Last week I completed a life long dream of mine, a backcountry elk hunt. This was my first time hunting elk. My hunt took place in Idaho in Hells Canyon Wilderness. It was everything you think of when you talk about a backcountry hunt. Started with a 13 mile horse/mule ride to our spike camp, where we gained 4000 feet in elevation from the trailhead. We left the trailhead under blue skies and mild temperatures and by the time we made it to our spike camp it was snowing and it didn't stop snowing for the next 5 days. We had to deal with snow each day, some days the snow much heavier than other days.
I got my bull on the first day of the hunt, around 1:30pm. My guide and I had stopped to build a fire, warm-up, rest some and eat lunch around 11:00am. Our plan for the afternoon was to move deeper into the green timber. After resting and eating lunch we began our move to the green timer. We hadn't moved 30 yards from where we made our fire, my guided stopped, looked at me and told me to chamber a round, there was a bull below us. Approximately 80 - 90 yards below me was the bull. Have I mentioned it was snowing, yea, it was snowing, hard!! The good news, the bull gave me a perfect broadside shot. My shot broke and the bull hit the ground. My guide looks at me and tells me that I just shot a bull of a "lifetime". Honestly, I did not see the size of the bulls rack until I put my hands on him for the first time. Had I seen his rack before I shot, I probably would have missed the bull. When a guide is truly excited about an animal, you know it is something special. The mass that my bull carries throughout his rack is amazing. There isn't a single spot on his main beam that I can wrap one hand around and as a added bonus he has a tree trunk drop tine. This is truly an elk of a lifetime and I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to take him.
Just because I got my bull on the first day on my 5 day hunt, that doesn't mean I was through hunting. I also had a mule deer tag. Although I did not fill my mule deer tag, I am not disappointed at all. I spent 7.5 hours on of the days glassing a really nice mule deer that was bedded down. I've never done anything like that in all of my time hunting and I loved every minute of it.
I want to give a special shoutout to Chad with Dallas Custom Loads. Chad worked up the ammo that I used to take my bull, 300 Win Mag, Hornady 212 grain ELDX bullet. It did the trick!