Under gunned on elk hunt ughh

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by vmaxpro, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. vmaxpro

    vmaxpro

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    Just got back from an elk hunt. Glassed a herd around 1500 yards. Appeared to be all cows. I watched them for a few hours and low and behold a monster bull showed himself. I crept my way to about 700 yards. There was no chance of getting closer. Next time Im building a 338 of some sort. I took my 6.5x284 with 143x’s. Some could argue its doable but Im not comfortable for an ethical shot/energy at that distance. It was getting dark so I came back the next day but the herd moved onto the next unit which I dont have a tag for. Maybe next time!!!
     
  2. Sieg

    Sieg

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    I commend your ethics.
     
  3. vmaxpro

    vmaxpro

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    Thanks! It was my first elk hunt. Im sure I made alot of mistakes, and now that Im familiar with that unit Ill put together the right gun for next time! What an animal though, When I got up, I had 3 cows about 20 yards from my tent. Just an amazing animal!
     
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  4. vmaxpro

    vmaxpro

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    Unit 22 north Az late bull
     

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  5. PatMiles

    PatMiles Gold $$ Contributor

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    It's called tuition...the price you pay for valuable information.
    Kudos for your decision not to shoot.
     
  6. rammac

    rammac

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    Anybody that has spent time hunting elk will tell you that the modern fad of the 6.5 isn't a good choice, unfortunately so many people parrot what they read on the BSnet that new hunters think that any 6mm cartridge will be fine - they aren't.

    The .308 and 30-06 are common for a reason, they work. The .308 will drop elk reliably out to 500 yards and the 30-06 can stretch that range to 700 yards or so, any shot past those ranges is irresponsible and unethical. There are far too many variables that can effect the shot past 600 yards and it's just wrong to take live game past that range. There isn't any ethical reason to take a long range shot and while tons of people will brag about their successful 1000 yard plus shot they wont mention how many times they've wounded animals and lost them.

    None of us will go hungry if we don't drop that animal so why take questionable shots with under-powered cartridges at unreasonable distances and possibly cause the animal to suffer a needless death.
     
  7. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    @vmaxpro , congratulations on a successful hunt!!
    I had the best year ever in our late season archery hunt, and I didn't shoot a buck.
    Now I need to go buy some beef.
     
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  8. Bill K

    Bill K Silver $$ Contributor

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    Don't believe you went under gunned, but I do believe you were wise to not have taken a un-ethical shot at that range. Even if you had a 338 mag, most people are still not able to make a good ethical shot at over 600 yrds, no matter what they say.
    First hunt, you learned a lot and in the future it will pay off, for helping you hunt and find them within a distance that is more what it should be and you will get a fine Elk.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  9. muleman69

    muleman69 USMC -1st marine Div. RVN Gold $$ Contributor

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    Great post, my sediments exactly
     
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  10. muleman69

    muleman69 USMC -1st marine Div. RVN Gold $$ Contributor

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    Great call on your part, you have just became a pro-hunter and not a lobber. The long range stuff has gotten out of hand, to many cripples die a death they did not deserve. I found a monster buck this year that a lobber hit but did not find.
     
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  11. maxwatt

    maxwatt

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    And you don't have to shoot the first or any animal you see.
    If you have one tag that's it. And your hunt is over.
    I enjoy it to much, and I want it to last.
    This season I had 6 100% chanses before I shot my first deer.
    When you shoot something it is so much work afterwards. It's much easier to let them walk and just enjoy the thrill of the situation. You know what I mean: fair chase and all that.....
     
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  12. 10XSHOOTER

    10XSHOOTER Gold $$ Contributor

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    A .300 Win Mag, with 180 Nosler Accubonds. would be perfect for that 700 yd shot. A Custom .340 WBY would be a great Elk gun With 250 accubonds.
    My 2 favorite Elk rifles
     
  13. vmaxpro

    vmaxpro

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    Thanks everyone! The area was pretty thick, so I assumed everything would be inside 150 yards so I took my 6.5. Wow was I wrong! Now that Ive done it, I see the tough choice. Lugging around a long 338 would be a pain and would be hitting branches. I wonder how a 300 wsm 23” barrel would do? Im setting my limit next time to 500 yards. No more 6.5 cal for me. The barrel length to get the speed/energy was extremely annoying to carry. I appreciate the positive feedback, because when I got back to camp, people were pissed at me for not taking the shot. Wind was calm, I know I could place the shot. But the guilt of a wounded animal would haunt the hell out of me.
     
  14. Jess Mellen

    Jess Mellen

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    If you are ever in that situation again I would tell you what I told my hunting buddy. This year we both drew elk tags in WY unit 100. Very open terrain. We spotted a herd of elk 2 hours before sunset 600 yards out in the wide open. My buddy was not confident in a 600 yard shot with a 270. As time was running out I told him he had nothing to loose, just walk slowly towards the herd. He walked within 75 yards of 45 elk and shot a 330 bull. I couldn’t believe it. You never know until you try.
     
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  15. wa11abee

    wa11abee Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have always been way more impressed with a hunter who made a kill shot at 300 yds. Than the guy who brags of his 800 yd shot and come to find out he had to put it out of its misery after he got to it. My hats off to you for staying within limitations.
     
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  16. Doug Beach

    Doug Beach Silver $$ Contributor

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    Hunting buddies who actually get mad when you don’t take a shot, are not your friends. Some friendly ball busting, sure. Anger, no.
     
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  17. Mulligan

    Mulligan Gold $$ Contributor

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    Your integrity is intact. We all know you made the right decision. What they think is of little importance.
    CW
     
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  18. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

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    Kudos.

    The entire hunting community is a better shot at game than I am. I call 300 yards a long shot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  19. 6fatrat

    6fatrat SLING SHOOTER Silver $$ Contributor

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    Good for you for not taking the shot.
    Take a hard look at a 300 RUM or a 300 Win Mag,with a Berger 215, 210 or Hornady 212 eld-x.
    Steve Bair
     
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  20. hunter67

    hunter67

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    Good call. If your going to limit yourself to 500 yards then your rifle you have is fine but I would choose a different bullet. Been there done that.
     

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