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New Mexico Elk Hunt
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Suzanne wrote:
Looks like that one on the right got shot in the rump,

Yep, I saw that one come in! Shot through the hind quarters - a loss of some good meat. It was interesting watching the elk come in, where they were shot, and what the meat damage was. One hunter must have had a fragmenting bullet. The exit wound in the rib cage was 6- by 8-inches. They just cut the far shoulder/leg off and threw it away.

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Last edited by slimjim on Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Usually you get around 60% of total elk weight in meat to take home, for example your cow at 300lbs should have gotten you around 120lbs meat, provided the meat isn't ruined with a rump shot. Very Happy Very Happy

But your buddies elk should have gotten more meat for a 500lb elk. Sad

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Congrats Slim !!!

Was you aiming for the shoulder ?
How did she react when hit ?

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Thanks, chambered. These are very important questions and ones I've been pondering how to write about. I'll do the easy part first. I was aiming center of mass just behind the near-side shoulder. I do this because I don't like to loose shoulder meat. I had a 100 yard zero and did not compensate (forgot) for the bullet being 3" low at around 200 yards. Elk was moving slowly right to left and I lead a few inches. After the shot she ran 5 steps, crumpled, and rolled down hill rested against a tree. Below is a picture of the wound cavity. The lower part of both legs had bullet pass-through.



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Vince
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Minimal meat damage there mate. Well done.

Cheers, Vince

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:02 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Yes, Vince, minimal but I did lose some in both legs. Note: I talked with 4 guides before the hunt and all recommended head or neck shots if I was interested in taking as much meat home as possible.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:45 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Now, here is where it gets interesting - I shot 3 times and connected on all three shots.

I think I'll do my lessons learned before proceeding further. Next time ....

1) If the elk is close enough and I'm steady enough, I will do a neck shot. Otherwise, I will shoot through the leg/shoulder to ensure I am aiming for the center of the vital zone vice the aft part of the vital zone trying to save meat.
2) Only one hunter shoots at a time while the other(s) observes from behind the shooter.

Yep, I know you can see this coming. Before the hunt, my partner and I agreed that he would go in front of the truck, I would stay to the rear of the truck, and no one would move out ahead of the truck toward the elk until shooting had ceased. I was to shoot first then he would shoot when my elk was down.

We did as planned. Here is the rest of the story.

Since this herd was not close, I ranged to the large cow elk at the top of the ridge that was broadside next to a pine tree. It was 225 yards and 20 degrees up. Off-hand was not steady enough so I went back and used the truck bed as a rest (you can see from the prior picture, there wasn't a tree to steady my rifle). The elk's head was sky-lined, so I placed the cursors center of mass just behind the leg and fired. The guide confirmed a good hit but, because the elk was still standing, told me to shoot again. I shot the 2nd round as the elk went behind the pine tree. Turns out the tree was blocking my partner's view of my shots. The guide told him to shoot, and as the elk I shot came out on the other side of the pine tree, he shot it in the neck and it went down instantly. I couldn't see the elk anymore from my position and didn't realize we had shot the same one. The guide had the situation awareness and told my partner he had just put down the elk I had shot. The guide then told me to shoot another elk. I confirmed that he really wanted me to do that because I didn't want there to be 3 elk laying on the hillside when we got up there. I then took aim on the elk we have already talked about.

I spent time that day and the next making sure I understood what my shots did. Both entries were within 4 inches of each other with the second being slightly higher. You could see the exit wounds were both higher up the chest cavity due to the up shooting angle (sorry, no picture like the other). However, the exit wounds were significantly separated fore and aft indicating I had not noticed the elk was angled some. The two wound channels were more than 45 degrees different. On the first shot, the elk was angled slightly toward me. Hitting behind the leg (not shooting through the off shoulder) means I missed both lungs. My trajectory being 4 inches below the cross-hairs at the range didn't help either. On the second shot, the elk was angled slightly away and the bullet did hit the off shoulder so I got the lungs as desired. I found it impressive how angled the wound channels were in both elevation and azimuth for a situation I thought was broadside. I don't know how much further the elk would have gone in that condition but my partner's neck shot definitely put the elk down.

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Last edited by slimjim on Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:32 am; edited 4 times in total
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:54 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

man I eat right up to the bullet hole! Shocked !! if it looks a bit bloody chuck it in the mince bin dont waste anything Shocked . When I was single my deer got cut up into steak or stewing bits. now its steak , some stewing bits and all the gory/ tough looking bits get made into mince Very Happy . I end up with great steak, tender stews and yummy mince Very Happy , the dog gets a bone with a smell left on it Embarassed

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Vince
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

You leave a smell behind Elvis...you wasteful bugger. Very Happy Very Happy Laughing Laughing

Cheers, Vince

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:48 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Just to make sure I understand correctly ......... you put the first 2 shots into the 500lb elk then put down the 300lb ?

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

chambered221 wrote:
Just to make sure I understand correctly ......... you put the first 2 shots into the 500lb elk then put down the 300lb ?

That is correct. My first shot was not effective. IMO, the second one was. My hunting partner's neck shot was 3-5 seconds after my 2nd shot and dropped the elk in its tracks.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

well I hope your buddy and you divvied up the meat 50/50? thats the way we do things. that amount of meat does sound a little short but if you didnt ask for all the off cuts and just get the good stuff its probably about right. my two piles (steak/mince) end up about 60/40. Im sure you will enjoy the taste of what you have and the memory will last even longer. next time out you maybe able to go it with out a guide and take the whole carcase home to process, all you can carry that is.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

A 50-50 split is a good suggestion. However, my partner has more mouths to feed and a bigger freezer.

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jeh7mmmag
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Beautiful country up in that area. Would love to do a hunt, just never got to do it. Used to spend a weeks vacation dirt bikeing around Cloudcroft and also the white Mountains up around the mining ghost town of White Oaks Carrizo. Loved it. Thanks for the pictures Slim.

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: New Mexico Elk Hunt Reply with quote

Slim.. that hunt is SUPER!

Looks like the it is really successful!
and yeah the place is definitely nice!

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