again.
Glassing a distant alfalfa patch the next day, I saw this buck bedded with two smaller bucks and several does in the afternoon sun. We parked and hiked down into the breaks, when we reached the top, the buck was still bedded, we crawled perhaps another 150 yards through the snow and sage below the crest of the hill and set up for a shot. After what seemed like an eternity the buck stood up to stretch. I had plenty of time to look at his heavy frame while we waited. As he turned broadside, I pressed the trigger on my .30-06. The 150 grain Barnes TTSX shattered the near shoulder on this heavy old buck putting him down for the count only a few steps from where he had been bedded.
Although I have other rifles, this .30-06 is special to me as I killed my first deer and antelope with it and knowing how special it is to me, Dad lets me take it out each fall even though I own my own rifles, that one feels like an old friend to me. This buck is my first mule deer buck, as I had drawn whitetail only tags in the past. I generally favor shoulder shots as they put the animal down immediately, Barnes bullets have never failed to do the job. My first Mule deer, book antelope and firstborn all came within a month of each other, it was a great 2011!
Both of these whitetails were taken with a 7mm Rem Mag and 140gr TTSX in South Dakota in 2010. The larger buck; Dad and I were hunting together on opening morning, the November wind was howling as we glassed the draw below us. After spotting several smaller bucks and does, this bruiser stepped out on the opposite side of the draw 310 yards out. As he paused to check the wind, I pressed the trigger and he tumbled down the hill out of sight. There wasn’t any ground shrinkage here and the cold wind was soon forgotten after a mile hike back to the vehicle and a steep drag up the hill!
I had seen this buck the week before while bowhunting, he originally had split G1′s on both sides however his left one was damaged during a fight with another buck. The wound visible on his left shoulder is a gore mark from a fight, nearly captured on a trail camera, we have photos of both bucks before the fight and the other buck afterward, which we realized when checking if this buck was the buck from another trail camera photo. The 140 TTSX shattered the big bucks near shoulder and exited the opposite side, passing through the vitals in the process.
The same 7mm Rem Mag and another 140 TTSX accounted for a 5×5 with matching stickers one week to the day before while I was hunting in different unit at a distance of 50 yards, high impact velocity at that distance (>3,100 fps) had no effect on the bullet and dropped the buck in his tracks.
My father in law and I spotted him over a mile away and crawled through 400 yards of sand-bur filled harvested winter wheat to get in position for a shot. The buck was bedded with two does in a small depression, we couldn’t see his body until we were within 50 yards. He stood up to get a better look at us and the Barnes bullet put him right back down!
That particular combo (7mm 140TTSX) has been effective for me on many deer and antelope from 50 yards to 420 yards, in each case full penetration was achieved and the bullet performed flawlessly.
My family only uses Barnes bullets on our hunts, we have enjoyed great sucess with them in every caliber we own. I know that if I do my job, Barnes bullets will always perform.