First elk hunt. Leaning toward Tikka

Majja13

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Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
54
Lots and lots of good advice. Like has been stated if you want a new rifle get one, as 2021 is a ways off and you have time to get familiar with it and the way it shoots. The 06 is plenty of rifle. Like one poster said looking past the rifle, what other gear do you have for hunting. I would strongly advise that you have some good quality, athletic layered clothing. It doesn't have to be camo. A good pack and definitely good boots. Having had one pair of bad boots taught me money spent on boots and time to brake them in properly is way more important then a 06 vs XX Mag. Get a good quality pair of boots that fit, and put plenty of miles on them prior to the hunt.

You did not say when you hunt is. But living here in the west, I have had it snowing on me on morning and 80 the next and this is in August on a archery hunt. Be prepared Nothing can ruin a hunt faster then a trip to the ER.

Practice the different shooting positions with what ever rifle you choose and have fun.
 

RMorris

Active Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
43
Location
west texas
What’s wrong with you people?! Sure the 06 will kill elk all day but ...
This is an excuse to buy a rifle!

I vote find a used Tikka with a magnum bolt face and send it out for a fast twist proof barrel.
 

DNADave

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Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
245
Location
Seattle
I like the way you think! That‘s the kind of thinking that filled my safe in a hurry. I have room for 1-2 more though. 🤔
I'm reminded of reading Pat McManus stories and his recommendation to get an expandable gun case so you can always leave 2 spots open so hopefully the wife doesn't notice as your collection grows...

(The story is called Gun Running in his book The Grasshopper Trap)
 
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adiredneck

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Feb 29, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Upstate NY- Adirondacks
You don't state your level of physical fitness, or your hunting background, so I will qualify my thoughts and be more long-winded than I might otherwise be.

If carrying a standard weight rifle will be burdensome to you, you may want to go to a lighter rifle, but when shooting magnum rounds a light-weight rifle can be punishing — at least in practice. (You will never feel the recoil when shooting an elk.) I also find a standard-weight rifle easier to shoot well when I'm winded and a light-weight rifle would be bouncing with every heartbeat.

There are people who take elk with .243s, so yes, a smaller round CAN kill an elk under the right circumstances with a perfect shot. Elk are BIG animals, especially a bull that has his muscles pumped up from the rut. I've seen a premium bullet from a 7-mag not penetrate the ribcage on a close-range shoulder shot. I've seen elk not even flinch on being shot. Putting these observations together, I am certain that many "misses" elk hunting were not misses, just kill-shots that will take 3 days to be effective.

An outfitted elk hunt is a BIG deal to me, something I don't get to do often. I don't want to be on the hunt of a lifetime, have a shot that would be "reasonable" with the right rifle, and not have a rifle capable of that shot. For that reason I'll never again hunt elk with less than a .300 mag. I took my last 2 elk with a .338/.378 Weatherby Accumark as both were at a full run through the timber. I knew I didn't have a perfect shot on either, but I knew the magnum would put them down. Both tumbled to the ground instantly when I pulled the trigger. Both times the guide was as impressed as I was with the rifle's performance.

Guides tend to over-estimate shooting range before a western hunt to convince their potential clients to be prepared for the possibility of a longer-range shot. I've been told by the guides that they do this because otherwise they get hunters that have never shot over 100 yards and freeze up on great shots at ranges well within their rifle's capabilities. In reality most elk are shot between 30 and 200 yards — well within the range of a .30-06. (I shot my biggest bull during the peak of the rut at all of 9 yards.)

Most elk guides I've talked with and worked with tell people to bring AT LEAST a .270 Win., and that being comfortable with your rifle is more important than the size of the cartridge. I agree with that, although I would add that the hunter also needs to know HIS effective range with the rifle he is carrying. If you are comfortable with your .30-06 and are comfortable knowing there may be shots you should not take with that rifle, it is an excellent choice. If you want to maximize your chances of bring home an elk, you may want a more powerful cartridge.

Whatever cartridge you settle on, be sure to use a bullet that will penetrate to the vitals from any angle you may be shooting from! With elk, PENETRATION, is the most important measure of a bullet's effectiveness.

You don't mention your optics. A quality scope on your rifle and high-quality binoculars should be a given for a guided elk hunt. I bought a new pair of Leupold binoculars before my first elk hunt — and returned them to the store as soon as I got back. They were not good enough for me to judge animals at a distance. I now own Swarovski binoculars.

One thing guides don't tell hunters — in most areas only a third of hunters will get a shot at a bull elk. The most important thing you can do to increase your odds is to RUN now. Cardiovascular stamina often separates hunters who don't have a chance from those that do.

I hope you have a great hunt and come back with memories for a lifetime!

The outfitter said that his average client is in their 60's and often have health limitations.

I'll be 45 next year when I go. Because of this, they are talking about setting up a wall tent for part of the hunt and doing some more remote hunting, hence my desire to keep the rifle light.

I primarily hunt the southern Adirondack mountains. I've hauled my Tikka M595 Walnut 308 (almost 10 pounds loaded with redfield 3-9x40) up and down the mountains. Once I got my 111 LWH, there was no going back for me. The difference at the end of the day after wallowing through 18" of snow was huge.

A typical hunting day for me is climbing 1000 feet in elevation during the course of the day. I know this is a far cry from what Montana will be like. I need to drop 20 pounds. This will finally be the thing that pushes me to do it.

As far as optics, I don't own anything more than a 4-12x40 scope. Never needed anything more here. Shots are 100 yards or less with the exception of visits to my uncle's house down south in farm country. Even then, 2-300 would be rare.
 

Nate T

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Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
I have a Bergara Mountain rifle in 300 WM with a 1:10 twist and it prefers 180 grain loads. As pulpwood states, the biggest two things I can recommend is investing in a quality optic (probably with an adjustable turret so you don't have to mess with hold-over) and actually practice at long distances. I learned the hard way on a coveted Arizona bull tag a few years ago because i didn't practice past 300 and watched a hammer walk away at just over 500. Never again for me.

Norma 180 gr. Oryx
 

mace

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Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
12
Location
Southern Utah
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
Make sure it is threaded for a muzzle brake because your going to need one! Either caliber will work but I am partial to big bullets so I prefer the 300 Win Mag. For the bullet I would recommend the 220 gr. Hornady ELD-X. The X means its a hunting bullet. I has an incredible ballistic profile and hit like a jack hammer!
 

NorCalRiceGuy

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
47
Location
Woodland, CA
If you are comfortable with ur 06 - Take it - a Rifle that is the extension of U that U know how it will behave provides a level of assurance and ease that ends up being second nature and from my perspective the best way to go —-
now if U truly want a 7mm. Think 🤔 280 AI; after all U have its “Mother” and with proper loading can have virtually the same performance as 7mmMag. with less powder & Kick !!!
And all the Best Luck !!!!
Good suggestion. I actually rebarreled my .30-06 Savage 110C to .280AI. Love it! Had all of my reloading simplified and pared down to only 7mm/.284 bullets for my buddy's 7mm RUM, my 7mmRemMag, my 7mm-08 and the .280AI previously mentioned. That is until the "might need something bigger for elk" bug hit when I won a 6.5 CM at a CA Deer dinner and exchanged it for a .300WM Bergara B-14 Ridge... 😁
 

Bill28

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Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
62
Location
Utah
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
Killed over 30 elk with my 30-06, most within 200 yards. 6 or 7 give or take 400 yards. Have only had to shoot 2 twice they where actually 2 of the closest. 30-06 will work just fine
 

Lee Goodwin

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Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
327
Location
Central Oregon
Even after you get your new missle launcher, think about taking the 30.06 also. I have been messing around with super performance powder by hodgdon, and it can add maybe 200 fps to a 168 grain bullet out of the 30.06. but it is scary powder, very hot, higher pressures. There is a chance at dusting off those old 30.06 with this "new" powder. Have fun.
 

TexHunt

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Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
63
I shot an elk last year with a 30-06, 380 yards, he made one jump and went down. I was shooting the 166 hammer bullet, I would be comfortable out to 5-600 depending on the weather conditions. 30-06 is certainly fine.

I have everything up to 300 win mag, went with the lighter shorter pack rifle, didn’t regret it.

That rifle was a Barret field craft, really nice rifle, but I have Tikkas too, and nothing out shoots the tikkas.
 

rbTanzan

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Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
121
Tikka is a great carry gun, light and accurate out of the box.
Their largest offering is a 338 Win Mag. A great elk caliber.
I've owned two of these and would recommend considering the caliber and the rifle. Very accurate and very light. A Tikka in 338 jumps a bit, but are very comfortable. (Check the twist on Tikka in 30 caliber. They typically use 11", which is a tad slow in my opinion.)
(If you want more shooting with muzzle break, then the Ruger African is a nice model.)

You can get nice 210gn, 225gn and 250gn bullets for the 338, according to your style.
My current 338 is a Ruger Hawkeye and shoots the 210gn TTSX at 2975 with 72gn R17. good primers, easy extraction, sub-MOA with multiple bullets after bedding. Hammer Hunters "213" are also 210 grain. (I am testing these as well, but in initial testing the TTSX has proven more accurate. Hammer Hunters use smaller powder loads because of a longer bullet.) (The 225gn CEB Lazer and 225TTSX are also great. If you want high BC and more weight for super penetration then the 250gn LRX is nice with a .602 BC. I load the latter to the second grove for more capacity and velocity. The nose is tapered to fit SAAMI throats even when seated further back. Nice design.)
 

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