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Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Your screen name
« on: November 04, 2022, 09:47:49 AM »
There's a hidden story on most of our internet screen names.

Reading a comment by pr-diesel-doc on another thread where he called me Buffy got me thinking about this.  Here at home none of my friends, or anyone else, calls me Buffy.  So why am I called that on these Forums?

I've had a Golden Retriever almost constantly since the mid '70s.  Each one has been an almost constant companion.

Back in the early 2000's when I got my first computer, I needed a computer name.  I heard somewhere that I shouldn't use my real name, so I decided to use the name of my Golden Retriever that I had then.  When we got lher she was like a little furry bear cub, so we named her Buffy bear, and I made my computer name buffybr after her.

I had her for 14 1/2 years and she accompanied on many hunts:

What's the story on your computer name?

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / 2022 Antelope
« on: November 03, 2022, 11:33:36 AM »
After a discouraging opening day on an eastern Montana Block Management ranch that I had hunted numerous previous years, I completely changed areas and finally got a little meat for the freezer from some BLM land.

Here's the beautiful eastern Montana sunrise on my third morning,

The first hour of glassing wasn't very promising with only seeing a few distant does.  Then as I was driving out to the county road I saw a small herd with at least one buck in it going over a hill about 1/2 mile from me.

I stalked to 258 yards from them and as I was tying my hunting partner to a sage brush, a couple of does saw us and got the whole herd running.  I normally don't take a running shot, but I felt comfortable on my shooting sticks, led one of the bucks, and heard the WACK of my bullet hitting him. 

He slowed to the back of the herd and they all disappeared around another hill a half mile away. 

When I got around that hill all I could see was miles of open prairie.  I knew they didn't run to my left, so I went to the right and hadn't gone 200 yards when he jumped up, ran a few yards and looked back.  My next shot folded him.

This was my first hunt with this pair of trigger sticks and I forgot that I had a camera attachment for them, so I just got this pic of him and my hunting partner, Zoe.

On the walk back to my truck to get my game carrier, Zoe flushed 3 bunches of Prairie Chickens.  Luckily, I didn't have my shotgun as they're fun to shoot but taste terrible.

I have a homemade one wheel game carrier and luckily the 1 1/2 mile pack out was pretty flat, and a cold Coors Light shure tasted good when we got back to my truck.

In 1978 I put a Mauser Mark X barreled action chambered in .257 Ackley Improved in a Fajen stock blank for my deer and antelope rifle.  A few years ago I put a Leupold VX 3 4.5-14x40 scope with their B&C reticle on this rifle.  Over the years, this rifle and my 117 gr Sierra GameKing handloads have put many deer, antelope, sheep, and elk in my freezer and on my Trophy Room walls.

Rifles / My Hunting Rifles
« on: December 11, 2021, 11:52:40 AM »
I didn't grow up in a hunting or shooting family.  Although my Dad gave me a single shot bolt action .22 rifle when I was 10 and he took me to a local indoor gun range to learn how to shoot it, it wasn't until I was in college in the mid '60s that I really got into guns and hunting.

My 2nd year of college I roomed with some guys from northwest Colorado who had grown up shooting and hunting.  My first fall with them, one of them took me to his Dad's hunting camp and I killed my first deer, a spike muley, with a borrowed Win .32 Special.  The next year he took me back to that camp and I killed my first elk, a 5x5 bull with a borrowed .30-40 Krag.  And I was hooked!

The next year I had a summer job with the US Forest Service in Steamboat Springs, CO and I asked that I worked with, who had grown up shooting and hunting there, what rifle I should buy for deer and elk hunting.  They both said to get a bolt action in either a .270 Win or .30-06.  So, I bought a .30-06 barreled action and semi inleted stock from Herter's and I had my first centerfire rifle.

That year I was also rooming with a guy in Steamboat who reloaded for his only hunting rifle, a .257 Roberts.  So, I bought some basic reloading equipment from Herter's and started reloading.

Back then we didn't have anywhere near the reloading choices that we have now, so I just found the most accurate 150 grain bullet for deer (Hornady Spire Point), and the most accurate 180 grain bullet for elk (Sierra GameKing) in my rifle and went hunting.  Back then the Colorado deer and elk seasons were concurrent, and I quickly found out that if put the bullet into the right place, either bullet would easily kill a deer or elk.

Jump ahead 10 years and I had served 3 years in the Army, with a tour in Vietnam, graduated from college, got married, and had a full-time job with the Forest Service in northwest Montana.  My next-door neighbor quickly became my best friend and hunting partner.  He had a 7 mm Rem for elk (and later moose) and a .243 for deer and varmints.  He also had a .30 Gibbs case that he gave me and after carrying it in my pocket for a couple of months, I decided that I had to have my .30-06 re-chambered to .30 Gibbs.

I then had Les Bauska in Kalispell rechamber my -06 to .30 Gibbs, and at the same time I had him rechamber a .25-06 barreled action that I had bought to .257 Ackley, and for him to build a .22-250 barreled action for me.  I then thought that I had a pretty good battery of rifles for Montana (or North American) hunting:  my .30 Gibbs for elk (and later moose), my .257 Ackley for deer and antelope (and later elk, sheep, and varmints), and my .22-250 for varmints (and deer and antelope).

Over the years I also got into black powder shooting, both pistols and rifles, and shot my best mule deer buck, 30" spread and trash, with a .45 Caliber CVA Kentucky rifle that I built, and a buffalo with a Green River .54 caliber Hawken rifle that I built.  I also got into shotgun shooting to the point that I was competing at the State level in both Trap and Skeet where I have reloaded about 300,000 shotgun shells and have been making my own shot for 35 years or more. 

I have also picked up enough other rifles and pistols that I can barely get them all into my safe.  For the past 40+ years I turned a spare bedroom into my reloading room where I am set up to reload 4 shotgun gauges, 11 rifle cartridges, and 6 pistol cartridges.

When I went on my first hunt in Africa I was in the middle of a very nasty divorce where I couldn't use any of my own rifles, so I borrowed a 7 mm RM from one of the guys that I went with and the most accurate bullets that he had loaded for it were 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips.  The guides and outfitter said those bullets were too light and would blow up on impact, but with proper bullet placement I made one shot kills on my Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, Gemsbok, and a few other animals.

A few years later I bought a .375 RUM for an African Cape Buffalo hunt.  I ended up taking that rifle on two African hunts, one with 300 grain Barnes bullets and the other with 270 grain Barnes bullets.  Again, with proper bullet placement, those bullets made one shot kills on a wide variety of animals from a 25-pound Steenbok to a 1800-pound buffalo.

After more than 50 years of wanting a Weatherby rifle, about 10 years ago I finally bought one, a Vanguard in .300 Wby.  Being a rifle tinkerer, before I first shot that rifle, I replaced the factory stock with a AA Fancy semi inleted blank that I shaped, finished, and checkered.  I also pillar and glass bedded the action and barrel and free floated the barrel.  I had a KDF brake put on it, I put a recoil reducer in the stock, and I replaced the factory trigger with a Timney.  It immediately became my favorite rifle.

I liked that Vanguard rifle so much that I bought two more Vanguards, this time in Stainless Steel with Griptonite stocks, one in .308 Win and the other in .223 Rem.  I lengthened both of these stocks 1/2", put Limbsaver pads on them, and glass and pillar bedded the actions and free floated the barrels, gave the stocks a spider web paint job.  I have Leupold CDS scopes on all 3 of these rifles, and the .308 and .223 are my weekly "go to the range" plinking rifles at the steel gongs out to 430 yards.

My whole purpose of this rant is that just about every time I get on a hunting forum, I see posts where the poster is asking what rifle, caliber, cartridge, or bullet to hunt mainly deer, but also many other animals or in other places.   Questions are good, that's how we learn.  But the most important factor in hunting is that the hunter is completely confident and comfortable with their rifle that they can put their bullet in the right place.  This only comes with proper gun fit and many, many bullets down range.

My 7 main hunting rifles are all in the 9-10 pound weight range, all have the same length of pull and physical feel, and all have the same or very similar scopes.  I go to the range throughout the year and just about every week that I am home.  On each trip I try to shoot at least 10 shots from field positions with each rifle that I brought, shooting at the steel gongs from 200 to 430 yards.  A month or two before a hunt, the rifle that I will be hunting with is one of the rifles that I will practice with.

Other Big Game / Alaska Brown Bear
« on: September 20, 2021, 01:29:19 PM »
I just got home from my Alaska Brown Bear hunt.  I hunted with Master Guide Bob Couey in his camp outside of Iliamna.  I flew out of Bozeman at 8 AM on Sept 4th, changed planes in Seattle then on to Anchorage, then took a taxi to Merrill Field where I met Bob and we flew to Iliamna, and then a Super Cub to his camp., which was two pup tents tucked in next to an alder patch.

The next morning I was legal to hunt, and while we were fixing breakfast, Bob spotted a bear walking across a flat about a mile west of camp.  We quickly grabbed our guns and packs and started after him.  We got to about a quarter mile from where we last saw him and he was nowhere in sight, so Bob suggested that we go back to camp where we had some elevation to look for him, and have some breakfast.

We no sooner got back to camp and we spotted him again, so back to the stalk.  This time we got to about 200 yards from him.  He wasn't the biggest bear in the unit, but with his dark brown legs and his long blond back hair, he was my Grizzly bear dream color.

I was hunting with my .375 RUM with my 281 grain Hammer Hunter handloads and I heard the loud WHAP that my first bullet made when it hit him, and he fell down.  But then he got up and started running and Bob said to keep shooting until he didn't get up, so I did.  His final resting place was about 10 yards from a 40' drop off into a waist deep river, and a hunt that I had been dreaming about for over 50 years was over.

The picture taking, skinning, and packing got us back to camp by 3 PM for a very late breakfast...with a celebratory Coors Light.

The next morning Bob finished skinning out my bear's skull and got his hide salted and the clouds started building up in the West.  Bob brought up the weather forecast and it showed the next few days with up to 93% rain.  Bob was able to text the Super Cub pilot and he was able to get us back to Iliamna that day, but too late for the plane back to Anchorage, so we spent the night at a friends "lodge" where we had homemade pizza and fresh wild blueberry pie, and a warm, dry bed.

The next day we flew back to Anchorage and to Bob's house, where we spent a couple of nights.  Bob finished fleshing my bear hide and heavily salted it, and we let it cure overnight before taking to the F&G office to have it sealed.  We then went to a couple of local sporting goods stores where we both bought a 3 weight fly rod and reel, I bought an Alaska 7 day fishing license, and the next day we drove 180 miles north to Alaska's Lake Louise where Bob had a cabin.

 We then spent several days putting our new 3 wt fly rods to use on the creek next to his cabin where I had fun catching well over 100 Graylings.  We also enjoying exploring and portaging Bob's canoe on 3 lakes and a section of the creek by his cabin, and me eating handfuls of sweet wild blueberries.

 My Alaskan trip came to a close last Thursday and I left the beautiful tundra, lakes, streams, and glaciers for the smoky skies of Montana.

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Stock Checkering
« on: January 18, 2019, 01:33:19 PM »
So not to further highjack PAbuckhunter's thread "Checkering a Rifle Stock," and in response to the kind comments on the pics that I posted of my .375 RUM stock checkering, Here's some pics of the Fancy walnut stock that I finished and checkered for my .300 Weatherby Vanguard.  This is the same pattern that I put on my .375 RUM, .257 Ackley, and .22-250.  Look closely on the first pic, there are about 75 elk in the field under the forearm.  8)

Rifles / New Vanguard in .308 Win
« on: January 19, 2017, 02:35:21 PM »
I've been wanting to replace my 98 Mauser .308 Win "plinking gun" for a while, and just before Christmas I found a Vanguard on Gunbroker for a decent price, so I ordered it.  Its a S2 with a 24" stainless barrel and action, in a Griptonite stock.

It was waiting for me at my friends sporting goods store when I got home from the Christmas holidays.  Looking it over at home, I liked the feel on the Griptonite inserts on the forearm and pistol grip, and I especially like the palm swell on the right side of the pistol grip.  The 13 1/2" length of pull is 1/2" too short for me, so I ordered a new Limbsaver 1" pad for it, and I will also have to get a 1/2" spacer.

I like a free floating barrel, and on this rifle, I noticed that the stock touched the sides of the barrel in 4 places.  A few minutes with medium then fine sandpaper opened both sides of the barrel channel.  For now, I left the pressure point at the front of the stock in tact.  The action/stock fit looked good, so I'll wait to see how it shoots before I pillar bed or do anything else to the action fit.

Looking over the barrel and action, the first thing that I noticed was the stamped steel safety.  It looks and feels "cheap".  It is definitely below the quality of the safety on the Vanguard that I bought seven years ago.  I then noticed the "USE ONLY .308 WIN." Deeply stamped into the back of the barrel, and "MADE IN JAPAN" deeply stamped into the other side of the action.  IMHO these two stampings just make the rifle look cheap.

The two stage trigger breaks cleanly at 3 1/2 pounds which is a little heavier that I like, but it is acceptable for now.

I had a Burris E1 4.5-14x56 scope that I wanted to put on this rifle, so I ordered a set of Talley one piece high bases/rings, which arrived yesterday in time for me to mount the scope prior to my weekly Wednesday at the range. 

I didn't have time to work up a new load for this rifle, so I just brought 10 of my Mauser cartridges to use to sight in this rifle.  These cartridges are loaded well below maximum, so I thought they would be safe in this rifle.  They were, with no high pressure signs.  I bore sighted the scope, and bullets 7 and 8 hit 1/2" apart, 2 1/2" above the bull of my 100 yard target.  Bullets 9 and 10 easily rang the steel gong at 200 yards.

I had to return the range this morning, so I brought  my .308 Vanguard and some more shells.  I forgot to bring my gun rest, so I just shot off my range bag.  I only shot 6 cartridges.  The first two rang the 200 yard gong, the next two rang the 300 yard gong, and the last two rang the 400m gong.

Overall, I am very pleased with this rifle!

Reloading / Hodgdon powder
« on: September 16, 2014, 10:48:25 AM »
I stopped by our local Murdocks yesterday and was happy to see that they had a fair supply of powders.

They limit you to 2 cans of powder, so I picked up a can of Titewad and a can of H4831SC.

It wasn't until I got home that I noticed that the Net Weight of powder in each can was only 14 oz!

The cans are the same size as the ones that they sold for years filled with 1 lb of powder.

So is this Hodgdon's answer to the powder shortage?  Pack less product into the same size can then raise the price.  In other words, screw the consumer every way that you can. >:(  >:(

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Weatherby Nation Groups
« on: June 28, 2014, 02:06:00 PM »
I'm not understanding these Groups.  The Group description(s) say the Group is for discussions of the Group topic.  This is just like the topics in the Spike Camp.  However, you have to join the Group to read the posts and to enter in the Group discussion.  Some Groups also require Admin approval for joining.  Why?  These Groups are kind of like mini-forums inside a Forum.

I recently joined or am attempting to join several Groups.  Some of these Groups have very limited membership and very little discussion, like only 2 or 3 posts that were posted 5 years ago.  If you attempt to post to these Groups, a red Warning appears that says that "this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic."

The Weatherby Nation Forum is not overly active to begin with.  Why complicate and limit the Forum with sub Groups that are described as "anyone who wants to discuss ______" then require approval to join, and the actual discussion is only a few posts that were made years ago?

Elk / Opening day bull
« on: October 28, 2013, 01:12:45 AM »
Yesterday was the opening day of the Montana deer and elk rifle season.  I've killed a couple of large bulls in the past that I had mounted, so now I mainly hunt elk to fill my freezer.

At first light I saw a good bull near the top of the ridge that I was hunting.  He disappeared before I could get a shot so I decided not to push him and to come back and try for him in the evening.

So I returned late in the afternoon and just as the sun was setting I saw him feeding across an opening near the top of the hill.  I was able to close the distance to him to a hundred or so yards.

I steadied my custom .300 Weatherby Vanguard on a tree limb and made an instant one shot kill with a 168 gr Barnes TTSX bullet.  By the time I got him dressed out it was dark so I propped him open to cool out.

I returned to the bull first thing this morning and got some pictures, then drug him off the mountain.

Elk / My first Weatherby
« on: September 23, 2013, 12:51:45 AM »
Hello everyone!  I just found this forum and as I've been a long time Weatherby fan, I hope I'll fit in.

I shot my first elk back in 1966 when I lived and was in college in Colorado.  Back then I used to get the Weatherby catalogs and wish I could afford a Weatherby rifle and be able to hunt the world with it.

A few years after college, I moved to Montana and have had almost 40 years of some very excellent big game hunting here in Montana, a few other places in North America, and in Africa.  Several years ago I fulfilled another dream and finally bought a Weatherby rifle.  I bought a Vanguard in .300 Weatherby.

I've always been a DIY type guy and have built the stocks for a number of my rifles, including the one on my .300 Weatherby Vanguard.  These have been semi-inleted stocks that I have final fitted, bedded, finished and hand checkered.  This has become my favorite rifle, although I've only used it on 3 hunts: an exotics hunt in west Texas, a Montana elk hunt, and a plains game hunt in South Africa.

Here's my new .300 Weatherby and the elk that I shot with it a couple of years ago...

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