I shoot a Ruger .300 Win Mag with 180 gr bullet. It was my first season with this rifle and I never had time to go out and properly get acustomed to it. It has a Nikon BDC 3-9-40 scope sighted in at 100 yards (paid to have gun shop sight it in). I had multiple people tell me with the scope sighted in at 100 yards that I could aim dead center up to 250-300 yards and not worry about bullet drop. Well after 12 years of Elk hunting with no success I finally had a chance at one in Montana this passed season. I ran into a huge bull standing completely still and perfectly broadside and had no idea I was there. I guessed he was right around 200 yards out and maybe 5 ft higher than me. I was caught in the open with some tall grass and bushes so I had to take a standing free hand shot which I am very comfortable with. I took my time and put the crosshairs halfway up right behind the shoulder. (scope was set on 8-9 power) I pulled the trigger and with the recoil I couldn't see the shot through the scope. I hurried and looked at the elk to see him jump and kick his back legs out then spin in 3 full circles looking shocked and confused. He stopped spinning with his rear facing me so I was unable to take a second shot. He slowly walked down the otherwise of the hill out of view. I waited for my dad to get up the hill to me and told him we finally got an Elk! We waited 20 min then went looking for the bull. Went to where the bull was standing when I shot and didn't find any hair or blood. Followed his tracks for about 100 yards on a game trail and still not a hint of blood. I was 99% Sure I had hit the bull with my shot placement and the bulls reaction. I searched all over that mountain, high and low and the deepest darkest holes for 2 days straight from first sunlight to last and never found him or a drop of blood. Everyone has told me I either hit high through the muscle, grazed him or completely shot over. Any suggestions??
And I've taken a mule deer 4/5 years i've gone and all shots were standing free hand and were a one shot and drop and have been taken between 150-200 yards with a 30-06 with an old fixed power scope that my dad had put on back in the mid 80's so I know I'm not a horrible shot.
Where should I have my scope sighted in at to be dead on at 200? And what would the +/- be at 100 & 300 yards? I've read multiple charts and they all seem to be different. And would a muzzle brake be worth putting on to reduce recoil so I can watch the shot through the scope? And what brand/make/model should I get? I know it'll make it very loud but I'm not worried about that.