This is easily the most excited I’ve been for an opening weekend in a long time. With the last few years showing us Texans the real meaning of drought, the whitetail population has been pathetic at best. Last year was a great year for killing off some cull bucks and hey, Dan got his first deer, but it was HOT all last summer, rain was nonexistent and my ranch was basically burned to a crisp . . .
But this year has been absolutely spectacular. We had a mild summer and this fall has been drenched. I was out at the ranch a few weeks ago and saw acorns everywhere and my pond is finally full again. A mild summer, lots of water, and a bumper crop of acorns means opening weekend is going to be the best one we’ve seen in years. The icing on the cake is a moon phase that’s bound to force daytime movement and predicted overnight lows in the low 40’s.
All this will hopefully translate into meat in the pot come opening morning. Nick will be joining me as he has for the last two seasons and I assume he’ll be bringing his 300 BLK wonder gun along. However, he might bring his comp gun, too, to score some bragging rights with his FNH teammates. I’m sure none of them have taken their guns to the woods.
I’ll be bringing a variety of firearms for the weekend including my newly camo-coated Ruger M77 in .243. Expect pictures of the stellar job that the guys at KG Coatings completed a few weeks ago. I’ll also be bringing a family heirloom Marlin 336 in the venerable .30-30. Last on the list will be my AR-15 in 5.56. All of my guns are now hunting with Barnes bullets and over the next few months, you can expect some real world reports on terminal ballistics for the following rounds.
- .243 WIN 80 gr. TTSX
- .30-30 WIN 150 gr. TSX-FM
- .223 REM 55 gr. TSX FB
I’ve only utilized the .243 load before and saw a devastating amount of tissue damage. I’m very excited about the .223 REM load as I’ve read great things on various forums and heard good chatter at the LGS. As always, you can count on TTAG to provide the truth about our experience.
Nick and I will also be recording a follow-up to last year’s popular field dressing video. This time, we’re going to focus on the quartering & deboning process. And, thanks to Chris Dumm, I have a Havalon Piranta-Edge in my grubby little hands which should make quick work of cutting our freshly killed animal(s) into jerky sized pieces.
Dear readers, the excitement here is palpable. The conditions have been great for the last few months. The weather is right. The deer are huskier than in years past and we have a lot of cool gear just waiting to be tested. Check back regularly for updates.