Lyle and I took his son out hunting white-tailed deer on Friday. Lyle didn’t carry a rifle just helped his son to have an enjoyable experience. We first explored the area where I had seen two deer burst out from under a tree a couple weeks ago. Lyle and his son saw two (and maybe a third) deer as they ran away from us after we had walked past them in the grass. I took them out in the woods behind my parents house and Lyle spotted another which we watched run through the brush and up the hill out of sight. After lunch we scouted out an area where a grass waterway joined an 80 acre patch of woods. The grass was still green and probably good food. The timber and field areas have very little food left in them this time of year. I heard then saw one deer jump up and run deeper into the woods. We expected the deer would come out of the woods later that evening to feed and we could be waiting for them. We saw lots of tracks and were quite hopeful of our prospects there. We went back over near the Boomershoot site and Lyle walked through a small patch of trees and brush where I had seen lots of tracks a few days early. His son and I sat a 125 yards away waiting for something to come our way. There was nothing there. We went back to original patch of a few acres next to the Taj Mahal where Lyle and his son had seen the deer earlier in the day. His son and I waited at one end of the patch of brush, grass, trees, and ferns while Lyle went to the top end and walked down trying scare any deer toward us. It worked–a deer burst into the open and ran within about 10 feet of his son. I was another 40 feet away and managed to get my scope on the deer by about the time it was 100 yards away. It was on “full afterburner” and bounded out of sight in just a few seconds.
We made up a batch of explosives and put them in some clay pigeons to test the feasibility of Boomer Clays. I shot them with the highest velocity shotgun ammo with the largest pellets I could find from about 15 yards away. It did nothing but spread reactive target mix in the plowed field. We shot the same type of target with Stinger .22LR from 15 yards away. It went boom. Next we tried American Eagle .22LR (fairly low velocity) ammo, again from 15 yards away. It failed to go boom. I didn’t realize it but my previous, successful, tests with this ammo were from slightly closer. We switched back to the high velocity Stinger and everything went boom on the first hit. I don’t know if the mix was slightly different or if it was just because of slightly decreased velocity of the .22 that the mix failed to detonate with the slower ammo and the shotgun. But it didn’t really matter which. If the mix was different it meant we couldn’t produce it reliably. And in addition the shotgun test were with a very long barrel at very close range. Optimal conditions for detonation with zero success. Real life shooting would be far less likely to produce results. If we want to do shotgun boomers it’s going to have to be Plan B. We cleaned up our mixing equipment and went back to the grass waterway/woods junction to lay in ambush for Bambi.
We got into position at 17:38 about 125 yards from the far edge of the grass waterway. We waited and waited as motionless and as quiet as we could until 18:30–the last legal minute of hunting for the day. Nothing. We packed up and drove back to Moscow. Between Troy and Kendrick we saw two more deer alongside the road as we went by at 55 MPH. We saw seven and possibly eight deer during the day but with zero chance of getting a decent shot at one of them. More opportunities will present themselves and we have until December to connect.