Written by Sierra Bullets Draftsman Curtis Schaffer
My 2015 deer season started in mid-September when I started cutting all the overgrowth and tree branches on our land. We had a really wet spring and summer so all the brush grew like crazy. Most of the shooting lanes from last year needed some major work, either trimming or removing branches. This would not normally take long, but this year we had an additional hunter with us. So I had to determine a good place and make a spot for my daughter’s boyfriend to hunt. This was a new area that we have not hunted so it did not have any shooting lanes cut. It was overlooking a bunch of cedar trees and I had been seeing does in the general area. Once I found a suitable tree for the ladder stand and got it set up, I climbed up and started out looking over the area, to see what I would want for shooting lanes and commenced to cutting and trimming.
Opening morning finally arrived; I didn’t sleep too good the night before (kind of like a kid on Christmas Eve). I kept waking up every hour or so waiting for the time to head out to the woods. Every one arrived at the house around 5 am Saturday morning and we all got our gear loaded into the truck and we headed out.
Once we arrived to our hunting area, we split up. My wife took our son and daughter-in-law to the blind they would be hunting out of and I took my daughter’s boyfriend to the tree stand I had set up for him.
The waiting for “legal shooting time” is the hardest for me because it is still dark. I didn’t sleep well during the night and a quick nap was tempting. But I managed to stay awake. I was scanning my area looking for movement when a doe walked out into one of my shooting lanes and stopped. At 6:30 AM the first deer of the season was harvested shooting a Remington 30-06 with Sierra’s 165 gr HPBT GameKing® #2140. Shortly after I got it field dressed and I got back into my blind I heard a shot to the west of me. I got a text from my daughter’s boyfriend saying he had a doe down. I told him I would be right over to help him. During the process of getting his deer field dressed my wife sends a text saying she has an 8-point buck down shooting a Ruger 7MM Mauser with Sierra’s 160 gr HPBT GameKing® #1925.
We finish with his deer and threw it on the front rack of the ATV along with mine and headed over to help my wife. Once we get hers loaded on the rear rack of the ATV we headed back to the truck. We got back to the truck and drove it back to my mother-in-laws house so we can get the deer hung and skinned. While we were skinning, my wife sends a text saying she has a doe down. So I hop back on the ATV and head back to help her again. We had a successful opening morning with 4 hanging by 10:30 AM. We went back after lunch but did not have much activity and called it a day at 4:30.
Sunday comes along and we go back out. With as much success we had on Saturday I was figuring we may be out of tags by noon on Sunday. The deer just were not moving for us Sunday. We stopped hunting around 11:30 and headed in for lunch. Monday I had to return to work but it was ok since we had a storm come in and it rained all day Monday and Tuesday. I didn’t really miss anything other than helping to cut meat.
I was able to take the rest of the week off and we didn’t see anything on Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon, just about the time we were to call it a day my wife gets her another doe. Friday morning we go back out and so far I have only had 1 shot with 1 hanging and I was losing interest. I was thinking about all the other stuff I really should be doing when all of a sudden I see movement in some heavy timber. I grabbed my rifle and start scanning the area with my scope and a buck pops his head out and I quickly count points (my county has a point restriction and bucks have to have a minimum of 4 points on 1 side to be legal). I only could see one side, but it had 4 points; with him being in heavy brush I was second guessing my count. Could one be a tree behind him? I got a better look and yes he was legal so I put the cross hairs on his spine as it was all I could see.
When I shot, I saw him go down. I sent a text to my wife telling her I had a deer down and I may need her help loading it. In my haste to go and see my trophy, I got turned around a little and I could not find him. I knew I had him on the ground but I could not find any blood. I called my wife and told her he was gone and could not find any trace of him. She told me to calm down and look back towards my blind to make sure I was in the right general area. I was about 50 yards to the north of him. I walked right to him once I figured out where I needed to be. My wife and I struggled getting him on the ATV and back to the house. I told her that I was going to make some European mounts with the two 8 point bucks we got.
A couple weeks later I found out I won 3rd place in the Sierra Bullet’s Big Buck Contest.
Pictured from left to right are Line 19 Toolsetter, Caleb Whitworth; Assistant Ballistician, Mitchell Demand; and Draftsman, Curtis Schaffer. All of the bucks were shot using Sierra bullets. Using the Boon and Crockett Club scoresheet Caleb’s deer scored 151 1/2, Mitchell’s buck scored 122 7/8, and Curtis’ buck scored 112 1/2.