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Old June 13, 2007, 12:28 PM   #1
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planning an elk hunt

I've decided to elk hunt at least once while I can still walk. I've killed plenty of deer but was wondering about bullet choice for elk since they are 4 times larger. I plan to hunt with my jap 7.7 174 gr, bullet that I hand load. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on soft point vs. hollow point, the hollow pt. is a boat tail and should give me better trajectory and speed at 300 yds. , but how well will it penetrate say in the shoulder at that range. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by KEN K; June 13, 2007 at 12:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old June 13, 2007, 02:40 PM   #2
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I would say use the soft point. A quality 174 gr bullet at about 2,300 fps should penetrate fine and give you a clean kill within 200 yds, 300 may be a stretch. I doubt that the cartridge with that heavy of a bullet would be unsuitable.
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Old June 13, 2007, 03:35 PM   #3
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I dunno the ballistics on your rifle but the generall rule for elk is 1500 ft/lbs KE on target. Sounds to me like 300 yards might be a bit long for that rifle. Also the toughest bullet is the best, HP's are probably not a good idea.
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Old June 13, 2007, 07:34 PM   #4
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You really need to use a soft point bullet and not a HP boattail. The HP will shed it's jacket and not give you the impact you're looking for.

I gave a lift one time to a hunter who got lost, who just happened to write articles for Handloader magazine. He used the Nosler partition bullet as his benchmark whenever he was comparing bullets/loads/etc. and since we were both elk hunting at the time, what he said made sense as far as bullet type.
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Old June 13, 2007, 09:49 PM   #5
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Stick with the softpoint, as it will expand and reasonably stay together. The HP may separate at close range without giving the utmost in penetration, something of great importance on a 900 lb. bull. Always use more than enough gun.
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Old June 18, 2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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Majestic World Lodge in the Allegheny Mts. of Pennsylvania offers good elk hunts for less than $3,000.00. It's a high fence operation but the animals are not tame. They even offer a discounted hunt for "promo bulls" which are an un-intentional cross between European red stag and North American elk.

The Lodge is very comfortable, food and beds most excellent. The hunting is not high exertion but I recommend hunting with an open-sighted lever action carbine or big revolver to make it more challenging. Archers are welcome, too.

Contrast this to a drafty tent and older cot. Snow squalls in the Bighorn Mts. of Wyoming just add to the misery. Plan to spend a whole lot for a 6 day pack-in wilderness hunt and return home feeling exhausted.

I've not hunted at this Lodge but spent an enjoyable weekend relaxing with my wife. We stalked a herd of elk (un-armed). Their fallow deer are equally fun to stalk and photograph.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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