Well, it's been a pretty quiet last few hunting seasons. Two years ago, hunted 2 days, last year 0 days. This year I didn't think I was going to get out, but then got invited out by a buddy to join his group for elk/whitetail for last Friday & Saturday.
We left Calgary 3am Friday, hunted long and hard. Covered a ton of ground. But we weren't seeing the elk. We saw a number of moose (which previously I hadn't seen alot of in this area), mulies, cougar tracks and a golden eagle eating away on a gutpile (which was real cool to see).
Late Saturday morning after still not seeing elk (& minimal elk sign) we took a drive further down the road & headed into the ranch of a buddy I'd known since university days. He didn't have anyone in hunting his place, so we had our plan for the afternoon. Hoping that we might cross path with some elk on his place as the number of vehicles driving through the forestry on Saturday was unreal.
Before heading in to park in his yard we decided drive down the road further and turn around so that we could glass his southernmost valley. And what do you know, on the edge of one of the bowls bedded were two legal bulls. There could have been more elk behind & below them, but we now had a plan.
We drove back and parked in the yard, gathered up our gear and headed up into the trees with the plan of popping out on the top of the ridge above the elk in a good position to set up to shoot. But of course we popped out further west than we wanted and between us and the ridge top we wanted were a dozen mulies. The mulies weren't too concerned with us, so as we quietly worked our way to the ridge top they just headed back into the forest. On route we did catch sight of the bulls and they were still bedded in the same place. As we got closer to the ridge top they did sense that something was out of place. But they couldn't tell what (wind was in our favour and they were over 400 yards away). So they just stood up and both stood broadside to us. And they stayed that way while we crawled into position & got set up to shoot. Could not have asked for a better situation.
We had two shooters, myself and a younger fellow. Once ready I said I'd count to three then we'd both shoot at the bull we'd picked to shoot at. 1-2-3, I heard him shoot then I took my first shot, ejected shell, took second shell. The bull showed absolutely no reaction to either shot. After the second shot, he just turned and started walking downhill. Took about 5 steps & keeled over.
We just ended up with the one bull as the other shooter had missed on his first shot then his gun had jammed so he did not get a chance to get a second shot off.
These elk are tough! This bull took two shots in the chest (through & through), one of them taking out his heart. He was dead, just didn't know it. The grassy slopes with a bit of snow on them sure makes great for dragging an elk down to the bottom.
Probably hard to see in the pic but I got my first ever (followed soon after) by my second ever scope kiss. With the distance of the shot I had cranked my scope up to 14 & I guess I moved my eye a bit closer to the scope. Oh well, battle scars 'eh.
Here's a few pics, not great quality. My old camera that I take hunting didn't want to work that well in the cold temperatures.
I was using my Remington 700 280AI with 140 grain TSX's. Shot distance was around 430 yards.