Thanks all.... Ol DS sure worked my arse off.... even with his great cooking and the ride home eating nothing but fast food, I still weighed in this morning five pounds less than when I left!
Dan... the .358 didn't get a workout this time! Not enough time for load development and barrel break-in. I took him with my M70 Classic Stainless in .300 Win Mg. Federal Premium 180gr. Partitions.... same gun Mark used last year when we were all together!
Will probably have a .300 Weatherby for sale here real soon! Kind of re-thinking my arsenal. Had lot's of time to do that while staring at DS' ass going up and down the mountain!
We arrived in on Sat...3 days of scouting before the opening of his hunt. We scouted and rode MANY miles in different areas each of the prior 3 days......trying to get a handle on the shifting elk. We spent the day before the season blazing a long trail through a pine thicket over 3 miles long!.....a lot of work but it saved us a couple of hours each way not having to navigate the deadfall with the horses.
It payed off on opening morning.....finding us overlooking a sage hillside covered in elk sign some 4 or 5 miles from the road. We arrived a few minutes late as the big bull on the edge of the opening was barking at us loudly as he hit the timber going up and away....he barked a half dozen times or so over the next 15 minutes....allowing me to trace his movement up the drainage on the other side.......which would be where we tagged a bull many days later in a last ditch effort to find the pressured elk.
We got into two big groups of elk later opening morning.......mostly cows and spikes....withing 20 yards or so.......the shot was passed in hopes of a nicer bull.
The next two days found us scratching our heads as we had to travel farther and deeper in pursuit of elk.......but lots of hard work had little reward. Indy's feet were bleeding and we were running out of time......a new plan had to be set.
I got out the maps and found a way around to the other side where the big bull fled opening morning.......while I knew we were not likely to find him...my thinking was that he went to a "safe-zone"...and there would likely be more elk there as well. It was a hell of a trip around and down in.....but not 15 minutes after tying the horses and stalking down a drainage we encounterd pounding elk hooves.....a single set, meaning possible good news...a bull.
He fled about a hundred yards in thick cover before stopping to take that fatal peek back......Indy steadied his rifle and his nerves, and this time, the bullet would fly true.....at the crack of the gun a loud whack could be heard from the flank of the elk as he bolted......it was over......on the 7th day of a tough long hunt....hot, dry and miserable.....just like elk hunting should be, right?
Brian....interesting story on those mulies.....neither of us had deer tags.
But some friends had hunted all over for deer without luck on nary a buck......so we took them to an area that produces..a good area, but not the honeyhole .....in the last two days......6 of them tagged 5 deer with the other shooting a dandy 6x7 that crowded 30 inches....but another hunter ran up and shot it in the neck as it flopped down the hill. We thought there might be an incident.....but our hunter gave up the deer..merely saying."if the guy needs a deer that bad, he can have it".
These men were friends or else they would never have pried out the info on where to fill their muley tags ...we even offered to pack them out for them but they had enough brute strength in corn-fed youth to handle that part
...and the duct tape was holding sheets in place covering the chest cavity.......it was so hot the flies were REAL bad......and I personally would not have had my deer hanging in those conditions, but would at least have had it in game bags if not quartered in a cooler.....but hey, I wasn't eatin' it!