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Old 01-28-2003, 10:31 AM   #1
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Default bullet placement

What shot do you take on an elk? A bullet in the lungs or do you aim for the shoulder? Can premium bullets hold up to shoulder shots on Elk?

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Old 01-28-2003, 11:19 AM   #2
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:39 AM   #3
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Default RE: bullet placement

On a broadside shot, I always aim for a lung shot tight behind the shoulder and in the middle of the body. Miss high, you hit the spine. Miss forward, you hit the shoulder. Miss low, you hit the heart. Miss back and you hit the liver. All fatal shots.

Yes, premiums will punch through the shoulder.
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:44 AM   #4
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Default RE: bullet placement

A liver-shot elk can run a long, long ways. Best to knock his wheels out. Hold center on the shoulder.

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Old 01-28-2003, 03:36 PM   #5
 
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Default RE: bullet placement

This is one of those tough questions that each person will answer from his own experience.
My opinion is the same as txhunter. I have seen elk with a front shoulder busted and other elk with the rear quarter joint busted just keep on running I was amazed at how far they went.
A good double lung shot will drop an elk quickly, and a spine shot drops them immediately. If you only get one lung the elk can still cover quite a distance.
I am sure others here have seen elk drop by taking out the front shoulder, that has not been my experience unless you hit high in the shoulder and hit the spine also.
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Old 01-28-2003, 04:26 PM   #6
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Default RE: bullet placement

I'm with Tx on this one, just behind the shoulder !!
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:19 PM   #7
 
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Default RE: bullet placement

Straight through the shoulders (center) is straight thru the lungs - no locomotion - they don't get away very often! (Assuming of course, you aren't using a 30-30 or some other fly weight). It takes a good powerful cartridge and a quality (partition and up), heavy for caliber bullet to make it work well though. If you don't have enough gun or enough bullet or a quality bullet, then it's best to take the "detour" and "thread it" in behind the shoulder (your angle needs to be good and your deviation needs to be small) and hope for the best.

Second day of the early season, two years ago, in the early morning I came across a beautiful 6x6 laying near the trail rigor mortis starting to set in and just starting to bloat up real nice. Most likely shot the late afternoon/evening before. Classic "white tail shot" right behind the shoulder half way up. That bull elk ran far enough that that hunter didn't get to claim his trophy, his odds of running him down would have been lots better if he had taken one or both shoulders. (A desperate hunter did cut the antlers off two days later (had to be ripe).

Where to hit'em will rage on just like cartridge selection. I'll always vote for "bust'em through the shoulder" with something big. If you do, then you'll own them right there and that 100 to 150 pounds of "wrapped" meat won't be rotting by the trail.

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Edited by - ELKampMaster on 01/28/2003 18:28:51
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:33 PM   #8
 
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Default RE: bullet placement

i think that if you shoot thru the front shoulder then you have more bone to hit and make 3 legged animals if the bullet stops at the bone. if you take out the lungs then it usually drops after 20-30 yds. how long can you hold your breath, now how long can you hold it running????

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Old 01-28-2003, 08:41 PM   #9
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Default RE: bullet placement

A shot through the lungs will kill any animal faster than any other shot. As the lungs bleed out the blood pressure drops and the animals brain tells the heart to beat faster to accomodate for the loss of pressure. As the pressure keeps dropping the heart keeps beating faster and faster and more blood leaves the animal. Part of the lungs are located behind the front shoulder, but not that much. I aim just behind the crease in the shoulder. You get the lungs and / or heart and get far better penetration than through the shoulder.
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Old 01-28-2003, 10:48 PM   #10
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Default RE: bullet placement

If it is a cow elk, spike bull, or rag horn I will hit it behind the front leg in the center of the body. If it is a mature bull elk, I will hit it square in the shoulder. I am primarly a meat hunter, but if I see a big bull I want to anchor it right there. Good luck.

Edited by - handloader1 on 01/29/2003 00:06:00
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