The Kentucky Early Primitive Weapons Season 2017 is in the can. No deer were harmed in the making of this weekend.However, we all seemed to have a good time. I left straight from work and missed the traffic. Both Angus and SuperCore left a bit later on Friday night and got caught up on a major snarl. Angus swung out way west and came in by Falmouth. SuperCore plowed through. They both made it late. I had spent a pleasant evening alone, watching the deer. For us, Muzzleloader Weekend is always a shakedown for the real thing. Unless a real monster shows up, we usually hold our fire.
Saturday was one of the warmest Openers we have ever had. The temperatures began in the mid-50’s. I was at Campground. Angus was at his new blind at Lazy Boy. SuperCore drove out to the Jagendehutte. In the 8 O’clock hour, a couple of doe came plowing through the creek bottom below Campground. The lead doe slowed down enough for me to count coup on her twice with the new LHR Redemption. After 0900, the younger doe came roaring back out of the cedar thicket from which they had gone and ran up to my stand, in considerable excitement. I believe what I was witnessing was the aftermath of a cervid family tragedy. A shot over on the neighbor’s property had preceeded all this movement. I think one doe of their crew, perhaps the matriarch did not make the trip. There were two shots in rapid succession. Perhaps two of their number had not left that bottom. The young doe was very agitated and kept looking back to the east, expecting something to come. Action was light overall in the first hour I heard a shot less than every five minutes. After that, it tapered off.
SuperCore had only one doe show at extreme range in 4 hours of hunting. Angus had a doe come close to the stand, but chose not to shoot. This was probably the older of the two deer I had seen. She ran right up to the blind, obviously quite upset over something. She and Angus had a long meaningful look at each other before she realized she needed to be elsewhere.
The afternoon hunt was uneventful for SuperCore and Angus. However, I had 6 deer come by the east side of Hollywood at various times. The shots would have all been long ones. There is a buck with a rather misshapen rack that has been in that field all through the summer and fall. He is not worth taking as is, but he is young, and I would like to see what he grows into.
Sunday morning was a bit of a write-off. Not much showed. Angus got a good view of a major turkey kerfluffle involving 15 indivuals. This was my first morning sit at Hollywood. The sun went behind the trees shortly after rising and I was in shade the whole time. I heard 4 shots in 3 hours, and then a flurry of shots just after 10 when everyone around emptied there load and went in.
Hunting out of Hollywood is a grand experience, but it has its challenges. Much like Midway, it has two side with not much to worry about in the middle. That means to hunt one side thoroughly, you have to turn your back to the other. Much like Midway, I choose to stay in the middle and swivel my head from one side to the other cover a lot of ground. The west view is about 150 yards of pasture, the east side is well over 200. The frontal view covers maybe 80 yards of treeline, about 50 yards away. The camo blind covers me up to my chin. The deer see an orange hat and that is nearly it. The challenge is that the footpring of the blind is 5X7 feet, so that if I decide to take a shot, I have to get up and move my chair over to the rail. I practiced this several times with deer in view. The chair I picked for this has skids on the bottom. They glide easily over the decking. The blind is just high enough to block the view of my back. I built this blind with the idea that it would accomodate two hunters without feeling cramped. Moose or I can take a certain grandchild up for her first deer hunt and have plenty of room.
The LHR Redemption
This was the first time I had carried the LHR Redemption hunting. It is light, much lighter than my old Hawken. It carries well, loads easily, and after firing only one shot on Sunday, I brought it home and cleaned it. The Adapt breech system came loose with just a little hand pressure. The plug gets gunked up even with only one round fired, but I put it to soak in Ed’s Red. It will be clean itself in 24 hours. In the treestand, it was compact enough not to be a problem. With the Bushnell Banner scope at its lowest power, I was able to bring it up on a doe’s chest right away. This is where counting coup really comes in handy. By doing everything required to make the shot except pulling the trigger, it puts the rifle and the hunter through all their paces. With my old TC Hawken, I had the option of using with triggers while the hammer was at half cock. It made for a satisfying ‘click.’ This new Redeption cocks and uncocks with a button on the tang. There is a decocker button as well
The Mauser From Hell– final word
I had the Mauser from Hell out one last time before season. It has a tendency to move its Point of Aim as the barrel heats mostly to the right and a little up. However, deer hunting is done with a cold barrel. It took a little longer to sight in, but I eventually shot a 2 inch group at 100 yards. It is ready to go.