Sitka Mountain Gear
Pick your spot!
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 02-May-18
IdyllwildArcher 02-May-18
IdyllwildArcher 02-May-18
splitlimb13 02-May-18
Ucsdryder 02-May-18
IdyllwildArcher 02-May-18
Ucsdryder 02-May-18
Shawn 02-May-18
Ziek 02-May-18
ohiohunter 02-May-18
tradmt 02-May-18
splitlimb13 02-May-18
TD 02-May-18
LUNG$HOT 02-May-18
Tonybear61 02-May-18
Brun 02-May-18
APauls 03-May-18
Brotsky 03-May-18
SBH 03-May-18
Chasewild 03-May-18
cnelk 03-May-18
PECO 03-May-18
x-man 03-May-18
Glunt@work 03-May-18
Ziek 03-May-18
Cheesehead Mike 03-May-18
splitlimb13 03-May-18
12yards 03-May-18
Ziek 03-May-18
sticksender 03-May-18
cnelk 03-May-18
cnelk 03-May-18
cnelk 03-May-18
Cheesehead Mike 03-May-18
carcus 03-May-18
320 bull 03-May-18
Ucsdryder 03-May-18
Glunt@work 03-May-18
Beendare 03-May-18
Cheesehead Mike 03-May-18
Cheesehead Mike 03-May-18
cnelk 03-May-18
IdyllwildArcher 03-May-18
Ziek 03-May-18
Ziek 03-May-18
IdyllwildArcher 03-May-18
oldgoat 04-May-18
Cheesehead Mike 04-May-18
TD 04-May-18
ELKMAN 05-May-18
ColoBull 05-May-18
Firsty 05-May-18
Ziek 05-May-18
splitlimb13 05-May-18
Ucsdryder 05-May-18
LUNG$HOT 06-May-18
splitlimb13 06-May-18
priley 06-May-18
Boris 06-May-18
Teeton 06-May-18
Barty1970 08-May-18
Ucsdryder 08-May-18
Barty1970 08-May-18
splitlimb13 08-May-18
splitlimb13 08-May-18
splitlimb13 08-May-18
splitlimb13 08-May-18
splitlimb13 08-May-18
Ziek 08-May-18
splitlimb13 08-May-18
Cheesehead Mike 08-May-18
From: Ucsdryder
02-May-18

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Screen shot from a YouTube video. Call it 10 yards or so. Who shoots and if so, where?

02-May-18
There's a stick in the way that makes the shirt pocket shot a little dicey.

02-May-18

IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo

From: splitlimb13
02-May-18

splitlimb13's embedded Photo
splitlimb13's embedded Photo
Idy is right on the money . I'll shoot that shot all day in the same spot idy marked.

From: Ucsdryder
02-May-18
At 10 yards I better be shooting bottle caps. That being said I’m 2” (shooters) right of the dot. I want to hug that should blade on HIS left side.

02-May-18
I'd like to be just a hair right of the center of my dot as well. Maybe the right side of the dot, but still in the red. Thing is, he has his left leg back at the photo, but appears to be walking. If he's standing still like that, then the right side of the dot is better, but if he's walking, that thick joint where the humerus meets the scapula is going to come swinging forward. With all those sticks and the angle, I'd pass if he was walking - I'd only consider taking the shot if he was standing still. Too many variables with a walking animal unless he's broadside and there's an absolute clear shot.

From: Ucsdryder
02-May-18
Let me see if I can find the link. He’s standing at that pic staring holes through her.

https://youtu.be/bP38tYhyhW0

From: Shawn
02-May-18
Still in the red but at 1 o;clock. I would want to be an inch or so higher and a tad to the right so as I said in the red at 1 o'clock. Shawn

From: Ziek
02-May-18

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
I can't tell what that is sticking up, and the camera is not quite at the same angle as the shooter. But if that stick? isn't in the way, at that distance, I also like the right edge of the dot. However, it's not as much of a slam dunk as some think. I had a similar shot several years ago, maybe a bit longer. I was between the bull and his cows and he was fired up and posturing. Just as I released, he lowered his head, and the arrow hit him in the jaw. Because of my setup, the arrow broke his jaw, continued through his throat, and the BH just barely exited through the skin of the off shoulder. He went a ways but with an adequate blood trail, we found him, dead. Lots of moving parts on a frontal.

From: ohiohunter
02-May-18
Wow, that’s wild and a damn nice bull to boot. Thanks for sharing that

From: tradmt
02-May-18
Anywhere will work for me, I'm using a Rage, but it wouldn't matter because I would have already smoked that Mac daddy at 73 yards.

From: splitlimb13
02-May-18
"Anywhere will work for me, I'm using a Rage."

Should get a whole "1 1/2 of penetration with those bad boys :-) hahahhaa

From: TD
02-May-18
Height's pretty good. My dot would be more right though. But then it seems I never see little sticks either...... =D. Hugging HIS left leg/shoulder bone and exiting behind his right shoulder..... same as I would if he were hard quartering away. Killed a spike with a frontal pretty close to that angle and a cow even harder angle (at like 4 or 5 yards) that exited her offside ham. Wish I had a pic like Ziek's though.... nice bull.

I hear if you hit inside the "hole"above the brisket while they are inhaling they will suck the arra right in.......

From: LUNG$HOT
02-May-18
Wow Ziek, crazy shot for sure. Nice bull!

From: Tonybear61
02-May-18
I remember reading stories (Thomas Seton I think) about the natives stalking bear, waiting for the charge so they could shoot them down the mouth, on purpose.

From: Brun
02-May-18
I like the right edge of the dot from the camera's position. The stick might be a problem from the shooters angle.

From: APauls
03-May-18
Ziek changed my mind, I'm shooting for the open mouth. JK but that's a crazy one Ziek. Congrats on a nice bull.

From: Brotsky
03-May-18
Dang Ziek, I've heard of shooting them in the face before but....:) Amazing what can happen after we let go of the string! Congrats on a damn fine bull!

From: SBH
03-May-18
That's a crazy shot Ziek. Glad it ended well.

From: Chasewild
03-May-18
Ziek -- that is wild. That was a brutal way to go out for the old boy but, like you said, moving parts on a frontal.

From: cnelk
03-May-18

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
My spot

From: PECO
03-May-18
I watched the video, she didn't take a frontal, he ran, guide stopped the bull, bull turned quarter away, she shot, then went after it and shot a few more times. Killed the bull, very nice bull. I would most likely take the frontal shot in the excitement of the moment but hope to not have to make that call.

From: x-man
03-May-18
The lightest color spot, just to the right of the darker hair. (from the camera angle)

From: Glunt@work
03-May-18

Glunt@work's embedded Photo
Glunt@work's embedded Photo
Not sure I would take it but if I felt confident about threading the needle, this is my spot. I have only taken one frontal on elk and it worked great but I would have to be there in the moment to decide to give it a green light.

From: Ziek
03-May-18
I think Glunt has it. I like the green dot. A close frontal shot is not for everyone. Even though it may look like a slam dunk, a screaming, slobbering, wild-eyed bull that looks like it's about to run you over, is not the same as facing a foam target. Best if you have some experience and know how you handle high pressure situations. An interesting note; his antlers were full of grass and brush when I shot him.

All bulls with a bow are "good". Heck, any elk is. Although that guy was the herd bull, he's not that big. My fourth best by P&Y standards. He ate as good as any.

03-May-18

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Here's mine from last year, almost the exact same angle but the other side...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Here's mine from last year, almost the exact same angle but the other side...
I'm with Glunt but because the bulls rump is a little uphill and his body is angling up as it goes back I don't think there would be any harm in shooting a little higher. With the way the bulls body is angled up in the back I wouldn't want to shoot any lower than the green dot...

From: splitlimb13
03-May-18
Green dots money!

From: 12yards
03-May-18
I'm with Glunt. What is the minimum required bow/arrow setup to take a frontal shot?

From: Ziek
03-May-18
I don't think there is an identifiable "minimum". Everyone should maximize their setup for the best possible terminal results. I would be very disappointed with Mike's penetration. From the photo, I would expect my arrow to at least be in the stomach. The photo may be misleading, though. In any case, when I don't shoot clean through, I want to know why, and take steps to improve the results if possible.

Yeh, the bull is dead - congrats on a great bull. But for those that say they have plenty of penetration when they've shot through a broadside bull when the arrow just happened to slip in and out between ribs...on that shot they did, but it doesn't mean much. I want EVERY shot to go clean through, no matter what I hit. Obviously, that ain't going to happen, but when it doesn't, there better be a better reason than it hit the shoulder blade on the way in because I was shooting from a tree stand.

From: sticksender
03-May-18
Green dot is good, should pass right through the top edge of the heart.

From: cnelk
03-May-18
I wasnt disappointed in the penetration with this frontal. I was pleased with end result

View post on imgur.com

From: cnelk
03-May-18
Same with this penetration

View post on imgur.com

From: cnelk
03-May-18

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
In case Imgur pics dont show...

03-May-18

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Here's a still frame from the bloodtrailing video of my pull posted above. It was very easy to follow...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Here's a still frame from the bloodtrailing video of my pull posted above. It was very easy to follow...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
More of the blood trail...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
More of the blood trail...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
More blood...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
More blood...
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Here's another one with seemingly poor penetration but he's just as dead. The hide on this bull's neck was a full inch thick and was very difficult to cut thru when I caped him.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Here's another one with seemingly poor penetration but he's just as dead. The hide on this bull's neck was a full inch thick and was very difficult to cut thru when I caped him.
I guess you can’t make everybody happy... ;^)

I could be insulted by your comments Ziek and feel inadequate and like a failure because I disappointed you and because just killing the bull was not enough…

I’m not going to worry about it though… To be honest, I thought I would have gotten more penetration too, but realistically an arrow that penetrates into a bull’s stomach is not going to make him any more dead. And if you don’t penetrate the bull’s stomach you probably don’t have to deal with as much bloating while you’re boning him out.

Your comments imply that I should do something to improve my penetration. So here are the stats on my inferior setup so everybody else will know what kind of a setup to avoid and so you can point out my weaknesses: Mathews Halon 6 maxed out at about 72#. FMJ 400’s with Slick Trick Mag 100’s. Total arrow weight is about 425 grains. I could probably step up to a FMJ 300’s and 125 grain heads for a total arrow weight of about 500 grains but is the extra 75 grains going to make that much of a difference? Slick Trick Mags might not be the best penetrating head on the market but they do the job and I’ve never lost an animal due to poor penetration on an otherwise good hit.

I think some people may underestimate the thickness of the tissue on the front of the chest of a mature bull, especially in the muscle near the shoulder. I think the muscle is considerably heavier and denser there than it is behind the shoulder. The hide on the neck can be much thicker and tougher than the hide on the side behind the shoulder. Also, I may have shot through one of the ribs that are in front of the shoulder.

Regardless, the bull bled profusely and died quickly. I saw blood gushing from the entrance wound as he whirled and ran and the blood trail started immediately.

Bigdan has probably killed more bulls with a quartering frontal shot than anybody else on the Bowsite. I wonder how much penetration he typically got…?

From: carcus
03-May-18
I've killed a few elk and a moose with a frontal shot, plenty of penetration, had a buddy who shot a large bull close with a 57# recurve with a heavy arrow and a high end 2 blade broadhead, shot was perfect, longest and best bloodtrail ever, the arrow did not penetrate enough, broadhead just made it into the chest cavity, I was there for the shot and recovery, so I would say his setup wasn't enough, I had made the same shot earlier that season and the broadhead was pushing hide on the hind quarter, but thats a 70lb rpm 360 with a 480gr arrow and a exodus bh

From: 320 bull
03-May-18

320 bull's embedded Photo
320 bull's embedded Photo
I like the green dot but because he looks like he is bugling I may consider waiting for him to lift his head just a touch....But maybe not

here is one that fell to the frontal. Its devastating if you have the energy

From: Ucsdryder
03-May-18
Cheesehead, What is your bow setup out of curiosity? Also, that’s a bucket of blood, did you catch the femoral or heart? Awesome bull and great blood trail Stevie Wonder could follow!

From: Glunt@work
03-May-18
Mine was a 56# home made bow, 500 gr arrow and 2 blade head. Bull was angled a little more than above and the broadhead exited behind his offside front leg. I have seen more powerful set-ups fail. Many factors are at play. A few inches different on placement or angle, nicely tuned arrows, broadhead type, animal reaction. Any set-up that I'm confident would pass through on a broadside would be adequate when things go right. When things go wrong there may not be a set-up that would overcome the problem.

From: Beendare
03-May-18
I like that frontal shot but the pic in that first post with his head down doesn't give you much of a window.

I would probably track him closer as the slight angle opens up a little more of his chest.

I loved Cnelks pics.....I've shot about 5 bulls with the frontal...but always concealed the fact in the pics as years ago that shot was just unacceptable to many.

I've seen a bunch more bulls shot with that frontal and as long as you hold a little high [a bit counterintuitive] it works great.

03-May-18
Ucsdryder,

First bull posted was shot with a Mathews Halon 6 maxed out at about 72#. FMJ 400’s with Slick Trick Mag 100’s. Total arrow weight is about 425 grains.

Second bull posted was shot with a Mathews MQ1 at 74# and the same arrow just a little longer so about 15 grains heavier.

I believe the femoral artery is in the hind quarters so I didn't hit that. Ziek probably would have though with his penetration ;^)

I think you're thinking aorta...? I'm not sure what I hit because I boned him out with the gutless method and did not open his chest.

03-May-18
Beendare, I agree with your comment on hitting a little higher but you have to be careful not to get too high and hit the spine.

On the second bull I posted he was above me and I was shooting uphill. I'm thinking that I hit the underside of his spine inside the ribcage and that's part of the reason for the relative lack of penetration.

From: cnelk
03-May-18
Archery is just one of of many things in life that don’t require full penetration and still have a satisfying ending.

03-May-18
If you're curious, next time you kill an elk, place your arrow on top of the bull with the chest opened up. An arrow that penetrates anywhere near to the fletching has had plenty of penetration to do the job. Take a look at how much penetration you actually need to get the arrow to the level of the heart, at which point, you're into all the good stuff and it's a dead elk in short order. I think a lot of you will be surprised how little arrow it actually takes to get in there. On a deer, it's even more surprising.

From: Ziek
03-May-18
I wasn't trying to pi$$ you off or start an argument. If you're happy, I'm happy for you. Just not what I would expect. And I didn't say I would WANT to penetrate to the stomach, just that I think I would have. There are many setups that will work - until you get a hit where they don't. I prefer that those are very few and far between. Heck, I've seen a rifle bullet fragment on a rib and fail to penetrate. There aren't any guarantees.

Another anecdote. My wife shoots a very light setup - 45# @ 24.5" draw. I once watched her shoot a broadside cow elk. The arrow barely slowed down as it went through her. She didn't even know what happened. Just flinched, and kept feeding 'til she toppled over. A few years later, with what appeared to be as close as possible to the same shot and hit, only on a 5 point bull. She only got a few inches of penetration. Long story short, I'm pretty sure he survived. All I can figure is, she centered a rib and that was enough to stop her arrow. A cow isn't a bull, but I wouldn't have expected such different results. Since that time, we've gradually changed her setup as I've learned more, and better equipment has become available. So far she hasn't had any failures of that kind, but she also hasn't shot any elk since. I am confident that we've done about all we can to maximize penetration out of her setup. So far, so good, including shooting clear though a mature mountain goat billy, and she's been applying for a cow moose tag. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to confirm what I believe - that she's good to go.

Anyway, all I'm suggesting is analyze your hits, good and bad, and when something goes wrong, don't just accept THAT as an outlier. It could be you've just been lucky up 'til then. And even a small increase in penetration potential can make a difference. Once the heavy lifting is done (penetrating to the near edge of the vitals) very little energy is required to penetrate lung tissue, so a little extra can make all the difference. And a hole on both sides typically leaves a better blood trail. ;-)

From: Ziek
03-May-18
"Take a look at how much penetration you actually need to get the arrow to the level of the heart..."

True. But if you typically only get that much on a broadside, best not try that frontal shot! ;-)

03-May-18
For sure, but it takes a pretty horrible setup to only penetrate to the heart on a broadside elk. Guys with trad bows and the same arrows many of us are using pass through elk broadside...

From: oldgoat
04-May-18
Pine tree to the right, probably

04-May-18
"Anyway, all I'm suggesting is analyze your hits, good and bad, and when something goes wrong, don't just accept THAT as an outlier."

You're implying that something went wrong and that I made a bad hit when neither are true...

"There are many setups that will work - until you get a hit where they don't. "

You're implying that my setup did not work, which is not true either...

"And a hole on both sides typically leaves a better blood trail. ;-) "

Do you think I don't know that...? I don't know how many elk you've killed with frontal shots but I don't think it's typical to have an arrow pass all the way through a bull and get an exit hole out his ass...

"And even a small increase in penetration potential can make a difference."

Make a difference in what? Would either of those bulls be any more dead with 6" or 12" or even 5 feet of additional penetration? Would the blood trails be any better with the arrow lodged in their guts?

You make it sound like my setup is unacceptable. I'm curious what your setup is?

FWIW, I've had complete pass throughs on several broadside elk.

You didn't kill either of those bulls and you weren't there for either of the shots so you can't say for sure if you would have gotten more penetration. The second bull I posted was a very large bull. The taxidermist used the biggest form available and he said it could have been bigger to better fit the cape. I got well over 300# of boned out meat off of that bull. Like I said, his hide on his neck was a full inch thick and it was very difficult to cut through. I don't think you can compare the penetration on a frontal shot on a bull like that to the penetration on a broadside shot on a cow. Also it's possible that one or both of those arrows may have penetrated deeper and got pushed out somewhat during the death run. I suspected that on the second bull after looking at the arrow.

Maybe I'm being a little oversensitive but your comments seem a bit condescending...

From: TD
04-May-18
"Also it's possible that one or both of those arrows may have penetrated deeper and got pushed out somewhat during the death run."

That happens a fair amount...... ya beat me to it posting first. =D One buck I shot the arrow totally disappeared..... but when we found him it had come back out probably 6". Seen that several times. Have hit several animals that didn't make two holes to find the shaft on the bloodtrail, not just frontals. Must have to do with those "non-barbed" broadheads..... =D

Full elk stomachs can stop a broadhead like a bale of hay.

From: ELKMAN
05-May-18

ELKMAN's embedded Photo
ELKMAN's embedded Photo
For those running their yap about Rage: This one didn't like that "1-1/2 inch of penetration" to much... LMAO! - Was not frontal (I don't take that shot), but hard quartering away, entry 3rd rib from back and exit hole on off side front shoulder. A well tuned 69 pound Hoyt Nitrum 34, with a 439 grain ACC-349 with a Rage 2 blade... In fact my profile page is full of animals that couldn't handle that "1-1/2 inch of penetration"... LOL!!

From: ColoBull
05-May-18
Green dot, maybe. 10 yards, definitely maybe. 70lbs, ACC, 447g. Any broad head one has faith in, which is probably most. I'm gonna go practice some more :)

From: Firsty
05-May-18
Ziek I think you should have got more penetration on your "mouth" shot too but ,well, nevermind......

From: Ziek
05-May-18
While penetration was pretty good considering what was hit/penetrated, I agree. So I'm now shooting a more efficient bow, and switched from a Helrazer 125, to an unvented VPA 150, with Blazer vanes. That increased overall weight, and FOC. If better components become available in the future, I'll look at them. Pretty sure though, a Rage would have been reduced from a 2 blade to single blade, if there was anything at all left, when it hit the corner of the jaw.

From: splitlimb13
05-May-18

splitlimb13's embedded Photo
splitlimb13's embedded Photo

From: Ucsdryder
05-May-18
Hahahahahaha! I haven’t seen that one yet. That might be the best broke back meme yet.

From: LUNG$HOT
06-May-18
Splitlimb that’s perfect! Lmao!

From: splitlimb13
06-May-18
Hahaha !

From: priley
06-May-18
Split you are an ass....lmao

From: Boris
06-May-18
A couple of years back, I chatted with BIG DAN. I asked about the head-on shot. He told me under 20 yards, take it. I told him that my second trip to Colorado, I had a bull at 10 feet.(yes, 10 feet). An that I was at full draw. I was shooting 65lbs. with a 550 gr. 2216 with 125 thunderhead. He asked if I shot. No, because everyone said to what for the broad side shot. BIG DAN told me with that set-up, I would have shot clean through him. Rookie mistake. Oh, the bull was about the size of the first picture.

From: Teeton
06-May-18

Teeton's embedded Photo
Teeton's embedded Photo
Teeton's embedded Photo
Teeton's embedded Photo
I killed this bull at 11 yds frontal. Arrow hit heart and then a lung, from what it showed why butchering him. Arrow had to get good penetration, but never found the arrow. It came out in his run after the hit. Can anyone tell if arrow can't, if not in bone move outward on their run?

From: Barty1970
08-May-18

Barty1970's embedded Photo
Barty1970's embedded Photo
Barty1970's embedded Photo
Barty1970's embedded Photo
Barty1970's embedded Photo
Barty1970's embedded Photo
What do people do for targets when practicing their frontal shots? I practice my broadside shots with life-size vitals printed on paper, but I cannot find similar anatomical diagrams for the frontal shot. Based on what I've watched and read, Corey Jacobsen reckons on an area of approximately 8" wide by 12" high, where the hair changes colour. Any suggestions? Many thanks in advance

From: Ucsdryder
08-May-18
Barty in my opinion it’s more about knowing where to aim and picking your spot. I’m less interested in shooting pictures of the heart and lungs, which I can’t see when shooting a real animal, than I am with knowing WHERE to aim, and then being able to hit it. Aim small, miss small!

From: Barty1970
08-May-18
Fair point well made Ucsdryder...in which case, I will search for some of Bill Ballard's excellent photos to 'compare and contrast' the 'hair-on' frontal anatomy, with the cut away images. Many thanks

From: splitlimb13
08-May-18
Ya I'm with John .. I've never taken a true frontal shot,only because it's never presented itself. I have killed two bull quartering to me. Both bulls died within 40 yards of being shot , both were heart shots,almost exact shots only one was on the left side the other was on the right. I'll post pics here.

From: splitlimb13
08-May-18
Idk why I can't edit. The above pic was a complete pass through,in front left out right behind the right shoulder in his "arm pit".

From: splitlimb13
08-May-18

splitlimb13's embedded Photo
21 yards
splitlimb13's embedded Photo
21 yards
This bull same deal!

The first pic was 51 yards.

From: splitlimb13
08-May-18

splitlimb13's embedded Photo
51 yards
splitlimb13's embedded Photo
51 yards
Ya I'm with John .. I've never taken a true frontal shot,only because it's never presented itself. I have killed two bull quartering to me. Both bulls died within 40 yards of being shot , both were heart shots,almost exact shots only one was on the left side the other was on the right. I'll post pics here.

From: splitlimb13
08-May-18

splitlimb13's embedded Photo
21 yards
splitlimb13's embedded Photo
21 yards
I apologise I screwed up the first posts. This bull was 21 yards.

From: Ziek
08-May-18

Ziek's embedded Photo
Ziek's embedded Photo
Look familiar splitlimb? About 15 yard shot. He only went about 10 yards - just far enough to get out of the mud hole.

From: splitlimb13
08-May-18
Hell yeah!! I'll take that shot all day. It's devastating!

08-May-18
Great bull Ziek! But look how bloated he is already... Must have gotten too much penetration and hit guts... Hahaha! ;^)

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