Hot & Dusty Deer Hunt III

Several days into our deer hunt we had seen a few deer and conducted some exciting but unsuccessful stalks.  That morning I had performed a most enjoyable stalk, across largely open, flat country, but my quarry had been alarmed by a Bustard and taken off into cover.

Kathy and I returned to that area in the late afternoon and set off to flush the deer from the cover they had spent the day in.

 

Bergara BA13 243 Winchester

My usual hunting rifle is a 257 Weatherby Magnum.  However, with expectations of getting a reasonably close shot, I took out the Bergara BA13 on its first hunt.  I am reviewing this rifle for the SSAA magazine and so far my testing has been range work.  After a little perseverance, I found a load for the 85 grain Nosler Partition that the rifle liked.

With a muzzle velocity of about 3,070 fps from the stubby 20 inch barrel, I could not have been happier.  I am a great fan of Nosler’s Accubonds, Partitions and Ballistic Tips for hunting.

I do not normally carry a loaded rifle.  However, with the prospect of a quick shot, it made sense to have a round in the chamber.  Also, I was quite happy with the safety provided by the Bergara’s cocking hammer.  With a flick of my thumb, I could cock the rifle when needed.  Kathy stayed close, and slightly behind me.

We had only walked a few hundred metres from the vehicle when about a hundred metres ahead of us the spiker and doe broke cover.  The stag slid straight under the barbed wire fence and kept going, fast.  The doe, however, hesitated and stopped to look back at us.

I had already taken a lean on the closest tree and as soon as she paused I squeezed the trigger.  The 85 grain Nosler did everything expected of it and the doe flopped over.  We positioned the doe for butchering and then had a big drink of water.  The afternoon was hot and only experienced hunters would know how intense a stalk can be.

There was a vehicle track the other side of the fence, so we walked back to the car and brought it through the gate and close to where the doe was lying.  Our timing was good.  The sun was less than half an hour from setting.  The sun was sliding below the horizon as we completed the bagging of the broken-down carcass.

By the time we got the meat to the car and drove back to the homestead it was already dark.  We got the meat into the chiller room and then enjoyed a relaxed evening.  The next day would be our last before we needed to head for home.  We would try some other options on our last day.

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