Best gun for elk and mule deer

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Andrew Shoemaker, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. IIRC the A4's were used in WWII for sniper rifles...are any of yours still original?
  2. Homey Liiiiike!!!! I swapped mine for a Sig/Sauer P226(N) in .40 with Crimson Trace grip laser, several mags, the original case, etc. Haven't shot the Springfield since I was in high school!

  3. The barreled action is original and I have a correct replacement stock.
  4. If you are new to hunting in WA, this may be another option to consider. Depending on what and where you plan to hunt, you may find the longer seasons, better coincidence with the rut, nastier weather (gets the backtails moving) and fewer hunters may be worth the additional challenge.

    Or you could do both. Though the "drawing" is over for this year, for $140 you can get a multi season permit that allows you to hunt both modern and muzzleloader for deer. Multi season elk is hard to come by, so you need to choose a method when you get your license.

    Get on There is a wealth of information.
  5. Thanks; I hunt pretty much everything huntable here, big and small game, upland and waterfowl, but haven't trotted out the smokepole for anything except targets. Hunting deer & elk with MR is like hiking through the KOA, but everyone's in blaze orange. Not really what I like to do, especially considering how many haven't got a clue how to hunt. One of my friends is constantly trying to get me to go for the master hunter program, but I don't really have the desire to teach a class full of kids.
  6. Sorry Alex I was directing that to the OP. I assumed you had hunted here quite a bit.

    Funny about all the blaze orange during modern rifle. They don't call it "the pumpkin patch" for nothing!!!
    Alex MacDonald likes this.
  7. No problemo, Fly-By. It was a little confusing! So right also about the pumpkin patch! It gets scary out there, but since Ed and Jason are out with the bows, it's probably a little safer:D.
  8. Safe is a matter of the mind. Some don't mind. Others don't matter.
  9. OK, so I'm going to throw this thread around. What if I want to hunt blacktail too? So now we have blacktail, mulies and elk...any 1 best gun for that?...someone mentioned a .300...that seems overkill to me for even elk (of course I don't know a whole lot) but I'm guessing its prolly wayy too much for blacktail. So I'll make it easy...lets put it too a vote...30-06 or .270 for all 3 Cervidae in WA?
  10. I have been pondering a .270 for similar reasons.
  11. At home the debate between the '06 and 270 was constant. One of the old hands said the 270 was a great gun depending on the dog you retrieve the cripples. I believe Elmer Keith called the 270 a hunt and chase gun, but then he liked using a 300 winchester Mag for rock chuck!

    I personally have shot mule deer with a 280 (7mm express) a .308 and 06. the difference is like eating a sandwich hole, cut diagonally or horizontally. I would go with an 06 and find loads that work well for you and the rifle or if you will be hunting a lot of open areas I would consider one of the 300 Mags unless recoil bothers you then I would consider a 7mm Mag.

    When I was a kid one of my school mates took an elk with a single shot from a .243. His dad had to follow his for about a mile after a couple of hits with a .300 so I would agree that the important thing is how well you and the rifle connect.
    Alex MacDonald likes this.
  12. It's all about shot placement,buy something That you can shoot well. Big magnums are nice if you can handle the recoil for elk,but anything from a30-30 to an 30-06 will do for deer with a bit of common sense and good bullet placement. I love the stories about 1,000 yard shots on elk,where I have hunted you couldn't see a elk passed about three hundred yards much less get a good shot at it. I have friends up in darrington that have never used anything but a 30-30 lever gun for hunting anything in western washington.
    Olive bugger likes this.
  13. Jack O'conner took a lot of elk with .270, back in the '60 or '70.
  14. I'd say if you reload, the belted magnum shells would not be my choice. Recoil is manageable with today's good pads, and ethically, shooting an elk at a kilometer is, in my book, not acceptable. That being said, it really depends on how well you and the gun fit together, as several of you have pointed out already.

    it's possible to take an elk with a .22, if you shoot him in the eye, but since it's a debate on the "best" caliber for elk or deer, what's really being asked is, what's the MOST EFFECTIVE caliber. In my opinion, you need to be looking at the weight/type/BC/design of the projectile and not the caliber-within reason. The projectile should be married to the shell/powder/primer combo in such a way to give you consistent, sure accuracy at a realistic hunting distance. Way too many hunters are caught up in the idea of extreme distance shooting, with the .300 and the .338 options. Given our state's stupid proclivity around elk spike and "true" spike traps-and they are hunting "speed traps", shooting at extreme distances without spending a boatload of $$$ on optics, you're asking for trouble. You want a rifle you'll not flinch at lugging all over the place, so it needs to be relatively light weight, including the scope. You want one that you'll enjoy shooting, with decently manageable recoil, so a bazooka isn't on the table either. Getting one that won't break the bank is great, and realizing that most decent manufacturers' computer-guided machinery will give you good tolerances means that you don't need that custom job.

    I shoot a Remington 700CDL stainless action with a fluted barrel, Not too expensive, not too much recoil with the .300WSM; find ammo readily available if I have to fly somewhere, and really enjoy shooting it. The Hornaday SST 150gr bullets I shoot for mulies will vaporize a big buck's boiler room entirely, or blow through both shoulders, dropping the animal in it's tracks. Moving up to the same round in 180gr, it does the same job on elk-and most of you saw that big 6X6 I took with it in Idaho 4 seasons ago. A .270 in the same rifle's not going to weigh any less than the .300, which is flatter-shooting than the 30-06. So, when in doubt, go with the .300WSM There! Stuck my neck out for you guys!!!:D
  15. Bullet construction. Some of the bullets out there today--many/most--weren't available 20, 30, or 50 years ago. Smaller calibers are far more practical now because there are bullets that will hold together and retain close to 100% of their weight. It gives them much greater penetration than was previously possible, turning smaller calibers into better big-animal (elk) rounds. So matching bullet construction and bullet weight to the animal you're shooting makes any cartridge more versatile and effective.

    And as BB mentioned, caliber can't make up for shot placement. A very light .270 might kick even harder than a substantial .30'06. And less recoil will almost always make you a better shooter.

    Going after deer most of the time? I'd go .270. If elk, especially trophy bulls was the priority, I'd go .30.
    Alex MacDonald likes this.
  16. Blacktails?? .243's plenty. Or the venerated 250-3000! You're not gonna get long-distance shots on these German Shepherd-sized deer anyway!
    Gary Knowels likes this.
  17. I have a savage model 99in 250-3000 with a tang sight the rifle was made in 1917 and it amazingly will still drop a deer today. I still like to hunt with the old classic even if it's not a belted magnum with a 10powered scope on it,some times I will use a old custom Mauser in 7x57 to hunt deer with and so far I have had no complaints from any deer I have ever shot with either of these old time calibers
  18. the Savage is one of our American Classics, BB: my daughter's got her great-grandfather's 99.
  19. Lots of people kill elk, mulies, blacktails, whitetails, and bears with one gun. Anything in the .270 to .300 range will work.

    Please tell me you're not one of those guys that screams "benchleg!" every time you see a big blacktail.
    Andrew Shoemaker likes this.
  20. No, there's no blacktails anywhere near here; feral cats killed them all.:eek:

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