Scenario: Bull elk is facing straight away from a spot-and-stalk rifle hunter
Rifle: Bergara B-14 bolt-action rifle in .300 Win. Mag.
Range: 300 yards
Conditions: Cloudy; 42 degrees; breezy, 15 mph, in your face
Paying for preference points all those years has finally paid off. You’re not staring at a New Zealand high-fence stag . . . this is a Wyoming backcountry bull, and he’s a brute. Right now he’s sizing up his next move: head for cover, or sniff out another cow. What’s your next move? Check out the possible aiming points A, B or C shown below, then take your best shot.
A. Torpedoes away and your rump-focused aiming point is spot-on. With the 200-grain Hornady ELD-X bullet you have in the tube, it will definitely put a damper on this bull, but you will likely need to rack a follow-up round.
B. Did you pass geometry in junior high? Calculate the angle of the bull’s body and the entrance angle you require to weave a bullet into this bull’s steam engine. If you try this aiming point, you likely failed that geometry class as well.
C. You might call this one a no-brainer shot. Actually, your aim is for the junction of where the neck and the back of the skull meet, not the brain. At 300 yards it’s not a big target, and if you’re off slightly either way you could wound this giant and never see him again.
So what’s the right answer? If you’re solid on your shooting sticks, wait this one out. When the bull turns, you need to bugle or whine on your cow call. Hopefully he’ll pause in broadside posture. Then – and only then – fire off that torpedo and get ready to fend off a grizzly during the field-dressing job.
Image by Mark Kayser