Re: Shot placement on elk!
Man a horse goes a long way when planning hunts! I too have packed out my share of elk, not my favorite thing but sometimes part of the job.
On the shot thingy...
Know your weapon. Know where to place shots before you take them, meaning ask here as you did and practice. Keep in mind that an elk is still in the deer family and though a larger animal the parts are still all in the same places, basically. Practice and shoot with confidence. As most here would agree that a heart/lung shot is the highest percentage shot. You already know this and will do just fine.
Personally, filling an animal full of holes until it quits moving is not the approach I prefer. A well placed shot on an elk will kill it as fast as most animals regardless of caliber or weapon choice (speaking in terms of legal weapon calibers for hunting elk). And with all due respect to those who are ready to jump my bones about how tough elk are and you need this bullet or that bullet. Yes they are tough but to shoot animals that are dead on their feet can be unnecessary at times. Been a guide and taxidermist for nearly 25 years and boy have I seen some stuff when it comes to shot up critters. And yes one bullet can out perform another in some aspect but they all, every last one of them, will kill an elk when placed properly
Hunting in pairs is a plus, with your partner spotting and calling for the second shot if needed. Its easier for that person to know where exactly you hit. Most kills, elk still go some distance even heart shot but they are still on the ground soon if not pushed. One poster stated a very important note about giving an animal some time and don't push them or rush in. I have seen elk that were pushed leave the country when the hunter just knew it was going to be down for sure and didn't wait. Its not always a question of the perfect shot but what you do after a questionable shot.
All of the advise and answers to your question here in this thread are valuable and come from the many years of personal experience each poster carries under his belt. Please take take any of it and apply as you see fit during your hunting afield. Don't complicate elk hunting. Know your weapon take the percentage shot and you will do just fine. Trying to break elk down with bone shots can have its disadvantages as a first shot regardless of weapon choice. They are full time elk and can live without a leg if need be to survive. You need vitals. Bet you already knew to shoot behind the shoulder or heart/lung shot anyway...