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How far to kill an elk with a .243?

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Unread 12-12-2011, 10:30 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,231
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

No denying, It was a great shot.

"BUT" should it have been tried? IMO No !

Paper does not die slowley and painfully animals can and do if everything is not perfict
at those ranges.

I do not blame the girl, she was just doing what she was told. In his hands it was a possible shot.
but even though he coached her how did he know if she was capable of that shot, plus with the
wind that was present and in some areas unknown IMO it was a very risky shot with a light
weight bullet.

That would have been a tough shot with a 338 with the unknowns, so I would have not considered
it with anything less.

I have seen great shots go bad with just one step of the animal at those bullet flight times and the
larger bullets saved the day.

This is just my opinion and in no way intended to be moral judgment on anyone.

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Unread 12-12-2011, 11:01 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 3,968
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

I guess my question is, had it turned into a rodeo would we have seen the video? Stuff happens even in controlled circumstances. I was asked to help with skinning a fairly large steer. Fellow brought out a 30-30, and a half box of ammo, the half empties all representing cattle killed. On this day a well placed shot, steer sat on his ass, shook his head slinging blood out his nose and mouth, got up and ran like a bat out of hell. About 30 minutes later we got close enough to finish it, great shot placement no penetration. The rest of the box reportedly worked as good as the first half. Fellow that slaughters for a living using a 10/22. Always very meticulous this year when he came out for the pigs 5 shot heard for 4 pigs. I didn't follow up to see what the issue was. I also was present when a very large man in heavy Carhaart winter clothing was killed with a 22 from so far no one heard the shot, he grabbed his chest and fell all present thought heart attack. I prefer a bit more margin for error. One of my favorite Far Side cartoons is 2 cavemen with a tiny bow, looking at a mammoth all 4 legs in the with an arrow sticking out-caption reads we got to remember that spot. Use what you want, but the days it doesn't work post that also.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 11:21 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Burlington WY
Posts: 96
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Great Shot! I wish more people would post videos on this site. I think the 243 with the 105 VLD is a great elk cartridge for beginners and maybe someone sensitive to recoil. It retains enough energy out to 750 yards to kill large game. I think that after that it would be stretching it on performance. I have personally shot a large muledeer at 830 yards with that combination and it penetrated through the shoulder and exited out the ribs on the offside. Keep the videos coming John!
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Unread 12-12-2011, 11:49 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,098
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

To each his own. I agree with wingnut. I know John personally and have taken all sorts of game with that combo at greater distances then in the video, including elk. It all comes down to confidence in your equipment and shot placement. I'd John didn't think it could have dropped the animal right there he wouldn't have let the girl shoot. Great shooting to all involved
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Unread 12-12-2011, 12:07 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 2,021
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

I've seen a video (have it on DVD) of that same rifle being used at over 700 yards on an elk with the same results.

Would I try it with a 243?
Absolutely not.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 12:38 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

When I was growing up if anyone would have even talked about using a magnum anything for Elk or deer they would have been laughed out of the woods. I watched over they years as the trend changed, mostly due to poor shooting.

I recall many of guide trying to get the gun guns outlawed because they were not as effective and people simply couldn't shoot them well. With poor place shots folks proclaimed then needed bigger guns. I recall one person giving another a 243 to use for deer hunting. Years later asked how he was getting along with it his reply was that he killed 12 elk with it before someone told him it wouldn't work and he had to use a bigger gun. All 12 where one shot kills.

I've done a bunch of research over the years and I think folks might be surprised to learn what the most effective caliber is fro deer and elk. It doesn't start with a .3 if that helps any.

I personally think it was a great shot from a great coach that had a clue.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 06:15 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 2,480
Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Many praise the gal for her great shot...and others state that the 243 is more than enough to kill elk with...but ( its audible but tough to hear) the guide tells the girl to shoot the elk RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE...and later says RIGHT BEHIND THE SHOULDER... Others have stated that " it was a spine shot..hence the legs folding up underneath the cow so quickly."..???

Not..unless this pic is fictitious..??

Then the gals hitting the elk as she is was PURE LUCK...and NOT some sort of Annie Oakley shooting nor the result of being hit with what the average elk hunter would consider a sufficient round ( one that would anchor the animal if a poor hit occurred)

Had she shot where told to...it would have been a "lunger" and of course a killing shot...but not the dramatic foldup that was videoed.
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