I can also agree with the hunter above who recommends the Hornady Light Magnum loads for the 30-06. If you're going to shoot factory loads in the '06 on your elk hunt, I'd buy a box of those in 180gr and check them at the range. If you're fortunate enough to have a barrel that shoots these suped-up '06 loads, you can't go wrong. I've tried them, they really do increase velocities by 150-200 fps with 180gr bullets. They hold together on an elk and mushroomed beautifully on the two I killed with them. (175 yrds, & 85yrds.)
If either they don't shoot accurately in your gun or you're going to handload, I still stand behind the Remington Core-Lokt. I've never had any bullet failures with them on any animal big or small at any range close or far. (within reason, out to 300 yrds or so.) If they are accurate in your gun, they have been proven deadly on elk thousands of times. If they are not accurate in your gun, & some barrels can be finicky about bullets, then try some of the other brands. The only ones that I have ever had any real bullet failure problems with have been Barnes X and Nosler Partition. Those two failures could have been just flukes, but I'm not going to repeat them. They cost me alot of work and almost ended in the loss of two good elk. The Barnes X did not penetrate thru the shoulder from about 165 yrds and I had a good 2 mile chase before finally putting her down with a second shot. When I examined her after the kill, I found the first bullet in pieces between the hide and the shoulder bone. Looked like it had just come apart on a glancing blow to the shoulder blade. On another elk, the Nosler Partition from about 55 yrds went straight thru the chest cavity & out the other side without doing much damage. Yea the elk died, but it did so after a good 3/4 mile jaunt into the deepest canyon you ever climbed back out of. If we had not had 4" of fresh powder snow on the ground, I doubt that I would have ever found him. When I did, he had a really round pencil sized hole thru both the inlet and outlet side. No expansion at all. He literally ran till he drowned in his own blood. Had the bullet performed & he died close to where I shot him I would have had an easy 1/4 mile pack back to camp. Way it was, I had a full day of tracking a wounded bull and two more days of packing him up out of the canyon.
just wanted to put my 2 cents in
as for the brand i dont think it has anything to do with it I have used
diferent types of soft tipped shells but i find 180 g to works good on Moose and Elk i have shot Moose at 500 yards running and Elk at 300 yards running only took 2 shots for the moose and 2 shots for the Elk thats with a 300 winchester mag
I agree with Alpha man, 150 grain Accubonds are perfect for elk. Quick expansion and deep penetration. I hit my bull in the base of the neck and dug the slug out of his opposite hip, about 5 feet of penetration.
Most any brand will be fine , just use 165 gr or higher. Just remember when reading everyones advise, that every individual rifle is different, therefore what works for one guys model 70 '06 might not work well in your gun even if its the same model. Find one that works for your gun and then practice like hell with it.
Shot placement is always more important than caliber and bullet weight. I have model 70 in 30-06 using 165 gr. nosler partitions and have never had to fire more than once to down an elk. they also never went more than 10 yards before dropping. So the moral is, practice until you are extremely consistent with shot placement
As a Taxidermist I look at hundreds of Whitetail Bucks every year. I know that I have seen many different ways people judge the size of racks on live deer. I think for the most part they all are pretty close. I'm going to give you some measurements that I have noticed being right on in just about every deer. We have used it in the last couple years and have only been off by about 5-6 inches. We do study the deer while bowhunting so we get a little more time to look at them....