I should also mention that this is my first time shooting beyond 400 yards. And I realize now that my previous 400 yard shot with my .30-06 and holdover had quite a bit of luck involved.
I carried this 14lb rifle to several spots during elk season where we usually can see bulls across the canyon. No luck this year. Lack of snow and warm weather have allowed the bulls to stay in the high areas and dispsersed, at least in the Sapphire Mountains by the house. I also realize that I need to find some kind of pack to carry this rifle so that the weight is distributed and it is more protected from sliding off a shoulder when traversing steep slopes.
Here is my elk story. I leave work early to hunt whitetails along the river. There is a spot I can set up above the Clark Fork River where I can see up to 500 yards. On my way home, my wife calls and says there are elk in our river bottom pasture. When I ask about bulls she says that there are several spikes and about 10 cow. I am excited anyway that maybe a 6 point I saw during bow season is around. As I hit the driveway, my 6 yr old daughter calls and says, "Daddy, there is a huge bull in the pasture." I ask how big and I can hear her mother say 5x5. Huge is all relative. This is the first time in 15 years that a bull elk has crossed the river during rifle season.
When I get to the garage, I can see them down by the river, but I can not see the bull. I grab my gear and do a low crawl to some apple trees with high grass. Sure enough this small 5 point hops the fence and is standing broadside at about 275 yards. I let the first shot fly and aim just behind the front shoulder. I get my scope back on him and he does not appear to move. The other elk begin to hop the fence and the bull turns to join them. I asked my wife if she saw the hit and she said no.
Now I am really nervous, thinking I missed so I pumped a second shot in him. This time I see him stretch and begin to gasp. He lied down, but then got up as the cows and spikes began to trot away. He immediately lied back down and rolled on his side.
The first shot penetrated both lungs and lodged under the hide on the offside. The second shot hit the back of one lung, then hit the kidney, nicked the stomach (yuck) and exited. The 200 grain accubond looked like the Nosler advertisements and weighed 134 grains (67% retention) after being cleaned up.