Smallest / Minimum Calliber for Elk

Smallest / Minimum Caliber for Elk - (explain)


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AZ Jim

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As for myself, I am a fan of .30 caliber to the .338 bores for elk. That being said, there are many hunters out there that have effectively used smaller calibers. For example my son used a .243 to take his first elk. I made sure he was inside 100 yards and would not allow him to to take the shot unless it was broadside. We practiced shot placement and accuracy religously before the hunt. He now uses a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser.

My daughter drew a bull tag this year and I am debating what rifle to let her use. My 06 is heavy and some of my others have too much recoil.

For a spirited debate what do you all think is the minimum caliber for elk ?


AZ Jim
 

tmoniz

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I'm not sure if Bulls are harder to take down than a Cow Elk.
I've never Cow Elk hunted. Only Bulls.
I've taken them with the 7mm Mag and the 338/06.
I have a friend in Colorado who has taken all his Elk with a 308.
243 with a good tough bullet may do the trick if she places a good shot.
I hunted with a guide in Wyoming that used nothing but a 257 Roberts.
Took some nice bulls too.
 

peez3006

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I know an old timer who filled his freezer many times with a .243, with peep sites. He got close and put the bullet in the right place. I'd have to say a .243 is big enough, if you have a little discipline.

Don P.
 

AZ Jim

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I tried to add a poll question for cow elk or bull elk to see if it changed the answers.

Any difference of opinion ?


AZ Jim
 

AZ Jim

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Poll Question try this again.

Does your opinion change if the elk were a cow or a bull ?


AZ Jim
 

easymoney

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IMHO, a min of 26 cal is needed to cleanly kill elk and I am a big fan of the 300winmag. That being said I have heard of those "taking " elk with calibers as small as 223 or 243. I suppose if the animal were head on, you could take one with a 22 rim fire right between the eyes. But those are not practical and ethical means for most hunters.
One shot one kill is what I look to achieve or I don't even make the shot...
 

ironworker

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You might be able to kill a bull elk if you take a pellet gun, arm pump it about 1200 times, shove the barrel in his ear and squeeze the trigger.
Of course you might have just as much luck with a knife.



I think you can take elk using a regular 270 win, with a 130gr or 150 gr bullet. Elk are just big deer, their skin is thin and light. I would think a 270 would push clean through both lungs @ 100 yards.

My grandfather took 20 or more elk in his life and never used anything but a 270.
Personally, I would never go in the field for elk with anything less than a 30-06. You never know when that 300 yard shot on a bull of a lifetime will come.

Rich
 

barel74

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I took my first bull with a .270, I personaly would not go any smaller. I'm sure you can kill one with a .22, but how many will run off in the process.
 

Mntngoat

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I have a friend that has taken many with a 7-08. The latest super duper whiz bang magnum doesn't make a person a better hunter.


ML
 

Rancho Loco

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I wouldn't hesitate to use a 7mm-08 loaded with 120 grain TSX's on a bull elk. Within reasonable range, that round will blow right through both lungs.

The 6.5 has taken cleanly killed european moose for decades. I think a tough 130-160 grain at a reasonable range would smoke an elk too.
 

elkman7x7

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Melody got a 5bs bull tag this year.She will be shooting a 270. I think 100yrd shot will be max and i think I would be nervous about it.I would like to see a 50yrd shot max

Mark
 

wmidbrook

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I'd have no problem using my 6 mm Rem on a small cow/calf hunt. For bigger-than-spike or button bulls and longer shots I'd stick with a .270 on up.
 

AZ Jim

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Looks like the .270 is winning so far (in both categories, for bull or cow).


AZ Jim
 

rwchunter

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I have taken a few elk with a 270 with no problem. Not sure I would go much lighter but feel very comfortable with a 270. I don’t think any of them were over 200 yards and all were bulls.
 

Zimm

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In 2007, I dropped my Lone Pine Bull at 250 yards where he stood with my 270WSM. I recommend the very spendy Winchester XP3 in 150 grains.

Good Luck!
 

Oregon Archer

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my vote would be for the 270. its not heavy on recoil but it still has plenty of downrange energy. just wish they offered a heavy bullet for it like a 180gr for elk.
 

richardoutwest

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270 both bull and cow. Not that you can not take one with a lesser round, just have a margin for error that I do not like.
 

257scramjet

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Any of the above calibers will work from 243-50 cal. I once saw a guy shoot a piglet (after he shot the mom) with a 375 H&H magnum but gut shot it. It took him3 hrs to find it and finish it off deep in the brush. My point is i don't care what caliber you shoot an elk with, if you can't put the bullet in the boiler room your in for some trouble and more than likely a wounded animal that will die a slow long death. Use whatever you like but practice practice practice


257scramjet
 

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