Colorado Success


Well-Known Member
My son and I just finished hunting Colorado’s second season (this was in Garfield county). We were hunting with an outfitter I’ve known for 4 years but had never hunted with. First two days were cold with significant wind and single digit lows. In addition, visibility was poor to non existent. While we saw elk and deer each day, visibility was impacting our ability to spot and stalk. In the afternoon of the second day, I spotted a pair of bulls and directed my son and the guide into position to ambush the bulls near water. After a number of shots, the bull was down. Two shots from a 30-06 shooting 165 Accubonds anchored the bull at about 175 yds.
The guide made quick work of quartering the bull and he and my son used pack frames to get the quarters to the truck where the rifle was left. As they were hauling out the hind quarters, my son spotted a large buck a couple hundred yards on the the other side of the truck. They ran to the truck with the quarters and exchanged them for a rifle and shooting sticks. By this time, the buck had realized something was up and was moving down the ridge. After another sprint as the buck went into some thick brush, they closed the distance to 250yds. They found the buck visible in a hole in the thick oaks, and my boy took a shot. The buck hunched up and disappeared in the thick brush. At this point, there had been no opportunity to judge the deer….

After a brief search, they found the buck which had gone 60yds with both shoulders broken. When they reached the buck, they were stunned at what they found. The buck was was very heavy with deep forks and treme eyeguards. At camp that night, it was rough scored at just over 198”. Even today, I’m not sure my son realizes what he has accomplished.

The Tikka T3X shooting 165g Accubonds at 2830fps performed as expected. The bullets from the elk were found just under the skin on the opposite shoulder. The single shot on the deer exited and the performance was great.


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After having looked at a number of bulls and hearing what other hunters were seeing, I realized I needed to adjust my expectations on what a representative bull was for this area. While I’ve taken several dozen elk including large bulls, it had been more than a decade since my last bull hunt, and I was hoping to add another hat rack in the barn.

A few days after my son’s success, we got on a herd of approximately 200 elk. After looking them over quickly, i identified the largest bull in the herd (large bulls tend to be in bachelor groups this time of year so I had no expectation of finding an older bull in the group). At 460yds (up a very steep incline), I shot the 5pt. When the bull did not immediately go down, I shot it a second time. After the second shot, the bull collapsed. The 140 grain Accubonds destroyed the the shoulders and were found just under the skin of the off side shoulder. This performance was what I expected out of a 270wsm shooting 3200fps at this range.

With my bull tag filled, I focused on deer and bear. While 2 large bears were spotted, stalks were unsuccessful given the very thick brush. I had seen some good bucks but nothing approaching my son’s buck.

I’ve been blessed to take some big mule deer over the decades, and care far more about big frames/width than score. As a result, I happily passed some 160-170 class deer. On my last morning, we hunted a deep hole at first light and spotted a large bodied buck immediately. At first glance, I thought it was nice, but not exceptional. However, as it started to move away, I realized it was indeed large framed. As it headed into the Aspens, I took a shot at 185yds with a HS Precision 30-06. The buck was visibly rocked and quickly disappeared into the brush. After giving him some time, we headed down the steep incline. We found the buck piled up 40yds away. The 165g Accubond at 3000fps created a 2” entrance wound and a golf ball sized exit wound as it exited the off shoulder. The 3x4 had a spread of 291/2” (a half inch short of being my 4th 30”+ buck).

As luck would have it, we did find 3 large bulls my last evening.…which made me smile and will give me something to dream about:)


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