Tight Spot Quivers
Bison arrow build
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Greg S 03-Nov-19
altitude sick 03-Nov-19
Treeline 03-Nov-19
JTreeman 03-Nov-19
Treeline 03-Nov-19
Franklin 03-Nov-19
badguybuster 03-Nov-19
carcus 03-Nov-19
Bou'bound 03-Nov-19
BullBuster 03-Nov-19
krieger 03-Nov-19
Mathewsphone 03-Nov-19
elkstabber 04-Nov-19
EliteFan 04-Nov-19
x-man 04-Nov-19
Nick Muche 04-Nov-19
ahunter76 04-Nov-19
Buffalo1 04-Nov-19
ben h 04-Nov-19
Greg S 06-Nov-19
Greg S 06-Nov-19
JTreeman 06-Nov-19
Treeline 06-Nov-19
Scoot 06-Nov-19
Tdvorak 09-Nov-19
Treeline 09-Nov-19
JSW 09-Nov-19
Scooby-doo 10-Nov-19
Kurt 10-Nov-19
From: Greg S
03-Nov-19
Wanting to build an arrow for my W Yellowstone bison hunt. I have some full metal jacket 340’s with 50gr brass inserts already. Wondering if 125gr head on these would be enough (507gr total) and if it’s not enough what should I go to? Looking at VPA 3blade and iron will heads and shooting out of a Matthews Halon 32 at 70lbs.

03-Nov-19
You will have plenty of momentum with your current set up.

But more weight is always better. If you want to experiment.

I used to raise bison. And have seen a fair amount die. Bison are not very wide and have elk size (thickness) ribs. Most elk setups work just fine.

You can’t go wrong with any well built 2 blade. I would try the Iron Will. They are worth the cost. You could get many bison kills from each broadhead before replacing.

From: Treeline
03-Nov-19
That should be plenty enough to kill a bison.

If anything, you might want more mass. Get a well tuned arrow up to around 650-700 grains and it will definitely penetrate more that a 500 grain arrow.

There are lots of guys on here that have killed them with compound bows that can give you good advice.

My experience is pretty limited. Shot a young bull with a 57# homemade longbow at 25 yards. Arrow was a Carbon Express 250 with a weight tube and a two-blade Magnus with a 100-grain insert (225 grain BH). Total arrow mass was 750 grains. Arrow cut ribs on both sides and was sticking in the snow 20 yards on the other side of the bull from the shot. Looked like a double red rainbow off each side as he ran his final 50-yard dash.

My buddy was shooting a compound with his standard elk setup and took 3 arrows to close the deal. That was more due to poor shot placement than the arrow though.

That iron will is a great broadhead, but there are many great choices out there. Look into Cutthroats from Rocky Mountain Specialty Gear or VPA 2-blade heads. The heavier weights have better cut angles (200+ grain models). Heck, plenty of old-school 2-blade heads will be more than adequate as well - Grizzly, Zwicky, etc. much more economically but will require more work to sharpen and set up with a heavy steel broadhead insert.

From: JTreeman
03-Nov-19
I’m not an expert Bison hunter or arrow builder, so I should probably just keep my mouth shut. But this is the internet, so I won’t.

That arrow is a a little lighter then my “regular” set up. I would think it would be plenty though. If you want to add some weight and are using Iron Will heads they offer other weights. Or probably a better option (especially with FMJ’s) would be to use their footer system. That is assuming that shaft has enough spine. Seems like it may be a little weak with much more up front to me.

The other option would be 125 head and then some weight tubes from 3 Rivers. Super easy and don’t effect spine as much as the weight is distributed through the whole shaft. Easy to add 75-150 grains that way. Or the old weedeater line trick, but the weight tubes are so cheap and easy I would go that way personally.

If I was building a bison specific set up I think I would want my arrow build to be more in the 600 -650 grain range. But probably not super necessary as altitude sick has stated. But then again, I’m not a bison expert.

—Jim

From: Treeline
03-Nov-19
PS - Pictures! Lots and lots of pictures! And a recap of your hunt here on the Bowsite!!!

From: Franklin
03-Nov-19
I killed my bison bull with the same set up I would use on elk....my KE was only around 74 lbs. It`s where the arrow goes that is the important part....the heart is the size of a football, a big target.

From: badguybuster
03-Nov-19
I killed mine with a 55# selfbow using a 815 grain set up....605 grain river cane shaft and a 210 grain trade point made from a crosscut saw blade. The bow only shot about 165fps so your current set up is fine but might i recommend the Grizzlystik silverflame broadheads? Ive had really good succes with them.

From: carcus
03-Nov-19
Your good dont change anything

From: Bou'bound
03-Nov-19
Two with 76# bow and 2317 arrows with Zwicky and glue on adapters. Arrow weight 563

From: BullBuster
03-Nov-19
Interestingly, bison only have a single communicating lung cavity, containing both lungs. This is unlike other No American ungulates and most mammals, which have separate cavities. So if you open up the cavity, both lungs collapse. This explains the success of the American Indian.

From: krieger
03-Nov-19
^^^

I didn't know that, very interesting..

From: Mathewsphone
03-Nov-19
I shot one in BC 49 yrds pass thru full metal jacket 340 brass insert 100 gr broadhead 70lbs your set up will kill

From: elkstabber
04-Nov-19
There is good info posted above. Buffalo ribs are very similar to elk in thickness. Their hearts are the size of a football. Buffalo only have one lung cavity, so if your arrow hits one lung the other lung will also collapse.

I can only share that a 55# recurve, 620 grain arrow, 2 blade VPA will put one done quickly.

Either a 3 blade VPA or Ironwill will do the job. You don't need to change anything. But if you're a tinkerer and have the time maybe add 100 grains of weight, which will require a new stiffer arrow shaft probably.

From: EliteFan
04-Nov-19
I think your set up is pretty good. I shot one last August using FMJ 4 mm Deep Six 280 spine arrows with a 125 grain Iron Will with bleeder blades with the Iron Will footer and got a complete pass through on double lung shot. Bison ran about 100 yards and stood there and fell over dead a few minutes later. They don't have a rib structure like a cape buffalo so I think you're good.

From: x-man
04-Nov-19
The more weight you put up front of your arrow, the weaker the dynamic spine becomes. 340's may be too weak for that much weight up front at 70#.

From: Nick Muche
04-Nov-19
I used a 460 grain total arrow weight Gold Tip with 100 grain Kudu point, pass through at 48 yards with a 63lb bow. Fletch hung up on top of the heart and rest of arrow sticking out the off side.

From: ahunter76
04-Nov-19

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
mine-42 yd shot, lungs pass thru into the ground. 60# Darton compound, 29" 2219 Aluminum arrow tipped with a 3 Blade Fixed. Daughter-24 yd shot, heart, 50# Bear Compound, 29" 2219 Aluminum arrow tipped with 3 blade fixed. 26" penetration (dropped 60 yds away)

From: Buffalo1
04-Nov-19
I killed mine with a 62# Mathews @ 28”. Was shooting a standard size Gold Tip with 125 gr head. 20 yd shot - arrow penetrated and was lodged in opposite shoulder blade. It as a 900 lb animal. Excellent game fare.

From: ben h
04-Nov-19
no Archery experience with buffalo, but I went on a rifle hunt with a friend in the Book Cliffs UT a few years ago and those are tough buggers. His took 9 shots with a 300 win mag. It sounded like they were hitting rocks and we thought he missed a few times, but when we got to it, all of them were in the boiler maker and it was bones cracking that we heard. Bring some friends; it took 5 of us to flip 1/2 of it over to quarter it out! I really regret we didn't get the ribs. If you have some time before your hunt and don't already go to church, you should probably start going and pray that you get it close to the road.

I think your setup sounds adequate, but a little on the light side IMO. I'd go heavier and sacrifice some speed. A buddy of mine shot a bull elk this year with the Iron Will's and it turned on the shot and it ended up going in just about perfect on the way in and came out the opposite side just before the rear leg bone in the hind quarter (crazy as it was only about a 25 yd shot). Never did find the arrow as it blew through 4-5' of elk the way it traveled. Very impressed with the penetration and by far the fastest archery elk kill I've seen and unfortunately in the crappiest spot.

have a great hunt.

From: Greg S
06-Nov-19
I think I’ll build some FMJ 300 spine. Put 50 grains of brass in and a 125gr VPA. Should push me up to about 550 and shoot great. Still considering the FMJ 300 dangerous game though. They would take me up to about 625gr.

From: Greg S
06-Nov-19
I think I’ll build some FMJ 300 spine. Put 50 grains of brass in and a 125gr VPA. Should push me up to about 550 and shoot great. Still considering the FMJ 300 dangerous game though. They would take me up to about 625gr.

From: JTreeman
06-Nov-19
I would seriously consider adding a footer to that set-up, even if you use the standard insert and get your weight with the footer. Either VPA or Ironwill sell good ones.

—Jim

From: Treeline
06-Nov-19
The heavier broadheads have better cutting angles and stronger blades.

I really can not understand why people would add more weight to the arrow with brass weights rather than just going to a heavier broadhead???

Hell, I try to get the heaviest broadhead possible to fly well with my arrow setup. Lots of fabulous screw-in options at 175, 200, 250, 300 and even more.

From: Scoot
06-Nov-19
Tavis, for me it's because I've got about 30 broadheads in 100 grain already. I wish I'd have gone with a 150 head in the first place...

From: Tdvorak
09-Nov-19

Tdvorak's embedded Photo
Tdvorak's embedded Photo
I saw an awesome buffalo archery kill last season. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it. The hunter got to 51 yards and shot. He was shooting 70 pounds. He got a full 4 inches of penetration because he missed the Ribs. The bull turned and stampeded away. At that point you could clearly see the penetration. Here’s the amazing part: the other bull with him ran over to stampede away together and when he ran up beside him the bumped into one another and bull 2 drove the arrow clear into the fletching. I never seen anything like it. Good Luck Karma. If you have that kinda luck you can use almost anything AND PLAY THE LOTTERY. It goes to show that if you want to get lucky you have to put yourself in a position to be successful...you gotta GO.

From: Treeline
09-Nov-19
That is just insane! Wow!

From: JSW
09-Nov-19
I got a complete pass through last year on a big Henry Mt's bull. 560 grain total arrow weight. Magnus 2 blade 1 1/4" total width. 60# recurve at 40 yards. Probably 185-190 FPS. You figure the KE. Your setup will work just fine. If it were me, I'd figure a way to get another 50 grains on the total weight, mainly because I never shoot an arrow that isn't at least 520 grains. If you don't, I doubt you will miss it. If you use a good quality cut on impact head, make sure it is wicked sharp. Sharp is more important than the brand.

From: Scooby-doo
10-Nov-19
I would go to the next heavier spine and shoot a 175 grain VPA head that you can make scalpel sharp with a 3 sided jewel stick. Shawn

From: Kurt
10-Nov-19
I shot one in the Henry Mts, UT about 20 yrs ago. 70# PSE finger bow, 23-15 with a 4 blade Zwickey Delta broadhead. Pass thru, bull went 35 yds and crashed. 525 gr arrow going about 217 FPS if memory is correct. No need to go crazy over draw weight or arrow build, just hit them in the lungs broadside. Stay away from the shoulder.

My two buddies shot a couple ranch raised bison in KS. Flint points and a 50# recurve and longbow did the job...but don’t hit ribs, the flint breaks. Between the ribs gave penetration to the far side.

Good luck!

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