This article will contain 3 parts with additional information and photos for Deer Hunt articles, Shooting .177 article and continuation of cartography articles.
Deer Hunt Addendum
First I had told you guys that a friend of mine’s son told me I got lucky with the 410 in killing that deer. So I took a cardboard deer target to the spot where the deer was standing and strung it up between two trees to be positioned same as the deer that day. Recall that the deer was at 44 yards. I went back to the chicken coop and shot the target 10 times.
The result was 3 hit vital areas, the lower one was actually two shots almost in the same hole. I hit the back legs 4 times and they would only have injured the deer. It would have had plenty of strength left to run off and die a slow miserable death somewhere. I hit it once in the front leg which would have had similar results. The shot group was about 2.5 feet in diameter. I missed completely twice. So yes I had a 30% chance of a kill shot that day and got lucky and killed the deer. That might be fine in a survival situation but it’s bad deer hunting.
If I had practiced with the gun, I could have made the shot group tighter. If I had something to brace the gun against, such as a post or wall or tree, the shot group would have been better. If I were using shooting sticks to rest the gun on (bi pod), it also would have been better and I could get a tighter kill zone shot group. There might also be a couple of mods to the gun which could help out. I hear using rifled slugs can help and I hear also they won’t because the riffling in this case is so that the round fits easier through the modified choke. Also adding a riffled choke might help. Removing the smooth bore barrel and adding a riffled barrel would also help. Adding a back sight could also help. Without any of this, however, the gun might be better used for closer ranges, such as 10 to 25 yards.
I still proved this little snake charmer 410 to be a good survival gun in my opinion. I just need to work on my accuracy a bit more and wait for closer shots. If you have time to be in the woods every day, a closer shot is much more likely. With me getting only 4 days this last season to hunt I think next year I will use a longer range gun.
.177 Chinese Air Rifle
In the gallery below you will see how I camouflaged the rifle using gun tape. I camouflaged the scope using vinyl sticky cut out cammo. I need a different scope ring set, which is sold separately from the scope. I need one that would allow me to sight with open sights under the scope. Also this would give more room for inserting a pellet. As it is, this scope setup puts the scope almost in the way of inserting a pellet.
I show you the full view of rifle in a couple of shots. I show two shots of the scope, and I show the front sight and rear sights. You may adjust front sight up and down by twisting it counter clockwise with a tool from the top. The back sight can be raised and lowered easily to make quick adjustments for various ranges. And you numbers for 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 3.5 positions, etc. Also I could not get a good photo of it, but there is a screw in the back sight which can be turned clockwise or counter clockwise to adjust windage. There is no way to adjust windage of front sight. I can not tell you right now how much adjustment each 1/4, 1/2 or whole turn makes for either windage or elevation. I think I will probably be replacing this chinese rifle with a Beaman Duel Cal .177 .22 soon. Otherwise I need to buy a new chinese rifle. This one probably has been dry fired too many times, as it only shoots 450 fps. Also, I need to do some work to the scope mount to make it more in line with the barrel. We welded it, but didn’t get the alignment good enough to even sight it in. I could attempt to rebuild this one but I’m not sure that I might not destroy this gun trying.
Mapping the 18 Acre Homestead using my Smartphone and Compass
Map 1 is the overall map which shows everything. I basically took one evening and walked from my camper on Nichols Lane up an old road to the chicken coop then eastward up another old roadway. I then went south to the shale pit and found 3 points on the shale pit. I also tried to triangulate on 2 buildings. One I own in the shale pit is a shop and one is the neighbors. Next I followed around to the beginning of a ravine/brook that sometimes has flowing water. I made my way to the power line on the east boundary of the property and northward into the woods and found some corner markers. I tried to triangulate the location of the white house on the cliff. Next I moved westward along the cliffs (which I don’t think I own) and took notes on a few points one of which was next to a pretty nice bluff shelter that might house 2. Then westward past what was an old lodge up on top of the bluffs that burnt down. All that is left is a deck. Next to the west boundary and down a log skidder road along the west side. I took notes on a couple of points then the west driveway into the property to the old house place, the barns and chicken coop, which is also the old road that continues on over to the power lines and crosses to adjacent lands. If you read my deer hunt articles, you will notice a few points that were part of the deer hunt. 80 yard scrape and maybe the 60 yard scrape, along with chicken coop and where the dear was at near the east end of the old burned house foundation.
The white crosses are reference points I used when plotting these points (the yellow triangles). Each crosshair is 100 feet apart. This forms a 100 foot by 100 foot grid.
My cell phone app on my Android phone, called GPS Tracker Lite, which is no longer on Google Play for some reason, was what I used to get GPS coordinates. It gives Longitude, Latitude down to minutes, seconds and 10ths of seconds. I looked up info on the web that suggested a second of longitude or latitude is about 100 feet by 100 feet. So the precision of the phone reading is about 10 feet by 10 feet. The accuracy, however, didn’t prove to be that good. Some of the points were off by about 100 feet, but maybe there was some other reason for this. Like maybe I read and recorded the numbers wrong. Also, the phone was going to sleep between points and then I’d wake it up to read the next point. It seem to float to the point from the last one. It’s possible I didn’t wait long enough for this floating to settle down before recording a reading. It doesn’t make sense for the phone to be so accurate on the streets but not accurate in the woods.
I pulled the satellite image off of Google Maps and imported it as a layer in Inkscape I then stretched it to fit my points. I had already made the grid as one layer and plotted the triangles on another layer. Many points seemed to line up perfectly while a few did not. So I stretched it to fit what I thought were the majority it lined up with. I will explain more in the rest of this article next to the images. Also the grid of crosshairs were for me to use to plot points and are not aligned with any real known point on the satellite image, except for general features. In other words, they are not aligned with a corner marker of a section or of my property or of my neighbors’ properties.
Map 2 is of the compass and pace count survey I did from my camper, up a path to the chicken coop then to the east, up an old road above the shale pit. The white pixels next to AA1 is my camper. The few white pixels next to AA2 is an old mobile home roof covered by tree foliage. AA3 is next to another mobile home on my property. My pace count is about 12 paces for 21 yards, which is 57 paces for 100 yards. This is about 1.75 paces per yard. A pace is every left foot or every right foot when stepping it off, do not count both left and right feet. And the foot you start with is not the one you count, the other foot is, because it will be a full pace. The one you start with is half of a pace. Note that if you pace uphill, your steps will be shorter and vice versa longer downhill.
The compass I was using was a cheap Chinese made lensatic compass from Walmart. This survey turned out surprisingly well. It seemed to fit the satellite features image perfectly. It lined up with he road well. I did back angles and checked error as I went on the truck survey. I did not do that on two branches to the chicken coop and deer kill site.
Map 3 is along the shale pit, which is also our pistol shooting range. I started taking my GPS coordinate readings here. I moved from there over to the ravine intermittent stream and to the power line on the eastern side of the property. Later in this article, I talk about how I tried to use 3 points to triangulate on two buildings to find their location. Not really necessary since we have satellite image, but a good exercise anyway. The phone app said the elevation precision was about 20 feet. I took the first elevation reading at the power line and then moved upward to the next point where it actually read lower! That was disappointing. However, as you look at these, you will see it going up to the north, which is correct and the 150′ elevation difference is about right.
Map 4-1 is the south eastern corners of the property. First, there is the end of the compass pace count survey AA11 and AA12. Then 4 shale pit points along the upper edge/rim of the pit. Next one point in the ravine/intermediate stream. Then two points on the power line, not that the first one’s elevation can’t be near correct. It was lower than the first point. Next, a couple of points on an old road/trail with a buck scrape nearby. This was not a fake scrape, like the ones I made by the chicken coop, but a real scrape. And a point on a flat area.
On map 4-2, the north eastern property boundaries, we see two corner markers, a log seat where I stopped to rest, and a large rock. Not that there were many large rocks on this property. We also see the white house on the cliff that belongs to a neighbor. And we see the bluff shelter at 855′, which I think is most likely on the neighbor’s land.
Map 4-3 is the north west boundary and I didn’t really take any points on the south west boundary yet. This one shows again the bluff shelter. It shows two points along the bluff, one of which has a crooked pine growing out of it. It shows a point below where the old burned lodge house was. You see the deer kill site, well the deer ran uphill to about 100 feet or so just south and slightly east of the lodge, where she lay down to finish bleeding out.
Then, on the western edge, two points along the clear cut and property line. One at the road/western drive at the clearcut edge. Another at a fork in the drive. Another at the 80 yard fake scrape I made in the road that goes past the barns and coop. Those 3 points are almost exactly 100 feet too far north. I may have recorded coordinates wrong and I may move them to where they need to be, 100 feet to the south.
Next we have Map 5 triangulation attempt 1 and 2. I was on top of the shale pit and decided to take compass readings from several points to two corners of the shop and at the neighbor’s house, which was behind some trees. You will see that I put a box bottom left for the neighbor’s house, well it needs to be smaller and moved towards that lower left triangle. That point actually looks close. But the other box was much larger than the house and well on the other side of it.
Next on map 6, I was triangulating in on the white house you see on top of the cliff to the right or east of the green box. The green box is where the house was supposed to be located. Note that I sized these green boxes before I underlaid the satellite image. I made them a bit too large. So, with this triangulation experiment, we see that we get a general direction and very rough distance. This is mainly because of the cheap ($5-$10) compass. A Sunnto ($150) brand compass or a transit ($500) might be better suited to this type of mapping. Really the cheap woodland navigational compass is to allow you to trek across miles of woodlands. And you can use triangulation on nearby ridges or water towers or other features a few miles away and get a fairly accurate location within a few hundred feet or so. In this case, you shoot angles from multiple points to the target. You can also shoot angles from yourself (the target) to multiple known points to find where you are on the map.
The black dotted lines where added in for 500’x500′ grid. Here is the download for the 18 Acres.svg Inkscape file Inkscape file.