Monday, July 06, 2015

The Hunt of a Lifetime

Always dreamed of hunting a red stag...this one worked out real well. A 91 yard shot after a VERY hard day of hiking up a mountain chasing the old boy. Complete report on this week's podcast, but I wanted to give you a quick load-out:

• Rifle: Ruger GUNSITE Scout, .308 with the following modifications from Cylinder and Slide Shop:

--XS full-length rail
--Timney Trigger
-- DPMS/Jerry Miculek muzzle brake

• Magazines: Ruger 5-round polymer
• Scope: Swarovski Z3 3-9X 36mm
• Rings: Burris Zee-Rings
• Sling: Galco Safari Ching Sling
• Bipod: Harris 6-9 inch swivel
• Cheek Piece: FTW Ranch/SAAM
• Ammo: Hornady Superformance 150-gr GMX; BTW, this round is listed at 2939 fps, but for the sake of my charts I went with 2750 fps out of the shorter Scout barrel
• Rangefinder: Leupold RX-800i (I think this has been discontinued)
• Binos: Steiner Military and Marine 8X30
• Bino Harness: Bushnell Deluxe
• Knife: Blade-Tech Pro Hunter

Otherwise, pretty straightforward — belt from Wilderness Tactical, suspenders from VTAC,  outerwear from Cabelas (the Silent Suede is killer!!!), base layers and socks a mix of expedition stuff I've used over the years, pants are plain old boring Wrangler Upland Hunting pants.

I cannot speak highly enough of the boots! I used the Lowa Renegade GTX Gore-Tex boot, and it is one of the finest boots I've ever owned. I used the Lowa Desert Boot exclusively in Africa, and the Renegade is my go-to boot in Colorado. For hard, rocky hiking in NZ, the boot was perfect. Even in the driving rain, my feet were never wet.

Our guide was Shane Johnson at Four Seasons Safaris outside of Christchurch. He was just wonderful. Shane came highly recommended by my friend Tim Fallon at FTW Ranch. The accommodations were perfect the food was great and the company beyond compare.

THE FINE PRINT: Let me clarify a couple of points before you even ask...Ruger has been and remains a sponsor, as does Hornady. I have more rounds through my Scout than any other bolt action I've ever owned, and the majority of those rounds are Hornady Superformance. Burris and XS have been sponsors at various times. The Steiners were a gift when we visited Steiner in Germany with Joe Mantegna a couple of years back...probably the best cheap binos in the world. The Pro-Hunter is a gift from my dear friend Tim Wegner, the founder of has my name on it.

Otherwise, I got this stuff the same way you might get it...I agonized over the choices and finally bought what I thought I needed. It all worked! The great photos were taken by our DP, Brook Aiken. You'll get to see the whole thing on SHOOTING GALLERY 2016!!!!


nj larry said...

"Ammo: Hornady Superformance 150-gr GMX; BTW, this round is listed at 2939 fps, but for the sake of my charts I went with 2750 fps out of the shorter Scout barrel"

Wait a second, wait one darn second !!!! Here I am as a total numbnuts living in a communist state, rarely these days getting to the range, a bitter old guy and a safe full of safe queens. BUT even I have an Oehler 35 sitting in the garage ! Yes I had to save up the pennies, but when I saw at the NRA show 5 or 6 years ago Oehler was going to build them again I signed up for the wait list. 6 months later I received it ! Do you mean before a lifetime type trip like NZ you did not chrono the round you were going to use? MB you just winged it? Just a guess? I am appalled sir !

Actually very happy to see folks having great hunts like what these photos show. :)

Michael Bane said...

Larry, LOL...truer words were never spoken! But it was a Darn Good Guess!!! I have chron'ed other loads from my Scout, and I've seen data from a lot of people I trusted, so I took the chance. Besides, the difference inside that 350 yard window is pretty insignificant. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

Sorry you couldn't have been there!!


Ken G said...

Very nice stag. Nice tops, heavy mass.
Well done!

DonD said...

Dang Michael, you should not be posting stuff like this on the internet. ENVY is a MORTAL SIN, according to the nuns who taught me! The video should be spectacular.

Adam Schmidt said...

Congratulations! I can't wait for the episode!

Adam Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheepdog1968 said...

Congrats Michael. I've been eyeing Red Stag for quite some time. Thanks for the gear info. How did the Red Stag taste?

Jordan Coulson said...

Congrats! It sounds as if you earned that trophy of a lifetime!

DamDoc said...

Maine Update 7/7/15 7:45 AM.. just listened to a live interview with Governor LePage on the local morning talk radio show on WVOM (voice of Maine)... The Gov said there will be a signing ceremony for LD 652, the constitutional carry bill here in Maine, in the next day or two.. so He will signing it!.. Happy day here in Maine (unless, of course, you are one of the Demanding Mommies who had mysterious funding to blast their message against it on the local TV stations.. they are quite upset!). We win!

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Danner Crater Rim boots are a comperable style to your European made Lowas. Danners are made in the USA. The cost more but are better IMO

I have a pair of Danner Arcadas I wore on patrol for 20+ years. Had em resoled at the factory once. Great boots. Saved my ass a few time and my 60 year old hips still work great.

Keep your money at home when you can.

David said...

Can't wait to hear about the hunt on the podcast!

Anonymous said...

I'll "Second" the vote for Danners. I also have worn my "Acadias" for more than 25 years. I'm easy on soles, so they have many years left. I wear them for my "urban expeditions". I park them next to a custom-edition of their Ft. Lewis boots. These are "2-holes" higher than the 'Lewis boots. I wear those in the wilds of Michigan. For the mountains and rocks, I have a pair of their "Rough Country" mountaineering boots. They're non-Gore Tex so I reserve them for hard-freeze, or dry conditions. None of their boots have ever let me down, probably because these all have sewn welts, along with outstanding workmanship and materials. I can't attest to their bonded boots though, as I've not tried them. Every other, EVERY other manufactures bonded boots have let me down at the most inopportune time, with the exception of government-issue "jungle" boots and my Marine Corps all leather boots.

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER PAIR OF Timberlands, even though I've never worn a single pair out. They ALL fell apart before I got that far! (And I bought many pairs!)
Life Member

_DonWorsham_ said...

While you were whacking Red Stag, I was cutting the grass. But hey, I'm moving on.

Colin Franks said...


Colin Franks said...


Sheepdog1968 said...

Hi Michael. I appreciably you being upfront about sponsors. Ever since the beginnings of radio and television there have been sponsors. Movies, TV, and music videos have product placement. There is nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, if we want to listen to you and others then we accept the fact that something firearms related will be sponsoring it. I trust that you are honest in what you say about a product. I don't know why folks would get bent out of shape about it.