Whats is the smallest humane round to hunt Elk
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Whats is the smallest humane round to hunt Elk


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Old 03-12-2013, 04:13 AM   #1
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Default Whats is the smallest humane round to hunt Elk

I'm in the market for a new rifle. I'm wanting to hunt elk next year. Never hunted elk before. Whats the smallest bullet that will humanly kill an elk and if you were to buy a new rifle what caliber would you pick.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:22 AM   #2
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I personally haven't hunted Elk at all. But considering for my area (Canada) you can hunt the deer with anything smaller then a .243, I would suggest a .270 or a .308.

Now If I was to be buying a new rifle, it would most likely be in .308 for a couple reasons. One being that if I was to get into hunting, it would be a heavy enough caliber to take out any animal on this continent. The second reason would be that if I wasn't a reloader, I could buy bulk ammunition at a fairly reasonable price during the off season for range use.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:23 AM   #3
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I know people that have used 243's for elk,I would have no problem using my 25/06,but have always used a 30/06 or 300WM when I've hunted them.
Shot placement is the main thing when hunting any type of game animal,and also knowing the range limits on whatever caliber you choose to hunt with.

Elk are large animals,and you need a bullet that has the ability to penetrate deep as well as stay together. A wounded elk can travel miles away before it goes down.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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You are talking about an animal that is the size of thoroughbred racehorse. When wounded elk can be dangerous. I would at least get a 30/06. You can find bulk ammo for practice for the 30/06. I have been shooting brown bear ammo in my BAR without any problems. You can find any type of bullet in a factory load for a 30/06. It is very easy to make a case for the 30/06 being the most versatile caliber ever made.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:53 AM   #5
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The .270 and 30-06 have been used for years. The old 30-30 has taken many Elk in the "Black" timber. We are allowed 3 Elk in the area I live in. I like many Elk hunters prefer the .338 Win. Mag. and the 250 gr. bullet. If you ever knock one down just see the critter rise up and run like hell you will consider a serious a heavy rifle.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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I have killed elk with a 270 Win 130 Gr bullets, 308 Norma Mag 165 Gr bullets and 340 Weatherby 225 Gr bullets. It all depends on the range that an elk is shot. My first elk was shot at about 35 yards with a 270 Win rifle, at that short range a 30-30 Win or 243 Win rifle would kill it but not at 375 yards like a 340 Weatherby. Take a look at a ammo cataloge that lists ft/lb of energy of the bullet at various ranges. Id not hunt elk with any cartridge that has less ft/lb of energy than a 165 Gr bullet fire from a 308 Win rifle at 250 yards...
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:20 AM   #7
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I took an elk with my .270 many years ago. It was a fairly close shot and I did put 2 into her but I don't think I really needed the second. I think a 30-06 would give you a little better margin for error, and is the gun I'd use today.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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I've killed most of mine with a .270. I now use a 300wsm though for a tad more punch. I would have no problem using a 270 again though. I know people who use the 25-06 and love it as well.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:44 AM   #9
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Just remember tho 30/06 is plentiful right now.. 223 and 308 are hard to find when stuff like this happens cuz of the ar15/ar10 platforms..

Personally I like the flatter trajectory of my 30-06.. And the fact I can shoot anything from a 140gr to a 220gn bullet depending on where I am hunting and what for..
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:55 AM   #10
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How good of a shot are you? How good are you at scouting and stalking? You can get away with smaller calibers if you are really good and willing to pass up marginal shots. Otherwise the .270 and .30-06 would be fine.
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