.30-30 Marlin Bags First Deer!

By Stephen Cauley

I read Chuck Hawks' recommendations of the Marlin 336SS and the .30-30 Winchester cartridge and followed them. I took my first deer with my new rifle just two days ago, using with the open sights. They worked well.

I hunt in Northern Virginia where the deer population is out of control. Every day I see a new deer killed on the road, and last year the county I live in harvested about 100,000 deer. You can harvest as many deer as you want as long as you buy the tags.

Anyway, I got into the stand by moonlight at about 5:45 AM. I hunt in a stand because it is safer and easier. Also, both of my neighbors hunt and it is my first year hunting.

The rut is in full swing, but I was just hoping for a nice doe. At about 6:15 one came along about 40 yards away and there was enough light for a legal shot. But, just my luck, a rabbit came running out of the brush and scared the daylights out of the deer. My confidence fell and I considered ending the hunt, but it was too early to throw in the towel, so I waited.

About 15 minutes later heard something crossing the creek near my stand, a 9-point buck! Heading straight for my stand, he walked down the path that runs by my stand. I grunted and he stopped 30 yards away, then started walking again. I grunted again and he stopped about 20 yards away. I was standing in the stand with the gold bead trained on his boiler room. I squeezed of the round and he jumped when the 150 grain 30-30 Winchester Power Point slug hit him, then ran about 40 yards to the edge of the creek and dropped.

I lowered the gun from the stand with a rope, then climbed down from the stand. Wow! I worked the lever then walked to the spot where I shot him. No blood at first. Then I walked over to him and poked the deer with a stick. He had been breathing up blood through his mouth and nose. It was a cleanly placed lung shot right behind his shoulder. What a deer!

I'm so glad I bought that wonderful gun (Marlin 336 SS, 30-30 Win.). It's the perfect gun for the terrain in which I hunt, brushy with the longest shots at about 75 yards, which even then is rare.

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Copyright 2004 by Stephen Cauley. All rights reserved.