Muzzleloader or shotgun slug for moose

Bigjay73

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Oct 28, 2017
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Denver
I've killed a big bull moose with a CVA Wolf, two pellets of Triple Se7en and a 250gr Hornady SST. It just stood there, so I reloaded and hit him two more times until it tipped. The moose went a couple steps after the first hit and took the other two shots just dying standing up. That first shot was 100% a kill shot, but why risk it?
The extra shots cost an infinite amount less than the regret of not shooting them. I learned that lesson 1 time and it still haunts me
 

LopeHunter

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MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
Have hunted moose once. Well, twice the same season a few weeks apart. First trip to the unit I had trouble locating bull moose though were rutting. Leaves, leaves and more leaves plus were black beef cattle everywhere which I could spot 1000 yards off and see "antlers" until got the spotter out and another moo cow. Second trip was after the leaves fell in the riparian zones and I could find moose rather easily. I was within 200 yards of several bulls and shot mine a bit over 100 yards with .338 WinMag but I was using a cane to walk and my right leg was getting sore crossing the marsh turf so did not investigate just how close could get to the bull. Likely archery range.

Ask some prior year hunters that hunted the time span you will be there as to their shot distance and if the moose were slow to spook. My first shot was lethal through both lungs but added more shots through the ribs until the moose tipped over as was in no mood to chase a bull moose further from the truck using a cane then pack out using a cane. DRT was goodness for me that day.

Best advice I got was to take a hand winch which let me raise up the hind quarter to safely start the breakdown of the carcass. You might be fine using your back to hold the rear quarter elevated as work towards the hip socket but a moose is a lot more weight than an elk so with one good leg I was quite glad a tree was close and I had the hand winch along. A portable sawzall would have been the bee's knees.

Good luck.
 

R.K.

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Jan 24, 2017
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Billings
Get some solid copper sabots, set your MPBR to 4in +/-, and get after it. I used to get 2 moa from a 12ga pump gun when I gun hunted Illinois. Fantastic weight retention and penetration, too.

Might've been overkill for deer, but I never had to track one with that setup.

The savage 220 is a damn good choice, as well.
 

Bullshot

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Two days into the rising sun
Against the regs to use rifle. Seems like ML the way to go. No excuses would be a good choice, although with pure lead it they might not get the penetration. Moose are tough skin with big bones. A ML with a pistol sidearm would give me a backup, if there's no time to reload.
there will be ZERO, I repeat ZERO problem with penetration using a heavy no excuses conical and adequate dose of powder.

on the contrary, make sure there’s no moose behind him. packing out 2 and the ticket to boot will be a heavy bit of work

I put one lengthwise through a cow elk and no projectile recovery... with a comparatively mild charge.
 

Crumb

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Minnesota
Slug gun all day long if you have a rifled barrel and a scope. Bigger hole and almost always a better blood trail.
 

SFC B

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Colorado Springs
Another vote for slug guns here. I have used several friends Remington 870s with cantilever scope mount rifled barrels with scope and they are cheap, accurate and easy to use. This year will be my second using my Benelli Nova smooth bore in IL. I tried 5 different rifled slugs to find what it like best (cheap Federal 3in) and am getting 2-3 in groups at 50 and 4-6 in at 100 using just an open ghost ring. The Savages mentioned are coveted all over slug-land. Try a few sabots with a rifled barrels and scope combo and it will be the bees knees. Another BIG consideration is not having to worry about moisture, cap failures etc. Load shells, shoot, cycle, shoot again.....easy peasy. No deer I have ever shot with a 12ga slug has taken more than 1 step..... Another question, what about pistol caliber rifles? My son has a 44m Handi rifle and that is a saaaweeeet shooter pushing a 230gr bullet.
 

shannerdrake

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Indiana
Shannerdrake, I like your reasoning, Probably a 12ga would be better than a 20, I would imagine it might kick a bit, recoil pad?. No smoke too. The Savage sounds like the route. Scope or no scope? Makes sense to me and now I have a good reason to buy another gun, yay . Thanks for your replies!
Yes I like 12 over 20 for elk and moose. It’s not “necessary” as the 20 gauge Federal Trophy Copper 3in essentially duplicates a 45/70.
The 12 will kick, no way around it, but the Savages have a pretty good pad on them. I ran a leupold VX-II 3-9x40 on mine and liked it. Never got scoped or haD problems with eye relief. But you will def want plenty of eye relief.
It’s hard for me to say how bad the recoil is. I grew up shooting slug guns and 3.5 12 gauge goose and Turkey loads. They suck sighting in, but I can’t remember feeling recoil when hunting.
As someone else already said, moisture is an issue. I’ve never hunted moose, but they seem to be in wet damp places. Considering my ML had a hangfire just last weekend on a bone dry 80 degree day, while I’ve never had a single shotgun shell fail to fire in my life - I know which one I’d want.
 

Mica Man

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Mica Flats, Idaho
If I had that tag again I'd probably use the old 870 Express with slugs. I ended up using my bow and killed a bull at 20 yrds. Most of my encounters were at close range in thick cover where a pump gun would excell for a quick follow up shot. Either way congrats on the tag!
 

midwesthunter

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Dec 7, 2015
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Northern IN
I would go slug gun, many have suggested the savage, and its a great gun. I have had great accuracy with both my 20ga & 12ga Rem 870's using a Hastings rifled barrel. The horniday sst's and lightfields shot great. You also don't have to worry about powder getting wet.
 

prongbuck

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Apr 14, 2020
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I have used both. A .50 muzzleloader with 405 gr powerbelts on a cow and an 870 with a mossberg slug barrel and 1 oz saboted slugs on a bull. My wife and a couple of freinds have killed bulls and cows with the same shotgun setup. Both will easilly kill a moose. Neither of them will drop a moose in their tracks unless you hit them in the neck. I wouldn't suggest that shot unless they are really close. As others have stated keep shooting until they hit the ground. If you use your muzzleloader I would mount a scope on it. It is very nice to have the quick backup shots with the shotgun. Have onx to be sure your on public. If you have a bull tag I would hunt the first week of October and do lots of calling.
 

T Bone

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West Slope, CO
63a has some great bulls!

Either choice will work fine!

Moose usually take a while to realize they're dead, unless you spine them.
 

elker

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Jul 4, 2012
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East Idaho
Thanks for everyone's comments. The Savage 212 bolt action seems like a good choice. Plenty of knockdown energy, great accuracy coupled with backup rounds. Just can't go wrong with that combination. Time for a new gun. I've wouldn't have know that existed without these replies. Hopefully, will be able to find a nice bull, plenty of time to hunt and I'll hunt the rut hard.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
My Savage 220 came “bore sighted” with a low grade scope. The guy at the factory doing the scope mounting at the factory was, to use a Bob Euker phrase.........


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Now that it’s putting the bullet where the scope is pointing, the copper sabot is touching shooting off the bench. It does have the worst bolt motion of any of my rifles.
 

corndog1

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Jul 4, 2017
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Bozeman Mt
I have killed two deer with slugs in a weapons restriction area and it looked like I blew out half the rib cage at the exit holes or in these cases the exit cavern.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
Been hunting with both my entire life. Tough call I usually take one of the muzzleloaders and yes I've used a savage 220. The savage is very accurate but feels like a cheap pos in the hand from the bolt to the magazine imo. Either way I'm able to get my muzzleloaders to shoot a little better anyway under an inch at 100. I've made some shots with that t/c I wouldn't of felt comfortable trying with a slug gun.
 
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