I had the great opportunity to help a co-worker and friend today with his late season cow elk hunt on the Mt. Nebo south unit in Utah. He mentioned to me yesterday that he had found a nice herd of elk at the top of the mountain, but that they were kinda spooky and wouldn't let anyone get within normal
range of them. Last week, some boneheads were launching bullets at them offhand from over 1000 yards away and didn't even hike up to see if they had wounded anything. This clearly had the herd on edge so I decided to help my friend Clint put the elk in his freezer from long range the proper way.
We got to the glassing spot well before light which was 1767 yards from the top of a ridge where they had been hanging out. Right off the bat, I spotted 4 bulls munching away on a different ridge so we knew the elk were still in the area. As it continued to get lighter, a four wheeler and a truck pulled up to our spot and parked right along side of us! I just love it when they do that crap. We all sat glassing the mountain for awhile-me with my spotting scope and everyone else using cheap binos. Well, the good spotter paid off as Clint saw a dozen elk move over the ridge suddenly. I doubt the other guys ever saw them. We quietly packed up our gear into our packs and bid our road hunters farewell.
We hiked into the bottom of the canyon trying to be quiet on the crunchy snow. Then for about 300 yards, we had to belly crawl through scrub oak with the varmint rest and the gun, tripod, spotter, and gun on our backs. THis proved to be very difficult and time consuming.
By nine o clock we had hiked up to our shooting spot opposite the canyon from the elk. They were unaware we were there and bedded down right on top of a ridge.
We quietly set the varmint rest up and took a reading from the ACI, GPS, thermometer, and wind meter. ANgle=.94 cosine, gps=7200 feet, thermometer=34, and wind meter said 2 mph.
I punched in the numbers into Exball and it said go up 18.50 minutes and go left 1 minute. CLint dialed it up and I got the spotting scope and video camera going.
CLint took his time and fired. I watched the bullet's vapor trail go about 5 inches over the chosen cow's back. I told Clint to bring 'er down 1 minute and go 2 clicks left. Boom again. I watched the bullet fly right into her hip bone. SHe stood up and the rest of the herd was still bedded down wondering what that funny noise was. I told CLint to hold about 10 inches further left and fire. Boom! I watched the bullet fly right into the same spot almost. It was about 1 inch away from the last shot!
NOw the whole herd was up and wondering what was going on. Our cow was visibly wobbly and walked from the right side of the herd to the left side and stood there giving Clint a perfect broadside shot. I told CLint to hold about 6 inches in front of her chest and squeeze gently. BOOM! I watched the third bullet fly right into the front shoulder about 1/2 way up! PERFECT! She immediately crumpled her leg up and began stumbling down hill. SHe made it about 15 yards on three legs before she rolled over and slid down the hill a ways!
WHen she came to a stop, she kicked twice and then lay still on the edge of a 3 foot ledge. GAME OVER! CLint had just successfully pulled off the longest big game kill I have seen this year and bested his personal record by about 550 yards or so! <font color="red">WAY TO GO CLINT!! </font>
After a 3 hour hike over to the cow, we could see that CLint had indeed struck the shoulder in the exact place he was aiming for and that it had busted the blade and gone into the chest cavity pretty deeply.
The two of us pointed her downhill and let gravity take her to the bottom. ONce there, we found a small ravine and pulled her down it to where we had left our gear. We quartered her and found that the 180 grain Accubond had left a quarter sized hole through the front shoulder, through the front of the chest cavity slicing the top of the heart and continuing on into the far shoulder blade. It didn't brake the far shoulder but caused massive tissue damage. WHen CLint butchers that quarter, he should find the bullet and I will post a picture of it then.
ANyway, here is CLint's elk. We shot from the big, sloping ridge directly behind CLint and to his right.
Here is a view from the top of the ridge. I circled where we parked CLint's truck which is where we spotted the elk from.
And here is a pretty pic of the country we were in before the snow storm set in! Idaho Preacher, that would be the cement plant you visit out there somewhere inbetween those two mountain ranges a little over halfway out into the picture! Cool view huh?
Thanks CLint for the awesome day and welcome to the newest longrange hunting club member! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]