Two Missed Deer, …One Reason (Episode 62 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

RAE: (Whispering) It’s the second day of January, and dad’s taking me, um, hunting. I know it’s gonna be a great new year, so happy New Year. Okay.

GRANT: (Whispering) My goodness. Look at all the deer, Rae. You’re okay. You tell me.

RAE: (Whispering) I’m gonna do it.

GRANT: (Whispering) Okay. Make sure you’re dead serious, and look, keep looking through the scope.

GRANT: You got her, Rae.

RAE: I got her?

GRANT: You got her. You got her.

ANNOUNCER: is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Gallagher, Muddy Outdoors, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Barnes, Ansmann Batteries and Antler Dirt.

GRANT: It’s January 24th, and all deer seasons are now closed in Missouri – archery, rifle, muzzloader, and youth seasons – but I reflect back at this time of year on what happened, what I can learn, and how I can improve for next year. And the two things that stick out in my mind the most is both my daughters missing deer high and to the left.

GRANT: Totally convinced, both of those does are healthy and happy. We looked. We searched with both of our dogs. They’re trained to blood trail. No evidence that that deer went down. So I’m okay with that, but gosh. I got two daughters. I want to keep their confidence high, so I want to figure out what went wrong. Today, we’re gonna do some experimentation to find out if it was just buck fever, or actually, a technical problem with the equipment.

GRANT: This particular rifle has a bolt right through the forestock that bolts straight into the barrel, so anything that happens to the forestock reflects on the barrel. Anything that happens on the barrel, reflects on the forestock. You know it’s that old law we learned in physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Well, unlike past years, where my daughters shot off a five gallon bucket with a coat on it, this year, they both shot out of a very high quality built condo blind, or box blind, with solid windows. But that solid window doesn’t give, so when the stock and the barrel are attached, and the bullet ignites and it’s traveling out the barrel with tremendous gas pressure, the barrel actually goes through a harmonic wave. You can see this on some of the military videos that are so cool with super expensive equipment. But if there’s no give, there’s no clearance between the barrel and the stock, and the stock is on a solid rest, it’s possible that barrel is jumping up and to the left, or right – depending on how the gun is built. So after deer seasons over, and the emotions are calmed down from missing, Brad and I go back and set up a scientifically designed test where I shoot the rifle cold, at the same time of day that Raleigh missed her deer. First shot, the barrel’s cold, same time of day, about the same temperature, off of that solid window, and let’s see what happens.

GRANT: So, the first shot is gonna be right out of the window. Just sitting in a chair, like Raleigh was, to see if we actually hit high, just replicating the hunting situation, or if we hit on, and then, I’ll come out here to the bench where we’re padded, and everything’s perfect, and I’m locked down like a vice.

GRANT: Okay, so we’re shooting a .223 with a Nikon Monarch, with a BDC reticle, and a Barnes VOR-TX bullet. This combination has proven great, in the past. Didn’t have too great of luck, this year. We’re gonna see why. And again, always wear that hearing protection, always. Hearing protection, you lose a little, like I do, when your glasses hold this out, but I got to have my glasses to see.

GRANT: Shot felt very good. Again, a cold barrel would be just the same as deer hunting. We haven’t shot the gun in days. Barrel’s cold. It’s cold outside. Just about the same time of day Raleigh shot, so the wind should be right. Tell you what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna take a walk down there and see where that bullet went.

GRANT: It’s bittersweet; once I get down here where I can inspect the target. The  – the bullet is dead on the right height, actually, cutting the line of center. I was aiming right here at the very center. I’m an inch and three-quarters left. Obviously, that shot would’ve taken the deer out. Either deer, Raleigh or Rae’s, so…

GRANT: That shot appeared to be dead on, and kind of faked me out a little bit, but I still wasn’t convinced. So we had brought our very well made bench out there. It’s a professional bench where you can get a four point hold. The gun is supported here, on the forestock, back here, and both your elbows, so it’s a four point hold. The gun should not move at all.

GRANT: Okay, we’re all set up here, just for round two. Just want to confirm – of course, there’s a difference of shooting off this padding. I’ve got this pulled back. You want the stock on the sandbag and not the barrel. We’re all locked in, and…

GRANT: Make sure we’re in good shape, and I’m gonna load up. Brad’s gonna move out of the way and we’re gonna be good to go.

GRANT: Okay. Fire in the hole.

GRANT: Well, I was perfectly calm and comfortable. Of course, the rifle barrel’s been cooling down for a long time, as we walked down there and looked at that shot and filmed that, so should be great. Let’s walk down there and see, cause man, I was just like a rock, with what I call the four point hold – here, here, elbow, and elbow. Just like a rock, so we’ll truly know exactly where the sight is on this setup right now.

GRANT: Well, I literally missed. Spoke a little bit too soon. I was holding right here, again, and I’m exactly two inches low and a quarter inch off center. That could’ve been exaggerated three inches real easy, if my daughters weren’t  holding, so we’re gonna go back real quick here and shoot one more time. And if I hit right in here by bullet number two, it was, in fact, the gun, and how it shoots different off the, the different substrates, and not the girls, which will make them happy, and I should’ve been better prepared.

GRANT: Brad is behind me. We’re all safe. Get locked in here.

GRANT: Okay. Fire in the hole.

GRANT: Dead solid. Four points.

GRANT: Well, I got two daughters at home with a fever today, so they’re gonna be really happy when I get home and show them the target. And it’s kind of complicated, but let’s go through this. Here’s my first shot out of the condo stand, and it looks like it’s the right height. Then, I follow up with two shots that are less than an inch apart, at 125 yards on a youth model, so that’s pretty good. But if these two shots would’ve been right here, think about how high and far left this shot would’ve been – especially, with small girls not holding the gun quite as well as, hopefully, their more experienced father while shooting it. So we knew, for fact, the day before season, on both cases, I went and shot their gun, that it was sighted in here. Shooting off that hard surface – and that gun has a bolt going right through the middle of the forestock into the barrel – there’s no play there. There’s no free floating, or anything like that. When that bullet is pushing down the barrel and that harmonic motion is going down the barrel it’s bouncing up and to the left. That’s exactly what happened on those deer. Girls might have been holding it a little bit high. But the bullet went above the spine. Just a flesh wound, through the top of the back. Totally convinced those does are wiser, healthy, and will look both ways before they step out in the food plot next year.

GRANT: I hope you have time to prepare before turkey season. Pattern that shotgun, or shoot your bow, if that’s what you’re hunting with, and be prepared, because with this sun shining, it won’t be long. Thanks for watching

GRANT: Tell me about it, Rae.

GRANT: Um, it was really exciting, and it was kind of scary.

GRANT: It was kind of scary?

RAE: Uh-huh.