Copy and paste from the STW thread in Rifles, Bullets, Barrels, and Ballistics--
Well, after 14-15 years of applying, I finally pulled a Nevada Bull Elk tag for area 11
. Now, enter the STW. I have a Tikka T3 Lite in 270 WSM, which should be okay for elk, but I wanted something bigger! Darn you guys, and talking me into an STW! I purchased a Sendero in STW off of Gunbroker, and started load development. I ended up with 168gr Barnes LRX at 3260 fps! (A bit hot, but great accuracy!
) Topped it off with a Leupold 6.5-20x50 Mark 4 with the TMR reticle. Verified drops out to 663 yards (4 inch group on a gong at 535 in a good crosswind!) I'm ready to feed the STW some meat!
Well, a co-worker of mine, Scotty, had made the mistake of telling me about 10 years ago "If you ever pull an Ely elk tag, I'll help you go get one" True to his word, he did. Brought two guys with him, one for the first two days, and another for the next two days. A last minute doctors appointment in Vegas cut his hunting with me to just 4 days.
Day 1 was mostly driving around, and glassing looking for something worth my while. Day 2, and I spotted a couple of bulls in a clearing near the top of the mountain. It was decided one was worth it, so we started up. There was a road up the guy of one canyon quite a ways, so that helped. Scotty said it should be about 45 minutes, and we will pop out under a rock ledge, and hope we are close enough for a shot. An hour later, we didn't make the rock ledge. Then two hours, then three hours, then 4 hours, we made it! (I BARELY made it!!!) While we were working our way up, we ended up seeing 6 bulls or so in that saddle, one of whom was a giant Scotty estimated at 380 plus. There was also a giant 5 point estimated at 350. (we found one of his sheds) As we were cutting the distance from 828 yards across a barren sage patch, we failed to notice the two young bulls at the north end of the saddle. Needless to say, they noticed us! After we popped out of the next group of trees about 400 yards away, the bulls were already on their way over the top, and around the mountain. Exhausted, and disappointed, we climbed down to the truck.
day 3 found two 340-350 bulls in a different area, much closer to the truck. On the way up to them, we spotted what would have been a 330 bull, with his 5th and 6th on the driver's side broken off. He was beautiful, with dark horns, and really hooked fronts with white polished tips. After much agonizing, Scotty and Kelly convinced me not to take a busted bull so early in the season. I made it up to the ridge where we decided had a good view of the area the bulls bedded down in. After several hours, no bulls appeared. Oh well, back to the truck.
Day 4 started with a miscommunication. I arrived at the meeting spot 8 minutes late, and no Scotty or Kelly. After 45 minutes, I drove to cell coverage and called--no luck. Scotty says that they left after waiting 10 extra minutes for me, and Kelly says that I just slept in an extra hour and let them do all the work!! Anyway, I said screw it, and headed to the area we agreed on yesterday, near where we saw the 380 bull. From the main road, I spotted a herd of cows, and to my surprise a bull with them down at the base of the mountains! As I moved in to get a better look, I came across Scotty in his truck. He had spotted a bull a couple canyons south, right at the foothill as well! He too, was with cows. Kelly watched them through the spotter as they bedded behind a rock knob. Kelly stayed there, and Scotty and I took off. After about a mile and a half hike through the sage, we reached some pine trees about 429 yards from the rock bluff, and waited. and waited, and waited. About 4 hours later, the elk got up, and started moving south. I got on the rifle, Scotty ranged the cows at 390. I dialed the scope, and got ready. Here comes the bull at the rear! I saw his fronts, then his complete antlers! Then they disappeared, no body!!! Apparently there was a shallow drainage at the base that they dropped down into. Up we go, and run south to parallel them. Scotty stops me, as the bull gets into a small clearing and sees him, Bugles at him, and then continues south. We run some more, and find a clearing where the cows went. I get down on the rifle, and Scotty says "He's going to follow those cows up the basin" I look through the scope, and see a head and antlers above a cedar tree. Kick off the safety, and waited for an eternity for him to move. As soon as he turned his head uphill towards the cows, and took a step, the STW barked! After settling down from the recoil, I watched him drop onto his feet, and roll down the hill! I told Scotty that I hit him high, and he said that it didn't matter, it rolled him! Range on the shot was 296, so I was probably 1 moa or so high plus however he moved up or down when he took a step. After some searching, (frantic on my part) Scotty found him piled up! The Barnes LRX entered about 6 inches back of the shoulder, and 6 inches below the top of his back. Exit hole through the skin was about an inch or so. After we skinned him, there was massive damage to the bottom of the spine--a hole about the size of a silver dollar all of the way through. Kelly was able to drive the truck to within 30 yards of the bull, so there was no pack out! I'm told that gives the bull an additional 30 B&C points
. I left my camera in my truck, so we used Scotty's. When I get the pics of the bull from him, Ill add them. This is all you get now...
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