Colorado Elk

2013 Elk Colorado

San Juan Mountains Oct. 2013 Second rifle Season.

Know your hunting system

Practice beforehand at the ranges you expect in the areas you hunt. Personally, If I can see it… I want to be able to shoot it.

  • You can use a rangefinder or Google Earth to Calculate distance.
  • Calculate the bullet drop at that yardage
    • Found on the back of factory ammo boxes (easy difficulty)
    • Ballistic program (intermediate difficulty)
      • Requires knowing your bullet weight, muzzle velocity and elevation (height above sea level- this is critical.
        • Colorado mountains 10,000’ –96.6” of Drop @700
        • Home Range 3120’ -100.18 of Drop @700
        • Deer Hunting area in Central Texas 1230’ -101.35 @700yds (difference from Colorado is 4 ¾” (does not include any Coriolis Effect).

Practice at Extended Range

My Father in law was hunting on his place at the same time a friend of his was. His friend was watching a deer, waiting for him to come into his 50-100yd range. My father in law shot the same deer from 300yds. My father in law’s freezer was full. My father in law is not afraid to shoot at longer ranges. A 30-06 shooting 180 gr bullets at 2727fps will drop 11 inches in 300yds. If you DO NOT KNOW THIS, and COMPENSATE, you will miss your target.

Colorado Elk season 2012

My Father in Law had set up a shooting range (to 500yds) in preparation for my hunt in October- I was very unsure of myself hitting anything past 100yd target and was unsure of my abilities at 200yds (It seemed SOOoo far away..).

He warmed up at 400yds and then went to 500yds. He shoots a Remington 700 in 7mm mag (with a Burris Eliminator 4X12 , and shot two tiny groups with a 15-20mph crosswind).

He was trying to get me to try out the 400 or 500yd targets, but I wasn’t planning on missing in front of him…. So I came back later and attempted the 400yd target. I was using a

Nikon Buckmaster 6-18 BDC reticle (I recommend the BDC reticle for long range hunting).

I had shot an 8” 5 shot group. I was stoked that I hit the 500yd target. I then bore down and shot a 5 inch group (this was a 1 MOA rifle). I was challenged that his 500yd group was better than mine. I was now more comfortable shooting at 500yds. I shot my first Elk at 520-535 yds.

Colorado Elk Season 2013

I had taken a small satellite bull in 2012. It was my first time elk hunting and my Father in law sat me down in a “good spot”. I had shot a bull the last day of the hunt.

New year = New season.

I knew I had been fortunate the year before. Would I be able to get another bull? The odds of taking a bull are slim 16% for cow AND bull combined, in my GMU (Game Management Unit).

To tighten up my LONG RANGE shot groups, I decided to do some Load Development.  

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