Gavin’s memorable elk hunt
March 19, 2012
Gavin Hanks, the Grandson of ‘Mad Jack’ Hanks had the opportunity of a lifetime to have his hunt on a private ranch.
This is Gavin’s story as written by him on his venture.
The night before was all preparation. I was setting up everything I would need for the upcoming hunt. I loaded the gun, ammo., packs and everything I would need for the next morning into the truck. At 3:45 a.m. I awoke full of anticipation and excitement. I got dressed in my hunting gear and headed with my father to the truck. It was going to be a long drive to the ranch. We arrived there about 6:00 a.m. and were greeted by our guide, who took us up the valley towards our destination. We saw about 30 head of elk along the way, but they were on an adjacent property to where we were going to hunt.
He took us to the end of the property and then bought us back to our own pick up, after explaining the boundaries. We left his house around 9.30 a.m., and started back up. We stopped to glass several times and got out of the truck and hiked up side canyons. By 3:00 p.m. we started slowly making our way back. And on one of our stops I spotted a cow elk heading over a small ridge into a bowl. We drove down a ways and saw two or three elk making their way down the valley about 200 yards away from us, we drove ahead of them and stopped, got out of the truck and high-tailed it down the creek across from where we thought they would come out. I had a 30-06 and a new tripod so I set it up facing a hillside across from us. I was partially sheltered by sage brush to my right, but looking back now, I realized that I should have been more concealed.
After about 15 minutes five of them crested the hill to my left and slowly made there way down. At 3:30 p.m. they bedded down about 350 yards in front of us, but in some oak brush. We had to wait very still and quiet. At about 4:30 they got up and started to head towards a field in the bottom of the valley. When the lead cow came within 260 yards, I leveled my crosshairs on the top of her shoulder and fired. She didn’t flinch! They then started moving a little bit faster. I bolted home another round quickly aimed at the same cow only this time at the juncture of her neck and shoulder and fired. This time she dropped like a sack of potatoes.
Long story short, we found her and gutted her out and the guide came back and helped us drag her to our truck, a little after 8:00 p.m. My family now has a freezer full of meat!