• Matt Part 1 of a 3 part Series

    This article was contributed by the Weatherby Forum member RS2G, and is the first of a 3-part series on Long Range Shooting:

    Matt’s legs burned as he pushed to move at a pace they were not accustomed to. The last four days had been hell, but this morning took the cake. As he pushed his way up the trail by the light of his LED headlamp the all-too-familiar sound of Bubba losing his breakfast on the side of the trail came from out of the dark behind him. Binge and purge by way of whiskey.
    They had been late getting up and on the trail this morning from camp. Last night, in a drunken stupor, Bubba had dumped the extra cot on the floor of the wall tent “Cuz it has crap on it.” That crap had been all of Matt’s hunting gear laid out to dry. Five extra minutes to find everything and pack it up doesn’t seem like much, but when dealing with Bubba, every minute in the morning counts. Getting the big man to move was hard enough on a good day. "This is the last time I hunt with Bubba" Matt told himself.
    Matt turned back up hill and pushed on; if he waited for Bubba there was no way he would make it to the ridge before sun-up. The climb was hard enough if you were sober and in good shape, being fat and hung-over had to suck.
    Two miles and twelve hundred feet of elevation later, Matt reached the top of the rocky ridge he and Bubba had been hunting for the past few days. He slid his pack off his shoulders and sat down under a lone juniper tree. Looking across the steep draw in front of him, Matt could just start to see the tree tops coming up from the ridge some 600+ yards away. Twenty minutes till sun-up, perfect. Just enough time to catch his breath and set up the gear.
    Matt pulled his .338 out of his Gunslinger pack, flipped out the bipod legs, then placed the gun on the ground in front of him. Matt instinctively reached into the top of his pack to grab his sand sock next and felt something wrong. Next to his sand socks should have been his laser. What the hell. Pulling the backpack onto his lap Matt began to dig, and panic. Sand sock, “rat pack”, rain coat, ass wipe, tuna sandwich, water bottle, dry socks, dry shirt, fire starter kit, map, chit……Sand sock, “rat pack”, rain coat, ass wipe, tuna sandwich, water bottle, dry socks, dry shirt, fire starter kit, map, empty clif bar wrapper……no laser.
    Matt’s heart began to beat faster as his mind raced. No laser, no laser, what happened to it? He suddenly remembered picking all of his gear up off the floor of the tent. It must have slid across the floor when Bubba dumped the cot. Crap. Now what? Reaching into his backpack again he pulled out is “rat pack”. All of the silly little compartments inside the bag had made Matt smile from the day he bought it. Inside was a set of data cards, all his small survival items, a GPS, a kestrel weather meter, his wallet and the one thing that would save Matt’s hunt, a small calculator.
    As Matt slid the pack off his lap he placed his sand sock, data cards, kestrel and calculator next to his rifle. A confident smile came across Matt’s face as he thought about the countless hours he had spent ranging and shooting all the steel targets back home. “Four forty four point five, four forty four point five, four forty four point five” Matt said over and over, softly.
    The sun was coming up, no Bubba yet. Matt spun around and rolled into the prone position. He looked at the kestrel he had turned on a few minutes earlier, forty degrees. After flipping the data cards to the forty degree page he picked up his binos and began glassing.
    Twenty minutes later, as he glassed the south east side of the ridge across from his position under the juniper, something caught Matt’s eye. Just down from the top of the ridge he caught it again, movement. He watched as a shadow moved in the scrub oaks. Step by step a deer moved behind the oaks. Matt stared through his binos even harder burning up the brush. Body, tail flick, ear, more steps, HORNS!!! Big HORNS!!!
    Matt dropped the binos and grabbed the pistol grip of his gun with his right hand. His left grabbed the sand sock and stuffed it under the butt of his rifle. He struggled for a moment to find the deer, but he found it just as the nice four by four black tail buck stepped out from behind the oaks and into the open. Definitely a shooter. Steadying his position Matt looked at the deer. He brought the cross hairs of his mil reticle across the deer’s back just behind the shoulder and held. Not quite point nine to the brisket. He slid the reticle up the back and placed the bottom of the first dot on the deer’s back. The deer fit perfectly between the dots, dead on point eight. Matt looked away from the scope without breaking his cheek weld, blinked twice then looked through the scope again. Dead on point eight.
    Finally breaking his cheek weld, Matt sat up slightly and grabbed the calculator. Four forty four point five divided by point eight. Five hundred and fifty five yards, Matt looked at the data cards, seven minutes. He dialed on seven then glanced at the trees below him in the valley, dead calm. He looked across, no movement in the grass, nor in the trees. For once something was going his way, NO WIND!
    Matt settled back in behind the gun, the buck was a few feet further out into the open now, head down and slightly quartering away up hill. He placed the cross hairs a few inches further behind the front shoulder than normal and exhaled. Staring intensely at the cross hair and tightening his grip slightly, Matt felt the gun recoil. Boom….Whap…Matt chambered another round and looked through the scope just in time to watch the buck nose dive into the dirt. Nice.
    “What the hell was that? Ma ears is ringin!!!!” Bubba yelled from just behind Matt.
    “Hey Bubba, I just shot a nice buck on the next ridge over. Have I nice nap?” Matt said with a smirk as he looked back over his shoulder.
    “How the hell'd you do that? That’s like six hundred yards and I picked yer range finder up off the floor this morning. Been hallin ass trying to catch you all mornin so I could give it to ya, but you lit out of camp like your tail was on fire. Man I am tired." Bubba said as he wiped the sleep out of his eyes.
    “Yeah sure, Bubba, let’s go get the buck, eh? You got your knife; I couldn’t find mine this morning?” Matt asked sheepishly.
    “Uhhh, I thought you had yours?”
    Want to know how he did it? Stay tuned.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. JohnnieB's Avatar
      JohnnieB -
      As I have Zero training experience in the long range department, I'm sure I'll find the remainder of this article very informative.

    1. skipper's Avatar
      skipper -
      Want to know how he did it? Stay tuned.
      yes we will, for sure
    1. Doctor_Chicago's Avatar
      Doctor_Chicago -
      Excellent help

      Thank you