In 2019 my son and I went on a horseback hunt into the Northern BC Rockies looking for elk.
We harvested a nice moose, but the elk were uncooperative.
We found a couple nice bulls, but in the alpine, above treeline, there is little or no cover. The elk were out past 500 yards, and with cows that they would not leave.
Without cover, no amount of calling would close the gap.
I did not have the rifle, optics, or confidence to make such a long shot.
This year we went back into the same spot, a 6 hour ride, 22 kilometers, from the highway up into our base camp. No ATV’s, roads, or runways....horse access only.
We hunted there for 3 days, saw some cow elk and a spike, but no bulls, so we packed up and rode up into the alpine and set up a spike camp where we hunted for 4 days.
Day 8 of a 10 day hunt, we went up a mountain and ridge walked over a 2nd mtn back tp the same place we had the long distance encounter last year.
But this time I was better prepared. In the off season I took a 1000 yard long range shooting course, built a new rifle in 300 WSM, worked up a consistent handload with 200 grain ELD-X pills, and practiced...ringing steel at 400, 500, 600, 750, and 1000 yards. I practiced a lot, and was confident. I selected the Javelin Lite Bipod, but added the 80cm Pro Legs, for mountain angles, and to get some elevation over the buck brush.
We came over the ridge on the 2nd mountain and looked down across a saddle to
a far hillside, and there was a bull, standing in the exact same place as last year.
We hunkered down behind a small spruce and some buck brush, broke out the spotting scope, and watched. His head was turned slightly so it was a challenge counting points....needed 6 to be legal. I see 1, 2, 3.....no, 1, 2, 3, 4,......ok now see 5 on one side.....watch some more...there was a tiny but legal 6th point....ok he is legal.
There is no point in getting into a calling duel with him like last year. He might come 50 yards closer, but the downhill angle will be steeper.
I range him at 745 yards, angle compensated, standing broadside. He keeps watching our way so its hard to get the rifle set up and in a prone position to make the shot without the bull seeing movement.
I run the ballistics solution on my phone app, set the elevation dial, 17.4 MOA, set up the bipod, and use my pack for a solid butt rest.
I dry fire 4 times, then flick off the safety, settle, and touch one off.
He flinched hard, ran downhill 25 yards, and piled up.