I didn't really plan on posting this, but I am pulling CQ duty tonight and am pretty bored. I also didn't know where to post this, LR Hunting-Elk- or ELR. Since it's over the 1,000 yard minimum mark I put it here.
Thought I was gonna have to miss another year of elk hunting, but we got a new Sergeant Major who at the last minute gave me the go ahead. I think I'm gonna like this guy.
A buddy and I slipped away for the 3rd season in Colorado and was getting some mixed feed back on where to go. Another buddy of mine had hunted the 2nd season the week before and had seen several bulls in unit 32 and 22. He had missed a good bull and then had another at 480 yards, but he doesn't shoot past 300 and passed the shot up. He gave me a good general idea of where to go and so off we went once I was released on Thursday afternoon. After we drove the 1200 sum-odd miles and got to the hunting grounds we didn't set up camp but instead started scouting/glassing. We spotted a large herd on a distant ridge several miles out but determined that to be private land. There was a large bull, a few smaller ones and about thirty cows in the group but also noticed a couple of decent bulls that stayed several hundred yards away. There were also trucks and hunters everywhere! After watching them till dark we made the plan of hiking in a couple hours before sunrise and setting up on a ridge that had the border to public/private in sight and hope one of the legal bulls would cross over. After trying to sleep in the truck we set out to put some distance between us and the road. My buddy was having trouble negotiating the terrain and as first light peaked up I told him I was gonna push up ahead and start glassing. About a minute after reaching the top I seen a nice bull about 150 yards away cresting over the saddle I was on but the brush was too thick to get a good shot. I move a bit to a better vantage point and set up for a shot on my shooting sticks. Just as I got him in the scope he jerked his head up over in my direction and bolted over the ridge the same direction from which I had just came. While I sat there perplexed on what went wrong I heard my buddy come crashing through the brush behind me. He had a look of dispair and was so tired he didn't care we were hunting at this point, until I told him he just spooked a good bull. He learned a good lesson on this trip...get in shape. After a few minutes we set up to glass and had spotted another bull at 950 but the brush was so thick where we were I couldn't get down on him and he crested a hill out of sight. About an hour or so later we had split our efforts and were watching different areas when my buddy stood up and waved me over. He had spotted another bull by the border about 1000 yards out standing in a thicket watching in our direction. I ranged him at 1007- 1005- then 1006 yards, so 1006 it is. I found a good flat spot and cleared me a shooting lane, checked the wind for the upteenth time (I have a tendency to constantly check the wind while I'm observing the area) and determined it to be 3mph 1/4 value from the left. Double and triple checked everything and got straight behind the rifle on the bipod with a rear bag while he got behind the spotter. Dialed 6.6 mils elevation and held a half mil left to compensate for the spin-d and small amount of wind. He gave me a "Spotter Ready", I gave him a "Shooter Ready", he said "Send It!" and I touched it off. With a good follow through I got back on him to see the bullet impact the onside high shoulder and watched him drop. Perfect hit. A high five and congrats then on to planning on how to get him out.
I felt so bad about the shape my buddy was in that I packet him out myself and told him to keep hunting. I learned a lesson here as well; even after taking the time to de-bone the meat I don't care how good shape you're in, THAT SUCKED! I will never do that again. He is just gonna have to man up next time.
No hero pics, I was by myself and wanted to get the party started.
Pic 1 is the elk how he laid after I hiked a couple hours to him.
Pic 2 is what was left of the 300gr SMK after hitting him at around 1900fps, the jacket seperated and was in the hide on the far shoulder but the core made an exit hole about the size of a quarter, lots of damage to both
Pic 3 is from his location to the spot I shot him from.
Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.
The people trying to say the 2nd Amendment is outdated are probably the same folks that would say the same thing about the Bible.