2009 Eastern Oregon elk hunt
Just returned from a long 9 day season in Eastern Oregon chasing elk.
I drew a big bull tag after 11 years for Mt. Emily. My family and friends were also up there looking for spikes.
Jmad_81 came up for opening weekend and was ready to video a big bull for me. No such luck on the big bull opening weekend. Saw lots of spikes and raghorns, cows, but no big bull.
Opening morning we had 3 spikes and a herd of cows bedded below us on the ridge 500 yards away. Talk about easy...Never have that happen when you have a spike tag in your pocket.
Couple days came and went and by tuesday night I still hadn't seen a nice mature bull, and we were suppose to have a storm roll in for a few days. That kinda put me in a pickle. I waited 11 years to shoot a big bull, I didn't wanna shoot less then a 300 bull untill the last 3 days. I also didn't wanna go home with nothing and eat a tag.
Wednesday morning started out really nice. Right off the bat I spotted a herd of about 40 elk 2 ridges away. It was still kinda dark, but I could make out at least 5-6 blond ones through the swaro1500 rangefinder.
I told my dad to gather his gear and lets sidehill to the other ridge. It took us about 30 minutes to get over to the next ridge. The elk had started to feed down the ridge towards us. We belly crawled for about the last 20 yards trhough some trees to an opening. I got the swaro1500 out and started looking over the herd. I spotted 1 nice 6x6, 5 raghorns, 1 spike, and about 30 cows. The range to the 6x6 was 504 yards. I looked him over for just a quick second and figured he would do. He was the biggest bull I had seen up to this point, and with the storm coming in, I didn't wanna take my chances of eating this tag. It was now or never.
I flipped the Harris bi-pod legs down and dialed up the required MOA. Pretty much straight across, so didn't have to worry about the angle. I waited for him to turn broadside as the 20x leupold fine duplex crosshair rested right behind his shoulder. I took a nice breath and tickled the 1.5# trigger and unleashed a 300g SMK at 2850fps. After recovering from the shot, elk were running everywhere. I didn't hear the usual WHOP and was getting worried. I jacked in another shell and located the 6x6. He had only ran about 20 yards and slid down the canyon halfway. I hit him right where I was aiming. About an inch behind the shoulder, and it exited the offside shoulder. His lungs were gone and the 300g SMK left about a 2" hole.
He wasn't exactly as big as I had hoped/thought. At first glance I was pretty dissappointed in myself, but after looking at him, he is not that bad of a bull. There are surely bigger, then again surely smaller, but hes not bad for an Oregon bull.
To make a long story short, we ended up getting 7 spikes and a 6x6 this year for 2nd season, add 5 spikes for 1st season, add that up and you get 13 bulls this year our party killed. We got to adding it up and over the last 6 years, our party has killed 56 bulls during 1st and 2nd seasons. This is all do it yourself on national forest. Not to many out there that have the success we do. Here are some pics.