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October 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm #8037
After target practice every week since May when I knew I had the tag until 2 weeks before the elk hunt I was feeling great about it. Super accurate handloads ( shooting 5/16th inch 5 round grouping from a rest at 200 yards IMO is super accurate ), hitting the treadclimber wearing a backpack when it was too bad to go out and hike to get in elk hunting shape. A tune up pig hunt in Florida ended all that built up good feeling.
The last time I was pig hunting in Florida with my nephew was in May when I made a shot that resulted in the 1st time ever failed recovery of game, I felt terrible about it. This Florida pig hunt was worse, two hogs did not drop right away and got in to the swamp and palmetto brush and I could not find them. Great confidence builder with the last 3 game animals I shot getting in to brush and not being recovered! I started second guessing my shooting abilities and rifle and ammo choices. And then things went from bad to worse, picking up my rifle case after flying home, it looked like they ran it through a giant blender before a giant meat grinder! The 1 external padlock was completely snapped off the case, the case looked like Wolverine was pissed at it, the rear scope ring was sheared off the mount, the scope had an inch or so long gouge on the side and my digital camera and camcorder never made the flight even though they were IN my luggage when I checked it. Not to be outdone my 4×4 decided to shear the splines in the transfer case on my way home. This happens 2 days before I leaver for my elk hunt!
Needing to work 14 hour days both days I had to rely on a friend to remount and sight in my scope, if it was not broken! A few hours before leaving for the airport my friend brings the rifle back and tells me it is about 1.5 inches high at 100 yards. Already paid extra to express my handload ammo to one of the hunters that lives near the hunting area so I was good to go or so I thought. When I get there I find out my ammo never arrived. Luckily a guy had 3 boxes of .270 ammo he let me check my rifle sight in job with, dead on at 35 yards but a few inches to the left. 4 rounds later it was grouping 3 inch groups at 100 yards. The bad part was it was 130 grain Remington Core Lokt, which almost everyone told me was not suitable for elk unless you got within 75 yards. 1 guy told me it would be fine up to 225 – 250 yards but don’t push it much past that for elk.
Did I mention that living at a low elevation made me oxygen deprived for half the 1st day? Well that kept me close to the camp area, no more than maybe 500 yards away. The second day I felt better, about a mile from camp I spot a HUGE bull, so huge I needed someone to verify I was not seeing things! A 7×7 beast that was 500 yards + out of my comfort range! We tried cutting the distance, but after exerting myself trying to rapidly and quietly covering 200 yards the bull went 400 yards without even trying. I never got closer than 450 – 500 yards that entire day.
The next day I see 3 bulls I think I can sneak up to and get in to my confidence range, they were all semi close to each other so I took almost an hour studying each to decide which 1 I wanted. The 4×5 with skinny spindly antlers and the smallest body, the 4×4 that had shorter but slightly thicker antlers and a slightly bigger body or the 3×3 that were thicker and almost symmetrical antlers and the biggest body. After confirming that ll 3 were legal, I worked my way closer and closer to the 3×3, all nervousness gone now.
Ranged at 261 yards and steep downhill my 3×3 bedded down, I managed to close to 219 yards when it started fidgeting. I started feeling doubt creeping in. I have shot paper targets and spinner targets at greater distances, but never anything at that steep of an angle, also memories of those damn Florida hogs ran past my eyes. I said a brief prayer for calm and guidance in making an ethical and clean killing shot, found a dead tree with a twig sticking out and took careful aim. Settled my breathing, gently squeezed the trigger and my 3×3 dropped straight down just like on the tv shows, no tracking needed.
After waiting 15 – 20 minutes my friend shows up and we go down to check it out. Almost no blood at the entrance would and no exit wound at all. I was aiming and what I pictured would be a path for a lung and heart shot but forgot at that angle to aim lower than normal. My shot hit 3 inches higher than my aim point ( luckily? ) and went through the right shoulder blade and severed the spine, blowing bone and bullet down through the right lung, destroying it, shredding the aorta, nicking the heart and piercing the left lung. No blood was found on the ground.
My buddy ended up getting a nice 5×5 so we were all happy.
It was AFTER dropping our elk we found out we both thought the other was bringing the skinning tools!
we managed to get the elk to where a local farmer/rancher picked them up with his tractor and the elk were skinned at his skinning shack. Hanging upside down I thought my elk’s neck looked fatter than before but did not say anything. As soon as the skin was cut to the neck area blood shot out like it was from a fire hydrant. Next year my nephew wants me to take him out, but I think he might be bad luck!
The pics are me holding the elk’s head up, the internal view of the shot, the elk hanging at the ranchers skinning shack, and the .270 case and what was recovered of the bullet.
Already planning for next year and hitting the tread climber 2x as much with 10 lbs more weight in my back pack!
Attachments:October 29, 2013 at 10:25 pm #8114
Congratulations. My .270 would not be my first choice to hunt elk with, but if that is what I had, I certainly would be afraid to use it. Guess you will have to shoot the 7×7 next year
Still Hoping for Improvement. . .October 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm #8185
Thanks, I learned a few things such as my little eastern woodland binocs don’t cut it for 500 + yard point counting and maybe I should have taken the .300 winmag as well as picked up some travel tips. Hoping to have better pics next year!November 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm #8439
well congrats on your first elk. and i really enjoyed reading the post. i’ve been there about second guessing myself in a critical moment. but you got your bull elk and that is a great hunt ending.
and i like your choice of calibre… my .270 hasn’t let me down yet. a variety of deer , more moose than i can recall and some very nice elk and black bears. and the odd grizzly that didn’t know when to back off. the .300 win. mag is a good round too…i just feel really over gunned using any magnum on north american game..but thats just my opinion..those darn shoulder pounding…wallet busting magnums are just not necsessary….
congrats again on a great shot and an exciting hunt . nice pics too….john t.November 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm #8480
StuffStuff > Campaigns > Review http://www.stuffstuff.com/Product/tabid/88/productid/55/campaignid/72/Default.aspxNovember 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm #8557
TY 270, did ya say MOOSE? What ammo did you use for moose? I am hoping to get a moose tag one day and the 270 is my go to gun.
not trying to be a jerk but …
braggster ummmm what does your post have to do with the topic?November 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm #8579
Good job SteelCandy.People told me that 150 gr.bullets were to small for elk ,but year after year they went down when I lived in CO.That was from a 30 06.
Well here I am .November 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm #8648
i’m using 140gr hornady premium rounds either sst or gmx.they cost a little more but they shoot deadly accurate out of my rem. 700 and really do a job on knocking down any game i’ve hunted.
and yep i’ve shot a lot of moose in the foothills of alberta. before they went to a draw system i took my moose most every year. if you do go out for moose practice your calling and grunts.bull moose in rut respond any time during the day to calls. john t.November 15, 2013 at 1:18 am #9007
Ty holly, I was told my 270 was too small and then 130s were too small … except 1 guy that lived and breathes elk told me it would be a fine combination
270 I have 140 BTs and 160 Partitions. The 140s are super accurate IMO from my 700 and the 160s are sub moa which I used to consider super accurate until I found the 140s. I was planning on using the 160s for elk and anything bigger. The 140s drop deer in their tracks but tend to leave more bloodshot meat then CoreLokts, Fusions or Super X.
Is anyone here considering a DIY elk/deer hunt next year in Montana late Oct – early Nov? I was thinking maybe near the Teton river area?November 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm #9073
good luck on your elk/deer hunt steel. and i do agree with you that the 140 gr hornady sst/gmx do a lot of damage. when my daughters and i hunt the foothills together you can run into anything from big whitetail bucks, bull ellk, black bears of some size and bull moose if you have the moose draw. all in the same season and hunt. We have found that this one bullet kills them all and we don’t have to change anything on the scope sight picture as we use the same ammo all the time. my daughter Andrea shot a great 8 by 7 bull elk in the morning and then a nosy black bear that afternoon. 2 rounds for the elk and one for the bear. it would be too much of a problem switching out ammo for all the differnt game and size.
and i too was surprised at just how darn well those 140 gr rounds like a rem. mod. 700. at 100 yards they print on top of each other… good luck on future hunts steel.November 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm #9082
Well I get the best groups from the Remington core locks in 150 gr. ,and that is why I stay with them .At 100 yards I can stack them on top of each other .And they have killed deer out to 385 yards and elk at over 200 yards .
Well here I am .November 21, 2013 at 6:07 am #9306
Congrats on your elk. Rare and handy to have a tractor nearby and country tame enough to get it to your elk.November 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm #9409
270, I was planning on only using 1 ammo on each hunt, depending on what I was going after. Usually I go out for 1 specific game type at a time.
Hiker I wish the tractor was a lot closer, we had to drag it until we got it down to a flat enough place for an atv. The atv got it to the fence line. Never would have made it if we had to go uphill and had no ropes. I had already typed way too much about the experience and looking back I could have typed 2 or 3 more sentences to explain it better, sorry if it was confusing. As I said before, I learned a few lessons on this trip.December 1, 2013 at 9:21 am #9763
Good job Steel Candy. I used my 270 on my first elk hunt with Sierra 150 grain BTSP reloads. The 150 grain is a good weight for the 270 on bigger animals like elk. Although, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the 140 grain. It’s the good weight for both worlds between the 130 and 150 bullets. It works in both areas. Best thing is. Like was said earlier. You don’t have to change the zero on your gun if you use it exclusively for both game. I’ve heard they’re accurate. And, do everything you want them to that a 150 grain will do. Yet, can use them for deer. Or, deer sized animals that you would normally use a 130 for. I’ve been using either my 30-06. Or, my 30-338 Magnum for elk. The 270. Despite what a lot of people think. Really does a decent job on elk. I saw what it will do for the first time when I got my cow elk a few weeks ago. He was using 150 gain bullets. And, only took one shot from 150 yards. That bullet did the same thing your 140 did. I was impressed to see what kind of damage it did all the way thru. It blew a massive hole on the exit side. Seeing that convinced me that the 270 isn’t marginal for elk. I’ve always thought that the 270 was better for elk than the 308 was. That the 308 was marginal. I went brain dead. I can’t think of the out door writer that used nothing but the 270 for elk. He swore by it.December 2, 2013 at 8:58 am #9803
Big rig his name was jack O’conner
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