The bull came in hard through ponderosas, clinging to a hill as steep as the price of gold. Limbs snapped. He panted, hoarse and eager. Where would he show? Bent double, I made a final dash cross-slope. Ivory tips flickered through evening’s shadow. I thumbed the hammer. He broke free of cover at 50 steps. He could have run me over. Instead he stopped. I fired and cycled the Marlin in one effort. He took the bullet, whirled and sprinted away, halting where I could not see ribs. Breathless and soundless, the mountains waited. Pushing the rifle ahead, I scrambled like a lizard, found a window, fired again quickly. He lurched forward. Bang! A third shot dropped him.
Hunting with a .30-30 in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness, you’ll get little action lying down. But when hiking, glassing and calling put you within rifle shot of an elk, lying down may be the best thing you can do!
Many moons ago I was shooting a prone match next to Johnny Moschkau, an unflappable marksman of some years. Thick mirage on that sweltering day made the targets swim. I managed a ragged but clean 200 on the first stage. Moschkau lost a point. This cheered me. Johnny fired his next 20 shots at a glacial pace, his torso inert, bolt cycling mechanically between robotic drops of his hand to the loading block. Up-back-down. Up-back-down. My shots still danced loosely inside the bullseye.