2017 elk success thread, post em up

Winchester

Veteran member
Mar 27, 2014
2,202
1,547
Woodland Park, Colorado
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I had success on a bull elk during Colorado’s 2nd season.
On Saturday evening (first day of the season and my 60th birthday) about an hour before sunset my hunting partner and I saw a bull from a ridgeline about 1,500 feet above him. He was down in the bottom of a nasty ravine. There was a cliff below us preventing any immediate decent so we watched him until dark. He stayed in a small bowl, feeding until last light.
The next morning we were back on the ridge at first light. After about 30 minutes we found him, still in the same scrub-oak filled bowl. We watched him for about an hour until the sun began to get down into the bowl and he bedding in the thick scrub-oak. Since we couldn’t hike down that ridge we drove many miles down around into the bottom to the nearest point, about 2 ? miles from the bull. Then we hiked into the area where he was through lots more scrub-oak and one really steep ravine. We set up on a point overlooking the bowl he was in at about 1:30pm. We couldn’t see him but hoped he hadn’t gotten up and moved while we were making our move.
We waited him out and finally about 5:15 he stood up at 350 yards and moved generally in our direction through the stick stuff offering no shot and dropped into a small ravine. The ravine opened up at about 250 yards so I figured I’d get a good shot. I guess the bull knew that because he did a 180-turn in that ravine and instead fed away from us finally popping out at 400 yards walking straight away through the brush. All I could see was his backside as he fed straight away with brush in the way offering no shot at all. Finally at 440 yards he fed into a small opening and turned slightly to his right offering a quartering away shot. I held about a foot over his back and put my first shot into his right side and up into his lungs. He tipped to the right but caught himself … now offering a full broadside shot. I didn’t want to risk him walking back into the thick stuff so I shot again and he went down.
We got him caped, quartered and hung in game bags about an hour after dark. We carried out the cape and some meat (quite a nasty little hike in the dark) and got back to camp a little after midnight. The next day we used mules to pull out the rest of the meat and the horns. It was no treat getting the mules through 2 ? miles of scrub-brush and that ravine but waaaaay better than carrying it on our backs.
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
7,173
2,096
www.eastmans.com
View attachment 19790View attachment 19791
I had success on a bull elk during Colorado’s 2nd season.
On Saturday evening (first day of the season and my 60th birthday) about an hour before sunset my hunting partner and I saw a bull from a ridgeline about 1,500 feet above him. He was down in the bottom of a nasty ravine. There was a cliff below us preventing any immediate decent so we watched him until dark. He stayed in a small bowl, feeding until last light.
The next morning we were back on the ridge at first light. After about 30 minutes we found him, still in the same scrub-oak filled bowl. We watched him for about an hour until the sun began to get down into the bowl and he bedding in the thick scrub-oak. Since we couldn’t hike down that ridge we drove many miles down around into the bottom to the nearest point, about 2 ? miles from the bull. Then we hiked into the area where he was through lots more scrub-oak and one really steep ravine. We set up on a point overlooking the bowl he was in at about 1:30pm. We couldn’t see him but hoped he hadn’t gotten up and moved while we were making our move.
We waited him out and finally about 5:15 he stood up at 350 yards and moved generally in our direction through the stick stuff offering no shot and dropped into a small ravine. The ravine opened up at about 250 yards so I figured I’d get a good shot. I guess the bull knew that because he did a 180-turn in that ravine and instead fed away from us finally popping out at 400 yards walking straight away through the brush. All I could see was his backside as he fed straight away with brush in the way offering no shot at all. Finally at 440 yards he fed into a small opening and turned slightly to his right offering a quartering away shot. I held about a foot over his back and put my first shot into his right side and up into his lungs. He tipped to the right but caught himself … now offering a full broadside shot. I didn’t want to risk him walking back into the thick stuff so I shot again and he went down.
We got him caped, quartered and hung in game bags about an hour after dark. We carried out the cape and some meat (quite a nasty little hike in the dark) and got back to camp a little after midnight. The next day we used mules to pull out the rest of the meat and the horns. It was no treat getting the mules through 2 ? miles of scrub-brush and that ravine but waaaaay better than carrying it on our backs.
That is a heck of a bull! Do you have high res images?
 

Catahoula12

Very Active Member
Apr 26, 2013
692
102
Colorado, was Az.
View attachment 19790View attachment 19791
I had success on a bull elk during Colorado’s 2nd season.
On Saturday evening (first day of the season and my 60th birthday) about an hour before sunset my hunting partner and I saw a bull from a ridgeline about 1,500 feet above him. He was down in the bottom of a nasty ravine. There was a cliff below us preventing any immediate decent so we watched him until dark. He stayed in a small bowl, feeding until last light.
The next morning we were back on the ridge at first light. After about 30 minutes we found him, still in the same scrub-oak filled bowl. We watched him for about an hour until the sun began to get down into the bowl and he bedding in the thick scrub-oak. Since we couldn’t hike down that ridge we drove many miles down around into the bottom to the nearest point, about 2 ? miles from the bull. Then we hiked into the area where he was through lots more scrub-oak and one really steep ravine. We set up on a point overlooking the bowl he was in at about 1:30pm. We couldn’t see him but hoped he hadn’t gotten up and moved while we were making our move.
We waited him out and finally about 5:15 he stood up at 350 yards and moved generally in our direction through the stick stuff offering no shot and dropped into a small ravine. The ravine opened up at about 250 yards so I figured I’d get a good shot. I guess the bull knew that because he did a 180-turn in that ravine and instead fed away from us finally popping out at 400 yards walking straight away through the brush. All I could see was his backside as he fed straight away with brush in the way offering no shot at all. Finally at 440 yards he fed into a small opening and turned slightly to his right offering a quartering away shot. I held about a foot over his back and put my first shot into his right side and up into his lungs. He tipped to the right but caught himself … now offering a full broadside shot. I didn’t want to risk him walking back into the thick stuff so I shot again and he went down.
We got him caped, quartered and hung in game bags about an hour after dark. We carried out the cape and some meat (quite a nasty little hike in the dark) and got back to camp a little after midnight. The next day we used mules to pull out the rest of the meat and the horns. It was no treat getting the mules through 2 ? miles of scrub-brush and that ravine but waaaaay better than carrying it on our backs.
Winchester, great bull and an interesting short story. Congratulations
 

Doe Nob

Very Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
565
0
Houston, TX
My buddy and I tagged out in SW NM on 2nd rifle. Hard tag to draw so we went in a full week early. We were into shooter bulls EVERY time we went out scouting. The country was rough and we were plagued by equipment issues - the truck blew a fuse and fried the battery, then the rv battery went bad - had to make 2 separate 3 hour round trips to town to get those fixed. The roads are so rough my old 2002 big bear pretty much disintegrated over the week - I lost a bolt on the back rack then it shook till the welds broke and finally lost the whole thing. My brakes went out, and I was down to one head light. The weather was pretty good most of the time, we had one day full of rain and sleet and then the opener the wind howled and kept everything holed up.

My buddy killed on day 3 of the season on a great first bull. I was beat to hell and shot a small bull on day 4 on our last ditch effort. Smallest bull yet, but he's eating good and he tastes a lot better than those paper tags do! I killed mine 3 miles from the truck, we got him out in 2 trips each. NR unguided is hard to draw any decent units any more, but cant' wait for our next opportunity!


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BuzzH

Very Active Member
Apr 15, 2015
805
656
I'll play...elk never have been my favorite thing to hunt, but with all the opportunity that WY has these days...hard to sit at home on the computer reading what rifles are supposed to work on elk and which don't...

January 2017, 7-08 140 AB 151 yards:



September 1, 2017. Spent half a day with the rifle in the truck, taking video of elk bugling, carrying on including some bulls of the extra large variety. About 3 PM or so, finally took the rifle out of the case...155 yards, same-same 7-08, a single 140 AB.



Didn't get out for elk again until mid-October, had some out-of-town business but threw the rifle in just in case. Got into my hunting unit with about an hour to snoop around on my way home. Found a nice bunch and selected this one...same thing, 7-08 148 yards 140 AB. Such a nice evening I almost hated to spoil it dealing with a dead elk.



Hunted the last 5 days of the general season, weather made it tough. Saw 6 points 4 of 5 days, biggest one maybe 310-315 but never in the right place at the right time. Elk movement was about 30 minutes in the morning, maybe 45 minutes in the evening. Last day of the season, found this guy at 386 yards...shot prone, rested over my pack, boring 7-08 and 140 AB, dialed 2.5 MOA...so easy its almost not fair. Bull made a giant jack ass kick on impact, a quick 25-30 yards dash and down in a pile. My hunting partner, who is 74, got a cow that day too...so we spent all day packing elk. As per usual, the AB zipped right on through (exit on the side facing picture):



Still have a late bull tag in AZ...my 4th AZ bull tag since 2008. Always enjoy poking around AZ on those late tags...good things can happen. Worst case, its nice to hunt late elk there, neat country and a good excuse to burn some use or lose annual leave.
 
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ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
7,173
2,096
www.eastmans.com
I'll play...elk never have been my favorite thing to hunt, but with all the opportunity that WY has these days...hard to sit at home on the computer reading what rifles are supposed to work on elk and which don't...

January 2017, 7-08 140 AB 151 yards:



September 1, 2017. Spent half a day with the rifle in the truck, taking video of elk bugling, carrying on including some bulls of the extra large variety. About 3 PM or so, finally took the rifle out of the case...155 yards, same-same 7-08, a single 140 AB.



Didn't get out for elk again until mid-October, had some out-of-town business but threw the rifle in just in case. Got into my hunting unit with about an hour to snoop around on my way home. Found a nice bunch and selected this one...same thing, 7-08 148 yards 140 AB. Such a nice evening I almost hated to spoil it dealing with a dead elk.



Hunted the last 5 days of the general season, weather made it tough. Saw 6 points 4 of 5 days, biggest one maybe 310-315 but never in the right place at the right time. Elk movement was about 30 minutes in the morning, maybe 45 minutes in the evening. Last day of the season, found this guy at 386 yards...shot prone, rested over my pack, boring 7-08 and 140 AB, dialed 2.5 MOA...so easy its almost not fair. Bull made a giant jack ass kick on impact, a quick 25-30 yards dash and down in a pile. My hunting partner, who is 74, got a cow that day too...so we spent all day packing elk. As per usual, the AB zipped right on through (exit on the side facing picture):



Still have a late bull tag in AZ...my 4th AZ bull tag since 2008. Always enjoy poking around AZ on those late tags...good things can happen. Worst case, its nice to hunt late elk there, neat country and a good excuse to burn some use or lose annual leave.
Nice work Buzz!
 

RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
1,752
1,347
Two Harbors, Minnesota
I finally got my photos downloaded. My CO deer hunt was unsuccessfull, but the guided WY elk hunt turned out to be another fabulous adventure. Six of us headed out from Minnesota on Oct. 20th, and spent a couple nights in Jackson to start the acclimation process. We ranged in age from 17 (lucky kid) to 70. The 70 year old and myself were the only ones who had hunted elk before, and we served as advisors and tribal elders to the rest of the group. This was to be the last week of the last camp that the outfitter was operating this year, and the report from the first week was 6 for 6, with two 300"+ bulls taken. This was public land, but to be my first guided hunt that was not in a wilderness area.
Opening morning was cool, with the remnants of a 12" snow from the previous week. My hunting partner Brad and I with our guide James rode out on horseback in the dark for about three hours before first light. I felt like we had ridden clear to Idaho before we could see anything. This day ended with a few elk, a bull moose, about a dozen mule deer, and no elk for Brad and I. Brad did pass on a 130 yard chance at a 4x4 early in the day. He ended up not filling his tag, so he may have a few regrets about that.
The elk had been shot at for a week, and chased by wolves to boot, so they only were out in the open for a very short time before timbering up. We found that the other guys were experiencing the same, so a "push" through the heavy timber was made with the six hunters spread along a wide willow creek. We were spread out over a mile, so there were some gaps in our coverage, but it ended out to be a success with 3 of our guys getting a bull, and one shot a great 7x7 at 375 yards. We left our pack horse with them, and the other four hunters didn't get back to camp until midnight. Lee, the 70 year old shot a nice 5x5, and they had ridden 24 miles on horseback that day.
Only one hunter from the other four was up for breakfast with Brad and I, and after the late day we had a late breakfast (4:30), so this portended a shorter ride today. THANK GOD!!!, as I could barely walk this morning. James kept stopping and glassing while it was full dark, and somehow he spotted some elk that were still out grazing in the open. He told us that we had to be in position once it was light enough to shoot, and that it was about 550 yards. Brad, the CPA passed on the long shot, and Rick (me) the retired cop and ex-marine said, "Game On!"
We were on a good horse trail that circled around one hill, and as we crept around the curve I could see about 50 elk spread along the hill across the ravine between us. We were in clear view of the elk, but were able to position ourselves without alarming any of them. There were two mature bulls in the group and two 5x5's, but they would move out of sight over the top, or be amongst the cows when I was lining up the shot. Eventually, the chance came for a good broadside at 550 yards.
My longest shot at a critter was 263 yards on a WY mulie a few years ago, but my Marine CorpsDSCN0388.jpg training and lots of practice with my .338 gave me confidence in this situation. I was shooting a .338 Winchester M70 Supergrade, with 3x12 Nikon ballistic scope. My taped on SPOT-ON chart showed the bottom of the 3rd circle. The 185 grain Barnes TSX bullets were handloaded to 3,034 fps, and it all shot better that I could. The wind was calm, my heart was still in my chest, my breathing was relaxed....it was time...BOOM.
I had told James that my preferred shot was a raghorn under 50 yards with my .454 pistol, but I guess that I will have to be happy with a 6x6 at 550 yards with my .338 rifle.
I will post some pics of the recovered bullet and what it did to both shoulders on the shooting link.
 

Ikeepitcold

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 22, 2011
9,596
838
Reno Nv
Jr hunter Justin got his first bull. A great shot and a good pack out is what it's all about. He was so happy when he made a one shot kill his face said it all. One happy kid.



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