2011 and my best bull ever!

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by mtbohunter, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. mtbohunter

    mtbohunter Active Member

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    I was asked to write a thread about my hunt here so here it goes.

    The day before Montana's general elk season I left my truck at 5:00pm for the first leg of my hunt. Taping my barrel, double lacing my boots, and securing my 338WM Ruger 77, I started walking to the camp sight I had previously picked because there were few trees {to not attract Grizzly's} and a seep of water nearby, through a driving sleet storm.
    Pitching camp at dark and wiping the sleet off my pack I crawled into my Kelty to eat freeze dried and an energy bar. After supper I hauled my pack to a tree about 70yds downwind, hoisted it and got back to my sleeping bag with my 629S&W with 300gr hard cast ready to bark.
    The opener began at 4am, with 2.5miles left to walk I started out into the knee deep snow. Circling the end of the mountain at 6am I could see a line of ATV lights on the far rim {2.5miles south of me}. Dropping some 600ft elevation I came to the bottom of the first rock slide. I had decided this is where I would drop my bi-pods and wait.
    As light began I heard the first bugle about a half mile below and to the West of me. Knowing their trail from there I began another 200ft drop{still approximately 1000ft from the bottom} and headed West across two ravines, to 150yds of the bottom of the last rock slide. Having heard countless bugles by this time as well as hearing him closing on this point my hart was racing!
    I didn't even have time to drop my bi-pods again before I heard a few cow calls coming toward me, then seeing the first cow break the heavy cover to cross just below the rock slide at 100yds! As she took a trail quartering toward me I felt she would pass to close to my position and get my wind. Luckily the herd was pushing her and she passed me off as nothing at 47yds!!
    I could see him at the back of the group of about 30 cows and had to make myself not take a shot through the trees, but wait for him to step into the clear.
    As he took his first step into the open I centered my cross hairs at the front of his shoulder {he was steeply quartering toward me} and began to squeeze. As the 338 barked, he fell in a pile and began sliding for about 30ft into some young pines that stopped him{Thank God!} or he would have slid another several hundred feet.
    With his head underneath him in a mess of young pines I began the PAIN staking process of butchering, capping, and hanging the meat bags and horns. 8 hours later at 4pm I left the finished bull and started back toward camp. Thirsty! hungry and in a hurry to break camp and head home to tell my family about the hunt! Home at 11pm then back the next morning with a horse and frame pack, I was able to pack him out in one trip.
    {As my buddy with the horse told me} This is to damn much work for a bull, but I know that good bulls on public ground are extremely hard to get and here is a couple pics of him.
    Good Luck hunting! and keep bear protection handy! I saw two grizzly's this year. One at 20yds! My 629 didn't feel to heavy in that moment!!
     

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  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Well it doesn't get any better than "Best Ever" does it?

    Congrats.

    What was the range on the kill shot?
     

  3. mtbohunter

    mtbohunter Active Member

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    About 45yds. Kinda hard to say it was a long range forum hunt, but the closer the better if all goes right!
     
  4. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Well it sounded like you were headed for a "close encounter".

    Congrats. Getting it right that close is actually a lot more of a challenge at times than doing it at long range.

    When you're close enough to smell'm it'll send your heart racing baaaaad.gun)

    I've killed a couple of big boars even closer with a pistol so I can feel for ya.
     
  5. sambo3006

    sambo3006 Well-Known Member

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    Great looking bull and hard earned. Way to go!
     
  6. hnts4fun

    hnts4fun Well-Known Member

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    As I read about you dropping elevation, after working so hard to climb and set up your camp, I kept thinking Nooooooooooooooo! Very nice bull... you earned it indeed.

    I was all dressed up and ready for a long shot at an elk earlier this fall, when one presented itself at 65 yards. That was the shot that was offered and it was the one I took. I must say it eats very well as I'm sure yours will.

    Matt
     
  7. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    Very nice!!! Congrats, nice story. It is awesome when it all happens perfectly. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. NONYA

    NONYA Banned

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    Where did you find "knee deep snow" on Oct 22 in MT?gun)
     
  9. mtbohunter

    mtbohunter Active Member

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    Nonya,
    I see we got off on the wrong foot. When I mentioned head shooting in an earlier post, it was not aimed at you but at the person who was talking about shooting elk in the head to save meat. I really liked your post. The fact your dad brought you up to respect game and the fact you came from a good hunting family hit me close to home!
    As for knee deep snow?
    On October 9th on the Gravely Range Road I and one other truck were stuck in snow about 3 feet deep. I had to dig through a drift and chain up to make it to the vantage point I wanted during a scouting trip. Later that day scouting in Hells Canyon {Highlands Range} walking on Brazil and Grassy the snow was the same.
    Everywhere above 8,500ft had snow on the 9th and if you were on the NE side of the mountain on Oct. 22nd at 8,900ft the snow was knee deep with crust on top that you would fall through with every step. I had buddies in the Snow Crest, Pioneers, and Highlands that ran into the same conditions.
    I respect you, your posts, your hunting ability and the fact you have lived here all your life. Please show me the same.
    Thank You.
    Mtbohunter:)
     
  10. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Great post and a well earned "congratulations on a nice bull!.............Rich