KUIU
Make a decision!!!
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Ucsdryder 18-Apr-19
Mule Power 18-Apr-19
COHOYTHUNTER 18-Apr-19
COHOYTHUNTER 18-Apr-19
BullBuster 18-Apr-19
ki-ke 18-Apr-19
Paul@thefort 18-Apr-19
WV Mountaineer 18-Apr-19
Ucsdryder 18-Apr-19
Bowboy 18-Apr-19
Huntcell 18-Apr-19
Norseman 18-Apr-19
lineman21 18-Apr-19
RIDGEMAN 18-Apr-19
Charlie Rehor 18-Apr-19
BullBuster 18-Apr-19
PoudreCanyon 18-Apr-19
jdee 18-Apr-19
Beendare 18-Apr-19
Willieboat 18-Apr-19
elkmtngear 18-Apr-19
Treeline 18-Apr-19
fubar racin 18-Apr-19
Bowfreak 18-Apr-19
Ucsdryder 18-Apr-19
midwest 18-Apr-19
cnelk 18-Apr-19
Fauntleroy 18-Apr-19
WV Mountaineer 18-Apr-19
ElkNut1 18-Apr-19
APauls 18-Apr-19
Franklin 18-Apr-19
Franklin 18-Apr-19
Shawn 18-Apr-19
trophyhill 18-Apr-19
Jaquomo 19-Apr-19
Brun 19-Apr-19
ElkNut1 19-Apr-19
OFFHNTN 19-Apr-19
ELKMAN 19-Apr-19
COHOYTHUNTER 19-Apr-19
Jaquomo 19-Apr-19
njbuck 19-Apr-19
Cheesehead Mike 19-Apr-19
ElkNut1 19-Apr-19
Brotsky 19-Apr-19
cnelk 19-Apr-19
320 bull 19-Apr-19
Franklin 19-Apr-19
Missouribreaks 19-Apr-19
12yards 19-Apr-19
Treeline 19-Apr-19
12yards 19-Apr-19
Ucsdryder 19-Apr-19
Scar Finga 19-Apr-19
wyobullshooter 19-Apr-19
welka 19-Apr-19
wyobullshooter 19-Apr-19
Jaquomo 19-Apr-19
Bou'bound 19-Apr-19
ElkNut1 19-Apr-19
Willieboat 19-Apr-19
ElkNut1 19-Apr-19
cnelk 19-Apr-19
trophyhill 19-Apr-19
Jaquomo 19-Apr-19
Willieboat 20-Apr-19
Norseman 20-Apr-19
ElkNut1 20-Apr-19
Willieboat 20-Apr-19
ElkNut1 20-Apr-19
Ucsdryder 20-Apr-19
Willieboat 20-Apr-19
Jaquomo 20-Apr-19
Willieboat 20-Apr-19
Ucsdryder 20-Apr-19
Jaquomo 20-Apr-19
bad karma 20-Apr-19
cnelk 20-Apr-19
Jaquomo 20-Apr-19
David A. 20-Apr-19
BRI 21-Apr-19
badguybuster 21-Apr-19
elkstabber 22-Apr-19
Cheesehead Mike 22-Apr-19
Bearshaft 22-Apr-19
Beendare 23-Apr-19
Ollie 23-Apr-19
wyobullshooter 23-Apr-19
Cazador 23-Apr-19
ELKMAN 25-Apr-19
Treeline 25-Apr-19
AZBUGLER 25-Apr-19
From: Ucsdryder
18-Apr-19

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
This Goliath came in to your challenge bugle in an OTC wilderness tag in Colorado. As he bugled, you drew, thinking he wouldn’t see you, but as you can see he has you pegged. You’re a full draw and he’s 21 yards away. It’s now or never on a bull of 5 lifetimes. Do you shoot or pass, knowing the gig is up? If you’re shooting, put a dot on the kill spot.

From: Mule Power
18-Apr-19
He doesn’t have me pegged. He’s bugling. 21 yards is close and I’ve managed to draw so I’m letting it fly straight down from his left eye. I might give it a few seconds to see if he turns.

From: COHOYTHUNTER
18-Apr-19

COHOYTHUNTER's embedded Photo
COHOYTHUNTER's embedded Photo
I'd shoot.. and one of those two spots depending on exact angle and slipping it in there..

From: COHOYTHUNTER
18-Apr-19

COHOYTHUNTER's embedded Photo
COHOYTHUNTER's embedded Photo

From: BullBuster
18-Apr-19
yep, COHOY's frontal dot.

From: ki-ke
18-Apr-19
Coyote- An arrow placed in Dot on left is a happy trail. Dot on right is a nightmare maker....

From: Paul@thefort
18-Apr-19
Yep, front dot. The back dot is a gut shot at that angle.

18-Apr-19
Left Red Dot. And, yes I'm sending it. That ain't RealTree food plot hunting where you farm the deer you want and then "harvest" it. It's what you get so you'd better take it.

From: Ucsdryder
18-Apr-19
what do you guys think the front dot gets? 1 lung? Heart?

Back for looks like 1 lung and guts.

From: Bowboy
18-Apr-19
I'll wait until he turns to leave and take my shot then.

From: Huntcell
18-Apr-19
Let dot two dot widths higher

From: Norseman
18-Apr-19
Let down you draw. Then quickly redraw. He will wheel away 15 yards, then stop 36 yards away broadside, slightly quartering away for your shot.

Happens more than not.

From: lineman21
18-Apr-19

lineman21's embedded Photo
lineman21's embedded Photo
The likely locations of any arrow I sent if that beast bugles 21 yards in front of me.

From: RIDGEMAN
18-Apr-19
I'm moving that front dot up 4-5 inches and taking that shot right now. I agree with Ki-Ke that aft dot is a potential nightmare. Been there done that, on both those shots. My experience with the aft dot shot did not end well.

18-Apr-19
lineman21: That is funny stuff!

From: BullBuster
18-Apr-19
funny lineman

From: PoudreCanyon
18-Apr-19
Not comfortable with the angle - I’d hold at full draw as long as I could and see if he turns broadside or quarters away.

From: jdee
18-Apr-19

jdee's embedded Photo
jdee's embedded Photo
I had that exact scenario on this bull . He came in out of nowhere bugeling and I was set up on another bull coming from the opposite side CRAZY few minutes. I couldn’t draw until the bull whirled to go then I guessed him at 40 yards and just grazed his brisket and he was gone. A buddy with me was sitting up against a tree with a call and a camera. I would shoot the bull in your pic in the front.

From: Beendare
18-Apr-19
Cho's right dot catches one lung and puts you in the guts- you may get him...you might not. No way I shoot that shot.

The left dot puts you into the heavy bones of the brisket. The right setup and you can pound through- many setups can't.

That left dot about 6" higher and a little bit further left, puts you in the Skeletal opening going into the chest. All kinds of important stuff on the way in inc Carotid arteries and you will probably get a clean pass through. An arrow in the spot I described tends to stay inside the rib cage- at least I've seen it happen on a few slightly quartering shots like this.

You gotta be close, so they can't move and wreck your shot....and you have to pick a spot.

Whomever posted the pic with all of the dots scattered around....that was classic!

From: Willieboat
18-Apr-19
Let the situation play out.....to much of a quarter to shot for my liking.

I have to ask.... all the guys that would cut the shot....how much have you hunted elk ??

Not trying to be a smart ass....just wondering how much experience with elk you have ??

From: elkmtngear
18-Apr-19

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
Margin for error goes way down as he turns more directly frontal
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
Margin for error goes way down as he turns more directly frontal
Similar angle here, even though it's a deer skeleton. You can see the frontal opening really starts to close up as they quarter. A perfectly placed arrow may get the far lung apex, and some of the great vessels, but it's tight!

From: Treeline
18-Apr-19

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
Damn! Looks like the exact scenario and bull from 2017!

No shot for me at that angle.

Held my breath and hid behind my longbow till he turned to go.

Was a bit surprised when he ran by me with white fletching in the 10-ring...

From: fubar racin
18-Apr-19
Idk how to do a dot but for me I’d cut his bugle off with a frontal arrow.

From: Bowfreak
18-Apr-19
The frontal shot angle would be bad. No way you get into goodies on that angle. From what I understand about elk....the one lung/gut shot would be a crap shoot. I wouldn't shoot either shot.

On a whitetail I'd recover it 100% of the time on the right dot. I would just simply not be willing to chance that shot on an elk. I have zero experience but I know what many elk killers say about 1 lung shots.

From: Ucsdryder
18-Apr-19
How’s going through the shoulder? I know someone here’s trying it...

From: midwest
18-Apr-19
I don't like that angle and I don't want to risk wounding him. I'd wait for him to move one way or the other.

From: cnelk
18-Apr-19
I’m passing. Give him another year or 2

From: Fauntleroy
18-Apr-19
Beendare- Can you place a dot on the OP picture? Different people have different opinions on what 6" looks like.

18-Apr-19
"I have to ask.... all the guys that would cut the shot....how much have you hunted elk ??

Not trying to be a smart ass....just wondering how much experience with elk you have ??"

Not much experience on elk. However, if anything, I'd like the front dot to be a bit higher. One thing I learned a long time ago is I'm not always right. But, I'm smarter concerning what is best for me on things I know how to do, then letting someone talk me out of a could've been. That elk is DEAD on the left arrow if thing fall in line. The same could be said for a 21 yard broadside shot.

There is a lot of if's and should've done in hunting. That elk could move. That elk could stand still. I could miss my mark. Or, I could pin wheel it at 21 yards like I should. I know if I do my part and he plays along, I'll be packing a once in a lifetime bull. If he drops or, I hit to the right because of poor execution, he lives. The same could be said for a 21 yard broadside shot too. That reality comes from experience on elk. So, I'm shooting. I owe myself that. If that makes me selfish then sobeit. But, I'm pretty sure it'd make me tired, full, and happy. And, that is what I do this for.

I'm not trying to offend anyone. Just telling you how I feel. I would hope he gave me a better angle. If not, he has gave me what I need. And, that is what I'm hunting for. Take care and God bless men

From: ElkNut1
18-Apr-19
That's a dead bull, he wouldn't go a 100 yards at a 21 yard shot!

ElkNut/Paul

From: APauls
18-Apr-19

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
I’m always a fan of shooting at the first chance of making a kill shot. At 21 yards I believe I can make this shot

From: Franklin
18-Apr-19
I have shot many animals at that angle and they never went more than 50 yards. I would take that shot in 2 shakes of an elk`s tail.

Jdee….I think I would of taken my own life after that.

Treeline....WOW!!!

From: Franklin
18-Apr-19
I have shot many animals at that angle and they never went more than 50 yards. I would take that shot in 2 shakes of an elk`s tail.

Jdee….I think I would of taken my own life after that.

Treline....WOW!!!

From: Shawn
18-Apr-19
Agree with front dot but a couple inches higher. Other dot is a gut shot, may clip a lung if lucky. I would not shoot the right side dot. Shawn

From: trophyhill
18-Apr-19
I'm not passing. BBD baby! ;)

From: Jaquomo
19-Apr-19
There was a hunt recap thread on here earlier in the year where a very experienced elk hunter made almost the exact same shot as the one on the left. Blood everywhere. He and another very experienced elk bowhunter tracked and never recovered the bull. Maybe he will chime in and describe his experience.

Willieboat has killed more elk with a bow than anyone on this forum. His advice should be considered. An impact a couple inches to the right of the left dot (moved up a couple inches) may only get one lung at that angle, or deflect off the front leg bone per elkmtngear's skeleton diagram. I've killed plenty with broadside or slightly quartering away shots when they turn after bugling like that when they dont find another bull. It's the solo caller's dilemma. They generally turn and give a better angle if the wind is right and there's nothing to spook them, like seeing you do a panicky skywalking draw when they're looking right at you (See: almost every TV elk show..)

From: Brun
19-Apr-19
I think this is a very risky shot. The angle is deceptive because his head is turned slightly towards the camera, but his chest isn't. I'm not shooting unless he moves slightly one way or the other. I actually think the second dot, if moved a couple of inches up and to the left might be the better shot, but I'm still not shooting yet. I watched a good friend lose a bull with a much better angle than this a couple of years ago. Almost directly facing him, 11 yards, shot looked perfect, arrow completely disappeared in bull, great blood for over 1/4 mile, then nothing. It somehow missed all the arteries and we figure 1 lung.

From: ElkNut1
19-Apr-19
Jaq, good points! There's no doubt that shot or any type frontal shot is not for everyone. So much depends on a guys style of elk hunting & killing experience. As a caller of elk I find most elk are coming in looking for the bull or cows he's heard, he's in search mode or coming in fast & powerful, all depends on the situation at hand.

It's very common to have a bull in these situations to come right at you as a Solo hunter or tag team even though you do your best to setup for that desirable broadside shot from calling him in. It's tough to dictate his actual course of travel even though we try to!

If a hunters style is to ambush or spot & stalk then yes the odds are better that the elk in most cases does not know you're there so waiting for a different angle is completely possible. Not so much with run & gun, this is my style as I love the high adrenaline rush that accompanies a bull called right to you, there's nothing that can equal this, I live for it! At my age not many things excite me like when I was younger so I need all the excitement I can get! (grin)

From years of experience & countless bulls on the ground we find that we need to know how to kill these bulls that offer shots at angles as shown in the 1st picture. Be it these are very close encounters as mentioned in 1st post. (21 yards) If we were to pass those types of top pin shots & only take broadside shots we would honestly punch few tags. We've learned over the years that it is a very deadly shot with a razor, razor sharp broadhead & not one to be passed up like in years past.

To each his own, each hunter must evaluate his confidence in this particular angle, if not for you don't force it. I have & so does my Son 100% confidence that that's a dead bull. The Risk/Reward should be discussed but not to the point we tell others they must do as we do.

ElkNut/Paul

From: OFFHNTN
19-Apr-19
I had the exact same scenario happen in CO last year on a 310-320" bull. Same angle, and the distance was 30 yards, I didn't take the shot and he ended up getting away, but I have no regrets.

From: ELKMAN
19-Apr-19
I'll shoot him when he turns broad side.

From: COHOYTHUNTER
19-Apr-19
I would much rather take that frontal shot than the steep quartered to shot. My thought is if placed correctly, I can slip that arrow right in missing that big front shoulder and putting into rib cage getting lung and hopefully some other life ending arteries and such. And with my set up, I'd blow right through that beast and my arrow should exit the far side rib cage getting a piece of everything in between..

The only reason I would consider that back dot is if he started to turn slightly if he gets more broadside that's where my arrow goes. That's why I said 'depending on angle'..

I've had these scenarios happen and I have not shot "waiting for the perfect shot" but what I have learned over the years chasing the mighty wapiti, is you rarely get the perfect shot and you best be ready to take the best shot that presents itself.

In this specific scenario, I should be at full draw when he busts through the timber and stops to crack off another "F-you bugle".. My pin is hovering on his shoulder and I am quickly debating on best shot placement, this is where if I can sense he is going to turn slightly and not blow out, I might wait a quick second to let it rip to that back dot. If he's getting jumpy because he is seeing nothing and now hearing nothing I send that 488 grn arrow right into that front dot! But more than likely, I am not going to wait for anything and putting that arrow right in that front dot before he finishes that bugle.

You don't get many chances on an elk like this in Colorado OTC, or any legal bull for that matter.. and you ain't killing elk if your not letting arrows fly.

From: Jaquomo
19-Apr-19
"The Risk/Reward should be discussed but not to the point we tell others they must do as we do."

Elknut, did you really write that? ;-)

From: njbuck
19-Apr-19
Arrow is on its way, full send!

19-Apr-19
I would most likely take the frontal shot but a couple inches higher than the dot.

Somebody mentioned the "big bones in the brisket". The bones in the brisket, in front of the shoulder are just ribs and in fact they are smaller and thinner than the ribs that are behind the shoulder. I've often wondered why some guys are afraid to shoot through the ribs in front of the shoulder but they don't bat an eye, and actually prefer to shoot through the larger ribs behind the shoulder...

From: ElkNut1
19-Apr-19
Jaq, Ha Ha, you got me there! (grin)

X2 Mike! I've mentioned that same reference in a podcast!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Brotsky
19-Apr-19
I think a lot of what I would do in this scenario depends upon how many youtube subscribers I have.

From: cnelk
19-Apr-19
I’m all honesty, I’m shooting. Just a tad higher than the left dot, hugging the tan hide.

I don’t practice all summer to pass on a very doable shot. Ymmv

From: 320 bull
19-Apr-19
I am shooting and the frontal dot is money IMO. If anything given the angle I might shoot 2" lower and skewer the top of his heart.

From: Franklin
19-Apr-19
X2 Cheesehead on location….I`m looking at blowing through the "fuel lines" as my primary....everything else is a bonus.

Remember the OP said "21 yards" if you can`t put an arrow where you want at that yardage then maybe you should take up golf.

19-Apr-19
I wouldn't take the shot. I hunt with selfbow and wait for a close shot broadside, or quartering away. I do not want to unnecessarily reduce my likelihood of a clean kill. No doubt being patient has cost me some kills, but that is ok.

From: 12yards
19-Apr-19
These frontal dots are interesting. Is it really that low where you want to hit? I would be afraid of hitting solid sternum that low. Honestly I'd have aimed higher by about 4" on the frontal. So what would have happened for me?

From: Treeline
19-Apr-19
That frontal kill zone is actually pretty large and softer than a lot of guys think. I have killed and had a couple of hunters kill a few bulls on the frontal shot and they pile up amazingly fast!

I just have had some bad experiences with elk jumping at the shot when they are looking right at the shooter. I know, I know, my bow is probably less than 1/2 the speed of most of you guys!

I really prefer to draw and shoot as a bull turns to catch them quartering away. Typically I am shooting as the bull is in motion and looking away. That shot seems to happen a lot for me on call-ins and usually at less than 20 yards. Timing is a lot different with a traditional bow versus a compound so my draw and release cycle happens very quickly.

It is definitely tough to keep your head in the game then be able to time and execute the shot when they come in hot and scream in your face! Lots of fun though:-)

From: 12yards
19-Apr-19

12yards's embedded Photo
12yards's embedded Photo
Probably would have aimed where the yellow dot is.

From: Ucsdryder
19-Apr-19

Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
Ucsdryder's embedded Photo
If you’re going behind the leg bone I think red would work with a fixed blade and a heavy arrow. If you catch scapula it will be the back side which is thinner. Not ideal though.

From: Scar Finga
19-Apr-19
No comment other than... dead bull:)

19-Apr-19
At 21yds, anywhere between 12yds yellow and red dots above the brisket is a dead elk. To be honest, Ucsdryders red dot on the last photo is a disaster waiting to happen. To Willieboat’s point, 90% of those taking the shot would end up being somewhere in lineman’s “group”. It’s easy to make that shot in April behind a keyboard. Quite another doing so in Sept where there’s no mulligans.

From: welka
19-Apr-19
21 is getting on the edge for a frontal. When they are facing you, the bull is going to flinch as they will see the limbs move when you shoot well before they hear the sound. Maybe you get lucky and he doesn't move to much. I am waiting for the turn.

19-Apr-19
welka, no one should be second guessed for passing on that shot. However, an elk isn’t a jittery, jump-at-their-own-shadow whitetail. No way in God’s green earth is one going to react to a 21yd shot until the arrow has already done its damage. Granted, that’s provided you’re already at full draw. If not, you aren’t getting a shot whether you want one or not!

From: Jaquomo
19-Apr-19
Trad guys wait and draw on the turn, if they know what they're doing and don't panic. I've killed quite a few bulls with longbow and recurve in that exact situation when calling solo.

A confident shot with a compound can make that shot, and it is deadly, if they've already drawn AND know exactly where to aim. I'd venture that 90% of compounders will stick that bull in the brisket, neck, or too far back.

I live in elk bowhunting country and hear the same stories every year after rhe season.

From: Bou'bound
19-Apr-19
Made for a rage

From: ElkNut1
19-Apr-19
Seriously speaking, it would take a dang good bowhunter to get a bull of that caliber to that range! I'm fairly certain the hunter would know how to handle it thus eliminating the guys who don't have a clue where to shoot!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Willieboat
19-Apr-19
I know a lot of you guys could kill him were he stands....but if he is halfway calm let him lose interest and start to leave....stop him and drain him then...trust me...the kill zone will be a hell of a lot bigger ;)

From: ElkNut1
19-Apr-19
OK, Willieboat, serious question here, what makes you think that bull is going to turn & leave/ if he does because he winded or saw you then no sound will stop him. What about him coming right at you or going left or right but not offering a better or broadside shot. Maybe he will turn & bolt because he knows something isn't right? Maybe you called him to this area & he's not seeing the elk he knows he should, red flag raised?

Point is he's standing solid as a stone right in front of the shooter at top pin range, no need to call to stop him! What's the wind doing, it's flat ground there. Food for thought & any real hesitation in how to handle it will more than likely cost the hunter! It's pretty open there, not much a hunter is hiding behind.

These are the reasons I take action & kill him where he stands! My killing shot is 2" right of the yellow dot that 12 yards posted! That bull will expire in sight!

ElkNut/Paul

From: cnelk
19-Apr-19
The bull's neck is turned to the left [his] from his body. Based on the pic above, its been my experience that when he moves, he will continue to move straight - in line with his body.

That is if he doesnt spook, or if Lineman21 arrow sails over his back :)

From: trophyhill
19-Apr-19
I agree Paul. Hesitation has cost many a bull that is talked about at camp. "the biggun that got away"

From: Jaquomo
19-Apr-19
Ummm, not many get away from Willieboat. For those who don't know who he is..... very possibly the baddest and most successful archery elk hunter on the planet today.

From: Willieboat
20-Apr-19
Elknut1....maybe I'm taking a big chance letting him turn to leave, waiting for a better shot at his vitals...maybe I'm not. I have had my fair share of success doing it that way.

Answer me this....are you taking this shot because the bull is bigger than average ?

I have been in that exact situation let the bull walk and not gotten the shot....then killed the bull the next day......and that bull was 435".....some may call me crazy.

But then again i sleep well at night with my decisions ;)

From: Norseman
20-Apr-19
To far and bad angle for frontal or behind shoulder with that scenario.

END OF STORY!!

Unless you have a bag of spiders in your pocket ??

From: ElkNut1
20-Apr-19
Willieboat, congrats on a great bull, you were there I wasn't, you made a decision & stuck with it, I applaud you for that, a man needs to know his limitations, well done.

My limitations are few as a caller of elk, I'm very aware of an elks anatomy & what a razor sharp broadhead can do once inside a bull no matter his size. -- I would take that bull where he stands as long as I was at full draw on his approach. Seeing I've not taken a bull of that caliber it's easy to say that no I'm not shooting because of his size! I've killed many a bull with similar frontal shots as has my Son. We generally call & hunt together. I would estimate that between the two of us we've taken 25-30 bulls with what ones would consider the frontal shot.

Too, I've stopped quite a few bulls that were 5 to 30 yards that turned to leave because of not finding the elk they'd heard that brought them to that spot, most those bulls were stopped with a nervous grunt, it was the last elk sound they'd heard. Your best odds to stop a retreating bull is to make sure he or his cows hasn't seen or winded you, I'm sure you know this.

Big bulls are extremely smart, especially OTC bulls near any sort of hunting pressure. Your best shot at calling a big bull in is your first encounter, 2nd+ ones rarely pan out, they're too smart for that! To have two chances in two days on a bull as that you were most likely ambushing that bull, he most likely was not brought in to calling twice in two days! Thus he was unaware of your presence the first day.

We are callers through & through, we know when we have a bull come in we have to get it done, for us there's no tomorrow, we kill him or send him packing. You bet we've let our share walk, sometimes there just isn't any shot at all. We hunt dark timber mostly, this is why calling is king for us! Our average shot distance is 23 yards, we like them close.

This isn't a competition, it's about knowing what you're capable of & what you're not. It's up to us as hunters to become familiar with our quarry & to put down animals as humanely as possible. I voiced my opinion as did others, it's still a personal decision that only we can make & live with.

Willieboat, how many bulls have you taken with a similar frontal shot?

ElkNut/Paul

From: Willieboat
20-Apr-19
Zero....its not for me.

I hunt by myself a quite a bit, call in a shit load of bulls that end up just like the one above....i let them start to leave stop them and kill them.....if they don't stop....i go call in another.....its actually pretty simple....thats the way iI roll....works for me....and works darn well ;)

From: ElkNut1
20-Apr-19
Yes sir, stick with your strengths!

ElkNut/Paul

From: Ucsdryder
20-Apr-19
Willie, is this on otc public land? It probably shouldn’t change ones shot selection, but the reality is if you know you’re hunting in a target rich environment with lots of opportunity you’re more likely to wait did the perfect opportunity.

From: Willieboat
20-Apr-19
Public ground with the majority being OTC.......always trying to draw tags but hunt Oregon and usually Idaho every year....trust me neither are target rich environments .....I just keep grinding it out.

Plus i started archery hunting elk in 1981 so have more than a few honey holes ;)

Elk aren't that tough......now if i could just kill a big mule deer ;)

From: Jaquomo
20-Apr-19
Willieboat, I'd say anyone who has killed, what, 52 or 53 by yourself in 38 years of bowhunting on public land, and the MY GOD caliber of bulls you've killed, probably knows what you're doing!

You should make some backyard DVDs on how you do it! ;-)

From: Willieboat
20-Apr-19
Jaq....your way to kind.

And i will leave the backyard videos to Tommy Lee and Pamela ;)

From: Ucsdryder
20-Apr-19
I want to see the 435”!!!!

And that was a hell of a video!

From: Jaquomo
20-Apr-19
Elknut, not doubting you, but to be clear - you're saying your son has drawn his longbow and killed more than a dozen bulls with angled, quartering-to frontal shots at an average of 23 yards with the bull looking at him like that?

Amazing.

From: bad karma
20-Apr-19
At 21 yards, I'm calling my taxidermist and already have my skinning knives out.

From: cnelk
20-Apr-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
The yellow dot shot on the above Bull is not a true frontal shot.

Here is a true frontal shot.

From: Jaquomo
20-Apr-19
Cnelk, thats for sure different than a quartering-to shot as in the OP, which this thread is about. Elkmtngear's skeleton post illustrates it pretty clearly. I suspect many confuse the two angles, but the window really narrows when the bull is turned even a little.

From: David A.
20-Apr-19
Had a similar situation at 10 yds. and waited, but probably should have taken the shot. At 20 yds. with recurve, would wait again.

From: BRI
21-Apr-19
90 percent would take the shot. 20 percent would recover the animal and the rest would swear up and down they made the perfect shot and don't know what happened. Oh and 86 percent of statistics are made up on the spot... lol

From: badguybuster
21-Apr-19
Ive never hunted elk (but dang i want too) but ive traditional bowhunted for 30+ years. Ive killed numerous species of deer and a black bear with a full frontal shot. I cant imagine Elk being much different anatomically. So far, knock on wood, i havent lost any. If the shot slips in above the brisket they are smoked....there is too many arteries, veins and other important equipment sitting right along those lines. The first deer i ever considered shooting from that position i missed out on because my grand father got tired of waiting and shot it for me :-)

That being said.....if you arent confident in your skill or if your set up isnt right.....it could suck to be you.

From: elkstabber
22-Apr-19
I took that shot a few years ago on a big mean herd bull. I drew my recurve while he watched and he stopped at 22 yds. A more timid bull would have spooked when I drew but this herd bull wasn't spooky. The primary reason that I chose to shoot was that I had taken the time to watch him approach and could clearly see his shoulder joint. I had no problem aiming right in front of that joint. If there was any question about where the shoulder joint was I wouldn't have shot. Since I saw the joint and aimed just in front of it the arrow went there and he quickly died. The arrow that I shoot is heavy, well tuned to my bow, and penetrates well. The arrow immediately hit ribs in front of the shoulder but still penetrated 15" or so, stopping on the far ribs. Maybe I was lucky but the result in this case was good.

22-Apr-19

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My buddy killed this one at almost the exact same angle as the photo on this thread, just opposite side.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My buddy killed this one at almost the exact same angle as the photo on this thread, just opposite side.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Straight on frontal at 19 yards. Coming straight at me and I doubt if I would have gotten a shot if I wouldn't have taken this one.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Straight on frontal at 19 yards. Coming straight at me and I doubt if I would have gotten a shot if I wouldn't have taken this one.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I shot this one at 21 yards and a very similar angle to the photo above. No shortage of blood.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I shot this one at 21 yards and a very similar angle to the photo above. No shortage of blood.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My very first bull in 1998. 8 yard shot at the same angle but opposite side as the O.P.'s photo.
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
My very first bull in 1998. 8 yard shot at the same angle but opposite side as the O.P.'s photo.
Here are some bulls that were killed with frontal shots.

From: Bearshaft
22-Apr-19
I would like to see a longbow/recurve hunter that has killed numerous bulls at 20+ yards at this angle.

From: Beendare
23-Apr-19
I'm 5 for 5 on that frontal shot...or hard qtr to through the collar. I've seen another 6 or 7 die to that shot by guys I was calling for. Someone posted a good skeletal shot. Get an arrow in through that opening above the brisket and it's devastating.

Willie brings up a good point; its not always a good shot. You have to be close enough where the bull can't move and screw up your shot location. Typically for me thats about 20 yds on an unaware animal. I would not shoot that shot out past 30 yds....

A lot can happen with these elk in close. To assume they will casually turn and give you a shot as they do doesn't always work, IME. My buddy had a 6 yd frontal on a bull [I was thinking SHOOOOOT!] but he waited for the 'slow motion' turn...NOT-the bull turned quickly and he gut shot the bull....the beginning of a long messy recovery.

That frontal is a tricky shot for those not accustomed to it. It has to be accurate...and you need good arrow flight. I think most guys fail to pick a spot....and lose their perfect target range form on a shot like this and punch one off.

From: Ollie
23-Apr-19
There are worse things than letting a great bull walk because the shot opportunity is just not right.

23-Apr-19
Couldn’t agree more, Ollie. If you’re not 100% confident you can make a good shot, based on MANY factors, you shouldn’t take the shot.

Size of the animal, cost of the hunt, days into the hunt, etc, should NEVER be a consideration whether to take a shot or not.

From: Cazador
23-Apr-19
I'm not a good shot, but killed a bull same shot last year 5 steps or so. I don't think I'd attempt over 15 yds.

From: ELKMAN
25-Apr-19
Willieboat has this right. Our group isn't having any issues "punching tags" every year waiting for good ethical broadside shots. If your having a hard time killing Elk consistently because you can't get them broadside it may be time to go back to the drawing board on your tactics/strategies on how your hunting them. The truth is if you pass that shot and the bull never gives you the right angle and walks, you get to hunt God's country again tomorrow... Where's the problem?

From: Treeline
25-Apr-19
Bingo!

From: AZBUGLER
25-Apr-19
No brainer. Quick frontal shot. I’m convinced it’s the most deadly shot in bowhunting. Up front are heart and lungs, then liver potentially based on the angle. Dead elk!

  • Sitka Gear