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Author Topic: First Elk!  (Read 3872 times)

ridata

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First Elk!
« on: January 04, 2009, 12:34:01 am »
Yep. Contrary to what I stated in another thread, I was able to hunt the December season. And I was successful.  ;D I got it on the 30th, but haven't gotten around to saying anything about it until now.

I hunted for 4 hours on Monday afternoon / evening. We saw 8 cows (I had a cow tag) at about 800 yard, calling on and off. We talked to them for a while, but they were on private property and weren't moving at all. After about an hour of that, we left.

Next morning I was up by 5:30, were started glassing at a next location a ridge away from our previous location just before 7. Within 20 minutes we spotted 4 cows a valley away. We took off running down the hill to somewhere that I could get a shot at one. At the bottom we find an opening in the trees, and I lie down and line the first elk up in my scope. Seconds before I'm going to shoot, another hunter gets it. So we jump up and dash about 10 yards to where we can see another. My first shot skimmed the top of the snow in front of me, so it missed. The elk I was aiming for had started to turn away from me at this point, so my next shot went through the right rear femur and into her guts. I thought that was a decent shot, since it was from 420 yards.

It ran into the trees, so we went on up the hill to find it. It wasn't hard, there was quite a bit of hair there, and a nice blood trail in the snow to find it. I won't detail the rest of the shots, but half of my 8 shots taken missed. 2 of them from 420 yards and the other two from 30-50 yards. My last shot was a heart shot at 30 yards, and that took her down. I went up to 3 yards and took a head shot, to finish her. It misfired.  :clap Great. It was squirming toward a ditch, that would have made it a pain to gut, so instead of letting her go in it and bleed, we knifed her.

I learned how to gut my first elk, and learned how useless dull knives are. I might have to pick me up something else before hunting season next year.  ;D

I have one picture that I'll post, and a few things I learned:

I need to shoot more. Practice shot placement under stress, not just hitting something.
I need to shoot more. I need to shoot in different positions, my first hit on the elk was from prone, a position I'd never shot from before.
Reload my own cartridges. The misfire (as were the rest) were a reloads from a guy I worked for at a hunting camp 2 years ago.
Have a sharp knife, bring it with you hunting, and know where to use it if you have to kill an elk with it.
If I saw a guy with a 60cu/ft safe filled to the brim with nothing but Jennings, Lorcins and Hi-Points, I'd look at the guy and say "Right on brother".
-Thernlund

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    downshift

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 04:30:08 pm »
    Grats on 400+ pounds of better-than-beef!
    Tell us more about your elk rifle, and loads?
    After gutting your first gutshot elk, did you learn to calm down, wait for the better shot?

    Also grats on the life lessons learned of:
    1> "Never leave home without a SHARP knife."
    2> "ALL of your your buddies reloads SUCK, do it your damn self."

    Was this by chance in Northwest Colorado this past weekend? My family are ranchers in Northwest Colorado, I was out there this weekend helping out, and.. "assiting" them in filling 3 cow tags they still have. My 308 shooting a 190gn at 450 yards, and dad with his damn Ruger 7mag shooting 180gn at 600+ yards.
    Wounds heal, scars fade, But the warriors soul remains scarred, contained in an aging body, left to ask Why. Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.

    ridata

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 10:03:08 pm »
    I get the meat back from the butcher tomorrow, and I'm expecting to get 150lb of meat. It probably weighed over 400 to begin with, but taking out the hundred pound skeletal system, the same worth of hide and head, and then 50lb or so of guts, organs, etc. and that's what it comes down to. I'm really wishing I bought a grinder and did it myself this year. I'm paying someone $245 to do it this year, for that price I think I could have a decent grinder. Anyone have grinder recommendations? Jerky recipes?

    My rifle is a Browning BLR '81 in .308. ETA: I forgot the scope - Leupold 2-7x33 VXII, Duplex Reticle.
    Loads are 150 grain Nosler ballistic tip bullets, with 40 grains of Accurate 2015, in Winchester cases and an unknown (to me) primer. I think I'll ask him since I had a misfire, just so I know. The loads were originally made for a buddy of mine, who has the exact gun I have. He gave them to me, and the loader of them sighted them in with me.

    Southeast. 600 yards is a nice shot. I'm not sure my gun is accurate much past that. Someone who is a good bit better than I am could probably do it, but that is near a limit with this gun, I think.
    « Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 01:18:30 pm by ridata »
    If I saw a guy with a 60cu/ft safe filled to the brim with nothing but Jennings, Lorcins and Hi-Points, I'd look at the guy and say "Right on brother".
    -Thernlund

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 09:43:39 am »
    Successful hunt, lessons learned.  What more do you need?  Excellent.

    Elk meat is YUMMY.<Heads downstairs to get an elk roast out of the deep freezer>
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    Nolo

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 12:51:12 pm »
    What kind of gun and ammo did you use?
    Thanks for listening

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    ridata

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 01:16:30 pm »
    What kind of gun and ammo did you use?
    Nolo: It's described in some detail in the second paragraph 3 posts up. ;)
    But, I am going to edit and add what scope I used. I entirely forgot before.
    If I saw a guy with a 60cu/ft safe filled to the brim with nothing but Jennings, Lorcins and Hi-Points, I'd look at the guy and say "Right on brother".
    -Thernlund

    Nolo

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 01:43:11 pm »
    Quote
    Nolo: It's described in some detail in the second paragraph 3 posts up.
    But, I am going to edit and add what scope I used. I entirely forgot before.
    Silly me, I saw that but didn't think it was the OP.
    Wow.
    *now back to your regularly scheduled programming*
    Thanks for listening

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    "You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to defend your opinion."
    -Me
    "A defiant socialist is a better defender of freedom than any complacent libertarian."
    -Me

    THE NORSEMAN

    • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. - Richard Henry Lee
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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 07:45:30 pm »
    Quote
    I'm really wishing I bought a grinder and did it myself this year. I'm paying someone $245 to do it this year, for that price I think I could have a decent grinder. Anyone have grinder recommendations?

    The cabellas brand grinders and sausage stuffers are actually pretty decent units. Just make sure that when you buy a grinder to go AT LEAST a 1/2 HP unit.  Anything less is not worth the time.

    As far as jerky recipies?  Don't have a favorite, I've tried a bunch, but I usually just have it done professionally.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    seanp

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 06:51:00 am »
    Nice!

    Elk is probably the best game meat to try out on people who are not into wild game.  One of the most moderate game meats, I've seen people who didn't know what it was describe it as great or flavorful beef.  You've definitely got some good eating there.

    Here is my favorite jerky recipe for you:

    I don't mess with the meat too much in the way of seasoning.  I like to let the natural flavors come out in the meat.  So my basic cure is pretty simple.  Most of the water will first be removed by salt curing.  I use boneless cuts and usually slice them along the grain.  I cut them thinner than you see most people recommending - an eighth of an inch or three thirty seconds, tops.  Thinner is better when making jerky, I think.  Butterfly thicker strips out, and press or hammer them flat.  The cure is any non-iodized salt crushed fine and some cayenne powder.  I crush coarse salt with a rolling pin on a board.  A dusting of this is used to coat the bottom of the container - usually a plastic bin.  You want a decent coat here, because this is where most of the meat liquor will settle, so lots of salt to absorb that liquid is desirable.  The liquor is poured off and discarded.  It's mainly blood and other contaminates.

    So lots of salt is laid down on the bottom layer, but it is sprinkled only gently with the cayenne powder, the same amount as will be used throughout the process.  Subsequent layers are dusted thoroughly with the salt and cayenne until the curing vessel is full.

    As little as twelve hours is enough for a generous dusting of salt to suck out most of the moisture of the meat. Twenty four is about as long as I would leave it.

    If you have been sparing with the salt and seasoning, you can take it directly to the smoker now.

    Heavy salting might require a rinse, but I leave that to your judgment.

    4-24 hours of smoking follows, using the wood of your choice.  I prefer stronger woods like Mesquite or hickory for game meat.  Smoke until leathery,  but not crackling dry.

    "Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."
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    illhunter

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    Re: First Elk!
    « Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 02:12:05 pm »
    I've not yet hunted elk but taken a few deer. My advice take two sharp knives and a sharpener or stone. I can get by with one but if I have another, the first won't go dull ;D

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