My first elk hunt

rustyshackleford

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Dec 13, 2012
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So just a quick glance at midway and they have nosler custom 308 with 165 accubonds in stock now. I’ve don’t recall ever seeing a cross word about accubonds. They also have HSM loaded with tipped gamekings which allegedly have a thicker jacket than the older ones but it’s a newcomer for sure. Personally I’d just order a box or two of the accubonds. Bonded so you’ll get penetration akin to a 180 cup and core and it’s a known performer that typically shoots well. I would stick to your initial criteria but especially the 2k ft/sec for my minimum velocity. Should be perfectly adequate if you do your part.
 

Bill28

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Dec 8, 2019
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Utah
I will be hunting elk this year in Colorado. I have a 308 and 6.5. Both shoot very accurate out to 500 yard. I practice shooting from 300 to 500
Are both guns enough for an ethical kill I read ballistics and plan to use 1500 ft lbs of force giving me a range of 400 yards. I will be using Hornady eldx
6.5 with 140 grain Nosler Partition/regular Acubond
 

Huntfly

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Ga
I will be hunting elk this year in Colorado. I have a 308 and 6.5. Both shoot very accurate out to 500 yard. I practice shooting from 300 to 500
Are both guns enough for an ethical kill I read ballistics and plan to use 1500 ft lbs of force giving me a range of 400 yards. I will be using Hornady eldx
I have killed one elk in my life. It was also the longest shot of my life, 550 yards, Nosler partition 150 grainers, 7 mag. First shot went through the heart, he ran and stopped, next shot right above first, show over. I love Nosler partitions but if I were you I would get on the phone to Hammer today talk to Mr. Steve and load something for your 6.5.
 

FEENIX

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Honestly, I would use the rule of non-magnums keep it under 300y and magnums 500y but 700y is doable but I recommend neck shots between 500-700.
elk is still a thin skinned animal but in case you misjudge wind or elevation or don’t know your MPBR then you need to stick with close distances of 50-200y.

ive harvested animals between 300-500 with 6.5 and 308 and even good shot place those calibers have lost a lot of energy and sometimes required a second shot. Neck shots haven’t required a second shot.
Use good bullets and be smart. If you can’t shoot 1MOA or better at 500y keep them close
I downed a cow at 543 yards with a 6.5 PRC in Idaho, Great Christmas Dinner, go for it.
I am not sure why I am being quoted for asking the OP's current load.
 
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73driver

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Aug 24, 2011
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364
Thank you all for your support and suggestions I will use my 308 and I am researching the federal terminal ascent cartridge 175 grain. Seams to have the right balance of power
My Elk hunting has been limited to taking 4 bulls. First was a spike at 60 yards taken with 30-06 and 2900fpsmv Sierra 165 GameKing. Second was a 4X4 at 370yards taken with 06/2825fpsmv/180 Sierra GK. 3rd 6X6 at 250 yards with 06/180 Partition in what Hornady called Light Magnum load. Last bull was a nice 6X6 at 100 yards 06/2825fpsmv/180 Sierra GK. If you shoot at ranges farther than 350 yards you could have a bull travel up to several hundred yards before he falls over dead. In this scenario it could be hell to track if in rough cover and no pass through. A simple cup and core bullet kills elk. The tougher construction like the terminal ascent would do better and have a better chance of through and through. Federal Fusion ammo is accurate and maybe not as tough as a partition but better than cup and core bullet. Hope the terminal ascent are accurate in your rifle and good luck.
 

Huntfly

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Jun 29, 2021
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158
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Ga
I will be hunting elk this year in Colorado. I have a 308 and 6.5. Both shoot very accurate out to 500 yard. I practice shooting from 300 to 500
Are both guns enough for an ethical kill I read ballistics and plan to use 1500 ft lbs of force giving me a range of 400 yards. I will be using Hornady eldx
I have killed one elk in my life. It was also the longest shot of my life, 550 yards, Nosler partition 150 grainers 7 mag. First shot went through the heart, he ran and stopped, next shot right above first, show over. I love Nosler partitions but if I were you I would get on the phone to Hammer today talk to Mr. Steve and load something for your 6.5.
 

Chadp82

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May 3, 2020
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Colorado
To echo a lot of comments above. Well constructed bullet is key.

Then shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. Even with a good hit, I have seen elk stand longer than they should have. One example, I shot a cow double lung, that took 2 hours to expire. She stepped into a grove of trees, I waited an hour or so, approached and she got up and walked away so I backed off. I heard her bed down, and then cough for another hour. I dared not approach even though it was tough to listen to the situation. I couldn’t afford to jump her and lose her, and if she ran, the timber for her exit would have been a nasty tracking job. I confirmed the double lung during field dressing. One lung was like a ball of hamburger, the other had one side shredded and pretty beat up all around.

If you are lucky enough to connect on one and it doesnt drop immediately, take your time and don’t rush the recovery. If you can take a follow up, do so if it’s still upright. During rifle seasons you typically have temperatures on your side, where as archery in Colorado can be 90 degrees or hotter and time is not your friend.

Best of luck!
 

Stgraves260

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Sep 1, 2009
Messages
734
I will be hunting elk this year in Colorado. I have a 308 and 6.5. Both shoot very accurate out to 500 yard. I practice shooting from 300 to 500
Are both guns enough for an ethical kill I read ballistics and plan to use 1500 ft lbs of force giving me a range of 400 yards. I will be using Hornady eldx
You should be fine with either. You should be good out to 500 yards with the 308 178 grn ELDX. Depending on what casing your 6.5 is will depend on your max range for that caliber. The last time I went hunting in Colorado in Columbine Pass, I read in the parks and wild life book that the most common caliber used on elk was a 6.5 caliber. Now it did not say if it was a 264 WM, 260 Rem, 6.5 CM, 6.5-284. It just said 6.5 caliber was the most common. I can’t speak for all of Colorado hunting. Where I hunted a scope was little to no use. Everything was so close. Very heavily treed. I did see people hunt the logging roads but I would not recommend that do to that’s where most people walk to get to their honey hole. Just be vigilant and have a great time.
 

340Wby-4-everything

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May 1, 2012
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Denver area (Lakewood, CO)
You're seriously reccomending neck shots for your 500-700 yard shots on elk..............?
Agreed. I was thinking the same. WTH? First time elk hunter and recommending neck shots at all seems crazy to me. They have a huge neck and a lot of open air/flesh space a bullet can pass through and hit nothing at all vital. A good buddy (who is not an experienced hunter and I had told for yrs to Never take a neck shot on elk, shot one at 100 yds w/300wby with 180 TSXs We found one little drop of blood, brought a friend's dog out the next am and he only found one more little drop of blood. Even whitetails have open areas in the neck and the body a bullet can pass thru and hit much of nothing. We all need to remember, Not everyone on here is an experienced hunter or shooter.
 

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