Just returned from my Elk Hunt in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma. I drew a either sex tag but was looking for a bull since waiting for 31 years to draw a tag. Hunted all day Tuesday and saw as many as 15 cows and a spike in a canyon I chose to hunt. Tuesday I hunted some ridges about 3.5 miles from the area I hunted the first day. Rough terrain and a long hike into the area in the dark but at day light I had 4 nice bulls across a canyon at 520 yds. By the time I could see them in my scope and get a good range reading the bulls moved off the back of the ridge, out of sight. I crossed the canyon, and up to the area they were when I saw them. No bulls in sight. I hunted the top of this mountain and back to the place I came up. I found a spot in the sun, out of the wind and took a break. About 30 min later I was watching a bench below me and two bulls came out of the canyon. One was a spike with about 12" horns and 6" brow tines. The one I shot was a 5x5 and pretty nice size.
I ranged him at 232 yds and check my drop chart on my Encore 280. I put the second ballistic line on him and sent one. I heard the report of the hit and he humped up and dropped his head. I finally got another round in the chamber and when I touched it off he dropped before the bullet hit, and went over him into a rock. I jammed another round into the chamber and put it on his shoulder when he was trying to get to his feet. I hit square on his shoulder and dropped him. I was getting concerned because we are only allowed to carry 5 rounds into the hunt each day and they do spot checks on the hunters.
The Game Warden estimated him at about 500lbs. I was about 3/4 mile back into the mountains and the Warden told me a better way to take the bull out in quarters to a truck he would send around to a gate.
The fun was over and the work started. My help didn't show so my Conservation Officer, which was the driver of my unit and two others that work there helped me get my elk out. They had a little party when they started the aging check. One looked it the bulls mouth and at the teeth and called another and then another until there was about 10 people trying to look into the bulls mouth. They pulled a book with photos of Elk jaws at different ages and finally came to a decision that my elk was between 18 and 19 years old. The rifle is a Encore 280 with a Burris 4x12 Ballistic Plex. The first round was a Nosler Accubond, 140grn of my load and the others are 150 grn Hornady SP with H4831SC powder. Nikon 550 range finder and BlacksCreek Canadian "Jim Horn" pack.
I had a great time and any one that can put in for this once in a lifetime hunt, should.
Here are some photos and no, the rifle is not pointing at me. One of the photos show the meadow in the distance that I'm going to take the quarter down to for a pick up by one of the workers.