It was the second morning hunting public lands on the opening weekend of the MT deer/elk season. A MT huntress had never taken a bull elk before. This day was destined for change. A large bull elk was spotted two days prior moving in and out of thick cover. The evening before a bugle could be heard but no sign of the elk. Seven members to include the huntress left their trucks well before first light hiking to the hide. Daylight broke and elk could be seen. The gun was placed into action. A five point bull was directly in front of the hide 800 yards away. This was not the bull we were after. More elk started to appear. Finally the huntress’ husband stated “I see a good one.” This was him. The bull was 1145 yards away. There was no getting closer. The Terrapin confirmed range three times and firing solution was programmed and validated. Turrets whizzed. The bull moved with the herd, stopped and the process started all over again. Finally at 1107 yards the huntress was given “shoot when ready.” Her husband and son anxiously watched as the gun burst into the cold morning air. Spotters indicated a hit. The bull hunched and started to walk with the herd. Another round was chambered waiting for follow on corrections. While the elk was moving spotting indicated dark coloring growing on the side of the elk. The bull disappeared in the thick not emerging thru the other side as did the rest of the herd. After anxiously waiting for a period it was time to locate and recover the bull.
Terrapin-$1900, Nightforce Scope-$1800, Berger 230 gr Hybrid Target Bullet-$0.57, watching an 1107 yard ELR Huntress’ hands shake as she lay them upon the 6x6 antlers for the first time-PRICELESS
The bullet used was the 230gr Berger Hybrid Target shot from a 300 RUM. Shot placement was centered vertically and approximately 9 inches toward the back of the bull estimated from the center of chest. The bull was shot 1/8 facing. The bullet exited and two copper fragments to include the base cup were recovered just under the hide near the exit hole.
Spin drift and coriolis were accounted for in the firing solution. Both combined were a .8 MOA correction. Accounting for spin drift and coriolis can make all the difference at extended ranges.
How far is too far to make a reasonably assured shot? Each of us will have to live with the results. I was confident with this ELR Huntress’ capabilities. She was confident on the coaching, practice, instruction and her shot. The result was an excellent 1107 yard successful hunt. The bull had a large scar just above the shoulder with a good amount of puss coming from the wound. First thought was from battle. When quartering the animal it was discovered the wound was caused by an arrow. There was approximately a 6” broken arrow shaft next to the spine partially coated in white scar tissue. There appeared to be a large amount of infection and the stench was horrid. I wonder how far the elk was when shot by the arrow? 30 yards? 40 yards? I don’t know but assuredly much closer than 1107 yards yet this didn’t produce results to cleanly harvest this animal. Maximum shooting range is factored with condition confidence and based on experience.
Congratulations and way to go MT ELR Huntress. EXCELLENT!!!!! Who says ELR hunting is only for grown up men!