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Old October 14, 2005, 10:44 PM   #1
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Elk Hunt

I am plannin on booking a Elk trip in the up comming year and I need some tips on who to use and what kinda of gun that is effective for this will my .243 win work or do I need something bigger
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Old October 15, 2005, 01:51 AM   #2
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I havn't yet gone after elk specifically, so I can't really give you any general tips on that, but I can tell you that you are going to need some more firepower. The .270 Win is generally considered to be the minimum acceptable cartridge for elk, so .243 is not sufficient, not unless you are at very short ranges and are an extremely precise shooter. If I were you, I would look at anything from .270 through the .300 magnums, or if you want to punish yourself, a .338 or .375 H&H. Personally, I chose a 7mm WSM, but there are a lot of options. Just not a .243 .
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Old October 15, 2005, 09:55 AM   #3
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Yeah, better get a new rifle...what better excuse than an Elk hunt. Twcross has outlined the calibers for you. I chose 7mm rem in anticipation of an elk hunt. Since you have a .243 for deer, maybe think about the WSM's for Elk.
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Old October 15, 2005, 11:04 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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I've never hunted elk. I've been reading about elk-shooting for many decades. So, take this for what it might be worth.

A primary requirement, overall, is a cartridge and bullet combination which will reliably give deep penetration on a quartering-angle shot. Sure, lots of lighter-weight combos will break a neck, or destroy the heart/lungs on a broadside shot. But those are ideal situations, and unless you're highly skilled at stalking, or lucky on how an elk is standing, you can't rely on "ideal".

As a novice elk hunter, I'd rather be a bit over-gunned than under-gunned. Looking at what I now own, however, I'd stay with my '06, since I've been using that rifle for over thirty years and am "married up" with it. I'd load some good 180-grain bullets and be fairly confident about my chances.

Regardless of all that, though, we gotta remember that a lot of elk have fallen to .270s and .308s...

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Old October 15, 2005, 04:46 PM   #5
dale taylor
Join Date: February 10, 2005
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Listen to Art Eatman. Being overgunned is better. I have used 7mm mag and 338 Wm. Prefer 338. One doesn't remember the recoil of one shot. At 68 I no longer like long tracking after shot
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Old October 15, 2005, 11:35 PM   #6
Dave Haven
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I have used 7mm mag and 338 Wm. Prefer 338. One doesn't remember the recoil of one shot.
Remember what?
The first elk I shot was with a .338. The crosshairs locked onto his "boiler room", and the rifle fired. I heard a "thump" and felt something like recoil. Then I heard a loud CRACK. My ears rang for several minutes.
Turned out I hit him in the heart at about 350 yards. He trotted about 20 yards before expiring. He sprayed blood all over the area...
I can recomment the .338.
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Old October 16, 2005, 12:20 AM   #7
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If you're booking ask your outfitter and guide -

Better a .243 you shoot really well than a .340 Weatherby that makes you flinch.

Better a .340 Weatherby than almost anything else - for trophy hunting - if you can shoot it well - consider a muzzle brake if you haven't established a tolerance for noise and recoil.

BUT - if you want an elk with a .243 be sure you and your guide can get you close enough to smell it and a little bit closer and that you've looked at mounts and skeletons and know exactly where you are going to place your shot. Last hour of the last day of an expensive hunt with the shot of lifetime at a 7X7 at an honest 400 yards and passing on it because you have a .243 just might be a heartbreaker and taking the shot wouldn't be a good idea either.

I'd hunt elk with anything from a 7mm Remington Mag up, especially to include .30-'06 or .308 but I think a dedicated, a trophy, elk rifle begins at 8mm and runs through .375.

I'm fond of saying I could have taken as big an elk as I've ever seen with the .22mag High Standard derringer I sometimes used for slaughter - but only because he was grazing under my porch and it would have been poaching not trophy hunting.

Know your limitations and your rifle - it's more important to be in shape than to be well armed and your clothing, your boots and your binoculars may do more to make or break your trip than your rifle.
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