Under gunned on elk hunt ughh

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

  1. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    The main issue I see with bad shots here in elk country is the willingness of hunters to take shots they are not skilled enough to take. Every year, multiple times, I see elk shot at, wounded, and killed by hunters taking standing shots on running elk at close range. I have never seen a hunter practicing standing shots at the range, and there certainly is no moving target here to practice on. But they are willing to give it their first try on an elk. Its not much different for the long range stuff, just keep shooting until you finally hit one and slow it down. In many cases they get one killed and 2 or 3 limp off with bullets in them. It all comes down to the fact that shots are being taken that the hunter knows he couldnt make on the range cold bore if a $100 bill was on the line. Its not really a distance issue. This is a subject that I take seriously because elk fever seems to be getting worse and worse. Op, if more guys were like you there would be no issues and you could use any rifle you wanted and never wound one because you only shot within your limits.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  2. vmaxpro

    vmaxpro

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    I actually heard and counted 6 shots from the same location.....hopefully they were all misses for the elks sake. Heres where im at now. Build a 300 wsm that handles a little better. Get in better shape , and bring my 444 pistol. I would LOVE to take an elk at 50-100 yards with my tc.
     
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  3. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Gold $$ Contributor

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    So far as caliber choice goes, it all depends on how far you want to be able to shoot and in what kind of conditions. For day in day out consistency, resistance to wind and elevation changes on target you cant beat a 338. I have shot a lot of 338s and 30s on paper at 1k and the 338 will hold center better every time. It will also have less vertical poi changes due to conditions. The other side of that is I wouldnt own one much under 14lbs. I had a 12lb edge and it was a little too much recoil. All the ballistics and energy dont mean much if you can shoot it accurately. My choice for a long range elk gun is a bigger 30 cal. 30 nosler, 30-28, 300 norma or improved ext. They are usable in lighter rifles and still are very capable at long range.
     
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  4. brians356

    brians356 Gold $$ Contributor

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    "Well, there is the element of surprise, don't you see Gen. Custer?"

    Crashing across a brushy canyon for an hour or so generally won't spook a dead elk.
    -
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  5. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Carbon barrels are a great weight savings. In 338 LM, you don't need a 30" barrel to get performance. A 24" barrel will give you plenty of velocity particularly if you improve that case. Brake the barrel and you can have a 9-10lb rifle easily that doesn't beat you up during range work.
     
  6. JimT

    JimT “I don’t even own a piece of camo!”-Kenny Jarrett

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    .....says the fat, out of shape, flatlander following up on a gut shot elk because he couldn’t account for the swirling winds rising above said canyon......
     
  7. Doug Beach

    Doug Beach Silver $$ Contributor

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    Elk cartridge controversy popcorn is the finest of all popcorns.
     
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  8. jakelly

    jakelly

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    Yeah, the ethics of this long range shooting fad are horrible. I surely hope we can get back to the skill and restraint I witnessed growing up in the woods of SW PA. LOL. :rolleyes:

    You guys kill me with this rhetoric. If I were an anti-hunter/anti-American, threads like this would have me pumped.

    Thanks OP for erring on the side of caution. +1 to everything Alex said.
     
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  9. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've killed some animals across canyons that were only 400 yards at the shot. Took a day to reach the animal after the kill. I understand not having the time for the opportunity to get the shot if trying to get closer is part of it. Many cases are just that scenario. Many are just eagerness to shoot the trophy animal. They are not the same. I also commend your restraint for not taking a confident shot at a live animal.
     
  10. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Absolutely spot on. Don't be afraid to take what most people consider overkill or too much gun. Wind will win every time in open elk country and long range. Switch winds and mother nature are never figured in. Figure it in and take what defies that element the most. The 338 LM or Big 30s and heavies. Then they'll be no second guessing the situation.
     
  11. wbm

    wbm

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    LOL. Even if you are an "out of shape flatlander"?

    Love it!
     
  12. Bugs

    Bugs Gold $$ Contributor

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    This. . . . . ethics are ethics. . . it doesn't matter if its an Elk, a Whitetail or some guy trying to kill a ringneck rooster at 60 yards with a 28 gauge. The elk and the deer deserve to be taken cleanly. . so does the rooster.
     
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  13. JOHN R FEYEREISN

    JOHN R FEYEREISN

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    There has been a lot of debate over long shots in the last few years both with firearms and archery hunters, and here is my take on it, agree or not... If you want to take an elk at x yardage you practice at x yardage, and if you do so, put in the time burning powder and slinging lead (or arrows) and actually put in your time and TRULY OWN targets out to x yardage, you earned that extra distance. What that is, for you I won't tell you, you should know. This concludesy sermon for the week...
    That said, as others have said nice job on being honest about your limits, if you have the rational thought capacity to do that in that moment rather than try to force the situation you are doing better than alot of guys, go get em next year
     
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  14. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

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    Even a gopher deserves a clean kill. I feel guilty when one crawls off and it aint like I have any particular affection for rodents. Cruelty has no place in our sport.
     
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  15. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    You are exactly right however I don't think any of us sets out to make any critter suffer from a poor shot, especially if we do our range work and make those same shots consistently on paper or steel. Environmental conditions need to be considered also. I don't set out to hit a deer with my truck but it happens and they do suffer. It's a very debatable subject for sure but it's just part of this thing we do. I've shot numerous prairie dogs and a few ground hogs that crawled in there dens and I'm sure died. Can't say I feel bad but I wish the animal would have died on site. It's never a good feeling to know an animal took a long period of time to expire from a bullet, arrow etc. Fortunately every game animal I've shot with a rifle has died fairly quickly. I've lost some deer shot by archery gear and it really made me sick. Lots of blood but in the end, no deer. Can't help but feel sad from that long tracking with lots of blood and no deer. That animal had to die slow and that doesn't sit well with me. It's just part of the hunt that does happen. We do not set out to see this occur. All we can do is minimize it by practicing and being aware of elements that could cause this to happen.
     
  16. CaptainMal

    CaptainMal Silver $$ Contributor

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    You did good to not shoot.

    Only went elk hunting once and did kill one at just over 400 yards with my 338 Win Mag. I had practice to 500 yards and the conditions were calm and it was doable. Did kill a doe at 710 with a 7MM Remington Mag. This rifle was practiced to 1,000 but mostly 600 yards. Also I took shots to 800 yards on the same power line I killed it on using a metal gong plate for a target.

    Unless you are practiced with that rifle at the ranges you might shoot, restrict yourself to just what you practiced. Check that you have enough energy at that range for the animal you might shoot. You probably had neither set up and known. You did the right thing. Be proud of yourself.
     
  17. JimT

    JimT “I don’t even own a piece of camo!”-Kenny Jarrett

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    All of these his talk about “practice” is BS unless you are practicing in conditions you will be hunting in. A little different hitting a gong at 800 yards in July in Maryland in a t-shirt, than an elk at 11,000 feet in October ,on the side of a mountain in Wyoming, in 20 degree weather, with switching winds, wearing your bulky camouflage duds, and panting and sweating, after slooooowwly climbing the mountain, in light conditions you’ve never remotely practiced in. I could go on.
     
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  18. Darwin

    Darwin Gold $$ Contributor

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    Practice in good conditions or bad, it should be obvious to not shoot at critters if you're shaking like a shitting dog.
     
  19. IdahoCTD

    IdahoCTD Silver $$ Contributor

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    I've killed my fair share of elk and I would start looking at a 300wsm on the low end like Rhian has suggested. Most people I've shot with and been around will shoot a .30 better than a .338 due to recoil. The 300wsm is super easy to shoot well with a good brake. I would have no problem shooting 1000yds with either of my 300wsm's but if there is a way for me to get closer I do. I don't think anyone will argue that your chances of success increases the closer you get. I've killed 12 elk, 2 deer, 1 moose, and 3 antelope in the last 5 years. 3 of those were over 600yds. 1 at 600, 1 at 626yds, and one at 1081yds. All 3 of those were elk and the only one I felt I could of got closer to is the one at 1081yds. My buddy wanted to shoot a elk over 1000yds so I got down on the bipod with him and dialed up my gun. He shot a couple times and missed. A calf stepped out of the herd and stood broadside so I took the shot. The gun I was shooting is a 300wm with 215 Bergers that has shot a 2.25" group at 780yds and shot under 5" several times at 950yds.

    Congrats on knowing your limits and turning down a shot you didn't have 100% confidence you could make. I'm sure next time you'll be better prepared.
     
  20. AndyA

    AndyA Gold $$ Contributor

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    ethical kill=(size of animal + license cost)/cost of trip

    Many here will think nothing of shooting a "lesser" animal just because its there. I have yet to see a coyote sausage recipe or prairie dog soup. So many "ethical" hunters shoot these "lesser" under the guise of protecting more "noble" animals. Waste=Waste. Just stop stroking each others ego's.
    Its perfectly natural to wound an animal and then track it down to finish it off. If you all didn't believe this then you would work to outlaw bow hunting. This is how every other predator hunts.
    Save the moral arguments for the grocery store meat aisle.

    This is sport hunting. Get over it.
     

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