13 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 08/03/2009
Posts: 30
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

First of all, I know this is a can of worms...But I am having a difficult time making a decision so I am asking for some opinions...

I am hunting elk this year in Colorado (New to elk, not to hunting). The area I am hunting is very familiar to me and should present shots in the range of 75 to 300 yards on several animals over the course of 6 days. (1st season, oct 10-15, mix of steep open slopes and deep timber, and a lot of elevation change within each quarter mile...10300 to 12000') I own three rifles, a tikka T3 in 30-06, a Ruger M77 in 7mm rem mag, and a custom 338 win mag. I can produce range groups of 1-2" with any of the three using 180 grain remington corelokt (220 for the 338). The tikka is obviously the easiest to carry, due to weight, and has the cheapest ammo, the 7 is dependable but heavy and the 338 is a bit rough on the shoulder as well as heavy. (the 7 weighs about 10 and the 338 about 9.5, compared to 6.5 for the tikka). I have hunted deer for many years using the the 7 and been very happy, the tikka is new and the 338 was built for Kodiak island bear. I am packing in (on foot) about 5-7 miles so weight is pushing me towards the 30-06 ( I expect to be hiking about 2-4 miles a day).

I have three questions...

1> With solid 1-2" shot groups at the range, is there any reason to switch to a "premium bullet" vs. PSP Core-lokt remingtons? (I zero at 200 yds and can get these groupings at 300 consistantly with any of the three rifles)

2> Given the above scenarios, which rifle would you carry and why?

3> What elevation would you expect to find the most animals at during the early season.

Any other tips, advice, or opinions are certainly welcome...

Thanks Think

Offline
Location: SW Mtns. NM
Joined: 05/04/2008
Posts: 227
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

I'd go with the Tikka,but then I'm a -06' guy. It will kill an elk and is lighter,you will notice it.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1772
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

I say go light, your lungs and legs will thank you in the deep timber. The -06 will get the job done and the 338 at nine pounds will be unforgiving if your humping the steep and deep. At seven pounds the 7 Mag will also be a good choice.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

You didn't mention what bullet weight Core-Lokts you'll be using. I wouldn't shoot an elk with the 150s if it could be avoided. I have no doubt it will kill one if you do your job, I just like something with more sectional density when using conventional construction bullets.

Offline
Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

Use the .338. You've got one, why not use it. During early season, the elk will be up around treeline -- that's about 12,000' in much of Colorado.

Bull Buster's picture
Offline
Location: Nebraska
Joined: 10/12/2007
Posts: 167
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

sounds to me you have already made up your mind. The 06 is your lightest gun and you shoot it well. Get a well constructed bonded bullet and have at it. I have shot 23 elk in my life and they all have been shot with the same 30-06. I use 180gr federal premium accubonds. Very rarely do I need a follow up shot however I do beleive in the shot them until they are on the ground theory on the larger bulls.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

I would carry the 30-06 with the 180 gr core-lokts. They aren't the "best" elk bullet but they are plenty especially with the groups you're shooting. The biggest reason why is because it's the lightest and that will be gold when hunting elk.

I don't know the area you are hunting but in general will the will be at higher elevations until snow pushes them down.

Good luck.

PS - Are you sure that you aren't shooting 175 grs out of the 7mm? It doesn't really make a difference I've just never seen anyone offer a 180 gr bullet for a 7mm Rem Mag and was just curious about that.

Offline
Location: Sequim, WA
Joined: 07/29/2009
Posts: 22
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

I have to agree with some of the earlier posts. Use the rifle you shoot the best. A factor that tends to influence me also is susceptibilty to the environment--does one rifle take a beating and a rainstorm better than the others?

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 08/03/2009
Posts: 30
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

The 7mm is a 175 grain, so close to the 180 that I often group them in the same category.

Thank for the opinions.

smitty1hunter's picture
Offline
Location: Madisonville, Louisiana
Joined: 06/11/2009
Posts: 7
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

I don't know how far you will be shooting but, I kind of like a 7mag since it shoots a bit flatter and go with at least a 175 grain. A half pound heavier may not be a huge difference and seems like a good compromise. If you feel more comfortable with the '06 though use it. Good luck! Big smile

onzaman's picture
Offline
Location: Michigan
Joined: 02/19/2009
Posts: 162
Oldest question in hunting; new elk hunter

Cool sling Thumbs up ?

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
30-06wyoelkhunter707/28/2013 19:06 pm
Columbian whitetail anyone?Blacktail53104/27/2005 15:27 pm
Texas Exotic Huntskbart009/21/2008 22:27 pm
Quick colorblind surveykbinko92409/02/2009 13:31 pm
End of "A" zone CA. wrap-up...JamesJM310/12/2012 12:15 pm