It seems that everyone has an idea of what cartridge works for elk, even if they have never seen an elk in person, so i am curious as to what people are actually using for elk hunting. I have only shot two elk. One was across a canyon at a range of 210 yards. I was using a 35 Whelen with a 225 grain TSX barnes bullet leaving the muzzle at around 2500 fps. The elk was walking down a steep hillside for water so shot was broadside on an undisturbed animal. The bullet hit no rib on entry or exit and did minimal damage to the lower lungs. My uncle actually thought i had a bad shot as there was not the response he is use to seeing. The bullet did not open up much and caused minimal damage, penciled right through, which i have learned is common with a Barnes bullet as the velocity starts dropping below 2400 fps and lack of target resistances since i did not hit a bone. With this shot the terminals performance would have been much better with a bullet traveling faster or a bullet that reliably opened up at a lower velocity. My second elk was an upper neck shot at 80 yards. I was using a 3006 with a 180 grain Woodleigh bullets traveling around 2550 from the muzzle. Any accurate rifle could have dropped the elk with the same shot, heck my 300 blackout with 110 barnes bullets would have been sufficient. My uncle who has over 40 elk to his name hunts with a 7mm Remington Magnum shooting 150 Barnes bullet running a little over 2900 fps. I still have not decided what load i want to use for elk hunting this year. In the dark timber it seems that when i finally get close to the elk they are looking over there shoulders at me facing away for a quick exit. This has happened enough that i now feel that i need to be able to take a reliable shot on an elk that is strongly quartering away. This would mean using a bullet out of my 3006 that is capable of very deep penetration. While i like my 180 Woodleigh load the bullet opens up to such a large diameter that penetration is some what sacrificed. I am leaning to using a 220 round nose Woodleigh bullet. Dark timber shots are rarely over 100 yards and the Woodleigh bullet traveling at 2400fps from the muzzle would still have enough velocity for full expansion out to 200 yards . This bullet would not only penetrate deep but would also create a great deal of internal trama to hopefully drop the elk quickly as a wounded elk running can easily get into some very ugly terrain.