This is a story of opposites. It seems that the Montana FWP held a game damage for elk this past weekend and I was drawn for it. At first I decided that I wouldn't go because it would be more than I could handle getting an elk dressed, retrieved, and to the processor before it spoiled in our 90* heat. Well a friend from church also got drawn and he has four mules. He assured me he would see that we got it out. So I decided to go and try out my new Raptor and blood it with something other than a prairie dog. When I got to the "parking lot" I was assigned to on this ranch, I was informed that earlier there was a small herd of 25 bulls just below the lot earlier in the morning and a herd of 300 or so cows, calves and small bulls in the timber just West of us that had been busted by hunters, taking 2 cows (an anterless only hunt) and moving the herd well to the East. Well, anyway, I packed up my backpack and slung the Raptor over my shoulders and proceeded up the hill a ways and found a wonderful spot to set up with a view of several patches of woods and a large open valley between them. I set up on a big boulder and proceeded to laser landmarks in the valley to familiarize myself with the limits I had decided to impose on myself should the need arise. I was entertained by watching deer in the field and hunters in the various woods around me. After about 2 hours of nothing else stirring I decided to return to my truck and have a bite of lunch. When I got to the top of the hill, I looked over to my left and there about 1000 yds or so was a BIG herd of elk in the open between two patches of timber. Well, someone was obviously within range of them and took a shot into the herd. Well off they went into the timber in front of them. The dust cloud they produced reminded me of the dust clouds portrayed in movies of buffalo herds that were stampeding. And they were SCREAMING!!!!! I have never heard the like, those elk were mad and you could hear them easily from where I was. Well, a fellow without a permit decided he would dog them and see if they would double back. A small group of about 8 or 10 took off down the mountain below us and went into a willow patch just above the road ( two track ) we drove in on. I high-tailed it back to my truck and proceeded back down the mountain as well. When I reached the flat where the elk were holed up, there were two FWP wardens on ATV's sitting there. They said "they just walked into those willows over there, all you have to do is walk in, and shoot one". I allowed as how they made it sound so easy, but off I went. I got about 250 yds below the willows and sat there a few moments hoping one would come out and I could pop it from there. Off the hood of course! Nothing showed, so I decided if I wanted one I would have to go in after it. Remember now, I'm hunting with my Raptor Stalker, a lighter version of Kirby's full size Raptor, but still not what you would call a convenient walk-around gun. Well I crept in towards them keeping another smaller willow thicket between us until I was out of cover. As I stood there, out they came, less than 100 yds away. I rested my long-range canon on my walking stick ( ski pole ) and proceeded to shoot a big cow. Now I was under the gun to get her taken care of and home before she spoiled. Remember, I was by myself (not a good idea). For those of you who automatically bad mouth the FWP please think twice in the future before you do because one of those wardens I talked to came over, helped me dress the cow, dragged it over to my truck with his quad, and they helped me load it into my truck. To me, that was far above the call of duty!! Anyway I got her home and to the processor who immediately skinned her and quartered her and hung her in his cooler. No spoiled meat!! I was lucky. I am also indebted to the FWP officers who helped me. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but the time crunch just did not let me take the time. So despite the hot weather, I beat the odds. So the opposites I spoke about.....hunting elk in tropical temps rather than frigid temps and jump shooting elk out of willow thickets like whitetail with a long-range canon instead of something a little quicker handling. It all worked out somehow, and that is why I am a blessed man!!!!