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I am going Elk hunting in November 2009 in Montana (close to Idaho border). I have never been Elk hunting, but have hunted deer

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  • I am going Elk hunting in November 2009 in Montana (close to Idaho border). I have never been Elk hunting, but have hunted deer

    I am going Elk hunting in November 2009 in Montana (close to Idaho border). I have never been Elk hunting, but have hunted deer/bear in the Adirondacks and Catskills for 35 years. I have plenty of rifles, but none more powerful than my Remington Model 760 Gamemaster .30-06 pump. It has a Redfield Widefield 2x-7x scope on it. The guide that we will be using said that in the area we will be hunting, we will be shooting 150 to 350 yards. He also said the .30-06 is powerful enough to drop an elk. My friend in Montana said that he has dropped every elk he's taken with a .30-06 (and he's shot 14 of them). What do you think? And secondly, if I use my .30-06, what is the best cartridge to use? Thanks...Steve from NJ

  • #2
    i'd go with 180 grain remington core-lokt bullets

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    • #3
      30-06 is plenty for Elk. That is my all around caliber. I have shot Moose, Elk, Deer & Antelope with a 30-06. For Elk & Moose I use a 180 grain Barnes TSX. I would take the gun you are familiar with vs. going out and buying something new. Shot placement for Elk in tough country is VERY critical. You don't want to have to track a wounded Elk in Western Montana or Eastern Montana for that matter. Hope this helps.

      Chris Johnsrud

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      • #4
        I think cjohnsrud is dead on. If you have a gun you are already familiar with you are mostly ready. I would not argue with his recommendation on a cartridge either. I have talked to too many hunters to not try to reinforce what he said about shot placement. Elk can be very resistant to shots that would drop a whitetail in its tracks, have seen it myself. They can and will travel a bunch if the shot is not pretty much lethal on first contact.
        Good luck and be sure to post pics if you get one.

        Comment


        • #5
          I live not too terribly far from were you are going hunting. Congrats. You will have a ball. The elk hunting here in Montana can be a blast. Not on to caliber selection. You will be just fine with that 30-06 provided you do your part (and no caliber will save the hunt if you don't do your part). I would recommend using some 180 grain partitions. Here's the important thing. Have you ever shot 350 yards? Your guide is not joking, here in Montana sometimes a long shot is the only shot you are going to get. A lot of people sit in a tree stand all day and brag that they have never shot over 50 yards. Don't expect that up here. Get to a good range and practice. I'd recommend a good BDC scope. Practice some range estimation. With a little bit of practice, you will find some shooting positions that make a 350 yard shot relatively easy.

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          • #6
            The above posts are right, practice-practice-practice. I've shot most of my elk with 165 grain partition, this is one of my rifles favorites and has always performed well with good expansion and retention. I would generally say 160-180 grain bullets and make sure to use a bonded or two stage expansion bullet, avoid using a ballistic tip on a big-boned animal like an elk.

            Good hunting!

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            • #7
              SGEORGE , I also use the remington pump {7600} but before i had this rifle i used the remmington 7400 semi auto,a problem developed with it using 180 grain loads as it scarred the ejector slide causing it to jam.this was pointed out to me by a gunsmith that maintained the arsenal at the ft. knox gold vault, so i figured he knew what he was saying.after sanding and polishing this slide it worked ok but my faith was lost on this weapon .he recommended that i not shoot over 165 grains . in the semi auto. SO I switched to the pump and followed his advice on this weapon as well.If after firing youre pump if you choose the 180 grain , check the inside slide for nicking on the afore mentioned slide .hopefully no problem will surface as i haven't tried that myself,no doubt the 180 is preferable for elk, i'm just advising with murphys law in mind. good luck

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              • #8
                Good choice MONTANA! Yup 3o-o6 right shot placment is the the answer for a elk. Out here you might have to take a shot into a nice herd of elk. What I mean is sometimes they group up and move off like that or some times the lead cow leads the way for the whole herd in single file kind of form. So just be prepaird for that kind of thing. Thanks 6phunter I have the 30-30 pump thats been having same problem. I never tried the 150 grain out of it yet always been the higher grains.

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                • #9
                  I guided in Colo. for several years. You'll be fine with the .30-06, as said you'll need to stick with a "quality" 180gr. You'll need to see what works best in your rifle.
                  Good luck and good hunting. Send "us" pic's. O.K. ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Depending on where your hunting in the western part of the state, i'm from Libby which is only 30 miles from the border, I know the elk there will come in even during rifle season with calls. I use my model 7 30-06 and I use it religiously, I have dropped every elk I have harvested which is 6 with it. I also bow hunt and i'm sucseful with that as well. I use 180 grain core-lokt bullets. They are very good and mushroom out nice as well. Theres a chance you will be getting closer than 40 yards away from these elk here in MT. So good luck

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                    • #11
                      Steve,
                      take a Vermonter with you to get it once you miss, being from New Jersey

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                      • #12
                        I shot a 6x6 Bull at 150 yards in CO with .30-06 using Federal High Energy Ammo with 180 Grain Nosler Partition. Ammo worked perfectly in one shot. Field dressing revealed that the bullet hit ribs going in and when exiting. The bull traveled less than 25 yards. The .30-06 is a good choice out to around 300 yards.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i have shot three elk so far with my 30-06 and it does just fine i would feel comfortable shootinng any bull with it. if you hand load u can come up with some pretty wicked loads but if you dont federal remington winchester hornady and nosler all have nice factory loads for it in alot of grains like 150 165 or 180. i use 150 barnes tipped triple shock and have them going at 3000 fps.

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