HOW TO : Tuesday’s Take Your Best Shot: Rutting Whitetail

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Tuesday’s Take Your Best Shot: Rutting Whitetail

Mark Kayser

2 hours ago


Scenario: Rutting whitetail walking in timber toward still-hunter

Rifle: Bergara B-14 in 6.5 Creedmoor

Range: 80 yards

Conditions: Sunny; 18 degrees; 10-mph wind, left to right

The advertisements are true! You’ve been slipping through the woods all morning, grunting on your deer call when suddenly this buck walks out of the shadows right at you. He’s looking for love or to rumble. You don’t want either, but is now the time to stop this testosterone-charged Romeo? Check out the possible aiming points A, B or C shown below, then take your best shot.

  1. A. It’s time to think about the advertisements again. The Hornady ELD-X bullet you’re about to launch gets rave reviews for long-range performance, but you might be sending it on an in-your-face mission. This shot is doable, and the opening you have will create a wound channel to save you from deer abuse. And yes, you remember the bullet works equally well at close-range. Keep this option open.
  2. B. Your father always promoted to take the best shot to save the tastiest chunks of venison. A high shoulder shot will do the trick. You’ll break down this buck, save a steak, but you might need a backup shot.
  3. C. Are you having second thoughts on shot option A? Moving the aiming point a bit further back could alleviate worries. Or, could it create even more anxiety? This shot will likely miss the majority of the vital zone. Yes, it likely will end in the death of the buck, but will it be later than sooner?

Put advertising hype and all options aside because the choice is clear: aiming point A. You may encounter a bit of bone, but modern bullets have the reliability to break bone and keep chugging along to get the job done. After the shot you’ll also have a job, it’s called gutting a deer.

Image by Mark Kayser