Well, my hunting buddy did it!
Yesterday, in the late afternoon, he shot a woodchuck at 504 yards. This, of course, put him in that elite group of hunters, and earns him a place in The Varmint Hunters Association Downrange Club.
I will avoid using his name to protect the innocent. For now. After the application to the Club has been accepted, it will become a matter of serious public pride.
The weather was awesome. Days before, he had been shooting pasture poodles at 300-500 yards. But no confirmed 500+ yard kills. So we trekked out there with plenty of ammo. Turns out the farmer had just cut another hay field. “Is this Heaven?” I asked. My friend replies, “No, this is Shippensburg.” Close enough.
It wasn’t long before the rounds were flying. His second attempt earned him this milestone…I could see the downed hog in the scope. He did not believe it and he could not pick up the motionless critter. Moving targets are easy to pick up, but at that distance, non-moving objects are typically called “dirt clumps.”
After the famed shot, here comes the farmer to check out the excitement. As luck would have it, another hog presents himself, and the farmer takes a shot with my buddies’ gun. Downed. Nice shot. So not only does he work incredibly hard, but he can shoot too.
Me being the youngest, and my buddy going in for ankle surgery in 3 days, I set out with my trusty GPS to locate and mark the treasured targets. We couldn’t use his laser range finder…even with a new battery, the unit would not function. The GPS put my buddies’ hog at 504 yards. He did it! He is in the Club. A head shot no less! Incidentally, the farmer’s one and only shot of the day was also a head shot, at 480 yards…20 yards short of the Club distance, but in his eyes, another critter is done causing damage to his crops and cattle. In my eyes, it was a heck of shot too.
Turns out we wasted a lot more ammunition trying to better that distance, all to no avail. I did crack one at what later measured 575 yards. Easy money would have put that at a kill, but later confirmation (this time by vehicle) turns up no woodchuck. Well, I have the rest of the summer to reach this milestone.
Once he gets the picture to me, I will post it. Until then, the above GPS map will have to suffice.
So, what gun/caliber is your buddy shooting?
Eric – Sorry, I missed your question. My gun is a Sako single shot 6ppc, all factory, topped by a nightforce 12-42X scope. I like the Berger 68 gr. with 29.0 grs. Alliant 10X. I have been shooting this rifle in 500 meter paper groundhog matches with some success. I pretty well knew where the scope should be set, but my range finder went funky on me and I had to guess at the distance. It was triangulated with GPS afterward.