The Question

Dear Ken,

I hunt moose with a Remington .30-06 using 180-grain bullets. The moose I've taken have all been within 80 yards, but now I'm hunting in a new spot. What is the longest shot I should take in this situation? I used a rangefinder and my shooting lanes are from 150 to 600 yards.

Sincerely,

Dan Lacelle

The Answer

Dan,

Maximum effective shooting distances are typically a product of the shooter, not the cartridge. Most big-game cartridges can be effective at greater distances than the majority of us are able to shoot consistently and accurately. It’s our ethical responsibility to ensure that we only take shots with a very high expectation of making a good, clean, kill.

With the .30-06, a 180-grain is an excellent choice for moose. As you know, they are big animals, so ensure you’re using a well-constructed bullet. That ensures the bullet will hold together, and penetrate to the vitals should you have to take anything but a broadside shot.

My suggestion is to keep shots under 300 yards, provided you are comfortable even shooting at that distance. Zeroed at 200 yards, for example, a Federal 180-grain Nosler Partition will drop only 7 inches at 300 yards, but drops a full 21 inches at 400 yards. That’s a significant difference, and can be difficult to account for when aiming, even if you know the exact distance to the animal. Wind drift also comes in to play at extended ranges and can have a meaningful effect on where a bullet strikes in relation to your aiming point.

Best of luck in getting your moose,

Ken Bailey