36 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 891
Large game rifle

There was a time when the 30-06 was the most powerful cartridge you'd see in elk camps. Guess the elk have taken to Kevlar.

Offline
Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
Large game rifle

Actually instead of Kevlar you might consider this. Seasons are short, the elk are very educated. Many folks in the woods. Lots of pressure.

Its changed such that you may only see a brief glimpse of a good bull and that may be early or late in the day at an extended range and odd angle. Such that you have one chance and need to take it.

I watched a caribou hunt the other morning where the shooter missed2-3 shots on one bull, missed a few more bulls, and finally connected on the 2nd or 3rd shot at another. All on the first day. Now you can say this doesn't make sense, but as always I may only have one shot like mentioned above. In that case the superior horsepower can allow me to do things I probably should not chance to a lesser caliber.

Of course if I didn't really care about going home empty or full, lived right there, had plenty of time to hunt, etc.... Well I'd hapily even go with my favorite 243. Pick a good shot or pass.

Jeff

Offline
Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
Large game rifle

Oh yeah, and let's not forget about the fellow who will shoot a wounded buck/bull and tag it out for himself. I just love the notion of coming over the third rise of a large hillside tracking an animal I shot only to find some other meathead dressing it out, with his tag on the antlers! Shoot the biggest cartridge you can confidently handle.

Offline
Joined: 09/23/2004
Posts: 137
Large game rifle
benjammin wrote:
Oh yeah, and let's not forget about the fellow who will shoot a wounded buck/bull and tag it out for himself. I just love the notion of coming over the third rise of a large hillside tracking an animal I shot only to find some other meathead dressing it out, with his tag on the antlers! Shoot the biggest cartridge you can confidently handle.

Well, if it covered three rises its probably a good thing the other feller shot the dang thing. because most likely you weren't going to get the animal. And the guy has the right to tag the game if his shot was the one who killed it. I've never done this but it all seems logical. If a big 6 X 6 runs up on me carrying a leg, I'm gona shoot it. Its better than letting the poor thing die slowly and become food for the buzzards.

I never like the arguement that a person can make more borderline shots with a magnum. That is BS, and its unethical. We owe enough respect to our prey to make a clean quick kill. Taking poor shots at bad angles or at extreme distances is a good way to wound animals and lose our rights as hunters. we should all only take shots that we know we can make and pass on marginal ones. I shot an elk at 400 yards last year, but it was a broadside shot at a standing animal. 400 is about my personal limit at game. I've shot well beyond that at the range but beyond 400 wind drift, ballistics, errors in judging distance etc. all make success a very minimal probability. We have put too much emphasis on the kill, and too little on the experience. A clean ethical kill is only icing on the cake in my mind. I go for the experiences, not to kill.

As to the comment on the 30-06 being the biggest cartridge in camp. My question is: what year? the 338 win mag has been around since the 50's to my recollection. I know that the 06 has killed many a elk, as has the 30-30 or the 45-70 or the hawkin 50 cal flintlock. but, none would be my choice to take on a $5000 hunt. The 338 is an excellent cartridge. In my mind it is nearly the perfect hunting round. It is very accurate, it has good ballistic characteristics, it has a tremendous amount of knock down (kinetic energy). the main draw back is the recoil but it is manageable. If someone asked me if their 30-06 was good enough to take on a elk hunt, I would say yes. If he asked if I would take a 30-06, I would say no. Because, there are superior cartridges for the job, in my mind.

Offline
Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 891
Large game rifle

Most 180 grain bullets for the 30-06 will cleanly take an elk. Some people like the 165's for elk, but I think they're a bit light. The 180's also shoot flat enough to be used as long range bullets.

There's also the 7mm Remington Magnum, which would most likely be my choice in the elk woods, in which case the 160 and 162 grain bullets are probably the best choice. These shoot flatter than the 30-06 180's, delivering long range performance nearly identical to the 300 Winchester Magnum using 180 grain bullets.

Offline
Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
Large game rifle

I would agree that bringing down a wounded animal is the better choice. I still think it is more ethical to give the first shooter a chance, but legally it is first come first served, and if you got a bullet in the carcass, you can claim it.

That said, let me clarify the situation I was witness to a little better. The animal had taken the third rise and dropped, then the other hunter shot it. Total distance from where the animal was first hit was about 350 yards or so in thigh high crescent wheat and sagebrush. How do I know the animal was already down? Another hunter came up and told us. Oh yeah, the second shooter refused to speak any english, but what I said to him in Spanish got my point across.

What I like about the 338 is that it basically picks up where the 30-06 and the 7mm mag leave off. I can just get 3100 fps out of my 7mm using 160 grain handloads. That is just a smidge above 30-06 performance. Compare that to 3400 fps for 165 grainers out of the 338, and 3000 fps for 200 grainers. Then run the gamut on up to big long 300 grain thumpers at 2500 fps for big bulls, bison, moose, grizzly, maybe even a brown bear if you have suitable back up. The BC on those 300 grainers is awfully good.

Are there other cartridges that will work on elk? You betcha. But for the sheer versatility on big game, the 338 is in the "sweet spot" of cartridge selection in North America.

Offline
Location: Denver, Colorado
Joined: 03/07/2004
Posts: 57
Large game rifle

Well i finally got it. Last night we went down to Gander Mountain and I picked up a 338 win mag, Browning A-bolt stainless stalker. It is pretty! I am still in the middle of mounting the scope, but when all is complete, I will post a picture of my new "big medicine".

Offline
Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 891
Large game rifle

Although a 30-06 can fire away a 165 grain bullet at 3000 fps, I think it expands too quickly to be a wise choice for elk. The 180 grain bullet at 2800 fps delivers much greater penetration, indeed sufficient enough for all North American big game.

Most 160 grain loads that I've fired from several 7mm Remington Magnum rifles chronographed at 3000+ fps, with stout loads I've seen them exceed 3200 fps MV. At 3000 fps to 3100 fps, the 160 and 162 grain bullets from the 7 Mag deliver the same performance as the 300 Winchester Magnum with 180 grain bullets at the same velocity. They will out-perform any load from a 30-06, but with greater recoil.

Hornady LM loads for the 180 grain 30-06 are advertised to reach 2900 fps, but I've never seen this over a chronograph, the highest velocity for the 180 grain bullet fired from a 30-06 is 2800 fps, which enables it to deliver nearly a ton of energy to a target out to roughly 400 yards.

Offline
Joined: 09/23/2004
Posts: 137
Large game rifle
benjammin wrote:
That said, let me clarify the situation I was witness to a little better. The animal had taken the third rise and dropped, then the other hunter shot it. Total distance from where the animal was first hit was about 350 yards or so in thigh high crescent wheat and sagebrush. How do I know the animal was already down? Another hunter came up and told us. Oh yeah, the second shooter refused to speak any english, but what I said to him in Spanish got my point across.

.

No doubt that was frustrating. It sounds like there was too many hunters in the area to be to my liking if there was another feller within 350 yards of where the first guy shot the bull. But, thats neither here nor there. No doubt that was unethical. I actually had an opposite experience once in the deer woods though. I was younger and had taken an ill adviced shot at a nice buck because I had never shot a buck before. I wounded the poor thing and began tracking it. As I was tracking it I heard a shot off in the distance. Not thinking anything about it I continued to track. Approximately a 1/2 mile later I found the buck dead. The shot I had heard was someone finishing my buck off. The feller was standing there. And said that if I hadn't showed up in another 15 minutes he was going to tag the buck himself. When I gutted the deer it was obvious that if he hadn't shot it I probably would have never gotten the deer because he was only shot in the hind quarters.

Offline
Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
Large game rifle

Yeppers, that kind of help I don't mind. 15 minutes seems kinda short, but at least he didn't just jump on the carcass and start right in on it. Better if you hadn't taken the bad shot, but we all make mistakes, and hopefully you learned something good from it.

Out here, good hunting areas on public land get very crowded. Elk hunting can get so bad you may have hunter density as high as every 100 yards or so along the treeline. Some folks get lucky, others pay to hunt private lands, but the rest of us have to vie for a little elbow room.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Rifle Scopesschibs406/23/2008 10:38 am
338-06???Highflyer509/29/2009 17:08 pm
.270 or 30-06?jefflb916801/18/2007 12:17 pm
Which rifle will you take off the rack for opener?blackbear1609/08/2010 15:02 pm
Rifle for beginnere4c4ever1610/12/2006 16:14 pm