Hats off to my sixteen year old son who made a great shot on this bull opening day. His practice and hard work payed off as the shot was 637 yards. Many thanks to my buddy Rod for all his help. The weather was miserable, but he was there to help through it all.
The bull scores (rough green score) 374.
I glassed a group of bulls from over 2 miles away and decided they were worthy of a closer look. We closed the distance to about a mile and could see a tremendous bull in the group but his right side was broken after his third. There were however some pretty good bulls in the group and decided to attempt a stalk. After about a 1/2 mile we spotted another group of bulls but the shot would have been 385 yard off hand due to the thick brush and we could only see two bulls in the group. We opted to waite and see where the bulls would go. Anther 100 yards of stalking and my buddy rod spotted the bulls moving up the mountain. There were 5 bulls in the group and I could tell the first bull was shooter for sure, after glassing them with my 15x Swaros. I told my son, "Shoot the first bull." My buddy Rod said, "Wait, let me glass them first." He put the spotting scope on them and replied, "Oh yea, shoot the first one." Again, due to the thick brush, rod made a shooting platform with his tripod and ranged the bull at 637 yards. I entered the dope in the rifle (I'd hoped for a prone shot, but the terrain and vegitation wouldn't permit it) and examined my sons position.
The first shot was true as I could see the bull spin to his left. Rod yelled, "Hit him again" and my son continued to blow through $7.00 in ammo (two shots both misses) as the bull trotted to our left and slightly down hill. But the shots weren't neccessary as we could see the bull went 20 yards and bedded. For the next ten minutes we watched the the other four bulls wonder off with out our bull, seeming to be unsure of what just happened. Over that short time peroid, the weather came down and bogged us in. We could no longer see where the bull had bedded due to the thick cloud cover and rain. We decided to waite where we were for the weather to break and after three hours of waiting, the clouds cleared enough for us to see and moved to where we had last observed the bull. It was tough going due to the never ending rain, but we located him right away.
I don't want any of you to think this was a haphazard shot. My sons been shooting NRA small bore and high power for several months on a weekly basis as well as making several trips to the range with me in preparing for this hunt.
The rifle is a Weatherby Accumark 30-378. I've loaded 200 gr. SMK over 117 gr. of H50BMG (I've shot .3" groups at 100) moving at about 3200 fps. The scope is a Leupold VXIII 6.5-20x40 LR.