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How long at full draw?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Medicinemann 03-Sep-20
coelker 03-Sep-20
GF 03-Sep-20
GF 03-Sep-20
LKH 03-Sep-20
Rocky D 03-Sep-20
APauls 03-Sep-20
Milhouse 03-Sep-20
Bloodtrail 03-Sep-20
Treeline 03-Sep-20
StickFlicker 03-Sep-20
elkmtngear 03-Sep-20
JL 03-Sep-20
Ucsdryder 03-Sep-20
Medicinemann 03-Sep-20
stealthycat 03-Sep-20
Bob H in NH 03-Sep-20
sitO 03-Sep-20
Old School 03-Sep-20
ElkNut1 04-Sep-20
t-roy 04-Sep-20
Missouribreaks 04-Sep-20
ElkNut1 04-Sep-20
StickFlicker 04-Sep-20
Shawn 04-Sep-20
KHNC 08-Sep-20
wyobullshooter 08-Sep-20
TD 08-Sep-20
elkmtngear 08-Sep-20
GF 08-Sep-20
WV Mountaineer 08-Sep-20
Irishman 09-Sep-20
LC Archer 14-Sep-20
Charlie Rehor 14-Sep-20
GF 14-Sep-20
CFMuley 15-Sep-20
LC Archer 15-Sep-20
smarba 15-Sep-20
stealthycat 15-Sep-20
orionsbrother 15-Sep-20
From: Medicinemann
03-Sep-20
As I sit here waiting for my Wyoming elk bowhunt (which starts two weeks from today), I have been watching (and re-watching) every elk bowhunt that I can find on Youtube. Some of the videos show the bowhunters holding for an impressive length of time before shooting. Just asking for opinions.....how long can you hold your bow at full draw, before you believe that your accuracy will suffer?

BTW, having never shot a cow elk....I have a question.....do they have ivory, or only the bulls?

From: coelker
03-Sep-20
Cows do have ivories just smaller and usually not as colorful. But they are there...

As for holding. Adrenaline can be amazing and surprise how long you can hold. I often find that my bow arm get tired long before my draw arm. So I and my wife practice just holding our bows up for extended time.

In all honestly I have never killed a bull that I have held for a really long time on. On the flipside nearly all my bulls have been killed on a fast smooth draw and shot cycle. As fast as I can draw and find my pin I shoot.

I feel most guys who hold a really long time draw too soon and at the wrong time. I also suggest that any elk encounter you get practice drawing and see what you can get away with. For example in CO we cant shoot spikes so any time we call in a spike we practice draw timing and letting down etc. We do this cow elk and deer etc. Never aim at them but we always experiment with what we can and cant get away with.

From: GF
03-Sep-20
Yes, the cows have ivories. They’re pretty cool, too.

I haven’t tested myself lately, but I top out at around 45 seconds with my bows in the #52-#53 range. The new one’s about #62, and I did take a few shots with that after maybe 30 seconds or so; those were good enough for 8-ring hits on a deer target under 20 yards, but that’s not a complete loss.

I never tested myself to see how long I could hold a compound; I think I started to one time and got bored just standing there. But ‘twas my BOW arm that was actually tiring.... that thing weighed a TON.

From: GF
03-Sep-20
“ On the flipside nearly all my bulls have been killed on a fast smooth draw and shot cycle. As fast as I can draw and find my pin I shoot.”

And that’s the other reason I don’t worry about it. The one time I tried to draw on an incoming animal, it was a nervous cow skittering along the trail towards me, and she picked me off from about 40 out, then stopped and stood there looking at me just long enough for me to decide that the angle and range added up to a no-go.

From: LKH
03-Sep-20
10 seconds max, but I can shoot in less than a second.

From: Rocky D
03-Sep-20
I can hold my bow for probably 20 seconds before accuracy is affected. A couple of recent threads have really gotten me to consider similar thoughts. Like hypothetically shooting 70 lbs when your max is 75 lbs. This would be like working out with your max weight all the time or like training at or near your race pace. Now we get the question of how long can you hold your bow. Well, there answer is not long enough! I know that a lot people don’t watch a lot of videos but I can learn time the I see a human interact with an animal.

I watch tons of videos and I have noticed that many people don’t know when to draw their bow. I hunt at a known disadvantage by hunting in an enclosed climber. I have shot one deer while being seated. I have not felt like I was disadvantaged because I always been able to stand and shoot.

From: APauls
03-Sep-20
I have found on many an occasion for late season whitetails I've had to do the 'ol hook the bow arm on the knee" deal. Still couldn't hold long enough. When I remember I try to work a long hold into a practise session. My elk kills have not been long holds. 5-10 seconds max.

From: Milhouse
03-Sep-20

Milhouse's embedded Photo
Milhouse's embedded Photo
Ivories from my cow elk...

From: Bloodtrail
03-Sep-20
If you find you got caught holding at full draw for a long time, You can simply wrap your thumb behind your neck to relieve some pressure, if your shooting a trigger release. Once you get the shot opp., you go back to your regular release point. Also, if you practice this, you’ll find you can get pretty good at holding for minutes at a time.

I don’t think you can do that with a back tension or thumb release.....So I guess just hold tight! :)

From: Treeline
03-Sep-20
As said above, cows have ivory’s.

About 5 seconds before I start collapsing and lose focus...

That’s with a 60# longbow though.

Totally different timing with the stick bow than a compound. Especially on the ground at or below eye level. No waiting for them to walk into the shot window.

Not sure I have ever held over 2 seconds at full draw for an elk...

From: StickFlicker
03-Sep-20
When in a blind, I've held for WELL over a minute before, and I think probably a couple of minutes a few times. However, when I'm forced to hold for a long time, and I'm in a blind so I can get away with a little bit of movement, I rest the bottom cam on my thigh so I'm not holding up the weight of the bow. It makes a huge difference on allowing you to hold for a very long time without shaking.

From: elkmtngear
03-Sep-20

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
Watched my buddy (KHNC), hold on this bull for at least 1 1/2 minutes, I finally raked the ground, and got the bull to take a step, he stopped him, and the rest is history...39 yards, perfect shot placement! ;^)

From: JL
03-Sep-20
Interesting topic. This one was approx 46 - 47 seconds holding at full draw. I know I've had longer years ago, but this is the most recent with a long hold. I had one or two where I never shot and had to let down.

From: Ucsdryder
03-Sep-20
I was at full draw for 1:30 this morning. I was getting shaky. It’s always harder when it’s on a bull and not a bale of hay!

From: Medicinemann
03-Sep-20
Ucsdryder, Don't leave us hanging......did you let down....or let it go?!!

From: stealthycat
03-Sep-20
compound a long time ... recurve 5 seconds maybe ( i kinda snap shoot)

From: Bob H in NH
03-Sep-20
My one elk I was at full draw from when he stepped onto the logging road at 70 yards, turned and walked toward me, shot at 6 feet as he passed me. No clue how long that was, but I felt steady on his chest the whole time in case he turned.

From: sitO
03-Sep-20
How long with your Xgun Bradley...see the difference yet?

From: Old School
03-Sep-20
I practice holding at full draw for 1 minute and then when the timer goes off I give myself 2 seconds to release the arrow - trying to mimic an animal finally presenting a shot. I’d rather practice it and never need it than the other way around.

From: ElkNut1
04-Sep-20
This year 45 seconds at full draw, it didn't even dawn on me it was for that long when in the moment, I could have held longer if needed! 65# bow. As the bull was coming my Son bugled right as he entered the trees, bull stopped to scan around, no shot, I held.

ElkNut

From: t-roy
04-Sep-20
Along with resting the cam on the your leg/knee, I will tuck my elbow into my side. That helps to be able to hold even longer, IMO.

Also, in actual hunting situations vs at the practice range, how do you guys actually know how long you held? In those particular situations, I’m so keyed in on the moment, my guess on the actual amount of time would probably be way off, I’m betting.

04-Sep-20
1-2 seconds at most. I hunt with a stickbow.

From: ElkNut1
04-Sep-20
t-roy, for me it's sorta a guess at best! My Son said he thought I'd held for 90 seconds but I felt it was a lot less so went with the 45 second response!

ElkNut

From: StickFlicker
04-Sep-20
t-roy, I have some of the shots on video, so I can go back and see how long I held. My recollection is that I held for several minutes one time on a huge warthog, confirmed by going back to the video. But again, I rested the cam on my knee which made it much easier.

From: Shawn
04-Sep-20
Today's bows easily 2 minutes or more. I am holding like 12#s. My bow are is the one that gets to me. My recurved from 47-52#s about a minute than I am all over. Shawn

From: KHNC
08-Sep-20
"Easily" two minutes aye? I have seen many seasoned bowhunters fall apart trying to execute a 30 sec hold/shoot scenario. Tough to do.

08-Sep-20

wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
wyobullshooter's embedded Photo
^^^^ Rule of thumb...take the amount of time you think you can hold at full draw, divide by 4 to get answer! ;-)

As others have stated, cows most definitely have ivories. This is a necklace I had made from my first elk, a cow.

From: TD
08-Sep-20
At about 30 seconds you'd swear it was two or three times longer. As stated, the bow arm is what gets heavy. Elk are easy to draw on, if you're smooth on the draw you can pretty much draw anytime. Axis off the ground you're only going to get drawn when their head is behind something for the most part. Have had to hold an eternity on them at times.

I've held much much longer using a little trick. Works with duel cam bows and best if kneeling but have used it standing. Get to full draw and rest your lower cam on your leg or on the ground if kneeling/sitting. Takes all the weight off your arm (the bow actually props up your arm and rests it) and the weight on the cam holds it cammed over some, reduces the weight at full draw quite a bit too. Try it sometime, a minute or two is easy, in the bag.... more a matter of patience than strength. Then when time you only have to move just a bit for final aiming.... piece of pie..... =D

From: elkmtngear
08-Sep-20
"Get to full draw and rest your lower cam on your leg or on the ground if kneeling/sitting. Takes all the weight off your arm (the bow actually props up your arm and rests it) and the weight on the cam holds it cammed over some, reduces the weight at full draw quite a bit too".

Forgot to mention...Kenny eventually used that trick, when he harvested that Monster bull I posted above. Since he told me about it, I've practiced it quite a bit, from a kneeling position. It's a great trick!

From: GF
08-Sep-20
Fantastic trick - makes it just like shooting a crossbow, for practical purposes....

08-Sep-20
The compound I have now is three years old. I don’t know the let off on it. But, I could hold it forever if my bow arm wouldn’t give out. How long before it does is unknown.

However, my trad bows are different. I’m pulling 59 pounds at my draw length. I could hold it 30 seconds before I start to quiver.

From: Irishman
09-Sep-20
With a recurve I only ever hold it for a second or so. With my compound I've pulled it back and held it until I got bored. I think that the issue I have is that after I've held it at full draw for a long time, it is harder to make minor adjustments to where I am aiming. Not sure if that makes any sense.

From: LC Archer
14-Sep-20
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fhETM5lpedk

2:46 at full draw. Pretty impressive.

14-Sep-20
I thought you shot a cow elk in AZ a few years ago?

From: GF
14-Sep-20
If it ain’t a stickbow, I’m not prepared to be impressed...

From: CFMuley
15-Sep-20
1:52 on my bull last year, on video. He was coming in fairly quick, but my caller couldn’t see him and kept cow calling, every time he’d cow call, the bull would stop for 10-15 seconds. Eventually he came in and gave me a perfect broadside shot at about 10 yards.

From: LC Archer
15-Sep-20
GF Then you’re not going to be impressed very often. ;)

Look I’ve caught a ton of tarpon, bonefish, and permit on fly. But I have a lot of respect for skilled guys that fish the flats or slow pitch jigging with technical spin gear. Different skill Set but not less worthy.

Best of luck to you this season D

From: smarba
15-Sep-20
Thanks for your valuable insight GF

From: stealthycat
15-Sep-20
"How long with your Xgun Bradley...see the difference yet?"

infinite hold with an x-bow but .... a couple of times I've reached for second arrows, nocked and shot and that'd have been impossible with an xbow

plus stalking with an xbow is close to impossible

difference yes - but I'd not shot my compound in literally a year and 2 days ago I picked it up, shot a 3 arrow group at 20 yards that was 3" and exceptionally few can do that with longbow/recurve

see the difference ?

15-Sep-20
Jake - Best of luck to you. Have a great trip. Be safe. Bring back meat and pics.

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