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Posted: 8/13/2001 4:33:30 PM EDT
Ok, I need some help and advice. My father has always wanted to hunt and harvest a bull elk. He has not been financially able to. I am now, and I want to fulfill his dream. I am going to buy him a rifle this year to use on the trip next year. I have tried to "secretly" find out what caliber he would like and use. He doesn't want a magnum caliber. He basically told me 30-06. I would appreciate any opinions on the caliber, and any suggestions on where, what outfitter/guide, and prices to expect. We will most likely be limited to 3 grand each. I want fully guided/outfitted hunts. Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 5:25:58 PM EDT
Please help guys.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:24:12 PM EDT
Jax, the 30-06 is just fine it works almost everwhere for almost everything I would probably use a 180-200 Gr. Partition. I spent many years in Wyoming before moving to Alaska so my choice would be around the Wyoming Idaho border on the Wyoming side as I used to hunt there and I am familiar with the area. Hope you have a good time. Good evening, Rabon...
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:26:30 PM EDT
Well if no one else will jump in . . . .30-06 is a bit light for bull elk, but if you use some good ammo like Nosler Partition bullets and take a reasonable shot (proper angle, not too far out, and above all, shot placement) it will do OK. For outfitting suggestions, I'd check in the back of a hunting/outdoors mag. Or you might try the Safari Club web site. I've never used an outfitter myself. OTOH, I've never hunted elk either! But I'm out after a cow elk in another six weeks myself . . .
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 6:36:21 PM EDT
I use a Remington 700 in 7mm mag. Recoil is tolerable, as long as you do your part, one shot is all it will take. Good luck with the King of the Rockies...
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 7:04:52 PM EDT
I use a .308 M1A, and have always done well. I do try to keep my shots under 200 yards, but 30.06 is a good choice. If I had any experience with outfitters, I would try to help. Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 7:10:17 PM EDT
The 30-06 will do just fine. In Co. the .243 is the min cal.Thats a little light IMHO. Just remember they are Elk not Elephants.Most guides would rather see you show up with an -06 you can shoot than a mega mag you can't because the recoil is too much for you. BTW I use a .280 Rem with Barns bullets,and have had no problems filling the freezer.Good luck to your Dad.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 7:32:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2001 7:34:09 PM EDT by Bat21]
Cannot beat a 30-06. I am originally from Montana and there are plenty of elk around the Bitterroot Valley area (Darby, Hamilton, etc.) and the 30-06 was my main rifle for all game because of the different loads you can get. I always used 180 grain bullets for elk. The rifle I used was a Winchester Model 70 Mannlicher (spelling?) as it has a short barrel along with it's full length stock and so was easier to carry in the mountains with it slung over my shoulder. The scope is a Unertl 4X. Pretty old stuff. Left the rifle in Montana with my dad for him to use as my Mini-30 in Louisiana is the perfect deer rifle. (Spell check didn't catch a misspelled word I see)
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 7:39:58 PM EDT
Ditto on "bully" post. If he shows up with a 490 Rhino magnum and can't shoot it it'll be a mess. '06 is a BIT light as bull elk are notoriously tough but with a nosler and good shot placement he should be fine. I'll check my records (I use that term loosely) but in Gardiner Montana there's a HUGE herd that passes thru a small section of private land every day and this outfit has a log cabin SIX miles back on their ranch. UNBELEIVABLE view, great food, "quaint" log cabin, and their guide(1 guide for 2 hunters" shows up EARLY with your horses and takes you back for a 99.999% guaranteed beautiful elk. They field dress it, pack it out for you and make your arrangements to ship it. It's a 2 day hunt, prices are extremely reasonable (you can buy your out of state tag, just 300 or so for the guide and lodgings, and your transportation for less than you've budgeted). I can't remember theur name BUT there's only 2 or maybe 3 licensed outfitters in Gardiner - just ask about the cabin that's 6 miles from the main ranch house. If I find it I'll get back to you. You really can't go wrong with Gardiner - it's the place he's dreamed of, I guarantee it!
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 8:03:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bully: The 30-06 will do just fine. In Co. the .243 is the min cal.Thats a little light IMHO. Just remember they are Elk not Elephants.Most guides would rather see you show up with an -06 you can shoot than a mega mag you can't because the recoil is too much for you. BTW I use a .280 Rem with Barns bullets,and have had no problems filling the freezer.Good luck to your Dad.
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I bought a Remington ADL .280 in the 60's when they first come out. That is a fine cartridge. Then the caliber fell out of favor for some reason (.270 ?) and could not find ammunition for it readily anymore. I see it's back in popularity again. (I'm sorry I sold mine). The .280 I would compare as (do I dare say it ?) the perfect all around rifle along with the 30-06 in the lower 48, Grizzly excepted. I owned a 7mm Remington Magnum of which after one hunt I sold real fast. I only weighed 130 pounds way back then and that rifle was brutal.
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 9:15:05 PM EDT
Damn! I just got cut-off by my Zone-Alarm and lost what I had written! The short story is: A rifle champ named Jim Shultz shot an elk at around 300+ yds. with a Remington short-action "varmint" rifle in .308. He said shot placement was the key. Period. If Dad likes the .30-06, in a bolt-action rifle with the enhanced power ammo available, it's enough rifle/cartridge without the magnum boom. I like my Remington 700/7mm Rem.Mag., which is only a bit more recoil than the .30-06. With the Barnes Original 195-gr. bullets loaded, it's got weight and sectional density combined for a fine load in .284 caliber. I'm still practicing with my .338...
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 9:16:47 PM EDT
Back in the early 80's I was hunting just to the East of the Bitterroots that BAT21 talks about. It was the evening (night!) of my last day, my hunting was over, and I was sitting on the tailgate of my pickup watching the last light fade on a huge clearcut. It was beautiful and although I hadn't gotten an Elk it had been an enjoyable trip. I was sipping an adult beverage getting ready to crawl into the camper shell to get some sleep before driving home the next day. Two hunters showed up. One showed me his .458 and the other said he had a .270. They were waiting for another hunter to come off the mountain. I wouldn't have been up there stumbling around in the dark; nasty country, lots of snow. We BSed about where we had been and I'd hiked into most of the places they had been. No luck. I told them someday I was going to hire a guide to help me find a big one. The guy with the .458 says "I'm a guide and this is one of my clients. The other one is up on that mountain." End of our conversation!
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 9:18:15 PM EDT
I'm still practicing with my .338...
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.338 Winchester ? .338 Remington Ultra ? .338 Lapua? Just Curious , THX
Link Posted: 8/13/2001 9:41:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cnatra:
I'm still practicing with my .338...
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.338 Winchester ? .338 Remington Ultra ? .338 Lapua? Just Curious , THX
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Remington 700 BDL-DM (1995 non-engraved) in .338 Win.Mag. I really wanted a .375 H&H, or the .338 in a BAR, but, my final choice was the Remington for ammo availability/cost/bolt throw/and the newer enhanced power ammo; plus, I didn't want to be stuck with the semi-auto if it were deemed "unsporting". I think my logic was good and I like the way the gun shoots. I need more time at the range behind it, and I'm not "done" with it as I may switch to the Hogue stock and haven't decided on the lower power or higher power scope choice. I've been looking at the Leupold 1.5-5x20 and keeping it in a Remington synththetic stock that I bought. It will be a bit light, but, I've got a picture of the stainless model set-up just like this in an old issue of Rifle magazine that looks perfect. When I decide on the final configuration (most likely the one just described), I'll get some high-zoot ammo and learn to shoot it properly. I think it's enough gun for me and whatever I may encounter in my life. The allure of the .375 H&H still haunts me, though...
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 5:45:40 AM EDT
My '06 will slay anything on this continent. It's a good choice.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 6:56:49 AM EDT
On the topic of Elk hunting, I just meet someone who hunts with a bow. Shoots Elks between 5yds up to 50 yds. 700lb Elk gives you a few hundred pounds of meat, and it takes about a day to harvest.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:39:48 AM EDT
I have used .270win and 7mm mag for elk with no problem, but the .338win does the job and then some. Bullet placement is the most important part, but having a rifle caliber like the .338winmag that will brake both shoulders is really nice! Big bulls don't even take a step when hit though the shoulder with the .338. My father convinced me of the .338 long ago, and I wouldn't hunt elk without it now. guns762
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:59:30 AM EDT
If you're at all concerned about the '06's power down range, check our Hornady's Light Magnum ammo. The .30-06 can do what the .300 Win. use to do. I believe that i've read in Shooting Times, that more elks are taken with the .30-06 than and other round. She's truely a gun for all seasons.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 10:15:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 10:36:23 AM EDT by cnatra]
Originally Posted By BusMaster007: Remington 700 BDL-DM (1995 non-engraved) in .338 Win.Mag. the .338 in a BAR, but, my final choice was the Remington for ammo availability/cost/bolt throw/and the newer enhanced power ammo; plus, I didn't want to be stuck with the semi-auto if it were deemed "unsporting". I think my logic was good and I like the way the gun shoots. I need more time at the range behind it, and I'm not "done" with it as I may switch to the Hogue stock and haven't decided on the lower power or higher power scope choice. I've been looking at the Leupold 1.5-5x20 and keeping it in a Remington synththetic stock that I bought. It will be a bit light, but, I've got a picture of the stainless model set-up just like this in an old issue of Rifle magazine that looks perfect. When I decide on the final configuration (most likely the one just described), I'll get some high-zoot ammo and learn to shoot it properly. I think it's enough gun for me and whatever I may encounter in my life.
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CooL! Have you considered an H&S Precision stock?? I have a Winchester Model 70 Laredo in .300 WinMag with the BOSS/CR & an H&S stock. I've always been intrigued by the .338 Lapua & the new Remington Ultra looks close to it on paper. I think the Lapua is essentially a .416 Rigby necked down though. I've thouhgt about selling the Winchester , getting a BAR in .300Win & then a PSS in .338 Ultra.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 10:33:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2001 10:35:09 AM EDT by cnatra]
Originally Posted By BusMaster007: .375 H&H, or the .338 in a BAR, but, my final choice was the Remington for ammo on the lower The allure of the .375 H&H still haunts me, though...
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That's interesting, my father has been obsessed with owning a .375 H&H (the grandaddy of all magnums?) for a long time & finally bought one. He's a traditionalist so was shopping for a rifle with that "African Safari" look. After realizing he couldn't afford the high dollar Mauser imports he was trying to decide between the Winchester & the BRNO(CZ) when he stumbled across a Whitworth Express rifle(sic?) at a gun show. It has the express sights , barrel band sling swivel, a Yugoslav mauser action & a beautiful walnut stock with real ebony accents. I'm not a big fan of traditional looking rifles but this thing is looks classy. I think Interarms imported the Whitworths from England in the 80's, not 100% sure though.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 11:59:00 AM EDT
Its true that elk are tough as hell, but I saw one shot last year with a 378 Weatherby and it did not go down right away. You can kill anything with a 30-06. Just use heavy bullets. I'd check out a guided hunt in WY or Montana. I bet the prices are pretty reasonable, and they have some nice animals. Colorado has a lot of elk, but also a lot of hunting pressure. Arizona and New Mexico have been producing some nice bulls.
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 4:25:52 PM EDT
you have received alot of good advice. have hunted mule deer and elk in colorado for over 22 years now. have killed them with everything from a 270 to 338 and have opinions of the results from my elk and alot of elk that my hunting partners have used also. here is what I believe with experience: yes you can kill them with most anything thats legal to use but that to me only aplies to when you have a good standing broadside shot where your bullet placement is your choice. now if you have a nice bull running and bounding over and threw things then you have a problem with a lite bullet and cal. you want something that will knock him down till you can get that follow up shot. the number one cal. that is great for elk is a 338 win. even which is not the most popular round out their. I prefer the 30-06 in 180 grain works well for a elk and also mulies. let me tell you some short stories of the different cals. I have seen used on elk. 270 put 3 rounds into a running bulls chest and the first one was about 150 yards out and the last one was at about 50 yards he was still going . he dropped after about another 100 yards in the trees and got up again and it took a 4th round in the neck to finish him. also shot 1 in the lungs and took me a couple of hours trailing in the snow before I could finish him off. then on the other side a I watched a friend drop one at over 300 in its tracks and I dropped one that only went about 20 yards. his was a neck shot and mine took out his heart both were standing still at the time. 308 win.,338, 300 win. mag and 300 h&h all dropped or did not go far but were good clean shots. 30-06 only had one go a long ways on me but shot him on the run and hit him low front in the shoulder tracked him late into the night and caught up with him in the mourning. last year dropped a elk running at about 75 yards and it dropped in its tracks with a 30-06 180 grain. was not even sure I hit it because it dropped so fast and then thought about shooting another one out of the herd but held up as I did not think I missed . went over and it was laying in a cut in the earth out of sight so I made the right decision. have a choice of 270, 30-06 and 7mm in my closet right now and come mulie and elk season its the 30-06 thats going. my bottom line is this shoot what you are comfortible with as I know what my 06 will do out to and over 400 but would never take a running shot at those distances. lite cals. are fine but if you need to knock down when your shot might not be the greatest you would like the bigger cals. they are meat getters. colorado's elk herds are at a all time high right now and the hunter #'s are less than half of what they used to be just 4 years ago. prices have jumped up to I believe $450 for a out of state elk tag this year and by the # of left over tags that came up for sale on the drawing hunts they will be down again this year. good luck wherever you go. and if you come to colorado this year the first combined over the counter season starts on the 20 th of oct. so be prepared for bad weather as the last of oct. and the first of nov. can be nasty up there. jon
Link Posted: 8/14/2001 7:17:51 PM EDT
Listen to your Dad, he knows what he is talking about. SRm
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 9:18:22 AM EDT
I absolutely wouldn't use a .243 or a .270 for elk. I've seen 85 lbs antelope take three or four well placed chest shots to go down from these rounds. A 30-06 I would only use if I was going after a doe or young animal for tender meat. Remember a trophy bull elk can weight 1500 - 1800 lbs. That's like shooting a cow. You gotta use enough rifle and then some. The absolute minimum rifle I'd use is a 300 win mag, and then only with some reservation. As stated above I'd use at least a .338 win mag. If your father doesn't want to shoot a magnum tell him that in the excitment of seeing a Boone-n-Crocket 1800 lbs maximum trophy bull elk collapse in his tracks from a well place .338 win mag; that he'll absolutely positively never ever notice the recoil - I guarantee it. If he still refuses to shoot a magnum, then go hunt mule deer instead. You've gotta remember that you've gotta be a humane hunter. African hunters strive to have the animals collapse in their tracks (do you wanna go chase that wounded water buffalo into that dense tangle of a thicket where you can only see 15 feet???) this is a good goal for all hunters to strive for. You gotta remember that you may actually bump into a world record trophy bull elk; they are monsters - and you gotta be prepared for it. You wouldn't want to loose the world record trophy elk because you were shooting a water pistol now would you??? Be humane; hunt smart.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 10:02:04 AM EDT
I absolutely wouldn't use a .243 or a .270 for elk. I've seen 85 lbs antelope take three or four well placed chest shots to go down from these rounds. A 30-06 I would only use if I was going after a doe or young animal for tender meat. Remember a trophy bull elk can weight 1500 - 1800 lbs. That's like shooting a cow. You gotta use enough rifle and then some. The absolute minimum rifle I'd use is a 300 win mag, and then only with some reservation. As stated above I'd use at least a .338 win mag. If your father doesn't want to shoot a magnum tell him that in the excitment of seeing a Boone-n-Crocket 1800 lbs maximum trophy bull elk collapse in his tracks from a well place .338 win mag; that he'll absolutely positively never ever notice the recoil - I guarantee it. If he still refuses to shoot a magnum, then go hunt mule deer instead. You've gotta remember that you've gotta be a humane hunter. African hunters strive to have the animals collapse in their tracks (do you wanna go chase that wounded water buffalo into that dense tangle of a thicket where you can only see 15 feet???) this is a good goal for all hunters to strive for. You gotta remember that you may actually bump into a world record trophy bull elk; they are monsters - and you gotta be prepared for it. You wouldn't want to loose the world record trophy elk because you were shooting a water pistol now would you??? Be humane; hunt smart.
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Uh.... what planet are you hunting your elk on? A "world record trophy elk" is going to weigh maybe 850 lbs or so soaking wet. The average mature bull is around 650-750 lbs. I know many old timers who have taken a bull or large cow every year for the past 3 decades with a 7mm Rem Mag, 30-06, or 308 Win. Usually at ranges of 150 - 350 yards. It rarely takes more than one shot to the lungs. Intentionally breaking shoulders with a .338 might drop the animal, but is a real waste of good meat. Also, I'd like to see the 85-lb antelope that can take 4 well-placed rounds from a .270. Is it made out of steel?... just because the animal doesn't drop immediately doesn't mean it's on its last dying breath......
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 10:45:46 AM EDT
Never hunted elk, guess someone told me wrong weights, even 850 #'s is a huge animal. Yea sure everybody has a story to tell about how they neck shot an elk at 600 yrds with a 22-250. But what they aren't telling you about is all the ones they wounded who ran off into the woods, and were never found; only to die a slow death of infection. Wasting a little good meat is a very, very small price to pay for a highly humane shot. Watched my father (good shot) put four 270 rounds into an antelope just last hunting season. Antelope are unbelievably tough.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 11:13:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 2mps: breaking shoulders with a .338 might drop the animal, but is a real waste of good meat.
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Being polite-I disagree . Very, very little meat is actually wasted or destroyed with a shot through the shoulders.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 1:56:34 PM EDT
2mps is right on the money for how much an elk weighs. Rocky Mountain bulls average 700 pounds (Roosevelts are actually bigger). That is still damned big. Their bone structure is unreal compared to a deer. I like the shoulder shot too. There is not too much meat, and I have heard experts say elk can not walk on three legs. I wish someone would tell the elk that. Anyway, aiming for the shoulder also makes sure you are far enough forward to get the lungs. They are just so tuff that I want to take every measure possible to disable them quickly. Especially on a trophy.
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 12:29:27 PM EDT
Hey fella's, Thanks for all of the advice. I guess I will presents your opinions to my dad, and let him decide. From what you have said, I am comfortable in taking my 300 Rem. Ultra Mag. I still haven't decided where to go yet, but until I find out more info it looks like CO might be the place. We will be driving there from South East Texas(around Houston).
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 2:14:29 PM EDT
Okay, Just to bother you guys a little more and get some more information. Does anyone have any new opinions on where to hunt and possibly some guides to check out. I have been scrounging the web, but I really like to get personal info on the subject. Thanks!
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 4:14:01 PM EDT
never booked a hunt so not to sure on where to send you. but they range from stay at the ranch and drive out to hunt in the mournings to back country trips. and everything in between. if I was going to do this in colorado I think I would find a ranch that mainly hunted on private property. I do not know if you can do this but you may be able to cantact colorado division of wildlife and get a list of the registered guides and then contact them. all of the drawings are over for this year as I believe you needed to get it in before sometime in march. but over the counter bull elk are still up for the combined seasons. also some private ranches may have tags for the other seasons. have you given any thought on what area of colorado you plan on going to? good luck
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 4:20:42 PM EDT
I know it is too late for this year. I am planning this for next year. That gives me a whole year to get it together. If I hunt CO, I am not quite sure where. I don't know much about the area.
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 4:43:27 PM EDT
well I think something close for you would be out of the south folk, pagosa springs area very nice elk country and some high mountains down there. out of south folk are some pack in guides. thats the close to alot of remote area's . never hunted down there but from what I have been told if you get a packed in trip you would have a great experience. also the flat tops out of rifle glenwood springs area's has a large population of elk and success there is pretty good. another area would be between meeker and steamboat springs area alot of guides to chose from and very good hunting on private property there. the nice thing about private property is that they know the area and they usually know where to go. go to the colorado division of wildlife sight and under hunting you can see the last few years success % for each area and how many tags are alotted for each . for that should give you a clue as to the population of elk for the areas. if it was 10 years ago I could take you where I'am going this year as your chance for elk was around 50% and mulie around 90%. but things have changed and now the chance is around 15 to 25% for elk but deer should be around 75%. a lot of folks in there now. as now I try to hunt on military bases when I can get drawn. good luck and let me know what you decide next year. thanks jon
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