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Beginner's luck? I think not!


Category: LEVERevolution® FTX®

Product: 30-30 Win 160 gr FTX® LEVERevolution®

Shooter: Seth Richards

Posted: Nov 21, 2011

I was asked by a friend of mine in the Air Force if I wanted to go deer hunting with him to Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Central Georgia. I had never been deer hunting before so I jumped at the chance. I bought a Marlin 30-30 in 2004 for the sole purpose of deer hunting but never had the opportunity until now and I was more than ready to get out there use it. While talking to my buddy Glen about the trip, the subject of what ammunition to buy came up. Without hesitating he told me to buy Hornady LeverEvolution. I went to the local outdoors store and picked up two boxes. After sighting in my gun at the local range I felt I was ready for my first hunt.

The hunt we went on was a quota drawn hunt where two deer of either sex could be harvested. The first day of the hunt I sat in my stand for eight hours and only saw one deer, albeit a buck. The wind was up all day and I was fully aware that it would be difficult to spot deer in those conditions. After arriving back at camp I realized that I was the lucky one just to see a deer all day long. I decided that the spot I was hunting must be a good spot so I decided to go back but move to the edge of a select cut clearing. I put up at about 0630 and sat there till about 0800 when I realized that I should probably set up a little higher in the tree to avoid being spotted. At about 35 feet I felt that I was in a good position to take a deer unaware. At 0945 I heard something running through the woods at my 7 o’clock and turned to see a doe running my way. She came around to my 12 o’clock at about 40 yards and I yelled out “woohoo”. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked around. I placed my crosshair where I thought I should and before I knew it the shot was off, and so was she. It all happened so fast that I was sure I missed her because she ran for the woods as fast as she could and didn’t act as if she had been shot. I called Glen over the radio to tell him that the shot he heard was me and that I missed her. He told me to sit tight and go look for her in 30 minutes or so. After about 15 minutes another doe appeared at my 11 o’clock at about 100 yards. Glen told me to stay put because the deer must be moving. She walked off into the woods and disappeared. Another 15 minutes passed and out of the woods to my 1 o’clock walked a buck. I couldn’t believe what I saw! I put my gun in position and took aim. Once he got to my 12 o’clock I yelled “woohoo” again and he stoped dead in his tracks. I gently pulled the trigger and “click”! I forgot to take the safety off!! I pulled the hammer back, released the safety and amazingly he was still standing there looking for whatever made that sound. I put my crosshair on center mass and pulled the trigger. Down he went and down he stayed! “I shot a buck, I shot a buck! My heart is about to explode!” I told Glen over the radio as quietly as I could.
After climbing down out of the tree I measured off the distance to where the buck lay, a 110 yard shot! What I saw was amazing, an 8 point buck lying there at the edge of the brush line. I was overcome with joy at my first deer. Glen and my good friend Casey came to help me with the buck and asked where I thought I’d shot the doe. I took them to the area that I remembered and we looked for traces of blood. Glen found a couple spots on the ground and Casey found some on a leaf. Are you kidding me, I thought. Could I have actually bagged two deer on my first hunt within an hour of each other? After tracking the blood for about 75 yards we found her lying just inside the brush line, a good sized doe at that!

All said and done I took a 115 pound, 8 point buck and an 81 pound doe, both after field dressing. I couldn’t have asked for a better first hunting trip and I couldn’t have taken those deer without Hornady LeverEvolution. I will always have a box in my bag.