Elk Hunt Next October which Caliber/Rifle 270, 7mm, or 300 win mag

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by crawford1775, Dec 20, 2016.

?

Which caliber for ELK/ MULE DEER

Poll closed Jan 4, 2017.
  1. 270 Win

    14 vote(s)
    42.4%
  2. 7mm Rem Mag

    6 vote(s)
    18.2%
  3. 300 Win Mag

    13 vote(s)
    39.4%
  1. crawford1775

    crawford1775 Supporter Supporter

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    Gents,

    as the title suggests, I have been honored by being included in a family elk / mule deer hunt Oct 2017. That being said I would appreciate those with true field experience to sound off on which has been the best caliber for them. I have a 270 win already but in a Remington 750, but am looking to fill a hole in my arsenal with a bolt action, lightweight rifle (lite ish, I guess). Prefer a synthetic stock to wood, and am looking for 24'' barrel length. I don't know if this will be an every year things, so I am wanting to also use this as a back up to my current rifle in case of malfunction, primary purpose is Whitetail/Hogs. So, with no further ado, inform away.
     
  2. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    all of the above will do fine, but your more likely to put the bullet where you want it with a rifle you know well. were it me I would use the 270
     
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  3. dsclowers

    dsclowers Tracker

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    Hi Crawford,

    Great choices in your options, but what about a .30-06? It seems to be the sweet spot for elk under 300 - 400 yards. I have taken my last 2 elk with a.30-06 and love it, plus less punishing than the .300 Win Mag.
     
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  4. tennecedar

    tennecedar Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    In my opinion the above magnum calibers will only reach their true potential with a 26"-27" barrel. With that length they actually get the good out of all that powder. Being limited to 24" I would choose my 30-06 with a 180 bonded bullet. The 270 will do what you need and it won't require carrying another caliber on the hunt. It is a wonderful cartridge that still performs good out of a 24" barrel and has harvested a lot of animals at range even in the 400lb class. I voted 7mm mag tho just because it's my favorite belted magnum.
     
  5. crawford1775

    crawford1775 Supporter Supporter

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    Dsclowers- 30-06 why not... Basically the recoil... I don't like it. Several family members have one, kill lots of deer with it, but mucho meat damage, so for my basic purposes, 270 wins out.

    So why am I including the 7mm and 300 win mag in this selection. I guess I'm trying to gather a consensus on whether I am missing out/ under gunning myself if I choose a 270 instead of a larger caliber, although most of the data i have researched states that 270 is plenty for elk out 400, not optimal, but do able using the correct bullet, shot placement, and genuine trust of your chosen weapon. Hope this makes since. thx for the input.
     
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  6. Hawkcreek

    Hawkcreek Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    You already know the answer. The .270 is fine, those other calibers aren't any better if you use incorrect bullets or place a shot poorly. The only thing I'd give them over your .270 is that they'd be better for breaking the shoulder bones but if you're out to do that the .338-.375's are better than the 7mm-.30 belted mag. You also said you dont like the recoil of a .30-06 and if thats the case you're not going to shoot a belted magnum very often.
     
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  7. TNCanoer

    TNCanoer Scout

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    I've never had the opportunity to hunt elk or mule deer but I've had very good luck with a .270 on whitetail deer. Sweet round. I have a 7 mag. The recoil is rough and I rarely hunt with it. A .30-06 is very versatile. If I could only have one rifle a .30-06 would be the one for me.
     
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  8. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Axe'aholic Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Don't over think it, get a rifle that you like, that fits well, and stoke it with a quality bullet and start practicing. All of the above are fine for elk. Recoil has more to it than just chambering......rifle weight, stock design, etc. That said, if you don't like the recoil of an '06 in a sporting weight rifle then you will probably not shoot a 300win well. Despite what is posted online repeatedly, a magnum chambering is in no way necessary to cleanly take an elk at reasonable ranges (don't get me started on the long range debate), though 300win etc are well suited to the task.

    Shot placement and bullet construction matter more than the number in the headstamp. While none of the above are my first choice (for no other reason than personal preference), they will all do well.

    Good luck on your hunt
     
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  9. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Pick something you shoot well and are likely to practice with, use a good bullet like a partition and put the bullet through the lungs/heart and you'll kill any bull out there. I normally carry a 308 with 168 TTSX's but this past season I carried my 25-06 with 115 gr partitions and although I didn't shoot an elk I would have had no problem shooting one out to 300 yds or so. I'd rather have a good shot on an elk with a 270 than a poor shot with a 300 mag.
     
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  10. Makarov

    Makarov Scout

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    A friend took an elk a year for many years with a 257 roberts, with in reason its not the rifle its the rifleman.
     
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  11. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    I use a 30-06 for elk. My problem isn't recoil or shot placement, it's that I have yet to draw an elk tag! Hopefully next year.
     
  12. Currahee

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    All 3 will drop an elk. The 270 will be the easiest on the shoulder.


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  13. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    OTC tags Dave and scout, scout, scout. Next time we're up camping we need to talk some about hunting.
     
  14. hunterjrg

    hunterjrg Supporter Supporter

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    I've killed two bulls. One with a Rem 300 ultra and the other with a Kimber in 300 WSM. I really liked the Kimber. Nice round and lighter weight. I hated that boat anchor Rem. I took a Kimber in 30-06 to Africa with 180 Nosler Part. It's a most excellent combo and I'll be using that on my next Elk hunt. I have 8 points for my area in WY. Hoping to go this coming year
     
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  15. Mustang

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    I checked the block for 300 Win Mag, but when I saw your "shopping list", I thought either Ruger American or Remington 700 in .308. Synthetic stock, 24" barrel. .308 is a great all-around round. Both have great triggers. Both under $400. I'd probably give the nod to the Ruger because it has bedding blocks and in theory would be more accurate.
     
  16. Gunwale

    Gunwale Tinder Gatherer

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    The 300 win mag is a great multi use caliber. I hunt with a Remington 700 BDL in 300 win mag. For deer/antelope I use 150 grain bullets. For elk/caribou I use 175 grain bullets, and for dangerous game like moose or grizzly bear, I use the 220 grain bullets. One thing about rifles and recoil is the lighter the rifle, the heavier the recoil.

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  17. grendal

    grendal Scout

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    7mm rem mag shoots glatter than 300 win mag, and will have more energy down range than a 300 win mag due to better ballistic coefficient. 300 win mag will hit harder at closer ranges with heavier bullets. 270 is limited in range compared to the magnum cartridges, but still more than capable as others have said. My vote is for 7mm rem mag. I'd have one if i had a pratical purpose for it in my state.
     
  18. Doublegunner

    Doublegunner Scout

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    If you shoot the 270 well take it. If you don't like the recoil of a 30-06 then don't get a 7mm or 300. They kick close to the same or more. The 270 is enough for elk with the right bullet.
     
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  19. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Yeah, I know I can go over the counter, but I don't know much of the state yet so I'd rather draw a tag in an area that I know and that I've seen elk in than get a tag for a strange place and end up not filling it.
     
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  20. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    If you don't like a 30-06 because of recoil then why in the world even consider a magnum of any kind? The .270 is all you need if you use the right ammo (150 gr copper or bonded bullet) and don't shoot unless the elk is standing broadside within 300 yds. And if you hit the elk, keep shooting it until it goes down or disappears. Elk are not easy to kill, so shoot it again if you can. This advice holds true even if you're shooting a bigass magnum.The only problem I see with your rifle (Rem 750) is that it's an autoloader and could get unreliable in cold, wet weather. A bolt action would be more trustworthy. But if you are comfortable with a .270, get another one in bolt action. Then you can use the same ammo for both. Probably more important than the rifle caliber is getting yourself in shape. Elk hunting in the Rockies is very demanding physically.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  21. elkhunter

    elkhunter Supporter Supporter

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    In the 45 plus years I've been hunting elk, there's few things I've learned. Bows kill just as quick as any rifle, if the shot placement is good as the broadhead is surgical sharp and the distance is under forty yards. Muzzleloaders are my favorite way to hunt these days. Shot placement is critical, even with inline shooters and distance is also a factor. Center fire rifles are fun, but if you are not a trained long range shooter, keep you distance under 300 yards and concentrate on shoot placement, most center fire rife will be good.
    Magnum calibers DO NOT make up for poor shot placement. Use equipment that you trust, is reliable, and that you practice with consistently.
     
  22. Spoonplugger1

    Spoonplugger1 Tinder Gatherer

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    Over the years the 30-06 and .270 have had the reputation of taking anything on the Continent and than some. It isn't bull, my dad hunted for 60 years with a Remington 760 in .270. Killed everything with hair on it other than brown and polar bears. All with iron sights.
    The idea the 750 will not work in cold weather is just silly, the 750 and the Browning BAR work just fine in the cold. At least mine have with temps approaching 30 below. If you like autos the BAR would be a good choice, accurate, right barrel length, reliable. Softer recoil compared to many rifles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  23. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Your 270 will be fine for large white tails and Moose, same with a 30-30, I never shot an Elk. Pic is my 270 Austrian Voiere Cougar with Mauser action and Laufenstahl barrel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
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  24. Currahee

    Currahee Tracker Supporter

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    The real solution to the problem is which caliber to get first.


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  25. crawford1775

    crawford1775 Supporter Supporter

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    Thx for all the responses so far, pls keep it up. I'm taking it all in. My main concern with just sticking with the 270 is that most ppl are saying 300 is the max effective/ ethical range even if I was a trained shot. As a former Marine I consider myself somewhat trained. I'm no newb to hunting and I am not taking this trip lightly. I want to find the caliber that will give me well over the average range of an elk shot. Tags cost way to much to just limit my range to 300 yards and draw the line. Please continue to post experiences and comments. I have found the rifle I would like to purchase. A weatherby vanguard wilderness or a vanguard S2. Anyway looking forward to reading more info. I'm going to shoot a 300 win mag and a 7mm mag this weekend so that will help weed out the possibilities.
     
  26. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Axe'aholic Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I think you'll need to define your peramiters better. What kind of range are you thinking would be your max effective range?
     
  27. mtwarden

    mtwarden Supporter Supporter

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    out of the three listed I would also pick the .270; but I would also add the .30-06 to consider as well

    with today's advances in hunting bullet design, the old adage of needing a "magnum" just doesn't hold water

    I wouldn't estimate my effective range by the cost of the license, but rather experience with the rifle and chosen ammunition- all those calibers listed are relatively flat shooting and in the right hands you can ethically extend the limit past 300 yards

    jumping up to a .300 Win mag won't automatically increase your effective range
     
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  28. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Axe'aholic Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    This is what I was building up to.......I had a different response written and thought better of responding based off of a struck nerve so deleted the reply and asked that question instead. Lol
     
  29. Currahee

    Currahee Tracker Supporter

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    I guess another question to ask is do you want the gun to be a dedicated Elk/Moose gun or possibly use it for whitetail and smaller game. I know plenty of people use a 300 win mag on whitetails but if you ask me it's just overkill. Now granted I have a 300wm that I got a good deal on because someone didn't like the recoil of it in a super light gun.


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  30. Jeffro

    Jeffro Scout Bushclass I

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    I like a heavy bullet traveling as fast as possible. The more energy you put in that bullet the more it will retain over distance allowing it to buck wind which helps accuracy. A bullet kills by hydrostatic shock and the more energy it has at target and transfers to the target the more efficient itwill be at humanely killing. The cost of bullet energy is recoil so this boils down to what can you handle this will ddetermine how far you will be shooting and what round you choose. That being said Wapiti are tough animals I saw my father give one 3 well placed rounds of .270 at 200yds before it went down. That was 150 grain Remington factory loads. I must infer from this experience that 150 grains at 2700fps is minimal an 06 is usually 180 grains at 2760 and a .300WM runs at 180 grains and 2900fps. I would feed them all that I could stand.
     
  31. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Axe'aholic Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    There in lies the problem with drawing conclusions from one example or even a handful, it too greatly restricts the factual elements. Ive shot elk with my 338wm that have absorbed 3 shots in the vitals and stood there humped up for a minute before falling over dead, as well as ones that dropped like lightning when shot with my 264 and 308, and my first bull fell over dead as a door nail from a 100gr 243 when I was 12...... there are too many elk that I've seen killed with lighter/faster and heavier/slower bullets than the "minimum" of 150gr at 2700fps to arbitrarily draw a line in the sand. Successfully and cleanly killing elk relies on shot distance, shot placement, and angle much more than it does on the couple hundred fps and couple dozen grains of bullet difference. If the bullet is put in to the vitals, everything else is only meaningful to us as the elk are too dead to care. Personally, I would much prefer a 140gr Accubond shot out of a 260 rem @2600fps in the vitals than a 180gr 300win that many people shoot poorly due to flinching.

    A well constructed bullet that is put in the vitals of an elk within 400 yards by a wide array of different weight/caliber projectiles shot from an even wider array of chamberings, will kill elk dead as can be. Farther than that or specific situations may require a more heavy handed approach, but then you quickly get in to the long range hunting debate which is a mine field and ill only say I'm not a fan.

    Ive mentioned that my favorite rifle to carry as of late is my Tikka T3 308win with 165gr Nosler Accubonds, and based on the above designation, my combo is "minimal" for elk, and I can assure you it performs far better than "minimal". Though I will agree with the last statement, regardless of caliber, if they are still standing I am still shooting.........
     
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  32. Northwalker

    Northwalker Tracker

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    My suggestion is to first make sure you know where your hunting. Terrain and such. It will do no good to practice long range shots from a lying position if your going to be hunting in the timber where you'll get a 75yrd off hand shot. To much worry on equipment! And not enough about skill! Study animal, terrain ext, then practice skills accordingly. Good luck.

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  33. Hans Hurlbutt

    Hans Hurlbutt Tracker

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    I have 30/06 and use it, two hunting partners have 270 and use them, if your more comfortable with 270 you'll shoot better, if looking for another rifle I'd stay with 270 in a new rifle of your choice. We hunt mules,elk,whitetail, and blackbear.
     
  34. Gsamp

    Gsamp Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    The lightest one.....
     
  35. Dman62

    Dman62 Scout

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    Load any of your selections with Nosler Partitions and you're good to go.
     
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  36. fx77

    fx77 Scout

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  37. Mackay Sagebrush

    Mackay Sagebrush Scout

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    Reference experience, I have killed dozens of Elk, and no idea how many Mule Deer. My oldest daughter, now hunts with me and my dad, and at 14 has killed 2 elk and 2 deer in the last couple years.


    She killed this one last month:

    [​IMG]



    And this one the prior December:




    [​IMG]



    This is one I killed last month as well, shown here with the kiddo and her "Papa".


    [​IMG]

    and another from the year prior:



    [​IMG]


    And the year prior to that:




    [​IMG]






    Anyways, you get the point.



    A few pointers:

    I have killed more than a dozen with a .308, and my daughter uses a .308 as well. In spite of what you will read on the net, you don't need a .338 or even a 300 WM to kill elk. I use a .300 when I expect likely shots to be north of 500 yards. But I also shoot a lot, use come-up charts and have extensive experience shooting long range.

    Point in fact though that my first dozen or so elk were all taken with a .270.


    The very vast majority of shots taken by the average (responsible) hunter are well under the 400 yard range, and within that range typical 30-06, .270, 7-08 and 308 class cartridges are usually a better bet, as the hunter more likely than not can shoot them more precisely due to less recoil.

    In your case, I would suggest something in the .270 to 30-06 or .308 class that you can shoot well. Really learn the ballistics of your chosen load, then practice practice practice.

    Put the best quality glass you can afford on your chosen rifle. Speaking of glass, if you are serious about hunting, the binoculars you use are as important, if not more than the scope on your rifle. You can't shoot what you can't see, and NEVER EVER use your rifle's scope as binoculars, as eventually you will end up pointing your rifle at another human. Responsible hunters use binos.

    As far as an almost foolproof setup for western big game, I would recommend the following:

    Tikka T3 stainless rifle in .308
    SWFA fixed 6x scope in your choice of MIL/MIL or MOA/MOA
    Talley lightweight rings.

    If you follow that setup, odds are that you will have a rifle that will last you the rest of your hunting career, and you can spend your money on other things like binoculars, boots, a good pack, etc.

    Happy hunting.
     
  38. Mackay Sagebrush

    Mackay Sagebrush Scout

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    One of the problems with the net is that you will end up getting advice from those who don't have much or any experience in actually killing elk. One or 2 hardly makes for an "experienced" elk hunter.

    Don't for a second think that your .270 limits you to 300 yard shots, provided that you actually practice shooting at extended distances, in field conditions, versus of a bench at a public range.




    Example:


    Every single one of the animals was taken at 400 yards or further, using a .308 and not one needed a second shot.





    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    These 2 big Mulies each took a single round behind the shoulder at just shy of 600 yards. A lasered 598 to be exact.

    [​IMG]


    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    The .270 is hardly limited to 300 yards. That said, what a cartridge can do, and a shooter's skill set/ability are two entirely different animals.
     
  39. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    my niece and her husband in colorado (seems they never both draw tags in a given season) get an elk every year with their .308s with good 165-grain bullets.
     
  40. tcshooter

    tcshooter Supporter Supporter

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    I would vote 7-08 then a 308 or a 6.5-30 or 7-30 Waters in that order of preference. All are great for elk and great for whitetails as well. No need to go big for elk at all.

    A guy I met years ago when I lived in Arizona did some guide work and was well known for getting people on elk used his one all-around rifle. it was a 22-250. He told me something that stuck with me for years and I tried my luck with his advice and guess what...he was right.
    He said that every time he shot a deer or elk with a big magnum caliber it would kick or jump and take off running through the woods like their butt was on fire until they dropped somewhere....hopefully not down a huge hill or off a cliff.
    But, shoot them with his 22-250 and they just stand there a few seconds until they drop. Just don't hit the shoulder, he says...lol
    Years later I loaded some of my 58 grain V-max coyote rounds for my .243 and went deer hunting. Shot a nice buck at about 45 yards. Perfect side to side double-lung hit. He kinda jumped/flinched like the sound of the shot had startled him. That's all he did. His ears were cranking around like radar listening for a threat...his eyes darting around....then in about 10 seconds he falterd...staggered a little and dropped.
    There was a tiny little entry wound...no exit wound. Bullet was in tiny pieces inside his chest cavity. His entire chest cavity was jell-o. How he stood as long as he did I have no idea.

    I had many guys tell me I HAD TO HAVE AT LEAST A 100 GRAIN BULLET TO HUNT DEER.....yeah, well....I still use that little 58 grain V-max for deer today....14 years later.

    Just saying.....don't look to the biggest, baddest caliber out there to do the job that you can do with a much lighter to carry and much more pleasant to shoot rifle.

    Go read nearly the same ideology from Fred - owner of Bullberry Barrel Works. He states about the same thing - that most people begin to flinch with higher calibers and harder kicking rounds which means they aren't accurate after they shoot that round a few times.

    In my little world....It's better to find what you're most comfortable with and the most accurate with and stick to it. Keep it about shot placement, not caliber. The biggest bullet you can handle can't kill any animal if you can't put the shot where it belongs.
     
  41. Dman62

    Dman62 Scout

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    Any one of the three with a premium bullet. I'm a Nosler Partition fan myself. Practice with the cheaper stuff, sight in with the good stuff. Get in shape before you go. Good luck.
     
  42. Shadowalker

    Shadowalker Tracker

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    Ok, first off. Nowadays i hunt with a longbow. But i learned how to hunt from my father who has taken over 30 elk in his life and an old friend who took app. 40-50 in his life. They both hunted for food and didnt play games. We needed that meat. I have taken roughly a dozen elk plus deer and moose. Dont hunt bear as i dont like the meat.
    When i hunted with a rifle i used a ruger 77 in 30.06 though a killed elk with a 270 and 7mm08. My father and his friend used 06's. I know people will argue. But functionally a 270 and a 30.06 are close enough not to matter. My max range is 300 yards. In this country it is rare to shoot farther. I vote for the 270. It will do everything needed and has light recoil. I second the comment above about the glass. Get a good scope. Know where to put the bullet. I say that not just to make a clean kill but also to save meat. Do not shoot into the shoulder! The heart is lower and behind the shoulder. Hit them inthe shoulder and you will bloodshot a lot of meat. 1 well placed bullet is what matters. You dont need to blow the animal off its feet. Put a round in the boiler room and they wont go far if anywhere and will lay down and go to sleep. They are dead, they just dont know it yet. Imo a 270 is one of the best elk rounds out there. Bigger calibers just burn holes in your pocket book. Though i havent used one i have seen very good results with a 308.
     
  43. Shadowalker

    Shadowalker Tracker

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    Not meaning to step on any toes. That is just my personal experiance. Just really tired of the howitzer attitude that you dont need to practice or even know how or where to hit an animal as long as you use a cannon.i wouldnt really concider a 300 or 7mm cannons. They fair elk calibers. Just bigger than needed. Every year i runinto people packing a .375 or something way overkill. Cant hit the broadside of a barn. And probably scared of the recoil. But by golly of they hit the animal its goin down, well whats left of it at least....
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  44. southron

    southron Scout

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    My brother lived in WY for a while, and one of my boyhood friends had an uncle that was a bow guide in WY. I went every year I could get a elk tag and hunted with what I had.

    I have killed them with a 30 30, a 303 SMLE, and several bolt guns in 30 06, and once with a .270.

    Elk don't seem to take as much killing as they take proper shot placement. A poor shot is a poor shot no matter the caliber.

    I did tend to get close shots. That mostly being because the guide (uncle john) was a bow guide and he would take us hunting and his ways in the woods were to get inside 100 yards so that's what happened. (not bow shots, but rifle shots at maybe 100 yards, much less with a bow.)

    Was always nice as he had a nice pack string and we didn't have to pack out the meat. Never bothered mounting them as I didn't have a wall large enough even for the eatin' size ones I killed. John always sawed off the antlers and put them in a huge stack he had back at his house / main camp.

    If someone were going I'd think something you can shoot accurate with the best glass you can put on it would be a good choice. I'd probably spring for a box of premium ammo even though I never had it in times past.

    This coming from a southron boy might give you that perspective instead of the one from someone who lives out there.

    I did notice that Elk were all over the place and you could get shots at any distance reasonable. (This happened mostly in the 70's and 80's so times may have changed.)

    Jim
     

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