HuntStand Hunting App
How far...ELK
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
153 17-Jul-11
153 17-Jul-11
westslope 17-Jul-11
Elknut 17-Jul-11
Njord 17-Jul-11
trkyslr 17-Jul-11
Boly 17-Jul-11
153 17-Jul-11
Njord 17-Jul-11
WYelkhunter 17-Jul-11
OrElkaddict 17-Jul-11
Ziek 17-Jul-11
BowKill1 17-Jul-11
olen2 17-Jul-11
elkmtngear 17-Jul-11
153 17-Jul-11
Purdue 17-Jul-11
Beendare 18-Jul-11
WYelkhunter 18-Jul-11
Beendare 18-Jul-11
fisherick 18-Jul-11
Forest bows 18-Jul-11
cjgregory 18-Jul-11
Forest bows 18-Jul-11
TD 18-Jul-11
lariat 18-Jul-11
Windwalker 18-Jul-11
wyobullshooter 18-Jul-11
azdogman 19-Jul-11
TD 19-Jul-11
Jaquomo_feral 19-Jul-11
JLS 19-Jul-11
Jaquomo_feral 20-Jul-11
TD 20-Jul-11
elkin 27-Jul-11
SDHNTR 27-Jul-11
elkin 27-Jul-11
elkin 27-Jul-11
cervus 27-Jul-11
Swamp Buck 27-Jul-11
#1BEAR 28-Jul-11
AZBUGLER 28-Jul-11
trkytrack 29-Jul-11
trkytrack 29-Jul-11
153 30-Jul-11
ozarkmanp 31-Jul-11
Paul@thefort 01-Aug-11
Bou'bound 03-Apr-21
elkmtngear 03-Apr-21
Paul@thefort 03-Apr-21
bowhunt 03-Apr-21
MarkU 03-Apr-21
Jaquomo 03-Apr-21
LKH 03-Apr-21
Glunker 03-Apr-21
Jaquomo 03-Apr-21
GF 03-Apr-21
Mule Power 03-Apr-21
GF 04-Apr-21
Missouribreaks 04-Apr-21
Mule Power 04-Apr-21
trophyhill 04-Apr-21
Bou'bound 04-Apr-21
bowhunt 04-Apr-21
Pop-r 04-Apr-21
Jaquomo 04-Apr-21
GF 04-Apr-21
Jaquomo 04-Apr-21
wyobullshooter 04-Apr-21
Willieboat 04-Apr-21
Willieboat 04-Apr-21
Ollie 04-Apr-21
MathewsMan 04-Apr-21
GF 04-Apr-21
Stix 04-Apr-21
DonVathome 05-Apr-21
From: 153
17-Jul-11
HYPOTHETICALLY speaking, if an elk is stnading broadside, wide open, no wind or other variables, HOW FAR would be TOO far to shoot and arrow with 61 pounds KE through BOTH lungs? (average sized elk cow or bull) ??

40 yards? 50? 60?

I have never even seen a wild elk. Know virtually nothing about hunting them. But am a very experienced whitetailed deer bowhunter (30 years) and have decided yesterday that 4 of us from Tennessee are heading to Colorado next Fall to check one of the bucket list.

Let the learning begin!

Another question...are my aiming points for kills similar to whitetails?

Thanks

From: 153
17-Jul-11
Maybe this question was worded wrong.

How far is TOO far to expect a humane, LETHAL killing shot at the average elk with 61 pounds KE?

ACCURACY NOT BEING A PROBLEM?

I am talking STRICTLY penetration here.

Also we will be using Magnus Stinger, 100 gr, 4 blade.

From: westslope
17-Jul-11
I shoot 68 lbs - 340 arrow - 100 grain 4 blade fixed broadhead and my personal MAX distance is 40 yards. As far as shot placement check out this thread http://forums.bowsite.com/TF/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=338909&messages=204&forum=5

good luck!

From: Elknut
17-Jul-11
Frankly, I'm very happy that your trying to be ethical, good for you. I shoot a Hoyt set at 65 lbs with carbons weighing 10.7 GPI, tipped with 100 grain G5 Striker broadheads.

I have killed 12 bulls & 4 cows with my bow, and while I can hit a quarter at 50 yards on the range, I would not even consider shooting at a live elk past 45 yards, you simply dont need to.

My last 2 bulls, both herd bulls from Colorado, were shot at 11 & 17 yards. Both had complete pass throughs and dropped dead within 60 yards. Wear good camo and practice your calling. Those Magnus Stingers are great elk heads by the way.

From: Njord
17-Jul-11
IMO unless the heart or major arteries are cut blood loss is the secondary mechanism of death, collapsing both lungs is the primary. So you really need to poke holes is both sides to be effective. You are showing alot of KE are you making it with speed or arrow weight.

I would say that unless you always get complete passthru penetration on whitetails, you could be marginal. What does it take to shoot thru a deer?6-8", you could need double or triple that with a high hit on a big bull. KE made with speed is a poor indicator of penetration. Err on the side of more not less. You could make significant increase by changing broadheads to a heavier two blade head. Here's a good link to help explain what is important to consider http://www.tuffhead.com/education/ashby2.html.

From: trkyslr
17-Jul-11
My first and biggest elk was shot at 48 yards.. Lung shot.. Arrow hit one rib on each side and passed cometely through and landed ten yards on other side of the bull's trail... I was shooting 70# axis 340 with muzzy 100 gr.....

From: Boly
17-Jul-11
I shot a spike at 45 yds with a 125gr montec @ 60lbs and the arrow landed in a bush on the other side. I would say that 50 yds. would be my max distance.

From: 153
17-Jul-11
Thanks guys, I simply plugged in the numbers on the Bowsite forum under tools to get my KE. I shoot 260fps with a 400 grain (total) arrow. I have always gotten complete pass thrus on almost all my deer, even the ones over 200 pounds, unless I hit hard bone.

I know an elk is not a deer. This is why I want to learn.

Also, this trip is still over a year away. I have begun a exercise/diet that I hope will help. I live in the Mountains of East Tennessee. I've been told by tri-athlete buddies of mine that NOTHING can totally prepare me for the altitude. They tell me it will be a ROUGH hunt and we need to aclimate for a couple days.Drink plenty of water.

I am just getting started but am looking forward to seeing the country. I've never been West.

Also, I do not ask these questions for ANYTHING to do with ETHICS!!! I already have mine. I just want to know about penetration and recovery. THe answer about penetrating BOTH lungs, (read: with entrance AND EXIT holes) is the kind of information I need. I know what my equipment will do. Elk are TOUGH, thick animals.

THANKS!

From: Njord
17-Jul-11
Elk have hard bones in them too, just bigger and thicker. Read the link I have provided, then decide, you have time to make any necesary changes, so what if you loose a few fps in doing so. This is apparently a big trip for you so do it right, ensure your equipment is up to the task of making a good memory. Don't flirt with "in the best case scenario I have enough".

There is a reason that serious elk rifle hunters shoot 338 win mags

From: WYelkhunter
17-Jul-11
"There is a reason that serious elk rifle hunters shoot 338 win mags"

because they have big ego's.....Or can't get close enough so feel they have to take long range shots.

your set up will work just fine at what ever distance you are comfortable at.

From: OrElkaddict
17-Jul-11
Well said WYelkhunter!!!

From: Ziek
17-Jul-11
"How far is TOO far to expect a humane, LETHAL killing shot at the average elk with 61 pounds KE?"

Farther than you can cast the arrow. In other words, if the arrow can get there, it is capable of killing an elk. But that has nothing to do with how far you should attempt to shoot at game, any game, no matter how good a shot you are on targets.

From: BowKill1
17-Jul-11
I killed my first bull at 47yds with a complete pass through double lung shot. I was shooting a BowTech Liberty set at 64lbs with 55/75 GT XT Hunter arrows tipped with Rocket 75gr Wolverine broadheads. The arrow weight was 350gr. Most would say that this set up was to light for elk and I agree. I was new to bowhunting elk, but I went on to shoot a couple more elk with that setup. I now shoot a heavier setups, my arrow weight now is 415grs.

From: olen2
17-Jul-11
If you practice a lot, I mean a lot I would say 50 yds is max for most people. I practice out to 100 yds but will not shoot past 50 yds and always shoot at relaxed animal that is not alerted to my presence. The vast majority of my shots are under 25 yds.

I run into quite a few guys bragging about the 70 80 100 yds shots and I also find quite a few gut shot elk and elk dead with arrows in their arses during archery season

From: elkmtngear
17-Jul-11

elkmtngear's Link
Exactly 49.32 yards! ;)

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: 153
17-Jul-11
Thanks guys.

I appreciate the time.

From: Purdue
17-Jul-11
IF you truly want the distance that is HUMANE, ask yourself this: If this were my pet horse that I grew up with, given my equipment and ability, at what range would I be willing to "put it down" with a bow and arrow?

When you put it in those terms the yardage shrinks considerably and many would never do it with a bow.

There seems to a "humane" as it applies to wild animals and a different "humane" as it applies to pets. Should there be?

From: Beendare
18-Jul-11
I can't give it to you in a pet friendly format...but a couple of comments

You are using a very efficient head that increases the efficiency of your setup-assuming BH's are grouping. Aim small but you have bigger than a pie plate to work with...that and the animals disposition determines distance for you more so than arrow weight. You will not recover an elk if you catch the shoulder. Elk do move but not as much as whitetails.

Hoping some of that helps you decide....

From: WYelkhunter
18-Jul-11
"You will not recover an elk if you catch the shoulder"

Several years ago I was shooting a 365gr arrow with 61 lbs KE. At 42 yards I hit the front shoulders. Went through the top middle portion of the blade on my side and the head went through the far shoulder blade about 1". Elk was dead with-in 100yds.

From: Beendare
18-Jul-11
Since this is debate free.....I will just stick with my recommendation you stay away from the shoulder on elk with your setup

From: fisherick
18-Jul-11
The first and last bull I shot with a older 65# compound bow, 2315 arrows and a 125 Thunderhead I shot at 51 yards. The arrow stopped at the opposite leg after taking out both lungs and the top of the heart, it traveled 70 yards and fell dead. Still looking for a bull to cooperate with the recurve.

From: Forest bows
18-Jul-11
Hard to say till you have one in front of you, but 40-50 is what most guys would say I bet.

From: cjgregory
18-Jul-11
Most likely you will not be shooting anywhere near that range. Over 20 would be an exception. KE wouldn't be the issue. Generally they are either in your face or theres no shot. Its not like they walk into the open and you take your time. Its a bit faster action than that.

By the time I get my recurve back and I release its maybe 3-4 seconds. I like to hold longer to maybe 5-6 seconds but the elk won't listen to me. I've made the mistake early on years ago to forego the idea of waiting for the perfect shot. In fact my last two were faster than that. When their eyes get that wild rolling look your arrow better be in the air.

From: Forest bows
18-Jul-11
Hard to say till you have one in front of you, but 40-50 is what most guys would say I bet.

From: TD
18-Jul-11
My elk....... about 4500 miles......

Scapula cartilage is not a problem, the center ridge? Not gonna happen IMO. I've been through both scapula on a bedded bull and stuck in the tree behind him, but it was through the thin part of the scapula, which I consider mostly cartilage as it's relatively soft and flexable until it's dried out and hard.

I know in theory the kill zone is larger. JMO, but in reality you want to put a better shot on elk than you would deer, they can carry a marginal hit a long long way in a very short time. To me the real life kill zone is about the same dessert plate as for a deer. Outer edges and you could be in for a long day. Or three... I don't go for the "it's a bigger kill zone so you can shoot farther" logic.

Longest, 45-47, some where in there, I thought it was a little over 40 and hit way low, deflecting back some off the front leg bone. Got him, but yeah, it was long long day.

Shortest was a frontal/quartering on cow at maybe 16 yards, watched her go down in a Quinton Tarantino scene that was done in just a few seconds.

From: lariat
18-Jul-11
I would say that you have enough bow to not worry about range too much. I blew through one at 45 yds one time shooting approx 245fps with a 385gr arrow. I also think you have a great head for elk. I have shot 6 bulls and got two complete pass thrus. Both pass thrus were cut on contact heads. (Muzzy Phantom and Magnus Buzzcut). Don't know if it was coincidence or if they really made the difference. (Both were within 1-2 yds of 45). Good luck and have fun.

From: Windwalker
18-Jul-11
I shot a 333 bull with a Matthews Drendlin set @59lbs using an ACC tipped with a 100 grain Montec. Acheived entire arrow penetration from 43 yards; got both lungs. Bull only went 30 yards. You have enough fire power especially if you just take broadside shots.

18-Jul-11
Too many factors go into the equation to give you a cut and dried answer. As long as everything goes well, I would say 50 would be close to your max. As I said, that's if everything goes well.

I agree with those that say stay away from the shoulder, or else the potential for problems is radically increased.

From: azdogman
19-Jul-11
I think most of these opinions are based on the fact guys dont like to hear about far shots. The fact is you could shoot an elk with that setup at 100 yards and be fine. Should you shoot that far? not if your asking this question. We shoot the balloon on the long shot at 120 yards and the arrows pull out almost as hard as they do at 40 yards. I have seen with my own eyes arrows blow through elk and bou at 80 yards plus with mech heads. You should have no problem getting a shot at 50 yards or closer but your setup will do the trick as far as you can effectively shoot. I have seen bad shots made at close distances as well as far so you cant blame all wounds on long shots. I know i am more calm at 80 yard shot with feeding bull than 25 yard shot with bull screaming in my face. Good luck and practice every day out to 60 or 70 yards at least. It will make the 30 and 40 yd shots seem easier. JMO

From: TD
19-Jul-11
Just a heads up, an FYI.....

If you haven't had much time up close and personal with elk, and honestly I'm marginal.... I know just enough to be dangerous....

In the heat of the moment they will seem much closer than what they are. They are just flippin' big animals and throw in a bucket of adrenalin and it makes things even harder.

Rangefinders are helpful, experience even more so. Lacking either or both it's good to remember, they are big and even at the edges of a person range..... like the reverse of the sticker in your side mirror... "objects are farther away than they appear..."

19-Jul-11
TD, I saw a gal with a t-shirt that read, "Objects in this shirt may be larger than they appear"

But good point - the size and raw energy of a bull elk often makes him seem closer than he really is, especially for lifelong whitetail hunters with whitetail visual size-distance ratios burned into their brain. IMO there aren't many opportunities for a solo hunter to use a rangefinder in the heat of the moment unless he's feeding along placidly, as azdogman notes, racking a bush, or hung-up staring straight-on.

Either way, your bigggest issue is not going to be carrying sufficient KE to killl a bull at your maximum effective range, but more in executing the shot. Check out the video on the "Ultimate DIY Hunt" thread and you'll see what I mean.

From: JLS
19-Jul-11
Jaquomo,

I think we need a picture of that gal to fully appreciate the shirt?

20-Jul-11
Umm, the statement belabored the obvious.

:~)

From: TD
20-Jul-11
Yeah, but did ya take the shot???? =D

From: elkin
27-Jul-11
The closer the better obviously, but evryone has there comfort shot and a distance in mind. There are only a few hunters that will stick to that distance and hold off if the shot is wrong or a little out of the comfort range. You have to practice alot the loger the shot. considering elivation changes and wind most wont shoot past 40 yrds. The kill zone on a elk is big but you still have to get it done on a live animal, this isnt a target that does not move so puts in a lot of variables.

From: SDHNTR
27-Jul-11
IMO, KE is bordering on meaningless. KE measures force at impact, what is far more important is the efficient use of that KE after impact.

From: elkin
27-Jul-11
be a good shot and dont take stupid shots!!!!!!!forget the rest. a deer can hear up to a 1000 ft per second,I dont imagine our bows will ever be that quick,ha ha.

From: elkin
27-Jul-11
be a good shot and dont take stupid shots!!!!!!!forget the rest. a deer can hear up to a 1000 ft per second,I dont imagine our bows will ever be that quick,ha ha.

From: cervus
27-Jul-11
I can hear up to 1126 fps:)

From: Swamp Buck
27-Jul-11
60 yards is my limit.

From: #1BEAR
28-Jul-11
I agree with Azdogman...shoot every day. That will improve your confidence IMMENSELY! I never used to and switched this year to doing that and I will never go back. I shoot MUCH better now. Stronger. Confident. A lot of whitetail hunters mis-judge distance when they see a bull in the woods the first time. I sadly watched a man stick an arrow in the dirt under a HUGE 6x6 because he thought it was 20 yds. away when in reality it was 37 yds away. He was sick. It was the first elk he had ever seen in the woods and it came on a string to our calling. The bull left and we never saw him again. Next year, after having shot your bow for a year, you will know what distance to shoot.

From: AZBUGLER
28-Jul-11
I also agree with azdogman. I have personally passed through elk at 40-50 yards and have seen it done from 60 with mechanical heads. You didn't ask what was right or wrong, but how far your equipmnt would penetrate through both lungs. The answer is probably farther than your shooting would allow. Most likely at 100 yards or even further. I wouldn't hesitate to take a 50 to 60 yard shot as I am confident at that range. Beyond that and my shooting might be a limiting factor, not my equipment.

28-Jul-11
Havent had the time to read all the threads so i dont know if this has been said but but bowhunting to me has become not how far you can shoot but how close you can get. I hunt whitetials regularly and been elk hunting and our biggest animals have been under 20 yards.

Hunt hard and smart and you will be amazed on how close you can get.

Go get em'!!!

From: trkytrack
29-Jul-11
I wouldn't care to try a shot past 40 yards; too much room for error, both animal and human.

From: trkytrack
29-Jul-11
I wouldn't care to try a shot past 40 yards; too much room for error, both animal and human.

From: 153
30-Jul-11
Thanks guys for all the info. I appreciate the good advice.

As I said earlier, this is not a question of accuracy, but rather of penetration with 61 pds KE and a 4 blade Stinger. Thanks

From: ozarkmanp
31-Jul-11
153, I shoot basically the same setup as you and have killed one elk . I have hunted them 3 times and shot once. That shot was at 76 yards and it was a complete double lung pass thru. Shooting 62 lbs, 400 grains total ay 263 fps. I think its what you are comfortable shooting.

From: Paul@thefort
01-Aug-11

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
My Compound bow is set at 64#, 450 gr arrow with 125 gr Stinger is what I shoot and have killed 10 elk here in Colorado, none being farther than 32 yards. How far would I attempt the "perfect shot". 50 yards.

Depending on shot placement, most broadheads have penetrated both sides but sometimes hang up if the broadhead hit a large rib or leg bone.

I will using my 55# recurve this year but plan on keeping the shot within 25yards, under 20 even better.

Most elk weigh around 450 to 700 lbs on the hoof but stand higher than a deer. The elk's lungs and heart area is the size of a basket ball.

Just wait for a good broadside or qt away shot and aim for the lungs. While this photo is not exact, it will give you some idea of the vitals.

From: Bou'bound
03-Apr-21
What has been the average kill distance you have experienced

From: elkmtngear
03-Apr-21
"What has been the average kill distance you have experienced"

Elk- average of 30(ish) yds.

From: Paul@thefort
03-Apr-21
Thirteen elk to date. None farther than 32 yards. closes shot 15 yards. Average, 20 yards. Last season, 21 yards, the year before that, 18 yards.

From: bowhunt
03-Apr-21
31 yards

From: MarkU
03-Apr-21
Bou, a ten year old thread.

Are you bored lately?

From: Jaquomo
03-Apr-21
Out of 68 for my partner and I , probably right around 15 yards, give or take. But quite a few were single digit shot distances. Furthest shot was 38, with a longbow.

Besides digging up an ancient thread, looks like quite a few extinct posters from that era were dug up too!

From: LKH
03-Apr-21
I read a lot of the responses and then reread your post. I'll address the penetration issue you wanted addressed.

My father-in-law once killed a running (very large) bull moose in Alaska with a 55# recurve and a 2 blade broadhead. The bull was over 50 yards away and the arrow was sticking out the other side of the ribcage.

If you use a cut on contact broadhead and an arrow with decent mass you will get adequate penetration of the ribcage at any range you are likely to shoot, even 100 yards.

From: Glunker
03-Apr-21
If shot placement is perfect with no rib hit going in, I think the bull dies if the shot is 90 yards or less. If you hit a rib bone going in then 65 yards might be the limit. Likely set a 50 yard limit on the perfect broadside setup which is not probable. Good luck.

From: Jaquomo
03-Apr-21
I don't think the OP has been on the Bowsite for about 10 years....

From: GF
03-Apr-21
Not saying that it doesn’t make a ton of sense to angle for a lot of penetration, but JMO, there is no question that an arrow is limited in effective killing range only by the skill of the archer. The Brits killed thousands of men at over 200 yards.

But what no amount of skill can overcome is the potential for Stuff hitting the fan while the arrow is in the air. Doesn’t matter if you can hit a nickel from a mile away if it’s not where you left it when the arrow shows up.

I made a few really great shots today. Wouldna mattered if they had been on live animals that had done much more than shift their weight prior to taking a step.

And the hang-time.... Plenty.

From: Mule Power
03-Apr-21
Bou you using that time machine you got for Christmas?

From: GF
04-Apr-21
“Let’s do the time warp again!!!”

04-Apr-21
Lots of variables, however with modern compound bows many elk are routinely killed out to 60 yards. There is no one set distance.

From: Mule Power
04-Apr-21
You can shoot elk further with today’s bow than you could back when this thread started . Lol

04-Apr-21
Follow the science. Anything past 40 yards you need to wear 2 masks

From: Bou'bound
04-Apr-21
Would you say the vast majority at 35 out under. Maybe 80%. ??????

From: bowhunt
04-Apr-21
I believe the 2 masks are only recommended if they are made of the new synthetic high tech materials.

If they are made of “traditional” materials such as cotton or merino, 3 are still recommended:)

From: Pop-r
04-Apr-21
I wouldn't elk hunt with a bow/arrow that only produced 61# of KE.

From: Jaquomo
04-Apr-21
Until the past couple years (when I switched to compound) I never hunted with a bow that produced more than 44# KE. And killed a bunch of elk with longbows producing 39-41.

From: GF
04-Apr-21
“ I wouldn't elk hunt with a bow/arrow that only produced 61# of KE.”

LOL, Lou....

There probably aren’t 10 guys on this site who could hit an honest anchor with a longbow that puts out 61 FPE; let alone hit a 3D deer in the 8 ring with it.

From: Jaquomo
04-Apr-21
KE was never a consideration for about 24,975 years, until modern programmed cam compounds came onto the scene. Then KE became archery's version of a big dick contest. Even some trad guys get sucked into it. On the LW there are plenty of (non elk-killing) guys who insist you MUST shoot at least 70 lbs with a 600 grain arrow to kill an elk.

04-Apr-21
Heck, I shoot a compound and haven’t seen 61# KE in several years. The elk haven’t noticed.

From: Willieboat
04-Apr-21
600 grain arrow? What the FOC ??

From: Willieboat
04-Apr-21
600 grain arrow? What the FOC ??

From: Ollie
04-Apr-21
The real question is how accurate are you with your bow.

From: MathewsMan
04-Apr-21
The shots I’ve blown on Bull elk have been the 19 and 23 yarders. Be careful about hugging the shoulder blade. I don’t seem to have had much problem on cow elk as I’ve arrowed close to 20.

If you practice out to a distance with your pins and the situation is comfortable you’re the only person that has comfort on the shot. Don’t overthink things but be as prepared as you can get.

From: GF
04-Apr-21
“ On the LW there are plenty of (non elk-killing) guys who insist you MUST shoot at least 70 lbs with a 600 grain arrow to kill an elk.”

Get with the times, ya Old Coot!!

Nowadays, anyone who draws over #55 is summarily judged to be Overbowed, and immediately convicted of snap shooting... even those who anchor long enough to Cheat by actually putting together a working sight picture....

Now, this week it’s blasphemous to suggest that a guy might be under-bowed for black bear at #35.... And I’ve stirred up quite a ruckus by suggesting that instead of minimum poundage requirements, states should just require a minimum of a 450 grain arrow.... and suddenly all these 17.3 Club Founding Members are up in arms because that “hobbles” their #35 with an ungodly 12 and a half GPP.... I suggested that we compromise on 1oz even, just for convenience, but not many takers....

LOL

From: Stix
04-Apr-21
All of my elk kills (albeit not many) were 11-20 yards. Back when I used 55# trad equipment. These days I lowered to 50# due to shoulder tendonitis and mostly hunt mulies with mos kills at 10 to 25 yards.

From: DonVathome
05-Apr-21
Use a SMALLER broadhead for elk. Get in shape. Find a better hunt the CO OTC.

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