Western rifle


Aug 12, 2004
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Phillipston, MA
The 4 deer we have shot in MT have been 275, 125, 140, 75yds. Rangefinder is a must. Distances are VERY deceiving out there. The first morning out on our last trip there I got setup on a cranker of a mulie. Sitting position, frame of my pack as a rest, got real nice and steady. I was like yeah I can make this shot...then Wendy and I both ranged the deer...he was 525yds uphill. Neither of us could believe he was that far, it looked like he was right in front of us! I just couldn't justify shooting that far.


Apr 3, 2016
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I grew up in the west and I've hunted there a lot on leftover tags and OTC depending on where I was living. I've been building points for about 15 years pretty much all over where I could do points only (no CA or WA). I'm finally at a place with retirement and such where I can start pulling serious tags and feel OK about it financially. So I've gone full in everywhere (75 tags or so this year...35% total chance of drawing). My dad actually drew 2 tags this year with 15 or more points...a great CO mulie tag and a red desert antelope tag. With the economy heading where it is, I'm going to try and snag a cancellation dalls hunt.

Anyway, since I'm going to start pulling, I've been acquiring the rifles I always wanted for these hunts and working up loads. I thought about going custom or semi custom, but these are good enough for me. If anyone is curious, my main rifles depending on the hunt: M77II 6mm Remington, Cooper Backcountry 300 win mag, Weatherby Mark V TI in 257 bee. On a side note, the Mark V TI is way nicer than I thought it would be and very accurate. I can't stretch it out at all in this part of the world, but this fall I'm going to take it to where I grew up and play around at 6-700 yards with it. All have meopta or swaro glass. Mostly swaro. Again, I'm super impressed with that TI rifle and we have some nice guns. My brother's main gun is a 700 in 300 win mag with a trigger tech and some fancy lightweight stock. He's got a meopta or zeiss on it. My dad's is a 7mm remington mag Mark V with a zeiss or swaro. That one is on it's 3rd barrel. ha.

Others talked about long shots, etc. My longest shot on an animal was around 475 on a deer with a 308 pre 64 featherweight. It's not the distance that will get you...it's the wind drift. That just takes a lot of practice that would be hard to do in New England. It's just not windy enough and living close to a longer range isn't all that common. We have 8 inch gong targets hanging at various distances and can shoot up to 800 yards. We don't do the dial thing. 550 to 600 or so is about all our limit for ethical shooting on animals depending on the gun.

Also, if I didn't draw anything this year (which will probably be the case), I was going to chase Javelina with a HAM tag in an AZ unit I know well along the border. As of last week that's all different now for personal reasons, so I'm going to be archery hunting velvet whitetails for a week in the prairies and I might go back to the same area to rifle hunt with that tag (landowner's son). I looked up the average weather for the bow hunt and it will be about 75% humidity and 85 degrees in the evenings. Mornings will be 70 degrees and 90% humidity. Hopefully it's windy as the mosquitos should eat me alive. I'm still excited.

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