I had success in CO last week. I was hunting near Cimarron, CO. I flew into Junction last Monday and ran into “BigFin” at the airport. Not sure how he faired but it was way too hot until this weekend. Temps were in the 60’s most of the week. Snow and colder weather came Saturday & Sunday. When I left the cabin Monday morning to drive back to the Junction airport the temp was 2 degrees. 4th season should be great.
First morning out, Tuesday, I saw nothing but a few mulie does. I knew by the temps I was to low and need to gain elevation and maybe hit the timber too. I went up to about 10,000 ft. and hunted an open park in the aspen. I saw nothing all evening with about 10 minutes of shooting light left I decided to gather my things and hunt heading back towards the truck until I ran out of light. I looked back to my left to the back corner of the park just to make sure nothing had stepped out from the timber. Well what ya know there an elk ….wait that’s a bull, a pretty good bull. I put the bino’s on him and he is a nice heavy 5x5. Knowing I am taking my daughter on a cow hunt in January and there should be plenty of elk meat in the freezer from that trip, I decided to make this a trophy hunt. Trophy hunting by my standards, means trying to get a bull better than my best to date. So the rifle never came up and the safety stayed on.
I noticed this bull looked back a couple times and sure enough here comes another bull. This bull turned to look back the way he came so I saw his left side antler and he was a basic 4X. Then he turned back to start walking towards me and I noticed his right side seemed strange. He turned again and this time I noticed his right side looked just like the bull my buddy killed 16yrs. ago.
Here is a photo of that bull.
WOW, no way I was thinking. A trophy this bull is not but to get a chance at a bull like my buddy’s 16 yrs. later I had to take this bull. My shooting sticks were back a few steps by my pack. There was an aspen a couple steps behind me. So I slowly stepped back and with it being so dry the leaves crunched like an alarm going off. The bull’s head came up and he was on full alert and was definitely staring me down from about 200 yds. I raised the rifle and took my off hand and pressed the rifle into the tree to steady my aim. The safety came off, the reticle centered the bull’s chest and the silence was filled with the report off the rifle. The bull twirled and ran 40 yds. stopped and another round was already on the way. The bull collapsed. I gave him a few minutes and it was definitely dark by then. I eased across the park to just inside the timber and he was piled up right there.
The blessing in it being so dry was that we were able to get the truck up the old service road to 10 yds. to the bull. The photos were taken he next morning after he was caped out. I have decided I am going to do a European mount on this bull.
For the loony’s in the crowd, I used my trusty 700 S/S 700 BDL in .338 Win Mag that has been restocked with a Brown Precision stock and painted by Rick Bin several years back.
This was also the first animal I have shot with factory ammo in 10 yrs. I have been just too busy and I was caught without enough time to load. I had a box of the Hornady Superformance with the 185 gr. GMX bullet. I tried this at the range and it grouped fine so I ordered 3 more boxes and had them shipped ahead for me when I got to CO. A quick check with that lot of ammo when I got out there and it worked great. Both shots were complete pass through and the 1st shot destroyed the lungs.
Best of luck to you all on your hunts.