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Thread: Elk...From A Friend

  1. #1
    Mergie Master's Avatar
    Mergie Master is offline Dedicated Tamiecide Practitioner
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Saluca (not Saluda)

    Default Elk...From A Friend

    Steve, a friend of mine that's a firefighter in Texas and I've known since his teens, sent this email today. Sounds like a good short trip.
    ▬ ▬ ▬

    Back on August 14th I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus that happened at a fire on May 3. By the time I got to surgery I had shredded some cartilage and done a bunch more damage than I had on May 3rd.

    I entered a raffle a week or so later for an elk hunt fully guided south of Chama, New Mexico in unit 51. To say I was stoked was an understatement. I drove in on Thursday to Roswell, picked up licenses Friday and made the trek towards Chama. I knew my knee wasn’t 100% but figured if you are hard headed enough you can do about anything.

    Saturday morning it was 32 on the mountain and I was ready to go. Guide said we would be hiking to a spot where 4 valleys came together and elk normally could be found in or around all four. By 6:30 we could see and had about 50 cows a thousand yards out. We kept easing around the top and about 7am started hearing lots of bugles. By then my knee was already swollen and hurting like crazy. One bugle seemed a bit closer than the others and we spotted a bull 806yd out. We made a move through the shin oak trying to close the distance out of sight. Came to a spot 600yds out that we literally had to drop off the edge and creep hidden for. About 75yds. Literally a goat trail with a 300’ fall off my left side. My bad knee side. I puckered up and said s prayer I didn’t slide off the mountain. We popped out into the shinoak at 500yds. But it was so thick I couldn’t get a good rest. We crawled through it until we found a bare spot big enough I could go prone and shoot. We could see cows but no bull. About the time I got a really good rest over my pack and got sprawled out right behind the rifle the bull stepped out of some shin oak and the guide called 460yds. He asked if I could make the shot. With a wind blowing 2mph from right to left and literally no vertical difference between us I said I could. Dialed in 3moa of elevation from my 300yd sight in. He was facing into the wind. Put the crosshairs on the center of his shoulder for a behind the shoulder hit and tried to catch my breath at 8600’. About five minutes later I had it under control and the crosshairs only wobbled a couple inches on 20x. LOL I told the guide to watch the shot and took one final big breath to steady just as the bull stuck his nose in a cow's rear end. I squeezed off the 200gr Barnes lrx and the recoil took me off the bull. I turned to guide and asked if I had missed cause I could see all the cows but felt I had pulled a bit high. He said, “nope that bull dropped dead in his tracks like you had dropped a boulder on him. You know what else Steve?”

    Me: “No what? Other than a few hours into this hunt and I just shot my first elk on public land.”

    Him: “I am not positive but I think he is less than 30yds from a logging road we can drive.”

    After realizing it was gonna be a mile hike to get to him or 1780steps down and back up, I counted. We arrived to find exactly what I had told him I wanted a couple days before. A 5x5 was my bare minimum and at least average for the unit. Biggest bull they have killed in ten years of guiding there was a 300” 6x6. The average hunter with them kills a 4x3. In the 240-250” range. The week before 11 hunters killed 9 elk. All 4x4’s. One guy missed 7 shots and never got one. The last guy saw elk everyday but never shot he wanted 300”+.

    Mine is a 5x5. No idea on the inches. All I know is my knee was shot after 3 miles and that bull was exactly what I had decided I was gonna shoot before I went. Guide allowed me to shoot further than they normally do or it wouldn’t have happened. They normally limit clients to 250-300yds max. I am still on cloud nine. I drove partway home yesterday missing my babies and this morning I can barely walk. If I had not scored yesterday not sure I could have walked this morning.

    Oh and that elk was 25yds from a road. We literally backed the truck right to him. Quartered him up and packed him about ten feet!

    I had pulled high and a bit right. Bullet broke spine but went under the back strap so not much lost meat. That altitude kicked my butt and the knee was not as healed as I thought it was.

    I seen a horse fly... I even seen a house fly... But I be done seen 'bout ev'rything when I see a elephant fly.

    "I here repeat, & would willingly proclaim, my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule—to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, & to the perfidious, malignant, & vile Yankee race." ▬ Edmund Ruffin

    "No law ever written has stopped any robber, rapist or killer, like cold blue steel in the hands of their last intended victim." --W. Emerson Wright

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Nice, that is a pretty animal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    good story and a fine bull


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