Ovide’s Shut-Out Streak Ends – Wow!

After six shut out years in a row, I am pleased to report that the “streak” ended at 9:00 am Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012 between number 7 and 6 behind the Camp.

It was a rainy morning and I decided to hunt out back with plans to come in around lunch time to put on dry clothes for an expected and predicted clearer afternoon weather-wise and to hunt up high.  It was raining so hard early in morning that I delayed my departure until about 7:15 am.

I started from the road at number eight and hunted slow, sure and steady.  I thought of how my brother Paul had shot a pretty big buck just behind the Camp by taking it slow.  I also thought of my grandfather and his buddies who so many years ago blazed and maintained these trails and the many hunters, now long gone, who had likewise hunted along these trails.  Alas, I digress….

Just before 9:00 am, I was walking slowly along the trail through the rainy woods which were drenched with such sound that it masked any noise made by man or beast.

Movement caught my peripheral vision at about 45 degrees to my left side.  As I turned my head, all I could see was a rack and a big body walking quickly and deliberately through the woods.  I raised my grandfather’s 8mm Mauser and looked for an opening and although there was pretty thick brush in my scope, I decided to fire as soon as I could see the body of the deer.

As soon as the rack and body came into my scope, I fired but didn’t see a flag or anything.  I paused for a moment, heard nothing and started walking toward where I thought he was.  Sure enough I saw the big body on the ground, but his head was up and he was clearly alive thrashing his thick neck and head made heavy from the rack adorning it.  I watched for what seemed like forever, thinking he would expire momentarily, but as soon as his eye met mine, he became even more agitated and I decided that I should show mercy, which I did, with the second and final shot.

Of course, at that moment, I was filled with a rush of emotion and thought of all of you, among others.  This has been a long dry spell and so this one’s for you!


Marc helped me with my ATV drag the buck to Monty’s waiting truck just beyond the driveway into the Lawrence camp and we registered it at River’s Edge in Oquossoc.  According to the owner, it is a 12 point, 244 lbs. buck and I believe is now the new record.  (I will leave it up to the Camp historians to confirm this)!

Monty drove me back with the buck yesterday afternoon, as I am leaving for a week in Florida with Bettie early tomorrow morning (she deserves it!).  I hope the other stalwarts left behind (Gerry, Marc, Denis and Ron) are successful.  Either way, now that I have my life back, I am already looking forward to the 2013 Sacred Week!

All the best,


Really Big Game Rifles, Recoil and Handloading

Perhaps there is no more accomplished rifle in the world for big game than the venerable 30-06 Springfield. It has accounted for game kills of every species in North America and most of Africa. There are many rounds that are based on that cartridge case, particularly the .270 Winchester that even surpassed it in popularity due to writers and hunters such as Jack O’connor in the 1960’s. But the rifle hunting population was eager for more choices and out of that desire came an explosion of stepped up choices to contain the word Magnum in it. The word “magnum” has been used wildly over the years as a got-to-buy-it sales pitch, and it worked.

But after the second or third outing at the “bench” the shooter was no longer looking longingly at his or her rifle with the same adoring eyes. These Magnums often got left in the closet for rifles and calibers such as the 30-06 and smaller calibers like the .257 Roberts, 243 Winchester and the ever popular .308 Winchester and did not punish the shooter. And today they remain popular for many but I like to explore. It is important to remember that when hunting in the field your upright body absorbs the recoil in a more push like motion from really big game calibers.

When rifle manufacturers got the message that Magnum was no longer bringing in the buyers, it is perhaps that companies like Pachmayer® and Limbsaver SVL® were introducing Recoil Pads that could cut the recoil in half of these big Game rifles making them feel like a .308 or a .243.

I went on Safari in South Africa with a Ruger® M77 .338 Winchester Magnum and placed a Pachmayer “Decelerator” on my rifle and found that I could shoot it offhand in my T-shirt with no recoil issues. Nice! The recoil felt more like a push than a punch. With that said, Remington introduced Ultra Magnums and gained another notch in popularity for a time. Ruger introduced the .375 Ruger cartridge and rifle several years back in their M77 .375 African (wood stock) and the M77 .375 Alaskan with a synthetic stock. The cartridge was a proprietary collaboration of Hornady and Sturm Ruger that was unbelted and would fit in a standard action. Innovative! The .375 Ruger M77 was well receive by Big Game Hunters treking to Alaska for Brown Bear or Yukon Moose or to Africa for everything under the sun. With a state of the art recoil pad such as Pachmayer or the Limbsaver, shooting this powerful cartridge was very tolerable.

No longer is the wise shooter getting whacked by a Magnum.

In my ebook African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow, I test the .338 Winchester Magnum, the .375 Ruger, and the 416 Rigby and provide charts and recoil comparisons as well as discuss downrange energy with Leupold Scopes and Nosler Ammo such as the AccuBond.

In the book  I demonstrate graphically that recoil reduction that today’s magnums have been largely tamed with proper recoil protection.

So go ahead and grab that big bore and with proper recoil you can shoot it with supreme accuracy. And handloading your cartridge can make it shoot even better.

Here is a brand new .375 Ruger and target with three shots fired with a Leupold VX-3 scope It was at 50 yards that we tried this firing a 300 grain dangerous game Monolithic Solid that would kill an Elephant with a Brain shot.

See the target below.

The three shot group was about 1/2 inch.

With 260 grain AccuBond shown above left this rifle shoots 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards.

In a 600 yard test at Nashua Fish and Game I shot 600 yards with my best groups at 3 1/8 inches vertically while shooting in a prone position with sandbag rests. The bullets were arriving at the target with 1500 foot pounds of energy and the con trail was visible by my spotter.  As a reloader I can choose to load this rifle down to equal my muzzle loader. With the reduced load I killed a 200 lb red deer at 50 yards. A heart shot.


Never felt the kick!  Really big game rifles can be tamed with proper recoil pads and by hand loading your cartridge. Good Hunting and Shooting. Ed ©