My son drew an early season tag for Colorado cow elk this year. We went to a friend's place near the NM line this last weekend to see if he could bring home the venison. There had been an unseasonable early and heavy snow in the area which was melting when we got there, but conditions were much more "wintery" compared to most September hunts. My son is now 45 and has been hunting with his L61R Deluxe .30-06 since he was 15 years old. Having traveled all around the U.S. and even to Africa, his Sako shows a ding or three, but is still a pretty gun - and a pretty accurate gun, too. His load for heavy game is a 180 Nosler Partition traveling about 2775 fps at the muzzle. For lighter game like whitetails he uses a 150 grain Ballistic Tip at 3,000. We saw lots of animals, including elk calves, mule deer bucks and does, and even a pronghorn and a bear cub. On the second morning of the hunt he finally had a mature cow elk slip out of the thick aspens into a meadow about 200 yards away. Once she presented a broadside he aimed for the forward rib cage just aft of the shoulder and let one fly. The elk hardly reacted and just turned to face the other direction. My son wondered if he had missed, so sent another to the same point of aim, but from the other side of the elk. Still little in the way of reaction, so he sent a third and a fourth Partition her way, at which point the elk finally fell and rolled a few feet downhill, stone cold dead. When we skinned and quartered the elk we found that all four shots were within inches of one another (just going in different directions in the case of the first shot and the next three). In other words, there were wounds on both sides that were both entrances and exits. Any of them would have been fatal within moments, but as anyone who has hunted elk knows, those big hulks are hard to put down and don't seem to know they're dead for a minute or two. Fortunately, the four shots only damaged a portion of each rib cage about the diameter of an orange, so virtually no meat was lost. Anyway, it was a great hunt in the snow with lots of animals stirring and resulted in several hundred pounds of fine meat brought home to the hearth. Here's a photo after gutting the elk and putting away the Sako. And here's what the Colorado landscape at 10,000 feet looked like after two sunny days melting the snow.