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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, Here is a link with the story and pics of a 5x5 bull that I shot on Oct 6th with the 308 Marlin Express. It was a 178 yard shot. The 308MX worked great. To date I have shot one doe at 365 yards, and now the elk at 178 yards. I hope to hit the trifecta and shoot a nice buck here in a few weeks.

This cartridge and rifle has become my favorite, I really don't see myself using much else.

Pics and story below
 

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Well guys I'm back, and here is the blow by blow account. (This will be long, I'm sorry)

Headed out to Utah on Thur the 4th stayed in Rawlins Wy that night and got to Henefer, UT about noon on Fri the 5th. From there we headed up to Huntsville, UT and stayed there for the hunt. Our guide for the hunt was a great guy, and he got us on some elk, that for sure.

We headed out on Sat morning early and got there before sun up. He told us we would just hang out at the trucks until it started getting light enough to see, because sometimes the elk were just up the meadow for us. We parked at the start of the property we would hunt, there was a nice open hay meadow with mountains on both sides and from the there the valley streatched up the mountains with a few more hay meadows with patches of timber in between. The mountain sides were thick with pines, cedars, maples, aspens, and LOTS of thick brush.

Once it started getting light enough to see he headed up the meadow. we had been hearing elk bugle all around us when we were at the trucks. we had not gone about 100-200 yards from the trucks and an elk bugled not 200 yards from us across the meadow in the timber. We got down in this dry creek bed at the edge of the meadow and hit the cow call. This bull bugled his head off, but wouldn't come out of the timber. We figured he had cows with him and wasn't going to leave them. we kept on the call, he kept bugling, the we heard another bugle from higher up. the we saw this nice 5x5 comming straight down the mountain. At one point he was about 300 yards away and presented a nice broadside shot. My friend and the guide asked if I wanted to take him. They both said he was a nice bull. I said sure, I'll take him. When I glassed back he was gone! You could not see him in the brush. I started to get a sick to my stomach feeling, and a panic that I had lost my chance. We kept on the call, and he kept bugling. I was still looking the mountain side over, trying to find him. My friend said, "THERE HE IS, RIGHT IN THE OPEN!!" Sure enough, he came out in the meadow looking for that cow. My friend ranged him, 178 yards, both him and the guide said take him! I was laying against the creek back and was able to shoot from a prone position. I shot and you could hear the bullet crack through the cold air, and then the unmistakable "POP". I cycled the action like greased lightning, and got ready for a second shot, he took off for the timber on a dead run and I drilled him again, he piled up right there. The guide yelled, "WHAT A SHOT!, MAN YOU REALLY NAILED HIM!"

We hurried up and got up there he tried to lift his head and put another one in him for good measure. (He was dead, he just didn't realize it) and i can't stand to see critters suffer at all. If it had taken any time at all for us to get there he would have already been dead.

It had rained during the night, and now it started to snow, first a light snow, then pretty heavy. My friends son who had gotten back from Iraq in June was with us. He had just finished a hunt a few days before ours started. He missed a 380 class bullet at about 380 yards. I really wished he would have gotten his. He is a great kid, and was a huge help to us!

My friend and the guide took off to see about finding another bull to shoot. His son and I started the job of quartering and caping the bull. we got pics first and then went to work. I have no pics of the wounds or any of that stuff. It was raining and snowing, we were blood up to our shoulders, there wasn't time for any pics of that.

The wounds were all pass through shots. I had hit him behind the shoulder and busted a rib in, there was a nice sized exit wound, when we skined that area, part of his lung was between the meat and the hide. The second shot was a spine shot. I had tried to hit him high on the second shot hoping for a spine shot to put him down, With some luck I got it. (I'll take lucky, over good any day!) The third finishing shot was higher in the lungs and it left a nice large exit wound.

By the time my friend and the guide got back, a couple hours later we had pretty much every thing done. My friend finished up caping him out, there was a couple areas I wasn't sure about, and didn't want to srew it up. By then the weather had cleared some, and we got a few more pics of the caped elk.

This is looking back from where I shot. We were at the edge of the trees in a dry creek bed at the edge of the meadow.


here are some elk pics



















Now the rest of the story. We didn't get back out Saturday because it was pretty muddy and we had several miles of mud road. We got back out Sunday morning and there was snow on most of everything. We saw several elk and had elk bulging all around us. We got on a herd of elk with one nice bull, about 20 cows and one rag horn. My friend eyed him over but it wasn't what he was looking for. On the way back down the mountain, we spotted a couple cows up the side of a ridge. We froze and watched them. Then we saw the bull, he was a nice 6x5. We ranged him at 380 yards. My friend said he would take him, it was anice looking bull. So we sat down, and my friend was too shakey with his mono pod shooting stick. He was able to lay down and shoot prone off his pack.

He was shooting a Ruger M77 in 30-06 using Winchester factory ammo with 180 gr bullets. His first shot was a good solid shoulder shot. I was spotting for him and told him to nail him again, so he did. He hit him in about the same spot, and the bull stood there. I told him to drill him again, so he shot again. He hit the bull just behind the front shoulder, he started to somber off towards some brush, I told him to shoot the SOB again, so he did. I couldn't really tell where he hit him but it looked to be about the same spot. Then the bull went behind a small pine tree and we couldn't see him.

My friend and his son took off up the mountain. The guide and I stayed put so we could direct them to the area where we had last seen the bull. we used the radios to stay in contact. It took them about 45 minutes to reach the area, and the bull was piled up dead behind the tree where we had last seen him.

The guide sent me after the truck and he started up the hill. The truck was over a mile away. When I got back I loaded up some water and gator aid in my butt pack grabbed my knives and headed up the mountain. By the time I got started most of the snow had melted, or was melting. It was a bitch of a climb to saw the least. The brush was thick, and there were no trails to follow, just bull your way through and keep moving up. I knew then why it took them 45 min to get up there. It was a **** of a lot longet than 380 yards to hump that distance. It took us a couple hours up there on the slope to quarter and cape the elk. But we made it down with everything in one trip. NFW did any of want to go back up through that thick crap again. It wasn't the climb that was that bad, it was the thick brush. It was a lot easer to bull a patch back down.

We took off at 0615 yesterday morning, and headed home. At Cheyenne,WY we split up. My friends son had a tag for a sagebrush billy goat, so the headed North, and I headed home. I got home at 10:30 last night, unloaded the meat and hide in the freezer, took a shower and went to bed!

I had the time of my life!!! It was fun to spend it with my friend and his son, the guide was a great guy, we just had a lot of fun. They gave me crap about how easy mine was, 100 yards from the trucks, 5 minutes after season opens, and we could drive right up to him. My friends on the other hand, we were soaked to the bone, and worked our butts off, but it was worth every second of it!

Marlin and Hornady have come through with this rifle and cartridge. I had stopped at Hornady on the way out, and spoke with Steve Hornady ( he really is a great guy) I probably spent 30 minutes talking to him and flat out asked him about using it on elk and how far I could do it. I had taken him a pic of the group I shot at 500 yards and he said shot placement was key, as with any cartridge. He felt I could streatch it well past 200 yards with good shot placement just behind the front shoulder. As it turns out I didn't have to. It just plain works. The velocity and numbers can be debated all day. All I know is that it kills stuff dead! So far a deer at 365 yards, and a nice 5x5 elk at 178 yards. This rifle has probably just became my go to gun

Living the dream!!!
 

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Great story and pictures ... kinda glad even more now about relocating to Utah this year ...

bjm
 

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iam new here and ive never hunted elk so forgive my question if im out of line .
since it took 3 and 4 shots to put down these animals do you feel you were underguned or was it shot placement ?
 

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Monster, It does not sound like either one to me. From what I read he just did not stand there and admire the first shot but kept shooting as the animal was still moving. That is probably why it did not go very far either - he took no chances once he started. Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BOOTYMONSTER said:
iam new here and ive never hunted elk so forgive my question if im out of line .
since it took 3 and 4 shots to put down these animals do you feel you were underguned or was it shot placement ?
I don't feel like I was under gunned at all. The elk was dead with the first shot he just didn't know it. When we skinned him part of his lung was between the hide and the meat. My thought is to shoot until it is down. It made the difference of making it easy to get to him. The 308 Marlin Express did a great job and I would use it again in a heartbeat.

I have done the same thing with deer. If they take off when hit, I drill them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Guys!! It was a lot of fun, esp with a new cartridge. The 308MX will be the only rifle I carry this year except for coyote hunting, I still like my 218 Bee for that.
 

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thank you folks for explaining it to me . I'm thinking of getting a center fire rifle for hunting (been using shotgun slugs) and narrowed it down to 30-06 or 308 win . i want something for a wide range of hunting and economical to shoot because honestly i cant afford a gun that the ammo cost $30+ a box . there are elk in a few neighboring states and bears in my state (Virginia) and of course i want to hunt deer . thanks again .
 
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