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Thread: Recurve for elk?

  1. #1
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    Question Recurve for elk?

    I'm considering an elk hunt, in Colorado, but I'm not sure whether to take my compound or my recurve. I shoot both very well, but I fear the longer yardages will not allow my recurve to be an effective weapon.

    Has anyone here used their recurve to hunt elk? Do you just have to wait for the closer shot or is it possible to get a clean kill with a recurve at longer yardages?

    I'd like to hear what bow poundages would be best and arrow weights.



    I prefer cut-on-contact broadheads, like the Steel Force, so broadheads aren't a question for me.

    Thank you, Bowhunter57


  2. #2
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    My blood pressure went up!

    That name Rosie Odonally does that. Its fact her body gaurds all carry registered guns but we shouldnt, what a joke!
    Never been Elk hunting but sure would hate to see that big boy at 50yds and cant drop him dead. Atleast I cant at 50yds with my recurve. My limit is aroun 25-30yds.

  3. #3
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    I've shot elk with recurves and longbow (also string guns). They were all shot with bows in the 62 to 65 lbs class. Arrows were cedar or 2216's. Broadheads were MA3's, Magnus (large 130 gr two blade), Ribtek 125gr. and the old green Bear heads. As with everything in archery - you gain on one end and loose on the other. I'll take the speed of a longbow or recurve any day over the distance of a string gun. If you want to shoot em at a long distance use a regular gun. Of course that's just an opinion from a bigot bowhunter.

  4. #4
    Larry D. Jones is a avid elk hunter and he uses a recurve. enough said! They will do the job just as well if you put the arrow where it needs to go and use a broadhead that can yield good penetration out of traditional equipment.

  5. #5
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    In my elk camp this year one guy took a nice 5 X 5 bull with his recruve. Took the shot at 35 yards after stalking him for over an hour. The elk ran about 80 yards. Clean kill. I will try to remember to scan some photos so you can all see. His bow is 60 pounds and the arrow did not quite pass through, but stuck out the other side.

  6. #6
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    IMHO-

    I'd take the compound. It doesn't sound like elk hunting is something you get to do every day, and it would be a shame to get a shot that was ok for the compound, but risky for the recurve.

    The difference in KE is also significant. The compound is better for making a clean kill, even though either bow can harvest an elk. An elk with any bow is a great accomplishment, I'd take the one that will be most effective for getting the job done.

    If for some reason you're a much better shot with the recurve than the compound, then my answer might be different.

    Would you take a 45# compound to hunt elk? Not if you could pull a 60# compound. Well, taking the recurve might offer similar KE to taking the 45# compound.

    What's your arrow speed and arrow weight out of the recurve?
    Last edited by FingersDan; January 5th, 2003 at 09:38 AM.

  7. #7
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    Bowhunter57,

    Those Steel Force broadheads are tempting!

    I happen to be part of what appears to now be a minority - those that believe that penetration relates to momentum rather than to KE. I would suggest that you use the compound and use the additional KE of the compound to drive a heavier arrow - increasing the momentum - although changing arrow weight is a pain, I know.

    Another alternative might be to switch to a two blade broadhead that has the same weight as your current broadhead. The two blade trading size of wound channel for extra penetration.

    So in an ideal world, I'd use the compound, shoot a heavy arrow, and use a rangefinder to handle the less flat trajectory.

    beprepn

  8. #8
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    Gentlemen, thank you for the informative replys!

    FingersDan,
    I'm shooting a 56# custom recurve with 440 grain (total weight) aluminum arrows and either Steel Force 4 blade or Wensel Woodsman 3 blade broadheads. My arrow speed is 188 to 190 f.p.s.

    I feel very confident of my shooting ability, inside 30 yards. Confident to shoot a groundhog at that distance and expect to make a clean shot. If the opportunity arrises for getting to go to Colorado for elk, I will test my skills out to 40 yards and if I am capable of consistantly hitting the target....I will NOT shoot past that distance.

    Again, thank you all!
    Good hunting, Bowhunter57

  9. #9
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    Well, for what it's worth, that combo has 35#s of KE. Most recommend more than that for Elk.

    Of course, with a well placed shot, 35 will do the job.

    I skimmed the article below, and used the KE calculator. I tend to agree with their take on KE vs. momentum.

    http://www.bowsite.com/bowsite/featu...tion/index.cfm


    It has been my experience that the average traditional archer is much less accurate than the average archer with a compound and sites. So lower KE and worse shot placement is too often the case with traditional equipment.

    *****I'm now going to duck and dodge the flames from traditional shooters********

    Seriously though, if you're a great shot with the recurve, it will do the job. But if you're twice as good a shot with the compound, why lower your effectiveness that much? I guess you also have to know your limitations, and if it's 25 with the recurve and 45 with a compound, and you're willing to limit yourself to 25 yards, there's nothing wrong with that I suppose. Although personally, I'd rather have the compound at 25 or 45 yards.


    That's my 2 cents.

  10. #10
    Injuns never worried about KE. Use the recurve, get close make it count! I never took up bowhuntin to shoot an animal at 50 yards. i like em close! good luck on your hunt.

  11. #11
    If you are attracted to hunting the hard way, by all means do it. If you "get a shot that was ok for the compound, but risky for the recurve", then of course you simply either try to get closer or pass.

    If our main goal was to kill an animal, we would be using rifles instead of bows. All of us hear seem to be seeking a greater challenge by hunting with bows. A few want to experience an even greater challenge by bowhunting with simple equipment that allows the archer to impart far more of himself into the critical moment without relying on technological crutches. These types of hunters are out to experience the thrill of the hunt above all else. If you really are drawn to traditional bows, don't cheat yourself out of an opportunity. Whether your hunt ends with a elk or not, you can return home more enriched for the experience.

  12. #12
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    When I first moved to Colorado 17 years ago I was told, you can't shoot elk with a recurve. That despite the fact that I had taken about 40 deer and a few bear and antelope with the recurve. So I joined the ranks of compound shooters and I can honestly tell you that ever elk I have shot I could have taken with the recurve. Oh sure, I could have shot them when they were 50 yards away but in most cases, my shots have been in the 10 to 30 yard range.
    One thing I will say, is if you are going to use a recurve there is no way in heck I would use a mechanical broadhead. Use a good sharp cut on contact head like the Steelforce or the Phantom. Hit em good and you won't have any trouble at all with your recurve as long as you are at 50 pounds or more.

  13. #13

    50 pounds

    the weight recommended for elk hunting i think is 50 pounds so if you shooting a recurve at 50 pounds your going to be in good shape out to about 35 yards but with a compound you can shoot 75 0r 80 and get better speed and better yardage recurve hunting for elk would be fun and a challenge i believe i would hunt with a compound though for better yardage

  14. #14

    Talking

    If you guys are worried about yardage and KE, why not use a rifle?????? It has more KE than any bow out there and you can shoot at a much longer range.
    Like i said, get close. It's STUPID to shoot at any animal at long ranges with a bow no matter how fast the arrow is going.

  15. #15
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    Ethics!

    JUNIOR,
    I agree with you! Bowhunting is a close range proposition.

    Each bowhunter has to know his limitations and be damn sure to stick to them....no matter how great the temptation may be to take a risky shot. Whether the shot is "risky" due to yardage, shot angle, obstructions, etc. you must maintain a clear focus on your INTENT and that INTENT for all bowhunters should be the same....a clean kill. We owe that to the game we hunt, to ourselves and to the future of all bowhunters and bowhunting.

    Good hunting, Bowhunter57

  16. #16
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    The problem with shooting an elk at 50 yards with a recurve or a compound is AT THE MOMENT OF RELEASE the animal takes one step and no matter what your shooting you have a gut or hip shot. To shoot at 60 70 or 80 yards is nothing but unethical in my opinion - use a rifle. Choose the recurve and get closer, plus the kill will mean a lot more to you.

  17. #17
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    Go to
    www.blackwidowbows.com
    Go to the photo galleries and click on elk pictures. I don't think you'll have many doubts after that.

  18. #18
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    Given the fact that he asked which to use, I assumed he would be happy to take an Elk with either. It doesnt' sound like he gets the opportunity every year. I've never hunted for elk, but if i got the opportunity, I'd want my compound so I would have the increased likelihood of getting a shot I was comfortable with.

    For those who are fortunate enough to hunt elk every year, then use what you think is best. But if you're asking which is more effective...then the obvious answer is a compound.

    I'm happy to have as many bowhunters around as possible, but I do have contempt for anyone who tries to tell me or anyone else that using a compound is less than sporting. Give me a break. I respect the animal, and I want to make a good clean kill. I've seen traditional shooters that don't have that same respect. Folks who shoot a 15" group @ 20 yards should not be hunting with a bow. That is not true of all traditional shooters, but it is true of some I've shot with who treated me as less than a real archer for having "training wheels." "I shoot better at real animals than at targets," is one line I've heard. Yeah, yeah...tell it to the deer with the broadhead and cedar shaft lodged in their butt.

    I really don't care what someone uses. Just make a good shot with enough energy to do the job. I think a traditional setup could be alot of fun, and I may try it some time. But an attitude of superiorityabout it? Nah, that's pathetic.

    There's nothing unsporting about using a gun either.

  19. #19
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    Fingersdan,
    I agree. I am still in the process of switching to traditional. Although I will shoot aluminum and will probably hunt with my compound for years to come. I just like the simplicity of a recurve.
    As far as which he wants to use, hell a crossbow would be ok with me. There no different than a compound in my opinion.
    It is all in who uses them. When I can finally group arrows consistently at hunting yardages, i'll shoot my recurve, till then the old Browning wins out.
    It just seemed that he had doubts about the abilities of a recurve as far as killing went.
    Whatever the choice make sure the animal is in YOUR effective range. And then shove it their breath takers.

  20. #20
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    I shot a cow elk at 18 yards with my set-up. I had a complete pass thru. 55lb.Martin Super Diablo. 30 in 2018 arrows. 125gr snuffer 3 blade. I wouls be confident to about 30 yards max. I believe the most critical part of my set-up is the broadhead. These 3-blade suffer create a large hole which cuts down the drag of the arrow thru the animal. Pluse they fly just like a field point.

    Cheers!
    SoftPoint
    Cheers!
    SoftPoint

  21. #21
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    I have been elk hunting for 6 years and always find myself chancing them in the Big Dark Timber. In my case they have to be close or there is no shot. To many branches/trees in the way.

    Good luck with the Hunt, Elk are a lot of FUN!!

  22. #22
    FINGERSDAN, you can also tell the deer with the aluminum arrow and mechanical broadhead in their butt that a compound is more effective than a recurve. DON'T TELL ME THAT!!!!
    It's shot placement that is the most efficient. Like BOWMANIA said at the moment of release alot can happen to cause a bad shot at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards!!!!!!
    I don't care what anyone uses but it ticks me off when someone says one is better than the other. It's not the equipment it's the shooter.
    Like I said if you're worried about the kill, USE A RIFLE.


    If you enjoy the hunt, use whatever you want. Just don't be so jazzed on the KILL! It's the experience that counts.

    Just my opinoin!

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