Preparing for “The Bob”

That’s what my hunting partner recently called our Montana hunting destination – “The Bob.”

That’s short for Bob Marshall Wilderness and neither of us have ever been there. Next Monday we’ll mount our ponies and head into camp. Hunting wilderness is the ultimate experience. The game may be scare and the hills rugged, but the hunt will be pure.

Don’t know what to expect, but that’s part of the adventure. Right now I’m just trying to figure out my ammunition. My favorite big-game rifle and most versatile is my 300 WSM. On my last trip I used Federal premium ammo, 150 grains for pronghorn and on prior trips for mule deer I’ve used the same. These rounds have been very effective and I have no complaints to register.

However, on this trip we’ll be hunting elk, along with mule deer and the outfitter recommends a heavier bullet, so I’ve purchased two types of Federal Ammunition. First I picked up a couple boxes of Federal Ammunition at Cabela’s while passing through Reno last August. At $32 per box, the price was reasonable, but it wasn’t the price that sold me, it was the fact that, as I recall, Federal “POWER-SHOK” was  the only 180 grain 300 WSM ammo they had in stock.

Now I’m through with pronghorn, and ready to re-sight my rifle. So, a few days ago, I began reading up on the “POWER-SHOK” cartridges and I haven’t been positively impressed by the reviews. My reaction was to go downtown Livermore and try to find something possibly more reliable. My shopping produced Federal Premium ammunition called VITAL-SHOK. Now I’m “Californiatized” as the only ammo they had in the store was tipped with copper bullets. For $63 plus tax I purchased a box of 20 180 grain cartridges with all-copper Barns TRIPLE SHOK X bullets.  Tomorrow I’m heading to the ranch to fire a few rounds of this ammo to see if I can be comfortable with it.

If all goes right, I’ll be ready to go after test firing a few rounds. If all goes wrong, I’ll be doing more research, as I don’t want to arrive in Montana not knowing if my bullets will go where I want them to go and kill what I hit, without demolishing the meat.

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