Here is proof of how good the Berger Gen. 2 bullets really are. A 6x6 bull elk taken at 1480 yds with a complete pass through. This story is told through the eyes of the spotter, I can only imagine what it was like to see it through the shooter.
Before I begin this, I want to say a special thank you to two guys who took a gamble on a kid who was looking for a LRH mentor. They invited me to be a part of their hunting party and share what is to be one of my greatest hunting memories. Thank you Josh and Jeremy for being my best hunting partners and friends in this crazy passion for long range hunting.
Now onto the good stuff.
It was opening day for rifle elk season here in Idaho. I was joining my two good hunting buddies Josh and Jeremy on a long range hunt for elk. We split up into two groups, Josh was with his wife Michelle and his son Colby and Jeremy and I would be hunting together. Each group went down a seperate finger ridge to setup for the perfect long range shot. Jeremy and I arrived late to our location after getting turned around in the thick brush in the dark. Immediately I started spotting elk with my bare eye on the opposite ridge. Jeremy and I frantically looked for a spot to set up, while Jeremy was setting up, I was quickly scanning for any sign of antlers. I spotted two bulls in the group and did a quick range, 1435 yds. I asked how Jeremy would feel about taking a shot at that distance. Jeremy was confident that he could make that shot and so was I. I have witnessed both Josh and Jeremy make first attempt hits on rocks further out. The group of elk meandered off into the timber before we could get into a solid shooting position. Needless to say I was a little dissapointed, we were in a good location, but weren't quick enough getting set up. From where we where originally setup, we backed up onto the perfect shooting location and glassing position. I dialed up the conditions on Exball and made sure everything was ready. We were going to miss out on another bull this time.
It wasn't long before Jeremy and I had spotted more elk, this time cows with calves. Seeing calves in this country is always a good sign because the wolves have really take a toll on them. We watched them for awhile and suddenly I spotted movement in the timber. A bull was walking fast out of the timber and following the line up the ridge. Jeremy quickly got behind the rifle and I started ranging and calling out what to dial up. The bull wouldn't hold still and when he did stop, he alwasy seemed to put a small tree between us and him. The bull was acting funny, he kept looking over his shoulder like something was pushing him. We watched the bull disappear into the timber and once again our hearts sank. We were determined to wait out this bull and the next time he stepped out of the timber he would be ours.
Twenty mins later we figured out what was pushing the elk. Two other hunters came out of the bottom following his tracks. All I can say is thank god for those two hunters. They pushed the bull from the timber and I was quickly on him with the binos and range finder. Jeremy was settled behind the rifle and ready for when the bull stopped.
I kept ranging the bull, but he wouldn't stop. "1243, 1279, 1330, Jeremy dial 28.75 hold 2.5 for wind, 1366, 1401, Jeremy he is about where those other elk were, dial 32.25." Now this is something I didn't want to admit to jeremy but I guessed where the bull would stop and I told him to dial 34.25 and sure enough the bull stopped at 1480 yrds. "You on him Jeremy, he is broadside, take him, booom!!" At first I though he had missed, I was so focused on the bull and everything, that I neglected that it would take almost two seconds for the bullet make it that far.
I watched the bullet impact and the bull crumble right there. I couldn't believe it. I was yelling "boom, holly Sh** Jeremy, you just stoned that bull." everybody in the unit probably heard me yelling. We watched the bull roll down the steep ridge to his final resting place in some of the nastiest brush I have ever been in. I told Jeremy that Shawn Carlock would have grinned at that shot. We were both still shakening with adrenaline when Josh radioed and congratulated both of us. He said he heard the shot and then watched the bull go down and he would guide us to him once we got over there.
We quickly grabbed our stuff and started the long trek across the mountain. We were a little stressed that the other two hunters who had been following his tracks, were going to steal the antlers. It took us an hour and half to cover the distance and Josh later informed us that that was the fastest he has ever seen anyone cover that much ground. To say we were a little tired when we made it over there would be an understatement. We reached the bull and the other two hunters and already begun removing the hide, they thought somebody had shot it and couldn't find it, and they didn't want the meat to go to waste. They had the best intentions but sadly they cut the hide too far back to salvage a shoulder mount. The bull was bigger than I had projected to Jeremy. The bull was a solid 6x6 and the biggest to date harvested by Jeremy. The grin on his face was priceless.
It took Jeremy, Josh and I two days to pack out the meat on the bull. The second day I will alwasy remember as the longest day of my life. We packed meat out in a driving rain/slush storm that was determined not to quit for 12 hours. Round trip total was a little over four miles and we descended a couple thousand feet to retrieve the meat. As Josh put it, It was a Humdinger for my first bull to pack out. I told him later that I was retiring from the sport of elk hunting and sticking with shooting rock chucks.
Oh by the way, Josh had the stomache flu and had to stop literally every 5' for fear of the worst happening. I jokingly told him he was the reason for us taking so long. We got back to camp in the dark and wouldn't you know it, the rain had eased up a little bit, go figure.
I almost forgot, the rifle used on this hunt was the 338 Edge loaded with the Berger Gen. 2 bullets. The bullet entered at a quatering angle high on the back strap and exited through the lower right brest plate. A complete pass through at 1480 yrds. If that isnt a marketing slogan for Berger, I don't know what is. Both Jeremy and Josh shoot the Edges's and everytime I go out shooting with them, they are alwasy pushing the limit with that bullet.
Thank you all for ready this post, It was a memorable hunt and a memorable shot. We had a bet in the group. A box of bergers to the longest kill in our party. Jeremy it looks like you won it this year, but watch out, cause I'm coming for you this spring and fall.