Editor’s Note: Chad Schearer of Montana co-hosts the “Shoot Straight with Chad Schearer” TV show with his wife, Marsha, and his two sons, Walker and Wyatt. He owned and guided for Central Montana Outfitters for 15 years. Today Chad tells us about how his son Walker takes a New Mexico Bull Elk with his CVA Scout Rifle.
For years my wife Marsha and I have been applying for elk tags in several different states. This year we were approached by Roger and Audrey McQueen of Trophy Ridge Outfitters www.trophyridgeoutfitters.net about having our boys apply for New Mexico elk tags. So this year we added our boys Walker and Wyatt to the applications and we all applied for elk tags. When New Mexico posted the drawing results our oldest son Walker was the only one to draw. The excitement filled our house as we told Walker he had drawn a youth rifle tag.
As his parents we wanted to help him be prepared with the right equipment, the right physical condition and to be mentally prepared. Though the hunt was several months away we immediately started preparing a gear list for this hunt. First, we needed to have a gun that would fit him properly. The CVA Scout compact was just the right size for him. The gun is balanced perfect and light enough for him to carry. We debated about the caliber. We topped the gun with a Konus Pro 3×9 scope. I have been an elk guide for almost 20 years and I have always been a .30 caliber fan for elk. However, I am also very recoil conscious when it hunting with a young person. Upon a recent trip to Africa I witnessed my son Walker take a zebra with a .243 and dropped it in its tracks. So we researched our ammo options and decided to choose the Winchester PowerMax Bonded with a 100 grain bonded bullet. We also purchased several elk targets for him to practice on because we knew that bullet placement would be crucial. We spent several days throughout the summer practicing at the range. He already had a good pair of Schnee’s boots and with a stop to Cabela’s we gathered up a few other items he would need.
It was finally time for the hunt. We loaded up the Shoot Straight TV crew and headed to the Trophy Ridge Outfitters Lodge in New Mexico. Upon arrival we checked his gun for accuracy and it was dead on. The next morning we were heading to the field well before daylight. Our guide Sean started us in his favorite valley in the unit. We heard one bull way off but he was in an area that would be very difficult to get to. The weather was unseasonably hot and the elk were only moving very early and very late. We saw elk on several occasions but we were having a challenge being at the right place at the right time. Finally on the fourth day of a five day hunt we found a herd of elk with several bulls in it. We got within 400 yards but it was a little too far for the .243. We knew where they bedded and set up for the evening hunt. The elk didn’t arrive until after dark so we were down to the last day. The next morning we went back to where we heard them bugle in the dark the night before. We set up in the dark and could here cow elk mewing around in the distance. We thought we had everything figured out but had to move 300 yards to catch the elk where they would be heading to bed. As the sun started to light the sky we had several bulls within 200 yards of us. Walker took aim at a beautiful 6 point bull and cocked the hammer of his CVA Scout. The shot echoed up the valley and the bull immediately started to wobble on his feet. He dropped within 15 yards of where he had been standing. With the cameras rolling he had just taken his first elk at 9 years old. The whole Schearer family enjoyed the experience and Walker’s little brother Wyatt pulled out his Buck knife and, “said let’s get to skinning.”