After a three mile back-breaking hike in with a 60lb pack, we finally reached base camp at 9,200 ft. The next morning came quickly and by 5am we set off on the two hour hike to reach our hunting area. The wind was relentless with an average of 20-30 mph gusts of wind that could almost knock you off your feet. We knew that long range was not an option and that even mid-range would be challenging. After the first 20 minutes of spotting we had only seen a few small bucks but then 150 yards above us, on the ridge, I spotted movement. I put my binoculars on him and knew he was a shooter. The deer was on the move and I only had seconds before he would be out of sight. I quickly grabbed my gun and got ready to shoot. There was no time for shooting sticks and the hill was too steep to steady my elbows on my knees so it was going to be a tough shot. Shooting an animal on the move is not something I like to do, but the animal only had 20 more yards to go before he was gone forever. The deer was quartering toward me when I pulled the trigger. The bullet went all the way through his body and out his rear. Surprisingly, after that, he was still trying to hobble away. I finished him off with a nice high shoulder shot dropping him in his tracks.

This is another example of “speed kills” 20 more yards and the deer would have made it to safety. It’s important to practice all types of shooting positions: off hand, sticks, prone, etc. Make sure that you practice shooting in awkward positions. My favorite practice for both speed and real life shooting positions is prairie dog hunting. All I do is grab my gun and go for a walk. I usually have the opportunity to try all sorts of shooting positions and have to constantly be aware of brush that may affect my shooting lane. Also, prairie dogs move quickly and can be down a hole in a flash. This teaches you to get into position and shoot quickly before your chance is gone. Prairie dogs are small targets so you have no choice but to be an accurate shot if you want to hit anything.

(Stock Winchester M 70, 7mm Rem Mag, 168 VLD 2870 fps)