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I went hunting for cow elk near Happy Jack, AZ on Thursday.

Our hunt started on Friday morning. Temps were a little bit intimidating @ 5:30am:



Yes, that's -1.0 degrees before we headed out. :eek:

We saw a couple elk Friday morning, but no one got enough of a sighting to get a shot off.

Saturday morning, my buddies Chris and Jeff both got nice cow elk. We ran into a herd of about 15-20 elk and most of them were cows. They were running right in front of us, but the thick area where we hunt, the action was fast and furious. :eek:

Sunday morning was my turn. We were sitting less than 100 yards from where we had gotten 2 elk the morning before, and this pretty good sized cow stepped out of the thick stuff about 7:15am. Range was around 50 yards. Rifle was my Ruger M77 Hawkeye in .358 Winchester, 225 grain Nosler BT bullet handloaded to around 2450fps.

After the first shot, she slowed down her walk. I was sure I had hit her, but she wasn't down, so I shot again. The rest of the herd ran off, but I didn't see her run off. She walked about 20 feet from where I had shot her and was dead right there.



Both shots were middle of the lung area, less than 1/2" apart. When I took her to the meat processor, she weighed 215 lbs. That's 215lbs without head, guts, legs, or hide. I'll probably get around 160-170lbs of usable meat from this old gal.

Here's a shot of the celebration after we were done. Myself and two buddies. 3 cow elk tags filled by 7:15am Sunday morning.



Great hunt. :) Can't wait to go again!

Matt
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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Nothing better than punching an elk tag especially when all three hunters do it. Glad to see yall were successful. Eat one of them elk steaks for me.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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As tough as tag drawing is here, you need congrats on both the successful draw and all three getting your winter meat.

Hey Matt - PM me if you need the phone # of a local processor here in Mesa for future reference.

Ken
 

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Congrats Matt! Looks like some interesting 'open' timber country for you hunt. That cow should be some good eating. It does look a little chilly!
 

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1/2" apart, second shot on moving animal, good shooting, enjoy the roasts.
 
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