I would not consider elk not dropping to a shot as a problem. Quite the opposite actually. When I see an elk immediately drop in my 28 years of guiding, I am immediately concerned. It usually means one of two things, either a poorly placed shot into the spine or a poorly placed shot just below the spine but above the lungs. In the later case, the elk is temporarily paralyzed and gets up and runs away. We never find them.Very interesting! The Sierra Game King bullets tend to also “blow up” AFTER penetration into the body cavity if heavier bone isn’t struck by the bullet first. My hunting buddy and his son use 165gr Sierra BT in their ‘06s and my son used to in a .308. Over the years in use on many, many deer and pronghorn, they work great! They penetrate into the boiler room and then blow up! We almost never found more than a shrapnel of bullet or jacket. All the bullet energy stayed within the animal. They completely destroy the lungs, heart and everything else. But, some of the animals were able to run some distance before succumbing. They were dead but didn’t know it! HOWEVER, not so great on elk or moose! One elk and one moose (different hunting trips) each standing at 25yds took three of my buddy’s ‘06 for the elk and four ‘06 for the moose! Both animals just stood there and were dead, but just didn’t know it. My buddy told me he wasn’t shooting any more rounds and just waited until they fell over! Now, put those animals at some distance and maybe moving when shot with those bullets and PERHAPS watch the anarchy unfold? I would have sat down and ate my lunch while watching the idiot(s) chase the elk through the woods. Instead of just using a different bullet, he
now wants to borrow my .338 OFTEN!
As a side note, I haven’t experienced the “blow up” bullet effect on the 225gr Core Lokts in the elk I’ve shot. They seem to hold together and mushroom well? Different bullet weights, jacket thickness and velocities perhaps?
With a good shot to the heart/lung area with a medium caliber, elk almost never drop immediately because it takes a while for their brain and muscles to run out of oxygen. Bullets don’t kill. It’s the lack of blood/oxygen supply to the brain and body that kills. This can take a small amount of time so we keep shooting because you rarely know exactly where a bullet enters the animal until you see it up close. Our camp moto is “Swiss cheese” - keep putting holes in them until down. The most common elk cartridge we see now is a .300 Win Mag and two shots per elk.