Where to shoot an elk with a bow.

Where to Shoot an Elk With a Bow Leave a comment

Your bow, arrow, and broadhead don’t matter in case you shoot an elk within the unsuitable spot. Whether or not you spend three grand or 200 bucks in your setup, the consequence would be the identical: a couple of drops of blood that results in nothing however disappointment. It’s the accountability of all elk hunters to work on their archery abilities to make fast kills through the season. However it’s additionally our accountability to know precisely the place to shoot an elk—and the place to not. 

John Dudley, has an extended archery resume, however amongst his {qualifications} is an extended monitor document of profitable archery elk kills—together with seven within the final two years. I talked to him to get his finest recommendation for archery elk shot placement and a few archery gear recommendation. Right here’s what he needed to say. 

Broadside Shot Placement

Purple areas are hazard zones, inexperienced space is nice shot placement, and blue dot is the aiming level. John Hafner

Dudley provides easy recommendation for capturing a broadside elk. “You wish to observe the again of the leg up till you’re on the midway level of the elk,” he says.  

The broadside shot placement on elk doesn’t differ a lot from the place you’d shoot a broadside deer. Settling your pin on the above blue dot ensures your arrow penetrates the lungs whereas conserving it away from the hazard zones and non very important areas. 

Quartering Away Shot Placement

Elk Hunting photo
The blue dot represents the place you’ll intention on this quartering away elk. Wesley Aston / NPS

A quartering away shot is arguably probably the greatest photographs on an elk as a result of it’s simpler to attract your bow with out being seen and it provides a forgiving aiming space. 

“A broadside to quartering away shot offers individuals the chance to do a variety of injury to an elk,” Dudley says. “Their lungs are fairly huge; it’s nearly like capturing a pillow.”

For a quartering away shot, visualize the place the broadside aiming level is on the other facet of the elk. Then intention in a spot that may trigger your arrow to hit that spot because it exits. 

Learn Subsequent: Greatest Searching Arrows

Frontal Shot Placement 

Elk Hunting photo
The blue dot represents the place to intention for a frontal shot. Danita Delimont / NPS

A quartering-to shot provides a small aiming space with a better chance of hitting one of many hazard zones, and onerous quartering-to photographs must be averted. Nevertheless, photographs the place an elk is going through you straight on, may be very deadly. 

“I’m a fan of the frontal shot and I’ve killed a variety of elk with frontal photographs,” Dudley says. 

He says that the realm the place the bull’s darkish lengthy hair meets the sunshine tan is even simpler to penetrate than the ribs. In response to Dudley, the kill zone for a frontal is in regards to the measurement of a milk jug. Whereas the frontal shot may be very lethal, he warns that the frontal shot shouldn’t be tried by anybody who has issues about arrow penetration or arrow pace. Additionally, frontal photographs ought to solely be taken at shut vary.  

“In case you’re taking a frontal the animal is almost definitely going to be taking a look at you and as quickly as that arrow goes off they’re going to be reacting as a result of they’re going to listen to a sound and see a motion,” Dudley says. “If that elk is anyplace previous 20 yards, that, in my view, is turning into an unethical shot.”

Dudley additionally says bowhunters shouldn’t take frontal photographs from elevated positions as a result of to hit the vitals you’d must penetrate the dense neck meat, which is extraordinarily powerful. 

Learn Subsequent: Greatest Broadheads

The place To not Shoot an Elk

Elk Hunting photo
The pink traces point out giant bones close to the kill zone. Michael / NPS

Elk are huge animals with huge bones. Even heavy arrow weights and excessive FOC gained’t show you how to penetrate the leg bones, backbone, and the thick portion of the scapula, Dudley says. 

“I’m capturing roughly 80 kilos and with a 530-grain arrow and if I shoot the lifeless middle of a leg bone on an elk, even with a number of the finest fastened blade broadheads I’ve had, the penetration is like hitting a 4×4 put up,” he says. “For elk, the lungs and actually all the things ahead of the diaphragm may be very huge … The issues that you simply actually wish to keep away from are the leg bone and the place the leg bone connects to the underside of the scapula. And the ahead a part of the scapula the place it has the excessive ridge on it and the entrance a part of the plate is extra dense. Something in there’s a hazard zone.”

The non-vital areas, just like the abdomen and hind quarter, ought to clearly be averted as nicely. 

Tips about Arrow and Broadhead Choice for Elk

Elk Hunting photo
Dudley has killed seven bulls with a bow within the final two years. Nock On Media

Heavy arrows are a present development, however Dudley believes a mid-weight arrow is right for searching. 

“Do you want a massively heavy arrow? Actually it’ll assist penetration, however I haven’t seen very many broadheads undergo the arm bone of an elk,” he says. 

He likes a middle-of-the-road arrow weight as a result of it strikes a steadiness between penetration, and a forgiving trajectory. 

“Let’s say you vary an animal and he’s 40 yards. Then you definately draw again and undergo your shot course of, however the elk takes two steps as you’re on the point of shoot. In case you’re capturing an arrow that I might think about extraordinarily heavy, over 600 grains, these two steps (about 4 yards) are going to turn into a significant component,” Dudley says. “I strive to decide on an arrow that permits me to be off by about 2.5 yards with minimal variation.”

In the case of selecting a broadhead, he says all of it relies on your setup. In case you have lower than a 29-inch draw size and are capturing a decrease draw weight. Dudley says that you must select a broadhead that excels at penetration above all else. If you’re capturing a setup just like Dudley’s (30.5-inch draw, 80 kilos, 530 grains) you may select a broadhead that may not penetrate one of the best however flies exceptionally nicely and cuts a bigger gap. 

“I believe as bowhunters if we take note of the accuracy, the shot placement, after which be certain that we’ve got a head that can get the penetration we’d like based mostly on our draw size and poundage, then that’s one of the best recommendation I may give them,” he says. 

Closing Ideas on The place to Shoot an Elk with a Bow

Shot placement is crucial with all sport, and it’s particularly essential with critters like elk, that are identified for his or her toughness. Now that you already know the place to shoot an elk, you’ve bought to have the ability to execute the shot correctly. Research elk anatomy, follow good shot placement, and select a broadhead that correctly matches your bow setup. With these containers ticked you’ll be in your method to making an excellent shot within the mountains in September. 

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