Scenario: Whitetail quartering away at the end of shooting light; hunter is elevated on a riverbank, but on the ground
Muzzleloader: CVA Accura .50 cal.
Range: 135 yards
Conditions: Cloudy; 22 degrees; breezy 10-mph wind, left to right
Sometimes you get lucky, and tonight is your night. We’re talking whitetail luck, not your love life. You picked the right riverbank to sit on to watch an interior trail leading to your Iowa food plot, which is brimming with sugar beets. This buck chose the same trail, and he’s on your hit list. The wind is picking up as a front moves in, promising snow. Only minutes are left of shooting light. Are you giving yourself the green light? Check out the three possible aiming points below and take your best shot.
A. “High and tight” is how you would describe this aiming point. It’s a neck shot and if done correctly you’ll save some meat. Allow about 4 inches for wind-drift, so aim a little left and see if you’re steady enough to send a Hornady on the right, tight path.
B. Take the wind out of the sails on this buck by smacking him high in the shoulder. He should buckle, but with this shot you also risk him gaining a foothold and scrambling for cover. Are you a speedy speed-loader? Do you remember the last time you tried to track after a heavy snow?
C. Place the reticle here and with the wind-drift your bullet will enter the back of the near lung. The 250-grain projectile will drive into the far lung, and this buck will lose his air faster than a Michelin driven over a police puncture strip.
Made up your mind? I have – leave the debating to the rookies who don’t hunt. You have only one real option here and it’s C. Light the fire before shooting light ends and send your bullet home. Now turn on your headlamp for the recovery.
Image by Mark Kayser