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Elk Caliber

 
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  #15  
Old 06-02-2013, 12:45 AM
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Re: Elk Caliber

I have never hunted elk. It's on my to do list, though, so I have a lot of interest in discussions related to elk hunting. I have followed some pretty spirited discussions among ostensibly very experienced elk hunters on this forum. My takeaway from those discussions has been that there seems to be two distinct camps when it comes to caliber selection, bullet selection, and shot selection: the Go Big or Go Home camp and the Shot Placement is King camp.

The Go Big or Go Home camp tends to advocate using large caliber rifles and are typically advocates of shoulder shooting elk. If you are going to shoulder shoot elk, a large caliber with heavy bullets makes a lot of sense. I have seen some pretty convincing photo documentation to back up this school of thought. Often a secondary reason for advocating the big stuff is the ability to reach the vitals from nearly any angle.

The Shot Placement is King camp tend to be advocates of using standard whitetail cartridges with premium bullets to take the standard behind the shoulder "meat saver" shot. This school of thought emphasizes careful shot placement and equally careful selection of shot angles.

Both schools of thought represent different sets of trade offs. When someone from either camp makes a cartridge recommendation, I believe it to be useful for the advice seeker to understand the basis for the recommendation. More importantly, the advice seeker needs to be honest with themself about which school of thought is a better fit for their skills, abilities, and preferred hunting style.

If any of you experienced elk hunters think my analysis is all wet, I encourage you to set me straight. I am sure it woud be an instructive and worthwhile conversation for all concerned.
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  #16  
Old 06-02-2013, 02:14 AM
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Re: Elk Caliber

Your so right.....................220 and a Barnes bullet .. I shot a huge Mule Deer with my 222 and a 45 gr bullet . Right behind the shoulder and we stuggled to keep from going down and then down he went . Bullet placement is all there is.
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2013, 10:01 AM
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Re: Elk Caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by benchracer View Post
I have never hunted elk. It's on my to do list, though, so I have a lot of interest in discussions related to elk hunting. I have followed some pretty spirited discussions among ostensibly very experienced elk hunters on this forum. My takeaway from those discussions has been that there seems to be two distinct camps when it comes to caliber selection, bullet selection, and shot selection: the Go Big or Go Home camp and the Shot Placement is King camp.

The Go Big or Go Home camp tends to advocate using large caliber rifles and are typically advocates of shoulder shooting elk. If you are going to shoulder shoot elk, a large caliber with heavy bullets makes a lot of sense. I have seen some pretty convincing photo documentation to back up this school of thought. Often a secondary reason for advocating the big stuff is the ability to reach the vitals from nearly any angle.

The Shot Placement is King camp tend to be advocates of using standard whitetail cartridges with premium bullets to take the standard behind the shoulder "meat saver" shot. This school of thought emphasizes careful shot placement and equally careful selection of shot angles.

Both schools of thought represent different sets of trade offs. When someone from either camp makes a cartridge recommendation, I believe it to be useful for the advice seeker to understand the basis for the recommendation. More importantly, the advice seeker needs to be honest with themself about which school of thought is a better fit for their skills, abilities, and preferred hunting style.

If any of you experienced elk hunters think my analysis is all wet, I encourage you to set me straight. I am sure it woud be an instructive and worthwhile conversation for all concerned.
You are kind of on the right page, except that no matter what caliber you use, shot placement is definitely king. I prefer a heavier caliber, but I also prefer to not shoulder shoot at elk. I believe in the heavier calibers simply because of the extra energy it brings to the table. Shot placements are not always perfect, so anything extra that can help I will take.
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2013, 08:20 PM
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Re: Elk Caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by benchracer View Post
I have never hunted elk. It's on my to do list, though, so I have a lot of interest in discussions related to elk hunting. I have followed some pretty spirited discussions among ostensibly very experienced elk hunters on this forum. My takeaway from those discussions has been that there seems to be two distinct camps when it comes to caliber selection, bullet selection, and shot selection: the Go Big or Go Home camp and the Shot Placement is King camp.

The Go Big or Go Home camp tends to advocate using large caliber rifles and are typically advocates of shoulder shooting elk. If you are going to shoulder shoot elk, a large caliber with heavy bullets makes a lot of sense. I have seen some pretty convincing photo documentation to back up this school of thought. Often a secondary reason for advocating the big stuff is the ability to reach the vitals from nearly any angle.

The Shot Placement is King camp tend to be advocates of using standard whitetail cartridges with premium bullets to take the standard behind the shoulder "meat saver" shot. This school of thought emphasizes careful shot placement and equally careful selection of shot angles.

Both schools of thought represent different sets of trade offs. When someone from either camp makes a cartridge recommendation, I believe it to be useful for the advice seeker to understand the basis for the recommendation. More importantly, the advice seeker needs to be honest with themself about which school of thought is a better fit for their skills, abilities, and preferred hunting style.

If any of you experienced elk hunters think my analysis is all wet, I encourage you to set me straight. I am sure it woud be an instructive and worthwhile conversation for all concerned.
Cohunter14 pretty much nailed it. I might add here in Co minimum centerfire rifle for big game is 6mm and for elk/moose minimum is 85gr bullet.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2013, 08:25 PM
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Re: Elk Caliber

Benchracer, I also think alot of hunters progress into the sport and go from deer to elk or larger game. I started with lesser caliber like the 243 because I was a kid and that is good size to start with,and was not to large to begin with.Elk where hard to come by and you had to want it , and I went to 7mm,then 340 WBY.The country was big and started to want to stretch it out.When I was a kid at elk camp the rack had rifles like 7mm,300wn,308 Norma mag,340 wby.Some one would shot a bear and slob some good old bear grease on your boots with a paint brush,I loved those days.I am in the bigger is better but have shot large mags for 25+, I have also taken many a pope animal,I arrowed 21 animals one year,so fully understand shot placement
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2013, 09:45 PM
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Re: Elk Caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by benchracer View Post
The Go Big or Go Home camp

and

The Shot Placement is King camp
Benchracer,

I'm in each of your camps both at the same time..... but only part way. Shot placement is king. True. But how much of this "shot placement" do we really own? For the purposes of long range hunting or even target shooting at that matter one can only predict Mother Nature and the required ballistics corrections to certain degrees. One doesn't have to look too far to find some facts behind this statement. Take a look at the post by Clayne B and the cold bore challenge. Do you think he is not doing everything he can to send his shots to hit his intended target….every time? Is he hitting his target every time? One can only control shot placement so much…Mother Nature is the king here. To varying degrees it’s up to her in the long range game.

This is where go big comes into camp. When Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with your firing solution a well intended “shot placement” shot connects fur in an unwanted location. Going big tends to help alleviate problems associated with the unfortunate but realistic “bad fur shot placement.”

I will leave with this. I assisted new long range hunters last year harvesting three elk and three deer with an average range over 800 yards. There were varying degrees of wind on all the shots. Only two of the six animals were shot with “king of shot placement.” The other four were hit on the edge of the vitals. All animals were recovered only 10s of yards from where each was shot. I don’t choose to coach shooters to select a large magnum such as one pushing the 300gr 338 because its Go Big or Go Home……It’s because you have a better chance of recovering an animal when “king of shot placement” turns out to not even be in the castle.
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  #21  
Old 06-03-2013, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Re: Elk Caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOM H View Post
Cohunter14 pretty much nailed it. I might add here in Co minimum centerfire rifle for big game is 6mm and for elk/moose minimum is 85gr bullet.
I know people do it successfully, but I wouldn't have the cojones to take on an elk with a 6mm/85g bullet.

I guess I'm not exactly a "bigger is better" guy, but my grandfather once advised me to go with the most powerful chambering that I could still shoot well. I always thought that was pretty good advice.
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