OR Coast Success

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by AJBello, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. AJBello

    AJBello Active Member

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    I got into elk camp this year a couple days before the season (Oregon / coast elk / 1st season). Within hours I started hearing of a 5 point bull being spotted in a nearby canyon. It didn’t seem like there was anyone within several miles that didn’t know about the bull, and I figured every one of them had plans to go after him on opening morning. Since I wasn’t the one who spotted him, and I was sure there would be lots of competition there, I opted for a different location opening day.

    Sure enough there was lots of pressure on that area opening day, and some the next day. I hadn’t heard of anyone finding the bull and it seemed like some people were hitting other canyons to glass. Three days of the four day season came and went and I still opted for one of my usual spots on the morning of closing day. About 30 minutes after sunrise another member of my party who didn’t have a tag got ahold of me on the radio. He spotted the 5 point (from about two miles away), right in the same spot several people saw it five days before. We knew right where to go to set up a shot on him, which was about a ten mile drive on logging roads, and then a quarter mile or so walk in.

    The bull was literally standing in the wide open of a hillside shining in the morning sun. We figured it was only a matter of time before more people spotted him and tried to put a hunt on him. We drove (rather quickly) the ten miles or so to the skid road which accessed the adjacent ridge. I threw on my drag bag which holds my Sako TRG42 and all accompanying gear (LRF, kestrel, ammo, rear bags, etc), and started the walk in. As we got around to the other side of the ridge I looked between some trees to where we last saw the bull. He was still out and going nowhere fast!

    The best semi clear opening to shoot from was on about a 45 degree hillside. I found a stump which looked like it would provide a solid rest and began to set up for the shot. Lased the bull: 560 yards. Measured the angle with my iPhone & Shooter app: 15 degrees. I set my rifle up and got the bull all lined up (and was really pleased with what I saw). The stump with my bipod and rear bag was rock solid. Shooter gave me 2.9 mils (300 grain SMK @ 2800 FPS) which I dialed into my scope. No wind. Since the bull was really just hanging out I took the time to double and triple check all my inputs. I was glad to not be in too much of a hurry. I had another member of my party over my left shoulder with a spotting scope and a backup shooter just a little ways away with his 300 RUM, just in case.

    SHOT LOCATION:
    [​IMG]

    I got on the scope and waited for a good clean shot. The bull was facing away from me and uphill. I considered putting a shot right between his shoulder blades but decided to wait. About a minute later he turned semi-broadside facing left, at about a 30 degree angle away from me. I was very comfortable with this shot, and aimed just a touch back from where I normally would to angle through the vitals and take out the off-side shoulder. Feeling extremely confident and relaxed I squeezed off the shot. The recoil came and took me off target and I jacked a new round in. On 22 power I couldn’t find the bull again right away so I looked up over my scope for reference. When I did I saw the elk fall over and start tumbling limply down the hill. There was no doubt in my mind the elk was down hard. The spotter told me he took about two steps after the shot, hunched up, and then fell back and started to tumble.

    SHOT:
    [​IMG]

    One guy stayed with the spotting scope set right where the bull rolled into the trees. Two of us walked around to the other ridge (through some very steep country!) and he guided us in. We found the bull dead a couple of hundred feet down the hill caught in a tree. I was thrilled as this is only my second elk and my personal best!

    PANORAMA LOOKING BACK AT SHOOTING LOCATION FROM WHERE BULL WAS:
    [​IMG]

    THE BULL, AS WE FOUND HIM IN THE TREE:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We got him gutted and rolled him down the hill to the creek bottom. We ended up a little under a half mile from the road (via the creek bottom).

    BULL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANYON:
    [​IMG]

    We decided to quarter him out there and made several trips in and out over pretty rough terrain. It was a hard recovery effort but well worth it!

    BACK AT CAMP:
    [​IMG]

    He’s not the biggest in the world by any means but is my personal best, and a pretty respectable Roosevelt in my opinion. It felt nice to come back to town with a successful hunt, and elk in the truck!
     
  2. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Good job! Great story. Congratulations.
     

  3. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Oct 20, 2007
    Great Job! It's amazing that everyone left the spot and you ended up having him to yourself out in that big opening, like a dream!
     
  4. DUKFVR

    DUKFVR Well-Known Member

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    CONGRATS on a Nice Bull & Shooting!
     
  5. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Great story, great pics, great shot and a great hunt!!

    Congrats

    Jeff
     
  6. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! Write the story down, print the pictures, and build something to put all of that behind some glass....mount on the wall next to this mount.

    VERY nice!!
     
  7. pythonwill

    pythonwill Well-Known Member

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    Nice work!! Looks like some of the area I hunt in the Wilson unit
     
  8. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! What drag bag do you use?
     
  9. AJBello

    AJBello Active Member

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    Yep, Wilson unit!
     
  10. AJBello

    AJBello Active Member

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    It's an Eagle Industries drag bag. Never actually "drag" it anywhere but it's good for holding my rifle and all associated gear, then getting the whole system to a shooting point with the shoulder straps. BARELY fits my TRG42 with muzzle brake.

    I tried an Eberlestock pack before the drag bag and didn't like it as much for my purposes...
     
  11. moombaskier

    moombaskier Well-Known Member

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    That is freakin awesome! Not to many folks know how hard it is to hunt the OR coast range. I say damn good job!
     
  12. pythonwill

    pythonwill Well-Known Member

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    Cook Cr or Ceder Butte???
     
  13. AJBello

    AJBello Active Member

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    Cook Cr. :D
     
  14. pythonwill

    pythonwill Well-Known Member

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    I got a nice 4x6 up there a few yrs ago. lots of elk,,, lots of hunters too. You did good!