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February 27, 2008

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The .338 for Deer, and Other Bad Craziness

A number of you on the previous post asked what was I doing with a .338 in the Maine whitetail woods when I have been yowling the praises of the 6.5 Swede and the 7mm/08. Two reasons: First, I was looking for an excuse to use the .338, which had never been away from home. Second, as I said, tracking in Maine is very difficult when there's no snow on the ground. The last whitetail I killed up there moved less than 75 yards from where it was hit, but it took myself and another, much more skilled, tracker a couple of hours to find it, crawling on our hands and knees. What the .338 gives you over smaller cartridges is more internal damage and a big enough exit hole on the far side that you get a decent blood trail instead of a drop every 12.2 yards.

As for killing power, I direct your attention to the comments of Mr. Dick McPlenty on the previous blog, whose command of the facts and logic are nothing less than sublime. He is correct that there is little, if any, difference in killing power (provided the bullet goes where it should) between cartridges, and that strength of modern bullets has pretty much blurred whatever difference they may have. (I knew of an African PH who used a 7x57 Mauser as his backup rifle. He claimed he got the same penetration as he did with a .375 H&H, and that he could get off four aimed shots in the time it took to get off two with the .375.)

One of the worst cases of losing a game animal I ever saw happened in New Mexico in 1977. A hunter I ran across had flung 19 .338 rounds at an elk that probably would have made B and C, and hit it at least several times. He started shooting at around 400 yards when the bull was out in the open, but the animal made it into the timber and was never found.


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Rocky Mtn Hunter

Firearms to me are like cloths, I don;t wear the same pants every day.Same with hunting. I use a different firearm for the game I hunt and the ammo that shoots best from that gun. Don;t skimp on ammo, buy the best available to hunt. Cheaper ammo is ok for pratice, but not on a $5K hunt. Can bet your last dollar that I will not buy Rem Core-lokts at Wal-marts for a Rocky Mtn hunt.Has been told to me by Remington, that they and I;m sure other mfgers as well, make different firearms and ammo for Walm-mart,as Wal-maart dictates the price they will pay. The ADL you see at Wal-marts now, is only available at Wal-marts, not your local dealer. Look at one and you will see that you don;t want one at any price.Some folks collect different items, guns I collect, never had too many and never will. But when hunting time comes,I do have special firearms for that hunt and ammo to match. Uze enough firepower, rather it be more than necessary than less. Have you ever tracked a W-tail all day???. When I spend hard earned $$$ for A Rocky Mtn Hunt, I want enough gun and ammo to drop that animal on the spot or close by. Yep, I use a 30-06 and a 25-06. As the two will do the job I want them to do if I do my part. As for a 338, it may be the better firearm, don;t know, but my 06 will kill a animal in its tracts at 345 yds using l80 gr Scrico's and the 25-06 will kill w-tails/mulie at 325 using Wincheser Ballastic in ll7 grs.If you pratice enough, you will know the hold over needed at different ranges, that's where a Rangefinder come into play. Those mtns and valleys and even the rolling plains out west will fool you, so you best range the game first.My first hunt for Lopes in 1999, I though the range was about l75 yds, so I held midway, fired and the bullet hit the dirt 5 ft in front of the animal, distance turned out to be 325 yds.Needless to say, a Rangefinder was bought as soon as I got home. And, a 30-06 with l80 gr Scricco;s will kill to 400 yds if you hold right. My deer last year at 345 yds, the bullet went fron left last rib to come out the right front shoulder, went completely thru the 220 lb deer. My first Elk was killed at l65 yards with a l65 gr Extended range bullet that Rem once made. I;m not a ammo sales person, but the Rem Bonded Scricco;s in l80 grs are great, they fly flat and far and do enough damage when they go thru that the game will fall if you place the shot correct. I hope to find out again come fall in KY or MT. The 25-06 works well here at home, but I got one of the new Marlin's in 270 on order, just another gun I want to try. A 300 Win _mag I would own if I was able to handle the recoil, but at l28 lbs ( down from l80 due to sickness) the 30-06 with wt in butt stock @near 10 lbs, I can handle like a 223 or 243. Plus, I TRUST the firearm, Ammo, and my ability with it. And, that's what it's all about. Learn your firearm and the ammo you use, if you don;t have faith in it, better buy another gun or pratice more. Shoot-um-straight and often. The old Gunslinger down south

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Jim in Mo: I went to the webb site you posted and I agree with you. That is a bunch of bull. They cannot make me believe that Wolves will not kill Lopes and go after larger game. No doubt, the # of Wolves in YNP has increased and the Elk decreased due to elk killings by Wolves. I plan to hunt Montana this fall and if I see a wolf and can kill him I will. It's about time us hunters protect the game we enjoy hunting, and Wolves we don;t need. The Coyotes and Foxes will take care of the old and sick animals, we don;t need the Wolves. The same applies to the Griz Bear, too many. I doubt I would shoot a Griz unless had a back=up shooter, as never bear hunted and don;t know where to shhot other than between the eyes to shoot one. I hunt with folks in MT and they say many Bears and some Wolves been seen in areas we hunt. THey carry a 375 in their trucks all time plus a Encore in 300 win mag. I never ask if they killed any, as not my business. But have been told to shoot either I saw if I wanted to, or call them. Just hopefully see a nice Elk and good Mtn Mulie at shotable range and I will be happy, yep, the 30-06 /25-06/and the new MArlin 270 will go. I kinda figure this will be my last Rocky Mtn hunt as at 73 and poor health, it gets more difficult each time I go to get up early, hunt hard all day and little sleep. AS when I hunt, I hunt every second I;m in the woods. No nap time when hunting unless got a companion. I carry quality Nikon equiptment and glass a lot, amazing what you can see at l-2 miles away with good Bincs., Take care, shoot un-straight & often

Clay Cooper

Rocky Mtn Hunter
You remind me of a story I was told by a Wildlife Biologist in Alaska. He was watching a Brown Bear hunter stalking a really nice size bear and noticed that there was a person running between him and the bear. It was one of those Green Peace guys and yeas the bear charged and the hunter dropped the bear just a few feet from him. Personally I agreed with the Biologist that the Hunter shot too soon!

Now about California closing Cougar Hunting, California Joggers, YUM! YUM!

Del in KS

Too bad ol' Tim Treadwell (or was it Treadway) didn't have a hunter nearby when that brownie killed and ate he and the girlfriend. Oh well, what better way to be one with nature than by becoming a bear turd. Mother nature has a way of taking care of idiots. Too bad the girl was there.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Clay, I agree, hunter should have let the bear alone for a few minutes, then killed it. Like my friends out west. They say the Wildlife guys don;t have any idea of # of Wolves and Griz's about, but way to many. In area I hunt, the animals kill off about 70% of new born. They have tried to get the game dept to allow a hunt for them but no luck. So these Ranchers protect their property and game the best they can. Shoot them both and leave be. Let the Coyotes and Foxes and etc.a feast. I might shoot a Wolf, but as i staed, I would want a back up with a cannon if shot a Griz. I understand from F&S that in upper Yellowstone that the two animals have reduced the Elk herd by 70% and no #'s available on the Lopes. I don;t think I would like to camp out in a tent in that area I hunt. Let Mother Nature handle the situation, its done ok till man decided to help out, or screw up. Maybe i will be lucky and see a Wolf this fall, and if one of my friends who owns the property is with me, can shoot a Griz.Here at Home, we do help Mother Nature with the Foxes and Coyotes, as they have done away with small game and birds. I use to see 2-3 Coveys of birds in a day.Now see none and very seldom see a rabbit, Plus Darm Hawks kill all the squirrels. That I plan to help eliminate here at home. Maybe some of us hunters need to go to or near Yellowstone and help reduce the problems.It's time WY, Montana and Utah wake up and solve this problem beforeanother man/girl ae eaten. But, that guy was a nut, too bad he did not understand wildlife enough to know you cannot make a house pet out of such animals. A Dog and cat is trouble enough, but they stay outside as well, helps kill undesireables and let me know when something is near the house so I can get my 357 quickly.I may carry some 220 gr ammo this trip, just in case its needed. Have a good week-in.O, better still, let the Anti's camp out in upper Yellowstone or Southern Montana, with no weapon but a tin can to rattle at the game.

WA Mtnhunter

In Griz country, hikers and campers are advised to wear bells to warn grizzly bears of their approach. When you find bear scat, the best way to tell if it was a black bear or a grizzly bear is to look for the little bells.

WA Mtnhunter


What makes you think that she was not as big an idiot as he was?

Rocky Mtn Hunter

I think both were kinda crazy. When you mess with fire you gonna get burned. Wild animals are just that WILD. You cannot train one to be a PET forever. If teh Anti's want to protect them, by all means, lets take them to the right place and turn them loose with no weapon. These Anti's need a job or a hobby and leave the hunters and mother Nature to worry about the wildlife. I don;t know what I would do if saw a Griz while hunting. I might shoot if had a good shot and right AMMO, but would prefer to have a BAck-up guy with enough firepower to take the Griz out. We have allowed humans to build in wildlife home range and they gonna give even more problems as they get use to people next door. Out in the Rockies, I think they should not allow people to build in wildlife feeding aeas. I read some place, that some states require at least 25 acres to build a home???? We've done a great job of displacing the wildlife. But someway the W-tail keeps growing in #'s. I try to cull our herds here at home, but they continue to grow or move in my feed plots. Good hunting guys. Shoot-um-straight and often.

Del in KS


She probably was, just seemed like such a waste. Now that you mention it. That bear was a real p---y eater.LMAO

Rocky Mtn Hunter

And who said P---y did not stink? Believe the Bears like as well as us. I cannot even think anyone could tame a Griz or become friends with them. That Idiot lived much longer than normal by playing hid-seak with the big Griz's. Belive I will stick to Elk/Mlies/Lopes and hope no Griz shows up for a feast. Some say that the Griz when he hears a shot, knows there's a free meal and he goes to the kill immediately.When I hunt the Rockies, we field dress immediately, then get the Hell out of Dodge to skinning house.If hunt the same general area the next couple days, have someone keep their eyes trained on the trails to the gut piles. I wanted a Griz sure would be a great place to place a stand about 30 ft up.But as a rule we don;t hunt the same areas but about every 4 days. Good hunting guys. Shoot-um-straight


To some degree the hands of the western wolf states are tied by the feds. To see the changes coming go to the Wyoming Fish and Game web site. Looks like there will be legal killing in the forseeable future. We used to count 50-70 calves in a herd of 100 elk cows but since the reintroduction of the wonderful wolf we see 10-30 calves with the same number of mothers. The Fish and Game people tell you what they are programed to say to keep their jobs and feed their families. Insofar as camping in griz country we take extra precautions expecially when we leave camp (food 100 yards from camp up a pole 10 feet off the ground 4 feet out from the tree, same for horse feed and snicker bars, etc), leave both ends of the tent open so old griz will wonder on through, and hobble and bell the horses left in camp so they can move if they have to. But like I said things are hopefully going to change soon since the wolf was delisted and maybe there even will be a griz season again in the somewhat distant future. Of course they will not legally allow enough of either species to be eradicated to really benefit the game animals, just enough to make us hunters feel better.

Mike Reeder

Agree with every one who loves the Remington Mt. Rifle. When it first came out I was immediately smitten and couldn't wait to get my hands on one. I couldn't really afford it at the time but couldn't stand to do with out it. Once I got mine, I could never imagine letting it go. Last count I had something like 21 rifles and shotguns, but that old .270 Mt. Rifle is still my boon companion. I never did one thing to tune it, but it will shoot an honest minute of angle from the bench and seems to digest almost anything you feed it. In all the time I've had it it's never changed zero on me, and I've hunted with it in rain, snow, and blistering heat from Wyoming to the Mexican border. It's a pleasure to carry and flies to your shoulder like a good quail gun. Just a great, great factory rifle.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

I don't see any mention of the 300 Win Mg a ot not. Has the 338 replaced it. If i could handle the recoil of the 300 I would have one in a jif to take West. But that gun turns me around. I do believe the 300 to be a better all around one gun owner. But hunters attitudes and desires change as the weather. No teling what will be the next must have one of. Me the 06 is all I need for my hunting. As for Wolves, I will in a minute shot one if seen and just continue to walk.May not be 100% ethica, but neithernis the wolf. I believe we need to take a stand on them and eliminate as many as possible. If YNP has a kill ratio as stated and teh Elk herd is down 70, someone better take ntice and start shoting some. I will be glad to help out. Hey, what ever became of the deal to hire sharp-shooters to kill X#Elk in the Rocky Mtn National park, rather than let the Hunters in there and they pay to hunt. If we hire sharp shooters at l/2 Million $ you know who's gonna pay.I wold love to hunt near Estes Park in C0 as there are many town Elk there. The town frowns on any suggestion of a hunt, as the Elk are a grea tourist atraction, been there and there is many Elk at dawn and dusk. they love the golf courses and the shrubs at the homes in town.

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