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Home Page Photo Categories 2009 Big Buck, Big Bull & Other Big Game Contests

"Huge New Mexico Muzzleloader Bull (Contest Winner!)"
Photo provided by: Jeff Haugland

Winner of our Bull Elk "Field Photo" Contest!
Prize = $100.00 in Cash!

Jeff Haugland writes, "We had found this bull a week before season started, feeding and watering on low private ground then heading back up the mountain to public forest. The first morning we could not find him, only a 5x5 and a few cows. The next morning we did locate him heading high with 15 cows and 5 satellite bulls on the fringe of the herd, he had moved about 3/4 mile since the last time we saw him. The plan was to go around the back side of the mountain and come down from above on them. This was far easier said than done, as it was a 60 degree angle our GPS indicated. When we reached our bench we thought they would bed on, some of the satellite bulls were bedded directly below us 75 yards including a nice 6x6, 320 bull. The rest of the cows and the herd 6x7 we were after was in no hurry to bed. We inched along with them for 4 hours, cow and calf calling to him. He would bugle a storm up, but not commit to us with so many other bulls that close. We called in the 320 bull to 45 yards and a 5x5 that was in the 280 range. I had my mind set on the herd bull. The open bench they were on was very misleading in judging distance, without a rangefinder I would have missed for sure. This is where my nerves were tested, the bull was getting ready to bed and he was at 290 yards, I had practiced out to 250 yards. The crosshair post was my 250 yard hold, however I had been trying to calculate the entire time how high the shot would be at that angle. I had the safety off and steadied on a dead log for almost 15 minutes with the bull looking directly our way. When he finally turned to his right, Rusty whispered 287 yards, and I shot using a 220 yard hold. At the sound of the shot the air was filled with smoke, the gun had already settled back down before I herd the 300 grain Barnes original hit its mark. We let the herd single file out of the canyon before getting up. The shot was still 4-5 inches high after the hold on him. The bullet ran the spine from his front shoulder back to the front of the right hind quarter. The massive bull was a 6x7 with 10-1/2 inch bases and scoring 374 gross."

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