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Heading West. What pound limbs?
I just booked a hunt with Forrest and will be in pursuit of elk. I shoot 60 lbs for whitetails but have debated 70 lb limbs for elk. I shoot a 418 grain arrow with grim reaper heads. I love my setup and the way it shoots but debated adding some more energy to my limbs. Im 32 and in good shape so its no issue to pull the additional weight. Thoughts?
I would just up your arrow weight to at least 475 gr and increase FOC. No need to change draw weight. You're shooting plenty. Your head should be fine however many, including myself, prefer a fixed blade. Make sure your bow is well tuned.
I totally agree with Brotsky. I don't go quite as heavy as him (about 460 grains for me), but an exact number isn't important- just a little heavier than your current arrow will be markedly better on thick skinned/boned critters like elk. I 100% agree with him on broadhead- sharp cut on contact will be an improvement (I learned the hard way on that one).
Now that I have said all of that, several people will chime in saying why that's all wrong and you should ignore it. :)
Shoot 60 pounds, 450 grain plus arrow, cut on contact fixed broadhead and you’ll be fine.
Elk are a big animal. Go with a fixed blade cut on contact head. Plenty of good ones to select from.
I shoot 52 Lb. 360 Grain arrows with muzzy coc broad heads. Last 2 elk died within eyesight. Less than 30 yds. Don't overthink it. Scott
I have killed a few elk, kudu, zebra, gemsbok etc...all with a 450 grain arrow out of a 62 lb bow, 28" draw with a fixed blade head (Qad Exodus, Slick Trick Viper Trick). All pass thrus.
All valid points. I killed my first elk with 64# and a 385gr arrow.
However each year I changed my set up and liked the results better with more momentum. Now I’m at 70# and 550grs !
The most important thing is to shoot what you have the most confidence in.
Your current draw weight is plenty. Since you love your current setup and the way it shoots, no need to change. 15-20 years ago I would have recommended bumping up some, but like the saying goes, today’s 60 is yesterday’s 70. Your arrow weight is towards the lower limit of what I’d feel comfortable with for elk, but I agree with some of the previous posts...something in the 440-450 range is a better choice IMO. I know than many an elk have fallen to mech heads, but I prefer a fixed blade COC broadhead as well.
All good advice above. Sharp broadheads and good shot placement and you'll be fine. Good luck!
ChasingFAHL, Can you tell us more on your bow, like if you know what speed your getting with them 418 arrows?? Draw length? Like some have stated your bow maybe just fine. You my just need to go to and COC head. Or you MAY need to up arrow weight for a mech head. I shoot a mech head, 100gr steelhead at just about your arrow weight. I've killed elk 15 years ago with a slower bow 275 fps with about this same arrow weight ur shooting. Ed
I guess I don't see where he said he's shooting a mech? Grim Reaper makes fixed heads, too.
I agree with what others have said regarding your setup and arrow weight. However, in my opinion if you're in shape and can do it there's no negative to adding some draw weight to your bow especially if you're going to increase arrow weight. More draw weight equates to more speed and a flatter shooting arrow, which can pay off out west with the potential for longer shots and the challenge of judging yardage in steep terrain. Your setup will kill no problem if you put the arrow where it needs to go. A flatter shooting arrow might make doing so a little easier.
FWIW, I'm 60 and shoot 74 lbs, arrow weight in the upper 400's and a fixed blade broadhead.
I shoot a 500 min arrow with 50/55 lb trad gear, with 60 lb you could easily up your arrow weight and do just fine.
Make sure your letoff is maxed at 80%. Colorado has that requirement and some wardens are checking.
Thanks so much for all the input! My current setup is a Hoyt axis, 29" draw and Im crazy about having a properly tuned bow. I shoot to 100 yards regularly just because I enjoy it but would never take a shot on an animal at that range. I love my setup for whitetails but thought it might be a bit light for elk. The reapers I shoot are 1 3/8" razor tips and Ive shot them for 10 years and have full confidence in the head. I did think about adding 25 grains upfront to increase my FOC a bit and add some weight.
My Son (13)with a 40# bow & 400 grain arrow. Same Son with a 70# bow & 400 grain arrow & 30 years later! He has 24 bulls with a 400 grain arrow & 5 more with 500 grains out of a Recurve & Longbow. Just get out there & hunt, I'd use a fixed blade or cut on contact head!
#-1 with 400 grain arrow @ 40#
#-1 with 400 grain arrow @ 40#
Early years bull from a 400 grain arrow!
I shoot a 480 grain arrow and 75 lb bow. I like to be 450 plus grains for arrow weight
A #60 compound has energy to burn; just don’t waste it. Adding 400 grains of silly putty to your limbs to quiet things down is pretty nuts if you could achieve the same noise reduction by adding some mass to your arrow. Might not even cost you any arrow speed, but even if it did, you might find that your fixed blade broadheads fly better at the lower velocity anyhow.
And don’t forget that you’re shooting a BOW and not a rifle. Find the path of least resistance to the general vicinity of the heart and get an exit.
A lot of Elk have been killed very neatly with well-placed shots from 450 grain arrows coming out of 45 pound recurves and longbows, and I’m not sure that there is a single species in North America that has NOT been killed by a 50 pound recurve shooting a 500 grain arrow; at #60, your KE may be close to twice that. Hell, might be MORE.
I've killed 4 elk with a 52 lb bow and all were passthroughs except for the time I hit the shoulder blade on the offside. I've never hit an elk and not recovered it.
You must use a SMALLER broadhead for elk - to get deeper penetration. That is as important, or more important than 10 pounds of draw weight. That said more is better. Elk are a lot bigger then deer. When you walk up to your first one you will see:)
Don’t over think it, I’ve killed many with an arrow in the 415 weight range, with great penetration/pass through ....all with fixed blade or coc heads though!!! Same draw weight and length as yours.
Taken Moose, Caribou and Elk with my 57# recurve, 2117's (560 grains) with 2 blade Zwickey Eskimo and Delta broad heads. Moose at 25 yds, Caribou at 30 and Elk at roughly 25. Penetration up to the feathers except the caribou, sunk the arrow in halfway.