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