While a .40 may be legal for hunting elk I would step up some in power to do so cleanly. I haven't looked at the energy levels that a .40 S&W has but for it to be legal it needs to have 500 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards for elk.
I have killed a few elk with pistols. A .357 mag, .44 mag revolvers, 7-30 Waters, and .357 Herrett out of a Thompson Center Contender.
The closest shot was on a cow at 20 yards and the furthest was a 150 yard shot on a raghorn bull in Colorado.
I have a .40. I use it for road signs and beer cans. Prolly be OK though, a Utah guy shot and killed a moose in Wyoming a couple years ago with a .380. The moose "attacked" him on a snowmobile trail....uh while the guy was on a snowmobile....an operable snowmobile with fuel even. Anyway ya need to check the regs, a .40 may not meet the regs in Utah.
I just took a look at the engery levels for the .40 S&W and while there are a few factory rounds that have over 500 ftpds of energy at the muzzle I doubt that they would still have it at 100 yards as is required by the DOW. So I would say that it isn't legal for elk.
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