Saturday, November 17, 2012


Sun Pillar

This was a small sun pillar in a pretty good sunset as we waited in vain for elk. The next day, around noon, a group of about 20 hunters surrounded a dozen elk who happened onto the wrong place (public land) at the wrong time (daylight) and shot up the group of elk. Three survived, two with grievous wounds although they were small elk--yearlings really. My friend and I elected to put the animals down as a mercy even though, as I said, the wounded elk were young and small. We advanced on foot until we had a clear shot. The elk began to run (as well as they could) away from us. I went to kneeling position and my hunting buddy went to a knee too with his shooting sticks crossed to support the rifle. I shot offhand kneeling a Remington 7mm mag 150 grain soft point boat tail in my new $300 Savage bolt action rifle, and I believe the distance was around 215 yards. I hit the slowly moving young elk in the back about two inches from the center of the spine about a third of the way from the tail to the head, and the elk went immediately down and was dead when I reached it. It had been shot before (in the initial melee) in the right foreleg (which broke the bone) and left rear hind leg (which left the bone intact). We felt pretty good about our choices to stop suffering. The back shot ruined about 1/3 of one para spinal (back strap). Oh well. This meat should be the veal of elk and I have enough for some steaks and stews and I hope some homemade sausage.


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