86 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Most welcome AFHunter and welcome to BGH by the way!!! Good luck on your future hunts and always remember to hunt safely and with the utmost ethics!

Keepum in the 10 ring!!!

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

cam69conv - Well said and I agree 150%. You can't discuss intellengently a subject with someone that says they've hunted for 50 years, and everyone in their family has hunted for 100 years and every animal they've shot drops in it's tracks. You know they are fulluvit or have had lottery winning odds in their favor. It doesn't matter what you use eventually there will be a bad circumstance. That's generally how we learn and I think normal as long as you learn from your mistake.

In my opinion the meat and potatoes of the "proper cartridge on elk" discussion centers around less than ideal circumstances. It shouldn't be about what happens when someone makes that perfect shot. I've always said that if you understand the limitations of your cartridge and are proficient with it then a smaller cartridge is appropriate. The problem is we get on these forums and people say the right things about shot placement, bullet performance, and what famous hunter stacked elk like chord wood with a BB gun. But no one ever talks about limitations. At least not in any great depth. I would love to engage in a conversation where we attempt to define the limitations of a cartridge. I think it would be a great conversation and a lot of people could learn a lot, me included.

Unfortunately hunting isn't bench shooting. I have no doubt many cartridges are more than capable on elk with a 100 yd shot shooting from a bench on flat ground with no wind. But nobody ever wants to talk about what the limitations of each cartridge is.....we always focus on the shooter. If I had a penny for everytime I heard shot placement I'd be rich. That's great but nobody hits the bullseye everytime....so my question is happens when you aren't perfect? What happens when you misjudge wind, slope, distance? I wish people would engage in that conversation i.e how would a 25-06 with a 115gr nosler partition bullet react on a shoulder shot while the animal is quartering away? Would it glance off? Would it shatter leaving you with 2 miles tracking job? Would the animal be coyote food? Or would it still punch through the shoulder and hit some vitals? (Ideal shot placement would be to hit the animal in ribs to angle to the vitals in that circumstance and we know you'd have a dead elk) I think people should know and talk about that so they understand what to avoid.

I've tried to stoke that fire in the past and usually no one is interested. They just repond back with more shot placement stuff. I sincerely hope everyone has perfect shot placement everytime or understands what happens if they don't and are just bored out of their mind of the thought of that discussion in a public forum.

Offline
Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Ahhhhh the mythical perfect shooter beast. I have heard of this creature many times on the web but have yet to discover one myself! As far as your question on that shot, there are a number of factors. How far was it quartered away. And again we go back to the decision making process of the ethical hunter (also becoming a rare beast). Can a well constructed 115 grain TSX from a 25.06 penetrate on an ethical quartering away shot? Surely it well could and should as long as it wasnt TOO quartered away. I personally saw a 210 grain Barns glance off the shoulder from a .300 win mag. Again Ill say it.... MURPHYS LAW. Tore a hell of a lot of meat off that critter. Teddy was just lucky I was there and hit it for him on a follow up shot in the spine (high shoulder). He is a compitent shot but not the greatest on a running animal so he yelped for help so I let my 30.06 belt out a 180 grain Hornady and dropped the beast in flight. Was his shot an unethical one to take? Absolutely not. The animal was just slightly quartering away and was just 158 yards. In mine, and most anyone elses, opinion it was the perfect shot to take. But again Ole Murphy said HELLO IM HERE Evil! ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN and given time WILL!! He didnt miss his mark in the least. Its just at that moment the bone was at an angle that caused the bullet to glance. Crap happens Brick Wall,) Noone can ever attain perfection in the field because conditions will not allow for perfection. There will always be that little gust of wind (that will affect that big magnum, I dont care what you think) or that slight slope or that little tuft of grass that you didnt see in your scope or hell too many things to list. All you can do is your best. If your best includes the COMPITENT use of a 25.06 then so be it. Again Ill say this. The absolutely most IMPORTAINT rule in shooting sports, next to safety of course, Is know your weapons limitations as well as your own! What else can you do? Nadda!

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

I think mythical shooter beast is an appropriate title because we hear people talk about it but no one ever actually sees one. It's kind of like Bigfoot or the Abomidable Snowman. Maybe one day we'll get a short clip of a real grainy video of the perfect shooter beast in his natural environment and we'll get to debate about if it's staged or not. Till then I guess we'll just have to choose whether or not to believe within in our own hearts.

I think you touched on why this is such a hard topic to talk about and why there is so much grey area on the subject. One guy has a bad experience with a larger cartridge and one guy has a good experience with a smaller cartridge. But we have to ask ourselves why those situations happened and we have to be honest about it.

In my opinion a good shooter is not one that can just put the bullet where he wants it on a consistent basis he also knows why he missed when it doesn't. Shooting animals makes it even harder because success isn't just measured by impact but also by what an animal does after the impact. So shot placement isn't just about putting it where you WANT to put it but it's also knowing WHERE you want to put it and this is where cartridge choice starts to become important. The quartering away shot is a perfect example.

I think quartering away is ok if it's not too much like you said. But what is too much? If you study the skeleton of an elk you'd get a pretty good idea but going off real world experience sometimes you might not know why you were successful or not and may skew ones view of "adequate cartridge" and what each can do in the field. But to be so simplistic to say one cartridge makes an elk as dead as another tells me the shooter has little knowledge of what happens once the bullet pierces the skin. To me this is akin to putting a hook in the water and know you can catch fish but not knowing why. The knowing why is the difference in catching 2 fish today and catching 20. It's knowing whether you should use power bait or a Carolina rig.

Going back to quartering away different cartridges are going to have different bullet options and kentic energy and knowing how they perform is important, at least to me. The "why" they perform different is the hard part and what I want to understand more. And when talking about the "why" anatomy also becomes important. On an elk with a decent quartering away I would aim in the middle of the rib cage but with a muley I'd aim right behind the last rib.

Lots of variables involved and some deep conversation but imagine what kind of thread we could get going if we could go down that road.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 04/15/2009
Posts: 7
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Everyone has great views on the subject. And it's true not everytime is going to be perfect conditions or shot placement. It is likely for a smaller faster bullet it glance of a bone more so than a larger slower bullet. But all bullets are capable of doing that big or small, fast or slow. I think this dicussion boils down to is it capable of doing it? Yes it is. Are there better calibers more suited for hunting elk? Sure there is. I do believe for those that are aware of shot placement and will wait for a good shot are more inclined not to make the mistakes of others. It's human nature to push the limits of anything. I have seen all sizes of bullets and calibers wound elk. It's a matter of a bad shot or a bad angle. There's no other exception. With todays bullet manufactor's well knowledge in bullet construction it's more of the hunters responsibilty on the shooting end versus a bad bullet. Most hunters I've seen wound an animal was all in the shooters capability not in preformance of the equipment.

Only once did i have a bullet malfunction on an elk. Four shots under 50yds and everytime the bullet blew up after entering the hide. Nosler has long since fixed that problem 20yrs ago. If it had not been for all ribcage hits blowing bone into the heart and lungs I would have lost that elk.

There's nothing to argue about only just how well you can make the judgement in the field if you should take the shot opportunity or let it go for another time. Alot of times it's fun to debate the amount of power it takes to knock down an elk and keep it there. I've yet to see one caliber do that better than another caliber. It's all about the circumstances involved.

Offline
Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 706
Elk Hunt with 25-06?
Black Elk wrote:

There's nothing to argue about only just how well you can make the judgement in the field if you should take the shot opportunity or let it go for another time. Alot of times it's fun to debate the amount of power it takes to knock down an elk and keep it there. I've yet to see one caliber do that better than another caliber. It's all about the circumstances involved.

Totally agree. I think they have come up with about the absolutle best Elk medicine thats around in the 338fed cartridge. Its about as close to perfect as you can get. With a good bullet I dont see a limit to what this cartridge can do. Its got size, speed, power, and accuracy (if you do your part). I dont own one but all I keep hearing about is this magic round and a few of my buddies have gotten one and LOVE it so,,,,sorry wife,,, im gonna have to break down and get a barrel in 338fed for my Thompson Center Pro Hunter setup. Oh boy she's gonna be sooooooo thrilled!! I talked myself into it!! And I rarely gunhunt anymore Brick Wall,) weeeeeee Another round to play with...And of course that means a new die set for reloading and new powder and new primers and new,,,well you get the point Laugh

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Elk Hunt with 25-06?
Black Elk wrote:
I've yet to see one caliber do that better than another caliber. It's all about the circumstances involved.

I agree with everything you said except the above statement. That's exactly what's at the heart of this issue.

IMO there is no way a 210gr 30 caliber bullet is going to behave the same as 25 caliber 115gr bullet. That defies all logic.

The problem is that you aren't comparing apples to apples. You see the latter mentioned bullet perform as well as the forementioned bullet in ideal situations. I agree is ideal situations there isn't going to be much difference at all if any.

But when talking about less than ideal situations is where each round starts to be distinctive about their capabilites. Trying to punch into the boiler room from odd angles and through heavy bone while retaining it's weight.....well my strong opinion is that all bullets and cartridges are indeed NOT created equal and WILL perform differently.

Think about it....if they're all the same then why do we even bother making different cartridges?

PS - Caliber is only part of the equation...don't forget about the charge behind the bullet. Cartridge is really what this discussion is about IMO. A 300 Win Mag is not the same animal as a 30-06 but they are the same caliber.

Offline
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 05/06/2009
Posts: 17
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

I hunt with an old Arnald Arms custom Remington 721 that use to be a 30/06 Springfield. It is now a tack driving 25/06. My rifle loves the Barnes triple shock X bullet in 100grn. Federal Premium 3" high at 100 and 3.5 low at 350yards with enough combined speed and energy to go another 300 yards if I so chose. However, I also trust my judgement and never take a shot that doesn't feel good. So far, I have brought home the meat each and every time. My rule of thumb is to combine the FPS and the energy to come up with a combined count over 3,000. When that requirement is met (out to 600 yards with the above mentioned ammo) I then choose my shot to get the kill. Like many hunters, I prefer to go home without a shot fired if the shot was too risky.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 04/15/2009
Posts: 7
Elk Hunt with 25-06?

Rather be hunting wrote:

IMO there is no way a 210gr 30 caliber bullet is going to behave the same as 25 caliber 115gr bullet. That defies all logic.

I have to say he's right. Logically the bigger the heavier bullet is more likely to stay on path than the lighter bullet.

Logically a 25-06 is getting a little light and a little fast for elk but it's capable.

I took my 22-250 whitetail hunting in Oklahoma because it was legal and wanted to try it. I shot that deer 8 times in the heart and lungs. He stood back up 3 times. It just didn't have the punch. But it killed him and after seeing the first shot then I didn't need to shoot no more but at the time I was like this ain't working. If it had been deep cover and the deer ran off then I may have been tracking for a long time. The blood on the outside of the deer was almost no existant. Somethings just work better than others.

You won't find me playing with things like that no more once was enough.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1789
Elk Hunt with 25-06?
Black Elk wrote:
Rather be hunting wrote:

IMO there is no way a 210gr 30 caliber bullet is going to behave the same as 25 caliber 115gr bullet. That defies all logic.

I have to say he's right. Logically the bigger the heavier bullet is more likely to stay on path than the lighter bullet.

Logically a 25-06 is getting a little light and a little fast for elk but it's capable.

I took my 22-250 whitetail hunting in Oklahoma because it was legal and wanted to try it. I shot that deer 8 times in the heart and lungs. He stood back up 3 times. It just didn't have the punch. But it killed him and after seeing the first shot then I didn't need to shoot no more but at the time I was like this ain't working. If it had been deep cover and the deer ran off then I may have been tracking for a long time. The blood on the outside of the deer was almost no existant. Somethings just work better than others.

You won't find me playing with things like that no more once was enough.

Black Elk, just curious what kind of bullet were you using in that 250? If, I had to take a deer or antelope with a 250 where legal, I'd make sure the bullet was a well constructed 55 gr or better. A lighter varmint bullet would be disastrous. I had a friend who hunted Antelope in a state where legal with a 22-250 and he said the 55 gr Sierra HPBT was deadly on lung shots on those goats. One shot kills out to 200 yards or better.

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