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Is a 117 grain bullet from a 25-06 enough to kill a bull elk ethically?

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  • Mark Cox
    replied
    I’ve come to the conclusion that most answers to your question, from these hunters talking about quick kills, have never Archery hunted deer or elk. Only one time with my Bow have I dropped an elk in his tracks, and that was from a poorly placed shot on my part, high in the spine as I didn’t calculate his squatting enough as they tend to do... But with luck it severed his spinal cord... I’m sure your 25-06 has much more power than any Bow on the market today...Remember Placement is the key...

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  • Mark Cox
    replied
    I do agree with using a rifle with enough energy to penetrate thick hide animals, there is however many variables to take into count... Distance, windage, and bullet retention... That said, yes a 25-06 will and has killed many elk. I’ve taken 2 with a 300 win mag and 3 with my 25-06.
    Things you do have to remember, what range to you feel comfortable shooting, I’m talking out to 350-400 yards with a 25-06, if you’re thinking about hunting wide open areas and shots of further than 350 yards then forget the 25-06 as you’ll need more bullet weight and vilocity/energy to penetrate heavy hide animals, if you know the range you’re proficient at shooting heavy hide animals then stick to it,,, most people aren’t.
    I’ve heard others shoot at 6 point bulls with a 30-30 at 500+ yards just because the Bull was huge... that’s where it becomes more than ridiculous as a true hunter and not just a weekend warrior...
    I hope that clears it up for you, and it doesn’t hinder you from going and knowing your limits... have a safe hunt and good luck..

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  • jonf1023
    replied
    I like shooting flat accurate rounds and hunt most Big game with a 270 win. The 25-06 would do the job if everything goes well. Accurate shot,profile target,bullet works properly. But the chances of any of those things not working 100% will increase with a smaller round. Also increasing chances of wounded game and a missed opportunity. Trust me I'm not one of those 300 magnum kind of guys but when I hear those guys talking about the elk or deer they took with the .22 I cringe.

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  • wyohunter_2
    replied
    My girlfriend shoots a 25-06 117 grain bullets and has never had any problems, she has killed 2 cows and 1 bull, none of them went more that 100 yards after the shot. Practice makes perfect!!!

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  • CCMJS
    replied
    I have seen a few deer shot with the 25-06. With that said I think it makes a great coyote rifle and not much more. If your going elk hunting buy an elk rifle.

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  • jlipe
    replied
    no move up to a 270 , 7mm remington or 30-06

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  • abfreddie64
    replied
    well put Bo

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  • the captain
    replied
    I fully agree with you on the clean kill, Bo. My elk gun is a .280... and it works pretty well. I have thought of going up to one of the .30 cal super-boomers, but I just do not see the sense in it since I shoot the rifle well... and I have never had any animal run more than 50 yards after being shot with it.

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  • Bo
    replied
    Freddie, it's not just losing the animal, it is not a clean kill. An animal with a bunch of bullet holes in it is suffering, it will die but not quickly. I have shot animals that did not die when I thought they should. I did not enjoy watching it. I prefer to know when I am hunting that I have enough gun, and that when I shoot, there is no more pain for that animal. I want it dead,as soon as possible, with no adrenaline release to give it an off flavor.Then I can put it in my freezer with confidence.

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  • abfreddie64
    replied
    I have to agree with Bo on this one. Plus why would you take that risk of losing your animal if you didn't have to?

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  • Bo
    replied
    Captain, (BTW, he was not a hunting partner, just a hunter that I met while I was there. He happened to cross my path, he wasn't even supposed to be where he was. I was happy not to ever see him again as he used the spray and pray method of marksmanship.)
    As for the head shot, I had a few things going for me. Outstanding training in the Army almost 40 years ago, a well made set of shooting sticks, and an awesome shooting rifle, a Remington .270 that printed a shot group at a 100 yards covered by a nickel.. I waited until the cow stopped moving and even at over a hundred yards, with a 12 power scope, it was much easier than those 300 meter targets forty years ago that I used iron sights on.
    I shot it in the head so the guy couldn't say that I ruined his kill.

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  • the captain
    replied
    Bo, I see your point, and it is a good one. But, I guarantee if your hunting partner had put a 7mm bullet into the vitals that cow would have gone down.
    Please take this as a compliment, because a head shot on a moving elk is no small feat, but if you had hip and gut shot that elk with your .270 it still would have run away.
    I am a big fan of bullet placement and not taking a shot that you do not guarantee a clean kill. Having a smaller bullet means you must be more selective with your shots.
    With that said, I would not promote the 25-06 as an elk cartridge, but if it was all I could get my hands on I would use it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Montana_backwoods
    replied
    I dont see any thing wrong with it but personally i would not use it as a elk rifle, i shot my first bull with a 243 and it definatly killed him, and have seen many elk even killed with a 22-250, but i would still recomend a bigger gun. I have also seen many elk go along ways with a large rifle with a perfict shot in the lungs. IT all depends on the shooter i guess, like said before with any gun, shot placement is essential, and with a smaller bullet it becomes even more so. It has been done many of times but I will personally never use one agian to elk hunt, I have heard of way to may people losing elk because of a lower caliber gun. Not saying that you cant just a recomendation.

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  • Bo
    replied
    As far ethical, that is a slippery question. Most people who have hunted elk will tell you they are very resilient animals and will not usually go down easily. The cartridge you have mentioned is very light, very fast and will not have great penetration compared to standardly accepted elk rounds. Another thing to consider is that some states will not allow anything smaller than a .270 bore gun. Check the laws in the state you will be hunting for what they say is the minimum. There is nothing worse for a hunter to be undergunned and lose an animal for that reason. Well, shooting the wrong animal or a person would be worse, but you get my drift.
    Some years ago, I watched a man shoot and almost lose a cow elk when he shot it multiple times with a 7 mm (Not magnum)He told me it was just as good as my .270. It wasn't. The cow proceeded to run and I took it down for him as he had used all of his ammo, shooting at it. The elk had been hip shot and gut shot and was still mobile. I took it down with a head shot, one round.

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  • Taylor Pommier
    replied
    i wouldnt be afraid of using a 117 grain bullet as long as its well constructed and the shot and placement are good i see no problems with it

    Leave a comment:

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