Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Button Bucks and Feeling like a Schmuck

The Michgan DNR puts out it's annual Hunting and Trapping guide, and it talks about deer identification. It essentially says that while it is perfectly legal to take a "button buck", you should avoid it so they can grow up and produce more deer. They also give tips on how to know the difference between a button buck and a doe. It has something to do with the buck having a shorter face than the doe.

As you can probably guess, I took a button buck this year, and I am feeling like a schmuck about it. My father-in-law and the next-door neighbor (both experienced hunters) are telling me that there was no way to tell, but it isn't helping me much. I feel like I have violated some unwritten rule and will be looked down upon by other hunters ("That's the guy that shot a button buck last year. Yeah, what a schmuck!") Somehow I now have the Scarlet "BB" branded on my camo.

Having pretty much only seen does in the eight years I have been hunting deer, I guess I didn't have anything to compare deer face lengths to. At least, not until now.

Oh well, it's still venison in the freezer. That's a good thing.

For those interested in this sort of thing: 295gr Powerbelt hollow point over 105gr Triple-7. 30 to 40 yards, double-lung, through and through. Scoped T/C Encore. Dropped where he stood.

One interesting technical note - I used a monopod shooting stick for the first time on this shot and found that I didn't like it too much. The adrenaline was pumping so hard that I was shaking like a leaf and was having a hard time keeping the crosshairs on target even with the stick. I think my lightened trigger helped me here as I didn't need much force to touch it off, so when the crosshairs were in the right spot I just gave a little twitch on the trigger and it went off.

I am certainly preferring a well-braced sitting or rested shot rather than the monopod. Maybe I should try a bipod shooting stick and see if those are any better.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Firearm Deer Season 2007

Well, this week marked the start of firearm deer season here in Michigan. So what was I doing on opening day? Sitting in my office! Yes, you're right - I'm likely not going to shoot any deer from my office, especially considering it's in the basement, and my employer is rabidly anti-firearm and anti-self-defense.

When these arrangements were originally made, I agreed to take the 2nd week of the season because the other guy who I back up with SQL Server administration tasks wanted to take the week to go visit his mom in Arkansas and spend Thanksgiving there (American, not Canadian Thanksgiving, for my readers in the land of the Maple Leaf). The boss likes to have one of us here at all times just in case something needs to be administered.

Today, I find out that the trip was cancelled, and that said co-worker will be working on his roof repair project all week, which he has been working on since the spring! Not a full roof re-do, mind you, just a small overhang on his front porch.

So here I sit, working and blogging, rather than being out in the woods freezing my backside off and hoping a deer decides to amble across the path. I did go out two Sundays ago and made sure my deer gun, a nice Thompson/Center Encore 209x50 muzzleloader, was properly sighted in, and it was putting those 295 grain hollowpoints right where I wanted them (as it usually does). I put a new trigger spring in it over the summer, which gives it a very light 2-1/4 pound trigger pull. My gear is washed with the soap that smells like dirt and leaves, and tonight I will be checking my fanny pack to see that all my "survival gear" is packed and in good condition. I may even go out and get my kill tags tonight if I have time.

But I won't get out into the woods until Wednesday. *sigh*

But at least I get to go out! And there are still Muzzleloader and late firearm seasons before the end of the year, so there are plenty more opportunities to go out. Perhaps I can find a place to blog in the evenings if there are any interesting stories to relate.