just curious as to why you would be careful with shooting at elk from 1100- 1200 but you wouldn't hesitate to shoot at a deer. this would be with my 270 am and 170 class wc bullets. With the 195s i wouldn't hesitate if they would shoot in my rifle. With the extra weight and energy i'd have confidence in making a clean kill. By clean kill i mean if the elk is in a clearing, he drops in the clearing, and doesn't meander off into the dark timber for who knows how far. With the 170 bullet the preferable shot would be through the vitals and "hopefully" break down the off side shoulder. I would be hesitant to try for both shoulders and would feel pressured to make a high shoulder shot as a last resort.
deer are a lot smaller target, therefor have a lot less room for margin of error. Thats the way i see it anyways. So in all reality your max range for elk should be greater then that of a deer i would think. hitting the target vitals isn't the problem making a clean quick kill is. Additionally i feel that the 170 class bullet is a deer bullet for me in my rifle at some pretty good distances, if i coult get the deer to stand by those rocks that i've bee practicing on all summer. The 195 wc, if i could use it, is definitly an elk class bullet for all reasonable distances.
i know elk require a little bit more energy to kill, but still there vitals are about 2x the size of deer. again, placing a bullet in the vitals isn't the problem. However, the clean quick kill is. Even if hit in the vitals an elk can go some distance. That's the reason for "shoot till its down" thinking of some hunters. Where i hunt in idaho, if an animal goes sometimes even short distances its in another drainage.
i would have no problems shooting elk from 800- 1000 with my 7 rm or 338 edge, but i would be hesitant on deer past 800. what i hear you saying is that your concern is being confident of hitting the vitals. If i remember correctly your a young buck with legs yea long and the body to keep 'em humpin' over the hills. I on the other hand, am more than 2x your age (read silver haired old fart), 5'10" 205 lbs with a pretty shot inseam. I'm in good health except for about 5 things. I'm into fair chase and walk the miles but the post kill activities, even with a deer can be exasperating.
With my 338 rum shooting the 300 smk as you most probably do with the edge, i have no fear of reaching out and touching an elk out to 950. The resaon for that limitation is that is as far as the mil dot scope will allow hold overs and i don't trust its clicks.
not trying to start anything, just trying to understand your side of things. i under stand that you are not trying to start something and i wanted explain where i was coming from. In reality i can shoot at a muley farther than i can an elk unless its a cow as the deer is no more of a target than a rock. However, let a bull get in scope at a reasonable shooting distance and i get so durn'd excited i can't even spit straight.
yes Sir Grit there is. I am lucky enough to have a world class gun smith not 2 miles from my hunt club. His name is David Sams and I told him i wanted a 500 yd deer rifle. He built me a 6.5 x 284, tested it , worked up the right load, loaded me 200 rounds and i preceded to get to know my rifle. I did load some more with his specs and it shot great. it is alot of fun to shoot because it is so heavy but thats the same reason I cannot carry it to the places I want to hunt anymore. I even had to put a limb saver on my 270 tikka, guess im a wussie. Anyway thats the story.
I know what you mean about the difference in shooting deer and elk to. I've shot quite a few deer and dont get near as shakey or excited as I once did. However, stick a bear or elk in front of me and things can get exciting real quick, lol.
I still feel that if your using enough cartridge and the bullet has enough to get the job done that the overall max distance should still be greater on an elk versus a deer though simply because of there size. I just know from my shooting and experience, I have a lot better chance hitting a 20" vital size elk at 1000 yards then I do hitting a 12" vital size on deer at 1000 yards.
We'll see how I do this year. I finally drew my big bull tag for a great unit up here in Oregon. It only took me 11 years to draw the dam thing, ben puttin in since I was old enough to hunt big game in Oregon, (12) and am 23 now. There is some nice 350-375 bulls that we see up there every year hunting spikes, but we rarely have a big bull tag. To top it off, most them big boys know where there safe. They dont come out of the timber all that much and when they do, there usually at least 800 yards away. Sooo, am glad we got that 338 EDGE built last year. Am gonna start practicing out to at least 1K so hopefully when Mr big presents himself, I'll be ready. I dont even plan on getting another big bull tag in Oregon, so I gotta make the best of my 9 day hunt. Will hold out for a wallhanger the first 5-6 days, then its anything with horns. I'm not gonna eat a tag I waited 11 years for, thats for sure!! The wife and I are plannin to move to Missoula, MT next summer anyways so hopefully better hunting is in the near future.