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Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
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What caliber do you use for elk? Me, I've switched to a 243

IMO, while you can certainly kill an elk cleanly with a 243, it's really just a ridiculous stunt. Why not just try bowhunting elk?

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
What caliber do you use for elk? Me, I've switched to a 243
GUTTPILE wrote:
thats why i would do the head shot,if you miss itys a miss not a wounded animal

I wouldn't say that. If you miss you could take off the jaw, bridge of the nose, or the upper neck region below the spine. In any of those cases the animal could run very far before expiring. Not a good situation either.

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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 319
What caliber do you use for elk

rather_be_huntin wrote:

GUTTPILE wrote:
thats why i would do the head shot,if you miss itys a miss not a wounded animal

I wouldn't say that. If you miss you could take off the jaw, bridge of the nose, or the upper neck region below the spine. In any of those cases the animal could run very far before expiring. Not a good situation either.

+1000

I've seen that happen too many times.  Everything has to be perfect up until the bullet enters the brain.  You can be the best shot in the world and just as you are squeezing off on that brain shot, the animal moves it's head.  I have too much respect for the animals (especially elk) to chance a brain shot. 

I have several friends that regularily kill their elk with their .22-250s and .220 Swift.  They have never admitted to loosing a wounded elk.

I've killed a good pile of elk, mostly with .30 caliber rifles.  Stantard 150 and 180 grain bullets work well at .30-06 velocities, 180 gr Partitions give good penetration on elk at .300 Win velocities.  My favorite elk rifle now is my .300 Weatherby shooting 168 gr TSX or TTSX bullets.  They have absolutely no problem penetrating to the vitals of any bull elk.

With handloading, the cost of reloading my .300 Wby is only a few cents per shell more than a .30-06.  With a muzzle brake, an in-stock recoil reducer, and a Limbsaver pad, its felt recoil is no more than the recoil from my .270 Win.

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Joined: 12/07/2013
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killing elk with a .243

This last oct.hunt my dad and I each brought down a cow elk with a .243 they both ran no more than 20 yrd from where hit it in arizona unit
5a

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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 340
Caliber

I use a 300 Win Mag, and I have a 30-06 in camp as a back up, if someone has a problem with there gun.

Kevin

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Location: Western Colorado
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I starte out elk hunting with

I starte out elk hunting with a old .30-06, since that time I have used the following calibers: .357 magnum, .357 Herrett, .44 magnum, 7-30 Waters, 7mm Rem mag, .340 Weatherby, and .50 and .54 caliber muzzle loaders.  

For the time now I will go to the .340 Weatherby shooting 225 grain Barnes  bullets at 3000 fps.  You can use lesser calibers and a magnum isn't needed but a .243 is on the light side even with a perfect shot, head shots should be avoided with all the calibers.  I have seen way too many animals with broken jaws running around in the woods after someone tried a head shot and didn't hit the brain.

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Location: Montana, USA
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Elk calibers

Critter wrote:
... head shots should be avoided with all the calibers.  I have seen way too many animals with broken jaws running around in the woods after someone tried a head shot and didn't hit the brain.

+1000, Again

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Amen to skipping the heads

Amen to skipping the heads shots on any big game animal.  I have no idea why, with all the good calibers out there that are decent size and have minimal recoil (7mm-08 for one or even an 06) that anyone would choose to use a little .243 on elk.  Yea, they'll kill one, but the big question is how far will it go and will you have even a remote chance of finding it!  I've got a tack driving .243 Sako, and use it for antelope and a deer once in a while but go up to the 25-06 and 30-06 for most game deer size and bigger

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 884
What you never read about is

What you never read about is how many animals are wounded with a .243. Yes, animals are wounded with all calibers, but the odds go up with the smaller ones.

 

It's too bad Colorado allows the caliber for elk.

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Montana is another one that

Montana is another one that has no caliber restrictions to hunt big game.

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