Hunting with a bullpup
There is something magnificent about climbing and bushwhacking through gnarly terrain to get deep into the wild while searching for deer and elk. It is a firmly imprinted memory for me from my last successful rifle hunt, and one that I will never forget.
I clearly remember the super steep watershed ditch-like crevasse that I had to nearly crawl up because of the brush, branches, roots, and rocks. Don’t even get me started on the hornets’ nest that I was desperately trying to avoid brushing against with my clothes, pack, or rifle. It took some blood, sweat, and a few curse words to make it into the glorious aspen bowl that I was hunting in that season. As I climbed on all fours for about 50 yards because it was slick after some rain/snow mix, I truly thought that I was going to lose the battle with hefting around the 300 Win Mag that I had on a shoulder sling.
Once out of the steep drainage shed ditch, hidden deep in the tree line, was the most incredible aspen bowl filled with fern bushes nearly as tall as I was. There was also quite a numerous amount of fallen aspens and rotten stumps mixed in making it a nightmare to be stealthy in. Add in my absolute penchant for clumsiness at its finest, and you can imagine the comedy of that morning.
I had the luxury of a tree stand for this hunt, and I have hunted in this bowl a few hundred yards farther up towards the top with a climber stand. Being able to move well in certain spaces is a massive benefit. That is why I am moving to a bullpup platform for hunting this year. The 6.5 Creedmoor on the MDRX from Desert Tech is my hunting partner from now on.
It took a lot of thought and internal questioning to come to the conclusion that just because I think that a long hunting rifle looks amazing and is very embraced in the hunting world, that doesn’t mean that I can’t do just as great if not better job with my bullpup. I get the advantage of the standard 20 inch full length barrel but I am able to keep the more compact size of the rifle simply due to the action being behind the barrel. I am automatically allowed a shorter length rifle without losing any of the barrel length or accuracy potential.
There are many reasons why the bullpup would be an easy choice for hunting, my deer tag this year already will be packed up with my MDRX. The first advantage to the bullpup is the size, the more compact rifle means that I can strap this to my pack without it sticking up an extra foot over my shoulder. This gives the opportunity to stalk and cover distances to get into the hunting area much more quietly and quickly without the constant risk of snagging yourself on a branch. There will hopefully never be a time where I hunt by driving around and just stepping from my truck to shoot at my game. I thrive on the hike in and out. I yearn for the screaming of my lungs and muscles as I put in the work. I want to feel that I have earned my food, if you will. I do happen to feel bad for those hunting with me. I have a touch of a potty mouth when I get tired or struggle with footing and fall. We will leave it all out on the mountain to achieve a successful harvest, no matter how colorful the words are in the midst of the struggle. I love the idea that my rifle can be one less point of struggle for me!
The second advantage of the bullpup MDRX is that the choice of caliber is still all mine. I have wanted a 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting simply due to its incredible ballistics, impeccable accuracy, and still very manageable recoil. There may be ongoing debate forever on the 6.5 CM not being powerful enough or too trendy to be reliable, but I can’t argue with the proof. 6.5 CM in the MDRX has a potential reach of 1000 yards with an average 1.5 MOA accuracy. And it leaves the muzzle with over 2,300 feet/lb of energy, trendy or not, that is a keeper for sure!
If you hunt on the ground in a natural blind or just using trees and brush for concealment then a bullpup is your lucky charm as well. Imagine being able to stay tucked in nicely behind the cover for as long as needed to get the perfect shot. An extended rifle or long barrel could be what gets you busted and lose out on an opportunity. The bullpup rifle allows you to quickly and much more subtly shoulder and line up for a shot providing an extra layer for potential success.
More scenarios that the bullpup would excel range from hunting in a blind with limited space to move and get to the window without being seen. The same holds true for a tree stand or even hunting a hard sided shoot house blind. You can save yourself precious seconds and reduce the risk of movement being detected with the bullpup.
There are key points that I look for when buying or choosing a rifle. I demand reliability first and foremost. This is not negotiable. Second point is that the rifle has to be sturdy yet comfortable to shoot. I do not play the “lady” card often, but I do prefer a rifle that does not beat me to death or rattle my teeth! I thirdly must be able to carry it. I cannot imagine getting a rifle that is too weighty or bulky that leads me to have a harder time getting deeper where I want to be for a hunt. My fourth and final key point is that it has to be good looking. I refuse to buy something if it doesn’t look like a magazine cover model. Guns are sexy, and I am okay with that.
The hunt this fall will be a big moment for me. I am extremely excited to take my MDRX on some romantic walks in the woods, it just might result in the most comfortable and fun harvest ever. I have weighed all of the pros and cons and I decided that typical and traditional never has been my strong suit, I am choosing to hunt with a rifle that I love. It has just the amount of everything that I am looking for.