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Insanelupus, lets talk elk.


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It happens with rifles also, I just was curious, thanks.

I am really getting interested in trying to hunt elk with my long bow, reading this stuff.

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  • gselkhunter

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Bobm, a lot of the recovery ratio depends on the country you're hunting and the shot you make. When you hit and Elk, that's a large body cavity and it takes a while for the blood to get to the hole. If the arrow doesn't pass through, which it doesn't a lot of the time, the fat seals around the shaft and there may not be any blood until the shaft gets broken off. There is two things I do imediately upon hitting a bull: one is to bugle again or call call instantly and try to stop him. Remain absolutely motionless after the shot. An Elk never seems to really realize what has hit him. I had one I did that to and he died looking at me; just keeled right over and started to kick while I was mewing at him. The second thing is that if he takes off, listen for the CRACK. Take a compass bearing on the crack, ribbon where you hit him and try to track him. If you can't keep on the track and lose it, go back to where you shot him and walk the compass bearing. We've lost several and all because there was absolutely no blood. Open country is easier to find them in, thick country is the pitts. So I also believe the type of country has a lot to do with recovery rate. If there's snow, you're about 100% assured, but I've never had snow in Colorado and lately there's hasn't been any in Idaho during bow season. Used to be we always got snowed on; not any more.
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I took out the wife of a friend and called in a cow[she couldn't help herself, the bull was on his way in, the cow was there] and she hit this cow in the boiler room with a 45lbs bow and a 125gr Steele Force broadhead at 20yds, the cow was in camp before noon. Closest elk ever, the other side of the tree, about 8".

Gselkhunter

GS, did you ever meet Shari Frakar (sp)? She lives in Co. and stalks elk with a 45# recurve. I've kind of lost track of her but she generally got one every season and just by stalking.

Taking a friends wife out........no wonder bear don't bother you! You're a brave man.

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I know you shoot a heavy bow so I'm surprised it doesn't go thru, they must really be tough. What broadhead do you use?

I like bear and have a bunch of them but so far I've only shot deer. I have had diagonal lengthwise penetration on deer. which is pretty thick but smaller bones I guess.

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On the longbow and recurves i started out with Zwicky's then went to the two blade Grizzly. On my compound, Muzzy. Not like a deer; thick hide, wide body, big bones and a dead air space between the lungs and backbone. Remember, you aren't shooting these out of a tree stand where everything is perfect and you have a lot of time. You're shooting them uphill, downhill, sidehill and through tiny openings with only a second many times to make a decision. Many of your shots are uphill. In my experience, if you one lung him, ya ain't gettin' him. Practice to 60 yards. I think GS is right in that most of your killing shots will be at 20 yards. Most hunters have a terrible time with range estimation out west. In open country your shots will be longer because the Elk can see farther and it's tougher to get them close when they can't see an Elk where the noise is coming from. Much easier in the timber.

One of my most exciting hunts happened around Salmon, Idaho. I was at timberline on a mountain and got three bulls going. I'd allready passed on a raghorn and a cow that morning. I was kneeling in a tiny patch of pines and calling and thumping the ground at the two bulls below me. I could see the bulls 40 yards away. A cow walked past me at 10 yards, looked at me with loving eyes, and continued on. The third bull up the hill was just bugling intermittently. All of a sudden, down the mountain he came. Ol' brown eyes the cow was about 30 yards to my right. The perfect set up: Live cow decoy, bulls and a herd 40 yards below me in the timber. That bull came down the mountain like a runaway train. Boulders were rolling ahead of him brush was breaking and he was roaring like the roar of a lion. Brown eyes departed and so did the two bulls below me; guess he was too much "man" for any of them. He hung up 50 yards short of me in a patch of stunted juniper. I could see him pacing, raking branches, peeing all over himself, screaming and roaring. I have never to this day seen an Elk that mad. Kind of like Brad editing my posts. He wouldn't come out of that Juniper and it was open to them so I couldn't close on him. I thought before he got the wind I'd sneak out of there and come back for him later. It was unreal, that Bull followed me down that pack trail for at least 200 yards screaming insults at me but would come no closer. I bivouaced a half mile away on the mountain and headed back next morning. I never saw an elk in that spot the rest of the trip. That was probable a 360 class Bull or larger and is the biggest wild Elk I've ever seen in a hunting situation. The things that happen Elk hunting.

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gselkhunter

I know Shari well. She does one of the most indepth seminars on animal anatomy for bow hunters. She was up in the higher ranks of the CBA[Colorado Bowhunter's Association] for a while. I haven't seen her in quite some time now, but it is me that dropped out of sight. At a CBA Jamboree I had the chance to shoot with Shari, the lady can shoot! She preaches arrow placement and she can back it up with her shooting. She is deadly to about thirty five yds. The one shot she and I differ on is quartering to you. She hates it and it is the way I have killed most of my elk. The reason I put this in is because arrow entry is everything in elk retrieval. The ribs of an elk can deflect the arrow at entry and what looked like a great shot wasn't. The only angle that isn't a factor is true broadside. So how can you compensate for impact with ribs? The best way is the perfect shot, good luck. I do it with the old fashion way, heavy arrow with 60% of the weight in the first third of the arrow. That is the reason I shoot a 130gr Muzzy Broadhead. At 70lbs it drives hard. The other thing I like is the 4 blades leave a monster hole. Blood trails have never been a problem. Gonehuntin is correct sometimes it is a ways before you find blood. Most of my elk have dropped in 60 to 100yds from the arrow hit and you can hear them fall. And most have left "blow" frothed lung blood with in thirty yards. And these patches of blood are about the size of basketballs. My deal is this, as soon as I hit an elk I mark the spot I shot from and get up and go to where the elk was hit and mark that. I don't wait and go and find the first blood sign and mark that. That is where I slow down. I have blood and most times I can see the hit site and where I shot from. I have a drink of water and a snack[time frame 10mins] and I replay the whole shot through my head. Was it good or bad? Does the blood I found say the same thing? Did the tracks say good hit or bad at the impact point? You would be amazed what the marks in the dirt will tell you about your hit. If everything was good I start blood trailing. Not only am I looking I am listening. Many times I have heard the elk moaning as it tries to take its last breaths, kind of gruesome but you know the elk is down. As I trail the blood I look at how the blood is hitting the ground. Tells me even more about the hit. When you find blood from shoulder high to the ground on trees, your elk is down. If you have small sprays then puddles, your elk is starting and stopping, but will go down. If you find a drip here and there and no blow, your elk isn't hit as hard as you would like. Stop and wait. If you have dark blood and a lot of it, you just shot your elk in the liver, good shot they go down fast. If you find some good red blood, some dark blood and some green stuff, you just made my favorite shot of quartering to you and you hit lung, liver and paunch, dead elk.

Test! You have blood, it is bright red with bubbles but there is very little of it what happened?

Gselkhunter

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Test! You have blood, it is bright red with bubbles but there is very little of it what happened?

One lung.  

I'm an elk newbie but I did kill a bull last fall.  It was a double lung shot, hitting a rib on the way in creating a fist size entry hole when the hide was off.  I found the bullet with a high percentage weight retention in the far side hide.  The bull traveled 40 yards before he dropped.  I never found a drop of blood.  If I had one-lunged him or worse finding him would have been tough.

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insanelupus

Could it be a lung shot, but very high in the lung?

I have also seen very bright blood be peripheral hits, legs, etc.  Takes some examination to figure out where the animal was hit.  I don't however remember it being bubbly or frothy.

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gselkhunter

High Lung hit, could be one or both. Expect the amount on the ground to be spotty at best for a while. It takes a while for the lungs to fill and as it breaths it forces blood out the hole. It will look like a kids bubble factory and becuase it isn't streaming, there will be a drop here and there. The good part the elk will stop running and try to clear is lungs "blow". Nasty stuff, bright red, bubbly and chunks. But the elk will go down if your finding blow.

Any one know the problem with one lung hits?

Gselkhunter

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Well, the biggest problem with one lung hits is that the animal may not die. I one lunged a BIG white tail buck several years ago and be tracked him for over 1 1/2 miles. He was blowing chunks of crap all ove buy not bleeding a whole lot. We never got that buck. He got into a huge cranberry bog where we couldn't go, and we never got him. I talked to both a vet and a DNR biologist and they both told me the deer would probably live if he could rest and recover. They said there had been a ton of one lung animals live after having one punched out.
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I hate losing them I've been extremely lucky in my bowhunting career, lost the second one I've ever lost last fall because I took a shot out at 35 yards when I probably shouldn't of.

I like about 15-20 yards, sharp broadheads and broadside shots.  Thats where I have my success. I'm sticking to that formula from now on that episode last year (actaully two seasons ago now) really bothered me.

After I get my knee fixed I'm going to start shooting everyday.

Surgery this Thursday I can't wait to get this thing ever with

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gselkhunter

That’s right they can live, or die over a long period of time [weeks]. The reason is this. There are two diaphragms in the chest. One between the lungs and the other separates the lungs from the paunch. If you don’t puncture one or both of these diaphragms the animal can survive because the lungs may not collapse. Then the deal becomes infection.

Gselkhunter

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gselkhunter

One of the reasons guys make marginal shots on elk is the size of elk. They appear to be closer than they are because of their size. Many guys not being around them enough struggle with this. Guys don't believe their range finders sometimes. The look on many peoples faces the first time they see an elk up close, the large eyed look. There is a huge difference between a 200lbs buck and a 800lbs bull.

The other reason is the stuff they are shooting through. Between the shadows, the steep slopes and all the timber judging distance and getting a shot through can drive a person crazy. There are ways to shoot through timber and elk will give you more time than you think. If don't move to much and the elk can't smell you, he is looking for other elk, you have time. Trick for shooting through timber, if the elk is 30yds away and there is a stick[horizontal] half way to the elk across his body put your pin on the stick and you will not hit the stick. After all the years of shooting in the timber I have learned how to get arrows through places most people don't believe there is a shot. Judo points have been my best friend for years. If I go scouting I am shooting my bow.

The statement" The power of the call and no scent at all kills elk." Was given to me many years ago and its the plan for killing elk. If your not detected and call them close and you make good shots you get to eat elk staek.

Gselkhunter

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a 200 lb buck gives me a large eyed look :D

most of the bucks I've killed have been a lot smaller than that.

I shoot instinctively so I bet I could hit one, all that distance judgeing stuff is way too much complication for me.

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gselkhunter

Bobman you asked a question a while back and I have been meaning to answer it. If I hit an elk broadside I will have 2 holes. If I have an elk quartering away and I shoot the shot the way it is supposed to be shot, I will have one hole. On a quartering away shot you are supposed to aim for the far side shoulder. So if I make the shot I have to dig the broadhead out of the bone. But on this shot and quartering to you, you should hit lungs diaphragms and liver. In addition with the quartering to you, you will hit the paunch. And I don’t know of a broadhead that will go through wet grass.

One of the things that has been forgotten in the new age of archery hunting is heavy broadheads, I shoot a 130gr Muzzy 4 blade. Some how all the speed jockeys have changed physics; they will tell you a 90gr or100gr broadhead will kill elk or any big game animal better than a heavier braodhead. Even though a lighter broadhead may balance your arrow better and with a lighter shaft may fly flatter. And it may start out with more kinetic energy it will slow faster and have less driving force when it gets there. And expandable broadheads loose more KE for you. An arrow was never made to be balanced like a rocket, the shaft was made to guide the broadhead and the broadhead was made to cut BIG holes and be the driving force. Old school 60% of the weight in the first third of the arrow. Now for the day I was a speed jockey with my overdraw and my 26” arrows, but I am not trying to shoot 320gr arrows at elk, I am still shooting almost 500grs. And at 70lbs I am hitting 260ft/sec, slow for today’s standards. Your stick bow and arrow with that sharp Bear Razor will do just fine.

Little story, Keaton was with me in 2000[he was 5] and he called in a spike. I was going to kill it for him, but he moved at the wrong time and I never got a shot off. He called in a cow and calf later, but there was no shot to be had at the cow because the calf was in the way. It was getting dark and Keaton wasn’t so good with the dark back then, so we bailed out for the night. On the way back down the ridge I spotted a cow and calf. Keaton asked if I was going to kill that cow. I asked him if he wanted me to and he said yes. Se we bailed off the ridge. The bottom was old empty beaver ponds, a lot of up and down for a little kid and time was running out. I ran out of cover at 48yds, I put Keaton up on top of the beaver dam and eased myself up. The calf had its butt to me and mom was a hard quartering away shot. Remember NO RANGE FINDER! I drew aimed and shot. I hit the cow behind the rib cage and you could hear the bone crack in the front shoulder. The cow ran and Keaton yelled Dad you got her. I grabbed him and said Keaton, be quiet, you could hear the timber breaking as the two fled the scene. Then the loud crash of an elk going down. We went to the place where I hit the elk and marked it and marked where she entered the timber. I never did find blood. Keaton was not happy with it getting dark so we backed out and came back in the morning. Took me 5 minutes to find the old girl. The broadhead was imbedded in the shoulder bone. I will stick with what I am doing, they can keep their new fangled bows and carbon arrows.

Gselkhunter

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