Contributors to this thread:
70lb recurve ?
Ive been hunting with a recurve for almost 20 years now. I've done Africa once for plains game with a 48 lb black widow....with no issues. Sub 100 yard recoveries. I shot the light bow because, well, frankly, I shoot a light trad bow more consistently. However, I am heading again to hunt Cape Buffalo. I have a bud who will loan me a 68lb recurve. I've seen ( and read) about the ribs and thick hide on these animals. I guess I have two questions I'd like to draw on the experienced folks answered. And I'm a realist....so , I can and will consider, constructive input/ideas.
1) Is that lb recurve just not really an option and I should just nix it right now? 2) If it is doable, assuming reasonable distance and near perfect placement. I am anxious to hear thing like what would be considered minimal arrow weight, suitable broadheads etc.?
I shot a Cape buffalo with a 74 pound compound, 980 grain arrow tipped with an Ashby two blade. Penetration was poor, 18” or so. Can you kill one with a 65# recurve, of course. But in my view, it’s far from ideal. Outfitters will tell you it’ll work, but they are after the trophy fee. And I’d say at least 50/50, your buffalo will have a .375 or larger hole in it when all is said and done. Nothing terrible about that, but you need to know and understand what might happen.
Others were successful with similar weights Fred Bear, Jim Doughtery come to mind. No idea about arrow weight or broad heads. Might take a look at Asbey's report.
Roger, can we presume that you can pull and shoot a 68# recurve bow as accurately as you can with the 48# bow. or at least work up to that poundage prior, with confidence and shot placement? My limit on my recurve in 55# and I do believe I could never pull a recurve/long bow over 60# much less, "70" pounds. Good luck. Paul
Paul@the fort.....I believe I could.....mind you, thats why I need to get on it. Ive shot 60....but only at target...never in hunting situations.
I'm willing to try...but before I jump in....I'd like to know that if I do my part....it's up to the task as well.
And that, I guess, is where experience comes into the equation.....experience I dont have !
ps...thanks for all the replies
Just remember that if you touch the animal, you bought the animal whether you recover it or not.
I know a guy who took both Cape Buffalo and and elephant with a 70# recurve. It can be done, but I'd want to be sure I was accurate before I tried it.
Based on everything I have seen from both hunters and outfitters I would say that a 68# recurve is marginal. And that is assuming a heavy, properly tuned arrow with a razor sharp cut on contact 2 blade broadhead. Not all recurves are equal. Some perform quite a bit better than others. If you don't think you can handle more poundage make certain that the bow that you select is one of the better performing bows. Also, some outfitters and some African countries have minimum weight restrictions for hunting buffalo so you would need to check on this.
Not long ago there was a long thread about this very subject....complete with KE and Momentum figures and input from bowhunting PHs and hunters who have taken Buff with trad equipment. Probably one of the best threads on this subject. Check the archives.
The only two opinions that count are YOURS and that of the guy who will be personally responsible for your safety (and his own) if anything goes south.
I’ve seen a lot of KE figures tossed around on these threads, but most of them translate to a high performance recurve in the neighborhood of #150...
all great points....thanks.
I got a complete pass through on an American bison with a 60# recurve, 565 grain arrow and 1 1/4" Magnus 2 blade. I'm probably at about 190 FPS with that set up. Bison are generally a little heavier than Cape Buffalo and I think just as hard to bring down. That's my real world experience, not speculation, for what it's worth.
Ryan Gill killed an American bison using a damn Atlatl with a stone point. Im a huge fan of FOC. Talk to kevin forrester of Forrester wood shafts. He sells some Leopardwood shafts that "start" at 600 grain and will make them footed to up the FOC. I built some for a friend who went on safari. Using a 200 grain trade point (made from cross cut saw blade). At his 70# draw i think the shafts were upwards of 700 grains. I'll see if i can find the pictures.
I've got pics- unfortunately on my other computer- of the exact setup JSW speaks of failing miserably on a Aussie water buff, 60# recurve, 560 gr arrow Zwicky head. As far as we could tell the arrow didn't penetrate the rib cage...about 9" of penetration.
I think a guy could do it with a 70# recurve- assuming a 900gr arrow that has perfect flight and a tempered steel 2 blade head. Oh...and another assumption--you gotta be close!
The ribs on an American bison do not overlap like they do on a Cape buffalo. Nor are they as thick.
I’ve shot American bison and Cape buffalo. The Cape buffalo is substantially tougher.
The poundage isn't the only factor you must consider. I've got a Doug Knight recurve with extra limbs. 70 at 28" and 75 at 27" which was my draw. I don't know the exact numbers, but a similar bow pulling 75 at 29 or 30" will put out a significantly faster arrow.
Hit a big bull elk in the front of the left rear leg and the broad head was stuck in the right femur. Was with a 69# longbow and a 700 grain Sweetland forgewood, 2 blade Zwickey.
Sounds good, but it doesn't address the ribcage of a Cape Buffalo.
Is 70#'s enough? Okay true story has nothing to do with a Cape Buffalo, but it is something to keep in mind. I have a 30" draw length, the guy I shot against had a 30" draw length. I was shooting a 55#@28" Assenheimer Recurve, Fastflight string. The guy I was shooting against had a 80#@28" Jeffery's Recurve, B50 string. He said his bow was faster and produced more energy because of the weight he was pulling. We used "one" of my 700gr arrows, 31" 2219 with a 225gr point (both bows shot bullet holes through paper with that arrow), the same chronograph, and shot from the same distance from in front of it. 3 shot average with that one arrow, we both shot the exact same speed 178fps, thus producing the exact same energy. When you start having limbs made, that are getting past the 60#'s@ 28"s on most recurves, you are starting to get into the laws of diminishing returns because of the weight of the limbs moving forward (energy going in, to energy coming out). Bow design has a lot to do with how much that diminishing returns will be. The longer your draw length, for the same weight drawn, you will normally produce more speed than someone shooting the same weight with a shorter draw, using the same weight arrow (example70#@ 27" draw compared to70#@ 29" draw). Shooting recurves you more than likely already know this, but if the bows weight is marked for #'s@28", depending you will gain roughly 3#'s/inch of draw over that and lose 3#/inch under that. Take all of this into consideration when choosing your bow to hunt with. Not all recurve bows are made equal. Make sure your arrow choice, is spinning on its axis in flight (perfectly tuned), to obtain the best penetration. If it has any fishtailing "You Will" have penetration issues and you don't want that with this animal. I wish you luck on this hunt of a life time. Memorize the Cape Buffalo's anatomy, also talk with your guide to find out what is the best shot angle to get the best penetration on this animals. See if he has any recommendations on what to use for test media, to see how you arrows penetrates. DANNY
“point (both bows shot bullet holes through paper with that arrow), the same chronograph, and shot from the same distance from in front of it. 3 shot average with that one arrow, we both shot the exact same speed 178fps, thus producing the exact same energy. ”
Somebody will no doubt holler BS on that tale, but if the two bows weren’t producing very comparable velocity/energy, then they would’na both shot the same arrow as well as they did.
But it might not have been the bow; the whole set-up - INCLUDING THE SHOOTER - has to be considered.
When my friend was going to go elephant hunting he called BW and asked them to make him a 100# bow. They told him that 80# was much more efficient and that he would probably shoot it better. So once again, poundage isn't the only thing that matters. You have to consider your arrow, your broadhead and-most importantly- how well you can shoot the set up. IMHO accuracy trumps oomph every time. TMBB
My good friend and PH told me when I was gearing up for my hunt "76lb is good, 80lb would be better", with his point being I needed to shoot as heavy as I comfortably could shoot. My setup was a Dryad Orion 3 piece longbow 76lb @ 28" (about 78 at my draw) with a 910gr total weight arrow setup using 300gr single bevel Tuffheads. My initial shot dead centered a rib going in and I got 16" or so penetration into the top of his lungs and was able to get another arrow in him on the opposite side when we found him bedded down that got closer to 20" of penetration cutting through the edge of a rib.
I too have always shot relatively lighter weights and it took some time to build up and get used to the heavier bow. I'm not a big guy by any means of the imagination, and I didn't want to mess my shoulders up so I got with a trainer and started working out 4 to 5 times a week with weights and I went from my regular 46lb target bow, then transitioned to my mid 50lb hunting rig, then to a 67lb setup that was identical to my 76lb rig. All of this took place over a 6 to 7 month time frame.
Would 70lb have been enough? I truly don't know for sure if it would have been with my setup. Out of a recurve with a little bit higher performance profile than my bow, possibly so, but I sure wouldn't want to find out the hard way.
If you have any questions at all though, feel free to messaged me.
I'm getting a lot of first hand experience replies. Thanks.
when i talked to ken moody 80 lb minumun 1000 plus grain arrow.
i've killed 2 water buffalo and a bison with an 80 lber. i think the cape is in a different class. neil summers told me no follow up shots on the cape with a bow.
if you don't kill the first shot go get the 500 nitro
70#s with an efficient recurve like a Borer or a Morrison with his new limbs can be better than shooting say a 90# Widow or you name it. All recurves are not created equal, top performers like Caribow, Stalker, Morrison and Border make a huge difference. I have no first hand experience on Cape Buffalo but have shot most of the high performance bows out there and have no doubt 70#s with a 900 grain arrow with a crazy sharp 2 blade head would do the trick out of any of those recurves I mentioned. Keep the shots under 25 yards and hit them where ya need too, dead animal. Shawn
GF, Somebody could call BS if they wanted to. I have no reason to lie or make that story up. It in fact did happen. To be honest it did really surprise me with the results. He was in denial, saying his bow was still producing more energy than mine because of the poundage he was shooting. Which in theory it should have been, but speed is speed and mass is mass. The other thing the grains/lb, I was shooting more and he was shooting less. In all fairness it was an older Jeffery's at the time we did it (I don't know what year it was made) and my Assenheimer is a 2001 or 2002 model. He was getting a full 30 inch draw also with that Jeffery's. It hurt my arms and shoulders watching him shoot it. He shot the league shoot with it. As I understand it Donny had improved his limb design within 2-3 years before I bought that bow. The Fastflight string on my bow helped a little. I also have to admit THAT Assenheimer, is the single fastest bow for for the draw weight shot, that I have ever shot. I have one of Donny's bows that is 52#@28" (made about the same time) which shouldn't be that far behind in speed, but it doesn't come close. The 55#er has Actionboo limbs and the 52#er has normal Bamboo limbs. All I can figure is Donny had an exceptional day when he put that one together. Limb and bow design does make a difference with speed in any bow. GF it could have been the shooters. BUT with that big of a poundage difference in draw weight between the two bows, and you figure a "minimum: of 6 pounds in draw weight increase with our 30"s of draw with each bow I doubt it. The point for all of this is, there is more to it than thinking just draw weight with Traditional Bows, whether Recurves or Longbows. DANNY
A huge factor in penetration is perfect arrow flight. We all think we have it....but I've seen some wobbly arrows shot at game by some experienced archers that got bad penetration. Perfect form on the range isn't always perfect in the field.
I should have bookmarked it but there was a trad elk hunt on youtube where the guy missed low....and if you slow the speed setting down to .25 you can clearly see the arrow flying cockeyed at a 20deg angle.