Vortex Broadheads
Holding for the shot
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
crosscut 04-Jul-18
Ucsdryder 04-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Jul-18
wyobullshooter 04-Jul-18
Treeline 04-Jul-18
Ermine 04-Jul-18
Glunt@work 04-Jul-18
BIGHORN 04-Jul-18
drycreek 04-Jul-18
MarkU 04-Jul-18
Whip 04-Jul-18
KsRancher 04-Jul-18
cnelk 04-Jul-18
Timbrhuntr 04-Jul-18
goelk 04-Jul-18
Dale06 04-Jul-18
splitlimb13 04-Jul-18
Pigsticker 05-Jul-18
midwest 05-Jul-18
Bill Obeid 05-Jul-18
Treeline 05-Jul-18
midwest 05-Jul-18
Treeline 05-Jul-18
WV Mountaineer 05-Jul-18
abow4me 05-Jul-18
trophyhill 05-Jul-18
Pigsticker 05-Jul-18
Lost Arra 05-Jul-18
ColoBull 05-Jul-18
stealthycat 05-Jul-18
TD 05-Jul-18
trophyhill 06-Jul-18
From: crosscut
04-Jul-18
Does it seem like you have to hold longer for shot an elk versus a deer or other big game?

From: Ucsdryder
04-Jul-18
I watch a lot of YouTube elk hunting videos. I always “pick my time to draw”. It’s not perfect watching through the camera lens, but it’s a fun game. I almost always “draw” too soon.

04-Jul-18
No

04-Jul-18
No

From: Treeline
04-Jul-18
Nope.

From: Ermine
04-Jul-18
I’ve held a long time in elk before. But don’t think it’s anymore than any other animal

From: Glunt@work
04-Jul-18
I shoot trad, about ten seconds and something needs to happen.

From: BIGHORN
04-Jul-18
If you end up holding for a long time when an animal holds up, try moving your draw arm tightly against your side. It takes the strain off of the arm. When the animal moves again just lift the elbow back up to it's normal place and let it fly.

From: drycreek
04-Jul-18
What BIGHORN said. I've had to hold several times on pigs, because they don't stand still much. Not so much for deer, but the holding your draw arm tight to the body works.

From: MarkU
04-Jul-18
Nope, but Clay Hayes has a video of my son holding a longbow at full draw for a timed 35 seconds before he kills the elk.

From: Whip
04-Jul-18
I'm another grad guy, so not long at all. Not being able to hold makes timing critical and that's all part of the fun.

From: KsRancher
04-Jul-18
For someone that's never drawn a bow on a elk yet. You guys suck:)

From: cnelk
04-Jul-18
Yes & No.

There are times Ive drawn an shot an elk within seconds, and other times Ive drawn and rested my bow arm on my knee and waited for over a minute + at at full draw

From: Timbrhuntr
04-Jul-18
Just get a crossbow ha ha ha

From: goelk
04-Jul-18
Im with Glunt. Once had a bull elk 5x5 4 steps from me. He came in from behind when i was draw on an cow in front of me. I couldt move and i can only hold for about 10 seconds. That was funny. Did not get a shot off. Im death and realize on movement .

From: Dale06
04-Jul-18
It depends. I’ve held longer on a whitetail, but I’ve arrowed 20-30 times more whitetail than elk. My opinion is that’s there not really a difference.

From: splitlimb13
04-Jul-18
No

From: Pigsticker
05-Jul-18
I find that a lot of people seem to draw to soon on most animals.

From: midwest
05-Jul-18
This is a great video with Cory and Dirk but also thought it was a great example of when to draw and how to hold at about the 10:30 mark.

From: Bill Obeid
05-Jul-18
I’m with pigsticker.... a lot of guys are premature drawers.

From: Treeline
05-Jul-18
Totally different timing shown there versus using traditional equipment.

He held for about 20 seconds. That is pretty easy for most compound shooters. That video shows great patience and mental fortitude on his part to wait for the shot as the bull comes in close and then make a good shot. Have had a number of compound shooters shoot way too soon on elk and have bad results. It is really difficult to keep it all together and wait for the right shot when a bull is coming in no matter what you shoot!

Notice that he is also using a non-mechanical broadhead. A cut on contact solid broadhead will hold together best on those kind of shots and that frontal shot puts them down really quick if put in the right spot.

My setup with my longbow would have been different in that I would have been down on my knees for the shot - probably next to the pine limb that he is standing next to before he moves up to the aspen. The angle to the vitals is better from down lower a lot of the time and you look a lot less like a human squatted down low. I would not have been hitting full draw until about 1 second before he shot or later.

Then, I would probably have waited just a bit longer on the shot than he did to take the bull as he turned to leave to get a good quartering away shot. Frontal shots are not as effective with my equipment as they can be with a compound.

Most of the time, from the time I hit full draw to release on elk or any other critter happens in 5 seconds or less.

From: midwest
05-Jul-18
Treeline, I haven't hunted with my recurve for many years but I look at situations like this and wonder what I would do different if I was shooting trad.

So are you saying you would draw knowing the elk would see the movement and turn, hopefully not blowing out of there?

From: Treeline
05-Jul-18
Midwest,

I have killed a lot of elk that saw me draw. Most elk I have shot have been on "the turn" as they are leaving or moving past me. I do not think I have ever shot an elk that was stopped or standing broadside. Being close to tons of elk over my lifetime helps to know their body language and how they are going to react. When they are close enough, they can't move fast enough to dodge an arrow.

05-Jul-18
Good stuff Tavis.

From: abow4me
05-Jul-18
As some have said most draw too early and end up having to let down and spook the elk or not be able to make an accurate shot due to holding so long. It helps to practice drawing with the least amount of movement possible. Just hold up bow straight and rolll the shoulder back. You can hide almost all your movement. Plus most elk don’t spook too bad, they will almost always stop after 5-10 yards and some cow calls. I’ll admit though when they do bust out, the first feels like they will be gone forever. But it seems they also stop.

From: trophyhill
05-Jul-18
Elk are unpredictable and sometimes you will have to hold for longer than you'd like. I screwed up a couple years ago on a big bull. I was gonna draw when his head was behind a tree and kill him at 5 yards. Only problem was, he stopped at 25 and pissed for 45 seconds. During that time, his cows surrounded me and sounded the alarm as I was patiently waiting. The bull was gone before I could draw. Had I drawn when I saw his antler tips, the outcome would have been way different.

From: Pigsticker
05-Jul-18
Elk have been relatively easy to draw and shoot but typically I have someone else calling.

X2 "Being close to tons of elk over my lifetime helps to know their body language and how they are going to react." and deer and etc... Pigs have been the toughest animal for me to get a shot off on. Drawing has not been a problem but they are never still for long. I only spot and stalk pigs and for every one that is not moving there ten that are moving.

From: Lost Arra
05-Jul-18

Lost Arra's Link
>> Pigs have been the toughest animal for me to get a shot off on. Drawing has not been a problem but they are never still for long.<<

+100 I think even 3D hog targets move continuously.

In my experience, elk tolerate movement much more than whitetail deer especially pressured deer. I hunt both traditional and compound. I like trad for elk and compound for deer as I need to draw sooner on the highly wired deer.

I'm attaching a video I took with a dying point and shoot camera while holding a cow tag. I've often wondered when I would have drawn

From: ColoBull
05-Jul-18
Draw, shoot, repeat, doesn't reflect the real world all that often. For me, holding at full draw is part of practicing shooting. Having a few old hides, around the target, adds realism to the process. It seems to improve accuracy, but who knows?

From: stealthycat
05-Jul-18
I'd rather draw early than late - that's just me and probably contrary to what most do. I draw/shooting sitting in stands too vs standing. IMO the closer an animal gets, the more chances they see you draw.

Its a compound, most can hold them back a minute or two or more if needed ..... if the animal hangs or does something you can't get a shot, pick the right time to let down and do again

From: TD
05-Jul-18
I'd say half or more of my shots are from a kneeling position. Holding is a piece of cake with a compound. You simply rest your lower cam on the ground or your leg or something. Adds a good bit to the letoff and more importantly, takes the weight of the bow off your bow arm. For me holding the draw isn't the part that wears me down, it's holding the weight of the bow with an extended bow arm that gets me. With the cam braced you can hold a LONG time.....

From: trophyhill
06-Jul-18
Great advice TD!

  • Sitka Gear