There is a rifle range between Ely and McGill and I'd like to get in some high altitude practice at least twice before going after the Elk. At over 5,000' this will change the ballistics a bit. Also, the Las Vegas heat makes it difficult to get quality range time. Ryan has a membership at the NRA range at Red Rock so we should take advantage of that at 6am one day.
I have 2 guns needing practice and make ready so I'll have 3 deer/elk guns ready to go in case anybody needs a spare or an alternative.
My .458 Winchester I've had for over 20 years. When we first got it, the original stock broke on my shoulder so we had a very nice faux wood synthetic stock custom glass beaded to the barrel and action (yes it kicks THAT much). The synthetic wood look has darkened over the years. The 1.5 x 5 leupold scope is typical for large dangerous game guns (see em quick, shoot em quick). The straight wall case shown here has a 325 grain tipped hollow point lead core bullet which should yield over 1 inch of expansion and a great big wallop out to 200 yards. In the past, I've taken a couple of deer with 510 grain soft points but it's not a comfortable shot worth the shoulder and forehead pain when the target isn't trying to eat you.
The 338-06 and the hand loaded ammo were assembled and tested by my cousin. The 458 was set up and hand loaded by my father.
Antelope season for Garth starts August 1. Tentative plan to head up to Ely on Friday Aug 1 and come back Sunday Aug 3. Repeat the next 2 weekends if needed. This includes all of area 121 as well as 4 areas further north of 121 that I have never scouted. I'm very confident that we'll get some shots in the step toe valley right off the road as we saw hundreds or thousands of antelope in that area last year.
We'll certainly treat each trip as also a scouting effort for the hunts to come, marking deer and elk sightings and tracking movements. Remember Jason and I saw 3 GIGANTIC mule deer just outside of McGill on the mountain side when we were dead headed back off the Elk hunt.
While I plan to treat the Antelope and Deer hunts as seriously as the elk, it's the first week of the Elk hunt that I plan to dedicate a serious amount of time and hope that some or all of yall can plan to join in part of the time.
I'd like to head up to Ely on Saturday August 30th with Jager and stay at the Hotel Nevada. Definitely hit the shooting range Sat night and/or Sun morning. Prepare camp Sunday afternoon and do one scouting run Sunday night. Monday morning the 1st, the season starts. Hunt every day through the weekend, returning home Sunday evening. If you can make it for either or both weekends great. If you can make it during the week also, that is great. Hopefully, we can all be there Friday night the 5th, through Sunday the 7th. By that time, I'll know the exact movements of the Elk and we can start baggin' them up! I plan to have a meat locker located in McGill or Ely as well just in case. There are a lot of custom meat places in the area so that might be just as easy since we know were are coming back in October at least once.
Remember Grouse and Dove season also starts Sept 1. We can hunt the Grouse all the way through the October deer hunts as well.
The 2nd and 3rd weekend of October, Garner and Garth both have Mule Deer tags in Ely. The dates don't match exactly, but they definitely over lap those 2 weekends. We can plan on those as well and by that time, we will have seen the Mule deer for sure. Remember we can also hunt the Mule deer up in the mountains west of the step toe valley.
Quail, Chukar and Rabbit season start the 2nd week of October and runs through the 1st weekend of February.
Jason's Mule deer take is for the areas north and south of Mesquite in November. We'll focus in on the Virgin peak area as we know the game trails and we know there are a lot of quail and chukar.
One regret from last year is the lack of quality game photography. I'm hopeful that Tammy will know how to use her new camera by the fall and accompany us on some of the trips (we need a cook! haha). Also, Garth has a 50D with the same lenses as Tammy so I"m also hoping Garth will document as much as possible as well as set up the camera for me to photograph him as he releases that arrow in the heart of the antelope Sat morning August 2nd! How's that for optimism!