Caribou Gear

I know, dangerous ammo question

wyoboypt

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Oct 4, 2017
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830
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Wyoming
No elk ever takes a bullet through both lungs and walks away to see another day... no matter the caliber...:unsure:
Yeah but do you really want it to take 10 minutes to die? Or even 5? Most of the country I hunt is open but there’s lots of country where an elk can easily disappear in some tall thick cover. And with little blood to trail, that can lose you an animal. That’s my point. Of course it will die!
 

shannerdrake

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Feb 14, 2017
Messages
533
Location
Indiana
I only shoot mono copper bullets. It is undeniable that lead bullets leave fragments even when only soft tissue is contacted. Not saying that all lead “shatter” but all lead leaves microscopic amounts of lead in the meat. And not just around the wound channel. Some folks don’t care or are OK with a degree of lead consumption. I am comfortable with exactly zero lead consumption.

That being said, I prefer penetration to expansion with elk. That’s not to say I am not getting both. I have recovered about a dozen solid copper bullets from elk and every one of them were perfect mushrooms. Those shots have ranged from 1800fps out of a muzzleloader to 3100 out of a 300wm.

The last animal I shot with a lead bullet was a 150gr Hornady SST out of a 308win at about 2800fps. I shot a deer at 40 yards. The bullet didn’t exit. It basically blew to pieces. I recovered 5 larger pieces that weighed right around 100gr. Sorry but I’m not eating 50gr of lead.

I know everyone has their favorite bullets and mine is a Barnes TTSX.

Good luck!
 

shannerdrake

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Feb 14, 2017
Messages
533
Location
Indiana
Yeah but do you really want it to take 10 minutes to die? Or even 5? Most of the country I hunt is open but there’s lots of country where an elk can easily disappear in some tall thick cover. And with little blood to trail, that can lose you an animal. That’s my point. Of course it will die!
Does anyone have real world evidence of a double-lunged elk taking 10 minutes to die and not leaving a blood trail?

I’ve heard this one a few times, but it’s usually a story from a sister’s cousin’s boyfriend or something like that.

As an archery hunter I’ve grown weary of the stories of “perfectly” hit deer that got away because of xyz broadheads not working. If and when those deer are recovered, they are NEVER hit perfectly. I wonder if the majority of “bullet failure” stories are more inline with shooter failure.
 

S-3 Ranch

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Jan 23, 2022
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301
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West Texas - Hesperus Colorado
Does anyone have real world evidence of a double-lunged elk taking 10 minutes to die and not leaving a blood trail?

I’ve heard this one a few times, but it’s usually a story from a sister’s cousin’s boyfriend or something like that.

As an archery hunter I’ve grown weary of the stories of “perfectly” hit deer that got away because of xyz broadheads not working. If and when those deer are recovered, they are NEVER hit perfectly. I wonder if the majority of “bullet failure” stories are more inline with shooter failure.
Not a elk they are thin skinEd, nilgai antelope yes
 

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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2,246
Location
Ramsay, MT
These threads tend to go on and on.

Anyway, ammo availability is still sparse at times, but elk are big, brother. If you've never shot one before, you'll be surprised the first time you're standing next to one on the ground. I think you ought to keep looking a bit longer for ammo with a bonded-core bullet to shoot in your 7mag. The argument about the 6.5CM on elk has been raging a while, but consider that there is no argument about the 7mag, it's adequate. And bonded bullets over cup-and-core all day long.
 

sneakem

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Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
780
Location
Western, CO
Yeah but do you really want it to take 10 minutes to die? Or even 5? Most of the country I hunt is open but there’s lots of country where an elk can easily disappear in some tall thick cover. And with little blood to trail, that can lose you an animal. That’s my point. Of course it will die!
Put it where it counts, they rarely leave sight distance... Many times I've trailed animals with little to no blood with poorly placed shots from heavy recoiling magnums. My point is use a gun that you can comfortably shoot well and take an ethical well placed shot.

My significant other takes an elk every year with a .243 (always one shot), not the most ideal elk gun, but she could shoot your eye out at 200 yards with it. She's likely shot less than 100 rounds in her entire life...
 

wyoboypt

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Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
830
Location
Wyoming
Does anyone have real world evidence of a double-lunged elk taking 10 minutes to die and not leaving a blood trail?

I’ve heard this one a few times, but it’s usually a story from a sister’s cousin’s boyfriend or something like that.

As an archery hunter I’ve grown weary of the stories of “perfectly” hit deer that got away because of xyz broadheads not working. If and when those deer are recovered, they are NEVER hit perfectly. I wonder if the majority of “bullet failure” stories are more inline with shooter failure.
I only am sharing from my own experience, otherwise I wouldn’t share at all. But maybe it’s not worth much since I don’t live in Wyoming and kill 2-3 elk every year. Oh wait yes I do.
 

BenInMT

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Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
382
Location
Western Montana
Yeah but do you really want it to take 10 minutes to die? Or even 5? Most of the country I hunt is open but there’s lots of country where an elk can easily disappear in some tall thick cover. And with little blood to trail, that can lose you an animal. That’s my point. Of course it will die!
I’m with you. I hunt really rugged country. At the very least they’ll run off a ridge and die in some nasty hole creating a bunch of extra work. I once watched my friend shoot a cow at 20 yards. We followed red blood spray in the snow coming out of the offside lung for maybe 5 miles. We kept thinking it’d be dead over the next hill, behind the next sagebrush. Ended up pushing it onto property we couldn’t get on and never got that elk. Surely it died eventually. I mostly take high shoulder shots, dead right there.
 

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