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.308 for Elk?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by repete34, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. repete34

    repete34 In God I trust

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    I am going on my first Elk hunt in Dec. in northern Idaho. My rifle choices are, Rem. 700 Sendero in .308, Moslin Nagant 7.62x54R, Enfield .303, or Mauser 8mm. Getting the .50bmg before the Rem 700 Sendero in .300. From experience which would be best?
     
  2. Alchemy

    Alchemy Senior Member

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    from experience I suggest the 308 as minimum...Forget the European
    calibers!....Get yourself a 7mm, 300, or a 338wmg...a 30:06 will do
    if your a good enuf shot !
     

  3. Pat S

    Pat S Millennium Member

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    308 will work. I'd suggest a premium bullet in 180 gr., perhaps a Nosler Partition or one of the bonded bullets. I'd also limit your shots to a reasonable range. The 308 will work OK but is a little on the short side for long range energy. But then true hunting is about getting in close and not shooting from a half mile away.:)


    Pat S.
     
  4. turq

    turq

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    With 308 power I recomend Nosler or Barnes 165 or 180.

    Be warned an accurate mainstream ordinary 180 gr bullet shot at 50 yrds into an elks'near elbow from a 30'06 sometimes will blow up not penetrating any bullet into the ribcage. That's 3" or more of Bone.
    I chased mine 1/4 mile it fell and I shot it behind ear; Federal Hi Shok bullets. I will not make that mistake again. Alot of times 1/4 mile can mean several other hunters.
     
  5. Pat S

    Pat S Millennium Member

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    I also had dismal performance form Federal Hi-Shok ammo on game in a .30-06'. Never again! Premium bullets, especially on elk-sized animals, is the only way to go.

    Pat S.
     
  6. mattyk6

    mattyk6

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    My mom has dropped two elk with her 308 using 180 gr Remington Core-lokt.
     
  7. duncan

    duncan Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Close in - sure.

    But as always, you may get better perfomance out of the classics like 30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag for a very large bull or sow depending on what you can take in Idaho.
     
  8. turq

    turq

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  9. repete34

    repete34 In God I trust

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    Yup, it's a cow hunt. Someday I will get a .300, saving for a Rem. 700 Senduro with a stainless fluted barrel, but for now it is a .308 for the hunt. Feedback thus far from several sources is a .308 is fine, but the type of bullet and the weight have brought some controvesy. Hydra-shoks were never a option, the Remigton specs are ok but Federal seems to be all around higher, Nosler is a favorite bullet for me in many applications. Thanks to all who responded.
     
  10. vart

    vart

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    Where in North Idaho? I live here, and what unit you're in will determine, usually, what type of terrain you'll encounter.
    My first elk hunt was a cow permit down around Salmon, near the Montana border.
    I used a Winchester Model 70 XTR Featherweight in .257 Roberts. I was using 120 gr. Noslers handloaded by my dad, who I dare say, knows more about hunting than anybody on this board ;) .
    I shot a nice sized cow at 270 yds. through the lungs and heart. She dropped immediately, and rolled about 50 yds, downhill onto a logging road.
    Shot placement is key, and if you are going in December, then I recommend choosing a rifle soon, and becoming intimately familiar with it.
    My current elk rifle(and deer rifle, and antelope, and bear, and moose, and coyote) is a Ruger M77 All-Weather-Rifle in .30-06. It is lightweight, accurate, and extremely versatile. With a small (1.75x5)variable power scope, I can be ready for shots from 20 yds. to 400 yds.
    I use 180 gr. bullets for elk, and 150 gr. bullets for deer. I like the 165 for bear.
    Don't listen to people who advise you to buy a huge caliber rifle, they won't be packing it up and down mountains. I have a $6000 custom Winchester in .35 Whelen that is a beautiful and powerful rifle, but it gets very heavy when I'm 5 miles from the truck at the end of the day;) .
    Those Sendero rifles are great rifles and very accurate, however, you will hate them at the end of the day.
    Will your hunt be guided, or do you have a buddy that is taking you out?
    If you will be doing limited walking, then a big caliber rifle is good insurance. I know that farmers who have a problem with elk eating their crops, will ask hunters to come shoot a few. They know where the elk come out, and what time, so the hunters just have to find a good spot to sit and wait.
    I would probably use my .35 Whelen for that situation.
    However, most likely your hunt will involve lots of walking in rough terrain. I'd go for a .308 or a .30-06 in a lightweight rifle with a smaller scope. Either a 6x fixed power, or a 2x5 variable.
     
  11. repete34

    repete34 In God I trust

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    I will be in Northern Idaho, on a permit cow hunt around Salmon in fact. My brother-in-law is showing me about. I am very familiar with the rifle and in pretty good shape, so I am really not concerned with the extra weight. I did consider that when I bought the rifle years back. I also know about walking long distance with weight, having served in the Infantry for 16 years. This is my first Elk hunt though, which is why I am asking some questions in a place where I will get a variety of input. I am familiar with all the rifles I mentioned in the post, I was leaning towards the .308, but since I have the others, I thought I would consider them as well. Any more advise you have will be accepted. Thanks!
     
  12. vart

    vart

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    Salmon is actually in the central part of Idaho, near the Montana border. The terrain is very steep, with lots of canyons.
    Good luck on your hunt.
     
  13. WFR

    WFR

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    .308 with premium bullets will get the job done.
    My boss dropped a nice 5x5 bull last year with one shot from a .308 using a Federal Premium 180 gr Nosler Partition bullet. Range was about 25-30 yards and the animal only went about 20 feet and then piled up.
     
  14. repete34

    repete34 In God I trust

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    wfr, that is the bullet I am planning on. For right now it is my first choice.