Whats is the smallest humane round to hunt Elk

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Crazycastor, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    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.
     
  2. kaido

    kaido New Member

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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.
     

  3. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member

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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.
     
  4. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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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.
     
  5. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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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.:)
     
  6. tuck2

    tuck2 New Member

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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...
     
  7. Firenailer

    Firenailer New Member

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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.
     
  8. kalboy26

    kalboy26 New Member

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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.
     
  9. hockeyjr1

    hockeyjr1 New Member

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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..
     
  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    I have a group of friends, one of them owns 650 acres, they go every year. Usually 3 of the 5 guys will get an elk. I've never hunted or been to the property but saw pictures of their kills and its hilly land with trees. Not thick trees like in the south. If I had to guess I'd say the farthest shot would be maybe 300 yards. I wouldn't shoot that far, wouldn'd trust my shot that far out on a live animal. Maybe 200 yards would be my farthest comfort zone for shooting at an deer/elk.
     
  12. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you aren't really experienced but have good guides who know the property and the heard a 200 yd shot should not be too unreasonable. The reason I asked the questions is because it can be kind of relative. People now hunt elk but most experienced now hunters will scout well ahead and understand movement if a heard. They will know choke points, water, food, and bedding areas. This allows them to position well to get a better chance at a humane shot.

    A good bolt action .30-06 should get you reach, precision, and penetration for a 200yd shot.
     
  13. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    180 gr. Sierra bullets in .30-06 is more than enough.
     
  14. NotMormon

    NotMormon Member

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    I've seen Elk do crazy things. Two Elk seasons ago, my hunting buddy blasted a spike right in the engine block with a 180gr sierra out of 300WM at about 80 yards. It should have dropped on the spot but he managed to run about 500 yards down into a hell hole....with a blown out oil pump.:confused:

    Based on what I've seen, I don't know the answer to your question. I use a 338WM and 250 grain pills....just like nitestalker.
     
  15. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Tony you old dog where have you been? I would say from reading a number of these post there are only a few real elk hunters. :(
     
  16. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    The reason I brought this subject up is because 3 gun stores I went to didn't recommend a 30-06 for hunting elk , they told me the minimun I should hunt elk with is the 300 magnum.
     
  17. NotMormon

    NotMormon Member

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    I've been very busy my friend.:) Yep, Elk are some tough critters.
     
  18. Dearhunter

    Dearhunter Supporting Member Supporter

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    Key word is Humane. Second is smallest cal.
    I go with the 7mm mag.
     
  19. rockratt

    rockratt Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Since its birth there has probably been more elk taken with the 06 than any other round.I Shoot a 300 Weatherby and love it but they are not for everyone!!!
     
  20. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    The consideration of an elk rifle is made on how effective will it be against a Grizzly bear. The chances of Brown bear encounters go up every year. If you are hunting in the Northern Rockies carry a rifle that can handle a Brown bear. Big bore rifles with heavy bullets works well on elk or bears. :)