That's part of the point of the thread, a 7mm with a 160 gr bullet is not enough lead every time I've seen a 300 mag with a 180 Accubond fail to penetrate an elk shoulder every time, my 300 WBY with a 168 Barnes will not penetrate an elk shoulder every time, all common rounds guys would use. If I wanted to shoulder shoot elk every time a 200+gr 30 cal bullet would be a start but I like the bigger 338 bullets because they get it done period, those are numbers I've come to from actually killing lots of elk and see guys try to kill lots of elk out in the open where you can see what actually happens.
The 22-250 comment was to high light just how easy it is to shoulder shoot a deer vs and elk, our wives shoot deer every year with a 22-250 with a 50-60 gr bullet through the shoulder or head because we can't have them jump the fence, we can kill 7 deer a year a piece, killing deer is slightly harder than killing rabbits.
I take guys out often that have never killed an elk and they want to shoot them like they do deer but they don't have enough bullet loaded even though they are packing what internet elk experts recommend, every year one of them does not listen to me sternly telling him not to shoot them in the shoulder and they get low and hit them in the middle of the shoulder and we have an elk with their shoulder flailing around not dead.
If your every watching an elk hunting video and they drop them with a cool looking shoulder shot watch and see how many of them are still in the same place, drop them in an open area but getting hero shots in the timber, do the math!!
High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!
When I started archery hunting deer in 1968, compound bows didn't exist. The state of the art was a Fred Bear Archery recurve bow. 'Bear' brand broadheads were the broadheads we used, and I'm not sure there were lots of other choices available. If we hit a deer in the shoulder blade, the broadhead would bend over like a banana and stop there giving a surface flesh wound, so we always aimed just behind the shoulders through the middle of the ribs. Hit a deer there with a sharp broadhead and they will often fall without ever leaving your field of vision in a wooded forest.
With respect to hitting the front leg bone on Alaska bull moose, here's a post I placed on another Thread where the OP asked about using a 7mm Rem Mag on Maine moose: 7mm vs Moose
"In order to make sure I haven't misled anyone: Do NOT aim for the large front leg bone of a large bull moose.
I have two first hand experiences with bullet hits on that bone.
1) My hunting buddy hit a large Alaskan bull moose there with a 7mm Rem Mag using a 175 grain bullet at 175 yards. The bone deflected the bullet forward of the vitals. The bullet never exited. This bull would not have died any time soon from that hit. A second shot with a 270 grain Hornady Interlock from a .375 Weatherby Magnum to the spine was required to kill this bull.
2) A 55" bull moose at 425 yards hit with a .375 Weatherby - 285 grain Speer Grand Slam, back when the Speer Grand Slam was a pretty tough bullet. The bullet hit directly on that leg bone a little lower than ideal. This bullet did take out the leg bone but was lodged in the rib/brisket area not too much deeper past the entry side leg bone. Had this bullet been placed 5 inches higher, it might have inflicted enough damage to vitals the other side of the leg to have killed this bull, but the bullet was severely damaged / sheared off after taking out the leg bone. It didn't have much energy / velocity left after crushing thru that bone. Two additional hits were required to bring this bull down. This was back in the days before laser range finders and all the other wonderful technology currently available for the long range hunter today.
So when I said aim for the ribs directly behind the front shoulders, what I mostly meant to say was do NOT aim for the front leg bone. At least on adult bull moose the size of the ones we have in Alaska. The front leg bone of a Maine bull moose is likely similarly a poor aiming point."
I have never shot an elk. However my life's experience hunting all other manner of big game has led me to the same conclusions that bigngreen expresses in this Thread. The only times I've seen behind-the-shoulder lung shot animals not expire quickly and be easily recovered, is when the expanding bullets being used fail to expand. I'm talking about first hand experience with three animals (one black bear and two dall rams) that were all eventually recovered, and the exit holes through the hide on the far side were the same size as the entry holes on the near side. Upon field dressing and examination, there was hardly any internal damage from these hits as these bullets penciled through the rib cages much like an arrow tipped with a target-type point. I understand that non-expanding bullets have a reputation for tumbling within game animals, but these three bullets non-expanding bullets showed no evidence of tumbling.
That's my whole point, failed shoulder shot elk makes for elk tracking more often than than shooting them though the lungs/heart with a bullet that opens. Way more opportunities to fail trying to shoot an elk through heavy bone than through light ribs, I really hate following elk so I shoot them through the highest percentage spot for 100% dead elk. Deer I could careless, I've shot them through the shoulders with a 22-250 or an arrow, neither of which will do much to an elk other than give him a limp till they heal.
I like your comment..... Where we live it's deer not Elk.
I guess you could always run them over with a big green tractor.....
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
2) A 55" bull moose at 425 yards hit with a .375 Weatherby - 285 grain Speer Grand Slam, back when the Speer Grand Slam was a pretty tough bullet.[/QUOTE]
This and a couple of recent bigngreen's post make really good points. I'm just going to comment on experience with this bullet. Early on this bullet was disappointing 2 completely destroyed bullets. So many small pieces one would think they had a charge of some kind in them. Not quite what was advertised. Good or bad is difficult to predict with bullets one can only play the percentages. Hit the spot with the most vitals, with enough bullet pays off more often than not.
I will say that I enjoy this forum for the entertainment but mostly for the gain of knowledge, but to reiterate an older post, an elk with a broken shoulder can cover a lot of country! An elk with it's ability to breathe that has been made ineffective by two holes on each side of its chest is a dead elk! There is no way to argue this fact. I kill elk to eat, so shooting them in the shoulder is one of the stupidest aiming points in my opinion.
We all have to learn lessons the hard way more then we admit!
If you go out to kill an elk to say that you killed an elk. Haul it to some poor other person to cut up, and then write them a check for processing and pick up your three boxes of meat, then shoot them where ever you wish ! I hate cutting blood shot meat!
Happy hunting !
Ya gotta be tough when yer dumb!