Just back from my Elk hunt in Wichita Mountains

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

slas

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
680
Location
OKC
Warning, long post.

Made it back last night with a smile on my face and a load of elk meat. Here's how it went down.

Arrived Monday for the orientation, all I can say is there was a whole lot of camo and testosterone there. Everyone was really friendly and helpful at the check in. Lot's of like minded hunters and everyone was excited just to be there. You receive your map and section letter, mine was H, and then are able to ask one of the refugee guys where the best places might be to hunt. During the orientation they go over all the rules and regs, five bullets per day, bolts open on your rifle for safety, can't bring out any sheds, don't shoot the wrong sex, etc... I found it interesting that the tag fill rate on bulls was 82% but only 52% for cows, which is what I had. Each group met up in the parking lot to go view your area. We ended up having two that didn't show up so there were 7 total, 4 cow hunters and 3 bull. Several other trucks had 9 and they were sardined in pretty good. The trip to the section was rough and bumpy but as soon as we got to our area we started seeing elk. Four over there, two on the side of a mountain, 4 running across a field, probably saw about 20 in total, it looked quite promising. Each person eventually picked a spot and the guide stuck a reflective flag by the road with your number on it. Back to the check in spot and off to the motel 6 for a good night sleep.

Tuesday we all met at 5:30 a.m. and loaded into the truck. I got organized while daylight came and started glassing the area. Soon after I started heading on my planned route. We were told it's best to be on the move since the elk are also so I'd planned a route that looked promising. As I hiked and glassed the first elk I spotted were on an opposing mountain about half way up about a 1000 yards away. I watched them a while thinking, if I was able to get close and take one there'd be no way to get up there, so I moved on. I worked my way up the side of one mountains, or large rocky hill more like it. I sat up there and enjoyed the breeze and the views before winding my way down the small trails through the rocks. I ended up climbing 4 of those rocky hills that day and have the blisters to prove it, despite the investment in some Danner boots this summer. As I was on one hill I saw four cows in a full gallop head into a saddle and then a boom. One of the others had taken a shot. Later I learned it was our eldest of the group at 70 years. He said he knocked it down but it got up and before he could chamber another round she was out of his sight. He spent 4 hours looking for a blood trail or the cow and never found her. He was quite upset over it and said he's never lost an animal in his life of hunting. He was happy that they decided to go ahead and let him continue to hunt the next day. At orientation they said that often you'll hit an elk and they appear as if nothing happened, so you should always chamber another round and hit them again. They said many guys end up shooting a different one in the same group, since they're not sure which one they first shot at, and they end up with two dead elk. After walking all day I was spent about 3-4 p.m. I ended up finding a nice spot on the side of a hill in hopes of having some cows pass my way, it never happened. Pick up came late, about 8:00 p.m. and I was back at the hotel around 9 and straight to bed for the 4:00 a.m. wake up call.

Wednesday all the bull hunters had filled their tags so there were only the 4 cow hunters left. If we didn't get one that day we only had a half day left. I was dropped off near my old spot and headed off towards a hill I had been eyeing the day before. I ended up having to cross a heavy wooded creek area and getting my rifle pulled off my shoulder. When I finally came out of the area I sat in a field and looked down only to notice that my butt stock shell holder only had 2 in it. I had lost 3 trying to get through the thick crap, or when my rifle was pulled off, and I knew there was no way I would ever find them if I tried. It was a little depressing but a valuable lesson learned. I now had to be even double sure on any shots I took. As I made my way up a hill side I noticed another hunter on an opposing hill about 800 yards away. I was pissed at myself. I had ended up walking too close to one of the other guys area, the older guy who lost the elk the day before. I hiked over to the opposite side in an effort to get away from his target shooting area and sat for some granola and water. I had just gotten up to work my way back towards my area, away from his, when I spotted 4 elk heading in. I thought there might be a slim chance he could see them from his spot as they came across so I waited before doing anything, until I was sure he had no chance of seeing them with two hills blocking his view. At that point I targeted the one cow, there was a large bull and two spikes. I had a 300 win mag with 180 gr Nosler Accubonds. I took the first shot and nothing, they looked startled but nothing more. I thought I'd missed completely, it was 250 yards. At that point the cow took a few steps more and gave me a broadside shot. I took the second shot and she dropped. The others took off stopping only occasionally to look back trying to figure out what had happened. I worked my way down and was more than happy, and relieved to see a nice cow on the ground. Upon examination I found that I had in fact hit the cow with both bullets. The first was just back from the heart lung area at the very front of the stomach. She never even flinched when that one hit her. The second one that dropped her hit at the lowest point of her neck.

I knew it was going to get warm so I dug in, taking extra care with the hide, since I want to tan it. Not sure how long it took in all but they are big animals and it will work you out cleaning and quartering one by yourself. Our guide ended up coming by and asked me how I got all the way over there. I told him the story and said he was glad I had gotten one. I was only about 50 yards from the road so, fortunately, there was no hiking quarters for miles in a pack, which is a good thing because I'm spending today on the couch recovering this old body. It was a beautiful and successful trip.
elk.jpg
 
Last edited:

swampratt

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
13,049
Reaction score
20,452
Location
yukon ok
Great story.
I have never put in for a draw hunt..I probably should.
So do you get in trouble if you get out of your area on accident?
Were you still in your area?
 

slas

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
680
Location
OKC
Great story.
I have never put in for a draw hunt..I probably should.
So do you get in trouble if you get out of your area on accident?
Were you still in your area?
Not really, we had a guy from area I come into H. A few of the area H guys complained, but only because he came walking through the area while they were hunkered down waiting for a elk to pass through. I sat at watched him walk past my flag but I don't think he had any effect on anyone. Our guide said that after the first day you can actually ask to hunt other areas. The problem with that is you're not as familiar since you haven't been through it.
 

slas

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
680
Location
OKC
First day, he brought his wife as pack mule lol! They had a pretty long pack out.
Yea, I was really really worried that I'd get one on those big rocky hills and have to hump in down through those rocks. My body aches bad enough, I would have done it but glad I didn't have to.
 

Okie4570

Sharpshooter
Staff Member
Special Hen Moderator Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
23,267
Reaction score
25,679
Location
NWOK
Yea, I was really really worried that I'd get one on those big rocky hills and have to hump in down through those rocks. My body aches bad enough, I would have done it but glad I didn't have to.

He said he shot it at 9:30 and they had it all down at the road by 2:30. Hauled out the meat, ivories, heart, hide and recovered his bullet.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom