This was my first elk hunt, and after listening to a symphony of bugling the night before, I had high hopes of seeing several bulls once my hunt began the next morning. We were supposedly right in the middle of the elk rut, too. Well, the weather turned nasty the next day, with rain, wind, sleet and snow making that first day a pretty miserable one, in addition to pretty much shutting down the bugling, and seemingly the rut.
We hunted most of the day, seeing only an occasional bull and a few cows several drainages and a long, long distance away. Just when we were thinking we might call it a day, we spotted a bull working his way around the hill we were glassing from, about 300 yards away. We watched the bull approach us, and were delighted to see that he had company – he was with 5 other bulls – all but one over 320 inches.
We watched them approach below us feeding nonchalantly. We watched them for over ˝ hour as they fed into and out of the surrounding trees. When I decided which one I wanted to take, I got set up on a large rock, and the bull disappeared behind a tree. I waited for several minutes, and decided to move to see if I could get a clear shot. Just as soon as I got set up the second time, the bull moved again, and my shot was once again blocked by some trees.
I decided to move again, and this time had a clear shot at 174 yards, downhill. When I dropped the hammer on my Ruger .300 Win Mag, the bull went down immediately – one shot, one kill. That Barnes VOR-TX ammo delivered as advertised. Incredible!! I was prepared to deliver another shot just in case, but it was totally unnecessary. It was an immediate kill. The bullet entered just behind his right shoulder, severing his aorta, and exited breaking his left shoulder. When I walked down and saw him up close, I was amazed at the mass this bull’s antlers had – he was a “monster” in my book. He's a 9 x 7, and scored 362 6/8” SCI.
In a way, I hated for the hunt to be over so soon. This was such beautiful country, and I could have spent many more days up there. But with the weather closing in, I decided that a bull in the hand was worth two in the bush – especially a bull like this.