Every hunter at some point in their career will want to bag themselves a prize winning trophy Elk bull, and who can blame them. At the end of the day you spend a fortune getting equipped with the right gear and the correct tools for the job, you spend long hours tracking down Elk and honing in on your hunting skills, so it’s only right you get a monster at some time.
However, it’s not as easy as just waiting and hoping to get yourself a trophy winning bull elk, oh no, for this you really have to work hard to get your target but perhaps one of the most important factors to any hunter is to pick the right elk hunting calibers to do the job for you.
Guess what? Yep, you guessed it on one, that is exactly what we are going to do here today. We are going to look at the different types of calibers and lay rest to age old rumors and chatter by showing you what you really need at your side if you want to catch the 500-inch monsters in the likes of Texas and New Mexico.
Choosing a Gun That is Comfortable
Before you start looking at calibers you need a gun that you feel comfortable with because if you don’t you just aren’t going to get that accurate shot in regardless of what’s inside it. You need a gun that your confident to hit with and you feel comfortable shooting with, and everyone is going to be different when it comes to this part of the article.
Different calibers can affect the performance of a hunter and it can play a big part to whether you are going to benefit from a successful or poor hunting experience. For example some hunters will feel happy using a .243 whilst others claim that hunting elk with a .243 isnt going to be as effective because of the lightness of the caliber.
Perhaps the minimum caliber for Elk hunting is a strong .270 Win with a 150-grain bullet but this doesn’t do much for long shooting.
When elk hunting, you may need to make a long shot delivered with exacting accuracy. This requirement rules out some calibers that are inherently inferior when reaching out over a distance. The eminently popular .30/30 fits that category, as does the .35 Rem., and other short-range cartridges.
Also a scope is an absolute must. You may need to drill a bullet through small holes in the timber, or make a precision shot at 300 yards and having one of these mounted on your gun is paramount to pulling off those otherwise impossible shots.
So What Are The Best Elk Calibers to Use?
These features elk calibers below are ideal for flat-shooting at both long and short range distances. They each offer an excellent level of penetration and are weighted at a good level that they will do maximum impact to the Elk you are looking to hit.
.338 WIN MAG (Winchester 230-gr. Fail Safe)
Many consider this the ultimate magnum for Western big game, including brown bears. The .338 has a loyal following among die-hard hunters who don’t shy away from recoil and noise.
7MM REM. MAG. (Federal 175-gr. Grand Slam)
An effective Elk killer but you don’t get as much downrange killing power as you do with the bigger magnums. Ideal with a Browning A-Bolt in this caliber for the classic all-round rifle.
.30/06 (Winchester 180-gr. Silvertip)
If you are looking for an all-rounder that will provide you with a decent level of accuracy and reliability as a must then the Winchester Silvertip should be your bullet of choice.
.300 WIN. MAG. (Winchester 180-gr. Fail Safe)
This is a good all-around caliber for North American big game, including big bears if you’re so inclined. This is probably the optimum caliber for elk; its popularity throughout the West attests to its effectiveness. Although the caliber’s recoil has intimidated some shooters in the past, today’s muzzlebrakes and recoil pads can tame it for just about anybody’s use.
.300 REM. SAUM (Remington 150-gr. PSP Core-Lokt Ultra)
Since it was introduced a couple of years ago this claiber has fast become a popular choice for elk hunters as it’s effective at taking your animal down.
Whatever caliber you choose from the above list and our advice, you will know that taking down Elk will be easier than using something that is too light or powerful. The idea is to have a rifle that is comfortable to hold, lined up with a caliber that is weighted enough and effective enough to take down prize winning elk bulls with a certain level of authority, and that’s what elk hunting is all about when it comes down to it.