Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Long Range Hunting & Shooting

Long Range Hunting & Shooting Nightforce Optics


Reply

New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-21-2006, 09:53 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

Well, hunting season is winding up and I have finally found a free evening to post the results of my New Mexico elk hunt from back in Oct.

I have been hunting and guiding elk hunts in southern NM for 6 years. A friend of mine leases a ranch about 50 miles from Truth or Consequences NM and I help him out each year and sometimes hunt, sometimes just guide or spot.

This year I had both guide duties and a bull tag for myself. I was guiding two buddies from TN, Robby and Jason, one had a bull tag the other was along for the fun but was carrying a cow tag.

Opening morning found us glassing across a canyon watching some small bulls and a bunch of cows. The largest bull a nice 5X5 went over the top into the next canyon where some other hunters from our group were hunting. They shot him and the cows came accross the canyon bottom toward us at a dead run. I told Jason now would be a good time to fill his cow tag! He took off to cut the cows off on the other side, and a few moments later two shots........mission accomplished.

That evening Robby, Jason and I went to find Robby a bull. Jason spotted an nice bull about a mile from us and walking away. We ran down the mountain and finaly caught up with the bull as he was walking accross a canyon bottom. From our vantage up on the ridge above we looked him over and I called him about a 300" bull, and Robby decided he would take him. I ranged him at 360 yards and walking slowly directly away from us. Robby got set and I yelled at the bull to get him to stop. He turned and gave us a perfect quartering shot. The 200grn SMK from the 300 wby hit the bull and he trotted a few yards and stopped. I ranged him at 399, called the range to Robby he let another go and the bull went down. Second mission accomplished!

I drew blanks for the next two days looking for a good bull. The next morning I was out with another usual from our camp "Mike". Late in the morning we spotted a nice bull accross a canyon from us. He was walking slowly and feeding in and out of the cedars and pinons. I got set up and ranged him at 732 yards, I had a hard crosswind from 3 o'clock at 12 mph. I punched in the data in Xbal, dialed in my elevation and wind on the NF scope. (I'm shooting a Kirby built 338 Kahn, 250grn SMKs @3150fps.) When the bull walked out in the open I got settled and fired. Mike yells, you missed shoot again! I cranked in another round and shot again, this time I saw dirt kick up high. Mike (who is not into long range shooting by the way) is yelling at me to hurry and shoot again! I get ready to shoot again, and this time I hold a little lower, boom, too high. Shoot again, too high.......at this stage I have lost it and I am just shooting....and missing. At one point I shoot two consecutive shots and one hits high and the other hits low just between the bulls legs.

Finally the bull walks into a large clump of trees and I have time to regroup and think things over. We move downslope a little for better vantage when he comes out of the timber. Now I realize I have 1 bullet left! I have shot 9 of the 10 rounds I carry with me. The bull walks out, I range him at 653 yards, dial in the elevation, boom......high. I am now out of shells, and bull is still walking around on the other mountain, I did not even manage to spook him.

That evening with my last 10 rounds of ammo, Mike and I along with Robby go back into the same area to look for the bull again. After a couple of hours of hiking and glassing we spot the same bull heading up the side of the mountain accross the canyon from us. We sit down and I get my rifle ready, Robby calls out the range 459 yards. I dial in 11 clicks. We have an 8 mph wind directly in our face. As I settle into the rifle I get worried about shooting over him since I kept shooting over him that morning. I held low on his body just behind the shoulder and shot. With my ear plugs in I was not certain, but I thought I heard the bullet hit. Mike yells, you missed shoot again! Robby said, no I think you hit him. The bull is just standing still. I feed in another round (the Kahn is a single shot) and just as I close the bolt Robby yells, he is down!

After the hike over to him we find my shot was a perfect heart shot, just exactly where my crosshairs were. So much for being able to claim my scope was off for all those other misses. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]




When I got back I e-mailed Kirby and related my story to him, still rather upset at the 10 misses. Kirby speculated that because I was shooting across the head of a canyon, the 12 mph crosswind was also creating a severe updraft. Kirby is much too nice to also say that it could have just been lousy shooting on my part. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

I learned some important lessons that day:
1) 12 mph is too much wind to be shooting 700+ yards in the mountains. (for me anyway)

2) Carry more bullets!

3) Bring along a buddy who also shoots long range, rather than one who simply yells "hurry, shoot again, he's getting away, Shoot, shoot, shoot shoot"!!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-21-2006, 10:26 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chickasaw Point, SC
Posts: 206
Re: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

RDM416,

Iím sure Kirby was right in his assumption that updrafts from the canyon thwarted those first few shots; but as for myself, I would have had a heart rate of about 120 BPM & buck fever shakes to go along with it if I would have had a trophy bull like that in my crosshairs. That is a gorgeous elk; gotta love those loooong tines! Congratulations on a well-earned trophy and the 549-yard shot.

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-21-2006, 10:31 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

Nice bull, congrats. I'm sure you learned a lot on that bull. I've had those kind of learning experiences on Muley's [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

Don
__________________
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.


My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2006, 12:13 AM
Official LRH Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,831
Re: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

RDM416,

Congrats on your fine bull. It has been awhile since we talked about all this but as you well know I surely relate to your advanture as I had a very simiiar one in Idaho with Shawn.

Not being used to mountain wind shooting is a major adjustment and one that can really blow your confidence in a hurry one minute and then the next your dropping them on the X just like you were back home practicing.

I would fully agree, I am not up to reading that level of wind in mountain country. And unless you live and shoot in these areas its impossible to really get really good at shooting in these conditions.

I also agree, an experienced spotter that knows the ins and outs of LR hunting is a HUGE bonus on a hunt like that, "Hurry up and shoot!!" just don;t cut it!!! Even though I am sure you were trying to slow your shot and concentrate, hearing this does nothing good as far as helping you make a good shot but from the story you related to me, I would almost bet the farm that you were playing with some updrafts that morning.

Those that think this is easy and that we never miss really have no idea. Those that say they never miss either have not hunted that much and have taken very few shots at game at long range or they are just better story tellers then long range hunters.

Yet another reason for the absolute highest BC bullet you can use that will perform on game. Guess the wind is a real B____! The more margin of error the better in my book. One reason I keep Richard busy up there in Canada.

Speaking of Richard, I think he has some pills you may want to test in your Kahn. He was going to get ahold of you.

Again, great story, and great bull. Say, you accept hunters for these guided hunts or are they local guys only??

Kirby Allen(50)
__________________
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-22-2006, 09:26 AM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

Thanks for all the comments / congrats guys. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Mountainsheep, Yeah that 120++ BPM hear rate sure don't help! That's part of the reason I tote around that 17 lb beast from Kirby! All that weight tames the heart beat shake quite a bit, but carrying all that weight up the mountain gets you more out of breath and raises your heart rate even more, maybe it just equals out in the end [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

AJ, Thanks, and I did learn a lot. Each hunt is a learning experience. Some hunts the lessons are a bit more severe than others. By the way, you mentioned muleys. It sounds like you have some muley experience, do you know a good outfitter for a muley hunt. Robby, that I mentioned in my NM hunt and I are wanting to do a muley hunt next fall and are trying to locate a good place to go.

Fiftydriver, Thanks for the kind words. I like your comments about those who think this is easy. As a relative novice at the LR game it has been interesting to watch how other hunters in camp react. Most comment that if they had that kind of gear they could shoot that far too.......and for the most part they are largly right. The gear does help. But then comes these situations like you and I (and many others) experienced and you learn it is not enough to simply be able to range the critter and hold the crosshairs steady. It is all this wind, elevation, angle, humidity, etc, etc that make the game complicated.......and fun!

I have been trading e-mails with Richard. I ordered some of the 325's he just made and some 300's. I probably should try some of the 350's as well. I thought the 375's were probably a little heavy for my Khan, maybe better suited to a 338 AM? Speaking of trying different bullets, I have already got over 300 rounds down the barrel of my new Kahn. When you get a chance drop me a PM and lets discuss getting another barrel made up for it. I would like to have an extra barrel so when I get this one burned up, I can just replace it rather than wait months on getting one made then.

As for the NM elk hunt. Yes we do take a very limited number of clients each year. Last fall we did one, five day hunt. 5 bull tags and 1 cow tag. We went 6 for 6. My bull was the largest, with another 6X7 (robby's) at around 300", a 5X6 at around 320", and a couple of nice 5X5s. I had 370 7X7 in my crosshairs at one point, but he was 650 yards and moving through quite a bit of brush and my setup was not real solid. He got away before I got comfortable with the shot and we never found him again. This was actually a bad year for antlers because the growing season was very dry. We have killed a good number of 350 to 370 class bulls over the years with largest a 388 taken two years ago. It is a great place for LR because the country is very open. If you or anyone else out there on the site are ever interested in going drop me PM and we can discuss it further.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-22-2006, 12:55 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

RDM, you asked about Muleys. I grew up in Western Colorado and have seen/shot more than my share of Muleys. (nothing compared to my dad and granddad though !!!!)

My brother guided for several years and I have a cousin in law that is a full time guide (mostly CO, but also in AK). I'm heading back home tonight for Christmas (22 hour drive) and will ask around while I'm there. For the most part, there is some good public land hunting, however getting drawn (can take 4-5 years for many of the best units) and being able to scout makes it a C...p shoot. Many of the best guides do ranching for wildlife, Ricky Schroder has a place up on the Uncompagre (at least he used to) that has some NICE animals. I'll ask my brother if they are still ranching up there. The nice thing about those big spreads, they get tags from the state that they can sell. That way, you don't have to wait for years to hunt.

I plan on elk hunting in Colorado next year, but the year after I'd be interested in heading to NM. Keep me in mind, by then my 338AM and I should be well acquainted [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

Merry Christmas,
Don
__________________
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.


My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-22-2006, 01:23 PM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds

Thanks AJ,

I appreciate you checking around for me while you are back in CO. The eastern part of CO is high on our list of potential places. Partly because there are some big bucks there, partly because there are frequently land owner tags, and the open country makes for long range shot opportunities [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Be carefull on your drive out there, sounds like there is LOTS of snow!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: New Mexico elk @ 459 yds
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New mexico cow elk? wolffman Elk Hunting 0 07-21-2011 09:24 AM
Hello from New Mexico NMBadlands Member Introductions 4 01-30-2011 12:54 PM
New Mexico trueblue Elk Hunting 7 10-04-2010 09:04 PM
New Mexico wbm Member Introductions 1 12-18-2008 07:54 PM
Off To New Mexico jwp475 Long Range Hunting & Shooting 7 10-17-2008 09:10 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC