Shot placement on elk!

Topgun 30-06

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I absolutely cringe every time I hear someone talk about taking a head shot on a deer or elk at any kind of distance! IMHO if you can't make the proper shot in the body at ANY time during legal hunting hours to recover that animal without any meat spoilage, then DON'T shoot at all. The animal is too valuable and we should honor the animal and not take chances on an iffy head shot that can move at any moment and wound a magnificent creature!!! Even a neck shot is iffy unless the person knows the anatomy of the animal well and exactly where to aim to break the spinal column. JHMO and if others disagree that's why we are in the USA!!!!
 

bigngreen

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I absolutely cringe every time I hear someone talk about taking a head shot on a deer or elk at any kind of distance! IMHO if you can't make the proper shot in the body at ANY time during legal hunting hours to recover that animal without any meat spoilage, then DON'T shoot at all. The animal is too valuable and we should honor the animal and not take chances on an iffy head shot that can move at any moment and wound a magnificent creature!!! Even a neck shot is iffy unless the person knows the anatomy of the animal well and exactly where to aim to break the spinal column. JHMO and if others disagree that's why we are in the USA!!!!

It's post like this that got LRH started, this is a place we can talk about pushing the barriers of hunting without people trying to impose their own personal ethics and shooting preferences and limits on others or throwing out snide comments under the guise of an opinion.
 

Topgun 30-06

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That was my opinion and you have yours! I didn't say I was forcing you or anyone else to agree with it. IMO your post is not proper calling my opinion what you did when it isn't against site rules to post polite opinions on anything being discussed. If you want to risk wounding an animal and causing a slow, painful death by shooting at a small moving head, then we disagree and if you don't like what I post then it's very simple---don't read it!!! "Pushing the barriers" my rear! Maybe you should apply for Moderator or BB Cop status!!!


PS: Your tagline sucks too, but I didn't tell you you couldn't put it on your posts!!!
 
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1CouesHunter

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Hello to all,

I would like to address Topgun 30-06 and Bigngreen.... I agree with both of you to some extent. But I believe Topgun didnt read my post all the way through... I "did" Make a "Proper Shot" on the cow elk... I Punched it thru Both
shoulders and she did not die right away...she ran. NO control over that...

Topgun, i agree that certain people shouldn't take certain shots. But for you to say a guy shouldnt take a head shot at "ANY" distance is a stretch to me. What if the muzzle is 5 inches from an elks head?

A head shot for me at 200 yards was quite doable for me. I had a Good rest and the cow was perfectly still (when I shot her thru the shoulders) The target area for a cow elk's neck is about 8-10 Inches across... the neck has
an even larger area towards the top of the shoulders. I CAN hold MOA on that target under those circumstances....

I respect the fact that You wouldn't have taken that shot... also, if anyone has hunted long enough, an animal is going to be wounded and lost... it has or will happen to everyone... shoot them too far back, shoot a Moose above the lungs and below the spine you can lose them. Some people take "Texas Heart" shots... It happens.


Bigngreen, I also agree with you in that LRH is a place where we can talk as a
group about anything concerning hunting... and pushing the barriers.... if that
is what people are doing. Also hunting ethics of one person is NOT the same
for another.... I did get that "imposing vibe" from Topgun's response, but this is the USA and he is entitled to his opinion (not matter how wrong it is:) Joke!

I've read more than a few threads on LRH about people taking taking
head/neck shots on animals with success. I've also read stories of experienced long range hunters shooting and wounding and or missing, and then perhaps recovering the animal....

I may judge, but I usually keep it to myself... I have my Ethical Lines I wont cross and try my best to keep and I don't get upset if another man's ethics aren't the Same as mine... as Long as we are SAFE out there...

Thanks for the Imput from Both of you and the rest of the LRH community....
I will always Consider If a shot is "Iffy" or Not.

And I DID say Practice at the Range on taking Quick shots on targets...


QUOTE:
It would be a good idea to practice this at the Shooting Range. Shooting the first shot at a target, rack your bolt, and fire a second shot hitting the target Without Breaking your cheek- weld to the stock and looking through the scope. Do this from field positions... prone, sitting, and kneeling with shooting sticks.

This type of practice of putting two shots on Target, Quickly, will SAVE you alot of grief and tracking time!!
 

GonzoK34

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In an earlier post I included a calf elk I harvested offhand. The following are a couple of deer. The 1st was located on top of Mt. Timpanogos, near American Fork, Utah. It was snowing when I located this buck at 379 yds across a ravine with a 15mph wind and a break between heavy snow fall. I laid down in the snow and used my backpack as a rest. Dailed in the range and wind corrections. Held above his elbow 1/3rd up the brisket and waited for a pause in the wind. (Note: Barnes Bullets recommended I hunt high on the mountain it paid off).

The 2nd buck was shot offhand at 450yds while it was running into Bull Canyon a deep rugged canyon in southeast Utah near the Nevada border. That deer was killed the last day of a 7 day hunt. Both bucks were in extremely steep rocky terrain. They also died right there! No tracking. But getting them back to camp was pure hell! Iwas allot younger in this 2nd photo as you can see.

My point:

Known your rifle, field verified come ups, it's maximum range foot pounds of energy on target, and sight it in for 100yds from a bench. Then develop your come ups out to it's effect range and foot pounds of energy. Shoot prone, sitting, kneeling and offhand. I live in Alpine, Near San Diego, Ca. I have mountains, foothills, lots of canyons, and high/low desert with more canyons that consist of steep terrain and variable wind conditions. I spent time in the field in the off season hunting and shooting rocks, boulders, small shrubs, jackrabbits, squirrels, crows, and coyotes. I estimate the distance than use a rangefinder and always seek an improvised rest where possible.

Hunts cost me allot of dollars, so I put allot of effort training, shooting, and studying Google Earth and order custom topos of the hunt area. This allows me to concentrate my efforts into hunting and locating game in likely habitat for the game I'm after.

Today most of my time now is teaching young guys shooting and hunting techniques I learned from my father and numerous hunting friends.

This forum is an Outstanding source of information for the beginner as well as the highly experienced hunter. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But remember We get a bad rap from anti hunting factions. Let not give them anymore reasons to attack our sport.

Gonzo
SEMPER FIDELIS
 

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Topgun 30-06

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Gentlemen!

I understood where the animal was shot that ran off and then that it was said that a head shot probably would have been an option. The statement "at any distance" that I made was not actually what I was trying to say, but it sounded that way. When I made that statement I was basiccally referring to long shots and not maybe 50 or 60 yards in a perfect situation. I was not happy when the other member came on and said that 500 yards was doable on an elk with the 30-06, especially when we are dicussing the issue with a "newbie" to hunting elk with that caliber like the OP is. It's doable to hit the animal at 1000 yards with that caliber, as it's been used for ages on paper at that distance. However, as I stated and others mentioned, the bullet should have enough energy at POI to safely ensure the animal is down for the count. A 30-06 does not have enough energy left at 500 yards on an animal that size to meet that criteria and all of the great writers I've ever read since I started hunting in 1953 will back me up on that. Then the same member came on acting like the police telling me I shouldn't make the remarks about head shots and used the term "pushing the barriers", which I feel is a ridiculous statement when taken in context with what was being discussed. Pushing the barriers to what, possibly wounding an animal with what I consider an iffy shot? Whether you can hit paper at 500 yards is irrelevant because that paper has "no chance" of moving and that's my problem with taking a head shot unless the animal is very close and even then I feel it's iffy. Has anyone ever seen a TV show where a head shot was attempted? Absolutely not because there is too big a chance of a muff in front of a rolling camera. I have probably shot around 100 deer, elk, and antelope in my lifetime and only a few were even shot in the neck and those were inside 100 yards. Almost all were shot through the heart/lung area and a few in the shoulder to take them down quickly because of where they were. Only one cow elk went more than 50 yards and that was because I mistakenly had SSTs in the rifle instead of my Interbonds. That bullet blew up on a near rib and she went over 100 yards before dropping. Practice is obviously the key to all shooting/hunting and now I see one long range show on TV where they have taken more than one person out to shoot at long distance and they make statements that person has never done it before and has never even used the gun they are taking out. It is obviously done to sell equipment and not to hunt ethically in my mind. How many of you feel that way and wondered what animals were missed or, even worse, wounded that weren't shown on camera? The main reason I made and will continue to make the statement I did is because this thread was started by a person new to the sport and I was just trying give my thoughts after many decades of hunting. To say I made a snide remark and then to turn right around and offer comments on what that member felt were reasonable ranges and where to shoot the animal were, IMHO, no different than what I did. Maybe a PM would have been a better way for him to have addressed the issues, rather than call me out in front of everyone like was done. That did not sit well and if someone does that to me when I have only issued an opinion, they will get a retort like I posted. Sorry, but I feel that things can be discussed like rational adults without doing what he did and I let him know it. Peace everyone!!!
 
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Topgun 30-06

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Thank you Sir, as that is really appreciated! I started hunting with my Dad in 1953 when I was 6 years old and have great respect for all animals and the way people treat or mistreat them. Most people that aren't hunters probably can't understand how a person can be such an animal lover and still kill things. I'd like to think and believe that all true sportsmen have that respect and it's well know that hunting and fishing has done more for the outdoors than all of these so-called enviromentalist groups combined!!!
 

bigngreen

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Topgun 30-06, I hope you accept my apologizes for post #30, I must be my time of the month or something, I should not be posting this time of year as I think I let some stress from work out on you. Again I would ask your forgiveness for that post!!

On the subject of 500yrds with a 30-06 we are likely getting tweeked for the same kind of thing just on opposite sides of the spectrum. I take a lot of guys out for their first elk or their last elk, many shots and elk have been taken in the 450-550 range with a 30-06 or similar cartridge, in every case it has done a fine job.

It really bums me out when a guy just want to go elk hunting but everyone piles on that you have to have all this special stuff, and you can't kill an elk if you don't shoot this at that. I love to take those guys out and help them get it done with what they have, after they shoot some they usually learn the direction they need to go for themselves and their area. Another thing that bums me hard is when some old guy just wants to shoot one last elk but guys turn them down cause their not as hardcore as they are, I'll work my butt of to make sure that guy kills an elk with his old gun, they always want to kill that last one with their old rifle.

Just a quick look at Hornady factory ammo will show that there is factory ammo that will meet your specs for a 500yrd elk with a 30-06.
Take a 30-06 loaded with a 180 Interbond clocking 2750ish at normal elk hunting elevation here which is 6000ft min and your around 2000 fps with 1600ish ft lbs of energy at 500yrds, if I punched it in right. Now by the numbers it's well within GTG and by my experience of doing it multiple times I feel fairly good with it.
 

Topgun 30-06

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No problem man, as it's water under the bridge, as they say!!! Good to hear that you do what you do, as that is very commendable. I think I mentioned that I didn't have the stats available for the 180 grainer in 30-06, so I won't argue with your numbers because they are probably correct with the knowledge I have on ballistics. Mainly I was just trying to get across to the OP to not push the envelope as a newbie to elk hunting and be sorry. I'm obviously opinionated on certain subjects and one of my big ones is killing an animal humanely and as quickly as possible within the parameters of the gun and the ability of who's using it. I hope everyone would agree that should be something to strive for on anything we shoot. The 30-06 is the perfect caliber and that's why it's my username. Of two safes full of rifles, my 30-06s are the biggest caliber in there and they will take an elk with no problem with the proper bonded bullet and not pushing the envelope. Take care---MIKE
 
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1CouesHunter

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Good comments Bigngreen and Topgun!! Both of you have more animals down than I do, so I am always willing to learn from you guys.... I will strive to be alert if a shot is Iffy and if recovery can be made in a timely fashion.

I may still take that head shot, but I am going to practice it alot more at the range... I will practice the rested shot and the quick follow up shot more often.
Thanks for your imput guys....

Russell
 
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