This post will be a little long but wanted to add a little on the .223 saga. First to this mornings hunt. I have been saving a small tract of land around Atmore to hunt. This week is typically a great time on this tract if left totally unmolested prior to now. It is very easy to pressure the deer off. It is also in an urban area(legal to hunt with firearms though), so I grabbed my .223 single shot this morning to keep the noise to a minimum. Also, a very tight area and easy to swing the short barrel around in the trees. Shots are typically short, so I have always shot for the neck with the .223. By daylight, I can see at least 10 scrapes around the small foodplot/ pines that I have stand near, so I know the chances are good. About 6:30 the woods come alive and two bucks are chasing a doe all around me. One is a spike I know and I cant get a good look at the other one, but I see forks. I have pictures of two very good bucks from prior to the season, and hope it is one of them. He hits a small opening trotting and I get the crosshairs on his neck so I squeeze off. He runs by my stand and his left front leg is up. Crap! I think I am about to suffer the fate of the small caliber body shot that I myself have preached about on this very forum! I watch the deer and see him fall about 20 yards from my stand. OK, that worked better than I thought. I climb down, no deer. Back out for an hour or so, so not to puch him off the property. Start looking where I saw him fall and find nothing. Back to ground zero and find the hair and blood where I shot him. Find a few drops of blood along the trail, not alot, but enough to follow. I see a huge wad of hair on a pine tree where the deer slammed into it and scraped the privet beside it with its antlers as it fell. I am feeling better, as I do not believe a deer would hit a tree unless the end is near. Track another 50 yards and find the deer. Not the one I wanted, but happy as I can be with it. The shot was slightly behind the neck as the deer was trotting and I had to make a quick shot. Warning there is a graphic pic of the wound. The bullet did exit the deer and jellied the lungs. My son used the same rifle to kill a couple small does earlier this season. Both dropped within 20 yards, but weighed only 60 or 80 pounds each. Also included is a pic of my sons first buck killed over Christmas with the same rifle. The deer (160lbs or so) was standing in a food plot at around 100 yards. I almost panic when I see him, the does went down quick with body shots, but this is a good sized buck with big muscular shoulders. I am scared we are about to lose the first buck he has had a shot at due to the small caliber rifle. He quartered slightly to us and I instructed him to hit him high in the shoulder, held my breath, and said a quick prayer. He hit him right where I asked and dropped the deer, but he had to be finished off with a knife(gash behind the shoulder). No exit and no blood what so ever. This one would have been tough to find if he left the plot. The scull mount I made for him as one of his Christmas presents. So, in conclusion, the .223 has worked for us this year. All were killed using remington corelocts. Still probably not going to take it to the delta with me when I can take my 30-06, but gaining confidence in it.
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