Completely different results from 2009
Some of you may remember how last year I shot a doe with my .30-06 with handloads consisting of 168 gr TTSX's over 49 grains of IMR 4064. I posted about how I was disappointed in the extreme amount of damage that was done even though I didn't hit any major bone structure, just ribs. To sum it up, the whole front half of the doe was bloodshot and mostly un-usuable. She also ran over 100 yards and the lungs only had a small hole punched through them.
Being that it was the first deer I'd shot with that load (which was designed for elk), I didn't want to base my entire opinion of them as a whitetail round on 1 experience. So I used the same load again this year and had completely different and surprising results.
Opening morning I shot a buck at about 70 yards, quartering away. I hit him a few inches behind the close shoulder and it exited through the opposite shoulder. First, the buck only ran 50 yards at the most. Second, the lungs were destroyed. Lastly, when I skinned the buck I was utterly amazed at the LACK of destruction. Butchering the deer myself, I found that even though the bullet exited through the shoulder, there was still plenty of usuable meat after cleaning up around the actual exit wound. Bloodshot meat was limited to just around the impact and exit areas.
At 1100 a herd of 7 does came past my stand & I picked out a mature one and shot her just behind the shoulders while standing broadside to me about about 70 yards. She only made it about 30 yards or so before piling up. Like last years doe, I hit no major bone structure but this year the lungs were destroyed just like the bucks'. Upon skinning and butchering I found that damage was very minimal on her as well.
These rounds were loaded exactly the same as the ones from last year, but the results were about 180 degrees from last year on similar sized animals. The only difference was that last years shot was a little longer but I don't know that a distance of 70 yards (when shooting less than 200 yards) with a .30-06 would make that kind of a difference.
"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick