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Thread: Nevada Elk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    667

    Default Nevada Elk

    After 9 years in the making, I finally went on my Nevada Bull Elk hunt.

    With my .340 in tow, my wife and I drove to Mountain City, Nevada, after spending the night in Reno for my birthday. Had a great birthday where my wife gave me a new wedding ring made from gold, elk ivories from one of my cow hunts, and a little string of diamonds...very cool!

    So we met our guides Devin and Chris from Western Wildlife Adventures (the owner is a long-time friend of mine), and discussed our hunt plans for the next day. The interesting thing about Nevada is that it really does not look like any elk country I've ever seen. All high mountain desert, with interspersed mountain ranges. I asked one of the guides where we were going to find the elk and he just pointed to the top of the nearest mountain range and said "up there." So off we went the next morning to the top of that range and glassed and glassed for the entire morning, not finding a single elk. Saw lots of deer and coyotes, but no elk. That afternoon, we got our quads and headed to a very remote section of that range, only accessible with quads and glassed and glassed again, finding no elk. Some old elk sign, but nothing alive. The next day we did the same thing with the quads at the far southwestern end of the range, where nobody had been for over a week, and again found no elk. My wife did glass up a nice 30+inch muley buck, so that was cool. She became very good a finding big bucks bedded, and working the does.

    So its clear the elk are not in the area we've been hunting, so the guides ask us if we're up for a 2 hour drive to get to the next mountain range to the southwest, where they believe the local elk would migrate to. Its only about 50 miles, but takes 2 hours to get there. Of course we're up for it and off we go at 4AM the next morning. Drive for 2 hours and quad for another 45 minutes to reach our first lookout. Strange country, tall rolling grass covered mountains, and practically no trees, just the occasional aspen stand. Finding nothing in the first couple hours of glassing other than coyotes, we're on our way to our third lookout and spook a 5 point bull and off he runs. Well at least we've now seen a bull! So at our 4th lookout, we park, and my wife, me, and Chris all freeze in our tracks as we think we hear a bugle. In November? Yes as the bugle repeats itself loud and baritone!

    Then we hear a bunch of bugles and cow calls, they sound like they are in the valley just below us, so off we go to check out the valley...nothing. So they must be in the next valley below us, so we check it out...nothing, then off to the third valley when one of the guides sees the elk 1.5 miles directly across the canyon from us. The wind is carrying their calls straight to us like they are real close. So we set up watching the far hillside as the entire far side of the canyon is full of elk...by the hundreds and we finding lots of good bulls, bugling and everything. Then something scares the elk and off they go stampeding down the canyon to our left, we estimate 400 - 500 elk take off down the canyon and we watch them go out of sight for over an hour. Fortunately some of the bulls have broken off from the main group and bedded down. As we looked over the far hillside, we're still seeing about 25 bulls moving around the hillside with several 330+ bulls over there. So we find this good 350 bull bedded down about a mile away and put together a plan to head back to our quads, and drive around the back sided of the canyon and then hike in on the bull for a shot. So driving around, we kick out 6 more smaller bulls bedded on a hillside that we never saw. No shooters, so no big deal.

    Once we're in position at the top of the canyon, my wife and Chris find an observation point to watch Devin and I as we get into position. An hour later, as we've cut the distance to 580 yard, with only 30 to go, and our bull still snoozing in the aspens, some other hunters scare 26 bulls out of the aspen stand right next to where we've parked our quads. We never knew they were in there. So these bulls run down the canyon, directly at Devin and me. The hoofbeats just keep getting louder and louder, then the first of the bulls comes over the hillside 70 yards away heading straight for us, with lots of bulls behind him. At this point the bulls catch our wind and split, some going to our right out of sight, and some to our left and drop down the canyon. Absolutely Crazy.

    Unfortunately, this second stampede had spooked our target elk, and he's gone. So its a 1.5 mile climb back to the quads, a little tiring, but we just keep shaking our heads at the number of elk we're seeing, and the two stampedes. Go figure. At this point, we've got less than 2 hours of shooting time left, so we decide to head back to the trucks, and glass at the lookouts along the way. We find a couple far off bulls at the first lookout, one is very good so we note him for tomorrow. As we're coming up on the second lookout, we've got 5 bull, with 2 really good ones straight away at 750 yards. Too far for me to shoot, so Devin and I are off to close the distance. At 520 yards we're set for the shot. The two best bulls are side by side. One is a 6x6 and the other is a 7x7. The 6's horns are way more massive than the 7's, so that's our shooter. As he clears and turns broadside facing left, I settle for the shot and hold off a bit for the wind. We hear the bullet hit and the bull doesn't drop, just jumps a bit and turns broadside to the right. The second shot drops him and we've got our bull! I stay on him in the scope for about a minute, and then Devin and I start with the hugs and high-fives. So we give him one last look before we head over to him and the bull is back standing up! Back on the gun I go again and as he turns left. I shoot once more and he's down for good. The first shot was low and took out the very bottom of the heart, fatal but it would have taken a while. The second shot was a bit back and hit the back of the lungs and liver, another fatal shot. The last shot anchored him for good. He's 360 gross and massive all over.

    This was truly the experience of a lifetime. Thanks to Jennifer for joining me, and our excellent guides Devin and Chris.

    I am extremely happy!!!!!Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Yeow! Yeow! Johnnie- that is one hellavu bull. Extraordinary. Great hunt and great story. Congrats.

    God Bless
    Mark
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Wow. That's both an impressive bull and a great story. My excitement is only rivaled by my jealousy! Congratulations on a great hunt and a fine bull.
    "Life is tough. Life is tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Outstanding! Great bull and an excellent story.

    Ken....
    "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession; I have
    learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
    - Ronald Reagan


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Great job! Thanks for the story!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Very nice bull! Congrats!!

    Jeff
    Lucky ...Is when Preparation and Opportunity Come Together

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    667

    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Thanks Guys, Glad you enjoyed the story!
    22 Long Rifle CZ 452 Full Stock
    22-250 Mark V Accumark
    6.5 / 300 WSM Gre-Tan Custom
    270 Winchester Ruger 77
    270 Wby 1976 Bicentennial Edition Deluxe
    7mm WSM Borden / Benchmark Custom
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    300 RUM Custom
    325 WSM Kimber Montana
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    What's Next?...Don't know yet!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    USA , AR
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    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    Congrats on a fantastic Bull.
    Great story, you should submit it to Eastman's journal!
    What area were you hunting?

    Jerry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
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    941

    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    That certainly is a beauty!!! Elk is on the bucket list....someday.
    Shane
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    San Jose, CA
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    667

    Default Re: Nevada Elk

    My tag was for the 062 - Late season. Our hunting area was from Winnemuca east to Hwy 225 and from Hwy 80 north to the Idaho border.
    22 Long Rifle CZ 452 Full Stock
    22-250 Mark V Accumark
    6.5 / 300 WSM Gre-Tan Custom
    270 Winchester Ruger 77
    270 Wby 1976 Bicentennial Edition Deluxe
    7mm WSM Borden / Benchmark Custom
    300 WSM Kimber Classic Select
    300 Wby 1976 Bicentennial Edition Deluxe
    300 RUM Custom
    325 WSM Kimber Montana
    340 Wby Mark V Deluxe
    378 Wby Mark V Euromark

    What's Next?...Don't know yet!

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