Long Range Elk Hunting
Well this Nov. I finally got to try my hand at a good bull (340 B&C) at long range. I was hunting in Idaho were they have a 16# weight limit on rifles. I decided to take a 7mm Rem Mag w/ a 26" .750 muzzle Dia. I had put the barrel on in '77 and had not fired the rifle since '88. I restocked it, adjusted the Canjar set trigger. I put a Nightforce 5.5-22 w/ rr-2 reticule on it. The barrel has a 1 in 10", I had trouble getting it to shoot the heavier bullets. I tried the 160 gr. Accubond that I molied with IMR 7828. Shot several 1" groups at 200yds in the pasture out back. Ran a ballistic table, and verified by live fire. Spent 3 weeks on building the rifle and testing loads. Headed to Idaho where my outfitter met me and a hunting buddy. The first morning out, within 2 hours of daylight I was on 2 bulls, bedded down at 20yds. One was a five point and the other was larger bodied, but didn't get to see his headpiece. The next morning we went to a different area, where it was more open. The outfitter was bugling and cow calling. We got an answer across on the next ridge. We finally spotted him. I started ranging w/ the Lieca RF1200. He was 983 when we first observed him. He went into the timber, the over the top to the drainage farter away. My outfitter and his guide bugled and cow called and brought him back on our side of the ridge. He was in and out of the timber until at last he entered a small opening at 787 yards. I dialed up the Nightforce and squeezed the trigger. Both the outfitter and his guide heard the bullet hit home, and the bull stumbled, but made it into the timber 10 yds away. We waited on pins and needlies to see if he was down or might reappear. My outfitter, Mike Richie and guide James, along with my hunting buddy Casey crossed over to the bull. I waited behind my rifle until they got to the bull, and yelled he was dead. I was very happy all had gone well, as the 7mm at that range was down to 1750 fps and only about 1100 FT/Lbs. The one shot had done the trick and the magnifacent bull was mine. Two days later my partner score on a 6 x 7 bull also at about 100yds. Almost any range can be seen in the Selway Wilderness. This hunt was a dream of mine for several years, as I have been shotting antelope at longer ranges each year in Wy. The farthest so far is a 1205 Yds kill year before last. I normally use a .338/416 Rigby imp w/ a 34" Lilja barrel. It has plently of power of the longer shots I think. The Nosler Accubond performed great. It enpanded to about .40 cal and retainded 153 grains of weight from it orginal 160. It had pentrated through a rib and was just under the hide on the off side. I will post some pic's of the bullet and the country, but for now just a picture of the bull and my outfitter. If you want to get into some longer range shotting, he offers spring bear hunts as well as the fall elk, deer, and black bear hunts. I think the Selway is one of the last good places to hunt. Little pressure and a good amout of quality game. Mike and his wife Dawn run a great operation with a first class camp, stock, and help. Give'm a call if the urge hits you. Most of his openning are filled with repeat hunters, but he might can fit in a few more. His Number is 208-756-3231.
Good shooting and GOD bless,