I was born and raised not far from Eagle, CO and killed my first Elk 39 years ago near Rifle, CO. I can tell you that alot of Elk are lost every year because they were shot by hunters who weren't using enough gun for the distance. The last Elk I got was near Gunnison, CO. My first shot went through the heart at about 275 yards. The second shot hit him in the rear end at about 325 and the third broke his neck at about 350. I was using a 375 H&H with factory loaded 270 grain "fail safe" bullets. How do you think a 155 grain 6.5 would do in the same circumstances? Good luck!
the elk was dead on his feet with your first shot because of PROPER SHOT PLACEMENT,you just didnt give him the the chance to fall over.btw i have been hunting elk for 20 years,and have lost track of how many i have taken as i mainly hunt cows and or calves and have multiple tags if possible,i have taken these elk at distances from 12-400+ yds and have never used used a "magnum round"[as i simply dont shoot them as proficiently] ,and very rarely have required a 2nd shot.i thank you for pointing out that in your opinion i may be undergunned.the point of the post was simply input on bullet selection[who is using what?and the results]ty-Dave
I'm taking my 6.5 x 284 and have loaded it with the Sierra 140 GameKing... I'll let you know in a few weeks how the elk responded if I use it. (I used the same load as for the 142 MatchKing, just a little different OAL.)
If for some bizarre reason the MK do not shoot for you, try the 140gr SST. The construction is well proven and has a very high BC (1.5"long). From the 6.5-284, I would expect muzzle vel to be in the 2900fps range so any shot out to your max range would be effective.
I am working with them in my 6.5 Mystic and they stabilize in my 1 in9 twist barrel.
Dantec, from what I have read, the Scandinavians shoot lots of moose with the 6.5X55 swedes each year. They shot them at relatively short ranges because they hunt from stands with others driving the animals to them. Very wooded areas too. I don't think they are allowed to shoot over 200yds (?).
There is an ongoing saga of hunters who have killed "dinosaurs" with 243's and others who couldn't break down a 65lb doe with a super magnum and the newest premium bullet. My hunting experience shows that as long as the heart or lungs are damaged sufficiently, the animal will eventually die. The big problem is that most species, like elk and whitetail, are tenacious and can survive a very long time without either or both of these organs.
That leads to the conclusion that maybe I didn't hit them hard enough (the rush to bigger and bigger magnums). Except for taking out the spine or brain, there is no hand held calibre (legal to hunt with anyways) that is going to drop an animal every single time with a boiler room shot. With well placed shots, the best we can expect is that the animal expires within easy tracking range. Or else, we go for brain/spine and "shoulder" shots only and that opens its own sets of problems.