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Long Distance Elk Served With A Tasty Recipe!

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

Article: By Larysa Switlyk @LarysaUnleashed / @UnleashedGlobalAdventures

Recipe: By Margie Nelson @Wyldgourmet / @Margie__Nelson

Fall of 2020 was no fun for anyone. Most of my international hunts got cancelled due to the travel bans. I found a last-minute elk hunt in Chama, New Mexico in November and finally had something to look forward to.

I was excited because the forecast showed snow, which meant a lot of elk would be pushed down from Colorado and the hunting should be really good. Extreme wind, rain, and sideways snow delighted me the first three days. Despite the weather, I still glassed a ton of elk but not the mature bull I was seeking. The fourth day my guide and I hunted all morning but still didn’t spot the one. Another guide spotted a shooter in a difficult spot to get to at 1200 yards. We assessed the situation: this group of elk were up and feeding. Trying to make a move on them to close the distance wouldn’t pan out. The only option we had to get on this bull would be to shoot it from here. In the past, I wouldn’t take a shot like that, but I had professional training on these custom built long range GunWerks shooting rifles so I knew I am plenty capable of making that shot. I have a GunWerks .28 Nosler rifle for a reason, so I decided to go for it.

I laid down in the snow, lowered my bipod and got prone on my rifle. My guide ranged the elk at 1150 yards, so I turned my turret. There was a slight wind while I was locating the targeted elk in my scope. I steadied the cross hairs on the elk and accounted slightly for the wind drift. I could feel my fingers starting to go numb from the cold of the air. I squeezed the trigger, and my first shot was a hit. The group of elk now all huddled together and started to move down to the left through the thick trees. Mine followed them and stopped for a moment in the open. I reloaded quickly and shot my custom loaded 180 grain berger bullet again when he was broadside. “Hit” I heard from my guide. All the elk went down in a valley and popped up the other side without my bull. We closely kept an eye on that ridge but my elk never showed himself, which made me feel confident I hit him well. The rest of the group ran towards us without him and passed us at 300 yards.

My hands and face were frozen. I got up from my Gunwerks and brushed the snow off. Those elk ran past us and the one I was after wasn’t with them. I thought to myself, did I just pull off what I think I pulled off? I couldn’t wait to climb up and to see him lying there.

As we started to ascend, I started to get more and more anxious. From that far away I knew he was a big elk but wasn’t quite sure how big or what his rack truly looked like. I couldn’t wait to see his character and to piece together his story. My guide and I walked up to where we last saw the elk while a friend filmed. I pictured walking up on him- however that part didn’t quite go as planned.

When we couldn't find him, I started to get worried. I started playing the shot back over in my head. Did I account enough for the wind? If he is not here, where could he be? We watched him with the group and he never followed them over the hill towards us. We searched the area where we last saw him and we found blood. He gave us the slip. He must have turned around and disappeared out the back door. It was a good blood trail so I prayed we would find him soon.

He ended up sneaking out the other way without being seen. We followed the blood trail about 1-2 miles until we caught up to him at about 60 yards. I took a quick free-handed shot to officially drop him. As my guide and I walked up to him, we were excited to see how big he really was. Turns out it was the biggest bull taken that month: a beautiful 7x7 with heavy mass and long main beans. Putting my hands on his rack opened a flood of emotions. I was speechless at the pure beauty of this elk I had just taken. I’m proud of myself and my shooting ability. As they say in the Gunwerks world, the #gunwerked. I wouldn’t suggest just anyone to take a shot like that. However, I knew I was capable and trained for those types of hunting situations. I want to push my hunting skills to the next level. It was a little stretch for that size of bullet on such a big animal, but I got 2 good shots in him and we were able to catch up and make a final follow up shot.

One of the best parts about being a hunter is knowing where our meat comes from and being able to provide it to our family and friends. Not to mention all the health benefits and leanness compared to beef. I teamed up with Margie Nelson who is a wild game chef, and she is providing one of her favorite Elk Recipes.

If you are interested in booking an elk hunt or any other type of hunting adventures, Contact Larysa Switlyk at Watch this elk hunt on TV on an upcoming episode of later this Fall! Interested in building your own custom built Gunwerks Rifles, contact us for our discount code!

Elk Roulade Steak Rollups

This is one of my favorite dishes to make with a nice primal cut that is sometimes less than tender. You can use any of the typical roast cuts such as the top round, bottom round or even the eye of the round would work well.

When this dish is made up and plated it is beautiful and you and your guests will enjoy it for a simple family dinner or something a little more special. · One elk roast

· 2 zucchini · 2 carrots · 1 red pepper · 1 sweet onion · Zest of one lemon · 4 Tbsp olive oil separated in half · 1 cup grated cheese or your choice

(Asiago, Gruyere, provolone, white cheddar,

cream cheese etc.) or a combo of them all.

Pick your favorite · Garlic Salt and white pepper · Cavenders Greek Seasoning · Butchers string · ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar Methods: Take two sheets of saran wrap and lay one down on your cutting board and place your roast on top. Lay the other sheet of saran on top of that and carefully pound your roast out flat with a heavy meat mallet to ¼ - ½ inch in thickness. Season both sides with garlic salt and white pepper and a good sprinkle of Cavenders Greek Seasoning. If you can’t find Cavenders in the spice section of your supermarket, use another steak seasoning of your choice. Rub both sides down with the seasoning and set aside.

Clean and slice your red pepper and onion into long thin strips. Peel your carrots and zucchini and cut them into long thin sticks. Using a mandolin with the julienne blade works well. But if you don’t have one, just keep slicing. In a heavy skillet heat the olive oil to medium and add the carrots and onions. Saute them until the onions just start to become translucent. Add a little salt and pepper. Next add the red peppers and continue to saute about 3 minutes longer. Remove all the veggies from the skillet and lay on a paper towel to drain some of the moisture that was released during the saute. You don’t have to saute the zucchini, they will cook up nicely in the roulade. Grate your cheese or cheeses.

On a clean surface lay out another piece of saran wrap large enough for your meat to lay flat on and place your pounded piece of elk on top. Cover the top of your elk with a thin layer of cheese. Then lay your veggies on top of the cheese so that the long julienned and cut pieces are all going the same direction. Alternate the veggies so it looks pretty. Now sprinkle the top of the veggies with the zest of one lemon, distributed evenly across the top. Roll the meat from the bottom to the top with the veggies layed out going from the left to the right so they roll up nicely into the middle of the roulade. Roll this up as tight as you can using the saran wrap to get it started.

When you have your roulade all rolled up nicely, next cut 8 to 10 pieces of butchers string at least 12 inches long. Lay your roulade so the seam side is down. Starting at either end wrap the string around the roulade 1 to 1 ½ inches from the end and tie off with a knot. Repeat with the string every 1 to 1 ½ inches to the end of the roll. When you are done cut off all the string loose ends at the knot. Admire your work! Using a nice long sharp knife cut the roulade into slices evenly between the strings leaving you some beautiful pinwheels of pure Elk and veggie loveliness. Do not remove the string. Each piece should be wrapped with string approximately in the middle, holding it together until you are ready to eat.

You can either grill the pinwheels or bake them in the oven.

For the grill or smoker have your heat on high. Brush both sides of your pinwheels with the balsamic vinegar and place on the grill. Flip after 3-4 minutes and repeat with the other side. Brush with balsamic as needed. If you want to cook these in the oven, preheat to 375F. Sear the roll ups in another skillet with the remaining olive oil. Heat the oil to a high temp and sear each side 1-2 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Brush with balsamic and pop them into the oven on a baking sheet for 5-10 more minutes. Serve with fresh buttered beets and beet greens, baked potato or any other side dish you enjoy. If you’re feeling crazy, make some mashed potatoes and a simple gravy and drizzle over the roulade.

Margie Nelson with her own Elk out of Montana.