The Model 307 in Action - Testing Weatherby's Newest Gun
Weatherby has been known as an iconic firearms and munitions manufacturer for generations. Their cartridges and firearms have been all but legendary from a performance, quality, and ballistics perspective. Growing up, Weatherby to me had the reputation of being for the dedicated hunter who could handle a kick or brave the extreme hunting style of the back country. So how does a hunting rifle company with this reputation test their new action? By hunting with it, of course!
We were lucky enough to join Weatherby, the Hush team (get Hushin), and North American Whitetail Journal’s editor to test drive a few variations of the new Model 307… spoiler alert, it was IMPRESIVE. Everything you expect in a Weatherby but more capable, more docile recoil, and, again, impressive.
Normally our writing content isn’t dedicated to one individual brand or company but Weatherby, and the new Model 307 (area code of ALL Wyoming), are more than deserving of the red-carpet treatment for what they have brought to the table with the Model 307. To provide a little context, we are not sponsored by Weatherby, and we are not getting anything from this article other than sharing firsthand experience of the gun’s characteristics and performance in the field. Full disclosure though, I was a Weatherby fan before this new model ever came out and even proposed to my fiancée over a 300 Weatherby Mag that she used to harvest her “engagement antelope”.
That’s enough preface, let’s now dive right into the actual Model 307 and how it came to be that Infinite Outdoors was part of the “testing” of this new model. Being both transplanted companies that now headquarter in Wyoming, collaboration between our companies was all but inevitable. Furthering that collaboration over the 307 seemed to just be fate.
The actual seeds for this hunt were planted when Weatherby invited me (Sam Seeton, CEO of Infinite Outdoors) to be on their podcast, On Our Mark, last summer. At that time, I was not pervey to what was in the works, and our talk focused more on our app, expanding access to everything outdoors, and local craft beer. However, this triggered some post-show talks about a “mule deer” tour that Weatherby management had planned for the fall. They had hunts across the west planned but wanted to hit Colorado for deer during their run. Planning western hunting after the draw, with no pre-existing plans, leads to a couple major issues. One, how to get a tag. Two, where the heck would we hunt? If you are an Infinite app user, I bet you connected the dots- book exclusive access from a landowner through the Infinite Outdoors app, use one of their landowner vouchers, and pick from hundreds of thousands of Colorado acres! The hunt was on the books.
Fast forward to December 2022. Luke, Weatherby’s “Swiss Army Knife” who seems to do about everything, and Mac, Weatherby’s human pack mule/ videographer, had expanded the scope of their guest list and reserved more ranches on the app. The hunt was now to include a few friends from HUSH and North American Whitetail (Casey, Logan and Laden respectively). We were set to hunt the late Eastern plains season in Colorado with some mule deer tags and a Whitetail only tag for Laden. To this point, the 307 hadn’t even been hinted at to us and my expectations were to just hang out at the lodge (also booked on IO’s app) and work with our operation director, also named Sam, or “Cool Sam” as he arbitrarily (I hope) came to be known during the hunt. We figured we may tag along on the hunts some, film a little, and most likely, just visit with our landowner partners and run our business as usual.
After everyone arrived, that’s when things got exciting. Not only were we asked to hunt with everyone, but I vividly remember Luke asking the group, after a sworn oath to secrecy, if we wanted to see “the new toys”. In hunting camp, this either means we are about to see some awesome guns and gear, or I am a bad judge of character. Luckily, it was the former! As Luke grabbed a gun case, unsnapped a few buckles, and removed a firearm, I became both excited and confused. What came out of the case appeared to be carbon fiber, have a pistol grip, and even a folding stock. My first thought was “That looks awesome, but why would you not have a Weatherby gun for this hunt?”. The gun before me was, in fact, a Weatherby rifle but sporting a sleek modern look that was something you’d expect from the special forces before a world-renowned hunting rifle manufacturer. It was their new Model 307. Then the really special features were shown…. The action was incredibly smooth but the bolt pull was fast and condensed, as one would expect with Weatherby rifles. Then Luke removed the bolt and, with nothing but his bare hands, popped the whole assembly apart to instantly expose the firing pin. Though a cool party trick, this has some very real applications in the backcountry. For those of us who have hunted hard, remote country, we have encountered an issue with our weapons getting dirty or even dropped in a stream or wallow while traversing difficult areas. In the past, you’d now be risking a misfire, using your buddy’s gun, or hiking miles and miles out to disassemble your gun to clean the action. Now, it can be cleaned on the spot.
After being fully “wowed” by the 307, it was time to make a plan for the first day of hunting. We gathered around the table at the lodge, opened the IO app, and started E-scouting drainages, property boundaries and possible water sources that looked like they could hold deer. Out in eastern Colorado, though very remote, there is an elaborate network of county roads. Many DIY hunters would conclude that their best strategy would be glassing from the roads and making a stalk. This group of veteran hunters had the skills to match their gear and instead located every spot on the 30,000 acres of ranches they reserved that had “holes” that were not visible from roads since that is where mature deer were likely to hold up.
Day one was upon us, and everyone chose to hunt together with the goal of getting Laden his deer first, as he had to hit the road before the end of the hunt. Looking like a small army, we all snuck through the rolling CRP hills of our first spot. It only took a couple ridges and we spotted a solid whitetail buck bedded. Only the flash of his bone-white antlers were visible. Laden and Mac made the stalk. Shockingly they got to nearly archery distance and sat waiting for the buck to stand and expose himself for a shot. Ten minutes passed. Then twenty. And thirty. The buck was so convinced that he was hidden that, even after noticing them, wouldn’t move. Deer grunts, hat waving, nothing would move him. Finally, without so much as a look back, the deer (and previously unseen does) basted out of the field. We all sadly glassed as they disappeared over the horizon- now a mile past where they were bedded.
Frustrated, but not deterred, we all headed to the trucks and rolled out to the next spot. This next spot was a long draw at the end of a mile-long corn field that looked like it would be the perfect hiding spot after a night of feeding in the corn. After the long walk and only seeing a couple does, even in the draw, hope was all but gone. Then we saw it, a great mature whitetail buck walking down the draw. Laden quickly got into position as the dear noticed the spooked does heading up the hill. He followed them but made the mistake of looking back- the first shot was incorrectly “doped” but still found it’s mark and slowed the bucks exit. A carefully planned stalk allowed a follow-up shot that instantly dispatched the beautiful buck. Day one was a success.
That night and day two was a blast but didn’t result in another harvest. Many deer were spotted but none that were mature or that “spoke to us”. In hindsight, the fast and easy success of the day before pushed us to the “lazy method” of glassing from easy to access areas with only one decent buck being a possibility at last light. Our complacency cost us a day, we decided to break up into two groups and hit different ranches the next morning to maximize our shortened time.
Day three was upon us and I went with Casey and Logan while “Cool Sam” hunted with Luke and Mac. We, again, saw a pile of deer but none that were the right bucks that morning. We came across an area with a ton of Coyotes and had some fun chasing them but the famed bucks of Eastern Colorado eluded us. The morning of day 4 started in an unfortunate manor. Mac came down with a stomach bug, likely due to adopting the meat stick and snack food diet of us delinquents, and had to remain at camp. Down a camera, we rejoined forces with Luke and went into a spot that was very remote, at least by the standards of the plains. After a couple miles of hiking, at the corner of a winter wheat field, we spotted a doe. As more of the field was exposed, more and more deer became visible. What started with a doe, turned into a spike buck, then a two point, then three, and then finally a shout-of-a-whisper franticly erupted from Casey “Shooter! Shooter!”. Finally, a chance to stretch the legs of the 307 was in sight as Casey began a crawl from 700+ yards. As they got into the 500+ yard range, they ranged for a shot. That is a long shot for most people and guns, but mix in a 20 mph wind and you really need the right weapon and experience. Caseys 307, chambered in WBY, 6.5 RPM was about to get to prove, or disprove, itself. With a squeeze of a trigger, the buck was stopped in its’ tracks. In fact, it fell so hard that, from a distance, I thought I thought they missed since I only noticed another nice buck hop the fence and disappear. To my relief, I was wrong, and day four was a success.
Armed with one more tag and a full day to hunt we started crafting a plan. That night we were joined by an Infinite Outdoors landowner from Easter Colorado, Dr. Schulte. Dr. Schulte is such a believer in the platform that he is now one of the several listing landowners who personally invested in the platform and continue to help spread the word about what our company does to help fellow farmer and ranchers. One of the ranches we had access to through the booking was a classmate of the Doctor in high school and he was familiar with his property. Unknown to Luke and crew at the time, but the landowner not only agreed to let Dr. Schulte accompany us all on all of the property, but gave permission for him to harvest a deer himself if he had a tag and the unit quote (imposed by Infinite) was not met. Not wanting to take away from the current hunt, this information was not divulged to anyone else but me. With this new game plan and new company familiar with the ranch, we headed out.
This property was a long, dry riverbed that just looked perfect for deer. But, sadly, after a mile hike, we didn’t see anything. Naturally, our stealth wore off and we got sloppy in our sneak. This nearly immediately resulted in a very solid buck (165-170’’+) and his does busting out and looping back the way we came from. Luckily, we kept eyes on them and they bedded back down a mile and a half away- still on the ranch property, and in the same drainage. It was time for redemption. We snuck in, Luke at the lead, and slowly closed the distance. Eventually, Luke and Mac (finally back in action) crawled to a spot they could get a shot from.
What happened next was very bittersweet. A four-point buck could be seen, and the vitals were in a perfect spot for a shot. Luke squeezed the trigger of his 307 and the buck dropped in its tracks. The split second of excitement and rejoice was interrupted by the realization that the deer had hooked up with another herd of deer and the dead buck was NOT the large buck we watched bed (though still a beautiful, mature, animal!). To add insult to injury, the original buck ran off but yet another buck, a true monster, that would have grossed close to 200’’ silhouette the horizon while smaller, mature, buck lay below.
Regardless, we were all very excited and myself and Dr. Schulte shuffled to their position from a few hundred yards behind. When we got there, Luke shared the news of the other bucks we were not aware of and then pointed out another mature 4-point that was still in the draw! Confused by the echo in the draw, the remaining deer were just frozen. Luke then goes “Really wish we had another tag right about now!” which was met by a very quick answer from me, “Robert (Dr. Schulte) does! And the landowner already cleared him to shoot another!”. Without any hesitation, the 307, still perched on the original shooting sticks, was transferred to Robert’s shoulder. Without any experience ever using the gun, he drew a deep breath, and sent a round down field. What followed was a hard “thud”, a folded mule deer, and a happy remark from his mouth, “I think I like this gun”.
In all, the 5-day hunt resulted in 4 mature deer being harvested and all the confidence in the world being gained in the new Model 307. I know I personally will be buying this gun for myself as soon as I can get my hands on one and replicating this success for years to come. Great time, great people, great guns.
Special thanks to Weatherby, Hush and North American Whitetail for their friendship and faith in our company and lands for the testing of such an amazing rifle and, surely, a new weapon icon for the State of Wyoming.