86 replies [Last post]
Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

No. Get a bigger catridge and aim for the vitals. (Heart, Lungs) That's my 2 cents.

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1948
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Man I hope I don't start a war here, but I can't believe how many people think they need a canyon to kill an elk! In Colorado you need a .244 caliber or larger to hunt big game. I have seen many elk wounded and lost because guys are told they need a 338 win mag to kill an elk, they can't even shoot the gun because they flintch so bad they could not hit anything if they wanted too. I know you can say many elk are wounded because of small calibers also, but if you are comfortable with your rifle and put that bullet where it needs to be it is a dead elk, it always has been about shot placement .
Let me tell you guys a little story. A group of guys came into my camp back in 1998 and one of them I new, one was one of my dads buddies he had taken up hunting and two of this guys friends. They came into my camp around 10:30 and asked if there where any other camps where we were at and if a 5 point bull was hanging in them. There were no other camps on our end of the mountain and we were the only ones down there, I asked them why? They responded by saying they had shot a 5 point bull and could not find it. I asked them what kind of sign they had found. They told me that they found dark red blood and pieces of bone, I responded by saying they had probably blown off a leg and they took offense to the statement. The guy who shot the bull said he new he did not shoot him in the leg and he never missed with his 338 win mag, it was his baby. I asked where they had shot the bull and if they were going to keep looking for the bull. They told me where they shot the bull and they headed back to there camp. I ate real quick and headed over there, I picked up the blood trail and started tracking the bull. I followed the trail for about 80 yards and kept loosing it, going the way the guys told me the way the bull had gone. They must have been hugging and kissing each other because the bull had turned north and gone across about a 100 yard clear crossing, they never seen him cross. I tracked this bull all that day until dark and had to give up. I went back in at daylight and picked up his track again. I caught up with the bull around 11:00 am and finished him off. His right back leg was blown off just under the knee. And anyone who has hunted long enough has lost an animal even I. But I was taught to not give up until I absolutely had to , out of respect.
Now I'm not saying guys who shoot big guns all suck, but just like anything you need to be proficient with your weapon. Shoot a weapon you can shoot well and are comfortable with. Good luck and good hunting!

Offline
Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 182
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Elkkill06, thanks! I agree, you don't need a cannon to effectively hunt/kill big game. It seems as though most hunters believe that the bigger the gun, the easier the kill. I personally believe in proper shot placement with the right bullet. I did some research and the Barnes has a BC of .335 which is in my opinion, plenty to take an Elk. Since I'm very comfortable shooting my 25-06, I believe I'll stick with it for this years hunt as long as I'm able to work up a load shooting MOA. In the past, I've had difficulty getting Barnes bullets to stabalize out of my .25, but who knows, with all the advances I've been reading about, maybe this time will be different. On a side note, I knew a guy up in Wyoming who claimed to kill Elk with a .243 shooting Barnes X. Never saw him do it, but he wasn't the type to tell "tall stories" either. Anyways, thanks for all the advice fella's.

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1948
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Here is a pic of that bull I tracked down. Sorry about the color, I broke the camera after the pic was taken and messed up the film.

PreviewAttachmentSize
scan0034.jpg
scan0034.jpg339.87 KB
Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Elk Hunt with 25-06?
elkkill06 wrote:
Man I hope I don't start a war here, but I can't believe how many people think they need a canyon to kill an elk!

No worries but the original poster asked for our opinions so I gave mine.

IMO hunting isn't bench shooting and it gives us that warm fuzzy feeling to say "with the right shot placement" we can use what ever cartridge we want. To a certain extent that's true and back when technology and economic situations weren't what they are now people used smaller cartridges on all types of game.

Now that we've evolved no cannon is needed but I feel a 25-06 is a little light for what we have available to us. Again hunting ain't bench shooting. It's wind, shooting from hunting positions (not a bench), shooting up and down slopes (changes trajectory), quartering shots, and all kinds of other factors.

So if you have the restraint to hold back a shoot in less than perfect shooting conditions and don't mind the limitation I would recommend taking your 25-06. If that doesn't sound too good then get a bigger cartridge. Sorry but that's my opinion take it or leave it.

Offline
Joined: 03/02/2009
Posts: 5
How much gun is enough

The magic number is 1500 ft./ lbs of kinetic energy at impact. That is the MINIMUM amount of energy required to assure an ethical kill on a bull elk if the shot is placed well, i.e a broadside or quartering away double lung shot or a heart/lung shot.

.243, .270, 25-06, 30-06, .300 Ultra Mag, whatever. Go into the ballistic tables for your particular weapon's caliber, look up the actual round and then follow the KE tables out to the point where the KE drops below 1500. That point becomes your max range. Now you just need to spend enough time practicing with your weapon to ensure that your bullet placement is spot on within that range.

Good hunting

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: How much gun is enough
elkcamp wrote:
The magic number is 1500 ft./ lbs of kinetic energy at impact. That is the MINIMUM amount of energy required to assure an ethical kill on a bull elk if the shot is placed well, i.e a broadside or quartering away double lung shot or a heart/lung shot.

Good hunting

In my opinion it's not even close to that simple. Come on guys we know better than this right? Energy is only part of the equation. You also have good bullet construction as well and the proper weight so that it can retain some mass during penetration. (Some call this sectional density) The problem is a lot of bullets break apart when hitting heavy bone especially on elk or don't expand hardly at all and pass right through without doing enough damage to bring the animal down right away.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

I agree Ratherbe,
Energy doesn't kill elk, bullet performance in the right spot kills elk. Energy helps bullets get there when fired from odd angles. Boddington wrote that he likes 2000 foot pounds at impact to determine effective range of an elk cartridge. But what about cartridges that don't produce 2,000 ft lbs at the muzzle?
1,500 ft lbs? Thats pretty arbitrary, and if you have a good broadside shot, you can make do with a whole lot less than that.
There are all sorts of analogies used to poo-poo energy theories, like the impact energy of two bighorn rams or NFL lineman being in the neighborhood of 3,000 ft lbs. Nobody is dropping dead from those impacts.
With that being said, energy is a useful comparator between cartridges, but not for deciding deadliness on game. You can't argue that energy means nothing at all, as most physics equations use that same measurement, but it doesn't accurately describe terminal ballistics. Maybe at some point, someone will be able to model terminal ballistics through scientific testing then extrapolate the data. It's not out of the realm of science, just nobody is spending the considerable amount of money needed to research it.
Someone (mostly artillery designers) went through the hassle of ballistics testing to create ballistic coeffecients based on a theoretical bullet shape. It can't be that hard to come up with a form/construction factor combined when combined with impact velocity, weight and bullet spin, temporary cavitation, penetration and probably some other variables to create a terminal ballistic coeffecient/ measurement.
Hey I got an idea! Someone wanna give me some money to research this?

elkkill06's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fruita Colorado
Joined: 02/02/2009
Posts: 1948
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

I was wandering myself were this magic number comes from. I've never ever heard this. I was raised with a bow in one hand and a .22 in another since I was six years old and it has always been shot placement. Stick with a weapon you are comfortable shooting and put it where it counts, and put them down. Good luck and good hunting!

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1780
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

While those that are patient and discipline themselves to only take a high percentage shot under ideal conditions use calibers such as a 243 and 25-06 which can get the job done. I'd still recommend the sure middle ground, 270 thru 7 Mag for most people, and for the big boys who can handle it without flinching the Mega Mags 300 thru hell, 458 if need be.

My nephew who at fifteen is still relatively thin might be elk hunting this year and he'll either carry my 243 handloaded with either Noslers or Ultra Corelokts or my Dads 270 with a good bullet/handload. With of course practice and coaching from me or dad come game time on taking a good shot.

Unless someone were really small and couldn't get used to/handle the recoil of a 270 thru 7 Mag would I encourage the use of the smaller rounds discussed.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Colorado Archery Elk Hunt!huntquest006/03/2008 22:10 pm
Oct. 15th hunt or Rut Hunttaylor558703/16/2006 05:59 am
1st Elk Hunt w/ sonRobert Woody303/17/2008 16:37 pm
Illinois trophy deer hunts.trophyhunter1008/12/2012 11:08 am
Help with upcomming hunt in NMnt7332307/22/2009 07:59 am