5 Things To Know About Elk Bow Hunts
Elk hunting is a popular outdoor activity. Using a bow to hunt a large elk is risky, but with the right equipment and plan, you can take down one of the most prized trophies in the sport of hunting. Here’s five things to know about elk bow hunts.
1) Elk Bow Hunts are Quiet and Stealthy
Hunting elk with a bow has several advantages. A bow is quiet. This allows the hunter to shoot an arrow without alerting other animals. Several arrows can be shot without revealing the hunter’s position.
The ideal elk hunting bow is a compound bow with a high draw weight (at least 50 pounds). The energy required to kill an elk should be around 60 foot-pounds.
The ideal elk hunting arrow has a streamlined arrow head. It will penetrate the elk cleanly. Broad-shaped arrow heads aren’t recommended because it will impact the elk forcefully, but won’t penetrate deeply.
2) The Elk’s Grazing Habits are Important
When you find an area with elk, it’s best to set up in a location that is downwind from the elk. This will prevent your scent from alerting the elk. If the elk congregate around a feeding area, you can wait in a tree stand or a ground-blind. An alternative is to find the water source used by the elk. Conducting surveillance near a waterhole is a good idea.
Elk bow hunts take place away from the road. Some hunters walk several miles away from nearby roads to locate elk. Another option is to use a call. A call might attract elk to a location if they are far away. If you see elk, it’s not recommended to call them. An alternative is to stalk slowly through the terrain and get closer.
3) If the Shot Isn’t Perfect, the Elk Will Escape
An injured elk traveling several miles before dying is considered inhumane. The goal is to perform a humane kill. The best shot is one to the broadside of the elk that penetrates the lungs or heart. The best spot to aim for is 2-3 inches below the center line at the shoulder.
The shot should be taken within 40 yards. Beyond this point, the force of the arrow decreases by more than 10 percent. The risk of hitting an elk with a weak arrow or in the wrong location is shallow penetration and bleeding, which would produce a blood trail. The elk would escape as well. Another factor is draw weight. It should be at least 50 pounds to kill an elk.
4) Use a Rangefinder to Measure Distance
Distance is important to perform a humane kill. To correctly access the distance between the hunter and the elk, use a rangefinder. The angle of the terrain can complicate the distance measurement. There are a few rangefinders that compensate for angles.
If you improperly judge the distance to a target the arrow will fall short. The arrow won’t hit the intended target, and it might cause the elk to escape.
5) Wait Until the Elk Dies
The last thing to keep in mind is that death takes a while. With a proper shot, the elk may survive for several minutes. It’s recommended to wait one hour before following the injured elk. However, if you see the elk fall, and it stopped breathing, you can approach.
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