My first elk hunt

FEENIX

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The 300 WM actually excels with elk and these distances....(justification for a new gun :))
L 🤣L! I wasn't going there, but since you did, I agree. Even though I have larger chamberings, the .300 WM remains my go-to chambering for antelope to elk size game up to 1KY. I harvested an MT bull elk at 931Y with it.
 

Gcan

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Sep 29, 2017
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DRT, and while you eat the heart on the spot, vegans pray for it's liberated soul.

@michaelfelix13 , Welcome to the Forum! Seems you've been a lurker for some time now
Assuming that your ranges will allow your bullet to remain at a reliable expansion speed... I would go with a good bonded or mono bullet! My preferences heavily lean toward the mono’s. Check out the Hammer’s and many of the comments about them on this forum. I think you would be quite happy with them!

Though you didn’t ask.....I’d also lean toward the .308 over the 6.5. Unless the 6.5 is one of the “hot rod” 6.5’s. I’m very “old school” when it comes to elk, I prefer a larger hole in my elk....preferably 2 holes! 😉 The mono’s will allow you greater shooting angles on your game, due to much greater penetration capabilities. When you have limited hunting time and large bodied, heavy boned animals are your interest..... having greater shot options is a plus! memtb
308 Gets my vote
 

Coyote01

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Colorado
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’ve hunted Colorado my entire life. Either of your choices will be just fine. Just take your favorite and go kill an elk. I have had very few shots over 350 yards and the average I would say is 150 yards. Your bullet choice is fine as well. You will find that anyone can pick your setup apart because it’s different from their own. Good luck to you and maybe I’ll see on the mountain lol
 

Gcan

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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’m sure there will be a lot of answers but here’s my 2 cents. Any who’s ever read my responses knows I am not a 6.5 Credemore fan for long range hunting. In a perfect world 6.5 Crede might be a choice for game under 350 lbs. Just not in mine. I’m not a Gucci guy shooting the newest 6.5 offering because Im a marketing nut. A 308 is just better. Before anyone starts spewing numbers, a 308 is A %^*#ing lot bigger in diameter and will deliver the hate. You can theoretically get any light weight anything going fast enough to make foot pounds of energy. That don’t mean it will kill, break big bones, create massive hydrostatic shock or carry that energy thru a large animal creating massive tissue damage.

will a 6.5 kill an elk. Sure. Will a 308 do it better? Absolutely. Do great shots kill elk with 6.5s? Sure. But how many idiots take marginal shots and wound elk every year they never see again? Lots.
IMO the answer to ethically killing an elk from 300-500 yards aint with a 6.5 Credemore.
great deer or antelope guns. Thats all.
 

Huntfly

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Ga
I’m sure there will be a lot of answers but here’s my 2 cents. Any who’s ever read my responses knows I am not a 6.5 Credemore fan for long range hunting. In a perfect world 6.5 Crede might be a choice for game under 350 lbs. Just not in mine. I’m not a Gucci guy shooting the newest 6.5 offering because Im a marketing nut. A 308 is just better. Before anyone starts spewing numbers, a 308 is A %^*#ing lot bigger in diameter and will deliver the hate. You can theoretically get any light weight anything going fast enough to make foot pounds of energy. That don’t mean it will kill, break big bones, create massive hydrostatic shock or carry that energy thru a large animal creating massive tissue damage.

will a 6.5 kill an elk. Sure. Will a 308 do it better? Absolutely. Do great shots kill elk with 6.5s? Sure. But how many idiots take marginal shots and wound elk every year they never see again? Lots.
IMO the answer to ethically killing an elk from 300-500 yards aint with a 6.5 Credemore.
great deer or antelope guns. Thats all.
And wasting an Elk is a sin.
 

bengineer

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N WY
My first elk was killed with a 308 Model 7 and Hornady 165 BTSP. Broadside at 400 yds. Spike, traveling up a ridge in the early am after feeding overnight. He walked up to a freshly dead 5x5 and paused. I shot him 4 times, all virtually the same shot. All bullets hit double lung, no heart, liver or spine hits. He was dead on his feet for probably 30 seconds while I pumped more rounds into him. All shots were pass through. Lots of blood at the site. Id call that bullet a success. I have killed countless animals with that bullet in various 308s since that 1989 hunt. Never had a bullet failure. I have made some bad hits with that bullet that demanded follow up shots. Ive TX heart shot deer successfully.
i doubt Id shoot an elk from behind like that with that bullet.
After that kill I was certain I needed more, so I got a 338 Win and used all weights of Partition to kill elk and deer. Funny, those werent deader than with the 308, but it sure recoiled harder.
All that said, the 308/130 ttsx is intriguing, but Ive not yet shot any.
 

Gcan

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My first elk was killed with a 308 Model 7 and Hornady 165 BTSP. Broadside at 400 yds. Spike, traveling up a ridge in the early am after feeding overnight. He walked up to a freshly dead 5x5 and paused. I shot him 4 times, all virtually the same shot. All bullets hit double lung, no heart, liver or spine hits. He was dead on his feet for probably 30 seconds while I pumped more rounds into him. All shots were pass through. Lots of blood at the site. Id call that bullet a success. I have killed countless animals with that bullet in various 308s since that 1989 hunt. Never had a bullet failure. I have made some bad hits with that bullet that demanded follow up shots. Ive TX heart shot deer successfully.
i doubt Id shoot an elk from behind like that with that bullet.
After that kill I was certain I needed more, so I got a 338 Win and used all weights of Partition to kill elk and deer. Funny, those werent deader than with the 308, but it sure recoiled harder.
All that said, the 308/130 ttsx is intriguing, but Ive not yet shot any.
I’ve had two very similar experiences. Shot a deer 5 times with a 30/30 when I was young. 80 yards or so. All five in and around the heart. All pass thrus The deer was dead with the first shot but this was before I knew pumping out was like holding your breath. The deer never reacted to any bullet. He just walked in circles till he fell down. Best tasting buck Id eaten to that point in
My life.

The second time was a 2000 lb bison. 3 shots in the lungs from 180 yards. No wind. Woods were quiet. 300 Win Mag with 180 Partitions. He didn’t move once. When we processed him it was clear he was dead with the first shot. The second two shots pretty much traveled in the same wound canal as the first. The Partitions worked perfectly. My mind knew I was hitting him exactly on the spot but my emotions had me thinking I was missing him altogether. He just stood there. All the shots were thru and thru and were about 2” apart. Not one broke a rib. The 4th shot was forward. Clipped a shoulder blade going in and hitting large muscles going out. That’s when he took off like a scalded cat for about 100 feet and piled up. As soon as you hit bone they will usually react. Having sad that, yes a perfectly placed 6.5 will probably kill an elk at distance if you hit him in the pipe works with a bullet that will expand. Even if it doesn’t, any hole in a heart is fatal in less than a minute. Not so with lungs. You can pin hole a big animal’s lungs and he may go miles. So I’ll take a 30 cal every time. I’m a 308 Win fan to 600 yards. Maybe a bit further on the right day.

Since that time I’ve made too many heart shots to count. After that buck it occurred to me that I had always aimed for a low heart shot with a bow and if it worked with a bow why not my rifles. I don’t know how many, but I do know it’s my favorite point of aim and if you can call your shot, you know its in the pipes, then you just give them time to die. They always taste better when they just fall over. Hit bone, the adrenaline flows and meat get gamey instantly.
 

Ranger Rick

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Sep 6, 2019
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Idaho
I’m excited for you Michael as I love hunting (& tagging) elk. Coyote01’s advice spot on plus he has a wealth of Colorado elk hunting experience. If he’s willing, share with him where, when and how (unguided or guided) you’ll be hunting. If you’re using a guide, he or she will be invaluable (paid to be). I’ve killed over 20 elk in my home state Idaho. The smallest bullet I’ve used is a 130gr .270, so my vote goes for your .308. Good hunting Michael 👍
 

Tom Wright

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Jan 10, 2019
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57
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Florida
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’m certain you will get a variety of answers but I personally think a 6.5 it a great round for deer sized animals, but the size/weight/girth of an elk should I think make you select a .30 caliber round. Frankly I’ve never had a successful elk hunt, but I have killed many elk sized animals like bear, red stag, sable, roan, waterbuck, and wildebeest, nilgai and eland with a .300 WinMag. While I’ve taken a 300+ pound mule deer with my 6.5, I’ve seen the stopping power of the 30 caliber bullet out to 500 yards on animals up to my 1700 pound eland. You can’t go wrong with that choice.
 

michaelfelix13

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Apr 16, 2015
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70
I’ve hunted Colorado my entire life. Either of your choices will be just fine. Just take your favorite and go kill an elk. I have had very few shots over 350 yards and the average I would say is 150 yards. Your bullet choice is fine as well. You will find that anyone can pick your setup apart because it’s different from their own. Good luck to you and maybe I’ll see on the mountain lol
Thank you I agree I can read many different opinions. As long as I shot straight and use what I believe to be a respectable distance for my cartridge . It is a hunt not a kill so I will do my best to get the best distance and angle.
 
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