I wanted to send a huge thanks to everyone on this board. It was all of your advice and help that got me to where I am today. To make a long story short I ordered a Savage Long Range Hunter back in April and did not recieve it till June. I had nothing but issues with this gun and sent it back a few times. I also had issues with the way my vortex viper was mounted. Also this was my first year of reloading and it seemed everything was piling up to be a mess for my upcoming bull elk hunt. After atleast 150 rounds down the barrel I found out I had an issue with my scope and the way it was mounted. Vortex gladly replaced my scope and I had a professional mount my scope on the egw rail and burris tactical rings. I was a few weeks away from my hunt and FINNALLY I got a load to shoot out of this gun. I dialed it in for 200 yards and a week before my hunt I went and shot at 800 yards and verified my drop chart. All was good at the range and I was ready for my hunt.
I had this same hunt last year and I had a limit of 500 yards with my rifle last year. Thus, I built this rifle and loads to be able to drop an elk out to 1000 yards. Last year I shot a 300 inch 6x6 and was hoping something very similar this year. Well I was at my hunting spot an hour before light and suddenly 5 hunters showed up 20 minutes later and sit 20 feet from us on top of this ridge. Then 10 minutes later, literally a group of 10 hunters showed up and I was getting very discouraged. An hour into sunlight I had only glassed a few elk and shots were going off like crazy. There literally were atleast 20 gun shots arounds us in the first hour of light. Well a decent bull showed up a about 650 yards and I was contimplating wither I should shot him or not. We could tell he had a broken point and was either a 6x5 or 5x4. He was moving fast so I got a quick range on him, dialed my turret in and then let a shot fly. I took another shot and my spotter (dad) told me to raise my yardage a bit yards because the bull was moving away from us further and further. Well I shot a few more times and the bull was defintely hit and was gushing blood. I shot one more time and the bull droped over dead. As I said there was a crowd with us and they all gave a nice cheer once the bull dropped and hi fives were in order. I learned a few things from this experience. One is that in long range shooting you always need a reliable person working the range finder so all the shooter needs to focus on is shooting the animal. Also, there needs to be one person there just to be a spotter and watch the animal through the binos. This would have made the first few shoots more accurate. I also relaized I did not use my angle compensator feature on my rangefinder which messed up my initial yardages and why I shot atleast 2 feet high on the first few shoots. Also, I was in such a hurry that i only had my scope on 6.5 power and not 20 power. I learned that Ireally need to calm down and takes things slower. I am just happy I didnt have to learn this the hard way. Well anyways here are a few pictures of my bull. It was a great quick hunt and man do I love long range hunting! I dont like the pack out but thats part of the hunt, especially long range hunting.