View Full Version : The Curious Incident of the Mule Deer on the Range

flamingo 7
04-18-2006, 11:09 AM
I had a free day so I made the drive to the NRA Whittington Center to do some range work (Elk load for the 7X57). I arrived and set up, having the entire 200 yard sight in range to myself…heaven on earth. I had four 5 shot strings to test for this particular gun and was midway through the first string, looking through the scope when I noticed movement to the right. When I looked up there was a mulie just to the right of the target stand and two more following close behind! The first deer slowly ambled in front of the target and stopped to nose the ground (there is no grass on the 200 meter range). At that point I stood up and started to hoot and holler. The deer finally looked my direction and slowly walked off the range, each in turn, passing in front of the target stand. Now I was on the far left hand side of the range and the deer had to cover some 70 yards to get where they were when I first noticed them. And while it may not have sounded like a war zone, there were at least two shots that had already gone down range by the time I saw them. What a sight!

04-18-2006, 01:31 PM

I run a regional high power rifle championship at Whittington Center every summer. On many occasions we have had to call a cease fire because deer, antelope or turkeys wander onto the range. Last year a goup of turkeys walked between the targets and some of the best shooters in the country as they were shooting offhand at 200 hundred yards. The year before that, a goup of deer did the same thing. The gunfire does not distrub them at all. It is pretty amazing.

04-18-2006, 04:19 PM
The range at Fort Sill frequently has mule deer wandering around the impact area. The smallest gun shooting at that particular range is a 105mm howitzer. Range sweeps looking for unexploded projectiles frequently find deer carcases. The deer are either deaf or acclimated to the explosions that are noticably loud at 2000 yards away, and much louder when you are beneath them. I've been fairly close to a few short rounds and they sure bother me.

04-19-2006, 06:19 AM
I had a similar experience with a dandy pronghorn buck at the BLM range by Grand Junction. I had been shooting my .270 for some time when he ran out across the range just in front of the 100 yard berm. He crossed in front of me and stopped broadside on the far side of the range. They aren't that common out there so it was a pretty neat sight.

04-19-2006, 07:15 AM
Our local Lions range is located on the valley bench adjacent to NF lands. It's common to see deer browsing on the sidehill just above the range and during deer season, when you can't find a deer on the slopes above the range, they are found on the range and they are impervious to the gunfire. They do learn where the threat to their lives is.
Last fall, last day of the rifle hunt, I was on our local Highpower range alone, doing some 600 yard shooting with my AR10, and this range sits adjacent to NF land also. I took a short break and when I went to shoot again, there was a NICE Mulie buck with a harem of about 8 does, just humping away right in front of my target. I was so tempted, but being the moral upstanding voyeur that I am, I just enjoyed the show.

04-19-2006, 06:17 PM
So, when I go turkey hunting in a week instead of a decoy, I think I'll just hang a target out there and see what walks within range......