Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

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Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby justchecking2 » 27 Dec 2017 23

Finally, after three years, I harvested my first .45-70 deer with my Rio Grande a week ago during Ohio’s bonus gun season.

But first my R92 in .357 story.

I was looking to carry something lighter to the field, since we hunt on public land and I end up doing a fair bit of walking and scouting. I bought both the Rio Grande and R92 about the same time and slicked them both up using information on this site. I decided that morning (about 2-3 years ago) to carry the R92 to the field. I set up on the side of a ridge just before sun up. Just at sun up the wind switched where it was coming from my right. I thought ‘face into the wind’ and so turned my seat 90 degrees to the right. Not 2 minutes later I saw a doe at 25 yards walking straight toward me. I fired into the chest head on. I jumped up and cocked the action because the deer was running straight toward me. I shot again broadside from 5 feet straight into the left lung. The deer took a 90 degree turn to the right, ran down the hill, and stood wobbling next to a tree. I couldn’t help myself and so shot again. At 40 yards that bullet hit the spine and the doe dropped.

I recovered all three bullets and found the first two had mushroomed nicely. The first had gone in just above the heart and severed arteries. The second had gone through both lungs and stopped inside the hide on the right side. The third had hit the spine but stayed whole. I decided not to hunt with the .357 again because while the first two shots would be fatal the deer could have gone a ways and that could be problematic if it ran by another hunter or way down to the bottom of the valley.

The next year I had a chance to shoot the Rio Grande at a deer, but left the safety on. I like to make every mistake with a new gun at least once.

This year the state clear cut a large part of the valleys we hunt. During bow season after already harvesting a doe in another county, I walked up to one of the clear cuts with a 20 gauge shotgun squirrel hunting just to see what I could see. Out walks a huge 8 point buck about 40 yards from me. I video taped it with my iphone so I could show my buddies what I saw. The buck never saw me.

There was a stump there so I sat down on it and wondered how I would have stopped that buck to take a crossbow shot. I tried a ‘mrrrppp’ grunt with my mouth. It sounded pathetic! But a moment later I heard a ‘mrrrppp’ to my left. I looked, didn’t see anything, and thought my tinnitus was acting up. So I tried the grunt again, and again thought THAT was pathetic! I heard the ‘mrrrppp’ to my left again and wondered if I was hearing things. A moment later a small doe stepped out of the wood line and shook itself like a dog does after standing up. That doe walked across a corner of the clear cut, up the ridge to my left, and about 10 yards behind me over to the next valley. It never seemed to know I was there and I can’t recall the wind direction.

A week later I went back to that spot as my buddy was trying to fill his turkey tag; this was a week before gun season. A large doe stood up and ran out from the ridge below me, across the clear cut and into the woods on the valley on the far side. I stood there silhouetted on the ridge with cell phone in hand video taping. The deer calmed down, walked around the edge of the woods and up about where the first doe went. I stepped back onto the logging trail to get a picture when the doe walked onto the logging trail. I was sneaking along there trying to figure out where the doe was when suddenly she jumped over some brush and was walking right beside me. I froze with a stupid look on my face until the deer turned my direction, saw me, and had the SAME stupid look on her face! She turned and ran back down the hill the way she came.

During the regular gun season I carried the Rio Grande in another valley as two other hunters were already hunting that clear cut. I got one shot with the Rio at a standing deer from 20 yards which I missed. That was at.. a standing deer… at 20 yards… which I missed.

The first day of the two day bonus season was clear and cold. I decided to walk over to the clear cut without bundling up OR carrying my backpack just to see what I could see. After checking it out I was going to walk back to the car, bundle up, and go to a different spot.

I walked over to where I saw the deer before and got tired of standing and so sat down on a pile of dirt. I instantly regretted that since I did not have a hot seat with me and the dirt was damp and cold. I could hear leaves crunching and scratching close up and I kept looking for an hour and finally saw a squirrel at about 200+ yards in the woods on the other side of the clear cut. I could hear him perfectly which was surprising. The wind was gentle and directly in my face. It was about 8:30 then and I was about to get up when the squirrel took off running. It sounded like too much noise to be that squirrel so I waited a minute more and saw some deer running through the woods on the far side of the clear cut. They could have went left away from me or right toward me and I lost sight of them as they went right and into the creek area between the woods and clear cut.

A few minutes later there were deer up into the clear cut but mostly behind brush or the few standing trees. I was looking through my scope (a Burris 2-7x on 2x power) when a buck popped up and stood broad side at about 200 yards. I thought to myself that I always shoot high so I consciously aimed small just above the heart and pulled the trigger. I could tell by the way the buck turned and ran away down the hill that I hit it and a moment later heard a crash in the woods.

The Hornady 325 grain FTX LeverRevolution entered the right side and exited the left, through both lungs just above the heart. (I save the heart, it is excellent meat.) The exit hole was scarcely bigger than the entrance hole. I expected something different, possibly bigger.

When these rounds are gone I will switch exclusively to my own hand loaded Blackhorn 209 loads because the scope with the LeverRevolutions has cracked me too many times between the eyes. Had I thought about it I might have flinched, but fortunately buck fever was foremost.

You will notice that I have a Tacticam attached to my rifle. Unfortunately you can barely see the buck (just make out the tail and antlers) when I shoot because it was so far away. This was my first experience with the tacticam so immediately after I shot there is about 30 minutes of sky. Once I edit that out I will post on youtube.

A long story but it was 3 years in the making.
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby Ranch Dog » 28 Dec 2017 07

Congratulations on a great hunt! That is a fine looking buck! It is really good to see an RG being used in the field!
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby scrapman » 28 Dec 2017 08

nice job, love my rio grande. i hunt columbiana county, what county were you in?
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby justchecking2 » 28 Dec 2017 11

I shot that buck in Vinton County. May go to Cooper Hollow for muzzle loader. My buddy is still trying to fill his tag.
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby scrapman » 28 Dec 2017 12

ever try shawnee, lots of room. the public land around wolf run in noble county area used to be very good, especially late. good luck. avoid salt fork!
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby woden » 28 Dec 2017 15

Nice deer. Good job. Fun times.
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby akuser47 » 28 Dec 2017 17

Great deer +guns
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby pacificpt » 28 Dec 2017 23

That was at.. a standing deer… at 20 yards… which I missed.

Thanks for the recount of the hunts, including the great line above.
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby Moon Tree » 30 Dec 2017 12

Nice deer and a good story thanks for sharing.

But you forgot the mention the part about the tree falling on it's head knocking it unconscious while you snuck up and shot him. haha
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Re: Finally A Rio Grande Deer Hunting Success

Postby justchecking2 » 02 Jan 2018 00

My friend who WASN'T there claims I obviously missed the deer, hit the tree, and the tree fell over and cracked the deer in the head killing him.

Thanks for all the posts!
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