View Full Version : Report on Wyo elk hunt using Win 1895

November 11, 2002, 01:42 PM
I earlier posted that I was going to take two lever actions on my elk hunt. One was a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 using Nosler 300 gr partitions at 2000fps and the other was a Browning reproduction 1895 in 30-06 using Speer's 180gr "HotCore" bullet. Type of terrain and cover I would be hunting dictated which particular rifle I would carry for that day.

I also decided I needed to "put my money where my mouth is" and I would "take a kid hunting". So I picked out a 13 year-old kid from one of my hunter ed classes who was from a single parent family and had shown good interest throughout the class I had taught in August.

My tag was for a cow (anterless) and started on Friday Nov. 1st. Driving up the mountain road on opening morning through about 14" of snow we had a cow and a big 6-point bull cross the road not 20 yards infront of us and disapear in a hurry into thick re-growth stand of 10' pine in a timbered area. We bailed out and tracked the elk for several hunderd yards and saw no indication they were going to slow down anytime soon so we returned to the truck.

Most of Friday was learning the area, where the roads went, which ones were drifted closed, and doing lots of glassing. We did walk some of the drifted roads looking for elk sign and finding plenty.

Most of the mountain I was hunting was covered with very thick timber where the average shot would be about 10'. This really isn't my cup of tea especially with a young hunter just learning how to hunt and NOT SPEAK IN A NORMAL VOICE when talking! and who doesn't know how to walk quietly and slo-o-o-o-o-wly.

Saturday we drove to another mountain not far away but after getting to the top and busting through a lot of drifts and being concerned about breaking down there, getting stuck, or high centered and with the wind blowing about 30mph I was concerned about getting drifted in. The fog was heavy, about 200 yards visibility and the horror frost was about 4" long on the leading edge of the 10' poles which marked the roads edge for navigation during a blizzard or the fog. We drove down the mountain a ways and got out and walked around until we couldn't handle the humid wind and cold. Besides, you don't take a 13 year-old kid too far from the sandwiches (he'd already ate the 3 we had with us and it was only 10AM!). Good grief that kid could eat!!!

Sunday we decided to skirt the mountain driving around it through the foothills and walking up the various drainages. This was more like the type of terrain I like to hunt, more open, but with some timbered hillsides and creek bottoms and lots of foothills for elk to escape over. You can "round a corner or top out over a hill and suprise small bunches of elk easily in this type of terrain.

When we started out on the two track "road" we immediately spotted two elk out on the sagebrush plains. A close look at them showed them to be rag horn bachlors stupid enough to be caught out in the open.

Not much else to see out on the plains other than small bunches of wild horses.

We walked up several drainages and did a lot of glassing looking for tracks and finding none.

Finally, we drove on to an area between two mountains. The terrain was fairly open and had several ridges which ran downhill to our right petering out in the creek bottom which the road we were on ran along.

We ran into 4 hunters on 2 4-wheelers. They pointed out 2 foot hunters who had walked out to the second ridge about 3/4 of a mile away to try to put a sneak on 80 head of elk but somehow the hunters had gotten onto the second ridge and the elk were on the 3rd ridge a full mile away. The foot hunters couldn't see the elk and about the time they decided to give up and come back the guys on the 4-wheelers decided they would go back up the road I had just come on and go up onto the 3rd ridge and come down through the timber and jump the elk which we could see from the road were just lounging around. One of the 4-wheeler guys made the statement that "someone oughtta stay here "just in case."" I spoke up and said I'd stay here and watch this rodeo!

Well, the foot hunters disappeared back to my left as they were returning back from the 2nd ridge. About the time they should have reached the ravine between the 2nd and 1st ridge they appearently pushed out a nice 6-point bull that came over the 1st ridge and throught the creek bottem which paralleled the road I was on and up right infront of my truck not 50 yards away. The bull didn't take long to decide he didn't like the looks of this situation and he bolted on down country to my right.

Shortly there after I heard a shot coming from the timber above the elk. About 45 head ran down the top of the 3rd ridge going from my left to my right. I could still see about 20 or so elk milling around just to the left of where they had been bedded down prior to the shot. I told the kid to keep his binocs on the 45 head and watch where they go as I was going to watch the others who hadn't decided which way to go.

Finally, the 35 head of elk which had stayed put decided to boogie and the ran toward us down the side of the 3rd ridge and ontop the 2nd ridge right where the two foot hunters had been. They proceeded down the side of the 2nd ridge toward us and up ontop the 1st ridge about 400 yards away across the creek. They spotted my truck and began to string out to our right following the 1st ridge top as it declined to the creek bottom.

I got the F250 fired up and began to produce somekind of a Ford commercial as I bounced down the 2-track following the creek as the elk paralleled me on the 1st ridge the whole time the gap between us is narrowing as the ridge runs out in the creek bottem I was driving along.

When the gap had narrowed to around 250 yards the 35 or so elk pulled up and stopped. I bailed out with the 1895 Winchester in 30-06 and dropped a young cow. My first 2 shots were high as I didn't concentrate on keeping the bead in the bottom of the buckhorn rear sight. The spray of snow over the top of the cow I was aiming at pointed this out and I forced my self to concentrate on my sight picture and was able to make a good shot.

The rest was just the work of giving the kid a lesson on how to clean an elk, use the equipment you pack in your daypack (knives, rope, etc.). We dragged the elk into the creek bottom and tied the drag rope to my tow strap and pulled the elk onto the road where we skinned her and cut her in half and loaded her into the back of the truck.

Headed home Monday morning and had the rest of the week off to clean up my hunting stuff and put it away.

The kid had a great time. I asked the kids mom if she wanted the elk which suprised and tickled her as she really did want some of the meat but never imagined I'd give it all to them. I still have plenty of last years elk to eat anyway. :)

November 11, 2002, 03:46 PM
I'll bet that young man had the time of his life! There is no better experience than taking a youngster on his or her first hunt. I'm happy you went to the trouble for him. That is something more of us should do.

Al Thompson
November 11, 2002, 04:07 PM
Agree with Marshall. :)

That reminds me, I need to contact my state folks and see if they need instructors.

November 16, 2002, 09:53 AM
Good post elkslayer, and a good hunt. Congratulations.

Art Eatman
November 16, 2002, 10:31 AM

:), Art