13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

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spqr476
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:38 am
Location: Texas Hill Country

13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by spqr476 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:40 am

This past week, I had an amazing opportunity to hunt Northern Michigan whitetails with some of the most knowledgeable conservation officers in the state, on an amazing ranch. I consider myself a pretty experienced whitetail hunter, but I learned a lot from these guys. It’s a fenced operation, but it’s 850+ acres of hardwoods, evergreens, and cedar swamps, and with some heavy rain, sleet, and front movement clashing with the peak of the rut here, it was not an easy hunt by any stretch. All the big boys were working does hard, and nothing was standing still except the smaller bucks and yearlings. I had a couple opportunities on nice deer, but they were past 150 and on deer that were moving fast after does and zigging and zagging through cover, so I didn’t take those shots that early, although I feared I might regret that. I am fairly comfortable out to 225 or so with this gun and load, but they were continuously moving back and forth in range as well as laterally, which made it fairly dicey. On my third day on the ranch, this guy came into view working a scrape line and gave me a brief opportunity almost directly head on—just slightly quartering—at about 70 yards. As little as these guys had been holding still, I took the shot.

Rifle was my .45-70 Shiloh. Load was a 518gr dry paper patched 30:1 bullet from an accurate mold over 75gr of Old E FFg, with a couple of card wads sandwiching a 3/16” cookie of my own recipe. Paper was waterproofed a bit with bullet lube since I was expecting wet weather. Muzzle velocity is 1250fps.

Bullet hit inside the point of the left front shoulder, took out one lung, part of the liver, and exited the lower portion of the right ham. Complete penetration from stem to stern of a 205lb whitetail. He ran into the tree line, showing obvious signs of being hit. We gave it about 15 minutes and went to collect—we thought. After following the bloodtrail about 80 yards or so into a dense swamp, I came face to face with this deer at 10 yards, staring straight at me out of an evergreen thicket, and STANDING. Old boy was so juiced up because of the rut that he was still up, and MAD. Took me a second to even register, and the guide said, “Is that even the same deer?!” since it would be unbelievable for him to still be standing. After what was probably just a second or two, but what seemed like an eternity, I saw that split tine on his left side and knew it was my guy. As I cocked and raised the rifle, he started turning and I put a second round into his chest roughly broadside, and he staggered and slowed but didn’t stop. I quickly had another one in the pipe and a third round into him, which probably wasn’t necessary, but he was still standing, so I was still shooting. Finally, this magnificent animal had enough and down he went.

This is my biggest whitetail ever, and the way it all went down will make it one of the most memorable hunts of my life. The guide had never seen anything like it, either, and we talked about how crazy the whole thing was for hours afterwards. This deer was scarred and cut, his antlers were rounded and chipped from rubbing and fighting, and the opportunity to view all of the rut activity I saw and harvest this animal is one I will never forget, made even more memorable by using a sharps, with bullets I cast, patched, and loaded.

I want to give thanks to this forum, and especially to rdnck, who has given me a lot of pointers on load development and using barrel sights that have all worked out exceedingly well!


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rdnck
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by rdnck » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:08 pm

It's hard not to like that. Great deer and well written story. Congratulations all around. Shoot straight, rdnck.
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Kurt
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by Kurt » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:00 pm

I have seen guys like him up in the UP Mi but like you in that heavy dark timber never got a good sight on them.
It's been since the late 80's since I hunted up there because of the Wolfs thinning the population.
Good Show and report. Thank you.......Kurt
The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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bigjeepman
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by bigjeepman » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:33 pm

Great write up on a great hunt ... congratulations!

pete
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by pete » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:51 am

Congratulations. He's not only big but has loads of character. Hunting with a Sharps..or a rollingblock etc. is something special itself and if you get something big or small, male or female all the better.

Clarence
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by Clarence » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:52 pm

Great deer!

Clarence

D. Taylor Sapergia
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by D. Taylor Sapergia » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:18 pm

Thanks for submitting this great story about your memorable hunt. That you were able to fire three shots without blowing or cleaning is encouraging to we who have yet to use paper patched ammo for hunting.

Gussy
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by Gussy » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:24 pm

Nice buck!! Quite a thick rack. I've only seen one or two like that around here.

Randy Bohannon
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Re: 13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by Randy Bohannon » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:53 pm

I love happy endings. Congrats on a fine hunt and deer.

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