A buddy of mine in Wyoming invited me to hunt elk with him. I jumped at the chance because I knew little about elk hunting, and he'd taken many of them over a couple of decades. Managed to draw a non-resident tag, and a few days before the season, we rode into the Wind River Mountains and set up camp about nine miles from the trailhead, up at about 9,000'.
Spent a few days getting used to the altitude, hiked around, did some fishing, and scouted for elk. Once we located some elk, we left them alone until opening morning.
Quietly hiked about a mile from camp and at daybreak we bugled a bit. Two bulls answered, a 5x5 and this 6x6. This bull came out into the open and started thrashing a tree with his antlers. It wasn't a long shot at about 180 yards, but uphill, and I had to shoot through a smallish "window" in the trees. Prone wouldn't work, so I used sitting, and used my Turner sling for stability. Sent a single handloaded 175 grain Nosler Partition through his chest. It exited with about a half-inch hole, and he took a few faltering steps, then collapsed.
We narrowly missed taking the 5x5 too - my buddy was hot after it with his .454 Casull, which he's used to take other elk - but the 5x5 gave us the slip and he couldn't get a clean shot at it.
My rifle was a very simple, inexpensive Rem 700 ADL, with the factory synthetic stock and an equally simple, inexpensive 3-9x Leupold. All I did to it was a trigger job. I'd sighted it in at 300 yards, my handloads were clocking just over 2900 fps. The 175 Sierra Gamekings shot tighter groups, but I wanted the penetration/performance of the Nosler Partition. It delivered just fine - hitting right where intended, and killing quickly. I just left the scope at 3x for the shot too. Why not?
Don't believe I have any better photos of the rifle, and unfortunately I had to sell it along with several other firearms shortly after this hunt when the family car broke down and I was short on cash. Ah well... Finances are better these days and the rifle has been replaced with a .300 WSM
- but I haven't taken another bull elk since the Wyoming hunt. Haven't been drawn for another Wyoming non-resident elk tag since then either, despite trying a couple of times.
Was truly fortunate to have a good friend who took me on that hunt. If not for his expertise, his horses and gear - I couldn't have pulled it off. This hunt was in 2000, but all the photos were with a 35mm camera, and I just got them scanned, so now I can share 'em on line.