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Long range elk "mistake"

 
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  #22  
Old 11-04-2011, 10:34 AM
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

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Originally Posted by Loner View Post
Having been a bow hunter and talking with a lot of them, I would say 50% is the
loss rate overall. Even some very well known bow hunters have admitted to losing
game at a pretty high percentage. So don't fell too bad about it. I just hated hunting in
warm weather. dealing with the bees, tics and sweat is not my idea of meat hunting. Now
for you horn hunters it works well for elk as they are in the rut.
No way is the loss rate of bowhunters @ 50%. If you have a loss rate of 50 % bowhunting, you better quit and find something else to do.
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  #23  
Old 11-04-2011, 10:42 AM
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

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Originally Posted by elkaholic View Post
I certainly wouldn't with a bullet, that I already knew through my testing, would not CONSISTENTLY expand at those velocities! The problem is, in 6.5, I don't know of a bullet with a high enough b.c., that WILL expand at that range? (maybe the A-Max but I haven't tested it enough) Also, I put myself in the position, when my .300 went down and I took the 6.5, thinking I would limit myself to a little closer shot. As I stated in my original post, I test fired at 880 yards before I left and put two shots spot on and three inches apart.The problem is, when a bull elk comes out and stands broadside on the last day of the season, it is pretty easy to extend your range by a little! Do I think the the 6.5 is capable of taking elk at that range with a 600+ b.c. bullet that expands properly? The answer is yes. Do I think it is the best choice? Absolutely not! As Shawn Carlock said, it is better to error on the side of horsepower..........Rich
Thanks for posting this thread.
I have a 6.5-06AI and will learn from this post.
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  #24  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

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Originally Posted by trueblue View Post
No way is the loss rate of bowhunters @ 50%. If you have a loss rate of 50 % bowhunting, you better quit and find something else to do.
+1

I know a dozen archery hunters here in Idaho and none are even close to that 50% number. I personally hit one elk that I didn't recover and he lived. I saw him the next year. I have shot 15 elk with a bow that didn't fair so well!

Those numbers are either way off or we have some jackasses in our midst that need to learn how to shoot.
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  #25  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

Rich, I'm sorry that this happened to you. This is a terrible way to be humbled.
Have you had good luck with soft tissue shots (lungs, lower chest, etc.) at long range on elk?? I've either shot elk or have seen elk shot in the ribs / lungs at various ranges from point blank to 800 yards with nosler ballistic tips, partitions, accubonds, sst's, bear claws, bergers, sierra MK's, etc. and not a single one of them provided me with evidence that they were adequate for the purpose of quickly and humanely dispatching an elk. I know alot of guys subscribe to the theory of intense soft tissue trauma in long range shooting, which may work for things like deer and antelope, but I've witnessed a much higher failure rate in this type of shooting in an animal who can run for miles on 1/2 of a single lung functioning.
I shot a 4 point bull in Colorado one year that we saw in muzzle-loader season (late august) that had obviously been wounded by a bowhunter, and I killed it in 4th rifle season (mid-november). It came limping by me, and I dispatched it, and I called the game warden. The game warden issued me a tag for it, but not before opening it up to discover an 11" chunk of carbon-fiber arrow with a broken 4-blade broadhead inside. One lung was completely crispy green and black with no function...sounding like a paper bag crunching, and the other lung was almost 2/3rds gangrenous and filled with fluid. No way he would have made it through the winter, but he made it 2 1/2 months with that type of injury.
Having witnessed that, and also having shot plenty of elk through the lungs leaving holes you could fit a baseball through and watch them run for a half-mile I now subscribe to a different school of elk killing. I either have the ability with gun and bullet to completely break both shoulders / major bone structure, or I don't shoot.
I'd like to get an idea of what most guys are doing when it comes to ELK specifically at long ranges. I understand something in the 300 grain category could be valuable for such a task, and I also understand smaller caliber weapons with frangible bullets hitting an animal at the terminus of the spine and shoulder causing instant death as well, but you're also talking about a coffee-can sized area to hit as well. Where I hunt we simply cannot risk an elk running even 500 yards because it enters private land, or runs off into a wilderness canyon where the retrieve will be a gruelling technical climb to get the meat out. The two long range bulls I have killed were both high double-shoulders and single shot kills with Barnes TTSX. I've had the opportunity to shoot at some bulls farther away, knowing full well that I could hit body, but not both shoulders specifically, so I opted not to shoot.
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  #26  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:17 PM
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

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Originally Posted by HAMMERHAND View Post
Rich, I'm sorry that this happened to you. This is a terrible way to be humbled.
Have you had good luck with soft tissue shots (lungs, lower chest, etc.) at long range on elk?? I've either shot elk or have seen elk shot in the ribs / lungs at various ranges from point blank to 800 yards with nosler ballistic tips, partitions, accubonds, sst's, bear claws, bergers, sierra MK's, etc. and not a single one of them provided me with evidence that they were adequate for the purpose of quickly and humanely dispatching an elk. I know alot of guys subscribe to the theory of intense soft tissue trauma in long range shooting, which may work for things like deer and antelope, but I've witnessed a much higher failure rate in this type of shooting in an animal who can run for miles on 1/2 of a single lung functioning.
I shot a 4 point bull in Colorado one year that we saw in muzzle-loader season (late august) that had obviously been wounded by a bowhunter, and I killed it in 4th rifle season (mid-november). It came limping by me, and I dispatched it, and I called the game warden. The game warden issued me a tag for it, but not before opening it up to discover an 11" chunk of carbon-fiber arrow with a broken 4-blade broadhead inside. One lung was completely crispy green and black with no function...sounding like a paper bag crunching, and the other lung was almost 2/3rds gangrenous and filled with fluid. No way he would have made it through the winter, but he made it 2 1/2 months with that type of injury.
Having witnessed that, and also having shot plenty of elk through the lungs leaving holes you could fit a baseball through and watch them run for a half-mile I now subscribe to a different school of elk killing. I either have the ability with gun and bullet to completely break both shoulders / major bone structure, or I don't shoot.
I'd like to get an idea of what most guys are doing when it comes to ELK specifically at long ranges. I understand something in the 300 grain category could be valuable for such a task, and I also understand smaller caliber weapons with frangible bullets hitting an animal at the terminus of the spine and shoulder causing instant death as well, but you're also talking about a coffee-can sized area to hit as well. Where I hunt we simply cannot risk an elk running even 500 yards because it enters private land, or runs off into a wilderness canyon where the retrieve will be a gruelling technical climb to get the meat out. The two long range bulls I have killed were both high double-shoulders and single shot kills with Barnes TTSX. I've had the opportunity to shoot at some bulls farther away, knowing full well that I could hit body, but not both shoulders specifically, so I opted not to shoot.
Good post! Actually, I have had good luck with lung shots at long range with the bullets that I make for that purpose. I think that PART of the equation here is, when you shoot an elk at close range, they have a fear factor (adrenaline) which kicks in and they run if you don't break them down. I have NEVER had an elk run at long range (600-1100 yards). When they are hit, they either just stand there until they bleed out, or walk VERY slowly for a few yards and then lay down and expire. As I posted, the cows, in this case, one of which was 5 yards from the bull I shot, didn't even stop feeding. I am 100% convinced that the elk have no clue what has happened. They just know that they don't feel well! I am pretty sure that had I hit this elk in the shoulder with this bullet, he would have been dead when I got there. Part of his shoulder was covered by brush and I didn't want to thread the needle and chance hitting brush first so I aimed right behind the shoulder. Again, this is contrary to what I have advised others to do at that range with this bullet. Every bullet has a "window" where it will perform and this is exactly why I designed my own several years ago for just this occasion.........Rich
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  #27  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:31 PM
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkaholic View Post
I certainly wouldn't with a bullet, that I already knew through my testing, would not CONSISTENTLY expand at those velocities! The problem is, in 6.5, I don't know of a bullet with a high enough b.c., that WILL expand at that range? (maybe the A-Max but I haven't tested it enough) Also, I put myself in the position, when my .300 went down and I took the 6.5, thinking I would limit myself to a little closer shot. As I stated in my original post, I test fired at 880 yards before I left and put two shots spot on and three inches apart.The problem is, when a bull elk comes out and stands broadside on the last day of the season, it is pretty easy to extend your range by a little! Do I think the the 6.5 is capable of taking elk at that range with a 600+ b.c. bullet that expands properly? The answer is yes. Do I think it is the best choice? Absolutely not! As Shawn Carlock said, it is better to error on the side of horsepower..........Rich
Scirocco and hornady interbonds I think you'll find will both still give you good controlled expansion even down to around 1,600 FPS.

I'd also tell you to perhaps try the Nosler Hunting Ballistic tips. The biggest problem I had with the Noslers was too much and somewhat uncontrolled expansion at high velocities but they did well once they'd burned off some of that initial MV.
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  #28  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:37 PM
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Re: Long range elk "mistake"

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
Scirocco and hornady interbonds I think you'll find will both still give you good controlled expansion even down to around 1,600 FPS.

I'd also tell you to perhaps try the Nosler Hunting Ballistic tips. The biggest problem I had with the Noslers was too much and somewhat uncontrolled expansion at high velocities but they did well once they'd burned off some of that initial MV.
I agree with your take on the expansion of the bullets you mentioned but they are all a little short on b.c. for a marginal caliber like the 6.5 so distance for minimum velocity for expansion becomes even less. The Scirocco might be the exception, but I have never found them to be accurate enough for extreme long range........rich
p.s. I think I'll just stick with my 300 with bullets that expand down to 1300'
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