Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06
So why would you shoot at small running coyotes, but not at a larger elk? Both are living, breathing creatures that deserve to be shot properly with as close to 100% certainty that the shot will lead to an immediate, humane death IMHO! Is it because an elk is a regal, majestic animal and a coyote is just a varmint in your mind? I was enjoying your analysis of the situation until you ended your post the way you did!!!
SHOT AT.....SHOT AT.....SHOT AT.....that's what I wrote...."SHOT AT". Never said I actually hit one, and never said at what point in my life I did so. I would agree with you that ANY animal deserves as instant of a death as possible. YES. Do I think I was a moron for shooting at a running animal that I had a low probability of hitting on the first shot....YES, ABSOLUTELY. There is no other way to learn a lesson about how far you can shoot behind a running animal without actually shooting at a running animal. Do you disagree with me about how difficult it would be to double shoulder, much less neck shoot a bull elk running or tumbling down a hill at a distance of 350 yards? Especially when the point of the OP was to illustrate WHY you shouldn't shoulder shoot an elk, because the target was so small?
I think we've all done things that we aren't proud of. Would you eat a coyote?? My guess is no. Would you shoot one if given the opportunity?? My guess for 9 out of 10 guys is yes. So that in itself shows a societal dis-regard in itself towards creatures like coyotes compared to elk. My guess is if it were the LAW to eat every coyote you killed (like deer, antelope, and elk) that fewer of them would be shot and the country would be over-run with them, but thats a whole other thread.
I will agree with Tikkamike on the difference between the two targets. You have an animal with thin brittle bones, very thin hide, and weighing all of about 35 pounds compared to something that has heavy thick hide, thick massive bones, and a weight of 250 pounds to over 1,000 pounds. Where is the similarity??? You can hit a coyote virtually anywhere with any modern varmint gun and round killing it instantly....try using the same gun on elk, and you have a disaster on your hands. "Two different animals" as they say.
There's so much more that could go wrong with a big bodied, heavily constructed animal like an elk despite the size difference, especially when the person behind the rifle isn't paying attention. Lets face it, the reason that *MOST* big game animals end up crippled or lost is because the human made an error in judgement of bullet selection for the critter and distance, adequate caliber choice for the circumstance, and the #1 is knowing when or when not to shoot. NOT shooting is one hell of a lot better than crippling or losing an animal regardless of where you like to place the shot IMO.
Hopefully this answers some questions for you. Hopefully now it is apparent that the way I ended my last post was purposeful.