- Jun 11, 2007
- North Idaho
Well on the 15th of October my dad and I left the shop early (04:00 to be exact) to drive to a location I had spotted a heard of elk on the 14th. We were looking forward to getting some footage for "Send It vol 2", having some fun hunting elk and possibly a monster buck. We arrived at our drop off spot and off loaded our gear. I loaded my Eberlystock J104 up with everything you would need, spotting scope, camera, video camera, a 338 Edge Canyon rifle, Kestrel, Swarovski LRF, Recon PDA, binoculars, rear bag, shooting stix (just in case), ammunition, and a whole pile of misc hunting crap that you don't think you can't live without. It seems to me hunting short range was much less equipment intensive to the tune of 40 lbs or so. We fired up the head lamps and set out in the dark to our preselected long range ambush site. I had put this location off for the first week of season for a couple of reasons first and for most the ranges were going to be long, 963 yards was our closest possible shot and we were going to need near perfect conditions for the distances I expected the elk to be located. Second was the fact the retrivial was going to be difficult and would require a serious ammount of time. I checked the forcast for the 15th to finds no rain forcasted and winds of 1-2 mph. If we hoped to be able to make this work the 15th was "the" day. We arrived at our ambush site to find the weatherman totally squared away (a real first this season), no rain, none in site, and no wind what so ever. I was feeling real good about big distances and it wasn't even light enough to see yet. I laid out the Edge loaded it with my standard 300 SMK load and flipped the safety on, I placed my RedTac poly bag underneath it, I read the Kestrel and entered the data into the Recon PDA, I opened the target engagement page and powered it down. I loaded the video camera to the multi mount with the spotting scope and attached them to the tripod. Dad and I talked about the loacations I had spotted the elk last year and the day before but it was still quite some time before it would be light enough to see the the optics even though grey light was starting to show. Between our arrival and grey light we could hear several cow elk chirps, mews & barks coming from our right and from across the canyon. Finally it got light enough to spot an animal if it was in the open and we started classing the far side of the canyon. After about 15 minutes it got light enough to cglass in the brush and heavy timber. I spotted a single elk butt walking into a strip of heavy timber. I got dad on to the spot and we watched the small openings around the timber for the elk to appear. In a couple of minutes we spotted the body in the timber but were unable to tell if it was a cow or bull. Given the very small opening and long distance I lazed the spot were I believed the elk would come out to be ready if it was a bull. The spot was 1344 yards and level across the canyon. I typed the distance in and ran the drop figures 37.50 moa of elevation. I dialed in 37.50, locked in to the rear bag and waited for the elk to appear. Dad spotted the elk through the branches and called out it was a bull. I saw the antlers and started to ready myself for a shot but the bul had not come out where expected so I lazed him again and got 1308 yards, I ran the drops again and got 36.00 moa even for a difference of 20 inches of drop. I dialed down to 36.00 moa even and checked for wind, small fog patches in the bottom of the canyon told the tale .5 mph or less to the left. I was just getting on the bull when he stepped through an opening and stuck his head behind a tree. I asked dad if he was on him. He came back with I'm on him. I was extremely confident in the shot as I had practiced in the canyon in the summer and shot some footage for "Send It vol 1" from this very spot the year prior. I settled in on the high should shot, took in a breath let part out and pressed the trigger. The trigger broke very clean at 2.0 lbs sending the 300 SMK down range. I recovered form the slight recoil to settle right back on the bull who stood there. I waited for a second and thought to my self crap I didn't even make him flinch. By that time 2 seconds had gone by finally delivering the 300 SMK to the bull square in the high shoulder. He dropped to the ground like he was struck by lighting and started to slide down the steep hill before the sound of the shot even got to him. Dad and I watched in horror as the bull slid, tumbled, cartwheeled & crashed 250-300 yards down the steep hillside finally coming to rest in a small clump of pine trees. I won't bore you with the details of the recovery but it involved almost 2 days and we were able to drive within 800 yards of the bull. When I tell you this was steep country I mean it was steep like you can't imagine. I have never been one to shy away form a shot because I knew the recovery was going to suck, but I'll feel the effects of the pack out for a few days for sure.