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Topic: 6.5 creedmoor for elk (Read 41868 times) previous topic - next topic

6.5 creedmoor for elk

 I have heard of the 6.5cm being used for elk but do they have the energy for longer shots on a big bull? Premium bullets? What kind of loads? My brother is talking of trading his 300wm on something more versatile he mention 30-06. He would like to get out west to elk hunt again in the future. Got me thinking.(I like my 6.5cm better than my -06)  

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #1
One of the members on here post a story of his long range elk hunt with a cm.  Look in the hunting section.

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #2
I bumped the story to the top in the hunting section.

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #3
Thanks kalindark, and good shooting billgabob

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #4
the 140 gr bullets would be very effective on elk, even at the 500+ range. shot placement will always play an important role too. even if you shoot a 458 like cold finger. bullet choices are a HOT topic, where as I only shoot the 140 berger vld, others have just got to have an exit hole or in there mind the bullet fails. dead is dead and the vld is DEADLY.
"kill em all"

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #5
I wouldn't hesitate with a CM on elk. I have shot a lot of elk with a lot of different calibers and the funny thing is hit well=dead hit poorly and headache no matter the caliber. I've seen double lung 243 at 200y and couple steps and dead. I've shot a cow with 375HH and hit poorly and she ran off like she wasn't hit and I had to track her down and finish her. I shoot 140 Berger like swamp and they are deadly, but the new Accubond high BC 140 could be a good choice if you want an exit.
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Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #6
I am not a hunter, so excuse my ignorance, but if I did hunt I would want to make the most ethical kill I could.  Why would you want an exit hole? It seems to me you would want the bullet to expend all of its energy in the animal, preferable in the vital organs.  My guess would be the perfect hunting bullet would go in two inches then expands/shred to cause as much damage to the heart and lungs providing a quick ethical kill.  I am not against hunting and I will admit there is nothing as good as a Elk Green Chili Burrito, but please only take shots that will result in a quick clean kill.  As for the Creedmoor on Elk, my initial responce was "maybe not" then I realized the Creedmoor is right with a .270 and I know many who have killed an Elk with that cartridge.

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #7

I am not a hunter, so excuse my ignorance, but if I did hunt I would want to make the most ethical kill I could.  Why would you want an exit hole? It seems to me you would want the bullet to expend all of its energy in the animal, preferable in the vital organs.  My guess would be the perfect hunting bullet would go in two inches then expands/shred to cause as much damage to the heart and lungs providing a quick ethical kill.  I am not against hunting and I will admit there is nothing as good as a Elk Green Chili Burrito, but please only take shots that will result in a quick clean kill.  As for the Creedmoor on Elk, my initial responce was "maybe not" then I realized the Creedmoor is right with a .270 and I know many who have killed an Elk with that cartridge.

BLT,
That is a legitimate question. It’s not a question of exit hole as much as getting to the vitals through muscle and bone. Just like anything else in life, opportunities in real world hunting are seldom ideal. Forget what you see on TV. If you are afforded the perfect unobstructed broadside presentation by the target game animal, and the game waits for your hold, breathing and trigger squeeze without stepping or turning, and mother nature doesn't put an undetected gust of wind in the bullet path......then with some certainty you can put your explosive bullet in the tissue mass where it is designed for optimum performance.
Feature this, you are not hunting in tree stand or high house where the game comes down some predicted route at a relatively short distance and you have all the time in the world to count points and decide to shoot or not. You just dropped $10K on a once in a lifetime trophy bull elk hunt in a premier hunting area. You have endured days of traveling on horseback, sleeping in a tent, glassing for hours, and turning down opportunities at lesser bulls. It’s the next to the last day of a 10 day hunt and guide has put you on that trophy bull of a lifetime. You’ve worked within 300 yards and that is going to be it. The elk is with several cows and they are moving through broken cover but you have identified their path and are waiting for the bull to move into a small opening for an unobstructed shot. The bull finally stops at the edge of the opening momentarily. Just as you start your squeeze, he moves again, only to stop behind a tree, slightly quartering toward you. You can see the front leg and forward but nothing behind it. This is your last chance at this bull, it’s now or nothing. One more move and he is gone. It’s a shoulder shot, or at best a heart shot. In any event, you must break bone, and the more bone the better. What are you going to do? Well, the decision is a no brainer for me if I am shooting a 338 Win Mag with 225 Accubonds or Barnes-X. I’m breaking the sear. If I had the 6.5 Creed with solidly constructed 140’s I would not take the shot. An Elk hunt such as this is my Bucket List hunt. There’s a reason why they say that Elk calibers begin with a 3 and the 338 Win Mag is “the” American” Elk round. I have not personally shot an Elk. I just listen to family and friends who have killed many Elk. My neighbor just returned from a Colorado Elk hunt and recounted his 300 yard shot with a 270 Win, shooting 130 Nosler Partitions. That was not a pretty story. Who knows if he would have done better with more rifle but from what I’ve been told, you don’t want to be encumbered by having to wait for that perfect shot. I guess some hunters just start blazing away and use the “break ‘em down” method. I think that the Creed is such a great cartridge that I have more than one but I also have belted magnums that are going to be my first choice for anything bigger than deer.
Most of my Whitetail deer hunting was done in Pennsylvania in the big timber of the North Central Allegheny Range of the Appalachian Mountains. The deer population is low there. I quit hunting the first three days of the season decades ago to avoid other hunters. Still hunting and stalking was my method. If you were lucky enough to have snow, it was possible to see 200 yards through the windows in the timber. Then too, there were long shots on pipelines and across hollows. In days of hunting, you were only going to get one shot, for one instant. My shots were from 90 to 300+ yards. Most of the time, you had to “thread the needle” through a window in the timber and make your shot when the deer hit that window. After 9 days of hunting one year, I took a shot on a buck laying in a bed across a hollow when the deer was facing away from me. I had to shoot on my feet, leaning against a tree and go into that deer’s neck at the base just above the shoulder to avoid the hind quarters. It was the only shot that I had that season. That was a 5 hour drag back to the truck in the snow. The whole point is, real world hunting is not ideal. So, in many hunting situations, you are not presented an “ideal” shot and must use a bullet that will reliably penetrate dense muscle and bone to reach the vital organs. I never want to start into a deer in the hind quarters, and never have, but if it happens, I need to know that my bullet is going forward to the vitals. The other option is to just enjoy the experience of taking your rifle for a walk.
We all hunt with our own methods, techniques and skill levels. The ethics are left to the individual hunter. No amount of power will make up for a poorly placed shot. I want to know that in that split instant when I break the sear, that I have done everything in equipment space that I can to insure my shot is capable of a clean humane kill. Three inches of penetration and having to take a shot in ONLY the ribs doesn’t work for me on Elk or Deer.
As stated, this is an argument that will never end. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #8
walkinghorseman, thanks for the reply and I do understand you sometimes have to make split second decisions while hunting and I do believe its the ones who make the right decision that separates the hunters from the hicks.  I live in a very rural area and we always find deers with arrows in the hind quarters, etc.  the list can go on and on.  If an Elk Hunt is your dream I live right in the prime Elk hunting area in Arizona, so if you seriously decide you want to Elk hunt let me know and we can work out some arrangements.  Of course you'll have to get drawn first and that is the hard part, expecially for Bull.


Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #9
Walkinghorseman, great post.

I've only been deer hunting 10 years, and your post puts a real life perspective on it.  Almost all my hunting has been in Iowa.  Usually the January anterless season.  I've shot deer from 40 to 400 yards in all different angles.

When, not if, I go elk hunting.  I will take my 7mm SAUM. Either my model 7 now or my "custom" one that I am gathering parts. Using a 160, 162 or 168 bullet that I feel shoots best and will go through front shoulder if I need to. 

I feel a 6.5 Creemoor would do the job, but would I have doubt in my mind for the non-ideal shot.  Don't want that in the back of my mind when I smooth my breath and squeeze the trigger.

Like you said, when I spend weeks of research, thousands of dollars, 4 to 10 days in the field. And working up a load, practicing many a morning. I shoot 1-2 shots 20 to 30 times leading up to a season. With targets 75 - 300 yards, random. Only one or two shots a day.  You want to take a cofindent shot that you know will get the job done.
I considered a new rifle just for this hunt, like 300 mag or more. Was really thinking 325 WSM.  But living in Iowa, That's a cannon that will get used once.


Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #10
well I read, ive studied and ive thought about everybodys post/opinions.
as many of you know I was lucky enough to be in the outdoor tv business . we aired on fox sports south for 4 yrs then bought out. if it hadn't been for that I would have never got to travel all over the usa, Canada and mexico as I am just a good ole broke country boy raised in the swamps huntin hogs, gators deer turkey and ducks. tv cameras caused me my only chance at a 200 in Illinoi whitetail, no camera light but I could see him just fine. that's the things rarely shown to viewers, the real dissapointments of hunting with a camera.  now back on topic, is the 6.5 capable of taking a mature bull elk....no doubt it is. a 140 gr well placed shot will stop him just like a 338 win mag. BUT I have to admit BIGGER IS BETTER if I were in Colorado I would take my 300 wsm with the 175 berger vld. dead is dead but for a lot of people the cost of a guided hunt is a years savings or more and I wouldn't want to take the chance since I have a bigger caliber that I have killed (on camera) 770 yrds. now, if I lived where I could hunt elk freely on landowner tags or at least get to hunt them on a regular basis without all the expenses and planning etc... then I wouldn't hesitate at all to shoot one with the creedmoor.  does this make sense to yall?
"kill em all"

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #11
Walkinghorseman -- well said!  You elaborated on things quite well.  The 6.5 CM can obviously be used successfully to take elk, but it has its limitations (as does every cartridge).  I think one of the keys to hunting well, is to understand the limitations of your rifle and caliber of choice, and have the will-power to pass up a shot when you are outside those limitations.  The latter is very hard to do in the heat of the moment, which is why I wouldn't consider the 6.5 CM a good elk cartridge for most people.  A well-placed shot with any cartridge will kill an elk.  Unfortunately, there are an enormous number of "not-so-well-placed" shots made on elk each year, for any a number of reasons.  (From personal experience, a wounded elk is a very easy animal to lose.  Once they get that surge of adrenalin, they will go, and go, and go, and go, and they typically go to terrain that is very "non-user-friendly".  Tracking an elk that you've wounded is not a very good feeling, and completely losing that animal is horrible because you know they've probably got an unpleasant end coming up.) 

Just because the 6.5 can kill an elk, doesn't mean it's a good tool to use for many people or environments.  I'd easily recommend it in the hands of the right hunter and in the right terrain, but I don't believe it's a good "elk" cartridge for most people, as there are too many uncertainties in hunting, and very rarely is everything just right.   As the long range shooting and hunting craze grows, caliber and bullet performance seems to follow suit.  Unfortunately, the skills and judgment of the guy/gal behind the scope don't always match that of their rifle, and that can become a problem. 

Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #12
I think we are all saying the same thing here. We have to remember we are Hunting not killing. In the end yes. If you don't get the shot so be it. It will be a memory that will last forever. In the Jim Carmichael days he only used a 270 for most everything including brown bears. I have a friend that shot a 243 for years and was absolutely lethal with it. Why you ask? He was so confident in shooting it and he  could put the bullet on a eyeball if he wanted at 300y. If you shoot the 338 so well great but people get flinchy with them if you shoot it a lot, ahhh point in fact we should be burning a lot of powder for a hunt like that but who wants to shoot a box of 338 in field conditions. If you don't get the shot let them walk. But a very confident person with his or her bangstick will very very deadly. I have killed a lot of elk with many calibers, archery, blackpowder. Hunt with a caliber that you can shoot well without question in any position. Don't sacrifise power for shootability. .02 worth
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Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #13
I meant Jack O'Conner as he shot the 270 the most also.
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Re: 6.5 creedmoor for elk

Reply #14
I am grateful to be a member of a forum with the likes of you guys, who give such serious consideration to the equipment and the shot placement that will most readily deliver a humane passage into death for the animals you hunt. In my several years of hunting I am fortunate to have never wounded an animal - mostly because I have passed up less-than-ideal shots, and once because my foolish bowshot on a moving bull elk Thank God hit him in the femoral artery.

When I first decided to start hunting my teachers were friends who were great shots who also had a deep reverence for the animals they hunted. And then there was one friend who yearly wounded and lost animals he took reckless shots at, and whose stories so horrified me that I resolved not to do the same..

Delivering death (or suffering) is serious business, and I appreciate the counsel offered in this thread to match the caliber to the task at hand, with the constant being proper shot placement.