The only elephant hunt I have seen on video was one that Pete Shepley of PSE did. If memory serves the animal traveled 2-3 miles following a good hit (and died on property where they did not have ready access to recover it). He killed the elephant, but it was not quick or humane.
Fred Bear in his later years thought Bowhunting Elephants to be inhumane, perhaps Chuck does too? I believe Elephants starving to death or being poached because they have no "Hunting Value" to be inhumane.
Anyone ever considered a sharp field point and taking a brain shot?
Before I get beat up, this is a JOKE, I have the utmost respect for Chuck, even if we don't agree on this subject!
Chuck talked about his attempt at hunting elephant with a bow. When the elephant he shot was finally recovered, and put dow I believe with a rifle. Chuck mentioned when they cut it up he examined the ribs, and he thought the way the ribs were positioned he did not think a safe successful shot could be made.
I would guess this is where he comments about taking an elephant came from. I have no experience with hunting elephant, however I believe there are plenty that have harvested them with a bow that I think would disagree.
IMO there is no more concise way to frame the debate than that comment.
If I was doing it I'd take the Achilles shot.
You might be able to kill a whale with a bow and arrow, if you follow it long enough and shoot it enough times, but at what point does it become all about ego and not about humanely harvesting an animal?
As the pic showed I hit center rib and punched threw, broadhead ended up buried in the sternum.
Yes I think (or have heard) that Fred Bear and a few others did shoot Elephants that were "Capped" or shot in the Knees so they couldn't charge.
I realize not everyone thinks the same on this subject, but as the equipment is now available and knowledge of arrow placement comes out it can be (IMO) done humanely. Ken is correct in that less than 50% are true bowkills, but as we learn more I would hope that number increases. Ethics are "strange" to me at times, there's a thread on the site where some guys are too busy to practice. Some of these guys will hit the woods and gut shoot a whitetail, we will tell them to leave overnight and it happens when bowhunting. And it does, practice or not; wonder what percent of deer are livershot or gut shot or..... Now change this to an Elephant and it's Unethical??? This sport has come a long way, I believe if we as BOWHUNTERS stick together and support one another success rates on all hunts/kills will rise!
It's about penetration so the 8" broadhead ain't gonna work. But since the Elephants heart is the size of the deers lungs........you see where I'm going with this?
After a couple beers I am still wondering about Ethics and Bowhunting and since it's a fact that all animals die faster with brain shots from large boar rifles well........
It seems that our "Politically Correct" world is creeping into the sport I love. That term P.C. makes me sick to my stomach. Wonder way Congress has a 9% approval rating? And we should be more Political??
Perhaps, I don't mean to sound defensive but when I read my posts I do come off that way. Sorry! I'm hoping that peoples feelings on the subject are in fact theirs and not tainted by Political Correctness. There was not one negative comment on my recent Elephant thread and for that I am thankful. I do enjoy a good discussion/debate from time to time. I hope we agree that we disagree on this subject but have common ground on most others. I will "get the knot out of my panties" and discuss this subject in a less defensive manner!!
We choose equipment that gives the animal a higher % of escape and which requires a higher degree of skill to implement.
Does there reach a point where our choice of equipment relative to size of the quarry we seek translates into a significant chance of undue suffering or prolonged death for the animal? Probably, but that is up to the individual to decide.
I think I could tire a steelhead into submission on sub 5lb monofiliment and that would be an accomplishment in the surging water of the spring run. If I'm planning on catch and release, I've simply released a dead fish. No glory in that. If I'm gonna eat the fish anyways does it matter? Again, that's up to me.
That was one of the most polite, respectful, and classy replies that I have ever read on this site.
I don't think you have a knot in your panties at all. Your input is of much value considering you just got done with a hunt of this nature. Great story and pics by the way! Congrats
There is no sport in this and it would take money and resources away from the African government. When a bowhunter goes he is employing many people infusing money Into the governments and feeding the people. If you take this away the animal has no value and will be destroyed.
Nature is not humane watched a clip about lions killing a hippo. Slow slow slow death imagine u tied to a antpile u get the picture..
An Elephants lungs (unlike a deer) are attached to the ribs, so they don't collapse. The near side lung on the Elephant I shot was destroyed so I don't thing an 8" cut is needed. I was trying for a heartshot for humane reasons, but a double lung will kill an Elephant.
I respect your opinion. But pushing limits is in my nature and I believe if one man can do it so can another. I don't intentionally go out to wound animals when Bowhunting but we all know it happens, no matter the size of the quarry. I did a great deal of research before this hunt and practiced daily, I believe I did my due diligence. I do know that I can help others now understand what an undertaking it is to Bowhunt Elephant. But it is not for everyone.
I have need considering an elephant hunt with bow for a while and I do not have a problem with it. However I do see other guys toughts.
I believe for whitetails, dieing of natural causes is almost always starving to death. There teeth get so worn down combined with a digestive system hat becomes more and more inefficent contributes to starvation. I also personally think any deer over 4 years old is so smart they are beyond paranoid of hunters and likely lay up a lot more when they really need food.
My point is, while starvation may be natural causes if I were given the choice of a gut shot or starvation to die I would pick the gut shot every time!
There are so many ways to look at these things.
rc very good points to. I saw pictures here I think? of a doe slowly getting eatne by coyotes, over hours, big chunks of meat gone, still alive. I do not think of myself as a pansy but it was ROUGH.
My opinion is that bigpizzaman was far more prepared, and far more likely to make a humane kill on that elephant then 1/2 the dingalings here in Ohio during bow season. We allow crossbows and there are so any guys without a clue out there slinging bolts at every brown patch they see it drives me crazy.
That said if you can be totally prepared and still have only a 50/50 shot at a fast clean kill it makes me think. I am still ok with it.
Good thread with good points, I really "enjoy" threads like this with good points on boh sides that really make you think.
For what it's worth Tim could easily have let things happen differently and taken a pure bowkill elephant. The animal was not going to "get away". The animal was dead on his feet. It was his sense of ethics and honor that led to a finishing shot with a bullet. The animal lived probably 40 years. Another few hours or so would not have been all that detrimental in the eyes of many others and they would have let the arrow to the job.
Kudos for Tim for taking the high road.
All do respect to Mr Adams, you hit big enough bone on a deer you're not gonna kill it cleanly either. An elephant obviously is a whole different universe. But I can see where it "can" be done. And it obviously has. My memory isn't real clear but I remember reading something about elephants having been killed with spears by natives long ago. I'm sure a few natives turned into wet spots in the dirt as well.
If you want to really get down to it.... with the exception of some relatively small populations, most hunting and pretty much all bowhunting is a "stunt" of sorts. Certainly not done for personal safety, few will starve if they don't kill something hunting. (and those who do rely on hunting for survival certainly do not use sharp sticks to do so.) The supermarket is in most cases cheaper. It is however much less satisfying and much more "disconnected".
Like stated earlier, if quick, easy and efficient were the goal we are all using the wrong tools for that. In effect it is a "stunt" to prove something to ourselves, or fill some inner desire, a greater sense of accomplishment, becasue it has no NECESSITY. Hunting is not something you HAVE to do. And as many different things and levels a person wants or needs to prove to themselves or accomplish as there are people.
All I need to know about it is if it CAN be done with some kind of efficiency, not the odds of success or level of difficulty. Just that it is possible. Yeah, just becasue you can in this case.
If it can be done, then I have no problem with anyone giving it their best shot to accomplish it. If I was required to do something using only what had the highest odds of doing so..... well, high power rifles would be an obvious choice for all hunting "stunts", not just elephant.
But most effective and efficient has never been my ultimate goal. Just ask Coach.... if you have an hour or two to kill....
Elephant is excellant and yes ALL of it is consumed!
Yes no "Value" on animals and they disappear! Most "Progessives" can't/won't grasp this, they discount it because it's not the way they want it to be. (IMO)
You sure we aren't brothers???
Chucks book was written in 2002 and his hunt took place in 1992.
My friend Denny Behn shot a bull a few years back . The arrow hit and busted a rib on each side of the chest cavity the bull traveled 250 yards and fell over....
Karamojo Bell use to shoot elephants with a 7x57 Mauser, and some of the native Africans would shoot them with bows. Both would be questionable activities for 99% of the people in the hunting world.
Can it be done? Sure, that's been proven. But one should question as to whether it should be attempted.
Of anyone in this discussion, Ken Moody likely has the most "on site" experience on the subject. His statement regarding the 50% bullet finish rate an bow shot elephant IS a telling statement, as Matt said.
What I wonder, and is likely one of the biggest variables in the debate, is how prepared have these hunters been? Granted, if you're undertaking a hunt like this, you're going to buy a new heavy poundage bow, K grain arrows, 2 bladed 200G heads, etc. etc. How many guys are truly prepared to face an animal of that magnitude at bow range? How many are truly proficient with a 90 - 100 lb. bow? Of the 50%'ers, How many had the experience and not simply the coin to make a successful attempt?
It would be interesting to pick the brains of 10 or so guys that have done it, successfully and not, AND, pick the brains of the PH's that guided both.
I am sure there are some that have hunted elephant as a stunt or to get their name noticed in "the book with little prep, which is a shame.
In talking to Tim Shultz, 50% of arrows don't penetrate. Some guys will get an 80# bow then turn it down so they can draw it, but penetration suffers. Of the remaining 50% that do penetrate the kill ratio is about 80%. So if we do the math it's more like a 40% true bow kill.
After I blew my shoulder in Sept of 2010, I dedicated myself to rehab and the gym. The plus of this is I can draw over 100 lbs. I choose the 90# bow because I can hold for close to 2 minutes and am accurate out to 45 yards.
If I were to do it today, I could probably set up a bow at 80# and shoot faster than that old round wheel bow.
That was essentially the same set up Chuck used. Chuck is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and I have a great deal of respect for him. But looking back at the equipment used, I am thinking it was marginal at best. Even Chuck said he took several shots at the elephant after it was down and if he didn't hit a rib, he got sufficient penetration. When he hit a rib, the arrow stopped. I also think the 2317 shafts he used were way too fat, they would impede penetration being bigger than the back of the broadhead. At least in my testing it showed that, that is why I went with the 2219.
Pete Shepley's elephant was hit in the very bottom of the heart. Not exactly a quick kill shot. Fred Bear's elephant went 650 yds hit in the liver. Tom Miranda shot one and I don't recall how far it went.
There was a guy I read about in SCI that shot one with a small diameter carbon arrow out of a souped up cam bow and got a pass through on his bull. The bull didn't know he was hit and only went 40 yds with a very good hit just above the heart. I think it was Steve Kobrine (?)
If someone wants to pay for my hunt, I will be glad to give it a go and report back the results.
Is it harder to kill an elephant with a bow than any other animal, probably? I have heard the 50% followed up with a rifle stat a number of times but most, almost all of they guys I've talked to who have actaully shot an elephant with a bow didn't need a followup.
How many rifle hunters end up having their shots "followed up" by the PH's rifle. I expect that number is close ot 50%. Is it the bow or just normal procedure?
I attended a seminar at SCI in 2009 from a guy from Canada who had killed 13 elephant with a bow. He used a 78# bow, thin arrows and a 2 blade head with a rounded tip. He claimed the rounded tip allowed the arrow to go around the rib instead of sticking into it. He obviously knew what he was talking about.
I put together a similar set up at 85# and was confident that it would work just fine. Sadly, I never got a chance to try it out.
I believe Chuck decided it was a stunt because it didn't work for him. We have tons more real life data since 1992 to show, that while it is hard to do, it is not all that uncommon.
A stunt? not in my book. An accomplishment? certainly.
According to Chuck’s book no one was killed or injured.