Caliber and Bullet Questions For First Yukon Hunt

CT.HNTR

Beginner
Feb 6, 2022
11
20
Hello everybody, I just joined the forum and this is my very first post so I apologize in advance if it is long winded.
I have been hunting whitetail deer my whole life and will be going on my very first large game adventure hunt this September when I will be doing a float plane hunt in the Yukon. As this is my first hunt of this type I don’t have any personal experience to fall back on regarding best overall caliber and bullet to use.
For this multi species hunt I will have tags for moose, grizzly, mountain caribou, black bear and wolf. Shots at moose will be 200 yards or less, shots on grizzly will be 100 yards or less, shots on caribou, wolf and black bear can be out to 400 yards. The grizzly are mountain grizzly and not costal brown bears so a large boar would be in the range of a 600-700 pound animal.
I am struggling and probably overthinking what caliber and load to bring on this hunt.

I have a Weatherby Mark V in 300 Weatherby magnum. I have Weatherby factory loads shooting 180 grain Accubonds at 3,250 fps and I have handloads shooting 200 grain Accubonds at 3,000 fps.
I also have a Weatherby Mark V in 340 Weatherby magnum. I have Nosler factory loads shooting 300 grain Accubonds at 2,540 fps and handloads shooting 250 grain Accubonds at 2,850 fps.

I am looking for some advice from the forum members on two questions. Should I be comfortable that the Accubonds are tough enough for this hunt or should I be using a Partition or Swift A Frame? If the Accubonds are a good choice which of the calibers and bullet weights listed above are the best choice for this combination hunt?

I appreciate everybody’s advice!

Regards

Don
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,167
1,713
Congratulations on your Yukon hunt, and welcome to the forum. As already mentioned, either rifle will serve you well on this hunt. You should use the one you shoot with the greatest ease and which gives you the most confidence. Having said that, your 300 WM will be enough for any of the animals you mention. Either bullet weight will work for that cartridge. You may feel more confident with the 200 grain bullets, but the 180 will be sufficient. The AB bullet is a great bullet to use on a hunt such as this. No doubt, the Partition or the A-Frame will work equally well. I have no hesitation using the AB in my own hunts, however.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,916
383
As already mentioned, either rifle cartridge will work well. The Nosler AccuBond is an excellent bullet that will expand well with those velocities and energies at the indicated ranges, and still provide the needed penetration. Use whichever bullet weight shoots best in your rifle. Bullet placement on the animals mentioned is key. And in that regard, your ability and confidence with either rifle should be the determining factor. If you shoot the 300 Wby better than you do your 340, I would recommend using it.

Discuss it with your outfitter. Their recommendations come from years of experience. And they find most hunters who arrive with larger calibers/cartridges do not have the skill/confidence/competence to handle those larger rounds because they have not practiced with them enough. Be honest with yourself, and your outfitter when discussing this. If you have a 30-06 that you handle and shoot better, than your 300 or 340 Wby, they will be happier and you will both be more confident in your shooting abilities when hunting their game, if you take the 30-06 with good 180 or 200 gr bullets, in any of the makes that you mentioned. And practice with field shooting positions, such as off your pack, a tree branch or shooting sticks, if that is what you or your guide will have. There is a lot of willows and buck brush that you must shoot over in that country, and it will add challenge to your hunt.

Grizzlies are not bullet proof, but once their adrenaline is up, can become more difficult to put down for keeps if bullet placement isn't quite what you wanted with the first shot. And most guides will have you shoot a grizzly again, even if you think it is dead, as an assurance that it not just merely playing dead. Cheap insurance on an animal that can hurt you or your guide in a hurry.
And the average grizzly bear shot is probably more in the 400-500 pound range because most hunters shoot the first one they see. Contrary to popular opinion, grizzly bears do not live behind every tree. There are areas with greater population densities, especially when keying in on seasonal food sources. The average grizzly sow has a home range of 20-25 square miles, while the boars have a home range of about 50 square miles. Younger bears may be anywhere if they do not yet have established home ranges...but they work hard to stay out of the way of the mature boars.
Those big bull moose are big, but not overly difficult to put down cleanly with a single shot.
Discuss bullet placement with your guide. And discuss where your aim point on the animal will be at various angles, including up or downhill.

Personally, I prefer the 338 caliber over the 30 cal, but this is just my personal preference, and I have used my 338 Win Mag on grizzly, elk, moose and bison with great success. The key here is that I practiced with it a lot and was comfortable with it. And that improved after replacing the factory recoil pad with a LimbSaver pad. It reduced felt recoil by a good margin, and became more comfortable to shoot.

The key here, is not what we think, but what you feel comfortable and confident with!

Best wishes for you on your upcoming adventure!
 

Charlie-NY

Handloader
Mar 11, 2005
1,135
100
I agree with all of the comments above. If it were me, I'd prefer the heavier of the two cartridges. The 340Wby and a 250AB would cover all the bases nicely.

Just my 2 cents
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,355
652
I agree with all of the comments above. If it were me, I'd prefer the heavier of the two cartridges. The 340Wby and a 250AB would cover all the bases nicely.

Just my 2 cents

For sure, that sorta hunt screams to run your 340 with 250 AB's. I used to think the AB's were lesser in performance than a Partition, but after many more hunts and animals I'd rather have what the Accubonds provide. To me, they are usually a better shaped PT and work the same, if not better as far as killing in my opinion.

Good luck, sounds like an awesome hunt.

Glass and mounts would be one of my deciding factors. The strongest mounts on a proven scope would get the nod from me.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,843
1,221
Congratulations on your upcoming hunt. Although either rifle would work, I'd lean towards the 340 Wby and the 250 gr AB. It's more than adaquet for moose, even if you need to take a 400 yard shot. And it will shoot reasonably flat out to 400 yards and beyond.
As already mentioned, having good glass and robust mounts is also important.

JD338
 

CT.HNTR

Beginner
Feb 6, 2022
11
20
I would like to thank everybody for your responses. All the feedback is appreciated and I am now leaning heavy to the 340 shooting 250 AB's. A few questions came up regarding the scope and mounts I will be using. For the scope I am using a Leupold VX-6HD 3-18 x 44 and it is mounted using Leupold 2-piece backcountry mounts with integral rings. The set-up seems pretty robust but I don't have a lot of rounds through the gun yet. I would attach a picture but have not figured out how to do that yet!
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,843
1,221
Good choice for caliber and bullet. Great scope choice. Not sure what you have for rings and bases but you need a solid mounting system when the glass is big and the recoil is 300 WM or greater. I had the exact same scope on my 338 RUM and ran into some problems due to the recoil. I ended up with a picatinny rail and Leupold PRW rings which resolved the problem.

JD338
 

Thankful Otter

Handloader
Oct 8, 2012
784
92
Congratulations on your Yukon hunt, and welcome to the forum. As already mentioned, either rifle will serve you well on this hunt. You should use the one you shoot with the greatest ease and which gives you the most confidence. Having said that, your 300 WM will be enough for any of the animals you mention. Either bullet weight will work for that cartridge. You may feel more confident with the 200 grain bullets, but the 180 will be sufficient. The AB bullet is a great bullet to use on a hunt such as this. No doubt, the Partition or the A-Frame will work equally well. I have no hesitation using the AB in my own hunts, however.
As already mentioned, either rifle cartridge will work well. The Nosler AccuBond is an excellent bullet that will expand well with those velocities and energies at the indicated ranges, and still provide the needed penetration. Use whichever bullet weight shoots best in your rifle. Bullet placement on the animals mentioned is key. And in that regard, your ability and confidence with either rifle should be the determining factor. If you shoot the 300 Wby better than you do your 340, I would recommend using it.

Discuss it with your outfitter. Their recommendations come from years of experience. And they find most hunters who arrive with larger calibers/cartridges do not have the skill/confidence/competence to handle those larger rounds because they have not practiced with them enough. Be honest with yourself, and your outfitter when discussing this. If you have a 30-06 that you handle and shoot better, than your 300 or 340 Wby, they will be happier and you will both be more confident in your shooting abilities when hunting their game, if you take the 30-06 with good 180 or 200 gr bullets, in any of the makes that you mentioned. And practice with field shooting positions, such as off your pack, a tree branch or shooting sticks, if that is what you or your guide will have. There is a lot of willows and buck brush that you must shoot over in that country, and it will add challenge to your hunt.

Grizzlies are not bullet proof, but once their adrenaline is up, can become more difficult to put down for keeps if bullet placement isn't quite what you wanted with the first shot. And most guides will have you shoot a grizzly again, even if you think it is dead, as an assurance that it not just merely playing dead. Cheap insurance on an animal that can hurt you or your guide in a hurry.
And the average grizzly bear shot is probably more in the 400-500 pound range because most hunters shoot the first one they see. Contrary to popular opinion, grizzly bears do not live behind every tree. There are areas with greater population densities, especially when keying in on seasonal food sources. The average grizzly sow has a home range of 20-25 square miles, while the boars have a home range of about 50 square miles. Younger bears may be anywhere if they do not yet have established home ranges...but they work hard to stay out of the way of the mature boars.
Those big bull moose are big, but not overly difficult to put down cleanly with a single shot.
Discuss bullet placement with your guide. And discuss where your aim point on the animal will be at various angles, including up or downhill.

Personally, I prefer the 338 caliber over the 30 cal, but this is just my personal preference, and I have used my 338 Win Mag on grizzly, elk, moose and bison with great success. The key here is that I practiced with it a lot and was comfortable with it. And that improved after replacing the factory recoil pad with a LimbSaver pad. It reduced felt recoil by a good margin, and became more comfortable to shoot.

The key here, is not what we think, but what you feel comfortable and confident with!

Best wishes for you on your upcoming adventure!

These two gentlemen have far more knowledge and experience than I, --however (-: ------having said that I would definitely suggest you take the 340 and spend time, with it at the range before you go. It is highly unlikely that you will shoot anything except the wolf at 400 years, but if you do the 340 is up to the task. The 250 gr bullet is perfect, obviously more than you will need for the caribou, wolf and black bear, but thats o.k.. As to bullet manufacturers , I am partial to Woodleigh, but Woodleigh, Swift, norma, Nosler--how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. Any of them will serve you well. Weatherby sells loaded ammo, what do they use ?
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,916
383
Cheyenne grew up in that neck of the woods and has more experience with the game in that country than just about everyone else on this forum; you can take her advice to heart!
She has years of experience studying and living amongst the bears in the far north.

Good to hear from you Lil' Sister!
 

CT.HNTR

Beginner
Feb 6, 2022
11
20
I had the exact same scope on my 338 RUM and ran into some problems due to the recoil. I ended up with a picatinny rail and Leupold PRW rings which resolved the problem.
Can you share what the problems were?

I have mounted the scope using Leupold 2-piece backcountry aluminum scope mounts with integral rings. The set-up looks very robust but based on your comments I am questioning if this was the best choice. Because the bases and lower rings are a single piece a set of screws is eliminated so I have two sets of screws (one set for the base and one set for the top ring. I have used the PRW many times and have never had any issues with them but there is an extra set of screws. One set for the base, one set for the lower ring and a third set for the top ring.

The backcountry mounts with integral rings have fewer screws which I like but they are aluminum where the PRW rings are steel so they are probably stronger?

So many decisions !!!!!!!!
 

Thankful Otter

Handloader
Oct 8, 2012
784
92
Cheyenne is no slouch in the experience department. She has insight gained from doing the hard tasks. One could do worse than hear what she has to say.
Cheyenne grew up in that neck of the woods and has more experience with the game in that country than just about everyone else on this forum; you can take her advice to heart!
She has years of experience studying and living amongst the bears in the far north.

Good to hear from you Lil' Sister!

How very kind. thank you gentlemen. For the record, these two have forgotten more than I know

It is time for us to head home and get back to work, we did what we could, but they are now in the process of arresting folks and moving the trucks.

Can you share what the problems were?

I have mounted the scope using Leupold 2-piece backcountry aluminum scope mounts with integral rings. The set-up looks very robust but based on your comments I am questioning if this was the best choice. Because the bases and lower rings are a single piece a set of screws is eliminated so I have two sets of screws (one set for the base and one set for the top ring. I have used the PRW many times and have never had any issues with them but there is an extra set of screws. One set for the base, one set for the lower ring and a third set for the top ring.

The backcountry mounts with integral rings have fewer screws which I like but they are aluminum where the PRW rings are steel so they are probably stronger?

So many decisions !!!!!!!!

You wont need "Sedna's" help on this trip, but it can't hurt to give a shout out to either "Sila" or "Pinga" when you start your caribou hunt ;)

Enjoy your hunt
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,916
383
Tip: Use some blue Loctite on your ring/base screws to keep them from loosening. Keeps everything secure!
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,167
1,713
Safe travels as you return to the Territory, Cheyenne. Always good to see your input. For sure, Sedna won't be of great help for releasing caribou. Pinga I can see, but Sila?
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,843
1,221
Can you share what the problems were?

I have mounted the scope using Leupold 2-piece backcountry aluminum scope mounts with integral rings. The set-up looks very robust but based on your comments I am questioning if this was the best choice. Because the bases and lower rings are a single piece a set of screws is eliminated so I have two sets of screws (one set for the base and one set for the top ring. I have used the PRW many times and have never had any issues with them but there is an extra set of screws. One set for the base, one set for the lower ring and a third set for the top ring.

The backcountry mounts with integral rings have fewer screws which I like but they are aluminum where the PRW rings are steel so they are probably stronger?

So many decisions !!!!!!!!
I blew the erector out on the scope. Leupold engineer told be a top heavy scope can get whipped around from the recoil pulse. He recommended the 1 piece picatinny base and PRW rings. I bought a new VX-6HD 3-18x50mm in preparation for a moose hunt and have had no issues dialing out to 800 yards.

JD338
 

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