27 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 06/29/2009
Posts: 22
25-06 and Elk?

I am just interested in your opinions on using a 25-06 to take elk. Through my research I have found very mixed opinions on this topic and would like to hear from you and your reasoning in the matter. Thanks a bunch!

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
About minimum

Its about my personal minimum, no that I've used anything that light.  Seen people use much less, but given that many elk need follow up shots even with good placement, I would rather see something a little more powerful if you've got it. If not, make sure you use a good, deep penetrating bullet.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 865
It will work with a good

It will work with a good bullet and placement, but it's below my minimum.

Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 383
Not My First Choice...

but it wouldn't be my last choice either.  A brother in law used a .25-06 without reservations for his Idaho elk hunting but he was hunting in his backyard, was willing to pass up on less than ideal shot opportunities and used premium heavy for caliber bullets designed for penetration. 

With elk in typical elk country, follow up shots should be taken whenever the elk doesn't fall down right now, regardless of caliber used.  I watched a friend pop a medium sized 5 pt three times with a .338 and 225 gr bullets, the last shot going high and hitting the spine.  That bull didn't show any signs of being hit with the first two shots but was dead on his feet with the first two shots hitting him in the lungs.  The first bull I ever shot in Nevada showed no reaction from being hit with a 180 gr .30-06 Partition at maybe 175 yards.  I thought I had missed as he turned around and ran at the shot. The second shot criss-crossed the first through the chest and he fell within 30 or 40 yards.  Then again, I watched a 4 year old bull get sick right now with a similar shot from a .308 and over the counter generic 150 gr cor lokt bullet. 

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 865
Blasphemy!! I've taken more

Blasphemy!! I've taken more elk with a core-lokt than any other bullet.

Although, I don't think they make them now like they used to.

BleuBijou's picture
Offline
Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 453
Way too

Still Hunter wrote:

Blasphemy!! I've taken more elk with a core-lokt than any other bullet.

Although, I don't think they make them now like they used to.

Big of a word Still Hunter!!!LOL!!!  Personally, if it was all I owned , I would make sure I could hit a nats butt out to 200!!!At 300 I would shoot below the ear!! I do love that cartridge!!! I would upsize if you can, but don't go because you think it can't do the job!!! They kill them every year with a string and a sharp stick!!!

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 865
My word for the day. I waited

My word for the day. I waited all day to use it.  lol

GooseHunter Jr's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/28/2005
Posts: 3743
While my Dad and I have both

While my Dad and I have both taken our first elk with a .25 caliber rifle(.257 Roberts).  I agree that something larger is the best way to go.  I presonally shoot a .338 WM now and while alot say it is alot of gun I have yet to have to take a follow up shot on an elkl with it.  I think that 7MM, 30.06 and then the 300 WM are all great calibers to go with.  I also woulf not be afraid to use my .270 to take an elk with.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
.25-06 on elk

I wouldn't use a .25-06 on elk if given a choice, but that's not to say that you can't cleanly take an elk with it.  I'm sure that people have done so perfectly well.  I have a buddy who uses his .243 Win on cows and I don't encourage that either, but he does make clean humane kills all the same.  I use a .270 Win on all the biggame I hunt including elk and it's always performed very for me, but some say it's too little for elk. lol

Topgun 30-06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 695
I don't use my 25-06 Ruger

I don't use my 25-06 Ruger M77 for anything bigger than deer because for elk I have three 30-06s.  If I had to use it I would go with the Hornady Interbonds, take selective shots, and keep shooting until the animal was down and out.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
selective shots

Topgun 30-06 wrote:

I don't use my 25-06 Ruger M77 for anything bigger than deer because for elk I have three 30-06s.  If I had to use it I would go with the Hornady Interbonds, take selective shots, and keep shooting until the animal was down and out.

I agree, but I think all shots on game should be selective shots regardless of caliber used.  People only seem to emphisize selective shots when someone uses a smaller caliber on biggame, but to me all shots on biggame should be selective for humane kills.  Big caliber doesn't mean you can be mediocre about your shots.  A miss with something like a .30-06 or a .338 Win Mag is still just a miss.  I'm also sure that the .25-06 will drop an elk with one shot too.  I don't think you nessesraily need to keep shooting until it's down, but then again I'd worry about the meat more than anything, as I'm stricktly a meat hunter. Big smile