Hunting the Snake River Canyon in N.E. Oregon is for those than can shoot!
Years ago I loved to hunt for elk in the Snake River Canyon. I had a couple of horses that were for great riding and as pack horses. It was nothing to see bulls at long range during the season and try to find a way to get to them or shot long range shots.
The picture in this post, was one of those long range shots. I wish that I had more pictures, but can’t find them. I had hunted the year before and missed a big bull as I hastily taken the shot without getting setup properly.
I had trade hunting spots with a fellow named Randy Krupe. He wanted a place to hunt in the Steens Mountains and I wanted I wanted one of his elk the hot-spots. So I got the hot-spot near Tee-Pee Springs in the lower part of the Snake River.
I had found a great observation spot to glass for elk. This spot I had found the year before and I knew I would have to hustle to get this shooting rock and got there about an hour before first light.
As usual when dawn is breaking and your sitting there waiting, you have tendency to fall asleep as the temperature drops. Kinda weird how this happens! I had spotted a couple elk prior to this, but they were cows on the move. I told myself as I slapped myself that I could not fall asleep and not get the first lick in. Well this did payoff, but barely.
About a 1000 yards off, or three ridges off in the distance, I see the flash of horn. I quickly use the spotting scope and could see a branched bull. He is broadside in a down timber patch. I said to myself what the heck, I can’t kill him if you don’t take the shot. After the first shot, the bull turns and heads uphill and stops standing straight away from me. I figure at this time I need to aim between the horns and hold about 48 high or so. There was no wind and I had a great rest. I also know that my 340 Weatherby with the 210gr. Nosler would get there. I love this caliber for long range shots on elk. The Snake River Canyon is known for having to shoot cross canyon! At the sound of the shot, the bull was no longer standing. As the distance was great and I did lose sight of the bull. I felt that I had hit him and I would need to work my way over there. It took about 40 minutes to hit a game trail that would allow me to get into the patch. As I approached the area and was about 150 yards away I could see the bull bedded on the steep hillside in the down timber.
The bull’s head was up, but he could clearly see me, but wasn’t getting up. I was able to get a clear shot and put him down the rest of the way. Under inspection, I found my original bull hole in the neck. It had touched the just about everything in the neck.
Getting the bull out is another story about working my old horse Czar and almost losing my other horse on the pack-out.
P.S. There were 13 of us in an Elk Pool, with 20 bucks a head! It was based on points and not B & C Scoring. It was my lucky day!