How cold is it when you are shooting those deer, late season?
I used to use powerbelts too until I missed 2 bucks in brutal cold one year(below zero for highs). I took the gun home and figured out it was shooting almost 2' low until the barrel warmed up. About 4 shots in and they were back on target. They just fit too loosely in the barrel when cold. That was using a 54 caliber knight. I haven't tried them again since that year.
We typically hunt Iowa’s Gun II and Late Muzzle. The December days can be cold, but typically hovering near and just below freezing. By January 18, below zero is entirely possible.
Some deer have been killed on those desperately cold days. Come to think of it, one double-digit evening, when it was actually too cold to be hunting safely, we saw a herd crossing the field right near the truck as we headed home for the day. We both took a half-hearted shot and both completely missed (open field, on snow, clear tracks for over 100 yards… no hair and not a drop of blood). We think we didn’t really even try- shivering and shooting offhand at trotting deer we didn’t really didn’t want to field dress. It could’ve been the temperature? Other times, however, we have filled tags at frigid temps.
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