View Full Version : Elk hunting

February 28, 2001, 04:41 AM
Hi guys! I'm new to hunting deer and elk, so I thought this might be a good place to come ask questions. I've hunted waterfowl and grouse so far, so I have none experience whatsoever when it comes to hunting bigger game.

So, first off, what do I need? For rifle, I have a 6.5x55 scoped Swedish Mauser bolt action. I'll probably use Hornady light magnums or Lapua or Norma ammunition. Any ammo has to have at least a 140gr bullet and 2000 ft*lbs at 100m. What for field dressing? How about other gear?

The scope is a 4x40 Tasco. I might end up changing it, because the crosshairs tend to get blurry. Any suggestions? Please consider that I also plan to use the rifle for hunting bird (local law allows it and it's very common here), so no red dot sight suggestions, please.

Most likely I'll hunt in a small group. 2-3 people p'haps. No dog. At least not yet.

So, what's the best way? Stalking or set positions? What's the maximum range you should take a shot at? Any advice whatsoever is appreciated, since I don't know a thing about hunting hunting elk and deer so far.

Btw, any mechanical or electronic calling device is illegal here. And another thing. Local deer are probably 50-70lbs and biggest elk are about 600lbs. So I don't know, you guys might have bigger ones over there in the USA so take that into consideration if it affects anything.

February 28, 2001, 12:24 PM
Wow 50-70# deer and you have to use 140gr!?!?! What country are you in? The habitat? terrain of where you hunt matters alot too, are long shots a possibuility? hunting brush?

March 1, 2001, 03:19 AM
Ummm... I don't remember, deer might be 110gr minimum or something like that, but elk definetely is 140gr (or actually 9grams).

I live in Finland. The hunting terrain is mostly forest or field. Marshes would be good too, because of the long lines of sight and elks can be easily found, but I don't particularly like the thought of dragging a 500lb elk out of a marsh. Most elk seem to prefer young birch and conifer forests.

Longest shots would probably be 100 to 200yds. Forests are pretty thick, with no long shooting lanes. I prefer not to take shots thru bushes or any vegetation. Wouldn't want to lose an animal, much less just wound one and let it escape because of a deflection off a branch. JMHO thou?

Oh yeah. FWIW permits are usually for single elk or deer unless you're in a club, and at least elk (dunno about deer) are pretty much solitary creatures AFAIK. So that makes tracking a bit hard?

Art Eatman
March 1, 2001, 09:08 AM
Local advice on hunting techniques is generally the best. Find somebody with some years of effort plus some degree of success. Most hunters are happy to help a "Newbie", a new hunter.

Use the "search" function here in the Hunt forum for a good bit of good advice on dressing out deer and elk after your kill...



March 1, 2001, 06:33 PM
about "elk" hunting in that part of the world. Did a little research and found a Finnish website called the "Hunters Centralorganisation" that confirmed it for me. What we call an elk over here is a completely different animal than the one you are calling an elk. What is called hirvi in Finnish, alg in Swedish, or elch in German (sorry, I don't know how to make all the funny little marks over top of the letters) is called a moose over here. Moose grow a little bigger over here also, I think they can almost double what you are calling a big one, 7 feet tall, with a rack spread of over 5 feet (record I think is 6'9").
Even at 5-600 lbs I think I would go for something a little heavier than a 6.5X55, although with proper placement the quality ammo that you mention will do the job.
Looked like there are quite a few hoops to jump through to get a hunting license over there. Do you have to pass a shooting test to get an "elk" permit?

This site that I went to listed 6 different kinds of deer that are considered game animals over there, which kind has the highest population/is hunted the most? Red deer, whitetails, fallow, sika, roe, and wild forest reindeer?

Have some other questions also, but I'll stop here. My daughter is insisting I let her on the computer now!


March 1, 2001, 08:40 PM
Dang, I always thought that moose was the really big one we don't even have here and elk was like our biggest critter. Seems it ain't so. Ok, so the topic becomes moose hunting. I'll be damned.

Yep, for moose and deer and I think for wild boar too the shooting test is mandatory. I don't remember the details, but it is three shots on a moving target at 100m IIRC. I so far haven't shot it, but I intend to get it over with so I can get in on the action next season.

Ummm... now about the species, that's a tough question. Like I said I'm a complete newbie to hunting bigger game, so I don't really know. But I think that the most common and most hunted, except moose, is the wild forest reindeer. I might be wrong here too, my english isn't too good when it comes to specific animals. Anyway, moose is by far the most hunted bigger game animal in here.

March 2, 2001, 01:41 AM
Im not too sure about this either, but most "reindeer" are woodland caribou...they have a little smaller and more stout of antlers than the tundr/plains 'bou.

March 2, 2001, 08:44 AM
Caribou are a heck of a lot bigger than reindeer. Just saw one in the latest Guns&Ammo, in the article about the future of ammo development. Damn it was big. It looked as big as them darn moose here.

March 2, 2001, 10:10 AM
Not really, in my part of the globe, Northern Quebec that is, caribou would not get any much taller than a meter at the shoulder and a good bull would weight about 160 kg (hey, that's 40 inches and 350 pounds south of the border, I'm doing my international thing, here! :))
IMHO, a good 200m shot in the heart-lung general area will bring down any moose with your 6.5, but doesn't Norma manufacture 156gr ammunition for the 6.5? IMHO, this would be the hot ticket, its sectional density would help this bullet get through almost anything, smashing ribs on the way in and out.
Best luck hunting!

BTW: The elk/moose confusion is fairly easy to explain: Latin for moose is "Alces", moose comes from the Algonquin "moos".

[Edited by Thibault on 03-03-2001 at 08:52 AM]