Scenario: Mule deer walking away from rifle hunter on a steep slope
Rifle/ammo: Bergara B-14 bolt action in .300 Win. Mag.; Hornady Precision Hunter ammo
Range: 175 yards
Conditions: Cloudy, 30 degrees, calm wind
Elvis is leaving the building, and if you want to crown this South Dakota muley king, you need to act fast. With a laser-confirmed distance and your rifle steady on a bipod, you’re in the driver’s seat. Fortunately, your 200-grain load will shoot flat enough to forget about trajectory, but what about this buck’s exit pace? Check out the possible aiming points A, B or C shown below, then take your best shot.
A. You have the power of the .300 Win. Mag. in your hands, and it’s like Thor’s hammer. Nudge your reticle a smidgeon ahead and pull the trigger if you want to see a sudden stop to this buck’s strut.
B. Pull the plug now and send a bullet right into the hard drive of this buck. Again, pull ahead slightly to take account of the sluggish pace of this buck, but a bullet here will bring an end to Elvis’ reign for sure. Stay alert because any turn uphill will make this shot undoable.
C. Short circuit the motherboard of this buck by hammering him in the central nervous system. Lead a bit, stay on hair and then send this bullet into action where bones and circuitry join.
Made up your mind? I have – option B is the clear choice here, as long as the buck gives you this window into the vital zone. If he strays uphill, then it’s a no-go shot. It he turns downhill, then the door is wide open for an even better vital-zone opening. It will be time to sing “Love me tender” . . . loins.
Image by Mark Kayser