What is the smallest cartridge that you would elk hunt with?

Lot’s of people are into the magnums now. But I’m sure the 30-06 worked fine back in the day. Would you use a 308? What about a 7mm-08?

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I use a 30-06 180 gr Core- lokt for bull and have used 165gr hornady for cow elk my wife uses 160gr Barnes Vor-tx 7 REM Mag for cow or bull. She use to shoot a 308 and shoot a cow using her father’s 150 gr Core-lokt reloads. I tend to go bigger rather than smaller for hunting big game. Someone told me they used a 243 for elk but I don’t remember what grain or sex.

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Usually a 270 for me. I’ve carried a 243 but never took a shot.
I was with my dad years ago, we had walked around the Uintah’s for a couple of days with no luck. He got tired of carrying his 30.06 and changed to a 243, you guessed it, we took a bull, luckily he was pretty close and clear, my dad being really good with a long gun did it in one shot.

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Probably a double-sprung Cabriolet…oh, you said “cartridge”, not “carriage”. Never mind.

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150 grain cup and core bullet or??

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I’ve seen a 100 grain 243 not exit a whitetail. I won’t be attempting that on elk.

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Used a .308 on my one and only elk hunt. The shot was only about 50-70 yards. But I’d be comfortable going out to 200 yards with my current .308 setup.

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I’ve been planning a Bison hunt and the guide advised me I could use my .308 but to use a Barnes Vor-tx 168 gr. I would be pretty sure if it’s good enough for a Bison it’s good enough for an Elk.

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Been a while but If memory serves:

Hornady American Whitetail

– Caliber: 243 Winchester
– Grain: 100
– Bullet Type: BTSP Interlock

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I have a friend who has taken several bison with a 308. Not sure what round he was using but might be the Barnes.

I wasn’t super impressed with the Barnes round on my elk. It left a very small exit hole and very little blood trail to follow. Think it might have been due to how close I was. Suspect the petals peeled back very quickly at the higher velocity. But that is a sample size of one and a lot of people seem to really like it.

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.308, but many have been taken with a .30.30, depends on the person behind the rifle.

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.308 would be the “lowest power” I would use. The variety of available loads make it a winner.

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I have found elk hunting a matter of shooting either uphill or downhill, but very seldom on level land. Therefore, I would use a round with a flat trajectory. If my hunt location was likely to be brush and scrub, I would go for a heavier grain bullet. So, for me the choice comes down to 300 Win Mag or 7mm Mag.

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Thanks for the input. I’ve never been but hope to go someday. I’d give up hunting whitetail if I could keep a freezer stocked with elk.

If 7mm mag or 300 magnum are the smallest cartridges you would use, what would you think is optimal? 338 magnum or a 375?

Beyond 7mm/300 WinMag your knock down power increases, but so does ammo cost and availability. There are various web sites, blogs, etc. devoted exclusively to Elk. Check them out and talk to people that have successfully hunted where you plan on going.

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Not to mention, the damage to the harvest can get really messy. The bazooka’s tend to destroy the meat your trying to bring home.

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If you want to learn about elk follow these guys.

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Found this interesting.

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I love the .30-06 you cannot go wrong. Will take any game in North America and many in Africa. :+1:

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Proper shot placement is almost as important if not more important than caliber size

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