Stephenville hunter Robert Debord saw the benefits of using a suppressor first hand on opening weekend while hunting with his wife in Erath County.
He became one of the first hunters in Texas to harvest a deer under the newly legal suppressor laws.
“In under ten minutes we saw one doe being chased by three bucks, two bucks we thought were legal but were moving so fast they were gone before we knew it, he said. “And another buck stopped close to the blind and we couldn’t tell what it was because it was sideways to us and was more interested in keeping up with the others. We had some yearlings come over, and of course that’s the one we decided to take. I’m more of a trophy hunter, but my wife likes the yearling meat better.”
Debord was using an Ambush Arms .300 Blackout with a Yankee Hill Machine Phantom suppressor and a Magpul 5-round magazine with a Hornady 208-grain AMAX bullet.
“There were two yearlings when I shot,” he said. “The one I didn’t shoot turned and looked the opposite direction of us, and then ran toward us. The suppressor more or less confuses the animal.”
The quiet shot could mean that a big buck in the area wouldn’t get spooked, and could still come in after a hunter takes a deer for the freezer. Debord said the suppressor cuts the noise of the muzzle blast by more than half.
“My parents were 300 yards away at camp and we texted them and asked if they had heard anything, and they said no,” he said. “Usually when we shoot, they text us and ask what we got.”
Debord said that since suppressors reduce the sound so well, it can benefit other hunters nearby by not spooking the deer in the area. But he has words of advice for hunters wanting to get a suppressor.
“There’s so many variables,” he said. “If a rifle is sighted in and you put a suppressor on, it’ll change the point of impact. It’s almost like you have to have a note about each grain of bullet and its effect on the point of impact.”
Now that he has some meat for the freezer, Debord is looking forward to another hunt.
“I was looking into hunting with a suppressor ever since TPWD was even floating the idea around,” he said. “Once you start using suppressors, it’s hard to stop.
“But don’t get me wrong; I still have my .270 to hunt with.”
Note: Since this article appeared in the Nov. 23 issue of LSON, Robert has let us know he has taken several more deer with his suppressor, including a nice buck taken by his wife.