The rifle was Sauer, my wife was sweet and the Leica optics were sharp, but none was waterproof during a windy, rainy Highlands red stag hunt. That didn’t seem to matter.
Sauer (pronounced “sour” by most Americans, “tzauer” by Germans) is a German gun maker that has been at it since 1751. Recently they’ve been trying to capture more American market with their 101 bolt action field rifle. They’ve been trying to capture more women hunters with the Artemis version of that bolt action rifle. This won’t sound right, but — this Sauer is one sweet rifle.
Elizabeth claims her Artemis in 308 Winchester is the best feeling, best handling, smoothest shooting hunting rifle she’s ever used. And did we mention accurate? From the bench she’s shot 1/4 MOA with it, thanks in no small part to its big Leica ER5 2-10x50mm scope. She likes big, bright scopes.
During last week’s Scotland hunt with West Highland Hunting on the famed Ardnamurchan Estate, she wasn’t expected to shoot quarter MOA, but she was expected to hit one of those famous red stags at an undetermined distance. The distance turned out to be 247 yards, roughly 147 more than anticipated.
Throw in a drenching rain, winds gusting to 20 mph, possibly 25 mph, and 247 yards start to look a bit far. But Betsy had secret weapons: veteran stalker/guide Niall Rowantree, friend Simon Barr and a Geovid HD-B rangefinding binocular.
Now there are rangefinders and there are rangefinders, but this one’s unique. Not only is it in a spectacularly sharp, bright binocular, but it includes a multifunction ballistic computer. Plus a meteorologist in a barrel. Well..
Believe it or not, this rangefinding Leica binocular calculates not just bullet drop, but shooting angle, temperature and air pressure. These are all variables that can impact trajectory. After Niall located a stag and slipped the hunting party past several suspicious hinds, Betsy nestled in behind her rifle over a cradling bank of mosses. Simon ranged the foraging stag, read the trajectory parameters and fed them to Betsy. She then dialed the corresponding MOA corrections, held dead on and fired. Watching on the little screen of my Canon EOS 70D, I saw sheets of rain blowing past the stag. Then a sliver spray erupted from the beast’s chest. Betsy and her Artemis had scored a first shot hit in abominable conditions that would have inspired a frog to seek shelter.
I don’t think this experience is going to dampen her enthusiasm for the Sauer 101 Artemis, the Leica ER5 scope, the Geovid HD-B rangefinding binocular or the stags of Ardnamurchan.
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