13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Share your tales (tall or otherwise) of hunting adventures.

Moderators: Kirk, Lucinda

Post Reply
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:38 am
Location: Texas Hill Country

13 Point Michigan Whitetail, .45/70 PP

Post by spqr476 »

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!



Posts: 1885
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:33 pm
Location: Woodlawn,Texas

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

Post by rdnck »

It's hard not to like that. Great deer and well written story. Congratulations all around. Shoot straight, rdnck.
Chairman, Phd
Caddo Lake Chapter
Charter Member FBASS

Charter Member OGANT
Posts: 8282
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Not Far enough NW in Illinois

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

Post by Kurt »

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.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery"Winston Churchill
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:00 pm
Location: Utah

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

Post by bigjeepman »

Great write up on a great hunt ... congratulations!
Posts: 2250
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:16 pm
Location: Colorado

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

Post by pete »

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.
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2002 7:38 pm
Location: Hill Country, TX

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

Post by Clarence »

Great deer!

D. Taylor Sapergia
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:34 pm
Location: Prince George, British Columbia

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

Post by D. Taylor Sapergia »

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.
Posts: 1539
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 2:37 pm
Location: WA, dry side

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

Post by Gussy »

Nice buck!! Quite a thick rack. I've only seen one or two like that around here.
Randy Bohannon
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:00 pm
Location: Buffalo WY

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

Post by Randy Bohannon »

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