Dang, hopefully you get to see another bull like that within your new range capability!
My situation was a metaphor for life; there is always something you want that is a little outside your reach, ability, finances or whatever. The key is to keep trying and not give up, so that is what I am doing, exploring to find my limits.
Thanks for the advice on bullets, I'll look into them
I am in the category of not needing 1500 ft lbs for elk, more in the safe neighborhood of 1000ft lbs, and around 500-600 for deer, instead of the famed 1000 ft lbs, thats just crazy...
I've killed 10 elk in 11 years, and been around many more killed. They are not bulletproof, but yes they can be hard to kill when you dont put the bullet in the right spot. The key is to use a bullet that causes extensive damage, yes still fully penetrates. I like the shoulder shots for elk, 90% of the time they are DRT. They cant go far with 2 broken shoulders. Deer on the other hand are pretty easy to kill and can be killed with most anything and be DRT. I've seen them be DRT with 55g nbt's out to 400 yards with 400ft lbs of remaining energy, put a 55g bullet in a deers chest and hes not going to far.
Since were talking minimums here this is just my opinion, but I base it on energy and remaining velocity at the max distance of which either the energy or velocity falls below what is needed for a clean kill IMO.
In my opinion, 1000ft lbs for elk and a minimum impact velocity of 1700 fps for an SST,AB, nbt, vld, would be where I drew the line.
In a 7 mag you can get 1000 ft lbs at 1000 yards with 168g vld's and 180g vld's and pretty close to it with a couple other bullets. I know as well as everyone else they kill elk out to 1K so obviously 1000 ft lbs is good enough.
1500 for elk and 1000 for deer is a little over rated IMO and experience.
I believe the KE minimum is dependant on conditions whe the shot is taken. When taking elk at long range I think a higher KE minimum is required as shot placement is harder to control. If the shots impact is not broadside and in the vitals then you risk loosing a wounded animal when going with lower KE numbers. Simply put I feel is more reasonable to use a 300 Savage on an Elk at its range with only 1200 lbs KE left than it is to use a 300 RUM at the range it only has 1200 lbs left. This assume the rifles are equally accurate and the same bullets are used.
In the last 45 plus years of hunting; I've seen more then a few cow's and a couple of bulls tipped over with a 240gr .44 Mag out of a Win 94; distance’s were between 50 yards and just under 200 yards.... yeah, that might have been a little long for that cow with a peep sight; but they all went down. Thinking back; I'd say the “fpe” ran from 1350 fpe to 900 fpe. Don't get me wrong I'm not calling the .44 Mag "Elk Medicine" by any stretch of the imagination; I’m just relating the fact it’s were the energy lands in most applications that really counts. Now trying to break down bone and muscle is another story, that takes raw power and a very strong bullet; but putting it into the lugs or heart off the soft pots on the hide/side, is another.
I would agree; if your going to push that bullet out on those long range shot’s, you’d better plan on break heavy bone and going through lot’s of muscle; those shot’s aren’t apt to land right where you want them most the time’…, doesn’t matter how good you are with your rifle, no one I ever met was that good!
So “how much energy” well…. it sounds to me like; its all depends on where you’re standing at the time.
"I've killed 10 elk in 11 years, and been around many more killed. They are not bulletproof, but yes they can be hard to kill when you dont put the bullet in the right spot. The key is to use a bullet that causes extensive damage, yes still fully penetrates. I like the shoulder shots for elk, 90% of the time they are DRT. They cant go far with 2 broken shoulders. Deer on the other hand are pretty easy to kill and can be killed with most anything and be DRT. "
+1 on all that.
I've killed 20 something deer and elk so far. All of them went down within walking distance. Only the deer did a bang-flop for me. Cow elk went down 15 to 25 yards after a heart / lung shot. Bulls lasted more than 45 yards.
Even with my 300 Win Mag ( 180 gr. SGK at 3000 fps ) I was unable to break both shoulders. I tried twice. One at 60 yards and one at 225 yards. Both elk dropped but not DRT.
I generally hunt elk to eat elk. I don't mind taking a cow to put in the freezer.
So I won't do a spine shot, it messes up the back strap. I am convinced that a well built bullet, 160 grain or better, still going 1000 fps will take an elk when put in that BIG heart / lung target.
Having said that, I'm sure that it's been done with less. It just seems like you're taking your chances.
So far each elk has had a different level of endurance. All have been tougher than deer. Some just amazing in their resistance to death.
So shoot the biggest caliber you have, and the heaviest bullet you can shoot well. And best of luck to you.
End of rant. Apologies in advance to any who are offended.
2nd- I love the 7mm 168 vld for elk, they are not consistent for pass through but the hydraulic shock is really high with wound channels as large as 18".
3rd-1000fps? I would love to know a bullet that works on game at 3000fps and still expands consistently at 1000fps. A-max has the lowest impact velocity that I know of which is around 1400fps(I could be wrong and it could be lower than I thought). Hitting an animal with a bullet that doesn't expand releases nearly zero amount of energy into the game and is like hitting them with a broadless arrow. Generally 2000fps is the rule of thumb for minimum impact velocity.
The minimum amount of ft. lbs needed on elk really does depends on the bullet. They are all different.
Perhaps I was a bit hasty there. After I checked my ballistics program, even the 160 gr SGK (BC 0.470 best) is still over 2030 fps at 600 yds. And 600 is pretty much my max long range shot so far... so oops.