Video Special, Tuesday’s Take Your Best Shot: Rifle Season Rutting Whitetail


Scenario: Whitetail buck rutting in the timber below as a rifle hunter watches from a high bluff above.

Rifle: Bergara B-14, 6.5 Creedmoor

Range: 150 yards

Conditions: Sunny; 32 degrees; 10-mph wind, left to right

Rutting whitetail bucks can appear out of nowhere, but one thing is certain: Their caginess disappears when they smell estrus and find true love. This buck has just revealed himself after stepping out of thick cover for a whiff. Your rifle is resting on a bipod and steadier than the stares from Mount Rushmore.

Can you weave a bullet through the brush? Which shot option shown below do you think is best, A, B or C? Or would you wait for a better shot?


A. Finally, it’s a broadside shot, and you’re not quivering like a bowl of Jell-O. Still, you’re having second thoughts about those limbs in front of this buck. How far are they from the buck, and will they deflect the bullet? A high aim to break the buck’s back right above the shoulder might be the answer.

B. You can’t win. There’s another limb right over the buck’s lungs. It’s only one limb and close to the body, but now you’re thinking that moving the bullet further back into the lungs is a safe bet.

C. After all of this contemplation, you know you have to get your business done or get off the pot. This aim puts you right in the pocket. You’ll take out the lungs and maybe the top of the heart. Forget about the limb – it’s so close to the buck that any deflection will be minor.

Are you still indecisive? If so, wait for a better shot. That said, if you chose to shoot and picked anything but aiming option C, then you and I are in disagreement.

Watch the video below to see this buck buckle in a Hornady happy ending.

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