R. Jacobs, 7/21/2000
the following story contains some graphic descriptions of the
This is a tad long but it's fun, I promise.
Hunting this particular year was to be solely on the last remaining
110 acres of my father-in-law's homeplace, out in West Texas
(Callahan County for those who care). It's covered in mesquite
trees and thick brush (a lot like parts of Africa, actually,
where the "jungle" is not rain forest but a forest
of miombo trees(sp?) and brush. Therefore, due to the terrain,
I selected my Winchester Model 94 .30-30 (using 150 grain round
nosed cartridges), with the Williams peep sight that I installed
myself. I presumed no long shots would present themselves. The
entire ranch, which is only about 320 acres (two-thirds have
been sold now by family members), has not actually been actively
hunted for several years. There's plenty of hunting around the
area but nobody has used this little area, although lessees of
the new owner were now expected (we never saw them anyway). We
(that's me, and father- and brother-in-law) have not actually
shot anything there in over 5 years and we have driven on it
and seen deer, especially last year. Okay, that's background
Saturday, Opening Day: 6:00/6:30 AM. I set up on a slight slope,
with good views of some clear areas, using trees and brush for
cover. I set out a number of doe urine wicks as buck lures, I
use some buck grunts and doe calls, and I rattle up some antlers.
Nada. Zip. Nothing.
I get bored after an hour or more and decide, like I often do,
to go scouting around. After awhile I find some really lush grass
and I think there should be deer around. I turn.....WOW! Three
or four does being chased by a really big bodied buck, probably
at least an eight point. I give chase. They move, I move.
I use the buck grunt, the buck stops, turns my way, stamps his
foot at me, they all stare, they move off. This goes on for awhile
until they move to where I think I'll be crossing the property
boundary so I give up (and I was kind of turned around anyway
- not lost, but needing my bearings). Fun and exhilarating -
- how many of you watch hunting shows? This was much better!
3:30 PM. After a few hours break, and lunch, we returned and
I set up in what I thought was a much more likely place, under
some oaks, behind a huge forked trunk for a good shooting rest,
with a small clearing across from me at 50 paces. The rifle is
dead on at 50 yards. I like how it looks so out goes the Tink's
69 buck lure, in a semi-circle on the clearing's fringe.
It's been raining and the trees are still dripping. I doze. I
hear a sound. Over my shoulder, I see a cow. I turn back to the
clearing, with my rifle resting in the crook of the tree. A moment
WOW! A big buck walks right through my clearing. The Tinks has
done its job. Unfortunately, the rifle is not in my hands and
by the time I pick it up from its rest the easy shot is gone.
I do get a couple of shots off at a bad angle when the buck emerges
from some bushes. Misses. Fooey!
So I doze again. When I awake, I realize there has been a lot
of dripping from the trees. I point the Winchester at the ground
and water comes pouring out of the barrel! Holy SMOKES!!!!! I
decide to fire the gun to clear the barrel, although I'm thinking
this is not a good move.
Click. Hmmmm. I eject the round and it comes out misshapen, weird
I jack in another, aim at the ground, pull the trigger, BLAM!
The bullet goes careening off the cement and I think "Idiot!
That could have ricocheted!" Water? CEMENT?????
I really awaken now, look at the rifle, see the hammer as I originally
left it, and laugh myself silly. Now that was a realistic dream.
And if I'm that sleepy, forget this; so I set up a 50 yard target
to double check my zero. Dead on. Quarter sized groups. Rifle
Isn't that better than hunting videos? Really! Sunday. 6:00 AM.
Same place. No deer. Long morning. Sigh..... Lunch. 4:00 PM.
Brother-in-law says he'll put me on the Deer Super Highway which
he has seen. I try it. Nothing for a long time and then sure
enough a buck and a doe run by, as in RUN! No shot. Off in the
distance, just a few minutes later, are my eyes deceiving me?
Twenty deer? Can't be. Later, when I check, it turns out to be
about 120 yards. A short stalk and I realize it is a huge flock
of turkey. They see me and skedaddle but I wasn't hunting turkey
By now we have seen more than two dozen deer, maybe thirty, taken
a few bad shots, and are having a blast anyway despite no success.
But there's only one morning left. And Dad is razzing us. Doncha
hate that? We got shut out last year and he knows it. Sigh.....
Monday. 6:30 AM. I set up back in my oak tree area, put Tink's
scents out in my clearing, and I wait. Plenty of shooting in
the surrounding areas, maybe even close enough to be one of my
team. But me? Nada. Zip.
7:20, and a pretty little buck comes wandering my way. C'MON
Right down home run alley!!! Get into the kill zone!!!!! NO,
NOT THAT WAY!!!! With all those scents and he turns and goes
off into the brush to my right. I can't see him. AHA! But he
comes out at an angle over my shoulder. However, even if he doesn't
see me when I move, it will be an awfully difficult shot in what
will have to be an unnatural shooting position. I watch him walk
away into the cover. Fooey.
There's shooting to my right!!!! I get ready; maybe something
will come by. Sure enough, a buck and a doe come zipping by.
This time, as I am ready, I go for a running shot (only with
this peep sighted rifle would I try that). Missed. Big surprise,
I wait. It's quiet. Maybe I'll just go see if that pair stopped
outside the brushy area beyond my clearing. So off I go to see.
Nope. All quiet. I turn.....and I see deer rutting around to
my left. I take a few steps and I freeze. I thought I saw a few
but now there's just two, a buck and a doe, and he's nosing where
he's quite interested [this is SERIOUS rutting] and she's letting
I AM A STATUE -
I just know they are looking right at me - I can see their faces
looking in my direction but it's very cloudy and unclear and
I am a statue so they ignore me - after all they are busy....
and then he MOUNTS her!!!!
HOLY SMOKES!!! Whoops. Uh oh. Slipped off didn't we? Let's try
that again! Up we go! Good boy!
Now, there I am, watching this pair mate, and I think about shooting
him in that position and I decide it's not smart, bad angle,
they're moving some, let it be. Now, you animal show fans, you
deer hunters, how many of you have actually ever seen deer do
that? It was an amazing show. He didn't stay on too long but
he did much better than the first time.
Practice, and all that. Then he comes down......
He presents a 100% perfect broadside from less than 50 yards.
I'm standing there, rifle in my hands, frozen, and he's posing
. I go into auto-pilot. I scarcely remember the rifle coming
up, I know I didn't think about cheek to wood, hold my breath,
or squeeze the trigger. I try to hunt from a rest whenever I
can and this is a free standing shot at what I check later to
be about 35 yards. All I really remember is putting the front
sight on his shoulder......
The buck dropped like a stone. Examination afterwards showed
a perfect shot right above the leg and beneath the shoulder.
Anyone says a .30-30 can't do the job is flat out wrong. A neat
little atypical five-point says that a .30-30 is deadly medicine.
And all I can say is that practice did its job for me. You learn
your gun, you know what it can do, and what you can do, and let
Oh, one more thing. After the buck dropped, the doe just stood
there. I'm thinking "Well, if you're just going to stand
"G. R. Jacobs, Dallas, Texas"