Humain way to Kill an Elk.


Grand poopa
Dec 9, 2000
Boise, Idaho
So I was looking over a Short Video that I have of a raghorn Bull I took 2 years ago. I was going to post (And still will) a Short Clip but want to know what you guys think.

What is the Most ethical (Of course in your own opinion ;) ) to Finish off an Elk.

Here is the Senario, Some might remember it. I was across a Canyon, And Shoot an Elk. I'm sure I hit it (As it was Bedded down and I rock at shooting
) but after shooting at it I lost visual of it. It was fairly open with Trees so I was sure it was Down or just next to a tree. I then cross the Canyon and start videotaping it's bed it was Laying in. I see NO blood but talk and follow the Trail. (We're in the Snow BTW so if ther was Blood it should stand out well right ?!?!) I was 1005 sure it was NOT hit at this point and was pretty mad at myself for it but pressed on.

Anyways, I walk another 20 steps following it's tracks and See the Elk, Lift the Gun and BANG, it goes down right there. I video a bit more and Walk twards it and See it's still alive siting up but dieing.

I'm OK with everything up untill this point but want to run out 3 opinions to you.

1. Do you shoot it from were you're at and Keep unloading untill you know it's dead. I have friends that would do this.

2. Do you Walk twards it and Shoot it at close range but ready so If it jumps up you Blast it? I have friends that would do this.

3. Do you habg tough and Let it die for the Next 30 mins? I have friends that would do this.

Whats your thinking on this And don't follow like Sheep. Give your Own #4 option if you want too.

Floors open for discussion :
I have done and would do #2. I wouldnt walk right up to it and put the barrel on the hair but 5-10 yards or so and keep my gun on him the whole time or it could be #1 if hes laying at a perfect angle where you could get the final kill shot (neck). depends on how far I was away in #1. but will probably still do #2 just to make sure he is finished off humanely.
I couldn't just set there for 30 min. and watch it die. I would rather ruin some meat and not make the animal suffer. When I've had to finish them off, I get at close range (10 to 20 yards) and put another shot in them. But that's just me.
I've done all three. I won't do #3 again. Now I do more of a combination of 1 & 2. Its more fare to the animal and your not blazing away like an idiot.
#3 is out...It is your DUTY as an ethical hunter to finish the beast off as quickly and as humanely as possible....

There are conditions...IF the animal appears able to get up and get out of there, make every effort to make a sure kill shot as soon as possible...#1 is called for there...

IF the animal appears anchored but does not look like like it will die VERY SOON, approach it to where you can make a SURE shot and administer the coup de grace...I usually shoot a wounded animal in the head or at the base of the neck where the head joins the body...If it is a wallhanger, I'd finish it off with a shot in the lungs....

Whether it looks dead or still alive you should always approach a downed big game animal from the rear and have your rifle ready ...That way if if gets up and underway unexpectedly, you are LESS apt to get run over and you are in a good postion to make a good followup shot..
i would not wait 30 mins and let it suffer. i guess sometimes it might take 30 mins for a bow shot animal to die but even then if i found the animal down i would make an attempt to finish it humanely. i would probablly get pretty close and shoot it again but i dont think point blank is the best way
#4- it is a combonation of #1 and #2. my 1st bull i hit him with the first shot and he ran a little ways and stopped, i was ~50 yrds from him and shot him again- he was dead when i got to him. #2 bull i shot in the chest and into his far shoulder, he went down right there but was trying to get up but i was able to walk up to him and finish him off with a shot in the heart/lungs. I say take the shot when you have to, i don't like waiting to see "if" they are going down- help them out a little.
I would do any of the three, but if I was archery hunting then #3 is the way to go. Then again if I was rifle hunting I would hate to waste the meat and I think that is more of my responsibility as a hunter then putting it out of its missery. It is just a wild animal and to get all emotional over it is well..... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Well it all depends on the situation. If the first shot was a good one and the animal is down and not attempting to get up, there's no reason to shoot again. I will just stay back a bit where the animal can't see me and let it die. I can't imagine it taking 30 minutes to die, if that was the case then another shot is definitely called for. A finishing shot in the lungs is best in my opinion. Sure a head shot will do the job but it can be kind of gruesome, and with a neck shot there's no tellin' how many shots it will take. I would prefer to finish it with only one.
If I have an elk down, and dying,(no matter if its a bull or cow) the next shot will go into the the back of the head, at were the neck and head meet, no other shot..

I'm not saying that I'm going to watch the elk run off until it drops then shoot at ungod range...I would move up to it until I'm at a range( the closer the better) that I feel good at then shoot...

Of the 9 elk I've killed, I made one bad shot, and lost the elk :mad: I'll never do that again....

See. I always Learned to Let the Animal Lie for 1/2 - 1 hour then Persue it. The only difference is You can't see it die. Isn't it Dieing all the Same ? If your Goal is to get Meat, You don't want to put more amo into it. And if it's Worthy to mount you don't want to shoot it in the Head. So for all those that said they would do #1 or #2 (Hehehe I said you're doing a #2 ;) ) then where would you shoot the Animal not to ruin meat ? Because we all know thats als oyour goal is to Salvage as much meat as Possible.

Is #3 wrong, Or is it just aunethical if you can See it die ? If you shoot it and it goes it the Thick brush, Do you pursue it right away and Bump it to possibley loose it ? How Unethical it that ? Just making ya think. ;)

Bear down, Thanx for telling me about the Harvest thing, I'll try to remember that ;)
Now you are changing the story on us. ;) If I was bow hunting, then I would follow the "sit down and wait" approach. But if I can see it go down, or if I know it's a good hit (and I usually know that), I will follow it up.

To me, the goal of getting meat is secondary to the animal suffering. If it is a trophy, I will still shoot it in the neck. My bull was shot in the neck, and you'd never know to look at the mount. With all four legs in the air, though, I knew he was DRT.
Oscar you forgot option #5

Go up and slit its throat.

I did it once on a small bull elk and never do it again. I never felt that much pain in a long time ;)
if the elk isnt stiff(dead stiff goofball) as a board I aint getting next to it.

Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

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