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Old January 29, 2012, 12:56 AM   #26
tahoe2
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the OP was by me . I will try to clarify a little. I do not know the hunter in question, I was having a conversation with someone who did, and we both were
disturbed about this. The fellow was shooting a 25-06 and practiced at known ranges of 100, 200, & 300 yards and was confident in his shooting ability, having
killed several deer( Blacktail, Whitetail, & Muley). He did however misjudge the distance ( elk are big animals). Shooting from a bench and sandbags (rifle rest)
at known distances is not shooting in the field ( uphill, downhill, wind etc...).
I took two Pronghorn Antelope in Wyoming last fall and all my shots were moved by wind 5" to 8". My buck was approximately 160-170 yards slightly downhill broadside(10-20mph winds). I fired, under his belly (miss), fired again (miss, over his back, overcompensated) fired again, drilled him 8" behind the shoulder (aiming at the shoulder). He died after running 30 yards. I was shooting a .280 Rem with 130 grn handloads @ 2850 fps. My point is hunting (shooting) in the field is different. Just Sayin !

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Old January 29, 2012, 01:10 AM   #27
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There are multiple factors in a quick kill with a firearm - shot placement, shot angle(s), knowing your skill limitations and staying within those limitations. bullet type, bullet weight, and cartridge. I believe a majority of lost animals are more due to poor shot placement, poor shot angles and improper bullet design or weight for the game being hunted than the cartridge chosen. Ballistics and bullet performance really is a science. IMO, I would not use a 150 gr or 165 gr deer hunting bullet for a 30-06 and go hunting for a grizzly; but I would not use 200 gr or 220 gr hunting bullet in a 30-06 for hunting deer or antelope either.
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:31 AM   #28
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IMO there is way more wounded animals due to hunter fault than cailber fault.Seen a father & son last weekend hog hunting dad with his 30-06 gut shot and lost his hog untill today,the boy shot his with a 223 in the neck & it went to good use stocking the freezer.So all in all I dont buy into the BIG GUN way of thinking.Most average folks can shoot a small bore much better than a big mag.But thats just Me
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:47 AM   #29
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Last year, American Rifleman had a write up on the Savage .250; and the article mentioned how this cartridge is the choice of many Eskimos for dealing with a polar bear. Any animal smaller, they usually use a .223.

This hunter has people helping to give her advice. It is not a real calm day as you can hear the wind and also see the breath vapors from the elk are blowing to the left. Looks like a quick kill to me. The shot placement is good, and the bullet is also a good match for what is being ask of the cartridge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18
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Old January 29, 2012, 02:46 AM   #30
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I've shot two elk with a .30-06. once with a 150gr Hornady SP and the other with a 180gr Corlokt.
Imho any bullet that traveled the same path through the animals as those two bullets did, would have killed them just as dead.

In other words a .243 or a .25-06 would have done just as well.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:10 AM   #31
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I don't necessarily think bigger is better. If it's too big for you to shoot well, you're just as unethical as someone taking potshots at a deer with a .22. Can you kill a deer with a .22? Absolutely, poachers love them around here. But you can also maim a deer much easier with a .22 than, say, a .243. My thought it that if my .375 Win will kill a deer or hog immediately, why would I use a .22 Hornet? I could kill a deer with a .22 Hornet surely, but I'd rather have a round with that extra ass. For me it isn't capability, it's about respecting the animal enough to kill it as quickly and painlessly as I can.
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Old January 29, 2012, 08:45 AM   #32
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I'm sure this has been said before, but so sick and tired of people trying to kill large animals with minimal cartridges.(can I shoot an Elk with a .243? or a Grizzly with a 30-30? ). C'mon people!, Aren't we as hunters obligated to dispatch animals as effectively as possible ??
Sorry; just venting against those with egos bigger than their rifle or pistol craft. Too many animals run off to die or don't die, only to suffer for the rest of their lives. ( I am not an animal rights guy ). Just heard a story about the one that got away, because some tool who is a "great shot" took a pop at an elk @ 500 yards away and hit him but didn't recover his animal.
So, because someone shot at an elk at 500 yards, didn't hit it right, and lost it, you start a thread against minimum cartridges for game?

You didn't even list the cartridge used, and with good reason. That's not the problem. The problem is someone shooting beyond their capabilities, and a bigger cartridge won't make them a better shot. More likely, it'll make them a worse shot, and even less able to make that 500 yard attempt.

I'd much rather see someone using a .243 for elk, and limiting their shots to 150 yards or so than someone using a 30/378 Wby and shooting at 500 yards.

I've make the occasional long shot, but I've also spent my life hunting open country where I get a lot of practice doing it. Even with that, I won't take the shot unless conditions are nearly perfect.

So while I agree with you (use enough gun), I'd stress even more to know how to use it at the range you're going to shoot at. The includes the limitations of the cartridge and firearm, as well as the shooter's.

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Old January 29, 2012, 09:09 AM   #33
Brian Pfleuger
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The opposite problem is far more prevalent in todays world. People who don't know any better see threads like this and think, "See!? I DO need a 300WinMag to hunt 120 pound whitetail deer!"

Then they go out and buy a 300Mag and go to the range all excited about their new gun. Next memory they have is having their shoulder put back in it's socket in the ER because, obviously, they don't know how to shoot a big rifle like that or they'd already know they didn't need that big rifle....

So, they never practice cuz that thing HURTS! They might have eventually put 8 or 10 rounds through it, flinching like mad, to get it "sighted in" for their hunt. Now they're out in the woods and Mr Bambi steps out at the usual 45 yards or less at which that most kills take place.... you know, 223 range, on a soft-skinned, light-boned, small animal....

They do what they've learned to do with this gun, which is aim very, very carefully... and then SLAP that trigger and JUMP like they've been struck by lightning!

Yeah, even at 40 yards they've managed to shoot Bambi in the wrong end. Now, Mr Bambi has a big hole in his butt, that WILL eventually kill him... in a couple days maybe...

but the shooter is left wondering, cuz he has no idea he shot this thing in the butt.... his eyes were closed and he looked like he just got hit by Mike Tyson, he didn't see the impact.... "My Lord" he thinks "I DO need more gun for these critters! Even a 300WinMag ain't enough gun!"

And the cycle continues... next thread he sees like this he posts his experience, you know, "sterilized" to avoid any implication that it might have been his ineptness with the rifle that caused the problem... and his story convinces some other poor sucker that if that guy couldn't get a deer with a 300WinMag, by God, I better get a 338WinMag for my elk hunt this fall!



So, no, I'm sorry. I buy the "use enough gun" mantra only in the most basic, common sense way. Ability and shot placement are far, far more important than power. I'd much sooner have my 5-2, 120lb wife hunting deer with a 223 or properly loaded 22-250 than my 270WSM. I'd much rather she hunted elk with a 243 and we hunted up close to the animal than have her try to take a shot with a 300WinMag at 300 yards.
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Old January 29, 2012, 09:22 AM   #34
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It's 90 percent shot placement and 10 percent bullet. Very few bullets will turn a gut shot into a bang flop.
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Old January 29, 2012, 09:55 AM   #35
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A wise man knows his limitations. I like to use enough gun, period. At the bench I'm a pretty fair shot (allthough my rifles will generally outshoot me). But when the adrenelin starts flowing I get pretty shaky, no neck shots for this boy. I love hunting and do my utmost to take game humanely. That is why I like enough gun and take the most reliable shot, right behind the shoulder @ center mass. This leaves me a little room for error.
I know guys that use .223 for deer and always go for neck shots. They feel it kills them quicker and is therefore more humane. If you can do that consistently, great. I don't feel that confident in the heat of the moment.
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Old January 29, 2012, 11:30 AM   #36
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Yeah, arch, I know what you mean. Heck, I've had a couple of clean misses from having "buck fever". Only a couple, though, thank the Lord...

We've had a fair number of threads here on this subject. That's had me thinking back to my own active hunting days. I've mostly alternated between a .243 and an '06. A couple of dozen deer with each. I'd guess that maybe 2/3 of the kills were neck shots. Almost all of the .243 kills were. (Shrug.)

But I started running the brush and hunting when I was a little-bitty, long before I got into centerfire and reloading and all that stuff. I just figure that I'm generally supposed to be able to control adrenalin and hit targets in the field and all that. I guess call it a lucky lifestyle, although I did work at it a lot and it's not all luck.
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Old January 29, 2012, 12:55 PM   #37
tahoe2
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Daryl as I posted in #26 the caliber was 25-06 and you don't need a "Magnum" to have "enough gun" ! I use a .280 Rem for deer & antelope and an 8mm Mauser for elk & black bear. Recoil is definitely manageable for the average shooter, IMO. I do reload for my firearms so I am constantly seeking the most accurate combination, and practicing my skill, so that I can make a clean kill. Hunting to me, means shooting all year long, (not 2 weeks before the season begins & put it away for 11 months after), getting within range to make that high percentage shot (body, behind shoulder for me). Not lobbing lead across a canyon & hoping, I'll get a quick kill. Too much distance to really know what's going on, (wind wise) over there. I know all the "long range" shooters are callin me a dipstick right now, but I know my ability(or lack thereof) requires me to get closer. All of my guns are capable, it's a matter of being responsible to yourself, to the animal you pursue, and your fellow hunters.

Guess I should have said "bring enough gun and PRACTICE"
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:11 PM   #38
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I'm still looking for the perfect elk round myself. I have a safe full of magnums that I know I'm going to worry about the kick on a hunt. So for my last 2 elks I used a 7x65R and a 308W respectively. Both well over 2000 ft-lb, and nevertheless both animals had no exit wound. The 7x65R shot was at 220 yards, the 308 lengthwise from a full frontal shot. One recovered after 300 yards, one dead on the spot, so both fulfilled their purpose. But I still have that nagging feeling that maybe a little bit more gun would have been appropriate to leave a trail if I'd needed one. Luckily my wife has declared a moratorium on elk hunting until the freezer is empty, so I have some more time to ponder.
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:46 PM   #39
Brian Pfleuger
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Could just be bullet selection too.

Although I wouldn't expect any bullet to exit in a frontal shot.

You might try Barnes TTSX. They penetrate like crazy and do NOT come apart.
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Old January 29, 2012, 01:58 PM   #40
Daryl
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Quote:
Daryl as I posted in #26 the caliber was 25-06 and you don't need a "Magnum" to have "enough gun" ! I use a .280 Rem for deer & antelope and an 8mm Mauser for elk & black bear. Recoil is definitely manageable for the average shooter, IMO. I do reload for my firearms so I am constantly seeking the most accurate combination, and practicing my skill, so that I can make a clean kill. Hunting to me, means shooting all year long, (not 2 weeks before the season begins & put it away for 11 months after), getting within range to make that high percentage shot (body, behind shoulder for me). Not lobbing lead across a canyon & hoping, I'll get a quick kill. Too much distance to really know what's going on, (wind wise) over there. I know all the "long range" shooters are callin me a dipstick right now, but I know my ability(or lack thereof) requires me to get closer. All of my guns are capable, it's a matter of being responsible to yourself, to the animal you pursue, and your fellow hunters.

Guess I should have said "bring enough gun and PRACTICE"
Can't really argue with your choices; they're solid, proven performers.

Personally, I'll choose either a .243 or 7mm mag for deer. Mostly depends on my mood, and where I'm hunting. I've shot critters from coyotes to elk and bison with the 7mm mag, and have yet to have anything take more than a few steps after being hit with it.

All that said, someone here once asked what the minimum was that I'd use for elk. My reply was the .243. It's not a cartridge I'd recommend to others, mostly because if you have to ask, you shouldn't use it. Since I was 10 years old, I've never been without a .243 in my collection, and I know what I can do with it, and well as it's limitations.

I'm not a long range shooter for the most part. I've taken a few (successful) long shots at big game, but I've taken a lot more of them at targets, jackrabbits, and coyotes. When required, I can make them, but I'd much rather get closer. Stalking is fun, and I enjoy it. I also enjoy the taste of venison, so I'll do what I'm capable of doing to put it on the table.

As I said before, a person should know their capabilities and limitations, as well as the capabilities and limitations of the cartridge they use. 500 yards is too far to shoot at elk with a 25-06 IMO, no matter the conditions. I limit myself to about 400 or so with my 7mm mag, even though I can hit them quite a bit farther than that. Elk are tough, so you have to hit them right, and hit them hard.

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Old January 29, 2012, 02:17 PM   #41
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Some guys seem to think that if they don't have the skills and equipment to do something then it is automatically unethical for anyone else to do it. There are guys who have worked hard at becoming very good hunters and can get very close to animals. It is not at all unethical for them to use a rifle, handgun, long bow or some other weapon that most of us would never consider using. They know how to use it and can make it happen ethically.

The same is true of long range shooters. There are lots of guys who can ethically shoot animals at much longer range than the average hunter. It is not a matter of being too lazy to get closer. I can assure you they have spent the time at the range to become proficient to confidently take elk at 500+ yards. Just because I cannot do it does not make it unethical. I have a BIL who has taken several elk and mule deer at 700+ yards. So far none have taken 1 step after the shot.

I can assure you that the hunter that puts in the time to be able to shoot an elk or other larger animal at 15 yards with a longbow, or the guy who develops the skill to take game at 700 yards with a rifle has spent countless hours practicing his craft. Much more so than the average guy who limts himself to 300 yard shots with a modern rifle. Taking a 300 yard shot requires no more hunting ability than the guy who shoots at 700 yards and no more skill than shooting at 50 yards. With a modern rifle I can have a person who has never held a rifle hitting deer size targets 100% of the time at 300 yards on the 1st range trip.
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Old January 29, 2012, 03:46 PM   #42
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Having enough gun is important, so is not having too much gun to handle. More important than both is having enough skill to make it work, including shooting ability, judging range, and woodsmanship.
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Old January 29, 2012, 06:05 PM   #43
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Peet, unfortunately, the 308 was a Barnes 168 TTSX. I upgraded after the Norma Vulcan came apart in the first animal.
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Old January 29, 2012, 06:14 PM   #44
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Marketing

Like many industries, the shooting business depends on sales. If we are all satsified with that .223 for varmints and the .270 for hunting, reloading components and firearms and all othr associated equipments sales would be pretty slow. However, if you need a 300 Win mag, and you need .204 Ruger then the marketeers have money rolling in.

I say this with a smile, because I am a victim of said marketing. A big part of the fun to me is getting a new caliber to shoot and load for. An old geezer can spend literally hours and days developing loads and shooting a new gun.
All part of my personal stimulus plan. Support your local gun shop.
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Old January 29, 2012, 06:21 PM   #45
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Oops, I'll fix it later.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:01 PM   #46
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by mapsjanhere View Post
Peet, unfortunately, the 308 was a Barnes 168 TTSX. I upgraded after the Norma Vulcan came apart in the first animal.
Ah, ok. Well I wouldn't expected an exit on a frontal shot.
Sounds like it worked out ok.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:48 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoe2
I'm sure this has been said before, but so sick and tired of people trying to kill large animals with minimal cartridges.(can I shoot an Elk with a .243? or a Grizzly with a 30-30? )
In 1953, according to my sources, Bella Twin, a native girl shot a large grizzly near Lesser Slave Lake with a .22 Long. (not .22LR, the shorter version). In 1965, a fellow named Jack Turner killed the world record grizzly with a .30-30.

Is killing a grizzly with a .22 a fluke? Happily, it worked out for that young lady. Is killing a grizzly with a .30-30 a fluke? Hardly. Lots of animals have fallen to that cartridge. Is it the gun I'd use for a grizzly hunt? No, but it is certainly capable.
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Old January 29, 2012, 07:51 PM   #48
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bring enough gun

I agree with tahunua001,nuff said!Cliff
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Old January 30, 2012, 02:21 AM   #49
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It's not about bringing enough gun It's about bringing enough knowledge and skill. You don't need a .338 to kill an elk. Karamojo Bell killed how many elephants with .256s, .275s, and .303s. This was because he took the time to really learn the anatomy of the animal he was hunting. These days I think big calibers make up for skill. Guys just want to make an easy sloppy shot without having to deal with the homework that comes first. There's a difference between skilled hunted and large caliber killing.
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Old January 30, 2012, 09:28 AM   #50
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Oh Boy! This is really timely. I live in a special regulation area in Pennsylvania. You can shoot doe until the end of January (Season ended Saturday). I shot a doe on Friday, and it was raining or I probably would not have been able to move around to a safe place to shoot it. I saw it was limping a little as it was feeding along and figured it had a lower leg shot off. Turns out it had a shattered bone below the shoulder blade, a real ugly wound with the shattered bone sticking out of the hide. I saw a hole in the hide near the spine and thought it was my exit hole. That was where something (Arrow,S-Slug, Bolt) had entered and then went out the shoulder. It is near a shot gun area and the hole was pretty big, so that would be my guess. It gets better. When I skinned it down, I found a healed over area where something had passed through below the spine at least a year before. There was even a piece of rib missing from the healed over area. That is the one thing I hate about this area. If you get a deer, it probably is shot up and you are lucky if the meat is not spoiled. I use a .223, .22 Savage Hi-Power, and have used .250's, .243's, and everything else you can imagine. I have never emptied a lever action (99 Savage, it would be embarrassing to be seen with a Winchester) or a bolt action or a pump at a deer. Bring enough gun my butt, bring enough skill.
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