'sixshots' High fence cow elk cull hunt

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Jeff Hoover

Feb 25, 2009
I was one of the fortunate people invited to Idaho, for a high fence cow elk hunt on a ranch just a few miles from Dicks house. I know I was an alternate choice, and that Dick had taken pity on me on account of the recent passing of my Mother. I was a little hesitant about the trip, with the all too common excuses of work, family, time, and finances. However, with the recent events of my Mom dying, this really instilled the fact that life is TOO short. After a brief discussion with my wife, I bite the bullet and accepted the invite. Who wouldn't ? Meeting Dick, and his family, Callshot, seeing the West for the first time, having the opportunity to shoot a cow elk with a sixgun, drinking a huckleberry milkshake, a lot of first time experiences to be burned into the old grey matter.( For you invitees that had to decline, I'd think it over REAL hard the next time around. The work will be there when you get back, and bills can be paid later. Life is too short !)

Anyway, I flew into Pocatello airport and was picked up by Dick and Sam. The luggage was picked up, and the drive to Dicks house was quick. Once there, I met Glenn. Tyrone was in bed, He and Sam made their trip in 39 hrs. in the car. The conversation quickly turned to guns, and I opened my new Plano aluminum gun case. I proudly showed my stock Ruger Bisley Hunter, New model flat top .41 mag., and SP101 in .32 H+ R. Glenn noticed right away that my Bisley rear sight had one of the ends broke off, and the .41 rear sight was dinged pretty good, but functional. I was the victim of the infamous baggage gorillas. They must have flung my gun case into the plane with the force of an olympic discus thrower. We were going to Boise the next day, to see the Elmer Keith museum, and Glenn was meeting Robb Barnes there. A quick call was made, and Robb graciously brought me a rear sight for both guns. What a GREAT guy. Thank You, Robb !! The rear sight was dropped in, and checked at the range. We were ready to hunt some elk !

These elk were set for slaughter, and Dick was asked if he had any friends that could knock them down, by the owner of the Ranch. This was a good deal all around. The Ranch had an over abundance of cows, by hunting them, the Ranch owner got a few extra bucks, and we, the hunters, got the experience of a lifetime.

Sunday, we started the hunt. We got the lay of the land. The perimeter of the hunting area is enclosed by high fence, and is over two miles long. The fence encloses a mountain top, full of hills, valleys, draws, canyons, interspruced with thick cover of pines, quakies, cedar, mahogany, and a bunch of other stuff this easterner never saw. The open areas choked full of sage. The back side is very steep ! I watched Glenn scale it, chasing after his cow . It's about a 70 degree incline. You should get the picture, it was rough, rugged country.

Sam was the first to shoot. He got his. Unfortunately, we didn't recover her till the next day. Dick got his with his .41 mag at dusk. Apparently, these elk don't read gun rags, and she dropped at the shot .

The second day, contender was the next to score. He made a beautifull shot, the longest of the group, with a scoped T/C contender(what else) in 7-30 waters. I was the next shooter. After climbing near the top of the mountain, I found a nice vantage point looking down a draw. It was about 150 yards wide, with pine thickets on both sides. The open area was interspersed with sage. As I sat catching my breath, and soaking up the sun, I could hear something in the thicket to my left. Eventually, I caught movement, and saw a cow elk.

Being a sentimental sap, and a die hard Elmer fan, I was pretty sure of the load and gun I wanted to use. Elmer's favorite .44 special was his bullet pushed to 1200 fps. I wanted to use my Bisley Hunter in .45 colt. Elmers traditional load was 18.5 grs. of 2400 over his 454424 bullet. I used 20 grs. of 2400, to get the 1200 fps with my hand cast, water dropped WW 454424 bullet. They were lubed with LBT soft lube.

The cow was about 120 yards, give or take, below me. She popped out of the thicket, and was walking left to right, broadside. I did my fawn bleat, to stop her, and she stopped. She must have realized there are no whitetail fawns in this Ranch, and turned, heading back towards the thicket. With my left hand holding onto a laminated walking stick for support, I placed my right on top, centered the front sight between my Robb Barnes Ruger rear sight, aimed dead center behind her shoulder, and dropped the hammer.

At the shot, she humped up, swung her head to her left, as to bite a horse fly, took 3 or 4 wobblely steps, and dropped. I sat on that mountain side open mouthed, and thought, Holy SH*t. She couldn't have dropped any faster, if shot by a .338 Winny. Now it was my time to wobble down the mountain. The Keith slug center punched the lungs, and easily exited thru the off shoulder. I lost my virginity on that mountain. It was my first sixgun kill. I had to pay for it, but it was still a wonderfull experience.

I know I've yaked your ears off, I just wanted to share this wonderfull experience. Dick, you're are a very special man, and a true steward to the wonderfull sport of handgun hunting. THANK YOU !!!


Here's a shot of some of the beautifull country we hunted.


Here's a VERY happy hunter !


My elk was wearing a woolrich plaid vest, on account of me being color blind :lol: .


Here's my rig, Dick Thompson style !


Aug 20, 2006
soda springs, idaho
Jeff, thanks for the kind words & for a great story, I enjoyed sharing it with you guys as much as you enjoyed hunting here. Probably the best part was just visiting & sharing memories with good friends you've known for a long time on the forum but never met.
Your shooting was terrific, 120 yds with iron sights is not easy for anyone, especially with the excitement of seeing something as large as an elk just over that front sight, you did good my friend. Really had a wonderful time with all.



Sep 17, 2003
northern ontario, CANADA
Thankyou for sharing your fun experience & the hunt of a lifetime with such gracious folks.
May I also congratulate you on a fantastic 120 yd shot, like Dick mentioned, that's not easy. I can almost feel your excitment.....

Thanks again for your great pictures too.... 8)


Oct 25, 2002
Olathe, KS
I think I was the happiest for Jeff with this being his first handgunned game animal. The shot was amazing, dead on the money, couldn't have been any better. Too bad the picture doesn't show the perfect placement. Jeff is a character and a hoot to be around. Thanks for sharing the hunt with us!!

One other thing that Jeff did was something I'd never seen before...he made us some of the best macaroni and cheese you've ever had in the oven. I was confused at first but when it was finished, everything became VERY clear :)


Jul 19, 2009
I have really enjoyed the stories and pics from all of you of this hunt; I feel like I was there with you. Thanks for sharing.
Sep 16, 2007
Dallas, OR US
I've been waiting for those pictures and the story! If you have never taken an elk, you might have a hard time grasping what all Jeff was conveying. They are such a wonder, powerful and graceful animal that can sneak like a ghost or bust out like a freight train and make you stain your undies. For Jeff, Glenn and Tyrone to drop thier first elk with handguns speaks volumes of these guys dedication to the art of the handgun and their sportsmanship in limiting themselves to shots they knew they could make.

As far as Dick is concern, shoot, he IS "THE MEAT HAMMER" This man had probably forgotten more about handgun hunting than the rest of us will ever learn in out lifetime. His willingness to host, feed and guide these guys is a testament of a servants heart. Great job guys.

Okay Tyrone, where is your version? :)