Skip to comments.So Many Deer, So Much Development
Posted on 12/11/2004 8:56:54 PM PST by crushelits
Growth Thwarts Va. Hunters
The dawn is still, a faint brightening just above the dried husks of a Purcellville cornfield, the moon still bright. Jay McKeever freezes and slowly inches down into a squat. A white-tailed buck emerges from a thicket of bare trees, the "big boy" he has tracked all morning.
The buck, colorblind to the blaze orange baseball cap McKeever wears, comes to a halt. It would be a perfect shot -- and a rack of antlers worth mounting. McKeever curses quietly, his Browning .270-caliber deer hunting rifle, with scope, untouched on the frozen ground next to him. The buck startles and bounds back into the woods.
"I could have shot, but I don't know where the bullet will go," he whispers. "It could hit a bone and deflect." These days in Loudoun County, a ricochet could be deadly. The plastic-tipped rifle bullet McKeever uses can keep goingafter it passes through a deer and travel up to a mile if he misses. And though they are invisible beyond a rise at the edge of the field, a Christmas tree farm and a new development of $700,000-plus homes sit in his line of fire. Some of the yards have brightly colored slides and jungle gyms. Hunting in the shadow of mansions, McKeever says, is "like a head-on collision. There's just no place to let a rifle bullet loose around here that's not going to wind up getting in trouble."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Time to get a new gun. He needs a a 30-30.
He could try a shotgun with slugs or buckshot.
There are a couple of places here in GA where I am not too comfortable hunting with my 7mmRemMag. So I'll opt for the Winchester model 94 (.44Mag w/ hollow points) or a Remington 11-48 12 guage shotgun with 00Buckshot.
In some part of Maryland that's the only thing you can use. (slugs or buckshot).
I've encountered this same problem. A couple years ago a friend and myself spent the season hunting an island that was absolutely teaming with deer. The problem was you almost never got a chance to shoot them because they were ussually standing in someones front yard. Eventually we both did get our deer, but we never chose to hunt there again.
Would someone who wanted to open up a target range in this area get such nice treatment from the WP, do you think? Or even freakin' mountain bikers, riding on other people's property?
If deer get out of control, then local residents will have to decide what to do. In the meantime, it's just too bad that these hunters' recreation is curtailed by other people spending a fortune for property and a home (even a home that looks "zactly" like the others). Someone lives there. You're just going to have go get permission, or shoot somewhere else. Boo hoo.
More seriously: deer are a problem almost everywhere, but particularly in Loudoun County, which is the second fastest-growing county in the US. Many new Loudoun residents buy or build in what was until recently farmland or forest, and are then surprised that they have to deal with displaced wildlife and the other problems inherent in country living. In my county we have had some luck in dealing with yuppies, PETA types, and deer all at the same time by staging deer drives, in which professional hunters slaughter large numbers of deer which are then used to feed the poor. It's not a perfect solution but it's better than nothing.
Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to live within a couple hundred yards to several hundred thousand acres of wilderness area and multiple use public lands.
My question is, why is he hunting, let alone packing that rifle if he is not going to shoot? Something fishy in hunting country with this story.
Better yet, he needs a 12lb Mountain Howitzer, which this guy uses to hunt deer in Wisconsin. http://www.buckstix.com/howitzer.htm
Could you supply an example of where 'local residents' have managed overly large deer populations?
Sounds like a Glaser-like opportunity, for some clever ammunition or projectile maker.
I agree, something's fishy, why is he even there? Also, I'd never lay a scoped Browning on the ground.
Heck, I just shoot them in the yard. A bow works fine, and it doesn't alarm the neighbors. Killed my third deer of the season yesterday (although I used a shotgun on that one)....I have enought venison in my various freezers to last me a couple of years.
Time to buy a crossbow. Arrows almost never ricochet and you can always see where they went and they will never "travel up to one mile" after they ricochet.
Same here in Southern Michigan.
The ground hasn't frozen here so far this year.
The idiots in Fairfax just ripped up a fairly decent tract of woods by the Vienna Metro. Now the deer that had taken cover there are being hunted by all the drivers in the area.
I thought this was satire until I scrolled down and viewed the picture of the dressed buck . . .
Probably eating out of dumpsters. Next they'll be head butting people on the street for handouts.
Maybe starting a (sub) urban legend that deer meat is an aphrodisiac will drive up poaching?
Wondering how the .44 gets the job done.
I've been toying with getting a lever in .44 or 35 Rem.
(why I don't know as I don't hunt, just have the urge for a big bore)
That gun, the Winchester 94 in .44Mag, is the one gun that I would keep if I could only have one gun. It is small, lightweight, reliable, easily maintained, durable, and powerful.
There are a wide range of loads available in .44Mag for game from small to large, and if it were your only gun, you could even use shotshells and go bird hunting with it (though I haven't actually tried that.) They are accurate out to a 150 yards, and I can hit what I aim at with nothing but the iron sights. Here is a FR thread on the Model 94.
It's a state law in Iowa...shotguns only.
Some states have no provisions for crossbow use...ie, they're illegal.
Use www.bugmenot.com for login and password for the whole article.
Thanks for the ping.
Seriously. If he's afraid of the shot travelling too far, he ought to try a shorter rifle.
You're right about that...a .270 wasn't made for brush hunting...it's an open range gun...
Not legal in VA, unfortunately, though there should be a bill introduced before our General Assembly next year to change that.
I live and hunt in Loudoun County. The area I hunt on is safe for a rifle, only because I prefer to stay on high ground and shoot down into streambeds and drainages. Otherwise I'd use either a handgun or a bow.
Sabots my man, sabots.