Advice for a rookie...

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by fmboss429, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. fmboss429

    fmboss429 Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    I am in the planning stages of my first elk hunt. I am looking for some advice on necessary gear, and bullet selection. I have an extremely well built .308, and have no intention on getting another rifle. I do not see myself shooting any further then 400 yards. I was lucky enough to grow up in the mountains of Colorado and with an Elk reserve in my front yard, so I have an idea about the kind of terrian and weather I will be dealing with. Any advice is welcome. I am mainly looking for ideas on what kind of gear I will need. Also ant tips on getting prepared for the hunt.
     
  2. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Well as the first to comment I will throw out a variety of ideas. On gear a quality set of binos, that are compact enough to carry and use, and of good quality. 8 X 40 is a nice size for me. The best heavy boots you can buy will also get you around on steep hillsides and canyons. The steeper the better the quality. Wool pants for late season, gators, and waterproof gortex also for late season. Quality rain gear for you and your scope. A moderate sized day pack for your rain gear, lunch water etc. A pack frame to carry the pieces out after the kill. A good map showing the roads and access points, public and private land in your area. Succesful public land elk hunters, typically hunt away from roads (unless they have a special deal on private land or other lands where other hunters are not allowed.) They hunt all day starting before dark and ending after dark. They are not confined by the weekend. (The worst time to hunt). They are familar with their rifle and can shoot it well. Spot and stalk hunting is very successful especially when fairly open country is availabe.

    Part 2
    I am back, more gear, GPs and of course a compass. I have the most basic of all GPS and it will mark my truck or the trailhead so I may find it in the dark and the game so I also may find it again. I usually turn mine on in the am to mark my jumpoff point, then if necessary turn it on when I need it. Preseason scouting and conditioning are also mandantory for success. Preseason scouting starts with a visit to the fish and game web site, there you look at draw sucess, harvest ratios, season etc. Use you map and Google earth to map and locate likely areas. I have killed two elk in Wyoming, the last two years in units that I have never set foot in. Both kills were areas that I had identified using Google Earth. It does you no good what so ever to have gear and no tag, or a tag where there are no elk. Check the stats closely they are your friend. A young man I recently hunted with said that you work out unitil you think you are ready, then work out somemore. I am older so fitness is done continually so that I don't get to far behind. Hiking in the hills at eleveation with a pack is the best training of all.

    Mental fitness, I do not go into the season "wanting to get a shoot" or wanting to see an elk" I go to be successful and maintain that mindset until the last day. Hope this is helping !
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011

  3. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,528
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Use a quality bullet as fast as you can make it go with that lil hummer, & you'll be ok. Not my first choice of cartrige for elk at mid range, but with quality bullets, & proper shot placement, there's no reason you won't be able to achieve your 400 yard goal. (this is asuming your using 1500 ft lbs as a general stopping point). If your shot placement is dead nutts, & conditions allow, you can extend that range. Practice, practice, practice, till there's no "i think I can" left, only "I know I can" & you'll be fine. Good luck
     
  4. Daves762

    Daves762 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    187
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    My father in law, has killed many many elk with a 270, 130 grain nosler partition.

    My 308 LOVES the 165 SST from hornady, and that will pass through any elk out there if you do your part.
     
  5. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,033
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Buy the best binoculars you can afford. I do not personally like the compact ones, as a wider field of view and a bit more power is always nice. 10x42 is good; I would not go smaller than 40mm. Given the option I'd look at a Zeiss Victory, Leica Ultravid or Swarovski EL. With my Leupold binos last week when hunting in TX for deer there were things I just couldn't "see" compared to the Zeiss and Swaro carried by my hunting buddies. I never noticed such a difference on previous elk hunts, but I'll have these binos on my short list of "things to buy" before I do this again.
     
  6. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    The Pacific Northwest approach is more or less like this. Layered clothing because if you sweat it is all over on the spot. Stay cool, never cold or warm. Bullet holder on the rifle, one is not useful without the other. Two different Bullets one for close range and one for long range sighted in for the LR Bullets and keep the rifle loaded for close range! Very light weight Binoculars in the compact 6X range that have very good color. And now that you have on your winter gear your rifle stock is too long!
     
  7. fmboss429

    fmboss429 Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Thanks for all the great advice so far. Does anyone have experience hunting with ammo like the horady amax type?
     
  8. 6mm Remington

    6mm Remington Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    I'm a huge Nosler fan and I think I would hunt with a 165 gr. Accubond or Partition. I'd use the one that shoots best in my rifle. Your 308 will work find for you. Good luck in your hunt.
     
  9. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    My favorite bullet after 50 seasons of elk hunting is the Nosler Partition, followed by the AB. You can't go wrong with the Nosler. I also agree with careful shot placement, the 308 is a fine caliber, but when you get out there a ways the energy drops off below recommended energy levels into the minimum class. Pick your shot carefullly.
     
  10. fmboss429

    fmboss429 Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Is there a factory load that shoots the Noslers? I don't have the equipment to reload yet (on the short list of stuff to get), my rifle was built to shoot the Federal GMM ammo, and it shoots extremely well with that ammo, but that's match ammo. I have been told hunting ammo is not built to the same tolerances, and would not shoot as well out of my rifle. Thanks for all of the help so far.
     
  11. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    If you score, you want a good knife, I always carry 2, one is a sharp caper. Also might need a pack out type system. I hunt w/ pack that has a carry system, I always get a load on way out.
     
  12. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    429
    there are several brands of factory ammo that shoot either the Nosler Accubond or the Partition as well as several other premium bullets. I believe both Nosler and Hornady make them as do others. While your rifle is tuned to shoot one particular brand does not mean that it will not provide hunting accuracy with another bullet weight or brand . For initial testing try to borrow/buy small lots and go from there. All of my practicing is done with reloads with cheaper bullets, then near the season a few rounds to recheck POA and you are ready for hunting. I also would not hunt with bullets designed for target shoot, especially big heavy bodied animals as elk. If you have a friend that reloads perhaps they could also help you with loads.
     
  13. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    838
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    A partner whenever possible!........8x42 nikons monarchs work great for us. Good boots (I prefer a light boot but must have good ankle support) ace bandage and band aids as things happen when you wrestling them out of the brush to work on, Two knives and a small sharpener, two flash lights or rather one flashlight and one headlamp, extra batteries, water, a snack, cloth quarter bags, 20' of 1/4 rope and 20' of paracord as they almost always slide to a stop on the steepest part of the slope underneath were ever you shot them at and may need tied off in order to quarter. Some Ibuprofen.... Trust me on that one. I like heavy bullets more than bonded bullets personally. Especially with medium cartridges= the animal's adrenaline level will have a dramatic effect on how easy he falls. After the shot or shots stay calm for about 15 minutes. If you charge in hooting and hollering you may re-motivate him, let him bleed. Once he is down remain ready to shoot again for a few minutes even if you no longer have line of sight. I use a light pack and carry out the first load, dump all my gear at the truck. Trading my rifle for a handgun, my soft pack for a pack frame. Put the headlamp in a pocket and carry a bottle of water (or canteen) back in for the rest.............This is all assuming the the mountains of Colorado are comparable to the mountains of idaho........ Before the shot look down below the elk and except that :that is probably where your going to retrieve him..............good luck