Killing Elk out to 1000 yards with a 300 WM

trhall

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
286
Location
Utah
Just got back late last night from a cow elk hunt. I've been shooting the Berger 215 Hybrid in my 300 WMs for the last 10 or 11 years with great success. I live in the west and hunt deer, elk and antelope. I've seen several posts lately about killing elk at 1000 yards with a 300WM. I've posted a few replies that in my opinion one could do no better for that application than the 215 Berger. While I have never killed an animal at that range I have killed many elk and antelope at ranges well beyond 500 yards with said 300 WM and 215 Berger. I've never not had a complete pass through on an elk, but all my kills with this system have been broadside shots. I am a crease shooter and don't intentionally shoot the shoulders.
2 days ago I shot a very large cow elk at 859 yards, my longest kill yet. The elk came over a very sharp ridge line across a wide canyon from me as I was hiking up the ridge. They had been pushed over and there were several other hunters on down below me in the same canyon I was in. They held up at the top and were making their mind up where to go. Anyone whose been in this situation knows seconds count as they are going to figure out which direction they want to go quickly. I ran up to the top of the ridge, threw off my pack, flopped down in the snow and started getting the rifle setup. My buddy came up beside me and was kind enough to start getting a range for me. There was no wind other than some slight thermal under 5 mph. The elk had made up there mind by now and were traversing the ridge to head back over into a really nasty canyon. There was a very big cow in the back of the herd that I focused on as I always look to find one on the edge to be sure I don't hit 2. First shot was a few inches back, yet still in front of the diaphragm but towards the back of the lungs. She soaked it up and started walking as the rest of the herd picked up the pace. After about 30 yards she stopped and I rolled another one in, this time in the crease and right through the center of the far shoulder. This dumped her and she slid down the steep snow covered hillside until finally getting hung up with her neck jammed under a log.
Unfortunately I did not take any pictures. It took us almost 4 hours to get around the canyon and over to the elk which was on a very nasty, super steep hillside with about 8 inches of powder that made it really hard to hike. It was about dark and we were exhausted facing a big job and a 2 mile hike out after that so I opted not to pull out the camera. Both exits were golf ball size, even the one that went through the center of the off shoulder. Impact velocity was right at 2100 with 2127 fp of energy. The first shot was a killer as it looked like a tractor with a broken hydraulic line had traversed that 30 yards through the snow when she was walking. I've been taught since I was a boy some 40 years ago that when it comes to elk you keep shooting until they're down.
I reiterate my opinion that when it comes to killing elk out to 1000 yards with a 300WM you can't do much better than a 215 Berger. It's one of the best bullets you can shoot in that cartridge bc wise and still have sufficient velocity. The high bc gives you more margin in the one area you need it, the wind to help you place that bullet where you want it. You also have a tremendous amount of retained energy when it gets there.
Everyone has an opinion and it doesn't necessarily make any right or wrong. My experiences over the last decade killing big game with a 300 WM and a Berger 215 give me the utmost confidence in that combo. I'd like to thank Broz as he's the one that convinced me to shoot them and he was right.
 

Send it 284

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
369
Location
Conus
Just got back late last night from a cow elk hunt. I've been shooting the Berger 215 Hybrid in my 300 WMs for the last 10 or 11 years with great success. I live in the west and hunt deer, elk and antelope. I've seen several posts lately about killing elk at 1000 yards with a 300WM. I've posted a few replies that in my opinion one could do no better for that application than the 215 Berger. While I have never killed an animal at that range I have killed many elk and antelope at ranges well beyond 500 yards with said 300 WM and 215 Berger. I've never not had a complete pass through on an elk, but all my kills with this system have been broadside shots. I am a crease shooter and don't intentionally shoot the shoulders.
2 days ago I shot a very large cow elk at 859 yards, my longest kill yet. The elk came over a very sharp ridge line across a wide canyon from me as I was hiking up the ridge. They had been pushed over and there were several other hunters on down below me in the same canyon I was in. They held up at the top and were making their mind up where to go. Anyone whose been in this situation knows seconds count as they are going to figure out which direction they want to go quickly. I ran up to the top of the ridge, threw off my pack, flopped down in the snow and started getting the rifle setup. My buddy came up beside me and was kind enough to start getting a range for me. There was no wind other than some slight thermal under 5 mph. The elk had made up there mind by now and were traversing the ridge to head back over into a really nasty canyon. There was a very big cow in the back of the herd that I focused on as I always look to find one on the edge to be sure I don't hit 2. First shot was a few inches back, yet still in front of the diaphragm but towards the back of the lungs. She soaked it up and started walking as the rest of the herd picked up the pace. After about 30 yards she stopped and I rolled another one in, this time in the crease and right through the center of the far shoulder. This dumped her and she slid down the steep snow covered hillside until finally getting hung up with her neck jammed under a log.
Unfortunately I did not take any pictures. It took us almost 4 hours to get around the canyon and over to the elk which was on a very nasty, super steep hillside with about 8 inches of powder that made it really hard to hike. It was about dark and we were exhausted facing a big job and a 2 mile hike out after that so I opted not to pull out the camera. Both exits were golf ball size, even the one that went through the center of the off shoulder. Impact velocity was right at 2100 with 2127 fp of energy. The first shot was a killer as it looked like a tractor with a broken hydraulic line had traversed that 30 yards through the snow when she was walking. I've been taught since I was a boy some 40 years ago that when it comes to elk you keep shooting until they're down.
I reiterate my opinion that when it comes to killing elk out to 1000 yards with a 300WM you can't do much better than a 215 Berger. It's one of the best bullets you can shoot in that cartridge bc wise and still have sufficient velocity. The high bc gives you more margin in the one area you need it, the wind to help you place that bullet where you want it. You also have a tremendous amount of retained energy when it gets there.
Everyone has an opinion and it doesn't necessarily make any right or wrong. My experiences over the last decade killing big game with a 300 WM and a Berger 215 give me the utmost confidence in that combo. I'd like to thank Broz as he's the one that convinced me to shoot them and he was right.
Thanks for sharing and congrats on a job well done.
I'm ashamed to say it but I hit a real nice 6x6 this season at 800 yards in the lungs and rear shoulder with two 175 ABLRs.
That bull rolled down the mountain then got up and left the country.
He bled very little, and it dried up completely within a few hundred yards.
I tracked him for two days in the snow, and miles later eventually lost the trail.

My spotter confirmed that both shots were right in the vitals, all I can come up with is that the bullets didn't expand violently enough to cause much internal damage.

This was an eye opening experience for me, I've never lost an animal that was hard hit.
I was pretty down on hunting with non bonded bullets but for LR I'll be using Bergers from here on out.
 

Troutslayer2

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
450
Thanks for sharing and congrats on a job well done.
I'm ashamed to say it but I hit a real nice 6x6 this season at 800 yards in the lungs and rear shoulder with two 175 ABLRs.
That bull rolled down the mountain then got up and left the country.
He bled very little, and it dried up completely within a few hundred yards.
I tracked him for two days in the snow, and miles later eventually lost the trail.

My spotter confirmed that both shots were right in the vitals, all I can come up with is that the bullets didn't expand violently enough to cause much internal damage.

This was an eye opening experience for me, I've never lost an animal that was hard hit.
I was pretty down on hunting with non bonded bullets but for LR I'll be using Bergers from here on out.


No offense, but I don’t believe you. Even with zero expansion pencil through- right in the vials gets the job done. I have killed a pile of animals with that bullet.
 

Calvin45

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
930
Location
Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada
Thanks for sharing and congrats on a job well done.
I'm ashamed to say it but I hit a real nice 6x6 this season at 800 yards in the lungs and rear shoulder with two 175 ABLRs.
That bull rolled down the mountain then got up and left the country.
He bled very little, and it dried up completely within a few hundred yards.
I tracked him for two days in the snow, and miles later eventually lost the trail.

My spotter confirmed that both shots were right in the vitals, all I can come up with is that the bullets didn't expand violently enough to cause much internal damage.

This was an eye opening experience for me, I've never lost an animal that was hard hit.
I was pretty down on hunting with non bonded bullets but for LR I'll be using Bergers from here on out.
Thank you for telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It’s easy to go and tell everyone when things went right.
 

Send it 284

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
369
Location
Conus
Pretty darn tough to know exactly where a critter was hit, especially if the critter isn't recovered. Add that a shot at close to 1/2 a mile and there's a lot going on.........just a thunk
Of course it is, without a recovery ill never know exactly what those bullets did.
I did however see both impacts in my scope as did my spotter, I asked him where I hit before I told him what I saw.
The bull went down Hard and rolled 100 yards before getting back up and walking off.
I told this story to a guy at Gunwerks and he said they've seen bulls take a shot right in the lungs and go for days after weak expansion.
I don't care who believes me, this is what happened
I'm still sick about it
 

Send it 284

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
369
Location
Conus
No offense, but I don’t believe you. Even with zero expansion pencil through- right in the vials gets the job done. I have killed a pile of animals with that bullet.
I realize you don't know me or what my capabilities are but I take this sport very seriously and don't tell lies.
I shoot out to 1200 yards on my property, and in the past 6 weeks I've put almost 200 rounds through my 7 wsm at long range.
Here's my 4th consecutive sub 2.5" 2 round cold bore group (I shot this one in gusty wind 15 minutes ago) at almost the exact range I shot that bull.
Only difference is I'm using 195's now.
20201221_161249.jpg
 

loonie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2012
Messages
154
Location
Montana
Thanks for sharing and congrats on a job well done.
I'm ashamed to say it but I hit a real nice 6x6 this season at 800 yards in the lungs and rear shoulder with two 175 ABLRs.
That bull rolled down the mountain then got up and left the country.
He bled very little, and it dried up completely within a few hundred yards.
I tracked him for two days in the snow, and miles later eventually lost the trail.

My spotter confirmed that both shots were right in the vitals, all I can come up with is that the bullets didn't expand violently enough to cause much internal damage.

This was an eye opening experience for me, I've never lost an animal that was hard hit.
I was pretty down on hunting with non bonded bullets but for LR I'll be using Bergers from here on out
for LR I'll be using Bergers from here on out.
No guarantee the Berger fix the issue. Seen plenty of them pencil under 600 yards. I would guess it was hit too far back. Sometimes the bullet hole isn't were you think it should be.
 

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