I'm at a loss for words here, I know that is odd. You have a Nikon scope, not mounted. You are looking at 500 yards or less and thinking of moving west. Are you serious! My best success on Elk was in Colorado in the early '80's useing a 12ga bolt gun. 35 yards was the norm. I moved back east and then moved to the North country. Sold the 12ga and bought a 1916 GEW98 that was sportered and had a receiver sight. Moved up to a 7mm Rem Mag, I was going to be the ultimite Deer/ Elk/ Bear slayer. It was not fun any more. I still own the 7mm Rem Mag, but it only comes out on certain occasions. I enjoy the hunt for what it is. It is not a long range pissing contest. 400 yards, I'm good with that if it is the last chance. Normally, 200 yards or less. I'm not the great white hunter, never will be. But, I'll have fun, enjoy the day, and put meat on the table. I really like waterfowl hunting better. Drink Coffee, smoke, BS with friends and unload when they fly in.
Freedom is not free. The best of us always leave too soon.