We got to the ranch we hunted on Thursday afternoon. We immediately spotted a here of about 30 elk in a clearing. We put them to bed and came up with a plan for the next morning. Early the next morning we got to the meeting point and heard the cows calling from a couple hundred yards away in the dark. At daybreak we entered the gate to the ranch and the whole plan goes to hell. Not 100 yards into the property I spotted another small herd of about 20 elk to the right, running across a hillside about 300 yards away. I jumped out of the truck and took a shot, but led too much and shot right in front of her. They go over the hill, spooking another group of about 100 elk, causing a stampede. It was awesome to watch. So we decided to go after the first group we saw the day before, and on the hike in, we spotted a couple cows feeding. We began the stalk from around 1,000 yards out. About 500 yards in, we get busted by a group of about 20 does. There go the elk. So we continued on around the mountain, but never turned up any other elk. So we drove to the other end of the ranch to meet up with our other two buddies to see if they found any. They just pointed to this hill about a mile away, and it is absolutely covered in elk. Conservative estimate of 300+ in that herd. We knew they were feeding down to the alfalfa field, so we set up shop in the pivot of the big sprinkler wheel. Spotted six other elk about 700 yards to our west. Decided to make a stalk. Ended up blowing it. So we went back to the pivot to wait on the big herd to feed down. We had about an hour of light left, so we decided to make our move. Here is where it gets fun, almost comical. We were in a good position to make a stalk with the sun at our back, and wind in our face. Only problem was, we were in the middle of an alfalfa field with absolutely zero cover. Wide open. So one of the guys hatches a genius plan. All four of us bunch up, nut to butt, and slow started working toward the elk. We hoped that when they looked our way with the sun in their eyes that we would look like a big cow, as there were cattle in the field. We did this for 800 yards without getting busted. The cattle got a little antsy, but didn't blow it for us. We only had 200 yards left to get to our desired shooting position when the first elk fed into the field. Uh-oh, we thought. We managed to sneak within. 200 yards of 200-300 elk and they had us in the open. But they never even knew we were there. They were just feeding and calling to eachother. So we slowly fanned out and got into the prone position, rifles on our packs. I laser them at 200 yards exactly. I dialed two minutes of drop to compensate. We waited until about 15 elk fed out in front of us. Once the cattle moved, we were clear. On the count of three, four simultaneous shots rang out. The guy on the farthest right connected and she went down almost immediately. The two guys in the middle missed (ouch) and I was on the left. I hit my cow right where I wanted, and after the 175 gr in Berger hybrid ripped through her lungs, she came toward us on a dead run, blood spraying out both sides. Through and through shot. She didn't go far before she got tipsy and keeled over. We doubled up on cows, (should had four but oh well) and got to work on taking pics, gutting, skinning, and breaking down the elk. No meat left behind, only the spines, hooves, hides, guts, and heads minus the ivories. It was the most amazing hunt I've ever experienced. Four dudes got within 200 yards of 200-300 elk in the wide open, and put two down for the big dirt nap. Meat in the freezer, long live the incredible edible elk!
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