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Top 5 Rifle Cartridges for Elk

Choosing a rifle cartridge for elk requires an understanding of the animal and the landscape you're hunting. With years of experience under his belt, Craig Boddington lists his top-five cartridges for elk.

Top 5 Rifle Cartridges for Elk

When hunting elk with a rifle, shooting distances vary widely depending on the topography and vegetation you're hunting. The size of elk also varies. Bulls are bigger than cows; and mature, fully grown bulls are huge. None require field artillery, but a mature Rocky Mountain bull might weigh 800-1000 pounds, four times the size of most mule deer bucks.

I'm not suggesting that elk rifles should be four times more powerful than deer rifles, but elk are tough. There are dozens of good elk cartridges, with choices depending largely on the distances you intend to shoot, thus dictating the bullet energy you need to project. Foot-pounds aside, I think elk-sized animals are better taken...

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