Contributors to this thread:
What if you had shoulder problems, and although you could pull a 70 lb bow, after four or five shots, it started to hurt. So in order to practice, and save your shoulder from further harm, you decided to hunt elk with a 50-60 lb bow. ( 28 “ draw )
What considerations would you have, what would you change from your 70 lb bow ? Would you go to a short brace speed bow ? or stick with an easy to shoot 7” high brace ?
Would you switch to heavy arrows ? Cut on contact broadheads ?
Would you limit yourself to 20 yards, even though you feel confidant out to 40 yards ?
Would you just put 60 lb limbs on your five year old bow ($250), or pick up a new bow and save the old one for a back up ? ($ 800+ )
Depends on your form. If you have good form a 5 1/2 "-6" BH bow is managable. There are a few 60# short BH bows out there that will shoot as fast or faster than a standard 70# bow, but the draw will be more harsh than normal 60#ers. You may not gain much by going to a 60# speed bow over what you currently have when it comes to draw cycle
no matter what setup I chose, I'd shoot fairly heavy carbons weighing 400-450 grains, with a very sharp fixed blade head.
My shot distance would not change. 60#'s is plenty for most all NA big game.
A lot has changed in the last 5 years as far as bows go. You might be pleasently suprised with what is available now that wasnt 5 years ago.
Raghorn, my partner and I have taken nearly 50 elk between us, and we shoot stickbows of less than 60# My partner shoots 53# recurves and I shoot a 57# longbow. We shoot Muzzy 4 blade 125s and sharpen the trocar tip to make it "cut on impact". Our arrow weight is in the mid-400's.
I'm now learning to shoot a Mathews Ovation with sights and fingers because I've never goofed with one of those wheelie contraptions, and I need something fresh for a challenge. I plan to hunt elk, bears, whatever, with it at 57# also.
You'll be fine. Save your shoulder and dial it down. Dwight Schuh shoots everything in North America with a sub-60# bow.
after hunting with a 52# longbow, a 55# compound is WAY enough for elk hunting, even a 50# compound is
You need to shoot a bow YOU can shoot with comfort and accuracy. If 50-60lbs is what it is, go hunt and enjoy yourself. The way bows are manufactured now 60lb bow pack plenty of punch with the right arrow combination.
Sharp BH's are key 2 or 3 blade. shoot past 20yds, absolutely...but what is your effective range?
If I can get the time off I will be elk hunting again with my 60lb bow. My 72lb bow is the backup.
If you like your old bow...re-limb it. 60lb is more than enough to kill critters cleanly within any bow range.
I shot a 3x4 Bull at 35 yards 2 years ago with a 60# Darton & 2216 Easton arrow tipped with a 3 Blade rocky Mountain-he went 100 yards & I had a complete pass through. 3 years ago I shot another Bull at 35 yards, same set up & he went 80 yards. I also shot a 1000# Cow Buffalo at 42 yards (range finder) with that same set up, complet pass through.
I have killed Black Bears & shot Elk with 55# Recurves so your set up is fine-I just like using a heavy arrow for penetration. My max is the 40 yard area but MOST of my shots are USUALLY 25yards & under.
I used a 57# Ovation, cut on contact heads and goldtip 28 inch 5575 arrows on a big Az bull 2 years ago. 100 yard recovery. No problem. 60#s is plenty. IMO
Don't feel you're under bowed with 50-55# bow. I shoot a lonfbow at 55# with aprox. 500grn arrow. Last year it was a 565grn arrow. Lou's killing them with 450grn arrows. Your setup will do the trick to 35yds in the right situation no problem. That's my killing distance as well.
I'd shoot/practice with the bow I'm going to hunt with. No messing around with others. 70# is nice, but stick with the 55# & shoot comftorably for many years to come!
I prefer cut on contact heads, this year I'll be shooting Wensel Woodsmans heads. Last year was the SnufferSS, it performed great. Razor sharp heads are the key. If you like 2-bladed heads consider Stingers or Zephyr heads with or without bleeders. We've puched both tose heads through one side of an elks scapula, they're tough heads!
60 lb outback , 390 gr arrow, complete pass through at 45 yards . That old 6 x 6 didn't make it 60 yards .
My shoulder's so bad right now, I can't even draw my 62# target bow. I have some bone spurs and a minor tear that require surgery and I've been putting it off for 3 years. For the last 3 seasons, all I needed was 10 arrows/week to keep the back tuned and one good pull during elk season. But I know that isn't going to happen this year... I need to get it fixed right. Don't let your shoulder just get worse and worse... it makes the surgery and recovery more difficult. Just bite the bullet and get it fixed... that's what I wish I would have done 3 years ago. If you're locked into hunting this year, tune your gear down and shoot as much as you can at the lower weights.
I think Dwight Schuh has killed caribou and elk with a 50# bow. I'm not sure if he has shoulder problems or what(?)
Of course, a 50 # compound these days might store and deliver as much energy as the 65 # recurve that Fred Bear used for everything in North America. So 'the rules' have changed a bit -- 60 should work.
Raghorn: I have the same problem as you. I have a 70# bow but I have it cranked down to 63#. Been thinking about putting some 60# limbs on it because I feel sure that in a couple of more years I may need to drop down into the upper 50# range.
However, I love my bow and as long as I can pull it, I'll stick with it.
It's all shot placement. a bad hit with #70 is just that. a heart shot with #50 is meat in the freezer.
I dropped down from a 68# Trykon to a 60# Vectrix because of a shoulder that will pop out of socket when I shoot. This new set-up has been fantastic. I'm shooting 28.5" and my arrow is around 400 grains. Complete pass through on my elk and whitetail w/ slick tricks. Todays bows give you fantastic speeds and the best thing about that for me is the speed/energy you get at lower weights. Some of todays bows could be shot at 45 - 50 #'s and still be making speeds that 70# bows were just a few years ago. The STS type systems that are incorporated in many bow set-ups really helps with the shorter brace heights.
I shot an elk a couple of days ago with a Martin X-200, 145 grain Zwickey Eskimoes, and 35-55 Gold Tip arrows. The first shot when through it and landed in some brush. The second shot buried to the knock. I wouldn't worry two much about hunting with anything over 50 pounds.
60 is plenty... there are 50 pound bows today that will deliver as much energy as old 70 pound compounds. No one questions shooting a 55 pound longbow with 500 grain arrows at elk, I certainly wouldn't hesitate to shoot a 50 pound modern compound...
I am shooting my Reflex Highlander at 60lbs... seems to be just fine.
Good luck, Robb