ELK vs MOOSE . . . Who needs a bigger gun/bullet

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 300magman, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. 300magman

    300magman Well-Known Member

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    I read about elk just about everywhere I turn, and it seems that the general impression that most people have of them is that they are one of the toughest critters around and while they can be taken with the good ol .270 or .308 at reasonable ranges, big 338s seem to be favored by many who hunt them at longer ranges, not just for the ballistic advantage, but for the extra hitting power.

    What I'm wondering is, how do elk stack up against moose? Sure a 600 or 700lb elk seems tough when compared to a white tail or mule deer, but if most people who hunted elk also hunted 800 to 1200lb moose...would the elk still have the reputation for toughness that it does.

    Simply by body mass, the moose would seem to require more effort to put down. But is there more to it than that?
     
  2. Timberbeast7

    Timberbeast7 Well-Known Member

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    I've killed both and my nod goes to the elk as a tougher animal. In my experience moose just hang out and die after being shot. Elk almost always run at least a short distance, even with solid heart/lung shots. I don't feel under-gunned for either with my 270 WSM.
     

  3. MHO

    MHO Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with timberbeast7. Yes Moose are a lot larger animal but Elk are in my opinion the toughest 4 legged critter alive.
     
  4. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    I can only answer about Elk because I've never shot a Moose but I can say this about Elk, they are without a doubt the toughest SOB's I've ever hunted. I can promise you this, make a marginal shot on a Elk then crowd them and get their adrenaline pumping and you very well could be in for a very long day.

    One of the things I really like about shooting elk at long distance, especially when you have the right equipement, is the long distance shots usually get them confused and even if you don't make a dead on the spot kill shot they often will just kinda mill around in that one spot and either give you another shot or fall/lay down and die.
     
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I'm with timberbeast on this one......

    A moose must have at least 20 gallons of blood to get rid of before it goes down. I did a perfect 60 yd heart shot on one and he just walked on up the hill about 50 yards.

    I was so flabbergasted I never thought about additional shots.

    After a while he toppled over rolled down to the original spot where shot then stood up. I came to my senses and put another 270 - 130 Sierra BT through both shoulder blades. Didn't really need that shot but how was I to know:rolleyes:
     
  6. Speedo

    Speedo Well-Known Member

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    I've killed a lot of moose over the years, the thing with most of them isn't that they die easy so much as they don't tend to run after they have been hit. I've watched them continue to feed after a good shot and then just get tired and lay down and die. If you go running up after them as soon as you hit them you'd be suprised at how far a wounded one can go. I've watched many people shoot a moose over and over again because they thought they had missed, only to find that any one of the shots would have been sufficient.

    Gus
     
  7. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Elk will generally run farther, and Moose will generally live longer in my experience. Moose don't seem to be impressed as much as Elk with multiple solid hits. I watched a Moose take 2 magazines of .300 magnum (7) die of boredom while the rifle was being reloaded for the third time. None were bad hits really. The casual stroll he took after the first 4 rounds gave the impression he just wanted a quiet place to eat lunch!
    I've always wondered, if Elk and Moose had canines and claws what would the minimum caliber recommendation be?
    Either is capable of an awesome display of tenacity, and making you re-evaluate the meaning of tough.
     
  8. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    I've never hunted elk before, this will be my first year ever :) but I did hunt moose last year. The shot was 550 yards. My dad and I both shot. He used a 270. Win with 150 grain sierra game king, and I used a 300. WSM 180 gr accubond. I empty an entire clip on the SOB with only missing 1 shot to the brisket. My dad empty an entire clip with 1 shot hitting high shoulder. The moose dropped and it fought and fought to get back up and finally it did!!! It walked into the bush and layed down. We figure it was done forsure and we went in and it got up and ran!!! It ran!! We track the SOB for 2.2 km finding a ridiculous amount of blood, lung tissue, fur everything needed. But no moose.

    We were later told that if a bull moose is with other cows ( which it was) the cows will push it to run untill it dies. The only reason we stop is because the one guy with us almost had a heart attack (74 years old) and we had to get him home.

    I will be going after elk this year in montana and I will personally experience which is stronger but I will be surprised if the elk can do what my moose did.
     
  9. 300magman

    300magman Well-Known Member

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    I have seen this as well! Eight (8) 180gr .308 all in an area the size of a dinner plate, virtually on top of the "kill zone" at less than 300 yards. And a rather unconcerned response from the moose. I've also seen 1 shot kills, but those moose didn't fall flat by any means either, they just lumbered off.

    BTW, moose don't need teeth, I've never heard of (as far as I can recall) a moose charging a hunter in response to being shot at. But I've heard several reports of rut crazed moose responding to a hunter's calls only to be infuriated by the lack of a mate or challenger upon arriving at the callers location. There have been fatalities.....1000lbs of horn, moving at maybe 30mph? (conservative guess) I imagine its similar to being hit by a car, except a car won't trample and continue to bash you with its head after it hits you.
     
  10. bman73

    bman73 Well-Known Member

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    I have been a primarily moose hunter for most of my life with the odd bear thrown in as well as a few deer just for variety. Been on a few elk hunts and have seen cows as well as bulls continue to run a hell of a lot further than I thought they should of with as many of their inside parts falling on the ground. The moose kills I have been involved in, all but one cow I took with a perfect heart shot who then ran 180 yards into the thickest nastiest brush you could imagine, seem to tend to wander off a short distance then just lay down. I have shot them with 308 win, 270 win, and a 358 norma mag, as well as seen them take hits with 338 win mags and 7mm rem mags. They do tend to live longer I think but not usually go as far, in my experience anyways.
     
  11. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    did you ever go back and find the moose??????????????
     
  12. matt_3479

    matt_3479 Well-Known Member

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    No unfortunately :( i know how bad that sounds but the day we went to look for it was the last day we were there. We shot it one day around 4:00 pm and we began looking around 4:30. We spent till 6:00 that day looking and it began getting dark so we had to head home. We got back in the boats and continued home and got to the loading dock at 7:00 and home by 7:30-7:45. The next morning we began down river by 10:00 am (due to help dragging a moose out of the bush from 7:00 am till then) and we got there around 11:00. right away everyone went into the bush following the blood and tissue trail. We found everything from big blood puddles, to stomach and lung tissue the size of soft ball and baseball. We got to the point of 2.2 KM into the bush and the older gentlemen we were with fell and held his chest. So we sat for 15 mins, and let him rest and drank some water. We were worried cause he had his 2 sons and his grandson with him. (we didn't want to have to quarter him up and drag him out :p. just kidding) So we headed back to the boats. By the time we got back to the boats it was almost 3:00. We took a lot of rests on the way back because he was extremely worn out. When we got back we sent him home with most of the guys with me, my father, and my neighbor stayed to look. We headed up river to the point we stopped to turn around and headed in there. We looked for another hour at least and had to turn around to get home.

    Absolutely worst feeling i have ever felt. I felt like i was going to puke. We tried to stay the extra day to go back looking but we just couldn't. In the 30 years my dad has been hunting, something like this has never happened to him. Luckily some of the other guys at camp have experienced it too. (with a cow being shot 4 times and running 1.5 km into the bush crossing the river to the other side and continuing to run) which was lost. A bull being shot at 300 yards which looked as if it dropped in its tracks across the lake and when we got there it was gone! they looked and looked but no moose. They are one tough animal. When there with the there mate they can run forever.

    TO CLARIFY: between all 8 of the guys at the camp and between 55 years of hunting only on those 3 occasions have we lost moose. I didn't share this story to be yelled at, i didn't share this story to criticized. Every once in a while people have bad experiences hunting and thats why they call it hunting. i dont like the way it turned out, and it still bothers me today. I told this story when i got back from my trip for others to learn and listen. I re-bring up this story for others to realize that Elk are a tough animal and to expect the unexpected but moose are no push over either. Be ready for what is to happen next. I dont feel like i was under gunned it was just one of those things. My father was and still is strongly considering stepping up in gun to a 338. win mag after 30 years of hunting with a 270. win and multiple moose killed!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  13. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get a clip fed .270 or 300WSM?

    :D
     
  14. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    uh, browning BAR ?