by NRA Staff - Wednesday, November 30, 2011
NRA Emedia’s Tom Rickwalder had the opportunity to hunt the 66,000 acres of hilly terrain of Capitan, New Mexico this November. Ruger’s No. 1 Rifle, Trijicon’s AccuPoint 3-9x40 Riflescope, Hornady’s 300 RCM 165-grain GMX Superformance Ammo and Yamaha’s Grizzly 700 and Rhino 700 were used to aid in the spot and stalk of New Mexico Desert Mule Deer.
After a brief thunderstorm, guide Jesse Vinson and I headed out to the hills. We spotted a few Mule deer heading off the mountain at about 500 yards, and continued to stalk one buck for an hour until we were 40 yards from him. Several does spotted us and one let out a loud snort. The buck quickly rose, and I fired my Ruger No. 1. The bullet entered the deer’s shoulder at the exact spot of the Amber-Dot aiming point in the reticle, and the deer dropped immediately.
On day three, the final day, there was finally no wind. We glassed the hills and began hiking to the top of that center ridge. We saw 10 or so does and three bucks in the distance. On this particular day, we covered 13 miles on the Yamahas and hiked 18.5 miles.
The first day of hunting proved to be a significant challenge. We got permission to hunt a new section of the ranch, but with 30- to 40-mile an hour wind gusts, the mule deer were still. But the Yamaha Grizzly 700 and Rhino 700 proved worthy of tackling any and all terrain. The two ATVs covered almost 90 miles in the first day alone.
Ruger No. 1 Light Sporter Rifles were brought along for each hunter. The single-shot was chambered in .300 RCM. With a 22-inch barrel, its overall length was 38.5 inches. It weighed in at 7.25 pounds (before adding the scope). The No. 1’s stock finish was beautiful, and the blued receiver added to the craftsmanship.
We headed back to camp after seeing only two does, and after grappling with the weather all day, dinner was much needed. There are no better camp cooks than Dava and Gill Turman of Fort Stockton, Tex., who cooked for 20-plus people with food to spare. A good, hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner made the long days of hunting possible.
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