I mainly bow hunt for elk but take advantage of rifle cow tags often. We usually use the 6.5 I got for my son. He shot his first elk with it 2 years ago, decent size cow shot at 200 yards. She dropped in her tracks, drt. I have shot a cow with the same rifle, about 115 yard shot, and she dropped right there. All have been with Hornandy Precision Hunter 143’s. It’s a capable round on elk, in the same class as a 308 or 7mm-08. I have no hesitation with elk hunting with that rifle even when I have other rifles/calibers. Now, if ammo doesn’t start coming down in price, probably not going to keep shooting it!
Last year I was lucky enough to draw a leftover tag here in Idaho. The unit wasn’t amazing by any means and was somewhat of a struggle but regardless it was exciting to leave my bow behind for a change. The day I finally glassed up a herd of elk in a killable spot with a shooter bull in the group I happened to have both my 6.5 creed and my 7mm rum in the truck. I was going to take my rum but after the run I had been having with my 6.5 on other animals I decided against it and picked up the creedmoor. I had all the confidence in the world I could make a shot count better with that gun and knew ballistically it would get the job done at or beyond my personal effective range for not having a person spotting for me. I killed the herd bull at 500 yards with one shot into the lungs. He didn’t fall where he stood but didn’t make it past 30 yards either. He was dead before I worked the bolt. I was using 143eldx precision hunter ammunition
Is this the ideal elk caliber? No. Does it have limitations that a fast 28 or a heavy 30 will more easily accommodate? Yes indeed it does. Will it do in a pinch? Absolutely and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it on elk again.
It’s not going to just bounce off an elk like so many haters online would have one believe but it should only be used after careful practice and reasonable humility on personal skill. Like every other caliber
I’ll be doing a bull hunt in CO this year with my 6.5. I’m just torn on which ammo to use. My gun shoots the 143 eld-x great but have heard mixed reviews about it on elk. Have 2 boxes of Barnes LRX which is what I’m leaning towards using but would like to find more of it.
Anyone use the 120g Barnes TTSX? Not quite as good as the LRX in terms of velocity and energy but very close with realistic hunting ranges.