WhipParticipantOctober 14, 2018 at 6:49 amPost count: 2406
Yesterday I was fortunate to shoot a decent bull elk. What made it special was I did it on my own. In my sixth decade and change I was able to shoot and pack out my elk in one day. I took the day off work on Friday and headed up to a friends ranch where I have hunted for the last thirty years. It borders forest service in the Absaroka Mnts west of my home. My son is tied up this season and couldn’t get away and my daughter was also busy. My wife told me I was to old to go up in that country by myself so that sealed the deal I went alone. Took my ATV instead of my horse as I didn’t plan to spend the night and figured if I killed one I could come back with horses later and get it. As I headed up country after unloading at 7:45 AM I cut a set of fresh griz tracks headed the same direction. Big bear and I was hoping not to to run into him. He turned off the old logging trail about a mile into the trip. It is 7 miles from the end of the pickup road to the cabin. You can ATV to the cabin then its all foot or horseback. I rode slowly going in with a fresh skiff of snow I saw fresh griz, black bear, wolf, deer, elk and coyote tracks. I would rather ride horseback but with only one day it didn’t make sense to ride in that far since it was suppose to be nasty on Sat and it was. As I got close to the cabin I noticed fresh elk tracks crossing the trail and headed towards a big meadow where we often leave our horses when chasing cows up there in the summer. I took off on foot and followed the tracks to the edge of the meadow about 1/4 of a mile. I felt a breeze on the back of my neck as I came to the edge of the meadow. That was all it took the herd of elk were already at the far end of the meadow headed up a near vertical slope. I flopped down prone but then couldn’t see the only bull in the herd a 6×6. Finally he came into sight following the cows up, he was decent not the biggest bull I have shot but with only a day to hunt I decided to take him. I guessed the range at 300+ and later ranged it at 379 yards. I was rock steady so I put the cross hairs on his back line a foot behind his shoulder since he was quartering away. I shot and didn’t hear the bullet hit. I racked the bolt and found him again in the scope but a cow was now behind him. I waited for the cow to clear but before I could shoot he started to stagger and fell over down into a rock crevice. I waited and it was obvious he was down for good. It was 9 AM and I knew I had a lot of work to do. I climbed up to where he was at and begin moving him around so I could quick quarter him. I hit him dead center in the ribs with the bullet angling into the off shoulder. It was a great shot and the 300 RUM put him down pretty quick. Its been a couple of years since I quartered an elk on my own without any help. By 11:30 AM I had him quartered, loins and back straps removed and horns cut off. I made my first trip to the trail with the boned meat, horns and my rifle. I made four more trips in and out with a quarter each time. I was making my last trip about 2:45 when I heard rocks rolling down the timber slope about the elk carcass.I was carrying my .44 mag and a can of pepper spray and I started yelling hey bear letting him know I was there. I never saw if it was a bear but it much of decided to wait a little longer and I heard it move up the hill. Maybe elk maybe a bear but after all the bear attacks here in the last month I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed the last quarter and got out of there. Got things loaded and slowly made my way back to my pickup with the entire elk strapped to the my ATV. Made it home by 8:00 PM exhausted. Today I cut up the elk and found my bullet in the off shoulder a 180 grain Nosler Accubond that weighed 140 grains and was a perfect mushroom. So elk season is done for this year and no I’m not to [email protected] old to do it on my own!!!
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