1202 yard CO bull. pics

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Coyboy, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    I hunted the 2nd season in CO this year, minus my friend Matt. Normally Matt and I LR hunt together working as shooter and spotter. It works out really well and help ensure successful one or two shot kills for the most part. Matt was too busy at home to come this year.

    We got the nickname the "Geriatric Crew" mainly from Matt. Our camp consisted of 4 hunters Greg, Jim B., myself and Mike, Ron was our cook. Our combigned age was pushing 290 years. with me being the youngest at 41.

    Mike brought out Sparky and Kiid, his 8 yr and 3 yr old 1/4 horses. They were very helpful at moving elk quarters and old asses around the mountains. We set up camp on Thursday, and Friday morning I went out to my look-out, and spotted 3 bulls at about 1000 yards. A very good sign the day before any elk hunt. I spent Friday afternoon shooting the edge for 200 yard zero, then doping a rock face at 900 yards and confirming drops, with my charts. Greg gave me the old "your killing the hell out of those rocks, now lets see you eat one."

    Saturday morning I was again in the Look-out and from there I can see everything. Mike was headed up a canyon on the horses and as daylight struck, i glassed 2 bulls out feeding in his drainage. They were about 3500 yards from me, and I was wondering if he had passed them in the dark. The idea that Mike might harvest one of these bulls intreaged me to the point I watched them thru the NXS, and when both bulls grew intent on the direction Mike was coming from I knew somthing was about to happen.
    The lower bull humped and ran, a few seconds later I heard the rifle report, the bull then tumbled to a stop and I once again heard the second bullets muzzle blast. I waited a couple minutes and radioed to Mike nice shooting, that suprised him a bit because he didn't think he had an audience. With all that hub-ub I looked below me just in time to see my 3 bulls leaving an opening and head into the timber, I cursed myself for not being "in my hunt."

    Monday was Gregs turn and he put on a pre dawn hike to get to #3, shortly after daybreak he caught a young raghorn heading to cover from the mountain side meadow. He slipped him a couple pills and it was a dirt nap for that bull.

    Tuesday night brought with it a nice little snow storm. Wednesday Morning I headed to the north on a wheeler to try my luck in some timber, that had been good to me in 2010. When I got about 3/4 mile down the two track I glassed south to #3 and caught the movement of an elk. With-out knowing what or how many I raced back to camp and grabbed the spotter, at least 7 elk with 2 bulls. I grabbed my gear and made a quick pace the 1.7 miles to try and cut the elk off in an avalanche chute on the south side of #3. Well i was a little late, just as I looked up the slide the last 3 elk were exiting it continuing south to bed for the day. At 600 yards I had missed a great opportunity.

    Thursday I was slow out of camp and it was one of those days that I couldn't make up my mind which way to go. After breakfast I stepped out of the tents to glass the 3 mountains before heading out. Low and behold there were 2 bulls on #1 straight above camp. My options were limited. Moving closer would put me in the timber with nothing but obscured vision of the bulls. Climbing after them would be a long process with little to no chance of seeing them when one would get there.

    I excitidly called the guys out of the tents as I was going to set up and shoot from camp. It was near dead calm and I had practiced on a rock face just below the elk at 900 yard the previous friday, gathering my sight dope..

    I set up the bipod and rear bag, uphill at 18 degrees ranged the 6x6 at 1182 yards. I doped the NXS and sent what I thought would be a fatal bullet into that bull. No reaction? do it again, no reaction? Now I'm starting to wonder, another shot and no reaction. I take a brief pause to think. I ask the guys if they see any impacts and look over my shoulder to see them slack jawed looking thru binos. I snapped at Mike, "get the spotting scope out I'm going to send a sighter at the rock face."

    I redope the rock face and send one, to my suprise it is about 2 minutes right and 2.5 minutes high.

    The slap of the bullet impact sent the 6x6 uphill into some quakies. After the rock impact I was sure the 3 shots were very clean misses, and felt confident that he was unscathed. I turned my attention to the 5x5 reranged him at 1202 yards. I Doped the rifle once again minus the elevational error of 2.5 minutes, and asked Mike to watch very carefully. I sent one and Mike called out a hit. The bull turned and very slowly turned uphill. At this point I was in it until he dropped, I chambered another cartrige as the guys were saying, "wait I think hes down" I shanked the second shot, at this point my nerves had been a bit frazilled, and I took a moment to gather myself. The bull turned broadside and I sent the third. I recovered from recoil in time to see his legs fold underneath him, sending the bull sliding downhill into a deadfall.

    I watched the fallen bull for a couple minutes, pretty unaware of my surounding, what the audience was doing or saying. To say it was an exciting fast paced turn of events would be an understatement. I had gotten a little rattled during the process, the misses were a bit confussing to me at the time, I did at one moment want to quit after the misses on the first bull, but I drove myself to continue on when I flashed the idea of a sighter on the rock. I'm glad I did, i'm not sure how my additude would have been if I had given up.

    Mike and I brought the horses to with-in 50 yards of the fallen bull. The final shot had broke the spine about 2-4 inches behind the shoulder. The 250 grain accu bond was recovered on the far side and weight 165 grains. From the first bulls tracks I found my 3 bullet impacts, they had blew unfrozen dirt thru the snow, and were nicly clustered a good 3 feet from impacting the 6x6 bull.


    I have reflected on this event for quite some time since returning from the trip, almost 3 weeks ago. I have yet to clean the 338 edge as my plans are to shoot it and actually see if the error that day was more rifle or shooter induced. The gun did take a beating that week, as it rode on my back on horse back slung sideways, bumping and battering along thru timber. But then again, as ruggedly as it's built, I would think losing zero would be low on the list of problems.

    This event didn't at all go the way I had planned, seems they never really do, in this instance I learned some more valuable lessons, ate some humble pie, and added to the base of experience that I have been building now for some 6+ years in the LRH field.

    Greg might not like it but next year I will be killing alot more rocks and nearly every day.

    Pics are to follow
     
  2. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Top pic, Me, Jim B., Ron, Greg, Mike.


    2nd pic, camp on Friday with #1 in background


    3rd pic #3 and #2 to our south

    4th pic #1 elk was standing up the mountain where the close rt pine trees tip ends
     

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  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Jim,

    Good keeping your head on straight. I seem to come apart just before the trigger break. :rolleyes:

    Great write up. Things happen the way they do. Its nice to read 'all' of the details.

    It will be interesting to learn what the POI shift was all about.

    18* isn't all that much and 2 1/2 MOA @ 1200 is about 30" so that detail is confirmed. Hmmmmmm.

    Why a 225 offering vs a 300 for that distance? However the 225 appears to have performed well on the spine hit.

    Great hunt, post and results.
     
  4. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Roy, It was a 250 AB, why? I didn't like what a 300smk did last year, try somthing new to me. May-be next year i will try a 300 berger if guys say they are expanding well.
    The funny thing was on friday the 250s at 900 were holding about 3" of verticle for 3 shots, dead on my charts. BUT conditions were much different the am of the elk kill.
     
  5. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Great story and way to persist, test, and adjust.

    Here's something you might consider.

    On any rifle I plan to carry long distance or ride slung over my back horseback or on a 4 wheeler I drill holes for and place recievers for QD sling mounts on the Off Side, from the bolt.

    One about even with the standard sling mount on the forearm, and one about middle of the butt of the rifle.

    This sling arrangement also works extremely well if you need to use the sling for a free hand shot or standing supported shot.

    The benefit to this is that the rifle will naturally ride flat against your body whether it's slung over the back or across the chest greatly cutting down the flopping and banging on your body.
     
  6. msalm

    msalm Well-Known Member

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    Wish I could have made it this year, it's always the years you can't make it the hunting is above average, although we've always done well I'm thinking if I could have made it there would be another rack in that picture:). Good going Jim, and hopefully next year.
     
  7. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

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    Wow Jim. Thanks for the write up, pics, and letting everyone see that misses are just part of the game, no matter what the distance. I've had the same type of days, good thing you kept at it. Never give up, never surrender. Congrats to you and the group for a great trip.
     
  8. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    Jim, way to regroup. That is one hell of a score. Congrats on pulling it out.
     
  9. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Great hunt Jim, Congrats!!! and thanks for sharing the detailed story.

    Jeff
     
  10. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

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    That is some beautiful country!

    Congrats on a successful hunt.
     
  11. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Kept our horses in about the same spot first season. I guided elk hunts there during the 70's and early 80's. Got a nice 6x6 out of there first seaon with a one shot cold bore kill at 964 yards with the 225 grain CE bullet .640 BC at 3500 fps out of a 338-378 Weatherby. Great country, sounds like you guys really enjoyed it.
     
  12. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    just thought I would add a pic I recieved recently from Mikes camera, of the whole elk.
     

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  13. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    another pic on the Mountain, I was hoping to get a pic of the camp in the background but fog rolled in before we got to the elk.
     

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