Gary's Gun Notes #62

Our latest Celebrity Handgun Hunt is now history and a great time was had by all. This year we had more of the regulars at the hunt than ever before. Some of the regulars that were there include Charlie Herf, Sean Harper, Scott Boggs, Doug Faith, Tracy Marshall, Bill Firman, Greg Geiger, Andy Rowe, Kase and me. There is probably someone I missed, if so I apologize.

The name of this charity handgun hunt is in the middle of being changed as we haven't had any celebrities show up in a couple of years. Years ago we often had Tom Selleck, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze, and several others show up from time to time, but not recently. 

The hunt, as I said is a charity handgun hunt. The purpose of the hunt is to raise money and meat for the needy at Christmas. As of this hunt we have raised over 200,000 pounds of meat for the needy. The meat is ground up into hamburger and shipped to several outlets. 

The hunt is made up of the top handgun hunters in the world and some of the factory reps of some companies that make guns and accessories for us. Factory products and give away items are usually there from Ruger, Thompson Center, S&W, Winchester ammo, Sure Fire flashlights, Freedom Arms, Magnum Research, SSK, Mag Na Port, and of course Reeder Custom Guns, both Kase and I building custom guns as prizes.

This year, as in years past the Y.O Ranch in Mountain Home Texas was the site of the hunt and the ranch, which has many many thousands of acres of wild exotic game and whitetail deer, put on a great hunt. They had as a package 2 whitetail bucks, 7 points or less, and 2 does and a lot of the 55 hunters that showed up took advantage of it. There are so many whitetails there that you are very seldom out of sight of them for more than a few seconds. I would estimate that there are 25,000 whitetail on that ranch, minimum. For a slight premium, the hunter could take a larger buck of 8 points or better, and we saw some monsters there of 11 points and larger. 

Whitetail deer do not excite me at all. I have taken so many thru the years that they simply don't do much for me. One of the package deals at the Y.O. was a Sika deer buck and doe combo. For $1250 each hunter got his choice of packages, either the whitetail or the Sika deer package. I chose the Sika as did Kase. November 29th is Kase's birthday and the Y.O. hunt each year is his birthday present. Kase automatically gets invited as he is one of the top handgun hunters in the country, but the old man pays for it. 

As I usually do I chose to take a Sika buck the first morning to get my hunt out of the way and concentrate on Kase's hunt. I took a 7 point Sika with the 378 GNR, one shot at about 100 yards. I had the 378 GNR encore and one of my little "pirate guns" , an 8 inch G-2 in 356 GNR. Kase was carrying his old faithful, the 378 GNR encore that he has taken so many animals with in the past. While we were driving around the ranch looking over our possibilities, Andy Rowe was also checking the critters out. This year Andy was hunting with us and carried a large assortment of guns chambered in the GNR cartridges. His choices included a 280 GNR encore, a 375 GNR revolver, a 310 GNR encore and his favorite, the 8mm GNR encore. Andy had the first morning jitters and failed to connect that first day. 

The next day was overcast with a misting rain and gusting winds. The animals stayed hunkered down for the most part. But some were moving and by the end of the day Andy had taken a nice "Rambo" sheep with his 375 GNR Wyoming Hunter. The Rambo is a Merino sheep, which is also known as a Mauna Kea sheep and a Ramboulet sheep, Rambo for short. He also took a great record book Red Sheep, a very hard to get sheep from Armenia. He took that with his 8mm GNR encore.

Kase also connected on a huge Dall sheep late in the day just before dark with his 378 GNR. We drove by the Y.O. garbage dump and I just happened to notice a couple of mangy feral cats and not being able to resist that, I took one with the 378 GNR and the other with the 356 GNR. 

The 3rd day started out clear and cool, great hunting weather. Andy had been looking for a big whitetail buck as he was unable to connect the first day. But on the third day he got lucky and took a very nice 8 point buck with his 310 GNR encore. Late in the day we spotted 3 large Sika bucks in a clearing almost 200 yards away. There was no brush to enable us to sneak up on them so Kase settled in for the long shot, and resting the 378 GNR on his knee, he took the largest buck in the bunch at almost 200 yards, one shot. Even though this buck was only a 7 pointer, it had the largest horns of any Sika that I saw taken.

Some other animals taken included several huge 8 point whitetails taken by Bill Firman with his 410 GNR revolver, another by Charlie Herf with his 280 GNR encore, several animals were taken by Sean Harper including fox, whitetail does and whitetail bucks, with his 257 GNR encore, 280 GNR encore and 256 GNR Wyoming Hunter revolver. Tracy Marshall also took a couple of really nice whitetail bucks with his 7-08 encore. Scott Boggs also took several animals with his custom guns, including a couple of nice deer, whitetail and Sika with his 7 GNR contender and another nice whitetail buck with his Ruger Super Redhawk in our new 429 GNR caliber. 

Scott's hunting buddy Doug Faith, was only able to take a couple of his does having never found a shootable buck. But he hunted as hard as the rest of us. Greg Geiger also took a nice animal but not sure what gun he took it with. 

All in all it was a great hunt with some high quality animals taken. And if all goes well, we will duplicate it next year.

Lots of new guns and gear to be previewed at the SHOT SHOW just after the first of the year. The new Thompson Center rifles are doing well and more models are slated to be released. The new revived Winchester Model 70 will be shown, as will it's sister rifle the new Browning X Bolt rifle. Winchester is still touting the good points of the WSM cartridges and in their literature they claim the 325 WSM is as popular as the 30-06. And Santa Claus and the Easter bunny will be wed this June in Acapulco. 

More to tell you about but it will have to wait til next month. If I don't get a chance to say so between now and then, I hope you and your family have a great holiday season.



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