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Wolf Hunting Caliber

Old 01-09-2021, 01:57 PM
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Default Wolf Hunting Caliber

For those of you who have hunted wolves and taken shots beyond a 100 or 200 yards, what calibers did you find worked best? I've been reading up on this lately and opinions are all over the map.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:13 PM
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I have not hunted wolves yet but am very interested in the responses you get. I would think something along the lines of 243/6mm but am curious to see what actually works. Are you looking to save the furs or not?
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:52 PM
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well I have hunted wolves but always more of a side deal, as in AK on other hunts and would grab a tag just in case chance came about
been about a ton of buddies that have shot there fair share in AK and Alberta over the decades
all pretty much just used there deer rifles and in calibers of the likes
a few guys I knew that did a lot of hunting with them being the main target animal, also tended to just use there deer rifles or rifles they felt comfortable with at ranges they planned to shoot at them!
and most of the guys sold hides or did mounts out of them afterwards without too much damage, pending like anything range and shot placement

none of the guy's I know claimed them to be that hard to kill, thick boned or fur?
and I seen some of there's that were pretty HUGE wolves they got, extremely impressive how big some of them can get!
SO< for me, MY vote would be use any deer caliber rifle you feel confident with!
no need to go buy anything special for them!
300 yards and under I would think a 22-250 would be a great caliber with right bullet!
I've knocked down 40-50 lb coyotes with mine out to about 500 yards and never felt under gunned !

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Old 01-09-2021, 05:33 PM
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I have some friends who have killed wolves in Ontario. Like mrbb said, they were deer hunting and had a wolf tag. Most deer calibers will do.
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:44 AM
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anything from 22-250 to 270 257wby I would think...

maybe 243, 25-06, 6.5prc rpm etc...as Ideal....270wsm

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Old 01-19-2021, 07:44 PM
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For those of you who have hunted wolves and taken shots...
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Old 01-20-2021, 05:47 AM
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if your asking for actual results of certain calibers on how they did on a wolf
I doubt asking about" shots taken" matters
if they didn;'t connect , or animal was recovered to examine what "X" caliber bullet did no??
other wise all the baic above info applies here
wolves are not magically created they have vitals like most animals of there same size and as such, calibers that work on them(deer pronghorns, MT lions, Bears and so on)
will work just as well on Wolves!
if you place a bullet with enough energy in the right place !

I again have personal friends that have killed MANY of them using said calibers!




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Old 02-09-2021, 12:27 PM
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I've guided big game for almost a decade in wolf country, had in that time 7 guys take shots at wolves at ranges from 40 to 600 yards, and still havent had a hunter bring one in. 3 were hit and never recovered, rest were misses. Reasons for misses are they never give you much time, ranges change quick and you're likely shooting from bad positions or offhand. Of the hits, two looked like real solid body shots, but we never found em. They don't bleed much and they move unpredictably when they're hit. And they're a lot tougher than you think, and vital areas are smaller - knew a guide, the hunter shot one at 500 yards, blew a leg mostly off, wolf spun for a while while he told the hunter to shoot it again - the guy figured it didn't need it, said it's just a big dog. When they got down there, they found a leg on the ground where the wolf chewed it off, and then they heard the rest of the pack tear it apart.
Anyways, my advice would be to use a capable gun, and something you can shoot offhand and quickly, but something that will kill a wolf on a bad angle shot as well. I have carried a .243 a few times, but I loaded it with TSX bullets, and that's definitely as small as I'd go
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:35 PM
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Thanks Pheasant. I like your thoughts about a 243 in TSX. And my apologies to mrbb. I should have phrased things better. I've never been wolf hunting but am considering it. When I read articles and look at some of the hunting forums, guys are all over the map. A lot of trappers use a 22 LR or 22 mag. They actually kill wolves so they have a point. Some guys say it's just a big dog and any 22 CF will be fine. Others say you need a deer caliber. And some people who must have vivid dreams or nightmares seem to think you need some kind of elephant gun.

What I was hoping to find was some guys who hunt wolves regularly and have formed opinions based on what worked and what didn't work for them. They would probably need to hunt in Alaska, Canada, Montana or Idaho. No offense to anybody who posted and thanks for your help but I wanted to get those actually people who killed wolves and not stories passed on 3rd hand. I read a book about the Wolfman of Alaska who was a government trapper that also hunted wolves. He used a 30-06 and 220 Swift the most. He never said why he used the Swift so much but did mention missing shots with it due to wind deflection. That was the kind of info I was hoping to learn. My thinking is a 243, 25-06 or one of those 6mm's would probably be about perfect for anchoring a wolf, making longer range shots out to 500-600 yards or so and bucking the wind well. And it should be plenty of medicine for a yote, lion or other mid size critter.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:48 AM
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Elkman, you can read till your insane with options and opinions and feed back and???

its liekd eer calibers, what is BEST
there isnl;t one period
ALL you can do is use basic logic here and have a caliber that packes what YOU consider enough energy to kill at ranges you plan to shoot at
and then have a rifle capble in YOUR hands of making them shots

killing anything isn;t all about "X" caliber or "X" bullet
there is NO magic one

I have shot deer with calibers from 50 BMG 750 grain soft point hunting bullets and 10,000+ ft lbs of energy
and seen deer hit at under a 100 yards standing still, go thru both shoulders making a hole you could toss a football thru and they RAN over a 150+ yards on VIDEO
I have seen same shot with smaller caliber have same results

some times critters just have a last burst of RUN in them that logic will never figure out!

the whole name of hunting any animal and KILLING it is to hit a vital with either bullet or blade and cause either shock value to organs or actually damaging them with the projectile that hits them!

which simply come down to again having enough energy to get to vitals and you placing the projectile in a vital

people way over think this stuff, and its real easy to get caught up in searching for wanting to BUY the best from day one!
I sold tens of thousands of guns, been about hunters killing thousands of game animals over the decades, from crop damage to hunts across the USA and else where
and seen the same caliber bullet some claim ALWAYS WORKS, fail,. and vice versa seen calibers many say too small or?? work fine

I seen game fall over and run from same calibers and like hits too!

a BAD hit will always be a BAD hit, and in most cases a lost critter, pending HOW bad the hit is

and a GOOD hit will be a DEAD critter, some times they will drop as they stand/sit/lay
others they will run a bit!

Trappers in AK, and I know a few personally(as well as know again several guides and a bunch of hunters that live there)


many carry smaller calibers due to there dispatching critters in traps up close and head shots!
there NOT specifically hunting wolves with them, but many sure will take a chance if they can at a free roaming one!

very few if any NOW sponsored hunters as in hunting TV shows and such, are NOT taking 500-600 yard shots at wolves, unless there taking the shot ONLY due to being there and saying what the HECK why not TRY.
hunters that want to make money off hides are taking shots they KNOW they can make and save the hide from as much damage as possible
shooting far is risking at best from a hunting stand point unless you carrying a lot of gear
I was part of a long range shooting video s series, so I have real experience here, I have also been a 1,000 yard plus shooter since the late 80's
so have decades of experience in long range shooting and hunting!

don't over think things, get a rifle in a caliber you enjoy, and can shoot it well, and pretty much any centerfire rifle will work on wolves, if you do your part right, and that is simply, place a bullet with enough lethal energy , in the animals vitals,
at ranges you KNOW, you can make the shot at, and have done so many times from LIKE shooting positions
the time to know if you can or cannot is NOT when shooting at live animals!
there is a LOT more to shooting far than knowing bullet drop and wind drift
one of the hardest parts to learn is reading the wind, and this is why, I DON"T recommend many honest should eb shooting past 500 yards period at live game unless they have a LOT fo time practicing and know there pwn limits and be honest about them!

NO bash here, just being honest

my info from wolves being killed by friends is NOT 3rd hand, but second hand from folks I trust and have hunted with many times and know there shooting skills well!
the above advice will work if you follow it!



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