I had the unfortunate experience, lately, of seeing what a friends 30-06 did to the small South Texas Whitetail. It’s not a pretty picture. In fact I’m choosing not to post pictures because of the mess it made. If we were talking about a horror movie…sure. But not hunting. I’m just going to put this out there and leave it alone. The 30-06 is over powered for Texas deer unless we’re talking about a long distance shot…not that such a shot is readily available in South Texas.
It’s no surprise that hunting is on the rise. Reasons ranging from prepers to dads continuing a tradition share in the credit for it. We’re seeing a new source though. A friend tagged me in a post containing THIS article.
I find the article fascinating for several reasons. The fact that women are finally getting interested in the game in numbers that count is an amazing trend. The one that I really enjoy is that vegans are getting on board. This makes me smile in ways that it just shouldn’t…but I’m still grinning. One that almost bothers me is that the new hunters are being viewed as “athletes”. Someone in good physical condition able to go up mountains and bring meat for the freezer back down said mountain. When I grew up we called such individuals “men”. NFL players…those were athletes. NBA…athletes. Hunters were never seen as those capable of great feets…meerly normal human male activities. I think that trend comes from an increasing level of leisure in today’s world.
Anyway the world of hunting has changed and there’s actually some cool things happening with it. No longer do we see the best fabrics for hunters containing the words wool and plaid. Adaptations like this has taken us out of the “redneck” category and allowing the “modern man” to join the hunting camp. Sure they are there for slightly different reasons. They are excited for the adventure and filling the freezer is a secondary thought. For many of the older generation those reasons are reversed. I really don’t care if we are seeing a shift. I’m just glad to see a new generation of hunters.
It’s 0500hrs on the last weekend of deer season in South Texas. The December air is chilled just enough for us to see our breath. I’m sitting in the blind thinking about what needs to happen. The feeder was set to go off in about an hour so settle in for some silent watching to take my mind off of the cold. Now, this friend owns a 308 Broadsword rifle but I brought along a 6.8 SPC II that I’d been working on. This was to be the first time he had hunted with the caliber.
Long before the feeder went off we had a couple of does come in looking for breakfast. The first, a yearling, was too small and another bigger doe. If you haven’t seen the south Texas deer they are about the size of a fat greyhound dog. So the bigger the better.
We still had some time to wait before we could legally shoot but really didn’t need the law to tell us that. There just wasn’t enough light for the scope yet so we just watched them. They milled around under the feeder, obviously waiting for breakfast to be served, and drifted away as a buck came in from the opposite direction. A nice buck but he already filled his buck tags so we were here for the doe that just left our sight.
About 0630 the does cautiously make their way back to the feeder, a mere 60yds away. My friend raises the rifle to prepare for his work to come. His breathing became long and slow, there’s always adrenaline to battle with in these moments. The doe lines up, broadside, under the feeder and dips her head toward the corn.
The pressure increased on the trigger until it let the hammer fly. She ran about 35 yards and collapsed.
Ballistics on this doe were amazing. The Silver State Armory 115 grain open tip match (or OTM) round we used wouldn’t have been my first choice but it did extremely well. The entry wound looked more like an exit wound but we weren’t using the best hunting round. Even more interesting was the lack of an exit wound. That tells me that all of the 1396 ft lbs of energy it had at impact was transferred to the target. That, to me is ideal. The shot was perfectly placed and harvested the deer with little suffering. When gutting the deer the heart was nowhere to be found. It just became part of the “jello” in the chest cavity.
When asked about the experience my friend was very pleased. The 6.8 kicks like a 5.56 but was an efficient hunting round. The bullet was accurate and was something even his daughters could comfortably shoot.
All in all, the 6.8 SPC is an underestimated round.