Just returned home from my first elk hunt and was very succesfull. No, i did not bag an elk but had a great time. I was invited by a friend whom has been going since 1978 and just harvested his 22 nd bull. The outfitter was first class and gave me 200% effort. My first morning of the 3rd season 1 hour in to the hunt we spotted 5 elk, 4 was legal bulls first one being a trophy. My inexperience came in to part where i couldn't get any kind of rest and was not going to attempt a 615 yard off hand shot. We had around 6" of snow and trying to jump in close to the snow covered cedars for a rest didnt work. All of this took place in about 15 seconds, i chose not to shoot and would of done the same thing over. 2 days later i spotted a cow and a bull not knowing if it was legal as he moved in to cover. Seen lots of mule deer but no tag. My friend who invited me shot a nice 6x7 with a 6mmx 284 around 640 yards. I learned so much from my fiirst trip of what skills i need to improve on for next year. Where i hunt in Pa. for deer we have to make quick 75 yard shots i didnt realize in Co. you might have to make quick 5-600 yard shots. My gear as far as clothes, optics, etc., worked very well now i need to improve on hunting and shooting skills such as quick set up. I was with a group of first class hunters and gentlemen and enjoyed my trip so much. I was asked to be a part of there group for following years so i cant wait for 1 year off of my life. I had the pleasure of meeting several local people and i will say the folks in colorado are as fine of people i have ever met. Now i have the elk bug i will ready. My wife could not believe how i felt when not getting an elk that i could of had such a great time. This trip taught me a lot and i value the success that i had this past week.
Well Mike, It sounds like you had a very successful hunt. Sometimes we get our definitions twisted and think that a successful hunt comes at the heels of killing an animal.
During the next year, you'll practice your shooting skills and improve your odds at taking an animal out there next year.
Just a note on getting set up quickly. Two things are required. First is practice in recognizing a place that will actually work to shoot from and as you learned that is just not always available so you have to pass. Second is having your gear organized so you are not rummaging around in your pack looking for stuff you need when time is critical. I carry a small bag attached to the outside of my pack with everything I need to make a shot. When I see something I take off the pack and unhook the bag and take it and the rifle to a place where I can set up.
Having the right bipod on the rifle helps. I dislike the tall Harris bipods but sometimes you just have to use one because of the vegetation and other conditions.
I just can't get very excited about deer hunting anymore but I have only been home a week and am already planning next years elk hunts.
Sometimes we get so caught up in bragging rights that we forget that its called hunting!
The experience you shared is most of the reason I have always hunted. Spending time with friends and meeting new ones along with the experience of just being away from the day to day routine is where its at.
You enjoyed doing what you love, and you were very responsible by not taking shots you didnt feel comfortable about. You now have more experience for your next hunt, and you know what you need to practice for next years hunt. Keep up the good work. Interesting thread. Thanks for posting.
Thanks everyone, i guess my thread is a little different its not the 300 class kill at 1100 yards. I really tip my hat to everyone here that has made the LR shots with success. Just wanted to share what a great hunt i had. I made an earlier thread few months ago about clothing needed and had great responce. I took the advise offered here and it really worked. Layering with underarmor, Danner boots, etc. worked real well for me. My group divided the meat equal as best as possible and i was given a coomplete hind quarter. I could not believe all the meat that it produced.
Glad you had a great hunt, I came home empty this year too but similarly had a great time. A 615 yd shot in 15sec is asking a lot under any circumstances, rest or not. I took my 2008 bull about 50 yds beyond that and it was probably closer to a minute and a half before I was ready to pull the trigger. When I'm shooting long, I take my time getting it right. Sometimes the best way to move fast is to move slow.