I apologize in advance for the links. Photobucket is doing another PIA beta thing.....
It happened fast. Saw elk moving from left to right in front of me going behind a sage covered sand dune. Saw one head and neck pass across the horizon. Saw another stationary head and neck, not a good shot. Was using a very tall fence post as an off-hand steady rest. Another cow came up on top and stopped, looking back. She was pointed away at a pretty steep angle.
To shoot or not to shoot? Put reticle center on the last rib. Looked like the bullet would exit ahead of the off side shoulder. Hmmm, no broken shoulder. . . But the bullet should pass through the vitals.
A very bad shoot opportunity. Very low probability. Not having even a shot at an elk in 39 years (since 1966 except for 7 years in PA and Louisiana) entered my thinking.
The left handed Rem 700 in 338 RUM went kaboom! The cow took off to the right. No sign of a hit other than she dropped her ears.
The shot was 157 yards. The Berger 300 gr Gen I Hybrid left the brake @ 2735 FPS. If it hit the elk it hit it with 4570 lb-ft of energy.
I found where she was standing when I shot. Tracking across wet sandy soil was easy. A hike of 70 yards brought me to her, deader than an door nail.
My very first elk! Whoo Hooo. My son was near by and we had a short celebration.
I looked at the downed elk and immediately became confused.
There was an entrance wound exactly where it was supposed to be.
There was an exit wound, with grossed up flesh, about 8 inches ahead of the entrance.
Had this girl been shot twice? I only shot once and there were no other shots in the area??
Here's what I observed from a couple of different angles.
2012 Elk Hunt :: EntranceExit.jpg picture by royinidaho - Photobucket
From another angle. What's with this???
2012 Elk Hunt :: shotAngle.jpg picture by royinidaho - Photobucket
When we rolled her over there were no wounds on the off side???
I'm always more interested in bullet performance than the actual taking of an animal. This was going to be interesting.
Here are some pictures of bullet performance.
This is the only hole in the carcass. Note the carnage between the hide and flesh.
2012 Elk Hunt :: Wound.jpg picture by royinidaho - Photobucket
2012 Elk Hunt :: ExternalWound.jpg picture by royinidaho - Photobucket
Chest cavity pic. Note no lung/liver or heart damage. Not even nicked?
Arrow pointing to the wound. The bullet was traveling parallel to the ribs and took out, and I mean TOOK OUT three.
Here's a pic taken the next day after the magpies pecked a bit.
2012 Elk Hunt :: WoundDayLater.jpg picture by royinidaho - Photobucket
Results of my CSI investigation show that:
She must have been pivoting to the right, making a bad angle a very bad angle, as I broke the trigger. The long and short of it is that this was a very low percentage shot to begin with and most probably shouldn't have been taken.
The 338 Berger Gen I Hybrid or possibly subsequent Berger Hybrids are the ONLY bullet that would have resulted in harvesting this animal. The bullet hit the rear of the first rib severing it and the next two then came fully apart with a portion making a small 1" exit wound.
Shot placement wasn't optimum either but in this case worked out well. The remainder of the bullet some how took out about 12" of the artery running beneath the spine. Thus the chest cavity contained about 30 gallons of blood. She bled out within 70 yards.
There are comments regarding the close range carnage of a Berger. In this case it made a stupid old man look pretty good.
Thanks Berger for providing a bullet that got me my first elk @ the ripe old age of 69 from a glancing blow that never entered the chest cavity. Sure saved my bacon!!
A typically expanding bullet such as a Win Silver Tip, Rem Corlock, Partition or Accubond would have taken out the three ribs and simple kept on trucking as would have the elk.
BTW, I promise take a better shot next time. Now that the pressure of getting that first elk is off.