First blood for the 6.5 PRC

Timgunner

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Having just finished a custom build I was anxious to get into the wild and try it out. The build is a Mac Brothers Evo magnum action. With a Wyatt’s extended box magazine. The barrel is a 1-7.5” twist Benchmark Carbon wrapped 26” barrel with a three port brake. The stock is a Manners carbon SL with molded in camo. The scope is a Leupold vx6 3-18 with the windplex reticle. It’s a pretty sweet rifle that comes in at about 8lbs fully dressed. I didn’t have time to develop a load for the rifle before the antelope opening weekend and it is very hard to find an antelope on public land after opening weekend so I had no choice but to use factory ammo. I had two boxes of Hornady match 147gr eldm ammo for testing and sight in. After a very little break-in I banged some steel out to 1100yds and confirmed the applied ballistics data to be correct. Unfortunately as I was shooting I forgot about my limited ammo situation until I was down to three rounds left. I had an, “oh crap!” moment and packed it up for the day. Knowing that I only had three rounds and a brand new rifle for the hunt was unnerving. I decided to try and limit my max range to avoid making a mistake and ending up out of ammo. The next morning was the antelope opening day in South Dakota. I had scouted the public land in my hunting area the previous week. Since bow tags are good for all the units I was able to scout my rifle unit and bow hunt at the same time. I found a pond that a herd of antelope was visiting each morning but I couldn’t get any closer than 80yds before they spooked so my blw hunting attempts were unsuccessful. This however gave me the opportunity to know where the antelope would likely be on the opening morning of rifle season. Saturday morning I rolled out and arrived at the piece of BLM where i had seen the goats just at sun up. To my dismay there were several out of state vehicles on the same road, some parked some driving looking out the windows with binoculars. I decided I better ge a move on to cover the mile or so walk to the pond over the hill before somebody else did. I started explaining how i had almost got close enough to the antelope As my friend and I stopped where we could see the pond in the distance. Just then the antelope started walking out of the pond into view. There was not much cover or topography between us and the pond to get much closer without being seen. It looked like the antelope were on edge and they kept looking to their right as if there was something bothering them up the draw in a place I couldn’t see. I assumed they were looking at other hunters and decided that I had to make a quick shot while I could. I had to crawl about 10yds to get above the grass for a probe shot. After I moved to where I could see the buck in my scope I ranged him at 550yds. The wind was almost a perfect 90degree cross wind and felt like about 10 mph. I dialed my scope to 8 MOA for elevation and held 2 moa with the reticle for the wind and asked my buddy if he was ready. When the antelope turned broadside I slowly squeezed the trigger and watched the dust fly up right behind the buck. I tried listening for the report of the bullet hitting the antelope but my ears were ringing from the muzzle brake. All the antelope took down into a draw behind the pond dam and disappeared. I asked my buddy if he had seen the impact abd he said he just saw dust kick up in the distance behind the buck. Just then antelope started coming up the opposite side of the draw. I got ready to take another shot but I couldn’t see the buck with them. We waited a few minutes and the buck never came out of the draw. I felt very good about the shot and was telling my buddy that the buck had to be dead in the bottom of the draw. We waited another couple minutes abd walked over. Sure enough there was the buck dead in the bottom of the draw. We drug him out of the mid and into a flat spot to quarter him up and pack him out. This was the most perfect shot I have ever made on an animal it was right through the heart. The eldm left a pencil sized hole on the entrance side and a half dollar sized exit wound. Very little meat was lost and I was a happy camper. I couldn’t have asked for a better hunt.

 

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Homebrewer

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Great writeup on your successful hunt. Competition on BLM land can make things tough, lucky that your early scouting gave you an edge.
Congrats on your antelope.

-
 

XTREMHTR16

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Congrats!

I can second the remark to not forget your ear pro when using a brake. My right ear rings constantly since i shot a mule deer buck without ear pro a few years ago, rifle was a 6.5 SAUM with Vias brake. It truly sucks….
 

scottrod338

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Good shooting, antelope are definitely challenging and the main reason i got into longrange shooting.
I've been using the OTTO electronic earplugs for a few years with great results. Put them in when I head out and leave them in until done hunting.
 

DerekS

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Awesome story and happy ending. Congratulations. I was in suspense when you said you only had three rounds left. Then throw in several hunters for pressure, and holy cow.
 

Timgunner

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Good shooting, antelope are definitely challenging and the main reason i got into longrange shooting.
I've been using the OTTO electronic earplugs for a few years with great results. Put them in when I head out and leave them in until done hunting.
How do you like the OTTO hearing protection? I looked at the walkers and they had suck bad reviews I wasn’t going to waste my time. I’ve never heard of OTTO before.
 

DerekS

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I've got a buddy who is currently using Grizzly Ears. I'm going to get a set when I can afford them. This would be a good topic for another thread.
 

scottrod338

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The OTTO had excellent reviews and price was good. I couldn't be without them.
Really like the fact you can communicate with a spotter or talk with other people with them in. I hunt with mine and the only thing that took some getting used to was the little bit of amplification while walking in the brush .
 

OSOK - Crash

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Good shooting, antelope are definitely challenging and the main reason i got into longrange shooting.
I've been using the OTTO electronic earplugs for a few years with great results. Put them in when I head out and leave them in until done hunting.
I use the OTTO's as well. Love them! I shot a doe last year without hearing protection. Didn't even think about it. Never again! My ears rang for days.

I agree with your other comment below about the amplification on walking through the brush. Once you get used to it though, it doesn't bother me. Love using them at the range too. I can speak without shouting and hear just fine. I've worn mine all day with the standard ear tips with zero problems.

I don't shoot anything or hunt without them now. One of my favorite pieces of gear I've bought in the last few years.

 

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