Elk Taken With Light Arrow Setups?

ElkNut1

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This is really an unusual question to ask for me! I've never taken or hunted an elk with under 420grn arrows. But this winter is long & I'm really playing with some different setups for fun & maybe just maybe might possibly hunt with an arrow in the 375 grainish wt. I'm playing with 355grn & 380grn at present out of my Hoyt AM 32 at 65# at present. I'm going to chrono them in a couple days but first check out their flat shooting advantages?

I know these wts. can kill elk, but has any of you here hunted elk with these light setups? What has been your experiences? I'm seeing that speed can be exciting, at my age that's a big thing! (grin)

ElkNut1
 

mattstanton

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I shoot the heaviest arrow I can and stay right around 280fps. One of my partners is a speed freak adn shoots a 385gr arrow no matter what because he likes speed. He does not get many pass throughs though and I give that up to lack of momentum
 

Ryan Avery

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Elknut, I hunt with an older fella that shoots arrows in the 360 to 370 range with a 60# bow. He has shot quite a few bulls with this setup. He won't shoot passed 40 yards and like Matt said not many pass throughs. But still, dead elk

Ryan
 
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I really like shooting a light arrow. I use the same set up for hunting everything. I never wanted to be the guy who has a different arrow for every animal he hunts. I am all about keeping it simple. I shoot a 375 grain arrow out of a Mathews bow set at 71lbs with a 28.5 draw length. I have never had any issues with this set up. Took a bull at 51 yards and the arrow broke ribs on both sides and then buried in the dirt.
 

evan williams

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I am with Robert. I build one set-up and hunt. Now personally I don't like shooting under 360 grains on elk but one a Mule Deer heavy tag season I will run 345-350 grains because the elk tag in my pocket is just an added bonus to the hunt. This year I ran 345 gr and I chose to pass on a nice bull at 43 yards because I didn't like the set-up for him. Everything was perfect, I knew the range and had a great head on but that was my decision.

PS I like my Mule Deer before the elk! Thats why I make my arrows lighter.
 

a3dhunter

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I shot a cow elk at 31 yards, slightly quartering away right behind the front leg using a Hoyt Xtec 29.5" draw set at 70 lbs with a PSE carbon x-weave arrow and a Thunderhead broadhead with blazers that weighed 389 grains (if I remember correctly). The arrow passed through the elk and was laying in a bush about 2 yards past where the elk had been standing.
I could see as the elk started to try to run off that the off side leg was useless and blood was pouring out. I could not get another shot in so I waited. After about a half hour I found a good blood trail for a little ways, then good frothy blood and blood spray over a 5 yard area, the elk also dumped urine and crap and a huge amount of blood, then nothing from there but three drops.
Never found this elk. Spent 12-13 hours looking with two guys.
Will it pass through, yes.
Will it kill, yes.
Was I just purely unlucky, IMO-YES!
Would I shoot the setup again, yes.
Do I- Nope. Moved up to 440 grains and a different broadhead.
 

Lukem

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A buddy of mine shot a cow with a 350 grain arrow from a 70# Allegiance. Complete pass through.

Take and make a good broadside shot, and there shouldn't be a problem.
 

cnelk

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Paul
For several years I shot a 380gr arrow ~65# on elk with great success. I had a couple one lung hits after deflection on ribs - And not many pass thrus using Muzzys.

So I wanted just a bit more weight and a new BH and went with SlickTricks- I added trimmer line inside my arrow shaft to get it up to 425.

Taken 2 more elk with the setup now. And going to stay with the heavier arrow.

Good luck and keep us posted
 
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MJ from Oregon

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With 70+lbs of KE the Flat Liners will never be used for Elk Hunting again by myself.

This weight was with a 100 gr Slick Trick

The old set up that has place many Elk Antlers to my collection. I should not have tried to fix something that was not broke.
 
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littlebuf

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i used to shoot really light arrows.got caught up in the whole speed thing.switched to a heavy set up lastyear and will never go back.im up around 524gr.elk still cant out run um
 

>>>---WW---->

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" I'm seeing that speed can be exciting, at my age that's a big thing! (grin)" I'll bet Brenda doesn't think so! LOL!!

Used to be 6 gr. per pound was the minimum most bow manufactures recommended. I think the speed freaks may have talked them down to 5 gr. now days. At any rate, you could be compromising the integerty of your bow. You may get more speed but you wil get less penetration and you will have a noiser bow.
 
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ElkNut1

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WW, now, now!!! Watch it! (grin)

Thanks for the comments guys, it's appreciated! Lots of views & experiences there! If I go with a lighter setup (too me) it would most likely be in the 375-380 range! This is light in comparison to past setups! I have a few thoughts here as well at present & from past experiences! When talking total arrow weights which also includes broadhead installed, not all setups are created equal! Meaning an arrow that weighs 375grn is not necessarily equal in penetration as another like arrow of the exact weight! I've done similar tests in the past & will do it with my present arrows that I'm considering as well.

For example take a .340 spine arrow & have a finished wt of 380grn, this arrow has a 15 grn aluminum insert & a 100 grn head to meet wt & is spined & tuned to ones setup of 65# - Now take another .340 spine arrow & add a 50grn brass insert & 125 grn head for that 380grn wt total. The only difference here is the head wt. One arrow carries most its wt up-front where the other arrow has its wt distributed through the entire arrow! I've tested arrow combinations as this before, just different wts. The arrow with the strong FOC always wins! My plan was to consider this arrow with the 175grn of wt up-front! It should really perform well at about 290fps. I think it's going to be the best of both worlds, fast & a great penetrator! (grin) If tests are not satisfactory at 38ogrn I can easily bump up brass insert to 70-75grn for at or just under 400grn, this is still light in comparison but I don't think it will be needed!

On a sidenote of interest, my son & I have taken a few elk as well as our crew, (5 of us) I will venture a guess here, but a good one, that we receive aprox 25% pass-throughs on elk, that's 75% where arrows do not punch through both sides! This is with our present 420grn to over 500grn total arrow wt setups. From my experience I honestly feel that pass-throughs are over rated, yes I like them but it's not needed, I like the fact that a razor sharp head is in the animal carving him up with every step he takes to add to the damage & hopefully a quick recovery. As I mentioned, winter is slow in leaving & the snow is still piling up so I'm tinkering here! (grin)

ElkNut1
 

justin davis

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I shot a bull with a 400 grain arrow once. That was before I was educated on the importance of a heavy arrow. Currently I shoot a 480 grain arrow. Wont go below 450 for elk or anything for that matter. Heavy arrows are quieter on your bow and pack a bigger punch!
 

>>>---WW---->

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Sorry Paul. Your comment was just too good to pass up!! LOL! Have fun with your tinkering. And let us all know how it works out.
 
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ElkNut1

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View attachment 871View attachment 872View attachment 877View attachment 878View attachment 880WW, will do!

Justin, Shot placement never over rides arrow wt. (grin)

Case in point, I lost a nice bull last year, 38 yd shot 503grn arrow out of my 67# X-Force, should I go up in weight? (grin) Of course not, I need not to hit the critter so high, it was my fault, but that's hunting! I'm not saying everyone should shoot 380grn arrows, but if it's ones consideration do a bit of testing with them as to their effectiveness! I will do this 1st but from past experience with such testing by loading up the front it will surprise a guy as to their penetration! Proper spine & arrow tuning is very critical & trumps arrow wt. within reason.

My Son in Law only shoots 380-390 grn arrows out of his 70# whatever bow he's shooting? (grin) Most years it's a Matthews. His success is very good with his tuned setup. Let me share a few from the 2000's. Now you will see why I do not dis-credit a lighter arrow so quickly, I am open minded! (sometimes-Grin) He has more bulls than this, I believe 17 in all with a bow & with light setups, like he states, don't fix something that isn't broke!

ElkNut1
 

Darin Cooper

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Guys, speed is "cool" and these light setups work fine when everything goes well. What about a penetration robbing deflection or an animal that jumps the string or turns as you shoot?? You're not giving up much trajectory for an arrow with more mass and a LOT more penetration in those less than perfect situations. I've made the mistake you all are risking making on a mule deer buck you would puke over. I WILL NEVER SHOOT LIGHTWEIGHT HUNTING ARROWS (under 420 grains) EVER AGAIN - so help me God! I have 266 reasons why (give or take a few 1/8ths).

I learned the hard way...

Coop
 
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