Little Things for Big Elk

Big Elk Hunting New Mexico with Shawn CookAfter finishing a successful New Mexico elk hunt, I reflected on the little things that made everything come together on the hunt:

  1. All the time at the range dialing in my Traditions .50 caliber muzzle loader at 200 yards, by finding the right powder load to go with the 250 grain sabot for a six-inch shot group.  

  2. The studying of topographic maps, game camera photos and times to correlate with wind patterns for the elk’s descent off the slope.

  3. The setting up of the ambush point, ranging and marking critical distances for my muzzle loader setup, selecting the RedHead 3D camouflage suit to match my surroundings, and establishing GPS track log into my ambush point with my Garmin handheld.

The opening day of the hunt required a four-mile trek into my ambush point. This was done at 3 a.m. without a light, just navigating with the GPS At 7:30 a.m., a good bull came onto the mesa and walked quartering away just beyond my 175 yard marker. A short bleat from the cow call, and he stopped and looked right at me as I squeezed off the shot. The bull went down in less than 80 yards.

All the little things make a big difference when it counts.

And remember: Safety first in all your outdoor adventures!

Written by Shawn Cook

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