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Can you kill an elk with a 45# recurve?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Traditional Archer 11-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 11-Oct-18
Bou'bound 11-Oct-18
Paul@thefort 11-Oct-18
Redheadtwo 11-Oct-18
Jaquomo 11-Oct-18
ElkNut1 11-Oct-18
Ermine 11-Oct-18
Linecutter 11-Oct-18
Scoot 11-Oct-18
HUNT MAN 11-Oct-18
LKH 11-Oct-18
GF 11-Oct-18
Treeline 11-Oct-18
Duke 11-Oct-18
Jaquomo 12-Oct-18
Stryker 12-Oct-18
cnelk 12-Oct-18
Franzen 12-Oct-18
Linecutter 12-Oct-18
APauls 12-Oct-18
Jaquomo 12-Oct-18
smarba 12-Oct-18
md5252 12-Oct-18
wyobullshooter 12-Oct-18
ElkNut1 12-Oct-18
smarba 12-Oct-18
JMG 12-Oct-18
LBshooter 12-Oct-18
GF 12-Oct-18
Jaquomo 12-Oct-18
WV Mountaineer 12-Oct-18
dirtclod Az. 12-Oct-18
Linecutter 12-Oct-18
GF 12-Oct-18
Buglmin 12-Oct-18
Jaquomo 13-Oct-18
ELKMAN 14-Oct-18
T Mac 14-Oct-18
11-Oct-18
I am thinking about bagging an elk next year and wanted to take it with my 45# Browning Takedown, Is that enough power?

11-Oct-18
All depends on where you want to hunt. In Wyoming, elk must be hunted with a minimum of 50#, whether it's compound, recurve, or longbow.

From: Bou'bound
11-Oct-18
Where is the arrow going to hit him

From: Paul@thefort
11-Oct-18
shoot him broadside and in the heart or lungs with a very sharp cut on impact BH. Most often a dead elk. I do not know your effective range but most likely, it is 20 yards and under. Then ask your self, "how can I get within 20 yards of a wild bull elk, have him broadside and execute the shot perfectly." Hunting elk, shooting at an elk, and then bagging an elk, all can be a challenge and surely are different stages of the hunt. my best, Paul

From: Redheadtwo
11-Oct-18
Mike Treadway killed a big elk with a 45# recurve so it can he done.

From: Jaquomo
11-Oct-18
I helped a small 60 year old woman kill a moose with a 46# longbow (at her draw length) and cedar arrows she built herself. I've killed a bunch of elk with a 53# recurve, 450 grain arrows, and 3 blade Muzzy 125s with the trocar tip sharpened.

From: ElkNut1
11-Oct-18
Yes!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Ermine
11-Oct-18
Ofcourse

From: Linecutter
11-Oct-18
What is your draw length and what is the bow's poundage at your draw. What the bow says and what you are actually pulling can be two different things, unless it is made for your draw length. Sharp 2 blade cut on contact head (what kind, your choice) will aide in penetration, along with an arrow between 400-500 gr in total weight (that is roughly 9-11grs/lb for a 45# bow). MAKE SURE you have perfect arrow flight with your broadheads, so all the energy if focused through the center tip of the broadhead upon impact. If that arrow has ANY fishtailing or porpoising, you are going to have penetration problems on an animal that size with that weight bow. As mentioned, as close to a broadside shot as possibe, with its entrance side ieg forward. Reason I mention that, is because it allows for a larger area for a lower third chest shot and gets the leg bone out of the way. Study an Elks anatomy to know where you NEED to shoot, not where a 3D target scores. DANNY

From: Scoot
11-Oct-18
Can I kill one with that bow? Doubtful. Can an accurate recurve shooter and good hunter? No doubt- yes.

From: HUNT MAN
11-Oct-18
Yes

From: LKH
11-Oct-18
Absolutely, but probably not legally in most states. Where you planning to hunt???

From: GF
11-Oct-18
I’m no expert, but I’m prepared to take Lou’s word for it.

From: Treeline
11-Oct-18
Yes

From: Duke
11-Oct-18
Without a doubt provided you know the capabilities and are patient.

From: Jaquomo
12-Oct-18
"I'm prepared to take Lou's word for it".

Maybe you should tell that to my girlfriend!

From: Stryker
12-Oct-18
Like linecutter said about the draw length. My Palmer 62” @28” carbon is 50 pounds but I draw 29” and at one more inch of draw it is is 55 pounds on a digital bow scale. Never just assume what the bow says on it on the weight.

From: cnelk
12-Oct-18
Its humorous that many here say a 45lb recurve will kill can elk but very few would use a bow like that for elk :>)

From: Franzen
12-Oct-18
I can't pull back a 45# recurve, but if an elk holds still long enough I can kill one with it.

From: Linecutter
12-Oct-18
My point was with you draw length, if the bow weight is mark 45#@28" (most manufactured bows) , for every inch above or below that 28" of draw length "On the Average" you will gain or lose 2.5-3 pounds of draw weight per inch of draw difference than what is marked. If the bow is a custom made one and it says 45@30" or 45@26" that is what it is drawing at those draw lengths. I have a Samick Journey (64 inch bow) limbs are marked 35#@28" I draw 30" so I am pulling 40-41 pounds at full draw. I am not only gaining the 5-6 pounds of draw weight but "I" also have the advantage of the extra 2 inches for the power stroke with my draw length, increasing the arrows over all speed and performance, more than a bow marked 40#@28" being draw to 28". DANNY

From: APauls
12-Oct-18
Absolutely

From: Jaquomo
12-Oct-18
Also, bow length makes a difference. A 45# 66" bow will be slower and deliver less energy than a 45# 54" bow, because the limbs are more stressed and deliver more stored energy through the power stroke on the shorter bow.

From: smarba
12-Oct-18
"All depends on where you want to hunt. In Wyoming, elk must be hunted with a minimum of 50#, whether it's compound, recurve, or longbow. "

I'm betting nobody has ever encountered an officer with a bow scale in his pocket. Or measured draw weight at the shooter's actual draw length, regardless of what number may or may not be stamped on the bow.

I'm also betting that if you use said bow with a moderately heavy tuned arrow and reputable 2 blade fixed blade broadhead, put said arrow into the vitals of a broadside bull at a "reasonable" distance, said bull will be dead in short order.

From: md5252
12-Oct-18
Heavy arrow and sharp broadhead needed

12-Oct-18
smarba, I provided the regulation concerning draw weight in Wyoming, since the OP stated his bow did not meet that standard. I’m trying to keep someone from problems down the road. Apparently, you prefer to advocate noncompliance. Guess the OP can decide which path he would rather follow.

From: ElkNut1
12-Oct-18

ElkNut1  's embedded Photo
ElkNut1  's embedded Photo
If I was a new hunter interested in switching to Trad Bows these post would have deterred me away in a heartbeat! It sounds waaay to complicated to get into from the many suggestions. Not saying it's not true but just too much to digest all at once!

Here's what I did when I was 54. I decided I wanted to elk hunt with a longbow, decision made! I went online without any real assistance & bought a 62" 60# @ 28" draw length for 200.00 -- I bought this bow in July, I asked a friend who shoots them about what arrows to consider, it took about 15 minutes. I picked up those aluminum arrows suggested & shot that longbow everyday. I did not worry about form or the perfect stance, I shot from every angle & position I could think of & kept focusing on my target, at times it was a struggle being left eye dominant but being a right handed shooter but I over came it in a short time. Sure I had ups & downs but I kept a positive attitude & knew I was going to elk hunt come Sept. A couple months later I felt comfortable to 35-40 yards with it. Went elk hunting & took a nice bull around mid Sept. at 28 yards, I took 4 bulls in 4 years & went back to a compound because of time restraints! I tried to keep it as simple as possible & still have fun. Good luck in your adventure!

Here's the longbow & the bull, still have the longbow!

ElkNut/Paul

From: smarba
12-Oct-18
wyobullshooter, please don't misinterpret my post. I and others appreciate you providing the information. All I was saying is it's somewhat of a gray area with regards to actual draw weight at actual draw length etc. The difference in killing power from an actual 45 pound draw weight recurve from the exact same model in 50 is probably insignificant. If someone is proficient and comfortable with their 45, it's may not worth buying a 50 simply to comply with nebulous language.

We all know that there are SO many variables that affect performance that the 50 minimum is nearly not worth the paper it's written on. 45 well tuned with a 2 blade moderately heavy arrow at 15 yards will outperform 65 with a mechanical, untuned at 55 yards, so just because one blindly complies with 50 doesn't automatically increase the killing potential. In general 50 from a compound will outperform 50 from a recurve; 50 with a 30" draw length will outperform 50 with a 12" draw length. The magic "50" isn't the end all formula for success.

As others have stated the "45" stamped on the OP bow may not even really be 45. It's likely the OP 45 is capable of getting to 50 even if it's beyond his draw length. So it could be said that his bow complies. Nothing states your bow must be at 50 when you release an arrow. You can have an 80 pound bow and short stroke it to release at 25 pounds. The bow would be legal, but releasing at 25 probably wouldn't be considered ethical.

All I was saying is general rules like that typically were written by folks who don't have a clue and each bowhunter should try to evaluate and control/maximize all the variables when deciding whether to hunt with a particular setup: bow, arrows, broadhead, shot distance, shot angle, etc. etc. etc.

From: JMG
12-Oct-18
Just like any weapon .... shot placement.

From: LBshooter
12-Oct-18
Tuned arrow with a sharp two blade BH amd hit in the vitals, don't see why you couldn't.

From: GF
12-Oct-18
“Its humorous that many here say a 45lb recurve will kill can elk but very few would use a bow like that for elk “

You use what you can shoot best, I guess; just a few pounds either way can be a deal-breaker for a lot of people, and if dropping 5 pounds keeps you good for an extra 5 yards, that could be a pretty square deal.

“A 45# 66" bow will be slower and deliver less energy than a 45# 54" bow.. “

Depends on design; I was asking Larry Hatfield about the 64” Bamboo Viper and the 66” Venom, and he said the Venom is the faster of the two. They came out of the same form, but the Viper is cut an inch shorter on each end, so it has a shorter lever arm to apply to the working portion of the limb. On the other hand, I recently started messing with a 52” Thunderbird recurve and it may be just as quick - with the same arrows - as the RER LB that I’ve been shooting lately. And which is marked #55 to the T-bird’s #46. Wish I had a chrono to look into it seriously!

Then there’s draw length. It’s generally conceded that longer DL = longer power stroke = higher velocity, but again Larry is messing with my reality. He built a flight bow that set a record in the #50 weight class and then set a second record in the #35 class, having been “short-drawn” to the lighter weight.

So there are a lot of ifs, wherefores and what-have-yous involved, I guess...

Only thing I know for sure is that accuracy and sharpness are indispensable. Which is not exactly news around here....

From: Jaquomo
12-Oct-18
GF, good points about the design. 2" on a bow that length may go one way or the other. My hunting partner is a bowyer and we've shot a lot of different bows and limb-riser designs through the chrono. My 53# recurve was built as a "speed bow" when I wanted to drop down 5 lbs in weight, and it sure is, but the limbs are a little squirrely and I have to be careful when stringing and unstringing it.

But accuracy with a tuned arrow setup trumps raw speed no matter what. Theres a reason why target archers shoot long recurves.

12-Oct-18
When I started back to traditional bows, I started hunting with a 40 pound KMag I used when I was a teenager and young adult. I went up to a 48 pound Maddog longbow, then to a 63 pound Maddog longbow, to a 76 pound recurve Super Ghost, to a 83 pound Dire Wolf recurve, back down to a 58 pound Kanati. The one thing I noticed about al those weights, was string material made a huge difference in performance. I hate dacron with its stretch, loud, and sluggish performance on trad bows.

So, my suggestion is going to be a simple one. Make sure you buy a good string. The best string maker is no longer doing it but, I'd buy a D10 string from stilldub on ebay or a D10 string from Mike Mecredy at Maddog. They make good ones. You will just have to shoot it in as the do not prestretch the string material. And, remember that strings do matter that much. If you don't believe me, buy a B50 string and buy one of these. You will see a remarkable difference in stability, performance, and quietness.

After that, get as proficient and confident as you can, and have fun. Because 45 pounds drawn any reasonable draw length, will sink a good 2 blade COC head out the other side as often as not. A trad bow is only as restricting as you make it. Good luck and God Bles

From: dirtclod Az.
12-Oct-18
Just shot a 45# longbow this afternoon into a bale of hay/straw 4" penetration.Not so good.(target tips)

From: Linecutter
12-Oct-18
There is some truth to the 50# being arbitrary (but it is the state's rules). A guy I use to know had a 80#@28" Jeffery recurve, he drew 30" using a B50 string. I have a 55#@28" Assenheimer as stated I have a draw 30" draw, using a Brownell Fastflight string. We both shot the EXACT SAME ARROW (my arrow), through the same chronograph twice, 31inch 2219 with a 225gr point total weight 700gr. That is 11.47 gpp for my Assenheimer and 8.13 gpp for the Jeffery if we "ONLY" go with the 3#/inch increase in draw weight on both bows (generally a 80# bow traditional bow is gaining more than 3#/inch). Now you want to guess which bow shot faster? If you said the Jeffery you would be wrong and if you said the Assenheimer you would be wrong. They Both shot 180fps, at the same distance from the same chronograph, both showed the arrow was tuned for the bow by paper testing, perfect hole for both. That is a 25# difference in draw weight. Bow/Limb design had everything to do with it in those two bows, plus after 60# on a Traditional bow you aslo start getting into the law of diminishing returns. So it just goes to show you, things are not always as you think they should be. DANNY

From: GF
12-Oct-18
WVM - you just let me know if that Maddog #63 is getting to be too much fer ye ;)

Lou - couldn’t agree more. I think I’m probably in tbe sweet spot for the Thunderbird and may be coming up short for the RER even though it’s rated at 28” and I’m more 26.5-27-ish...

Don’t tell the Trad Police, but I’m looking to put a Flipper on the T-bird and see how she likes vanes. I won’t hunt Elk with #46@28” until I have to, but at this point I’m willing to believe that I could.

From: Buglmin
12-Oct-18
"Its humorous that many here say a 45lb recurve will kill can elk but very few would use a bow like that for elk :>) " If I could find arrows I liked that gave me the weight I wanted, absolutely. But trying to build arrow arrow that would give me the performance I want is tough. I'd have more tip weight up front then I want or like. And using aluminum, I'd have a heavier arrow then I like. With the right limb material and riser design, you'd be surprised what a lil 45# bow would be capable of. Just think, in the 60's and 70's. most every production bow was built with maple as the limb core, and guys killed a lot of game with lil 45# bows and wooden arrows, that tipped with 125 grain heads, barely broke 500 grains. I love shooting lil 45# bows, use them in the spring to shoot indoors. Matched with lite 600 spined arrows, they are a blast to shoot, and comfortable to. I shot several 3d shoots last year with a 45# RK1 for New Breed Archery. Like I said, if I could find an arrow I liked at the weight I liked without a lot of foc, I'd gladly hunt with one. A 45# bow with carbon/wood limbs, 60X string and a good double bevel head like a Stinger or a Phantom, I'd have no issues at all hunting with one.

From: Jaquomo
13-Oct-18
Back in ancient times before compounds, CO had a rule of 48# for elk and 40# for deer. Which was funny because as many have pointed out, the AMO rating at 28" gives a different result for everyone . And that was in the days of crude strings, wood cores, and production bows made as much for durability as performance. A whole lot of elk were killed with 50-55# Bear, Howatt, Herters, etc. bows that didn't perform as well as 40-45# from some of today's bowyer's improved designs with a D-10 or similar string and quick-recovery carbon arrows.

I used to shoot a 68# Asbell Bighorn. Then one day I shot a 58# Palmer that I think Freddy Eichler brought to the range. It had "WOW" and I was way more accurate shooting ten pounds lighter. The Bighorn went for sale the next day. Now I'm down to a 53# Kelley and weighted carbons; a setup that performs comparably with the 58# Palmer shooting aluminums we used back then. Like Anthony, I have a light bow (42# Kelley) to shoot in the spring, and I wouldn't hesitate to hunt elk with it with a bit heavier arrow and inside 25 yards if something happened that made it so I couldn't draw any heavier..

From: ELKMAN
14-Oct-18
I would do it just how Paul did it. The old "kiss" method...

From: T Mac
14-Oct-18
Yes

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