Marco Polo Sheep hunt, What gun to take?


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Oct 27, 2011
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sweeny , texas
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South Africa, Namibia, Canada, New Zealand
Greetings fellow hunters.

I will be headed to Kyrgyzstan for a Marco Polo sheep hunt in 2017 and I'm not sure of what to use. I have a 300wsm weatherby with a good leupold scope. I very comfortable out to 400 yards with it, but the guide said shots out to 500 could be excepted. Any experience out there on Marco Polo hunting on rifle selection?

Any do's or don'ts on the hunt to would be great also.

Never done a hunt like that but from what I understand it is very tough going so a light rifle is a must. If you do the math there isn't a huge amount of difference between most of the magnum calibers when it comes to ballistics and if your gun shoots Accubonds, Bergers or Interbonds well great start. From a practical standpoint getting a steady rest in the field, doping the wind and accurately judging distance (angles will get you) will be more important than a caliber that shoots 2-3" flatter. I'm sure people here with experience will set you on the right path, they sure have helped me.

My $0.02
Just learn to shoot the 300WSM a bit better, if you can get to 400 you will be able to get to 500yds. Do you dial or use a holdover reticle?
Just learn to shoot the 300WSM a bit better, if you can get to 400 you will be able to get to 500yds. Do you dial or use a holdover reticle?
holdover reticle
Be mentally prepared. Ensure you are not going to be pushed, goaded or pressured into shooting beyond your comfort level.
holdover reticle

Learn to dial it will be way more accurate than holdover at 500 yds.
At 500 yds you will also need to have information like temperature and pressure. If you can get a ballistic programme like "shooter" on your phone and use it regularly then 500 yds will seem like a chip shot. Biggest problem will be battery life. Although you can probably make up a drop chart.
A rangefinder like a leica 1600B that has ballistic info in it and will tell you the true ballistic range will make using a drop chart a lot easier.
The main issue will be wind, that is the trickiest to allow for.
Your current rifle may be adequate for the job. If it is a 1 MOA rifle then it will shoot a 5 inch group at 500 yds if you do your part. Good enough. A 3/4 MOA rifle would be even better. Handloading may help you optimize accuracy from your current rifle. Having been to Kyrg 2 times I would suggest a .28 caliber or larger rifle. .30 cal is perfect. Practice a lot. If possible practice at high elevations.
Good optics are as important as the rifle. At 500 yds you can either dial or use the holdover reticle. Be proficient in its use. One of the biggest catches is the elevation. A rifle sighted in at 3000 ft elevation will be a long ways off when shot at 11,000 feet elevation. MP may be over 14,000 depending on where you are hunting. Use a ballistic calculator and see the difference for yourself. You may be surprised..... The air is thinner and the bullet will drop less. A good ballistic program allows for that. Your reticle is good for a range of elevations. Not likely set up for the elevations where you will be hunting. So the better choice is to learn to dial. Get in shape and practice a lot.
There are a couple of hunt reports on here in the last 5 yrs with some good advice. My last hunt report has a few suggestions. You might read it here
Good luck. Bruce
I would use your 300 WSM.

Like Bruce says, a ballistic program would be good, I would like to practice shooting at 11000 feet for once. There are more than a few places to do that in the USA, but it would take time and energy.

I honestly think wind drift is a huge problem. If you can't calculate wind drift well, forget about it at long range.

I would use something like TTSX, accubond, interbond.....something with a sleek plastic tip on the bullet end.

Get a great scope!
You got some good advice here and I will just re-enforce the wind aspect. Wind will be the biggest and most difficult issue.
1. to accurately judge speed you need a kestrel.
2. wind direction a ribbon will help.
3. wind isn't consistent over long range, particularly in the mountains

good luck
.300 would be my vote
The 300 Weatherby wsm is a great long range cartridge and up to the job. The biggest mistake most hunters make is not getting enough time free hand shooting. Get off the bench and practice as much as possible shooting in likely positions that you will find yourself. Too much time is spent at the bench and not practicing shooting in real life scenarios.
your gun is fine I have killed several kinds sheep and goats with 300win mag. learn to shoot off bipod prone on vertical sidehills if you can get some practice in like that. I agree on ballistic app and I use a schmidt & bender scope and count the clicks, suggest as other said you learn to use an app and count clicks. If you have the budget the new leica gevoid hd-b 10-42 binos are super sweet ranges, uses angle of incline, custom ballistic to your load and temp and press and flashes the # clicks for me in the reticle so all i do is click em in and shoot!
BUT DONT LET THEM PRESSURE YOU INTO TAKING A SHOT YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH PERIOD! sheep hunting is a one shot game and the climbs are hard make sure you can make the shot. 500 yds across a mtn side with blowing swirling winds is a recipe for a miss and believe me the wind is always blowing on the mtns, miss judge the wind game and you miss or wound. I personally have not and will not shoot over 300yds on mtn in winds, too much at stake. sheep hunting is game to get high above sheep and pick off so they never know you are there. the moral of the story is be patient dont take a iffy shot on a high dollar one shot sheep.
I was in Kyrgyzstan in 2014. It is a great and challenging hunting destination and I want to go again. Get in great shape first of all because you will be at 13,000' most likely. If you can go to SAAM precision shooting school. They will help you prepare for this like no one else can prepare you. Be ready to have the guides tell you to shoot at everything you see so be confident in what YOU want. Get custom made ammo (or reload) from some one like Safari Arms. You just have to realize how far you are going and how very hard the conditions are. You must have all your equipment working perfectly.
what Buckdog said " DONT LET THEM PRESSURE YOU INTO TAKING A SHOT YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH PERIOD!" How about using the rifle you are comfortable with and stalk closer than 400 yards or no shot.
.338 Lapua ?
Idahunting do not allow anyone to pressure your shot! Do practice a lot in the range. Run in place a little before making shits to get your heart rate going.
Wow CAustin, I've never tried that, generally just 3-4 strong cups of coffee get my heart rate and digestive system going!
Seriously, shoot what you have the most confidence in, it's a mental game when your stressed and altitude will do it to you. Before the Super Magnums I shot a wildcat 3006 Ackley Improved. I killed Blue Sheep in China and Nepal as well as a Gansu Argali with this rig at 300-400 yards.

Good glass is a must, I topped that rifle with Schmidt & Bender 2.5-10x56.

Today I shoot a 300 RUM with a Leupold VXL 4-14 B&C Reticle with success. But I concur with Stug and dialing in is best. I'm switching to the Leupold VX6 4-24 CDS. I'm very impressed with the new VX6 glass, it's very bright.

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