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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tomorrow morning will be opening day for our 1st season Coastal bull elk hunt (western oregon), my hunting partner will be my dad. Alarm is set for 3:30 AM, spent all of today keeping tabs on about 30 cows with 4 bulls, 2 spikes, a double spike (very cool), and a 5 point.

By my count there will be 6-7 hunters on these elk, but i am liking my odds very much, hope to post pictures in a few days (hopefully of that double spike).


I will be carrying my M77 MKII .338 WM, my bullet will be 225 grain nosler partitions.

My dad will be carrying his old savage 110 using 180 grain accubonds.

Nothing is gaurenteed while elk hunting, but i am pretty excited about how pinned down these elk are.


P.S It never fails, night before opening day of elk season, I am very jittery.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This morning the elk were not where we hoped for them to be, right at daylight somone shot the spike, and double spike. Herd got broke up in the chaos, we managed to get into them at around 8 in the morning, they were on the run. We managed to cut them off at a spot they like to cross a dirt road, moving from one stand of timber, to another. We got at the spot to intercept them maybe 20 seconds before they came running into us.

My dad was with my uncle accross the stream, i stopped short on the other side of the road. First they ran right into my dad, but he wasnt able to get a clear shot with all of the cows. They veered to the left, passing directly in front of me at about 5 yards. Theres the 5 point, broadside without any cows obscuring the shot, moving at around 2-3 MPH ( Very confused elk). At about the time im squeezing the trigger, i realize my safety was on :eek:, needless to say as soon as i flicked it off, he was surrounded by cows again, and they are trying to go around me at about 15 yards, so naturally i turn to run back 15 feet or so to attempt to get another shot at the 5 point. Somehow a branch got entangled in my foot, and i went down face first. As i am trying to regain my feet, i look up and see the 5 point perfectly broadside with no cows in the way at about 10 yards, of course by the time i regain my feet he is surrounded again.

Finally i was able to get into better position, and he goes behind a mess of vine maple, at about 12-13 yards, i took the shot. Nothing, i missed. I moved into position one more time to try and get another look. I got one more opening at about 10 yards, his front half was not being protected by cows, and i hurried a shot. I lost sight of him as the cows shifted, and the crossed the dirt road, into some more timber, behind our line.

I was staying to find blood, they went off to see if they could cut them off again. I start after them from where they entered expecting to see blood, nothing. Okay, im not too worried, sometimes it takes a few yards for them to start leaving a good trail, so i go on, nothing.

After about 200 yards, i started heading back to the starting point, wondering what the heck just happened. When i get back to where they were standing when i shot him, i decide to look for any blood that might be there. Thats when i spotted him, lying right where i shot him. Then he tried to lift his head up, and gave it a little kick so i put one in his neck, to end his suffering if nothing else. Still took another 2-3 minutes to expire.

Bullet (225 gr nosler partition) entered high on the front shoulder, breaking it, and lodged somewhere into the off shoulder which i will find while butchering. Was pretty surprised by the lack of penetration, even though massive bones were hit at high velocity. Did not hit any vital organs ( guess thats why he took so long to expire), but the lungs were bloodshot on the entire upper half. Next year its time to try the X bullets.

 

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I'm totally amazed that partition stayed inside the elk. I've shot a bunch with 180 grainers in .300 mag and only recovered one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm totally amazed that partition stayed inside the elk. I've shot a bunch with 180 grainers in .300 mag and only recovered one.
I have been growing more concerned over this, i will post pictures of the bullet and weigh it when i find it. I dont know how fast the 225 grain partition was going, but it hadnt slowed any from the muzzle yet.

I wonder what would have happened had i been using 210 gr partitions? I think next year i will move up to 250 gr partitions, or maybe 225 grain X bullets. If that would have been a mature bull it would have been 250-300 lbs heavier as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Glad you didn't drive your muzzle into some mud! Well done. Sounds like pre-season scouting pays off once again!
Thanks, I did a lot less scouting then i wanted too, got pretty lucky the way that entire situation worked out. Today my dad and uncle were able to get into half of that heard again, no bulls. They started getting into the main herd again though so hopefully we can get back on them.
 

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I've been entangled in a mess of confused elk before, and it's quite an experience! Congrats Barkbuster.
 

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Higher velocity often reduces penetration. I wouldn't worry a lot about it. Congrats!
 

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Well done. I agree with mikeg. the higher V at impact is damaging the bullet more and making it penetrate less. stretch that shot out 150-300 yards and the bullet would perform better after slowing just a bit. we've got to get you on a 45/70 Marlin if you are going to shoot them that close.
 

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I agree with Mike. Launching a bullet at 2850-2900 fps and hitting inside of 20 yards - through bone - is tough duty, even for a NP. For the type of country you hunt Barkbuster, I would move up to a 250 just to get the velocity down a bit. And, they'll work fine for the long shots in clearcuts. It all worked out anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree with Mike. Launching a bullet at 2850-2900 fps and hitting inside of 20 yards - through bone - is tough duty, even for a NP. For the type of country you hunt Barkbuster, I would move up to a 250 just to get the velocity down a bit. And, they'll work fine for the long shots in clearcuts. It all worked out anyway!
Thanks shawn, i have a batch of 250 gr NP's all ready to go for next year.. It did work out, but it really could have went south with that little of penetration. Honestly, had i been using the RMEF's endorsed 210 NP i would have had problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well done. I agree with mikeg. the higher V at impact is damaging the bullet more and making it penetrate less. stretch that shot out 150-300 yards and the bullet would perform better after slowing just a bit. we've got to get you on a 45/70 Marlin if you are going to shoot them that close.
I almost grabbed my 30-30, i have a hard time passing on my .338 WM for elk hunting though. Just starting to break it in. 45-70 would be perfect for what i do though, or a 50-70.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, i butchered the front half of the elk today, the front shoulder that my bullet entered first was completely shattered. The off shoulder was broke but not shattered, was probably a little functional still. Found the bullet in some meat couple inches from the shoulder blade, and it looks very good, havent weighed it yet. In the next couple days i will post pics of the bullet, and how much it weighs.
 

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was the bullet in the near shoulder or the far? If it was in the far that sounds like pretty good penetration.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
was the bullet in the near shoulder or the far? If it was in the far that sounds like pretty good penetration.
It was in the far shoulder, and broke off part of the shoulder socket. Bullet weighed 166 grains. I am not very happy about how that worked out though, i i got more damage than i wanted on the near shoulder, and lack of penetration and damage on the off shoulder. This elk was probably only 2 1/2- 3 years old, i figure he hung around 400 lbs, a mature rosie is gonna put on quite a bit more mass, and i think the 225 grain partition is just too light for reliably anchoring them close up.. Not sure how fast that bullet was going, but it was loaded up with 72 grains of IMR4351 in remington brass, and it was literally almost a muzzle shot, i think the 250 grain partition is the ticket.
 
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