Ive been hunting the area for about 8yrs for mule deer. I have been applying for elk there even longer. I started out on opening day and arrived at my hunting spot a few hours before dark. I drove around and spotted a few spots I thought may be good areas to start looking I day break. On Sunday morning I got up nice and early and proceeded to the first spot. On the way there I noticed something below me from the road. I backed the truck up and got out the bino's and saw a nice 5pt bull about 400yds below me feeding in the timber. I looked him over and took a couple of shots (with the camera, lol) through the spotting scope. I knew this was going to be the year for me. Not 30min into my hunting season and already seeing bulls. Another day of seeing ok bulls but nothing too big kept me very excited.
I got up on Monday morning and thought I would go back to the spot where I had seen some bulls the night before. For some reason I decided not to and went in the opposite direction and headed to a spot where I had shot a nice muley a few years prior. I stopped and hiked out to the edge of a few fingers and glassed but didnt see any sign. I went back to the truck and kept driving. I came to a spot near the end of the road where you could see for miles. I glassed down into a clearing about a mile and a half away to see some cow elk. I looked them over and out of no where there he was. I knew this was a bull I needed to get a closer look at. I moved the truck off of the road, grabbed my gun and started running. I dropped off the back side of the hill as to not be seen and ran as fast as I could. It was 9:30 in the morning and I knew the elk were on there way to bed in the deep timber directly behind them. In about 20 minutes I popped over my ridge and saw the last of the elk and my bull just walk into a drainage and some trees I couldnt see into. I decided to get a little closer and sit to see what happened. I watched for what seemed to be an eternity. All of a sudden a lone cow came out of the top of the drainage and trees and came out on top of the hill across from me. Then another and another. About 20 cows came out and I was dieing of anticipation. The big bull walked though some junipers tilting his head bag and forth to clear branches. As he cleared the trees I ranged him and just knew he was what I had always been looking for. 429 yards I put him in the cross hairs and squeezed the trigger. Whoooaap. He stumbled and I reloaded. They didnt have a clue where I was. The wind was gusting at 45mph from my kestral. I sent 3 more at him with the same effect and he hit the ground not 15 ft from where the first struck. I was shooting a 257 wby with berger vlds. No more than 1 shot was needed but I am a firm believer that if its still standing Im still shooting(less distance to track and they always fall down hill in a nasty hole).
He scored 364"
Hint, if your by yourself and need to take a good picture. Set your camera on your backpack on top of a sage bush with the timer and run!