One of my highest priorities for this off season is to redevelop a hunting load for my wife to use this be year. After the snafu with her buck last season, I knew a change needed to happen. I never want to have an experience like that again, and a simple change in bullet selection will go a long way in helping that.
Each of the rifle kills we had last year were with my .257wby using copper bullets going Weatherby fast. That load has killed several truck loads of game for me, all of the shots were placed precisely, and many of them were at long ranges. It's performed very well for me, and I'm a little sad to go away from it. (This was the first rifle I started loading for, and it holds a special sentimental place in my heart.)
Now, I know everyone cries shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. "If you put the bullet where it counts it doesn't matter what bullet you use." Well, duh. That's obviously true, but in real life, not all shots are perfect. After doing the autopsy on my wife's buck, and seeing hits to vital organs not kill the animal, I deciding a change was needed. She hit the buck as he was quartered away through the top of the liver, diaphragm and nicked the back of the far side lung. Obviously the placement was not ideal, but I'm very confident a fragmenting lead bullet would have given a much different result.
I could continue down the rabbit trail further, but I think the other sections of this forum cover this topic far better than I am willing to go here.
All that said, I've been working hard to stack the deck in our favor, and have all of my equipment dialed in and keep our skills polished. Reloading is one of the excuses I use to convince my wife that I "need" to go shooting. I also bought a new rifle "for her to practice with."
I have several of these savages Cabela's likes to give away for a few dollars, and after trying to avoid the 6.5cm craze, I broke down and bought one.... But remember, it's for my wife
I think I have a couple loads I can start working with.
6.5cm 147elms RL26 12rd velocity test.
Same load, 30 minutes between shots.
The new .257wby load should be a wrecker too, just not as meat friendly as the old one.
Over the next few weeks I'll get out early before work to make sure everything is dialed in, predictable, and functioning properly. I'll also start my wife on a more robust training regimen to get her ready for the fall. After all, preparation is the best way to increase the chance you'll find luck.
I had some time today after church so I decided to go walk a piece of public land that I’ve been wanting to hit.
100+ degrees and humidity is not fun....
Found this guy....
Snakes, banana spiders, and sweat.... but it was totally worth it. I was able to get about 4 hours of hiking in and was able to piece together some areas that may help me narrow down on this big old Florida buck!
I need to get some cameras out soon so I can catch them growing.