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Topic: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor (Read 5715 times) previous topic - next topic

Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Next week I'm off on a hunting trip that I've dreamt of for many years.  I'll be hunting for Maral (Asiatic Elk) in the Altai Mountains of Central Asia, and I'm taking my 6.5 Creedmoor.  I suspect that if I'm successful it will be a first for the calibre - though not the first Elk.

I'll report on the trip when I return (along with some photographs), meanwhile.....wish me luck!

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #1
Best of luck. Enjoy!

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #2
Sounds like a great trip good luck

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #3
Sounds like a great trip.  Enjoy and report back!

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #4
I've just got back from Central Asia and had a fantastic time (bar a few shenanigans with the local Kazakh Hunting Agency).
Three of us went and we each came back with a nice stag.
I will send a full report, with pictures, once I've got the hang of how the new system works.

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #5
Sir; that is great. . Your pics are always great and your hunt reports. . But, if you could , just as a teaser.  What bullet did you use ?
 Sorry I wasn't around to wish you good luck on the hunt.
If your going to be a Bush Alaskan You need a perfect winter rifle. The Ruger M77 Hawkeye SS in 6.5 Creedmoor is mine.<br>You are being watched.

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #6
Weird. I just reaf AF's post, and died a bit inside since I will most likely never experience anything close to that awesome, but now it's gone. The last server stole it because it was so amazing I guess...
Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.
I have a lot of guns... There, I said it.

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #7
Dadajack, way to lay the heavy guilt trip on poor AFraser!  ;)

Looking forward to some pics of some dead stag in some far-off exotic local - yeah, dodging corrupt local officials is probably a challenge in itself.

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #8
Come on man! He knows I expressing my admiration, and not jealous at all! Well, I guess a little bit of green around the edges, but who isn't?!? That was an awesome trip!
Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.
I have a lot of guns... There, I said it.

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #9
So here goes:
This is the base camp - a few Yurts down in the valley - along with the local Kazakh guides and horse-handlers.


Here's the landscape as we rode up into the mountains.


We then had to cross a huge area of high-altitude grass 'Steppe'


Until we reached our Fly-camp on the other side.


Here is the view from our Camp - right over to the mountains of China!


We then set out each day, morning and evening, to vantage points above the endless alpine valleys & basins.





The stags were thinly dispersed and difficult to spot in the open.  But there was a lot of bugling, sometimes 3 or 4 in the same patch of forest, and we started to see stags, but nothing 'shootable'.  Then on the 3rd day our luck changed, and we saw a really big-bodied animal lying on a steep strip of grass inside one of the smaller forest patches.
We decided to go for him, and you can see the narrow shaded strip in the trees, just to the right of the right-hand guy's elbow.
Range was 590 yards, with about a 700ft drop - and I was terrified!


This picture shows the shooting position from where the stag was lying.


This shows the step grass slide down which he fell.


And here he is - all smashed up - with antlers in 4 pieces and skull broken clean across:



I used a 139gr Scenar loaded to 2840 fps.  It hit him at the back of the heart and exited.  He was dead within 20 yards and fell about 150 yards, stone dead.


We packed out all the meat, and took it several thousand feet, back up to our Fly camp on the Steppe.


Resulting in some very tired horses!


The next day we packed up camp and rode back to Base, before heading back to 'civilisation'.


But it was so beautiful, I left a little bit of me out there.



Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #10
Very cool story, experience and pictures. On top of all that, a great bull. Congradulations!
Talk's cheap....takes money to buy whiskey

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #11
That is just amazing so beautiful and an amazing animal!!!! Thank you for sharing

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #12
Purely Awesome.
RIP Nicky Hayden

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #13
That's really cool, thanks for sharing. Those Maral look just like elk to me, what a neat trophy! Even banged-up, the damage tells a great story, gives it some character.  :D  :D  :D

What was the elevation on the 'steppe'? Did you see any other interesting animals besides the Maral? Another dumb question - eh, what country were you in? Kazakhstan?

 

Re: Hunting Maral (Asiatic Elk) with the Creedmoor

Reply #14
Thanks Guys.
Just to be clear - Maral are Elk - the Asian version.  They occur right across the belt of mountains that border southern Russia, from the Caspian sea in the West, to Manchuria in the East.  The key mountain ranges are the Tien Shan complex (in the various Central Asian countries north of Afghanistan), and the Altai, which lie between China/Mongolia and southern Siberia.

7x64, the high 'Steppe' lay at around 8,500ft.  We were in the south-east of Kazakhstan, near the Chinese border (in a Wildlife Reserve zone, controlled by the military).
We heard a lot of wolves (which ate our carcases), saw very large Wild Boar right up to 8,000ft and saw fresh signs of Brown Bear.
Also Large Eagles, Blackcock and the occasional Argali (i.e. the local version of Marco Polo sheep), which they are trying to build up, following wide scale meat poaching after independence.