PEAX Equipment

Daughter’s 2023 Muzzleloader hunt

D_Walt

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Joined
Apr 15, 2020
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671
My daughter was lucky enough to draw both a buck tag and an elk tag for the Colorado Muzzleloader season in the “kids draw”. She is 16 going on 17 next month and already has a few mountain hunts under her belt. Due to school commitments we weren’t able to get to her unit until Wednesday morning, we got camp set up and headed up the hill for an evening hunt.

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Not much action on Wednesday evening, we saw a herd of elk that was too far off to make a play on and a few small bucks. A few bucks and two legal bulls seen on Thursday morning, just couldn’t get to them before they got to the timber.

Thursday evening in the cold drizzle we saw a really nice buck way up on the step mountainside, she said “let’s go”! After a grueling 1200 vertical feet, I thought we were in perfect position as the group of bucks fed right towards us, then about 20 minutes before dark they bedded down 200 yard from us - where they bedded left no option for us to get closer. Darkness came and we headed down the extremely steep slope cold and soaked to the bone.
 
Friday morning it was raining but we headed to the back of the drainage, the “honey hole” where I have killed several bucks and bulls over the years and where she killed a bull last year in first rifle season.
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Cold rain and fog set in, we dropped below the cloud line but visibility was poor, the rain got harder and we decided to hike out and have a hot lunch at camp with mom.

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As soon as we got back to the truck the rain set in for real and Friday evening was a rainout.
 
Saturday morning was very foggy in camp, but we headed up the road to them same place we had been close on the bucks Thursday evening. The fog cleared around 10,500’ and we set up to glass. Within 5 minutes we had several groups of bucks sighted. We headed up the hill as more fog was coming up the valley.


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The fog was going in and out, we lost sight of most of the deer, and one group of them had gotten to an area that was too sketchy for us to get to. We sat down and glassed for a while, Izzy glassed below us when the fog broke and saw a group of bucks feeding out of a patch of aspens. She said “I would shoot that one!”

We started our stalk and got above them, closed to 200 yards where everything was wide open between us and she got set up. She been practicing with this rifle out to 200 yards and with the peep sight set up on it she has been consistently shooting 3” groups at 200. The buck turned perfectly broadside at 203 yards, she said she was rock solid, so I said to shoot. At the shot he did a textbook heart shot hop and ran down into the aspens. Easy blood trail. My wife had watched the whole thing through the spotter so she grabbed a frame pack and started our direction.
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With the three of us it made for an easy pack out.IMG_9768.jpegIMG_9798.jpeg
We made one last effort for elk Saturday evening, found the herd bull but they were too far to get to before dark. It was a great short trip with lots of memories made. I have a rifle tag for first season elk in the same unit next month, hopefully I can catch up to him then.
 
Wow I need a newer, fancier muzzleloader! 😳

Congrats to all! beautiful deer in beautiful country! Nice shootin, Izzy.
 
3” group at 200 with a peep is doing great work with young eyes- and it paid off! Awesome trip, congrats
Yes, it is a very accurate rifle (when scoped it is astonishingly accurate). It’s also not like I handed a novice teenage shooter a muzzleloader and said shoot the deer at 200 yards. She shoots a few hundred .243 & 7-08 rounds every year and burned through a full jug of BH209 over labor day weekend shooting this load (120 grains BH209 & 300 grain .502 Thor bullet) between 100 and 200 yards marking trajectory and correct holds for every 10 yards past 130. She knew to hold 3.5” high in the bottom mark of the peep sight to be dead on at the distance she was shooting. There is no substitute for practice in my opinion - it pays off, especially with kids!
 
Yes, it is a very accurate rifle (when scoped it is astonishingly accurate). It’s also not like I handed a novice teenage shooter a muzzleloader and said shoot the deer at 200 yards. She shoots a few hundred .243 & 7-08 rounds every year and burned through a full jug of BH209 over labor day weekend shooting this load (120 grains BH209 & 300 grain .502 Thor bullet) between 100 and 200 yards marking trajectory and correct holds for every 10 yards past 130. She knew to hold 3.5” high in the bottom mark of the peep sight to be dead on at the distance she was shooting. There is no substitute for practice in my opinion - it pays off, especially with kids!
Spent some time with my 14 year old practicing with a Colorado legal muzzleloader and while we made good progress, we are way behind that level of proficiency! Hats off to you and her.
 

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