2009 Mule Deer Hunt with 243 WSSM Rifles

Mule Deer Hunt with 243 WSSMDallen and I both would be hunting together for mule deer with rifles this year. I was pretty excited about the opportunity and it brought back memories of my first hunt at age 16 with my father using my Grandfather's Winchester Model 94 in 25-35 Win. I shot a two point that year in the 200 yard range with a peep sight. I long lucky shot I am sure I could never reproduce. I was pretty excited and had a wonderful time.

Dallen and I were going to be hunting some high altitude areas and looking to spend a night or two backpacking into some remote locations. I had a couple of honey holes that no one is crazy enough to venture into... well almost no one. We were planning on heading there.

Mule Deer Hunt with 243 WSSMUnfortunately a few days before the hunt Dallen fell ill with the swine flu and it quickly spread to my other three children. With the rifle season only being basically a week long it was a disaster for our hunt. With the kids sick I would grab a couple of hours sleep then take off driving around five in the morning. I would hike in a mile, hunt for a couple hours then run home to help with the kids. I did see a few smaller bucks and a small four point. On opening morning I hooked my digital camera up to the spotting scope and filmed a couple of two point bucks sparring to take back and show Dallen. And on one of my mad dashes I watched a whopper of a 3x4 but he was on the wrong side of a canyon.

By the end of the week Dallen was over the flu but the effects had taken it's toll. His lungs were just not up to 100%. I took him out two mornings and we saw a few does. We were unable to hike in as far as I wanted because his lungs just weren't in any shape to handle it.

I did have fun taking pictures of Dallen as we were hiking out the one morning. In fact the November 2009 wallpaper download on browning.com is one of these photos. I'll  post some others in this journal entry.

We were both carrying 243 WSSM rifles for the hunt with my 80g Tipped Triple Shock load. The load shoots really well out of both rifles. I decided on a load with powder that isn't as fast as I could possibly could get but it is a very accurate load and has absolutely no signs of any pressure in my rifles.


I was carrying a 243 WSSM, A-Bolt Stainless Laminate Varmint with a fluted barrel. This rifle has a 24 inch barrel and is topped off with a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x scope. Although the scope does not have the eye relief I need in a magnum recoiling rifle it works perfect on this rifle that has little to no recoil. This rifle is pushing my 80g Tipped Triple Shock load at 3475 fps on a 55 degree day. I bet with the right powder I could safely get this bullet going around 3600 fps, but I am very satisfied with how it is performing as is.


Dallen was carrying a 243 WSSM, A-Bolt Stainless Laminate Hunter with 22" barrel. This rifle has a Bushnell Elite 3200 3-10x SA Scope which is a perfect match for this small super short actioned rifle. This rifle is pushing the same 80g Tipped Triple Shock load at 3360 fps at 55 degrees. Barrel length makes a difference in the amount of speed you can achieve. Still 3360 fps does plenty darn good on deer and even elk as you may have read in my entry on Dallen's first elk with a 243 WSSM.

Dallen is hopeful the 3x4 will be on the correct side of the canyon come next year. I hope he's right.

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