- Feb 26, 2012
- Reaction score
Hey y'all! Been some time since I've posted anything, been lurking and commenting here and there lol. Finally have something worthwhile to contribute . Opening morning started off with us hiking into a big bowl with several draws, aspens, and timber. We had several bulls bugling, with one big one in particular in the dark timber to our right. After building a little fire to warm up, we waited for the herd to feed out of the timber. About 9 a.m. we heard the same bull bugle, only this time the bugle had moved toward a clearing in the bowl above us. I pulled up my binos and spotted him feeding in the aspens. About 15 minutes later the rest of the herd filtered through the aspens and fed into the big clearing above us. I picked out a nice cow, perfectly broadside and ranged her at 680 yards. So I pulled up my shooter app, ran my numbers and dialed 15 minutes of elevation. The wind was nonexistent so I held dead on because at that yardage my wind deflection and spin drift is only 3". I got a hasty rest on a tree stump and leaned into my rifle, then began those old familiar shakes of nervous excitement. Everything felt great until I touched off that first round. I knew instantly the shot was bad, as the last sight picture I saw was my crosshair rising just above her back as I squeezed the trigger. The bullet impacted the dirt just above her, causing her to turn and look for a second. I had blown it. I've made this shot on steel a thousand times if I've made it once and am very capable and confident in my shooting as I shoot long range a lot, but the one factor I didn't figure in was my nervous excitement over the animal and a poor rest. This isn't like bangin steel on the range with a bipod and a bag. I felt very dejected and it was a very humbling moment for me. But thankfully, my shot didn't scare off the elk. They went back to feeding as normal. The good Lord above gave me a chance at redemption. So, as I should have done in the first place, I waited a minute or two, took some deep breaths and calmed my nerves. I got a better rest and settled back into the scope, much steadier now. I picked my spot, took aim, released the safety, let out my breath, and gave the trigger on my home-built .260 Ackley Improved a light squeeze. The 143 grain ELD-X found its mark, slamming into her and blowing clean through, instantly dropped her and it was done. Took us an hour to get to her and til about 3 p.m. to get her to the truck and back to camp where I spent the remainder of the day skinning and cutting her up. Very thankful to have some good elk meat in the freezer again, after I got the butchering done, I ended up with about 190 lbs of boneless prime meat cuts. This is my first truly long range kill, and overall I am very pleased with the results. Next up is pronghorn for me here in Utah, I'll be sharing that hunt next week after it is over. Hope everyone is having a great season!