I know this isn't a 500+ shot and I did get as close as I could with the sparse cover, but I wanted to share my story and show a couple pics!!!!
After 15 years of applying for an elk tag in Utah, I finally got one. Limited entry, bulls only in the North Slope, Three Corners area. East of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, north of Green River to the Wyoming/Colorado border. Have a friend who lives in Vernal that has horses and a mule.
An old friend wanted to go out west with me so we took off from Michigan on the 27th of Sept. 1500 miles and two long days of driving we arrived at a predetermined spot near Dutch John up in the mountains. My buddy with the horses arrived Sept 30 and we packed a camp up onto Bare Top Mountain. We scouted most of the day on horseback and near dark located a herd and a couple of bulls only a mile from camp! Watched them graze out in the open until dark as we ate out MRE's. A couple of satellite bulls kept the herd bull on watch. He actually "escorted" a 5x5 away from the cows. We heard bugling most of the night.
First thing opening morning, Oct. 1, we were out in the open area, well actually hiding by a small outcropping. Two satellite bulls made their way across the huge open area the Bare top is known for. They were heading our way and we stayed put. There was another herd a couple miles away we coult see and I hoped it wasn't the herd from last night. I wanted that herd bull which looked like a 6x6. Thos satellite bulls, a 5x and 6x came within 350 yards. Buddy thought I would take one but I wanted the herd bull.
More bugling from my left and I spotted the herd from last night. They hadn't moved too far.The long distance herd was another herd so we made a plan. As there wasn't much cover we went directly away from the herd. Our rocks gave us a little cover. I went solo then and made a large loop to gain some cover and drop down in elevation out of sight. The wind was right so that wasn't a factor. I finally snuck within range, crawling the last 50 yards. Got set up behind a rock and ranged the herd at 310yards. Got a good look at the bull and discovered he was a nice 6x but had some broken off the right side. He looked wide and thick. I decided I wanted him. I shot and lung shot him the first time. Shot again and he stumbled. He turned directly away from me and I got nervous, thinking he would walk away. He quartered a bit and I shot two more times, and down he went. Woohoo. I got up to him and he was big. Nice 6x on one side and 4x on the other as he had 5 and 6 broken off with 3 half there. Must have had quite a few fights!!! Not a big deal, he is a real trophy. I cut and carved and capped him out. Had to make two trips carrying out the camp and some of the meat. The mule came in real handy. Beat it back to Michigan with a load of meat and a real nice set of horns.