Serious Long Range Elk Hunters

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by kcebcj, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Bear with me. You are horseback riding a narrow elk trail that contours around the side of a large canyon. You look down and about 800 yards away next to a stand of timber there stands the heard bull that you have been watching all summer. You slide off your horse pull your 1000 yard rifle out of the scabbard range the bull make the adjustments now all you have to do is shoot. But what do you do? It’s straight up and down with sage brush and mountain grass. The short 6” bipod will be of no help not only that there is no place near to get prone. He’s got you pegged and the time is slipping away.
    Now I consider myself a better than average shot off my knees out to about 300 yards but hitting my truck at 800 off my knees would be a chore. With my go to rifle he is simply out of range and I would let him go. But I have this nice new 1000 yard rifle and he is mine if I can just get it solid.


    So I guess my question is what if anything have you guys done to overcome this dilemma. Taller bipods shooting sticks run up and down the trail looking for some place to rest the rifle or simply not shooting. Where I hunt I can see this kind of thing happening every day. In consideration for the animal the shot has to be well placed and at 800 yards you are not going to get that done well off your knees even though the rifle is capable of the shot.

    Now I could lay it across the saddle and make the shot but the trouble with that is that you have to catch the rifle on the way down after the horse bucks it off. Gonna have way too much money in the scope for that.:)

    Your comments are appreciated
     
  2. NONYA

    NONYA Banned

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    Stalking skills
     

  3. Strick9

    Strick9 Well-Known Member

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    Just went to taller bipod,13-25 for that reason ,, however stalking skills +10, or back off set up for next hunt with out bumping..
     
  4. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I won’t argue that your stalking skills have to be refined and in my shop there are enough elk and mule deer horns to show that I can get it done. But to stalk deer or elk you have to find them as they can move many miles at night or when spooked especially elk. If looking for one bull in particular you have to cover lots of ground and we use horses for that. Just was wondering if there is a few techniques for shooting over tall grass or sage. Here where I live I will watch the same bull for weeks.
     
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Very interesting scenario.

    With the anticipation build up from the summer scouting and the excitement of the moment, the heart and head aren't communicating real well. The first thing would be get in control of the situation. Mind over matter, so to speak.

    This could be your only shot opportunity for the season.

    800 yds straight down and he's a herd bull. Got some size on him. You're gonna need a helluva horse.;)

    I've never passed on a an elk shot, lack of opportunity, but have passed some decent muleys due to circumstances.;)

    I'd just get into a somewhat comfortable setting position. Put the rifle on the ol' knees and sit there and ponder. If it ever gets comfortable, then possibly take the shot. This may not be so good as the only time I tried it, it was on a moose at 70 yards. I was waiting for him to turn. My hand must have got cold or the excitement was as controlled as I tho't. The rifle fired and resulted in a hit high in the leg. The good part was that it turned him.:rolleyes:

    While you are in this contemplative state, there may be some decent ideas come to mind. That's is, if you are not the type that 'locks' in on the ways things should be and can't accept the differences of that particular shot opportunity. Which usually ends up in a clear miss..

    In similar situations I've see the Harris Type bipod slip at the shot. I've seen them fold up when shooting at a high angle uphill shot.

    You may wish to tie up a rear leg of old Dobbin, ya know, the ol' lariat from the saddle horn around the hock and back to the horn then pull and the leg comes up. Then tip the ol' boy over, up hill of course;). He'll be as steady as a rock when you make the shot over the saddle skirt.

    Of course you'll want plenty of pics of this.:D And your horse will most probably not go huntin' with you again.:D

    Situations as you present are the reality of hunting.

    If worse comes to worse, observe, enjoy, remember and ride on.
     
  6. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Hey royinidaho

    I know you are well aware that many of us have shot with the rifle across the saddle but not with a brake in place. That would freak (Shorty my go to horse) out with a bad wreck coming for sure. I shot my first bull off my knees and after I realized I was sitting on the trail right between my horses hind legs I almost freaked out. He just stood there. Was a little excited to not notice the horse being so close.

    I think your right shooting from the knees. I don’t know about it with a 12 lb. rifle though. Maybe lots of practice and catch him somewhere in the 20 inch wobble when it looks right.

    Yep the realities of hunting
     
  7. Lapua Hunter

    Lapua Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Bipod...

    I encountered this situation a couple months back. I was cow elk hunting, and the elk were in relatively flat and snow covered sage. I have a Harris Bipod attached to my .338 Lapua Magnum, so I merely extended the legs and shot from sitting position. However, the distance was only 460 yards (very hard to range in those conditions!). Prone would have been much steadier.
     
  8. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    L apua Hunter

    This is the kind of info I’m looking for. So with a good bipod extended to let’s say 18-20 inches, it works OK but not the greatest? Better than the knees? (I have never shot off a bipod) Now do you use the same bipod to shoot prone or would it be to high fully collapsed? Horseback 2 bipods would not be a problem.

    How does that thing shoot? I’m trying to get the same put together as we speak.
     
  9. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    Although it is not my favorite shooting position, I carry the Stony Point shooting stix just for this reason. I too have encountered shots that require a high sitting or kneeling position to make. I use the stix slid against a bipod stud in the front and lock up in a 2 hand supported sitting or kneeling in the rear. This is very steady but I am not as effective with it as being on the ground prone with a bipod. My max range is 800-900 yards this way.
     
  10. drags

    drags Well-Known Member

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    When using shooting sticks in the sitting position use a strap or piece of rope and rap it around your knees and rest your elbows inside your knees, it is very steady this way. It is also good for glassing.
    Drags
     
  11. mikenc

    mikenc Well-Known Member

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    Be thankful and just enjoy watching the bull. Remember, success does not depend on killing an animal. Heck you can buy beef or whatever meat you like at grocery store.

    Just enjoy the site and come back another day and better prepared to make the shot.

    Let the Bull Walk. Remember, the sport is "hunting" NOT "killing".


    Mike Alford
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Shorty's only happen once in awhile. Treat him good!

    "Was a little excited to not notice the horse being so close. "

    Yeah, we are at the moment, we think, calm cool and collected. However, it ain't the way it is. Again be thankful for shorty.

    My 12 pounder with the heavy front end pretty lousy off the knees. I'd say I would at least consider a shot not further than maybe 200 yards.

    I have a set of shooting sticks that are super trustworthy at any distance with a 10 pound sporter with sporter fore end. I regularly shoot 1K prone with it in 338 RUM. But with the heavy front ended rifle and wider flat forend, it looses its uniqueness and things start flopping around.

    I make my own bipods but they are not compatible with horse back hunting. It would take a bit of time, during the heat of the moment to mount it. Don't need another thing to worry about right then.;)

    Also, my horses have been too tall, and I'm to short to have tried shooting over the saddle thing. It would work for up hill though.:rolleyes:
     
  13. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Shorty's only happen once in awhile. Treat him good!

    "Was a little excited to not notice the horse being so close. "

    Yeah, we are at the moment, we think, calm cool and collected. However, it ain't the way it is. Again be thankful for shorty.

    My 12 pounder with the heavy front end pretty lousy off the knees. I'd say I would at least consider a shot not further than maybe 200 yards.

    I have a set of shooting sticks that are super trustworthy at any distance with a 10 pound sporter with sporter fore end. I regularly shoot 1K prone with it in 338 RUM. But with the heavy front ended rifle and wider flat forend, it looses its uniqueness and things start flopping around.

    I make my own bipods but they are not compatible with horse back hunting. It would take a bit of time, during the heat of the moment to mount it. Don't need another thing to worry about right then.;)

    Also, my horses have been too tall, and I'm to short to have tried shooting over the saddle thing. It would work for up hill though.:rolleyes:
     
  14. rooster740

    rooster740 Well-Known Member

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    At this point you have your horse and pack horse tied to something, because we have all tried to catch horses in the hills and "will never do that again". I have worked as a guide along the northern Yellowstone Park line, for long enough to know, it never goes the way you want it to when elk hunting. I do know that I am responsible for a lot of "chance of a life time bulls" and every situation takes a bit of inginuity. The little screw type deals for climbing trees come in real handy. Stoney point expandable bipods are always there also, but are borderline for most people to pull off a 800 yarder. At 800 yards stability is a must, so it only takes a minute to Jerk your saddle off. If you have a pack horse yank of your mantees, or panniards they are just big sand bags.