by Daniel E. Schmidt, D&DH Editor
I just returned from southeast Kansas after hunting with Ed Barton of B&C
Trophy Hunts. Weather conditions could not have been more perfect for this hunt,
which kicked off on the state’s opener of rifle season, Dec. 1. Temperatures ranged
from 15 to 40 throughout the week, and wind speeds were surprisingly weak for this
area. Despite that, the hunt proved to be a test in mental toughness for all 17 hunters
Despite happening at the tail end of the Kansas rut, this hunt yielded long days with
few buck sightings. The deer were definitely in a post-rut mood, with most feeding
activity occurring under the cover of darkness. We hunted dark-to-dark each day, which
– in frigid temperatures — can really test your mettle when you’re not seeing many
Thankfully, several nice bucks started hitting the ground after Day 2, which gave
us all a reason to tough it out. One of the nicer bucks taken was a 150-class 10-pointer
that was shot by Minnesota’s Mark Tuttle. Mark made a great shot on the buck as it
exited a draw at daylight on Day 3.
As some of you will recall, I left for this trip with high expectations of putting
a Norma Ammo Oryx bullet to the
test out of a Remington Model 700 in 7mm Mag.
This bullet, in 156 grains, is one of the flattest shooting loads I’ve ever shot.
I will attribute this load’s key-holing properties strictly to the premium ammunition
and a fantastic rifle, which was topped with a Nikon Monarch
With daylight fading on the day of my arrival, Gary Spoon and I headed to the local
shooting field to make sure the rifle survived the long plane trip. It did. Three
shots at 100 yards all key-holed each other. I was ready to put it to the test on
one of these beautiful Kansas whitetails.
Well, it took nearly 36 hours in a tree stand for that opportunity to come. I had
logged an entire day in the field and had yet to see a deer that day. As the sun dipped
toward the horizon on Day 3, I spied movement in a distant draw. Antlers! Tall antlers
at that. Ranging the spot … 341 yards … I settled in to a three-point stance in
the box blind … a superior rest with back support, to boot.
I tried bleating with my mouth, but at that distance, I’m sure the buck never heard
it. He did stop, however, giving me enough time to inhale deeply and slowly release
it before squeezing the trigger.
KABOOM! The buck flinched, hunched over and bounded a few yards. I knew he was hit,
but I didn’t want to take any chances. I again held about 6 inches above the center
of his scapula — then repeated the procedure. The second shot put him down for good,
as he fell off the face of a steep limestone outcropping. Further review of the shots
(as we were skinning the buck the next day) revealed that the Oryx bullet hit precisely
where I wanted it to hit. The first shot missed the scapula by about an inch and a
half, punching a devastating wound through the front of the lungs. The second shot
center-punched the chest. The all-lead, bonded bullet with a copper jacket more than
lived up to the pre-hunt billing.
I certainly love the flat-shooting capabilities of the 7 mm, but my next point of
order (next season) is to put the same bullet to the test out of my all-time favorite
caliber … the .30-06.