SO I am going elk hunting

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Kimber22, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    Well, we are having a great discussion over in the knife forum, so I thought I'd promote some healthy discussion here. Favorite rifles for elk season? I have 2 that at this moment are going unless someone has concrete evidence why I need to change. I am taking a wood stocked Tikka T-3 Lite in 7mm-08. I'm shooting a 140gr Nosler Partition. The rifle is SCARY accurate when I do my part. It's topped with a Burris E-1 3X9X40. I have shot loads of game with it and have all the confidence. Sometimes my wife shoots it.

    My son is taking my Tikka T-3 Lite synthetic stock in 30-06. I am not sure what bullet he landed on, but I know it likes Nosler Partitions as well. It is topped with a Leupold 3X9X40.

    One that I am highly considering taking is my TC Omega fitted with a 300 Win Mag barrel. This is new and still proving itself. I bought the barrel for a New Mexico mule deer hunt where average shots are 300+ yards. It LOVES the cheap Win Deer Season 150gr. That is not what I would shoot at elk, but I can 4 out of 5 ring the 500 yd gong from the top of a pack. Most misses are my fault not the equipment. It wears a Sig Sauer BDX 3.5X10X42. And yes so far the system works for holdover.
     
  2. 08H3

    08H3 God, Family and Freedom Vendor Supporter

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    For me, if I was to go I would likely take my Savage 6.5CM. It may not be a heavy hitter for some people, but for me I'm dead nutts accurate with it and good to 500 whith my shots. Given how it blows through deer I have no doubt it would take a elk with a well placed shot.

    Plus I'm not a fan of magnum cartridges myself, shoulder cant take it.....
     
  3. Blackhawk45hunter

    Blackhawk45hunter Pronounced sim-bee-duh Bushclass II

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    The 7mm-08 is a fine cartridge and if you shoot it well, carry it with confidence! A 140 grain partition should be plenty.
     
  4. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Back in 2009 when I had a Elk Hunt planned I worked up loads for my 35Whelen around 225g Nosler Accubonds and RL15 powder. Velocity was about 2600 fps. Never got out to that hunt but I think that the gun was up to the task.

    Today Id probably still take the Whelen but as a back up to my 358 Norma. Norma would be shooting a 250g (Woodleigh, Swift Oryx or Partition. Depending on accuracy)

    300y would be a self imposed limit unless I had time to practice farther. But even then doubt I be shooting past 400 ish.

    CW
     
  5. Aknative

    Aknative Tracker

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    Of your three options, take the one you shoot best, which sounds like your 7mm 08. The 140 Nosler Partition will do fine, especially if you do your part.
     
  6. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    Third year for me hunting with a Tikka T3 in 30-06. For elk this year I am going to be shooting 200 grain Woodleighs. After last year turning down a couple shots of elk quatering away this year I am going to go with a bullet that I will feel a little more confident will provide for deep penetration.
     
  7. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    I have nothing to add in the gun dept.

    But have fun and Im super jealous!!!

    I've heard from guys local to me (CT) that went elk hunting. And they fall into 2 groups. Those that wish they worked out more. And those that wish they did a little more cardio.
     
  8. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    I heard that! I'm leaning toward the cardio.
     
  9. Wapitilo

    Wapitilo Supporter Supporter

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    Not all elk country is the same so the long distance flat shooter is not always necessary. However, any of the calibers/rifles you mentioned should be fine. 30.06 in a 180 grain corelokt kills them just as dead as anything else.
    Good luck with the hunt.
     
  10. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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  11. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    I am not sure what happened to my above post, but my question is after his statement.
     
  12. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    Mine starts with "so that leads"
     
  13. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Great info here Randy is quite knowledgeable on the subject.

     
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  14. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    I would like to take any shot presented that will reach vitals. Rarely do I get an ideal broadside animal and since i mostly hunt timber more often the animal is quatering strongly away from me. Last years elk the only shot I had was upper neck at 80 yards and since I had a solid tree rest and a Tikka I took it.

    If you place a stout bullet into the lower shoulder bones the animal will not travel very far, not only does the bullet inflict a wound channel but secondary shrapnel causes a lot of damage.

    My Great Uncle has 40 years of elk to his name and his favorite rifle is a 7mm shouting 154 grain Barnes bullets, often his shots make bone contact.
     
  15. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    Just looked at one of my favorite internet resources for bullet performance thoughts and here is what Nathan wrote. "The 160-162 grain bullet weight is very useful in the 7mm08 providing bullet construction is matched to game weights. The 162 grain Hornady A-max is an immensely useful all round bullet, performing well at both close and long ranges on light to medium weight game. Tougher projectiles like the outstanding 160 grain Nosler Partition and Accubond projectiles do their best work on large medium game such as Elk, at close to moderate ranges.

    For tough game weighing between 150 (330lb) and 320kg (700lb), the 140 and 150 grain Barnes TSX projectiles produce an excellent combination of broad wounding versus deep penetration in the mild sevens. The 160 and 175 grain Barnes TSX projectiles produce exceptionally deep penetration but limited wounding potential at 7mm08 velocities and are best suited to the largest of game, above 450kg (1000lb)." Here is link. https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/7mm-08+Remington.html
     
  16. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    Elk hunting can be very demanding physically, especially if you aren't accustomed to the high altitudes and steep terrain. I think the best preparation you can make for an elk hunt is to get in really good shape. You probably don't have any mountains near you, but climbing up and down mountains is the best way to get in shape for climbing up and down mountains. If you can get out to your hunting area a few days early and get acclimated to the high altitude that could be a big help.

    Personally I wouldn't try for shoulder bone shots. If you hit a big solid bone, your bullet may not penetrate into the vitals or it can ricochet off at a bad angle . I would try for a standing still broadside heart/lung shot with a heavy bullet. I think the 30-06 with a 180 gr Barnes TTSX copper bullet will give the best penetration and weight retention. If it's close enough, you may actually get an exit wound out the other side, and that will leave a good blood trail. Without a blood trail it can be pretty hard to find an elk in thick timber and brush and steep canyons, even when it's hit well. And keep shooting until the elk goes down, if you can. Elk are very tough critters, especially big bulls. If you get a chance to hit him 2 or 3 times, do it. I think the single shot 300 Win Mag would be a poor choice because follow-up shots are too slow.

    A range finder can be a very valuable piece of gear. It can be pretty hard to estimate range across canyons and up or down on steep hillsides. An elk at 500 yards can look a lot closer than it really is. And if the wind is blowing, cut your max range down a lot. I'm not confident in shooting at an elk farther than about 300 yds with my 30-06 and that's if I have a good rest and the wind isn't blowing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  17. BladeScout

    BladeScout Scout

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    Light weight Steyr Mannlicher in .376.
    Very fast, very light weight, a delight to carry and handle with a three point sling.
    A great little light weight package, easy to carry and fast to handle. All of which makes it ideal for long treks.

    Ive used it for hunting on several continents and so far no follow up shots has ever been needed. Be it wild boar in Poland, big game in Africa or anything in between.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  18. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    All that being said about using the gun you have a link on your proficient with .... i’m a large proponent for “use enough gun”

    AS SOON AS I hear things like raking shots, deep angles, shoulders shots, 700# game and of coarse rough terrain which equates to distance.. You need a big gun. Period. There is good reason many in the know call the 8mm Mag the Quintessential elk caliber. Its from ALL THINGS considered.

    YES 100% 243 will kill ANY ELK under perfect conditions.

    YES too a POOR HIT from a uber magnum is a poor hit.

    In between is a balance.

    CW
     
  19. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    @Cwlongshot Rough country does not always equate to long shots, depends on how one hunts. Last year I ran into an old boy hunting rough country and he carried an open sighted Marlin in 45-70 for dark woods hunting. He would actually would tell people walking by were the good glassing spots were up on the ridges while obviously he was lurking around in the timber were the elk hang out or were the elk get spooked by long range shooters he would send up the ridge.
     
  20. BladeScout

    BladeScout Scout

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    :4:Crafty old coot:18::dblthumb:
     
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  21. justinspicher

    justinspicher Scout

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    This dude is a genius.


    I am carrying a .270 for elk. Same rifle I have carried for the last couple of years.
     
  22. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Good luck @Kimber22, I didn't get drawn for a PA elk tag this year, so I will keep waiting. Had I been drawn, I would have likely taken my 7mm-08 or my 30-06. Other possible options would be my 6.5 Creedmore or 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser. To paraphrase David Petzel, Scandinavians, because they do not know any better, typically use the 6.5x55 for animals up to and including the size of elk. The animals, because they do not know any better, fall down dead after being hit by it.
     
  23. Howie

    Howie Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Your 7/08 or 30 p6 is fine. Not sure where your going. People would be surprised and how little it takes to get an elk at least the big ones up here in Montana.
     
  24. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    You are good to go with the '06 and 7-08.

    It seems that many first time elk hunters head west expecting to need an ultra accurate long range magnum. And, if you hunt for "that" shot, well, you might need it. However, most elk are taken at closer range once the hunting pressure sends them to the timber.
     
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  25. Dancing Bear

    Dancing Bear Scout

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    My favorite rifle for elk season 2019 (spike only this year) is my .30-06 M70 SS FW-(or one of my other '06's), 180 gr Nosler Partition handload. It has a 2.5-8x36 Leupold on it as well as iron sights. The Partiton does a fine job. I have never had to track an elk shot with the load.

    For big elk, I have an SS M70 Classic in .338 Win Mag, I shoot 225 grain Federal Trophy Bonded HE loads or a Nosler 225 gr Partition Handload., It has a 2.5-8x36 Leupold on it as well as iron sights. While it does seem easier to see a reaction from the animal, I don't know that it kills elk any better than the '06. I went through a period where I wanted to see more reaction from the ones I was shooting. It works but it is heavier and recoils more. I will always use it for big bulls though as it was a gift from my wife, given when we didn't have much money to spare.

    I have killed elk with .308 Win using 150 and 165 grain loads as well. They worked fine. I believe your 7mm-08 would do the job very well.
     
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  26. Mackay Sagebrush

    Mackay Sagebrush Scout

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    Your 7-08 will be fine.

    I have killed more elk than I can recall with a .308. While I also hunt with a .300 WM due to the terrain and longer distance shots being more the norm than the exception, I could easily hunt the rest of my life with my 20" Tikka T3 and not consider myself handicapped.

    Below is a pic from last December's cow elk hunt. I shot this cow on the last day of my late December hunt,while she was slowly walking through the timber. I had ranged her at 600 and by the time I got back into a solid shooting position, she was roughly 615 ish yards. A single 155 grain Scenar did the trick from my puny little .308.

    I will plainly state that I DO NOT advocate shooting at animals at long distance unless you have the training/skill sets to do so, but that is a topic for another time, and one which has been thoroughly beaten to death around here and elsewhere.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  27. Desert Drifter

    Desert Drifter Supporter Supporter

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    There are many good cartridges for elk. I went on my first elk hunt with my father at the age of 6 in 1952. The bull he hit solid with factory 30-06 180 Winchester silver tip ammo ran about 10 feet, hit a tree, turned downhill, ran about another 20 feet collapsed and then slid down the slope of a mountain and slid under a huge down fallen tree. It was a lot of work for a group of wranglers on horseback to recover it and get it up out of the canyon and back to camp. A few more short stories. The tops of some ridges in Colorado can be just a few short yards in width. A friend of mine in camp shot a cow elk on one of these ridges and the cow ran down off of the ridge. It took 5 of us working from dark thirty in the morning to way after dark with flashlights 2 full days to drag it down and out ON SNOW. That is 10 man days. Two years ago another friend shot a cow elk at 300 yards with an 06. It died in a hundred yards or so but not before it jumped a fence onto private property. The property owner had to be found, sheriff was called in, the game wardens called in. After three days of investigation it was determined the cow was shot legally on public property and the elk returned to my friend.

    You want elk to be DRT! Dead Right There. A small caliber will kill, no questions about it. But how quickly? How quickly and humanely will it kill at 300 yards? 400 yards? How far do you want to track it? How far do you want to pack it out? My rig is Remington 700 BDL with an old steel Weaver 3x9 scope in 300 win mag. Personally, if I had to, the smallest caliber I would hunt elk with would be a .270 Winchester. I'm getting too old to do all that work.

    These are just my experiences and my own opinion. Other readers will have their own experiences and opinions. They will vary.

    'drif
     
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  28. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

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    You just described what deer hunting is like in my area!
     
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  29. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    UPDATE: So I found a Savage 111 in 30-06. Factory laminate stock in pepper. Has a cheap scope, the previous owner said this came from Cabelas in a RTH kit. Ditching the scope for my Burris E-1 and Warne mounts. Thinking about glass bedding it. No magazine (which I LOVE). Will be adding a Limbsaver recoil pad. I have bad shoulders from years of being an Ironworker.
     
  30. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    Try a Kick EEZ. I have a few Limbsavers and a few KickEEZ and side by side the KickEEZ feels better.

    I dont think they offer a custom fit. Just grind to fit.

    CW
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  31. Jack O'Connor

    Jack O'Connor Tracker

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    My elk rifle is an older Savage 99 in .308 shooting 180 grain round nose core-lokt ammo. Scope is Vortex 2-7X. My longest shot was about 225 yards. But most of my elk have been taken at approx 150 yards or less. This ammo always does the job for me so I'm not switching to some other bullet style.

    .308 is a keeper!

    Jack
     
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  32. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    @Cwlongshot I will look into that. The kid is taking my Tikka, so I thought this would give me a chance to have a rifle "fit" to me.
     
  33. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    Just got a call from a buddy. Someone in his family has a Winchester Model 70 featherweight in .325 WSM. Looked up ammo. Real P.I.T.A. to get. Custom made for $100 per box of 20. What say you brothers...
     
  34. Theangrywelder

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    I looked at the ballistics for that round in the Hornady reloading book the other day and according to the book that round has 1000 ft/lbs at 1000 yards. I am skeptical of almost everything I read and I would like to see a scientific test done to prove those numbers but if Hornady's numbers are right then a 30-06 is way more than enough round for Elk in my opinion. I would like to hear what someone that has used this round for Elk has to say about it.
     
  35. Mackay Sagebrush

    Mackay Sagebrush Scout

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    I would not bother with a 325 wsm. It never really took off. The 30-06 on the other hand will always be a solid choice. There are no shortage of loads from "managed recoil", light for caliber projectile loads to heavy factory 220 grain type loads, and everything in between.


    I think you are on the right path with the Savage 30-06 you have found.
     
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  36. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    30-06 is a standard hunting round here in Montana. My hunting partner took a large cow elk last year with a double lung shot with 180 grain federal blue box. Hvae other friends who reguallary harvest elk with 168 Barnes bullets out of the an 06. I took an elk last year with the 06 with the 180 grain woodleighs, neck shot...

    Only reason I am going to 200 grain bullets is often I encounter less than ideal quartering away animals so I want to have the extra penetration if I am going to but a bullet behind the near rib and expect it to penetrate through to the far shoulder on a large animal that is on the verge of running away from me.
     
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  37. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Couldn't agree more.
     
  38. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    I’ve never hunted Elk but my rifle of choice from those I own would be my Browning BAR in 30/06. My SIL and his cousin have taken several Elk and one Bison with their Rem 700’s in 308 using 165 grain bullets.

    Hopefully you have horses or ATV’s, as packing the meat & horns out can get into work unless you’re fairly young and in excellent physical condition. It’s all good once back in camp with your boots off, sipping on a totie. Great memories to be made.
     
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  39. Kimber22

    Kimber22 Supporter Supporter

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    @Joe J My son, who still at 31 regularly plays soccer is going to be toting the head. I will bone out one side and whatever fits in my KUIU large game bag is what I am carrying. He gets the rest. And he gets the extra trip...
     
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  40. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Those young guys are an important part of the equipment. ;)

    I have committed to not carrying bones for quite a few years now. Looks like you are in the same camp.
     
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  41. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Supporter Supporter

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    I have been reading on folks sizing that up to 35. They say its a dandy duplicate to my Norma mag.

    As a reloader, you dont ever really need to worry about a caliber thats “not so popular”.

    As a caster and a reloader you couldn't care any less about popularity of anything. All ya need is primers n Powder.

    CW
     
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  42. Theangrywelder

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    I agree with the 180's. The 180's is what I have always shot out of my 06, its what I hand load now and it was what I shot when I used factory ammo. I have always felt like the 06 is just to much bullet for deer hunting and should be used on bigger game like Elk or Moose. I have since dropped to a smaller caliber because I felt like the 180's, well the 06 period, is just way to much bullet for what I am shooting and it is ruining to much meat. Thanks for the info.
     
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  43. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    I have heard of great results with the 06 and deer with the 130 ttsx Barnes bullet.
     
  44. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    I used the 180 Barnes for elk and was very happy with the way they performed. Not much meat damage but quick kills. These were the older original style X bullets. Pretty sure they have only gotten better.

    Another approach with the '06 for deer is to go to a heavier slower conventional bullet. My BIL always shot big heavy round nose bullets from his '06 for deer and not moving very fast. Sorta depends on the country you hunt though. If you are looking at 300 yard shots big and heavy may not be a good choice.
     
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  45. Theangrywelder

    Theangrywelder Tracker

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    I have always stuck with the 180's because that was the bullet I learned the ballistics for so I could adjust for distance and wind with split second decisions. Also, it was the round that I grew up with, my dad used it to hunt with as the 06 was a carry over from his days as a Marine in Vietnam. However, my curiosity strives from a planned move across country where I may end up hunting Elk or Moose later on and I wanted everyone's opinion for using that round for those purposes because I keep reading where the minimum should be a magnum round - 300 or bigger - and I feel like that's advice from people who don't understand ballistics. Once again, thanks for all of the help.
     
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