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A sad end to my AZ elk hunt, a reason not to rely on shoulder shots

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A sad end to my AZ elk hunt, a reason not to rely on shoulder shots

Old 10-04-2014, 05:27 PM
  #11  
Fork Horn
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Originally Posted by 8mm/06
If you hunt long enough you will have things happen that you don't like. If it doesn't bother you it's time to stop.

Losing an animal that you've worked for, and done your due diligence to recover is a heart breaker for sure, but move on and let the experience shape your future hunting excursions ... but don't let it end them. Stuff happens and if you weren't upset or disappointed I'd be worried. But when you have the need to spill your story b/c it's eating at you it proves you understand the sanctity of life ... and for that you are a lucky man.

I know you'd rather be cooking up some back straps right now, and your disappointed in the loss, but remember, Mother Nature wastes nothing. Good luck and move on the best you can.
I do keep replaying it over and over in my mind, wishing I could have a "do over". It makes me want to be that much more careful to take the best shot I possible can in the future. And I keep thinking if I'd climbed around that canyon just a bit more, maybe I'd run upon her...

I'm also switching my powder from 777 to BH209 so I can reload faster for quicker second shots. I currently have to swab very well with alcohol to get an accurate 2nd shot. And my Gold Dots are about gone, so I'm going to be switching to 300 grain Nosler Partitions. My first elk I shot with a 30-06 and 180 grain Partitions, and they did a number on it.
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:51 PM
  #12  
Boone & Crockett
 
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Originally Posted by Semisane
Man, that's a bummer Don.
Don't let the "what ifs" haunt you. It happens. All we can do is learn from those kinds of things.
As both a ML and bow hunter I couldn't agree more. I've only ever lost 3 deer in over 45 years. One with the ML and 2 with the bow. Those were lost due to a poor decision on my part and I learned my lesson(s). Now if I have an opportunity on an 'iffy' shot I pass and wait. Yes sometimes it cost me an animal but its better than spending hours or days searching and having an animal suffer.
It's a shame but it happens and is part of hunting.
Better luck next time.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:28 PM
  #13  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Originally Posted by 8mm/06
...Mother Nature wastes nothing...
..which eases the pain of losing an animal.. Dang coyotes even steal animals that aren't lost.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:59 PM
  #14  
Nontypical Buck
 
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well hopefully i'll have some pic's of a nice deer when i get back from my hunt ! i'm shooting my new white super safari in .451 cal with a 495 grain no excuses bullet that should do the trick even if i hit the shoulder !!
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:34 AM
  #15  
Giant Nontypical
 
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Originally Posted by muzzlestuffer
well hopefully i'll have some pic's of a nice deer when i get back from my hunt ! i'm shooting my new white super safari in .451 cal with a 495 grain no excuses bullet that should do the trick even if i hit the shoulder !!
Better to use a smaller bullet so you won't even think of shooting a shoulder.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:09 PM
  #16  
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i never aim for the shoulder but i can certainly understand why he shot the elk in the shoulder that's why a bigger bullet is usually the better option.in my case if i hit the shoulder it was a misplaced shot in my book. besides my gun doesn't like the lighter bullets maybe when i get a chance i'll try some more shot/loads on the lighter ones.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:27 PM
  #17  
Spike
 
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Default $#@& it happens

Don, my first ever big game animal was a lovely, big 8 point muley with at least a 20" spread. I hit him solidly in the should with a round-ball @ 40-yds. He hit the dirt, squirmed for a bit, then rolled over and took off on three legs. Saw him two days later; across a canyon hobbling around w/ bunch of does. At impact site, I found a large chunk of his humerus bone on the ground along w/ more bone splinters and pieces of muscle tissue. I smashed his shoulder to hell, but the lead ball fragmented before it could penetrate to hit any vitals.
I was 22 yrs. old then and quit hunting after that. I didn't pick it up again until I was 40. I am now 52 and in the last 12 years, I have brought home 5 muleys, 1 whitetail, 7 elk and an Oryx.
Point here is that 8mm/06 hit it on the nose. If you let it get to you, you'll ruin what could be many, many more great years of hunting. You didn't take anything from Mother nature & nor did you disrespect her. She'll give that elk to other creatures for sustenance.
I missed 20+ yrs. of a great hunting career because I let that get to me.
It's ok to feel remorse, and frustration, but get out as soon as it feels right again and apply for next years hunts or go to Texas and shoot a bunch of pigs or exotics, and just get back into it. You''ll see our Mother Earth will again reward your ethical judgement and reward you, once again. - jimsmokepole.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:46 PM
  #18  
Fork Horn
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Thanks for the wisdom, Jim. I'm not letting it bring me down. I just applied for Spring turkey and jevelina tags. Speaking of javelina, I once shot a javelina with a Thompson contender single shot pistol in 7.62x39 cal a little far back and high. He walked behind a bush and then back in the open again. I had reloaded and let one sail into his front shoulder. He went down immediately. I think javelina are a lot less tough than elk, though. But no more shoulder shots for me after this experience.
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