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Serious question about caliber and elk potential

 
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  #1  
Old 07-20-2009, 08:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sparks, Nevada
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Serious question about caliber and elk potential

Ok so a little about me first. I was an outfitter in OR for 6yrs for Upland, waterfowl, deer, and elk. I have wittnessed big game animals taken with just about every range of caliber (from .223 to 30-378) some taken cleanly some not. I like most have had the campfire chat about caliber and usefullness eithics and respect for the game. This is just an fyi to show background and expierence.

Ok so the one burning question that I seem to harbor is this: (Now please dont take this as me taking a shot at someone or me thinking I am right and everyone else is wrong cause I really dont know the answer.) Well, anyway here goes.

Why do so many people seem to have the thought process that in order to take an animal of elk size that you have to use a large caliber? IE. if you are going to go elk hunting you should go into the field with no less than a large .30 round. And if you are really out to take care of business you should be using a .338 or bigger?

I have a couple examples to compare for this question.. Early in this last century the 30-30 killed as many big game animals as any other cal. I have witnessed a .270 kill with one shot no less than 10 bull elk. I have read in the book "the alaska wollf man" that he killed moose, cariboo, wolves, and dall sheep with one shot with as small as a .220 swift. It is legal to take elk with as light as a #40 bow. So why is it that when a firearm is involved it seems so many think that a large cal bullet is all that is ethical..

To be continued so as this post doesnt get too long to read.

Last edited by happylilcuss; 07-20-2009 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Re: Serious question about caliber and LR potential

Now understand I am not advocating everyone go out and start hunting with "light" cal weapons.. I am also not so much talking about how BC comes into play with the bigger cals.. Come to think of it I am also not talking so much about what most on here consider LR..

I am well aware how with the larger cal the error factor is increased. I am also aware how the larger cal BC come into effect. However I read on here a lot about how the 7mm is prob on the light side. It has BC better than most of the .30 cal bullets.

It is my opinion that sometimes the larger the cal the poorer the choice for most hunters. Now let me clarify.... I strongly feel that no matter what rifle you choose it mostly boils down to shot placement and comfort of the rifle. If you can shoot your 243 lights out all day long but flinch every time you shoot your 300 wby than I feel you should take your 243 hunting and understand its limitations..

OK sorry for the rant I probably shouldnt have even posted this as its all conjecture and opinion.. Sorry guys.,, Flame On!!
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: Serious question about caliber and LR potential

On this site it has to do with the range of the target, I doubt the 30-30 has ever killed an elk at over 500 yards.

With respect to the 338 on this site that has to do with high bc bullets and less drift at LR.

Under 300 yards I fully agree, about any modern cartrige with a bore over 25 with a good bullet will kill elk.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
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Re: Serious question about caliber and LR potential

The easy answer is that this is long range hunting. If you want to shoot deer and elk at the distances that most folks shoot them at (75-250 yds), just about anything will work because perfect shot placement is easy. Get out at 700yds or more on elk in field conditions and I wouldn't want to be shooting a 270win or a 220 swift.

I've seen Bull Elk taken with a 22-250, .243, 270win, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, 300win Mag, 30-30win, 338Edge, 338Allen Mag and probably a couple I don't remember. I'd have no problem killing an elk with any of the above, but if I drive across the country and incur the expense of hunting elk, I'm not going to use the lighter end of this list.

AJ
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:18 PM
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Re: Serious question about caliber and elk potential

Ha, I finally beat AJ on the keyboard
Only by seconds
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2009, 08:22 PM
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Re: Serious question about caliber and elk potential

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyboy View Post
Ha, I finally beat AJ on the keyboard
Only by seconds
Yeah, but it appears that we always agree no matter which one of us is fastest on the keyboard.

AJ
__________________
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.


My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2009, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
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Re: Serious question about caliber and LR potential

Just one fella's experience.

Had total commitment, back in the day, to the 270 Win. Way before 140 class bullets were developed for it. Used 130s exclusively. Shot lots of muleys a moose and no elk.

Moved next to a fella that has harvested many elk. He's one of those big bore fellas.

His elk rifles consist of 338 Win Mag w/200 gr bullets??? 358 Norma with heavier bullets and a 375 H&H. His long shots are off hand and a couple fo hundred yards.

Has lost several animals. But its infrequently. Always a bad hit.

Elk are a magical animal to many hunters, mostly from back east.

Experience seems to reveal that elk are hard to kill.

Every one seems to think that bigger is always better.

I think it comes down to macho stuff. As my Ford is better than your TRD...........

Having said that, my carry rifle is a 338 RUM w/300 SMKs and a 375 Allen Mag is under construction and my 270 shoots 170 class bullets really fast and far.........
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