My hunting season started with a Northern Utah spike elk hunt. I went about a week with seeing a lot of big bulls and only catching glimpses of a spike on a few occations, due to the thickness of the trees. I was better suited to have a 30/30 instead of the 338 Edge. After my friends grandson had filled both his spike and cow tag in the same area, we decided to try a different area just to the North of us. When we got to the area we liked what we saw, true long range shooting potential. 1000 yd shots could happen here. The first visit turned up big bulls and cows but no spikes. A snow storm came through and kept us in camp for 2 days. Finally the weather cleared and we headed back to the same area to arrive at first light. I hadn't made it across to my spot to sit when I spotted a 300 plus 5x5 that was 150 yards away. I also found at 600 plus yards, a herd of 20 elk with a 350 plus 6x7 herd bull. I scanned for spikes but half the herd was in the trees and I never saw one. I got back on my horse and moved across the mountain to my spot. We had talked to the range riders the day before and found that they were going to be in there gathering the cows so we knew that it was going to be a good opportunity for things to be moving around. Sure enough at 10 a.m. 3 elk ran infront of me and stopped. There was a rag horn, a cow, and a spike. I was by myself didn't have my spotter, so I had to hurry and range, dial in the Nightforce, and wait for the shot to present its self. The first shot missed due to my faulty set up, but actually worked to my advantage, it spooked the elk back into the open with a standing broadside shot at 746 yds with a 20 degree decline. I dialed the Nightforce for 700 yds, I checked for a steady set up, and sent the 300 grain SMK. It was a perfect shot, it knocked him right in the heart and he was dead before he hit the ground. To bad I don't have a picture yet. If I get the pics from my friend then I will post a picture for those interested of the baseball sized exit wound.
Fast forward 9 days, to the general deer hunt. We had riden about 15 days in the high country until now with very low sighting success on buck deer. On a whim we decided one night to drive down 15 minutes to the main highway that runs through the canyon that we were camped in. We checked out one spot that we knew had had deer in the past. We saw numerouse bucks and does right off the highway. Anywhere from 300-1500 yds. We decided to give this area more effort in the future. The next morning the 3 of us loaded up and headed back down the road to glass the area. After 2 hours of glassing we spotted a buck at 1456 yds from the highway. My friend who had spotted him didn't want to take the shot as he was not comfortable with the distance. The buck was an average 4 point and I decided that I would try. We grabbed our gear, and walked 100yds off the side of the road and set up. It was a very good set up, prone position, spotter with a spotting scope who was familiar with long range shooting. After I got set up, I had trouble finding the buck again but my spotter had him in the spotting scope. I went back to the spotting scope to locate the deer, and to get a final range off of him. The Swarovski ranged at 1336yds. It was a 20 degree incline accourding to my cosign indicator. I dialed the Nightforce for 1300 yds (first mistake), I talked to my spotter about the wind, and gave the buck 2 ft wind drift (second mistake). Everything was a go now to send the first shot. I pulled the trigger, and my spotter told me that I had missed but that it was so close that the deer had ducked and was still standing there. We talked some more, and he knew that I was shooting high but how high he couldn't tell. I hunkered down for a second shot letting the Edge bark again. The deer never even reacted. By now I am running through my mind the whole set up and the adjustments to the scope I had made. It then dawned on me that I had not compensated enough for the uphill incline. I clicked the scope down, adjusted for the wind again and sent another 300 SMK. My spotter started to whoop and holler "You got him you got him!!" I got to the spotting scope in time to watch him tumble the last 25 yds down the mountain to his resting spot.
When we finally got to the deer I had found that I had miss judged the wind, my shot had drifted a foot to the right from my point of aim. Yes, some luck was involved, but there was also a lot of practice and time put into making this shot happen. I bought this gun this spring from Trueblue, my thanks goes to him and his gunsmith Jim Parrot from Denver, Iowa. This is one hell of a shooter! I would also like to thank, Mike from tactical gun works for his patience and understanding. I purchased my Nightforce scope base and rings from him and he put up with my hundereds of questions and went above and beyond to get my scope to me. I would also like to thank Shawn Carlock, for his patience with all my questions. I couldn't have done it without any of them. Thanks also to my awesome spotter Shawn A.
Pictures will be posted later.
This is a view from the road. The deer was up in the green tree line. Headed for the thick timber.
This is me with my Edge and the deer.
This is the entrance wound. The bullet hit his spine and came out the bottom of his neck. You can just see it here.
Me with the spike elk.
The exit wound on the elk.
This picture shows how I carry the Edge on my horse.
Worried about posting this story???? Whatcha mean by that? You have some kind of anxiety disorder or somethin'??
It is a great story. A spike bull @~750 and a hit almost exactly where you aimed (There aren't any 10s around here. I'm bettin' the impact point was at least a couple of hairs off)
Then as a true LRHer would do. That is, fire a couple of ranging shots at an unimaginable distance (where the animal wouldn't be alerted by the shot) before making the kill shot. And having that kill shot do its exact job very precisely.
Plus nothing about the write up even came close to boasting. Cheese, whatcha worried about? I think we are quite proud of ya.
I guess I am worried about all the "experts" on this site ripping on the obvious screwups that I made and learned from.
We have custom made scabbards made from 1000denier cordura that fit very well on a horse.
Thanks for the positive words.
Did I mention I really love this rifle?!!!