USA: Montana Elk Hunt 2013

buffybr

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Saturday was the opening for the general rifle season for deer and elk in Montana.

Just after sunrise I spotted a lone bull elk feeding across the hillside that I was hunting. Unfortunately, he was on private land that I didn't have permission to hunt, but he was headed in my direction.

When he entered a patch of timber, I started up the hill, hoping to be in position when he came out of the timber and off the private land. Again, unfortunately, he came out of the timber before I was in position, and after a few long seconds of him staring at me, he turned and disappeared back into the timber.

Because he went back into the private land I didn't pursue him so I left the area and planned to come back in the evening, hoping he would again feed out of the private land.

I returned late in the afternoon, and luckily just as the sun was setting, I saw him feeding across an open area on the hill above me. Evidently during the day, he had gone around the back side of the hill, and now he was feeding back toward the private land.

I kept a couple of fir trees between me and the bull, and I crept up to the second tree which was about 150 yds from the bull.

I used a branch as a rest and steadied the crosshairs of my .300 Weatherby on his chest. As I slowly pressed the trigger, the .300 barked, and a 168 gr Barnes TTSX bullet dropped the bull in his tracks.

By the time I climbed up to him and dressed him out it was dark, I propped him open to cool and tied my shirt on his antler to deter any predators during the night.

I was back up the mountain at first light the next morning, and my bull was undisturbed except for a few magpies.

With the self-timer and remote control for my camera, I was able to get some pictures, before the work of getting him off the hill began.

I had brought a thick sheet of plastic that is made for dragging game animals up the hill with me. Even with the plastic, the whole bull was too heavy for me to drag by myself, so I had to cut him in half and was then able to get him down to my truck in two trips.

Not the biggest bull in the woods, but since I have two large bulls mounted in my trophy room, this one will nicely fill my freezer.


2013_Elk.jpg


 

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PHOENIX PHIL

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I wish my freezer was full of elk! Well done!!
 

buffybr

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There's still a lot of work before he's in my freezer. I process all of my game myself, so I'll let him hang for about a week, then several days of cutting, grinding, and wrapping.
 

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There's still a lot of work before he's in my freezer. I process all of my game myself, so I'll let him hang for about a week, then several days of cutting, grinding, and wrapping.
Congrats

I do all my own cutting too but with a family work bee we can take an elk apart in a few hours. The grinder sits in the middle and trim goes in as we cut and is ready for packaging at the same time as the other meat. A lot of work but worth it when I know I am getting my game back and not someones crap that they skinned then dragged behind the quad for 3 miles. Ground meat is the worst for this, many meat cutters cut several animals then do all the grinding at once and divy it up between the customers, I have no desire to eat someone elses shot up crap.
 

bluey

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nice
vvell done
:cool2:
 

Bushman10

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Hi from Paarl near Cape Town, South Africa. Near which town in Montana did you shoot the Elk? I have visited Bozeman a couple of times and ski'ed at Big Sky but never had the opportunity to hunt there even though I know two great hunters in Bozeman.
 

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I was going to question your mental fitness when you said "drag up hill"!
If you dragged half an elk up hill on dry ground, plastic or not, you got your exercise.

(Makes you appreciate all the help you get when you hunt in Africa)

Congrats on getting your Elk.
 

gillettehunter

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Good job on the elk. Got mine on Monday. Processed it on Sat. Weather was too warm to wait longer... Just finishing up some of the jerky. Rest is in the freezer.
Good looking bull. Smart to leave him till the Evening. Not a lot of hunters will do that. Congrats. Bruce
 

enysse

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Congrats buffybr, I'd take a elk like that any year I could. :)
Plenty of good eating for the winter ahead.
 

buffybr

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Bushman10, I was hunting near Bozeman, where I've lived for the last 35 years. On my first trip to South Africa, our plane stopped in Cape Town, but we did not de-plane. That area looked beautiful from the air.

Brickburn, Poor writing on my part. What I tried to say was that when I returned to the elk the next day, I brought the plastic up with me so I could use it to help me drag the elk down the hill. One thing that I've learned as I've gotten older is to hunt uphill as it is easier to drag the critters out going downhill.

Your comment "Makes you appreciate all the help you get when you hunt in Africa" is very true. Here's a pic of the 12 guys that put half of my eland on a heavy plastic tarp and carried it down a hill to the truck.
 
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Bobpuckett

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Bushman10, I was hunting near Bozeman, where I've lived for the last 35 years. On my first trip to South Africa, our plane stopped in Cape Town, but we did not de-plane. That area looked beautiful from the air.

Brickburn, Poor writing on my part. What I tried to say was that when I returned to the elk the next day, I brought the plastic up with me so I could use it to help me drag the elk down the hill. One thing that I've learned as I've gotten older is to hunt uphill as it is easier to drag the critters out going downhill.

Your comment "Makes you appreciate all the help you get when you hunt in Africa" is very true. Here's a pic of the 12 guys that put half of my eland on a heavy plastic tarp and carried it down a hill to the truck.
Big Plus on that down hill drag. Congrats on that bull it may not be big to you but its a Monster to me, I hunted all over Colorado when I was Stationed at Fort Carson all I could find was cows but they taste pretty good to.
 
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BRICKBURN

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.......
Brickburn, Poor writing on my part. What I tried to say was that when I returned to the elk the next day, I brought the plastic up with me so I could use it to help me drag the elk down the hill. One thing that I've learned as I've gotten older is to hunt uphill as it is easier to drag the critters out going downhill.
.......
Glad you have confirmed you are not nuts. Thanks for clarifying.
 

bluey

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Congrats

I do all my own cutting too but with a family work bee we can take an elk apart in a few hours. The grinder sits in the middle and trim goes in as we cut and is ready for packaging at the same time as the other meat. A lot of work but worth it when I know I am getting my game back and not someones crap that they skinned then dragged behind the quad for 3 miles. Ground meat is the worst for this, many meat cutters cut several animals then do all the grinding at once and divy it up between the customers, I have no desire to eat someone elses shot up crap.
Doesnt every one butcher there own game in America?
Over here it's in heard of getting a butcher to pack and stack your deer.
Out of interest , how much would a butcher charge you to bust up and pack game ?
The first deer you shoot , some one will do for you
The second , someone will do one side while the shooter copies the other side
The third , someone will watch and give pionters
By the fourth deer if you can't do it
Don't squeeze the trigger
 

enysse

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Doesnt every one butcher there own game in America?
Over here it's in heard of getting a butcher to pack and stack your deer.
Out of interest , how much would a butcher charge you to bust up and pack game ?
The first deer you shoot , some one will do for you
The second , someone will do one side while the shooter copies the other side
The third , someone will watch and give pionters
By the fourth deer if you can't do it
Don't squeeze the trigger
Well bluey it depends? If you bring in a quartered elk and just want the steaks and roasts cut out it and rest put in a plastic blag for grinding....$300 to $500. If you bring in a deer and the entrails have been removed and its cleaned up...it will cost you $50 to $75 in Wisconsin to get the steaks and roasts wrapped up and the rest will go in a plastic bag for further processing. The busier the butcher, the higher the prices...I have seen the price double in bad times, if you want it fast.

I'm with the other guys from NA, if I can butcher it myself...I do it myself.

And the ground meat made up to hots dogs, sausage, brats, hot sticks, jerky...whatever will normally cost you $2.50 to +$3.00 a pound to process...so it gets expensive pretty quick if you don't just grind it up and make hamburger.
 

BRICKBURN

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Doesnt every one butcher there own game in America?
Over here it's in heard of getting a butcher to pack and stack your deer.
Out of interest , how much would a butcher charge you to bust up and pack game ?
The first deer you shoot , some one will do for you
The second , someone will do one side while the shooter copies the other side
The third , someone will watch and give pionters
By the fourth deer if you can't do it
Don't squeeze the trigger
I have had people call me after the deer is on the ground. What do you do now? Really!
Plenty of people have no clue and think it will jump into plastic wrap on its own.

Local butchers now charge:
$50 to skin a deer
Min $75 to process into steak, roasts and burger (mince) with about a $1.10 per pound of the carcass weight for the charge.

After walking in to a local cooler and seeing what other hunters did to their animals (lack of cleanliness) that was the end of that. Never again!
 

bluey

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Bloody hell
That's a lot of coin for a simple task
Young kody could really fill his pockets over your way
He is finishing his last year as an apprentice butcher
I realise an elk is a bit bigger than a samba but he can skin , bust up and pack a samba in under two and half hours
Even mince the lesser cuts and front end
Some blokes have asked him do it for a fee
But he usually just teaches them
The best thing about hunting game doin everything your self
 

enysse

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There a few people that charge $10 to $15 to skin a deer out if it is all cleaned up...they keep the hide to sell it off for leather products. $10 for a doe or fawn, $15 for a buck not getting mounted...if it's a good one you can count on a $25 to $50 charge.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I must confess I do not butcher my elk. We cut the backstraps and loins out and take those directly home. The rest gets ground into regular bratwurst, spicy brats and various types of sausage. The butcher swears to me I get my meat and only my meat. Not sure I believe it, but I choose to dwell on the wonderful flavor of the sausages. It's just not something I'm going to bother with. In addition the idea of bringing back the elk to Phoenix where it's either hot or the least warm, it just doesn't work well.
 

Diamondhitch

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After walking in to a local cooler and seeing what other hunters did to their animals (lack of cleanliness) that was the end of that. Never again!
I had the same experience Wayne. I always like to hang my meat 7-10 days so in the early season I hang it at the local butchers. After the second time I was praised for the cleanliness of the meat that I had packed out on horseback (which I thought was OK but not great) I asked why he mentioned it, then he showed me the cooler... MY GOD the way half the people treat their meat is ridiculous. My second bad experience was with Sausage, everyones crap was going into the same pile and when I had a problem with that he said "don't worry you will get your share back" I pulled a bloodshot piece of crap out of the mix and said "there is no way in hell I am eating this crap when I have taken the time to make sure mine is all clean and nice." Im sure there not all like that but it put me off butchers that's for sure.
 

Bushman10

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Bushman10, I was hunting near Bozeman, where I've lived for the last 35 years. On my first trip to South Africa, our plane stopped in Cape Town, but we did not de-plane. That area looked beautiful from the air.
My favourite shop in Bozeman is Wholesale Sports. I bought 2 x Nikon Monarch 6-24x50 BDC Scopes there for $325 (R3250) each. Say hi to Greg Gianforte and Jason Mittlestad in Bozeman for me. Next time stop off in Cape Town. I am a PH here and will gladly take you plains game hunting in the Karoo, only 4 hours away. Have been trying to get Greg to come and hunt in South Africa for ages. Jason have already been.
 
 

 

 

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