I got into a thread on 24hr about the 25-06 for elk. It expanded well beyond the original question and I jumped in by saying (in short)that if one had a larger caliber such as 30-06 or the like that they shoot well, a person has no business taking a 25-06 elk hunting.
I'm not the best at putting to print my thoughts, but I like to think about worst case scenario and/or lowest common denominator. Not saying the 25-06 can't or hasn't killed elk, but I would hate to advise first time elk hunters to go out west armed with one. Distances can be deceiving and there are many who take less than desirable shot angles in the heat of the moment. I must admit to being guilty of that myself a time or two. I just get tired of elitists who say things like "I get sick of you easterners thinking you know about elk hunting. I've killed 25 elk with my 25-06/243 etc and never lost one."
I've killed a couple and seen over a dozen killed (admittedly small sample) and I've seen them fold at the shot and I've seen them take one right through the lungs and walk off like nothing happened. I have friends in CO and UT who have many years hard core elk hunting experience and they all tell me to bring enough gun and shoot 'til it goes down.
I wonder how many elk are wounded every year by being hit with marginal calibers at bad angles or are lost by novice hunters because they walk off into heavy cover with a hole through the lungs after the shot. "Well, must have missed. Never had a deer move an inch after takin' a hit from old faithful."
I am by no means claiming to be an expert, I just don't think it is a good idea to take a small caliber hunting for large tough critters like elk in unfamiliar rugged terrain. Am I a moron for advising fellow Missourians to take a 30-06 or the like stuffed with premium bullets on their first trip out west for the majestic wapiti and leave the 243 at home? I hope not. Sorry for the long post, just had to rant.
The critters have to win every time, I only have to win once.
Well I hate to dissappoint you, but my 17 year old sister dropped a huge cow last year at 350 yards with 2 well placed 100g PT's out of my 25-06 at 3300fps. 1st shot was in the shoulder, she humped up and was hit very hard, you could tell she didn't want to move, she went up the hill about 10-20 yards, and then stood broadside the opposite way she was before, my sister then plugged her in that shoulder, resulting in the cow elk rolling down the hill. I found 1 of the little 100g bullets and for smashing through shoulder bone, the little suckers still went 3/4 of the way through. I wished I had not forgotten my camera as the damage was very very impressive to say the least. The vitals were just flat tore up. I"m not saying the 25-06 is the cats ass for elk, but it will work given good shots and good shot placement, I guarantee that. I also guarantee that if I had been using the heavier 115-120g PT, that they would have fully exited given that there SD's are waaaay better then the little 100g bullets. Thats all I had though, and I knew they would work within there limits.
I've also taken 2 black bears past 400 yards with the 25-06, 1 took 1 shot, the other took 2 shots. The 25-06 kills pretty good when put in the right spot...
I remember you posting a while back about losing your elk you shot with the 338 RUM, correct?? Are you trying to justify that somehow by not using smaller calibers on elk??? Not trying to start a flame here by any means, but you never know where you hit that elk, so cant blame the caliber or bullet.
I've shot 10 elk, 5 spikes and 5 cows. All have been with a 7 RM, 300 WM, or 300 RUM. Farthest one I can remember going anywhere was about 25-30 yards, I can remember at least 6 of them dropping on the spot. I've shot elk from 200-525 yards. I have a litle experieence and know what works and what dont. Just because someone has a RUM based caliber, doesn't mean they should be entitled to be taking any texas heart shots or raking shots. There still not a high percentage shot. And you know thats just part of hunting. If the animal doesn't give you a good shot, you owe it to the animal to not shoot, period.
One last note. One might get the notion that I dont think elk are tough. Wrong answer. I know very well how tough elk are. We are very successful on elk and thats because we know what were doing. I've seen elk soak up 2 or 3 or even 4 shots from 7 RM's and 300 WM's. Whats the difference of 2 or 3 shots from a Magnum vs. a standard caliber when there both put in the vitals??? Not much IMO. There both going to do the job. That just goes to show how tough elk can be when your plugging them 2 or 3 times with a magnum. There not gonna drop any faster with anything bigger is my point.
My son's first two elk, cows, were taken with a 6mm. They died quickly so the gun was effective, but I DO NOT recomend it. Of the 8-10 elk I've seen killed (very small sample), with rifles from 6mm-338wm, none were bang-flop. My opinion on it; shoot the biggest gun you have (within reason), and can shoot ACCURATELY and live with the limitations. Caliber selection isn't much different than any of the other variables that go into shooting game animals. I have a 338wm. Not many people "ON THIS PAGE" would argue that with the right bullets it will kill elk at 1000 yards. I can't do that though, yet. But at 300 yards I'll take a raking shot every day of the week and twice on Sunday. If I had a 25-06; wait for the broadside shot and warm up the BBQ, it's backstrap time. If I only had a 25-06 I wouldn't hesitate to hunt elk with it. But if I laso had a 300/338/280/30-06, maybe even a 308 I would choose one of them first.
On the other hand....what a great excuse, I mean reason, to add one to the gun cabinet.
Genises 27-3: Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison...
No offense taken. I definitely wasn't saying the 25-06 won't kill elk. I also agree with you that we shouldn't take bad angle shots. But what we should do and what we do are often two different things (when I say we, I am speaking in general). My point is what if a guy does take the raking shot or shoots farther than he should, whether it is right or not, I think he (and the critter) would be better served to be shooting a heavier, larger bullet. Not saying that a 338 RUM would give you blanket permission to take a bad shot but I'll bet if an elk was hit from a poor angle that required lots of penetration to reach the vitals it would stand a lot better chance of killing the elk than a 25-06 or similar caliber. I just don't like to see any animal wounded. Believe me, I was sickened last year when I couldn't find my bull. I am fairly certain I hit it through lung tissue due to the splash of frothy bright red blood 30 ft from the hit site-- looked like the elk blew it out his nose.
There are alot of yayhoos out there who will fling lead at anything. I used to work at Bass Pro in the hunting dept and believe me, lots of guys pay absolutely no attention to bullet selection, just what ever is cheapest. Others use very light for caliber bullets such as 85 gr HP in the 25-06. It may drop deer like lightning but somehow I don't think it would have the same effect on an elk.
I think remingtonman and I share alot more in common in our opinions than at first glance. I would most definitely rather see someone use a 25-06 loaded with 115-120 gr partitions or other premium bullets than someone bring their 30-06 loaded with 125 gr ballistic tips. Unfortunately, many guys don't pay proper attention to bullet selection.
I just think that overall, inexperienced hunters would be better served with larger calibers as long as they shoot it well and proper bullets are utilized. When the first elk is spotted and the heart starts beating like a jackhammer, things don't always go by the book. If the shot isn't perfect or the judgement on proper shot angle or distance is clouded by a massive surge of adrenaline, the larger bullet might result in a dead elk instead of a wounded one. That is all I am saying.I figured this might stir some good friendly discussion. Thanks for your input guys.
The critters have to win every time, I only have to win once.