Just how tough is an elk compared to other game? At six to eight hundred pounds, they’re larger than most African antelope and if you have ever tried to field-dress one of these big boys, you know how hard it is to pack out an animal this large.
Elk are resilient animals, with massive muscle and bone structure, able to run far after even a solid hit. Results may vary, with one big fellow falling where it stands, or another running much farther than the hundred yards or so you might expect from something less sturdy, like a deer.
Don’t think that caliber is the answer either. Oddly enough, temperament may play a larger factor. Moose tend to give up rather easily, but a roan or sable, which are roughly equal in size, can withstand even a solid hit and scamper away for much further than you’d expect.
Think bullet construction when hunting the big, bad elk. Go with a bullet designed for maximum penetration, such as a .270 with a strong slug. Those large lungs and massive heart can take a lot of damage before giving out. And if possible, get off a second round immediately. It just might save you a long trek to claim a fine trophy.