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Old 01-07-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
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Default Elk gun

Finally booking my bucket list hunt for 2019. Iím gonna gun hunt elk in British Columbia. Woohoo

So, now I need a gun that is capable. Anyone with elk experience want to make a recommendation? I am leaning toward 300winmag or possible 7mag. I know the 6.5creed is getting a ton of live right now but I understand the long rang umph is greater with the two aforementioned calibers.
Also, I know weight is a big issue with a elk gun. There will be a lot of running up and down hills. I am certainly no annie Oakley but want to spend sometime shooting out to 600yds.
So, what do you experienced elk hunters say?
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:02 PM   #2
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I would talk to the guide. I went to hunt elk in Colorado and used .308 with 200gr soft nose. My shooting was out to 75-150 yards in wooded area.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:03 PM   #3
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I shot my Colorado bull with a 30-06 at 80 yards in dark timber, but it did require a second shot. Take a look at the Kimber Mountain Ascent rifles, .300 WINMAG or 7mm Mag would do the deed.

Unless you're hunting private land, I think long/wide open shots would be rare.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:52 PM   #4
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Ive done a ton of elk hunting in Washington state and Colorado...spent a few seasons as a guide, I would say the best things are...

A: Talk to your guide and see what they prefer their shooters use...ask what the average shot is, what the terrain is, etc.

B: Elk aren't big African game, but if you miss your sweet spot or have a poor angle you need to have enough umph to get through bigger bone and deliver energy...and if your shooting opportunities are consistently past 300 yards larger the magnum calibers give a greater kill zone/margin for error... and you might want to work on stalking technique. Your guide should in most situations work you inside of 300 yards on most elk hunts...Especially if its around the rut..they are vocal interactive animals. I know there are a ton of stories of 300+ yard shots and "this was my only shot in a week" kind of stuff...but for a guided hunt I would expect things to be inside of 300 yards most of the time. If I had a guy wanting to shoot past 300 yards I'd always push to walk closer, it was usually shooters excitement or physical condition and not nervous animals for longer range shots...it takes some pretty pressured elk or poor wind/stalking conditions to not get fairly close.

I would suggest shooting something you are comfortable with...If the average shot is inside of 300yrs and you can hit a pie plate that far 8/10 times without a bench sled then you are good to go if its a .270 or a 416 rigby...

Hunting the west coast Roosevelt elk in WA and Oregon is typically done in rain forest like conditions with glassing and shooting over clear-cuts. Rocky mountain elk are a little different story but not by much.

My guide gun was a .270 and put animals down out to 400-450yards...proper placement of a quality bullet is #1...I had guys show up with a 300 mag in one hand and a scope in the other...really made it more difficult than if they just showed up with their home rifle. Jack O'Connor loved a little lighter rifle...I also know a guy that shoots his elk every year with a .243 just not past 200 yards. The calibers you mentioned are all solid...shoot something your comfortable and confident in.

one more tip...hike, hike, hike, run, hike, and walk...the better condition you are in physically the easier your hunt will be. Elevation will always slow you down the first few days.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:10 PM   #5
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Just bout anything but a .308
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:58 PM   #6
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You know what guides want?

They want a hunter in good physical shape who can take the rigors of the trail/hunt.
They want a hunter with a lot of trigger time behind the rifle they're shooting, inherent accuracy and are comfortable carrying it for long periods.

They most often complain about Out of Shape hunters with brand new, heavy magnum rifles that they don't have trigger time with because of the hard recoil and price of ammo.

They'd much rather you've a .270, .308 or 30.06, with the right bullet, that you can shoot accurately under pressure when you get your chance at that big trophy animal.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walton County View Post
Finally booking my bucket list hunt for 2019. I’m gonna gun hunt elk in British Columbia. Woohoo

So, now I need a gun that is capable. Anyone with elk experience want to make a recommendation? I am leaning toward 300winmag or possible 7mag. I know the 6.5creed is getting a ton of live right now but I understand the long rang umph is greater with the two aforementioned calibers.
Also, I know weight is a big issue with a elk gun. There will be a lot of running up and down hills. I am certainly no annie Oakley but want to spend sometime shooting out to 600yds.
So, what do you experienced elk hunters say?
First talk to the guide about what their average range on taking an elk is then practice 100 yards past that shooting off sticks, kneeling, and prone.

When we use to live out in Colorado my dad has killed many elk with the .270, grand father used a 7mm mag for a while and now uses his 35 Remington. Also the 6.5 creedmoor will do just fine. So my point is any of the cartridges you mentioned will get the job done. Out of the 25+ elk they have harvested together 1 has been farther than 300 yards. The majority were less than 200 yards.

Pick the rifle that you honestly feel the most comfortable shooting. Pick a quality bullet like a Nosler Partition, Nosler Accubond, Swift Scirrocco, Barnes TTSX, Hornady GMX, Hornady Interbond, Speer Hot Cor, Swift A Frame, Trophy bonded bear claw just to name a few.

Some other things leave cotton clothes at home. Invest in some Merino wool and polyester or polyester blend type clothes. You will thank me later.

Oh and dont be scared to put another round in an elk. There have been elk that will soak up 300 win mags and then there have been elk that went right down with a .243.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST GET YOUR ASS IN SHAPE.
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Last edited by Brandon_SPC2; 01-07-2018 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:14 PM   #8
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Don't be a sissy. Real men kill elk with a bow.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:59 PM   #9
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A couple of trips ago I was sitting under a pine tree on a hillside in Wyoming deer hunting. Had 2 bulls come within shotgun range, could have killed both with ease. No tag, just watched them. They never knew I was there. Beautiful creatures.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:59 PM   #10
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In the 80's I used a 7mag for elk due to its incredible ballistics, was hunting very high 10,000+ feet in the Rockies (Bitterroot Wilderness in northern Idaho) where long shots were frequently encountered. It was plenty of gun, recoil wasn't an issue, and I was stout enough to carry the magnum barrel long action Remington 700. We had guys with the everything from 243 to 300win mag. From what I witnessed the 243 had its limitations and many of the 300 shooters couldn't hit anything.
I thought at the time 270, 30-06 and 7mag made the most sense for our application. A decent shot from any of those 3 would reliably down an elk.

Have to absolutely agree on physical conditioning being the most critical factor for success. Guys that were mobile and could stalk the elk would almost always bring one home and guys that couldn't often at best ended up with maybe one 300+ yard shot and usually went home without success.
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