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Caribou cartridge

Old 11-20-2006, 11:28 AM
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

ORIGINAL: trailer

I guess if it all goes well for my Caribou hunt in the very near future I should forget about my 270 WSM and use my 350 Rem. Mag or borrow my brother's 338 Win. instead......
Well, I hae seen some trophies at 300 yards. So you want somethign flat.
Old 11-20-2006, 12:49 PM
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

Someone had given advice to take the lightest (weight not caliber) of the rifles you own. I am of the same opinion. Tundra is neither easy or fun to walk on. A pound either way helps, every little bit does. So, if the .308 is lighter, go with it, if its the 338, just as good.

I'd rely on a well constructed bullet, never hurts. Swift A Frames, TBBC's, NP's all work well.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:58 PM
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Location: Bradford, Ontario
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

People here obviously have a very misguided idea about the size and build of a caribou. I have taken a bunch and watched a bunch more be shot. A mature bul caribou is about the size of a large whitetail or mule deer. Most bulls weigh about 250-275 lbs on the hoof. The other thing is they are not exactly tough to anchor. And then they are typically shot out in the open where you can watch them run if they do. Use whatever rifle you prefer out of those 3 mentioned but if it was me I would use the .308 win. Actually I have taken 2 good bulls with a .308 win and they dropped in thier tracks. There is absolutely no "need" for a .338 but if you like the round there's nothing wrong with it either, by the way I have taken them with the .338 also. The last 2 I shot were both taken with a a 7mm rem mag and Nosler Ballistic tips. If I was to buy a rifle just for caribou it would be a .270 win.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

I have been on a few Caribou hunts in the last 20 years,have shot 6 myself,every time I went I carried a 30/06 loaded with 150gr cor lockets.Worked good for me,the same rifle has went almost every fall that I didnt go and has taken over 20 caribou without a complant.My thought is that your 308 will do just fine on a caribou hunt.My one suggesten would be to make sure you have good opptics on it before you go and practice shotting alot out to about 300yds .
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Geneseo NY USA
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

I'm not even worried about "stepping on toes" with this post, I'll give you my straight opinion, which agrees with some of the other posts, and it's based on shooting caribou, and seeing a number of others shot on hunts.You pretty much have every game covered, within reason, with your three guns. The .243 I'd leave at home on this hunt. You DO NOT need the .338, take it if it's your favorite gun, you like carrying it, and you shoot it well, but you are going WAY over-gunned for caribou. The .308, since it is already in your arsenal, is the gun of choice here, especially since you say you reload, as you have a ton of options. All of the bous' I've killed have been with the .308 with a 150 grain Hornady BTSP Interlock, and all dropped easily. If you are worried about the .308, which you have no reason to be, jump up to a heavier game bullet, many have been suggested, but you really don't need to. As was mentioned, these animals tend to be over-rated in size, partly because of the large rack and large belly, both of which make them look bigger. On all of the hunts I have been on, I don't remember anyone hunting with anything bigger than a 30-06, and with good shot placement, key on anything you're hunting, the caribou does not require anything more. Also, as mentioned in other posts, weight on a long day's hunt is important, good (waterproof!) optics are a must (scopes, rangefinders, and binocs). Wind is often a constant companion on the tundra, plan for that as well. Get your lungs and legs in shape prior to the hunt, and GOOD LUCK!! One more thing, when you get one, don't wait too long to gutit, their stomachs are designed to "chew up" the lichen they live on, as soon as they drop, their stomachs start swelling and become green slurry time bombs, be VERY careful with your have been warned![:'(]
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

Good advice. If I were to pick an "ideal" caribou caliber; it would probably be a .257 Weatherby, a .264 Win Mag, or a .270 WSM. The .308 will work spendidly - just not quite as much "reach". I have, however, known folks who took their .338's just in case a bear shows up in a bad mood.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:59 PM
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Location: South Dakota
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

Roskoe came up with a good point. I'd ask your outfitter about bears, and if there are bears present I'd opt for the 338. If not, I know quite a few guys that have taken caribou, and they all agree that they aren't tough to kill. Then again those guys were shooting them with 300Wby's.
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Marystown Newfoundland Canada
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

Caribou are not tough animals. The .308 will do fine espcially if it's noticably lighter than the .338. Caribou hunting often involves a lot of walking.

I hunt woodland caribou in Newfoundland (resident) and this year I seriously considered sighting my Dad's .30-30 for fifty yards and using that since in the past all my animals were taken well within that range. In the end I said the hell with it and took my scoped .30-06 again.
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Old 11-25-2006, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Westminster,MD
Posts: 4
Default RE: Caribou cartridge

I just returned 3 weeks ago from a Caribou trip toNorthern Quebec with three of my buddies.Most of the other posts are spot on. Expect tons of walking on the uneven, rockyand at times spongey tundra.The three guns we had were .257 Weatherby, 270 wsm and a 30-06. All three of us harvested 2 bulls in very similar situations, one close shot and one rather far shot. I shot my trophy at 252 yds. (according to the range finder) with my 30-06. All three of these calbers were very effective on our trip. Be safe and enjoy yourself !
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:43 PM
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Default RE: Caribou cartridge

It's all been covered for you here, get the .308.

Just to let you know, another caliber that would be good for caribou would be the 7mm-08. It's ballistics are slightly superior to the .308, but only slightly, they are pretty much the same in performance,IMO.

I'm not suggesting you get a 7mm-08, I'm just saying it for future reference.
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