Right Side of the Bed

TOOL: Scoped Rifle, RANGE: 185 yards, WIND: 10 mph,in-your-face

This is not only a great bull, but a great opportunity for an experienced rifleman. Because the range is only 185 yards and the breeze is blowing right down the barrel, there’s no concern about bullet wind-drift. That leaves trajectory, and with my .280 Ackley Improved throwing a 150-grain Barnes TTSX bullet 3 inches high at 100 yards, I know that deadly bullet will strike 3.6 inches high at 180 yards. I’ll crank the Swarovski Z3 3-10X42mm scope to 10X and hold the BRX reticle low on the bull’s neck, right at the end of that crease where those long, white mane hairs meet the gray hair. The bullet should break the neck and travel back into the lungs for an instant kill.

This rifle/bullet combination groups half-MOA from the bench, and I’ll be sitting with my back against my pack, elbows inside knees and the rifle’s fore-end supported in the yoke of a Bog-Pod tripod. From experience I know this will result in the bullet landing within an inch of where I want it to—if I don’t do something stupid like flinch; it’s been known to happen. I could sit and wait for the bull to stand and present a broadside target, but every ticking second will make me more nervous as the tension builds.

Shooting a bedded animal isn’t unethical in my book. They’re tougher to stalk when bedded, alert and quieter than when standing and feeding with their eyes in the brush. This bull is about to spend many an evening atop my dinner table.

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