Success in Utah

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by The Oregonian, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    Just got back from Utah on my first bull elk hunt. I took this guy at 581 yds (more on that) with a 28 Nosler and 195 Bergers...aimed high shoulder, was a few inches right, and hit him in the spine at the base of the neck and he went down like a rock, only moving his head slowly side to side for a couple of minutes. You can barely make out the entrance hole in the first pic but it is hard without knowing where it is.

    My drops were validated here in Tennessee at the range against my BR2 out to 750 yds. The range is at about 700 feet altitude...the lodge was about 7,000. Checked zero at 200 when when i got there and it was 1 MOA high, but not surprising given the lighter air. Gave me confidence bc the two shots were in the same hole. Changed windage a bit and got it centered up and moved on.

    He wanted me to shoot off sticks and backpack to get a feel for how good of a shot I was so he could take that into account when we strategized our move when we saw a bull we wanted. I was fine off sticks and backpack.

    The public range at the base of the mountain had deer shaped steel, and we went to the 568 yard target to see how things looked. I ranged with a BR2 and dialed. Was several inches low so I adjusted up an MOA on the scope. Hit the kill shot twice and Went to 668...it seemed several inches low but hard to tell bc the steel wasn’t painted and had rust, so guide had a tough time seeing where they hit. I went up a bit on MOA and we still couldn’t tell. I brought my LabRadar so did a 1 shot velocity read and it was 1 FPS off my velocity at home and what was in the BR2. Actual 2979 vs 2980 avg at home.

    We Didn’t want to blow more ammo chasing something...I took 1 more at the 568 to double check...i adjusted the BR2 to give me that reading figuring if it was on I was matched up i was good to 568. I had to adjust the BR2 down 100 FPS to get my solution to match the actual dial, which was large enough to make me think something was wonky. So right about 568 was my definite limit for a confident shot.

    The guide scouted the prior morning...there was a really big bull feeding in a meadow at very first light, then he made his way up the hill as day was breaking. We tried to get into the canyon in the afternoon but were busted by a cow. We tried to get me set up for a shot as the herd headed out but I couldn’t get crosshairs on him in time as he scooted across a meadow up in the bowl. This canyon was really a tough spot to get in without being noticed.

    We saw a few other bulls on other mtns that afternoon, but we both wanted that big bull and if he did what he did he day before we had a good shot of killing him. We glassed at first light from the road and saw a good bull a few thousand yds away up on the mountain. So we got out and started walking. We slowly approached and wanted to get to 568 yds and drop him. We felt any closer and they would get nervous. They were maybe 500 feet above us so they were paying attention to us but not spooked.

    We got to 571 and I dropped my pack and got the rear sandbag and got settled to range him with the BR2, dial, etc. I dialed, got parallax set, double checked everything, and started to try to line up on him. The guide could now tell it wasn’t the same bull from yesterday but said he was the other big bull he had seen in this canyon about a week ago and that he was a definite shooter. I found him in the scope and he was perfectly broadside facing right. I only looked at his antlers long enough to make sure I was on the right animal. I asked the guide if he was ready and when he said yes, I got solid and fired.

    I was aiming high shoulder and was a few inches right...got him in the spine at the base of the neck and he dropped like a hammer.

    I loved everything about the hunt...in an ideal world I would have gotten to admire him for a little bit before shooting, but with everything the way we wanted it I fired quickly but without rushing it.

    Sorry for the long post but I am sitting in bed trying to sleep after a 15 hour / 1100 mile driving day yesterday and a 3 am arrival at home, so I have nothing else to do this morning.

    Got plenty of pics...


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    corsair4360, FIGJAM, dkhnt and 4 others like this.
  2. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

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    One more pic using the panorama mode on my iPhone. Turned out pretty well.
     

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    dkhnt and Barrelnut like this.
  3. jonthomps

    jonthomps Well-Known Member

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    Awesome bull! Congrats!
     
  4. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the story and the nice pics! Awesome looking bull you got there!
     
  5. marioq

    marioq Well-Known Member

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    Not too long!!!! Helped us to picture the scene. Awesome!! Congrats!!
     
  6. ub270

    ub270 Member

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    Cool story and one heck of a bull. Congratulations !
     
  7. Defiance7mm

    Defiance7mm Well-Known Member

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    Well done! Very nice bull.
     
  8. Wedgy

    Wedgy Well-Known Member

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  9. Classic12

    Classic12 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the story Nice hunt congratulations.