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Moose Kill Question From An Ex Hunter....

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by MassMark, Dec 20, 2007.

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Is the .270 Winchester Enough For Moose?

  1. Yes, adequate for hunting moose.

    46 vote(s)
    51.1%
  2. I'd opt for something better

    44 vote(s)
    48.9%
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  1. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    I rarely visit the Hunting Forum here at THR, as I do not hunt. Perhaps I should qualify that. I started hunting at age 7 with my grandfather, (Pop). He was a wise old Swamp Yankee, who taught me much about the woods, tracking, stalking, killing cleanly, honoring the environment and the sacrifice of the animal. I think sometime in my late teens, I forgot about much he had taught me before he passed away. Call it the "indiscretions of youth" or a kid gone awry, but I became less than a conscientious hunter. I'll not get into details in this post - perhaps another time. Suffice it to say that I had lost my way. Then I hit my late teens and met a surrogate father figure from the hills of West Virginia who brought me back to square. At 23, I decided on my own accord that hunting was no longer for me personally. I had lost my taste for it - harvesting game just didn't work for my concepts of nature anymore. That said, I still support and advocate for hunters. I open my land to those who respect it and if my family were in need, I would hunt again in a millisecond. My rifle is now a Nikon F5 and a 600mm lens. I find greater peace in shooting film over bullets when it comes to wildlife, but still do have the occasional pang for the traditional hunt. Sorry for the ramble - I just felt the need to qualify that I'm not an anti-hunter type.

    With that over, I wanted to pose a question to the hunting community here at THR and will likely post this on NES. I was watching Outdoor Channel the other night while flipping through the channels. I can't remember the exact show, just that it was on about 11EST. It was a guided moose hunt with a man who was looking to hunt moose for the first time. They were sidetracked briefly trying to track, stalk and take a black bear, (I was always a singular game hunter, so this rubbed me a tad) but they seemed to refocus on moose and came across a few bulls jostling in a thicket. After some time picking out just the right bull, the newbie took aim and fired what I seem to remember to be 5-rounds from his rifle into the moose. It seemed to be anything but a clean kill and it looked as if the hits were all over the place. Who knows if they edited, but the series of shots that it took to take to put this moose down seemed to go on for quite some time - too much time for my taste or memories of moose hunting.

    I think the thing that got to me the most, was that the newbie was using a .270 Winchester, which kind of surprised me as much as the kill seemed disturbing to my senses. I understand the history and the merits of the cartridge, but I figured, (through some experience), that the .270 had a stopping point somewhere around mule deer and elk, (at the extreme). The bull he was shooting at was over 60-points and quite large. It seemed to be a needless amount of suffering to put this animal down. My Pop taught me to always bring enough gun, always try and reduce the suffering of the animal as much as possible, (kill cleanly) and to honor your quarry. It seemed none of this was followed in this case. When I took my moose with my handed down, (thanks Pop), .338 Winchester Magnum, it turned took a step and dropped like a rock. Two puffs of breath hung in the morning mist. The ones I remember my grandfather hunting and his buddy with the .30-.06 ended much the same way.

    So my question after this long ramble ladies and gentleman is: Is the .270 Winchester enough gun to bring to a moose hunt? My vote would be no. What say you?
     
  2. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    I'd say so, depending on the bullet used.
    Shot placement is also important, of course.

    I haven't hunted moose, but lots of them have been taken in Canada with the .303 British which has less energy than the .270.
     
  3. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    Well, Jack O'connor used a .270 on every kind of big game on the continent, and several on other continents as well. The key, as always, is bullet placement, and the ethics to pass on a iffy shot.
     
  4. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    I would answer "yes' to both questions.

    Yes, I believe a 270 with a quality hunting bullet and proper shot placement would destroy the lungs or heart of a moose causing a clean fast kill.

    Yes, If it was me I would choose a larger caliber.

    I also do not think most of the hunting shows on TV portray hunting in near as positive a light as could or should be done.

    I am a hunter, have been 50 years or so. Some of what I have seen on these hunting shows would absolutely turn me against hunting if I was not a hunter, or a on the fence and undecided person about hunting in general.
    Some of what I have seen makes me angry, caused me to send emails and vow to not purchase any product or support any company that advertises on any such show.
    Not all, as some I have viewed seem very well done, but others I have personally viewed are disgusting.
     
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    More than enough if you use a heavy bullet and get the shot in the right part of the animal. The 6.5 Swede is sufficient. I've seen one brought down with a 7.62x39 firing 150's. There is absolutely no need to use a .338 Mag on a moose, even up here. Though you certainly *can* do so if you want.
     
  6. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    I just watched a Petersen's Hunting episode where Scott Rupp took a huge bull moose with a .270. I've seen black bear taken with .270 as well. I have a 300 Win Mag that I'd use, but I would not be afraid to hunt moose with a .270.
     
  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Actually, O'Connor shot his share of big game with the .30-06 and heavier calibers. For sheep (he was an avid sheep hunter) and similar game, he preferred the .270.

    I'd say if you have a .270, shoot it well, and are confident of your ability, and are willing to use heavier, premium bullets, the .270 will do fine.
     
  8. Striker

    Striker Member

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    Location, location, location is everything as they say.

    I got two moose during my years in Alaska, one with a with a 150 gr .270 and the other with a 150 gr .308. Both were one shot (shoulder/lung) kills at 50-60 yards

    The .270 was/is used a for everything in Alaska other then big bear.
     
  9. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I vote yes

    But, if it were me, I would not use a 270, well, that said, I never really liked the 270 anyway. Nothing factual against it, I just grew up using a '06 and it did all I ever asked it to, so why bother? All that aside, the 270, with proper bullet choice has enough umph to get to, and take out the vitals if you are studied up on the anatomy of your quarry. If the shooter does their part the rifle will do its.
     
  10. MDHunter

    MDHunter Member

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    .270 is Plenty

    Massmark,

    Sounds like your discomfort with killing might be impacting your perspective a little....moose are big animals, and often take a couple of minutes to bleed out and die, even with multiple hits in the vitals. In 2006 I shot a 56" bull, took two shots to the heart/lung area to put it down, and when we walked up to it, it stood up and needed two more shots to finish it! I used a .338 WM, so I had plenty of gun, but it still took four shots when all was said and done.

    The .270 will do the job on moose with good hits and proper bullets, but moose are huge animals, and sometimes they take a little while to realize they've been shot.
     
  11. 3pairs12

    3pairs12 Member

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    I voted to opt for the better caliber. Although with a good shot placement 270 would do it.
     
  12. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

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    .270 is plenty for moose. Last year my friend and I hunted moose up here in Maine. He killed a rather large cow at @125 yds with a 7x57 Win M70.

    The shot was perfectly placed, the animal went 25 yds and laid down in a small trench.

    The moose is not a tough animal to kill if the shot placement is good. An elk may run off a hundred yards or more with a well placed shot. A moose is not an endurance/distance runner.
     
  13. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    If I could only use my .270 I would. However, there is also a .35 Whalen in the cabinet and I'm dying to try it out!
     
  14. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    i have been told that .270 is the minumum for elk but not much larger


    i have friends that use it as a great whitetaile round but i would never use it on moose

    but then again in "Into The Wild" the kid killed a moose with a .22lr notsure on th size of the moose and the range
     
  15. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    Thanks - and you may be right MDHunter. It's been a while since I've hunted. I gave it up when I was 23 - I'm 42 now. It just seemed like a lot of rounds fired and the tape seemed to skip - indicating it was edited. I watch hunting shows infrequently, but they never seem to bother me until this one, (except elephant hunts for some reason - always get me - perhaps it was 5-months in Africa). I guess I was just lucky. With the exception of a pheasant and a squirrel or two, I never remember anything taking that much time to put down. I've had white tails in Ohio take a few bounds after being hit, but the moose I hunted with the .338 went down like a rock. It just didn't seem like he had enough gun and of course I'm not confident with his shot placement.

    I understand your perspective as well eliphalet - some of those hunts - especially the caged hunts just seem light-years away from the hunting I knew. I don't judge it I guess - it's just not for me.

    Thanks all for your replies so far - it's been nice to get your feedback.

    Mark
     
  16. justice4all

    justice4all Member

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    I think both answers could be yes. If a .270 was all I had, I'd use it, but I wouldn't chose it over a .35 Whelen I had in the safe.
     
  17. TAB

    TAB Member

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    Just remember...

    the best place to shoot a moose is....

















    Close to a front end loader.
     
  18. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    LOL...You ain't kidding! :) We butchered mine in the field, (thank God I was with someone with experience) and hauled it out on Honda 3-wheelers. Took 4 trips.
     
  19. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    As others have said, I'm sure a .270 would do it, but I would take one of the heavier rifles if I had a choice. My one-and-only (so far) was taken with a .30-06, but if I were hunting now it would be a .338 or more likely a .350RemMag.
     
  20. GCW5

    GCW5 Member

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    I'll chime in and agree with everyone else. A 270 with 150gr partation bullets will probably kill moose cleanly if you hit'm right. I've used it on elk and they are as tough as they come. I'd perfur a bigger hole with moose, they are BIG, like I've found with elk. The 270 works, but I've been shooting a 9.3 X 62 for the past 4 or 5 years, and it defenatly has more "umph".
     
  21. learningman

    learningman Member

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    I'd say yes that it is big enough to bring down a moose, but that I would most likely opt for a bigger gun. The funny thing is I've shot animals, and seen animals shot cleanly and they should fall over dead in an instance right?, but they don't. Then the same could be said for an animal that was shot with a not so good placement but the darn thing walks two or three steps then dies. Good shot placement is the key bar none. That being said somethimes the best shot just isn't enough.
     
  22. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    .270 will do it for sure. I hunt big game with a .270 and nothing else. I haven't bagged a moose yet... yet, but it will be with a .270.
    I used to hear people say that the .270 is too small for elk, but nope. My experience hasn't even required a second shot. I was considering a .300 Win Mag for elk because I bought into the idea that you need a gun to blow through both shoulders of the animal to be adequate. Well let me tell you about the elk I shot in October with the Ruger M77 .270. Once I butchered the entire thing, I found that the 130gr bullet punched a pinky-finger size hole through one shoulder blade, cut through the lungs and completely shattered the offside shoulder blade into several bone shards. Found the bullet right under the offside hide.
    Through both shoulders indeed. That elk didn't take another step. Now I know that moose are bigger, tougher, and thicker, but I think the .270 with a 150gr bullet will still kill 'em handily.

    Edit: For me... I'll never own a magnum.
    I've read a lot about how the 45-70 is ideal for moose. The logic being a big, slow bullet kills them quicker.
     
  23. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    Well, the .45-70 DOES seem to work on buffalo, so maybe there is something to that logic.
     
  24. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I saw the same show a couple of days ago.

    I have been a hunter for almost 40 years and this particular clip was a tad disturbing to me as well.

    While I believe a .270 is "enough" gun to get the job done...it turned out to be less than "ideal" in this case.

    We are not told what bullet he used (weight or construction), but the animals reaction was consistent with one that was hit with a bullet that didn't penetrate well.

    I recognize moose are big and tough animals...and that each animal can react differently when hit. But, the range in this instance was quite close (perhaps under 50 yds.). I believe that high velocity (and less than rugged bullet construction) were causing them to "blow up" at this close distance.

    I use a .338 on Elk and Moose and get consistent results (good clean kills), but I don't label the .270 as inferior.

    Bullet choice and placement should be prime considerations however.

    IMO a dis-service was done to this animal, but I've had a Whitetail buck run 90 yds. and jump a fence after being shot squarely through the heart! Unusual to be sure.
     
  25. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    Thanks Flintknapper - I'm glad I wasn't the only one who saw it. I do believe they said 40-yards. If I were the producer of that show - I would have edited that tape to high heaven. It was not a "good death".....
     
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