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Question on Hunting Coast Elk

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by JoeZeon, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. JoeZeon

    JoeZeon Portland Member

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    This is my first post along with being my first hunt, so bear with me. In September a friend of mine asked if I'd be interested in going Elk hunting with him in November, being that I've always wanted to, I jumped all over it. Since then I've been slowly building up my gear and have stared practicing with my rifle. This is my first Elk hunt and I want to do it right, so I have a question for you guys.

    What is the average range you guys have taken Elk? 50? 100? 200 yards? I want to get proficient at that range so I can be confidant at taking a clean/ethical shot.

  2. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Practice out to about 200 yards. If you can shoot 3-5 round shot groups within 1.5"- 2" (minute of elk) consistently (1" or less shot groups are even better) @100 yards you should be able to easily hit anything "elk size" out to 200 yards with a good scope and rifle.

    IMO, the best shot placement (deer or elk) is broadside just behind the front leg about center from top to bottom... heart and lungs reside there.
    orygun and (deleted member) like this.
  3. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I won't shoot more than 300 yds on an animal. That's my self imposed limit. Ok, yeah, if I got a shot at 327 for example, I'd take it but beyond that there are just too many variables in my opinion. For coastal elk 300 yds ought to get you about 95% of everything you can see and cleanly identify plus you won't need a super magnum rifle either. Not that there is anything wrong with magnums if you have one, but a lot of guys have problems with magnum recoil and unrealistic expectations of what it will buy you at distance. My average range is about 125 yds. I've killed 6 elk in my life.
  4. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    All but one shot has been within 100 yards for me . My last Elk was taken at 352 yards. Did not know this until the next day ( took a range finder back) when I finished packing it out.
  5. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Cowlitz County Active Member

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    My last elk was at 44yds in the timber, used my 6.5swede on him, one shot one kill.
  6. dplev4

    dplev4 Oregon Member

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    200 yards for the Coast is reasonable. You will probably got a shot closer. If you ever hunt the eastern units, then 300 yards is not uncommon.
  7. oldbrass

    oldbrass WA Active Member

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    I `ve never shot an animal that was over 125 yards elk or deer..30-30 works just fine here on the wet side. if you can hit a coffee can at 100 yards your good
  8. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Its rare that you get a shot at much over 125 yards if you are in the woods. Hunt the private farms and ranches and its a different story.

    I always pack a rangefinder and my bow shots always seem to be at 100-120 yards. I certainly won't take a shot with a bow at that range but that where I seem to see the deer. Max bow shots for me would be in the 40-60 yard range. Thats in Eastern Oregon where the woods are much more open. Most of the coast range is very brushy and difficult to hunt so ranges are usually pretty close. I agree with the comment about using a good old 30-30 or 35 rem lever rifle. They are great brush guns and will handle 90% of available shots.

    Some of the open meadows can present long shots and if you track an Elk herd to one of those locations thats your 200-300 shot. Then you will need a longer range rifle like a 30-06, 270, 308 or one of the popular magnums. Make sure you hold those magnums tight when you shoot they can pop out your eyeballs or give you dreaded "scope eye!"
  9. kd7vdb

    kd7vdb United States Member

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    On the coast, might as well get a good lever gun. Average is probably less than 50yds practice to 100.
  10. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Watch out for those steep uphill and downhill shots. Strange things can happen if you don't understand how much a trajectory changes when you are shooting uphill and downhill. Especially with slower cartridges like the 30-30. (ask me how I know this! ;) ) For the first 100-200 yards your point of impact will rise significantly.

    Good coastal hunting is often in pretty steep country, so be prepared, and practice more than just flat, level shooting.
    I also agree with the post above. A good lever or pump gun will afford you a quick second shot, in thick brushy situations like the coast can offer.
  11. 23Bandit

    23Bandit Aloha, OR Active Member

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    I've shot 2 elk in the coast range. The first one was at 25 yards with a 30-06 straight through his neck that dropped him on the spot. The second was almost 300 yards downhill in a clear cut with a 7mm Magnum. I put three bullets within 3" of each other right through both lungs, and he just kept eating. It wasn't until that 3rd bullet went through him when he finally walked a few feet forward and dropped in his tracks. It was the most durable Elk I've ever seen...LOL!!!:huh:
  12. kd7vdb

    kd7vdb United States Member

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    Oh and there are a few clear cuts too!

  13. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    A man understands close when using iron sights, that part is easy. The trouble is when you see an elk at 550 yards through a scope of 9x or 10x and you are sighted in for three hundred yards and believe he is 300 yards away.
    When in doubt - or not!!! ------------ Hold on the back bone inside the hair line with cross hairs of your duplex. Take your time, you can and make a good shot. If you miss hold the stump of your redical as a post in the same place for your second shot. [ Move the scope up hill and use the dark center post instead of the fine hairs. ] Watch the animal for signs of the hit closely from the time you fire.
    The bullet drop from 300 out to 500 yards is usually 30 inches or more depending on the caliber, bullet design, weight and speed ''And that is if the rifle is sighted in for 300 yards''
    They didn't have bullet drop compensators when I was a kid. This stuff works.
    Or buy a range finder and learn your guns ability. Shoot alot.
    Silver Hand
  14. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    I read the comments a couple of thins missing-
    One is a rangefinder with ARC technology - gives you accurate ranges for uphill and downhill shots. An awesome tool.
    Two - Practice packing with a simulated load over the type of terrain you will be hunting. It will build you up rapidly and packing out an elk is hard enough if you are healthy to start with.

    There is also the quartering the elk for packing out. Are you ready. knowledgeable about gutting ? May want to steady that some.

    Good fortune on your hunt