What speed of single file elk walking?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Clark, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    In October 2008 I shot a number of grazing mule deer at 400 to 500 yards with my 270.
    Half were bang flop, the other half ran 50 feet.

    In November 2008 I opened fire on a column of single file walking elk at 625 yards with my 270.
    I missed.

    In 2010 I drew another cow elk tag for the same place.
    I am switching to a 7mmRemMag.
    But now I am thinking that if the bullet takes 0.8 seconds to go that far, I need to know the speed of the animals so I can shoot in front of them.
    a) How fast do elk walk?

    b) Also, how long are elk from the chest to the tail?
    c) How tall are they from the belly to the back?

    TIA
     
  2. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,841
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Don't take this wrong but at that range pull out the Hoochie Mamma and give it a hit and when they stop, drop em. Elk move way faster that you think and hitting them on the move close is hard enough let alone LR.

    I forget the length but the chest on a cow is 26-28in.
     

  3. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    I am assuming that they walk about the same speed as a horse and the speed of a horses' walk varies quite a bit. but an average of 3.5 miles per hour is pretty close on level ground with no "lolly gagging". This means the elk will have moved 4 feet in the .8 sec. flight time you mentioned. But leading by 4 feet could be too much if they are quartering and not traveling perpendicular to line of sight. Even leading by two feet could be a miss if the elk stops walking just momentarily the instant you pull the trigger.

    Moving shots are tough because there are so many variables. For instance, if they're moving 5 mph, they've moved nearly 6 feet in .8 seconds. Pretty hard to guage 3.5 mph vs 5 mph without some kind of windage marks in your scope and a way to time how long it takes for them to pass X distance in Y seconds.

    Just my opinion, but .8 second flight time is really reaching on a moving shot. Not saying you can't do it, but I think I'd be chicken. Too easy to make a gut shot instead of a shoulder shot. Again, just one mans opinion.
     
  4. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,360
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Sorry to not be giving you a real answer but most experienced hunters on this site would say don't shoot at a walking elk at those distances.
     
  5. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,058
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    If I was you - before I tried a shot at that range I'd pick one out - settle into the rifle - give one big yell or bark - you should have about 3-5 seconds to brake the trigger. Hitting a moving target at that distance where I come from is usually called LUCK or BS. I don't mean to be critical but even with an engineering degree I'm not capable of the calculations and making that a clean shot 9 times out of 10 and that is the criteria I use before snapping the cap.
     
  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,843
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Sound like someone needs to learn a lot more about shooting long range and spend a little time practicing. Exbal will have the calculation for you so you might want to take that into account before you “open fire”.

    Len has some Very Sage Advice There..
     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Elk, like people, come in a real variety of sizes. The cow I killed last year was bigger than some herd bulls I have seen. Then there are the year and a half old cows which might be on the small side.

    Elk that have been spooked and have slowed too a walk are really moving right along at a good clip.

    The last year we hunted in Idaho there was a bunch of guys from Washington state who would conduct drives and shoot at the bulls while they were running in the herd. From the looks of the herd they had managed to hit at least one of the cows.

    Knew a guy that took a shot at a antelope herd buck on the run and hit a fawn instead.
     
  8. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,843
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005

    Bob---am glad you posted this because back in the late 80's a friend of ours was hunting with us and had never killed a Turkey. Long story short we ran into a herd and he got into position but they started to run----missed the 1st shot (300) yards some flew and the 2nd one one hit a bird that fell down. We said great shot that is tough to do----he said "yes but I was aiming at the one ahead of him"!!
     
  9. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    This is long range hunting.

    It seems we can't shoot elk at really long range, because they are too hard to kill.
    It seems we can't shoot elk at really long range when the wind is blowing.
    It seems we can't shoot elk at really long range if they are walking.

    But I need to do the best I can, because where I am going, the sage brush is the heavy cover.
     
  10. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,360
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    I don't know how fast an elk walks but let's assume it is about as fast as a brisk walk for a man -- say 6mph.

    I remember that 60 mph is 88 ft/sec so 6mph is about 8.8 ft/sec.

    Your bullet reaches there in 0.8 seconds. So the elk has moved 7 feet in that time. Or maybe 5 feet, or maybe 9 feet, or maybe 4 feet, or maybe ... ?

    And the kill zone is how wide? Is it 9 feet minus 4 feet wide? lightbulb
     
  11. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,843
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Maybe you need to shorten the distance you are shooting from----not everyone has the skills, knowledge, equipment and experience to "open fire" as you say just because you can.

    Be careful here as there are many of us who take shooting at extended range very seriously and take pride in knowing that when the trigger is pulled something goes down.

    Something to think about....
     
  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,841
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Don't take it wrong, guys on LRH are the best at it, bar none and the best to learn from, especially if you can hook up with one of them and shoot. Your getting this advice based on experience, I've wounded elk and not just one doing and learning the things you don't do on an elk, fortunately most of the times my old man was there and after the first shot, if it was of he dumped it. If you don't have a back up plan for a poor shot why chance it. I've shot a ton of animal moving but an elk is one that I won't take unless I'm way close.

    You can certainly kill elk long range, this site is all about it! Not discouraging you from it but there are different ways to go about so when the trigger is pulled you have a dead animal on the ground.

    You can certainly kill elk long range in the wind, they have a larger vitals for one and for me if I can't put a bullet in the vitals in a 10mph wind I would have to stay home, the more wind mean more practice behind your rifle shooting and learning.

    You can certainly kill and elk long range walking, but you would have to have every skill set firmly in place before you could do it with a high percentage of cold bore hits.

    Experience speaks volumes, guys on this site have it in spades and they will help, sometimes not by say what you want to hear. Trust me I've gotten schooled on LRH!!