The biggest hill close to me might be 400 feet ASL... LOL.Congratulations. The practice paid off. Getting physically fit before the hunt makes it easier and lowers the burn. Also, if you are going to hunt at altitude, 8000 ft and above, it helps to do some hiking weekends the month before at close to the same altitude. Getting acclimatized before really helps.
Congrats....good story & great photos!
I love that 156...I used it on a nice 6x6 Bull Elk earlier this month in NM. I have a Piercision 6.5 GAP 4S. What rifle and load were you using ?