Shot Placement
Give the elk the respect it deserves and make good, clean shots for a quick kill

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Every hunter, whether they are hunting elk or any game animal, has a responsibility, not only as a hunter but for the animal as well, to make quick kills and to recover the game animal. Accurate shot placement is the key to quick kills and recovery as well as the knowledge of ones own firearm and the limits of not only the firearm, but the limits of the hunter also. Shot placement is just as important as choosing the right firearm as well as choosing the right bullet for the job. It is also especcially important for the elk hunter due to the size of the animal. They are somewhat larger than any deer you may have hunted, about 3 times the size. With the average cow weighing around 500 pounds, and a bull getting up in the 750 - 800 pound range and sometimes may top that. Besides being much larger and heavier than deer, it also means that your bullet will have to penetrate thicker hides and heavier bones to be efficient enough to do the job.

Bullets kill game by massive shock and tissue destruction, and if fired from firearms adequate for the game being hunted, can smash even heavy bone and enter the vital organs. Hunting elk with muzzleloading rifles is popular and presents special shot placement considerations due to the slow and heavy bullets being fired and the muzzleloader generally will not have the option of a second shot if needed. For these reasons , a muzzleloading hunter should restrict his/her shots to 100 yards or less. The broadside shot offers several excellent shots for the hunter. The best target is the shoulder and chest area. A bullet of the correct weight and fired from an adequate firearm will break the shoulder and enter the lungs or heart. A neck shot will drop an animal instantly with no meat damage. but should only be used if you are proficient with your firearm and that is the only shot you may have. Head shots should be avoided.

It is just as important to learn about the anatomy of elk as is is to learn about their habits. Without a general knowledge of the anatomy, one cannot expect to have thae quick kill. It is your responsibility to youself and the animal, and the hunting future depends partly on that responsibily.

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