58 Colonial and The Bull Elk

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Sep 15, 2021
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Trout Country New Zealand
I have waited up to 20 minutes before walking up on a lung shot Red deer which has dropped on the spot . I have seen heart shot Red's run over 100 yards before dropping . If the animal gets up and runs it needs another shot to drop it before it goes over a cliff or somesuch ,or in this case is claimed by another hunter .In my opinion ,your follow up shots were needed in the circumstances .
Rather than a lung or heart shot I prefer a shot in Hilar the area of the neck where all the blood vessels and nerves pass through . Google deer hilar .
One good hint on blood tracking is once the blood drops become hard to find , go to the last one you found , lie your rifle, or ram rod , on the ground in the direction of flight , then look along it for more drops , this focuses the eye , move the rifle in a slow arc , it will surprise you how you can pick up the tiniest drop and change of direction .
Oct 28, 2018
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Never hunted elk but hope to some day. Have read a lot on them and hunting them they seem to be a right tough animal to put on the ground using either a centerfire or muzzleloader. Given the situation as you described it I think you done the right thing, keep shooting until you can put your hands on a dead elk. (my motto for whitetals, mule deer and antelope ) The situation as I read it was less than perfect and you kept with it until the end. As to RUDALL I am sure he is a excellent shooter and has laid a few deer down no doubt. But I should guess he never hunted or killed a North Americian elk. Situations on large game animals very and there are times that well you know ones gotta do what ones gotta do. Congrats. on a fine animal done the old way. Not racist or snide but some of them boys across the pond can be right uppity at times. 😉
Feb 14, 2021
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deleted post was quoted here.

I am going to guess you have not hunted elk. The original poster noted that he was hunting on public land, meaning more chances for an opportunistic hunter to tag the OP’s elk had he waited to follow the bull. He also mentioned hitting the bull right behind the shoulder, that is a good killing shot. Please extend a bit of grace to this successful hunter!
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40 Cal
Jan 11, 2022
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Beautiful story, elk, and execution on following up on that first shot @freedom475 . Thanks for sharing.

I haven't hunted elk with a ML yet, but I can't imagine the adrenaline and anxiety that may come along with not being able to see through the smoke after the shot.
Mar 13, 2020
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On the Border in Idaho looking at BC
wonder full story! and it had my legs quivering in anticipation mixed with memories.
the correct saying for elk is "it ain't dead until you have it in the frying pan"
of the animals in North America that i have killed these past 70 years of hunting, Elk take first place of being the toughest. i have seen bulls during rut run over a mile up the steepest ground one wouldn't want to climb, after a double lung.
as in personal protection , keep shooting until its down or you run out of bullets.
the threat of someone else claiming a trophy while hunting on public ground is real.
i shot a 6x6 bull about 20 years ago that ran from my land to public.
when it disappeared from sight i heard a fire fight erupt from the timber line where he had run.
when i got there a man and a 17 year old were dancing about my elk.
i helped them load it and followed them to the county rd a block or so from my house.
there a warden stopped them and checked tags and such. the warden noticed a bulge on the side of the bull and asked the father if he could retrieve it. he did. it was a .54 cal rb. only slightly flattened.

Pop looked at the RB and said "what the H is that, I shoot a 30-06, and junior shoots a 7mm"
well we rolled the bull over and there was only one hole.
being he had hauled it clear to my house i gave them half.
the warden made a key chain of the RB.
Sep 15, 2021
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Trout Country New Zealand
There are 5 subspecies of Elk left in North America according to the internet :
Eastern Elk ; Cervus canadensis canadensis
American Elk also known as Rocky Mountain Elk ;Cervus canadensis nelsoni
Roosevelt Elk ; Cervus canadensis roosevelti
Tule Elk ; Cervus nannodes
Manitoban Elk ; Cervus canadensis manitobensis.
Here in New Zealand we have the nelsoni sub species , these deer were given by President Teddy Roosevelt to NZ early last centaury . We call them Wapiti , but they have inbred with European Red Deer , Cervus Elphus , so much we now call them Fiordland deer . The terrain they live in has one of the highest rainfalls in the world and the country is made up of deep steep fiords and glaciated valleys which are covered in very thick southern rain forest . A wapiti / Fiordland deer is a highly desirable trophy and the herd is the only one in NZ which the hunting is controlled.
Other than the country they live in , which makes then hard to hunt , they seem to be no harder to kill than the red deer .
Wapiti / Elk / Fiordland Deer |

Aug 17, 2022
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With first-light beginning to scatter the darkness of night, I can faintly see the buckskin shapes of the magnificent Wapiti moving quietly through the sage.

The wind is perfectly in my favor. The lightly falling rain has softened the land, and silenced most of it's sounds. The smell of elk is all around me.

The terrain is comprised of shallow canyons full of old growth timber, and separated by open meadows of sagebrush and juniper trees.
My license is only good for a bull elk, and he has to have a brow tine (no spikes).

While slowly moving with the herd through the timber, I keep a close watch with my binoculars,....cow, cow, calf, spike, cow..?
Then I notice an extremely light colored elk moving through the openings in the timber. I can clearly make out his antlers. A legal bull!

The shot is an honest 80 yards through the broken timber. I take a knee to steady my shot, the bull see's my movement and stops, nicely framed in an opening through the timber. I thumb back the hammer with my soaking wet hand. The rain pours off the back of the lock... oh, I hope this thing goes off! BOOM!. The shot broke perfectly and I was quite proud of my follow-through given the excitement of the moment.
Down in the timber I can hear the unmistakable sound of the big roundball hitting hair. Whuomp! The heavy blue smoke just hung in the now quiet forest.

Dropping my backpack on the ground, I retrieve my possibles bag and horn from my pack and put them on. I quickly reload my rifle and flag the tree with a piece of toilet paper to mark the spot where the shot was taken.
(Now I know that an experienced hunter will wait a period of time for the animal to expire before giving chase... but when you're hunting public land on opening day, you don't wait, or someone else will inevitably be claiming your animal as their own.)

So I moved towards the area where I'd last seen the bull. 30 yards to my right he appears out of nowhere, throws his head back and with that perfect elk gate, he just trots over the ridge.

I scramble up the ridge and can see the bull going straight away slowly through the sage and junipers about 70 yards out. A big 4-ft boulder offers a solid rest. I line up the sights for the dreaded "Texas Heart-Shot" Bang!!...nothing(?) Missed my opening and blew a 58 caliber hole through the middle of a 5-inch tree at 20 yards. Ughhh..RELOADED!
Now the bull is at 100 yards and slightly quartering, so I aim to allow the ball to exit the opposing shoulder by way of his right hip...Bang! The thick blue smoke seemed to hang forever, and as it cleared I could see the bull struggling back to his feet...RELOADED!

Loading on the run I head out into the sagebrush. As I prime my pan, and snap the frizzen shut, a glance up to see where I'm going and I run right past the bull elk. He leaps to his feet and makes a full gallop circle past me like a flushing pheasant at 30 yards.
The 58 caliber hole from my first shot is now clearly visible right behind the shoulder. I recall thinking to myself "just stay on the gun and follow through", and I trigger the lock....Bang! At the shot the bull immediately slowed to walk and then stopped and stood 40 yards from me. RELOADED!!
As I quickly begin to reload my rifle, his Royal Majesty noses over, and gives up his spirit.
"The Beast is dead, long live the Beast"

Now, watching a bull elk run past the long barrel of a Kibler Colonial is hard to describe, it just has to be lived,..And yes, it is even more exciting than it sounds!
God Bless
View attachment 176791
The smoke from my last shot is still hanging in the sagebrush in the background of this photo.
Such a grand experience and a total blessing to be out amongst God's beautiful creation.
View attachment 176792

Kibler Colonial
58 caliber
.570 Lead RB
.018 Ticking
Neatsfoot oil lube
100 Gr. 2ffg Olde Eynsford
1816 fps Chronographed
View attachment 176793
This post and story made my day. It was great reading such a well-thought-out and written story of your hunt and it was like I was there with you, so big kudos to you for making our evening on the forum enjoyable.
I also added another name to the ignore list that although small, does seem to be growing.
Dec 6, 2020
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Great hunt and great story-telling. Congratulations!

Your synopsis reminded me of a situation I have dealt with several times: I frequently hunt a doe-only permit (high-desert, sage brush country), and have shot several does over the past couple years which were in a small group of does (muleys). After what seemed like a good shot (feel and sound), I've lost immediate sight of the deer I shot at - but all of the sudden had a deer wandering/ stotting away while or shortly after I've reloaded. Freedom had shot at a bull elk - much easier to identify as the one he shot at first (but no guarantees). I'm talking about does - which all pretty much look the same and I've never been really sure if the deer that was going away was the one I shot at or not. Based on the feel and sound of the first shot, I have resisted taking a followup - and so far have been fortunate to find the first deer dead very close to where I shot it. I don't want to lose a wounded animal for lack of a followup - and I don't want two dead deer.

What do you guys do in this situation?


32 Cal.
Nov 25, 2014
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Fantastic story and thanks for sharing!

At 80 yards the 58 caliber roundball slowed to 1100 fps with a energy level of 800 foot-pounds (approximately).

This is also a testament of the quality of the Kibler lock. For the past 5 years I’ve hunted deer with a flintlock in inclement weather, from rain to snow. It’s fantastic to read how it all went down.

Thanks again for the great story!


32 Cal
Sep 24, 2022
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Long time ago I watched a bull moose take three Solid hits behind his left shoulder from a magnum rifle. Which the bull just shook at each hit and then promptly fell over.
The guide said keep shooting he's dead but HE doesn't know it yet... LOL !
It was a lesson learned well and the bigger the critter. The harder they fall.
the OP did very well....Congrats

Texas Gil

40 Cal
Jun 17, 2021
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Great hunt. Heart pounding success. You did everything right and your tenacity paid off. I like your style and you are a experienced hunter and it shows. Thanks for sharing!