View Full Version : New mexico elk and deer

March 20, 2008, 04:12 PM
HI need to buy a rifle for upcoming deer and elk hunting season I was wondering what kinda rifle woudl be appropriate for this terrain. I am going to be hunting in northern New mexico.

March 20, 2008, 06:44 PM
My grand father likes the .270 for antalop and deer in NM because it is fast and flat shooting.

I would go for a 7mm Magnum because it is fast and flat with a bigger bullet for the Elk. And invest in a really good scope.

March 20, 2008, 09:37 PM
The 7mm doesn't have that much bigger bullet to make much of a difference when compared to the .270, and the .270 Win makes a fine elk rifle as well. My recommendation on the first time purchase of a rifle for elk and deer is the .30-06 or .308 for your first choice and a .270 third. I don't know your experience with rifles but am guessing it is limited. The 06 or .308 will serve you well as an elk and deer rifle, and the ammunition will not kill your wallet either. If you are not very experience with a rifle you should be able to learn to shoot 06 or .308 well very quickly.

For elk I like the 180 grain bullet and it works well on deer. If you use 180 grain just about any factory ammunition will do as long as it shoots well in your rifle. If you go down to a 165 grain bullet you should consider a premium bullet like the Nosler Partition or Barnes TSX when using it on elk. With the .270 I wouldn't go any lighter than 150 grain premium bullet for elk.

As far as the scope goes I'd look into a good 3-9X40 with a duplex reticle just to keep things simple. Buy the best scope you can afford as good quality glass is worth it in the early morning hours and at dusk. I like a scope that will give 3.5-4 inches of eye relief, that way you don't have to worry about getting the scar.

March 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
Most cartridges from the 6.5x55 up will work well with good shot selection and placement. I'd pick something in the middle like the 280, but you will not find a single poor choice from what others have said to this point. How much recoil are you willing to put up with?

March 20, 2008, 11:37 PM
I think I will go with a 30-06 notr going to buy a expensive one though i am goign to get one mid price

March 21, 2008, 10:42 AM
30-06 will do just fine.

March 22, 2008, 11:01 PM
30-06 will do fine and I have taken many elk in Montana with it. This year I finally took a big 6x6 bull with my 325 wsm (my new favorite). What ever you get, put a good fog free scope on it and practice. Shoot at least 150 rounds through it to get used to it. Accuracy is the big part especially if you go with a lighter round. Anything under 150 grain and you are going to have a wounded animal unless you make that perfect shot, (300 grn 375 in the butt isn't going to be a dropping shot either). Good luck and don't forget your camera.

March 23, 2008, 08:41 PM
I use a 160 Sierra game King in my 7mm mag, and it works great on Nilgai down here in S. Tx, which are about the same size as elk...500-750lbs live weight. The trajectory is a bit flatter than the other cals mentioned, but not so much that they would be inadequate. The 7mag doesn't kick all that bad, and I would go so far to say I can't tell the difference between it and the '06 in felt recoil. You gain some velocity, but pick your poison. There's lots of fine 30 cal selections out there as well. Regardless, I would invest in a range finder. Valleys and crevaces can make ranges appear farther than they really are, as does steep inclines. On the contrary, an open meadow can make an animal appear closer than it really is. That is the best tidbit of advice I would offer. as for the cals, it's up to you. That can and will be debated for eternity...:D

Jack O'Conner
March 24, 2008, 07:50 AM


Mulies and elk are not armor-plated. My wife has taken many of each species with her 6.5mm Swede; my sister-in-law has been equally successful with 7mm-08. These two cartridges are accurate and powerful with moderate recoil.

I hunt with .308 carbine; my brother is a 30-06 fan. We have also had very good luck.

Practise shooting at 225 yards using makeshift field positions so you'll be prepared when the shot is available.

Good hunting to you.

March 24, 2008, 11:21 PM
Another vote for the /06.