A fun elk hunt

Share your tales (tall or otherwise) of hunting adventures.

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Kevin
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Uncompahgre Valley, CO

A fun elk hunt

Post by Kevin » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:54 pm

My brother and I had cow tags for a unit in western Colorado last week. The season opened on a Wednesday, we went in to camp on Monday through fresh snow. Found the tracks of a decent herd crossing a road that night and the next day we were able to glass them from a couple different areas both in the morning and the evening.

We approached them on opening morning through open country and when we spotted them decided they were closer to another road than the one we had parked on. We decided to split up, my brother went back to the road to come in from the other side of them while I continued to work my way toward them.

They were feeding well into the morning hours and by about 10 or 10:30 I was within 300 yards and they were starting to bed down. The herd may have been upwards of 50 animals, but many of them were out of my view up a little draw. I thought I'd just be ready to camp out on them for the rest of the day, meanwhile trying very slowly to get a bit closer through what was by now crunchy snow remnants. A couple of times I got laser readings of 250 give or take, my maximum range (or at least my maximum practiced distance to date). But, every time I sat down to deploy the shooting sticks I found too much vegetation complicating the view and the shot.

Keep creeping... very slow... then saw a couple of animals get up and resume feeding. I was finally in a spot with a clear view of a portion of the opening they were in, and got a good reading of 255 yds on a standing broadside animal. Good sit, with both elbows anchored on knees, sticks very steady... Man, they look far away through the globe site, but this is what I practiced for and I'm thinking it's now or never.
Settle in, good squeeze, bunch of elk stand up at the shot while the one I was aiming for and another run a little up the draw. She's partially obscured by a tree, but I'm thinking I see her rear back a little bit and fall.
All the others are starting to mill around, a bunch of them come back toward me into the bottom of the draw I shot over. When I stood up they milled a bit more then worked their way up the draw toward where I presume the bigger part of the herd was.

Cross the draw, keeping my shooting site in view, found the cow only about 30 yards from where she was standing when I shot. The cartridge was 45 - 2.4, the load was 77 gr 2F swiss under a 485-grain 30-1 Paul Jones flatnose. The bullet busted the upper leg of the near shoulder, went through the heart, and I found a major chunk of it under the hide on the opposite side. I was a little suprised at how much of the bullet was not still there, as this is the 2nd cow elk I've shot with this bullet and the first time I don't think the bullet lost more than about 15 grains of weight.

Never posted a pic before, but here goes with an attempt with a photo my brother took for me:
Image

Dan O
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 3:05 pm
Location: Great Falls Montana

Post by Dan O » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:08 pm

Congratulations on a fine animal. Also you made a great stalk and shot placement couldn't have been better. Well Done!!

Dan

pete
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Post by pete » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:44 am

Congratulations Kevin. A good story and a nice elk. It's funny how the vegetation that makes a stalk possible also can get in the way when you want to shoot. Praising it one minute and cussing it the next :). Using a range finder looks so easy on the tv shows and when I use mine I'm constantly trying not to range the grass in front of me.

Kevin
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Uncompahgre Valley, CO

Post by Kevin » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:31 am

Thanks guys. Pete, you are right about the veg! But I depend a lot on those sticks and really prefer to be fully seated. I guess that's an area where I need to expand my practice horizons...

Forgot to mention that we only had to pack about half a mile up the draw to where we could park my Bronco on a side road.

Also, the next day my brother also got an opportunity on an elk that probably was in the same herd. He made a great shot at about 350 with his .308 and the cow cooperated by running toward the road before falling dead.

I forgot a funny part of the story yesterday. For hunting I wear an old pair of wool army pants from some European country, have had them for years. As I continue to thicken in the middle, I've had less need for a belt with these pants and it's actually more comfortable that way because belts tend to press all those extra buttons around the waistband into your hips (I know, should cut the buttons off, but I always figured that way I was carrying the spares with me). Didn't wear a belt this time, but was looking forward to feeling the waistband loosen a bit as I burned some fat!
While skinning that elk, I noticed the pants felt a bit loose, thought "man, seems unlikely to be losing that much weight already - but I'll take it!" Then a bit later as I was bending over the elk I heard this ominous p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p sound. Turned out the back seam was ripping, by the time I was done with the elk that seem was opened from waistband to crotch and I had to tie them on with a piece of rope just to keep from going around in my longjohns! My faithful hunting pard captured the moment on film :( I guess I'll leave it to him to post the pic.

p.k.
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:16 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Post by p.k. » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:12 am

Image

Here is the rearview, since you practically invited me to post it.
Congratulations on a great hunt.

Brent
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Post by Brent » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:32 am

Things we didn't have to see... :oops:
Just straddling the hard line between "the arrogance of dogmatism and the despair of skepticism"

Timberlake
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Location: Born and Raised in Iowa

Post by Timberlake » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:03 pm

Damn, Kevin. Once again the truth gets in the way. I thought your outers were a pair of cargo pocketed chaps. Enjoy the meat.

TL
2nd GUSA
"I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically... 'That government is best which governs not at all'."

Thoreau

ironramrod
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Dakota Territory

Post by ironramrod » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:49 pm

Nicely done, Kevin, and a very good shot to be sure. Ya got my vote on the cross-sticks, too. Personally, I wouldn't be without them in this windy country, and they are a big help shooting in vegetation like what is in your pictures. I also carry a short set for prone shots should that occasion arise. Enjoy your elk!

Regards

pete
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Post by pete » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:44 pm

I use cross sticks too but sometimes even with them the vegetation is too high. Shot both both the antelope and deer this year over them. Funny I made a set of prone sticks too.

Kevin
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Uncompahgre Valley, CO

Post by Kevin » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:11 pm

Brent - I'm sure your post refers to my use of a grease-groove bullet :wink:

TL - cargo-pocket chaps, hmmm. Maybe I'll talk with the wife about repair options before we just put back together "stock".

As for the prone x-sticks, gents, never have done that and am not anxious to add to the daypack load. Even so, I figure now that I've seen your recommendation I'll no doubt see a need - probably under the worst of circumstances.

Ya'll have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Don McDowell
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Post by Don McDowell » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:58 pm

Congratulations on great conclusion to an elk hunt done right.
AKA Donny Ray Rockslinger :?

pete
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 10:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Post by pete » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:46 am

Kevin;
You don't have to add to the daypack with prone sticks. I just sewed a loop to the "holster" that the sitting sticks came with and put them in it. You can see the wooden prone sticks in the middle photo of my "Colorado antelope" titled post photo.

mdeland
Posts: 10858
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:47 pm

Post by mdeland » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:38 am

Dang Kevin, I have some raft patch repair tape that will fix you right up in the future. Course you'll have to part with the injured garment and walk about in your green flannels for a bit until the rupture can be attended to.
Come on now and tell the truth, you've been bivouacking on beans haven't you and that is the "real" cause for the blow out! :D
What are the elk feeding on there? MD

ironramrod
Posts: 1364
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Dakota Territory

Post by ironramrod » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:41 pm

What is raft repair tape? Kinda like duct tape on steroids? That sounds like some stuff that might be handy to have along in the field. How does it work on wall tents that might have occasion for an emergency repair?

Regards

mdeland
Posts: 10858
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:47 pm

Post by mdeland » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:54 pm

It's clear and tough as all get out and will stick to about anything.
It is really expensive though, I think I paid 25 bucks for two square feet in a roll to go into my raft repair kit. I forget the name but will try to find out for you. MD

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