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Thread: First Elk Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default First Elk Hunt

    I am beyond excited to go on my first elk hunt early September of this year. We will be hunting in New Mexico and hunting a private ranch. I have been bowhunting for about 35 years, so I am not new to Archery but I am new to elk hunting. I have been shooting expandable broadheads for the last 10 years or so and would like to continue with them on this elk hunt. Over the last 10 years I have shot Grim Reaper, which I am not a fan of G5 expendables since then. I shot the mega meat Broadhead for many years with great success and had recently switched over to the mega meat in the last couple of years. From most of the research I have done online and from YouTube all the recommendations point to dropping back to a one and a half inch cutting diameter expandable. The two Broadhead that I have narrowed it down to are the sevr 1.5 the G5 dead meat. I am currently shooting at Matthew’s lift with the poundage around 65 to 67 pounds. So from that standpoint, I think I have plenty of energy to stick with an expandable broadhead. I am comfortable shooting out to 50 yards, but no further.
    I would appreciate any information and advice from the brain trust who has hunted elk with a bow and has experience.
    Last edited by BugBuster; 04-12-2024 at 09:08 AM.
    "You are Citadel Men, you have no pension for failure, you wear the Ring, you never let a friend down, you will be good fathers, husbands, and leaders in the armed forces and industry, you are strong in heart, body, and mind. You protect such things as Honor and Fidelity. Your virtues matter not only in wealth, but in the richness of family, you are the last of the knights."
    - late President Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
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    What did your guide/outfitter recommend? I would also ask them about the average distance of expected shot opportunities. 50 yards is a loooong shot in south east deer woods but not so out west.
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  3. #3
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    Our rancher was adamant that he wanted the hunters on their place to shoot a fixed head. That was standard for us anyway, but I'd definitely listen to them as they hunt them on the regular. If your guide/host is good with expandables, roll on.

    We were told to be comfortable out to 50. My shot was 42 yds with a fixed 2 blade and got a pass through in front of the offside shoulder. They are big critters with a much larger vital zone than the whitetails we are used to, but even still it's all about the energy down range.
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  4. #4
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    My input would be to simply ask: why do you want to shoot mechs on a dream hunt? The elk outfitters I have used did not allow them. A solid, fixed, COC broadhead is preferable and that's what I would go with. Interestingly, and ridiculously, one of the outfitters would not let you take a shot beyond 35 yards irrespective of your shooting skills, so you might ask the outfitter what to expect from a shot/range standpoint. One thing I would practice is holding your draw for extended periods of time.
    Carolina Counsel

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolina Counsel View Post
    One thing I would practice is holding your draw for extended periods of time.
    ....
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  6. #6
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    I have no knowledge of expandable heads as I've only ever shot fixed. To echo what others have said, I've never elk hunted with an outfitter that allowed expandable heads in camp. They all without exception have required fixed and prefer two blade COC heads.

    Elk aren't deer. And while they aren't kill proof, there's a lot more hide, muscle and real estate you have to push through and with the energy loss expandable heads have at impact I'd find a good fixed and spend the summer tuning the turds out of my bow to 5-600 grain arrow set up.

    Good luck and congrats on the trip. Prepare to be ruined for life. Hunting rutting elk is something special.

  7. #7
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    So while we are hunting a private ranch, this is a DIY hunt and no outfitter is involved. I had a feeling that the responses would be too shy away from the expandable head. I have not shot a fix blade since the old days of Muzzy 100s. My current set up is around 450 grains with 125 grain head. What would you recommend that is forgivable and easily tunable?
    "You are Citadel Men, you have no pension for failure, you wear the Ring, you never let a friend down, you will be good fathers, husbands, and leaders in the armed forces and industry, you are strong in heart, body, and mind. You protect such things as Honor and Fidelity. Your virtues matter not only in wealth, but in the richness of family, you are the last of the knights."
    - late President Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
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    I shoot 650 total with 200 grain 2 blades at deer. I wouldn’t use less for elk personally, but shooting what you have confidence in is step 1. A confident shot with 450/125 is more likely to end in a positive result than a shaky confidence level shot with 650/200.

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    Just as a point of comparison.....and because this was a trip of a lifetime for me and I was going to do all I could to remove things to chance.

    The setup I mentioned above was a Phase4 29 at 27" DL @ 65lbs shooting a 545gn total arrow weight with a 165gn 2 blade and 50gn brass insert. FOC was around 15% if I remember correctly. I was fully confident shooting out to 50 with that set up and it paid. I'll not change anything about it and shoot it for whitetails too.

    I tried a variety of fletchings and landed on the TAC 3.75" Driver to help stabilize the bigger head. Minimal tuning brought the field points and broadheads to the same POI. I would think your LIFT would react much the same.
    Last edited by Simple Man; 04-12-2024 at 11:38 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Oooh yeah, let’s back up a bit. What he said. You can chase tuning if you’re not careful. I turned for bare shaft and field point first. My fletched field point and broadhead arrows didn’t hit the same. I chased my tail for a while before finally tuning to bare shaft then shooting a broadhead tipped arrow and tweaking my rest to hit the same spot with the broadhead arrow. After he first shot that did (after 2 tweaks) I shot a fletched field point and a bare shaft field point. All 3 hit the piled in beside each other. This is a great time to STOP MESSING WITH YOUR SHIT and start shooting to ranges way beyond where you plan to shoot.

  11. #11
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    No idea on bowhunting but I have killed a bunch with a .270 and a .300WM. You will never forget your first bugle. Decent spotting scope and good binocs. Don't tote anything in the woods that you don't want to tote out. Be wary of friends... they will sometimes add large rocks to your pack when you are not looking... lol
    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."
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  12. #12
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    What area are you hunting? I used to hit unit 6? a good bit between Pie Town and Datil. Really nice bulls there and gentle terrain.
    Last edited by Sasha and Abby; 04-12-2024 at 03:32 PM.
    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."
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  13. #13
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    Magnus hornets. ( You're Welcome)

    Be proficient at 60-70 yard shots

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugBuster View Post
    So while we are hunting a private ranch, this is a DIY hunt and no outfitter is involved. I had a feeling that the responses would be too shy away from the expandable head. I have not shot a fix blade since the old days of Muzzy 100s. My current set up is around 450 grains with 125 grain head. What would you recommend that is forgivable and easily tunable?
    SEVR 1.5 will do the job plus you can lock the blades and shoot them. Shot my moose last year with them on a 442 gr arrow at 65 lbs.
    .
    80-20 Genaration

  15. #15
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    I have watched a lot of reviews and videos on the sevr 1.5 and nothing has been negative.
    "You are Citadel Men, you have no pension for failure, you wear the Ring, you never let a friend down, you will be good fathers, husbands, and leaders in the armed forces and industry, you are strong in heart, body, and mind. You protect such things as Honor and Fidelity. Your virtues matter not only in wealth, but in the richness of family, you are the last of the knights."
    - late President Ronald Reagan

  16. #16
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    I shot one 7 times, hitting him 5, with a 180gr accubond moving about 3090fps..

    Hope that helps!
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  17. #17
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    I shot one 7 times, hitting him 5, with a 180gr accubond moving about 3090fps..

    Hope that helps!
    Natural Born Killer Prostaff - Killing Tomorrow's Trophies Today...

    TFC -"Be tough or get tough"

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  18. #18
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    I went through the same process last year. I settled on the Iron Will single bevel 125gr. Since I have left helical fletching I went with the left bevel broadheads. 495gr arrow with 125gr broadhead 31.5” draw length @ 75lbs.

    I practiced and determined 65yards was my comfort limit. My groups started opening up to much after that. Once I was comfortable at all my distances I started holding me draw and working through the pain and shakes. Started at 20seconds and worked it to over a minute over a couple weeks.

    The last couple weeks before my trip I only practiced with a broadhead to build my confidence and get the broadhead tuned in.

    Feel free to holler if you have any questions or if I can help.

  19. #19
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    Simmons sharks for me. I shoot the Mako. 3 for 5 on elk. Thunderhead on the first two and then lost the two to slick tricks. Shitty blood trails. Last one was Simmons shark Mako and if we can draw a tag again I will have them in the quiver this year.

    Longer draw periods holds help but it’s being accurate behind the hold. Get your heart rate up from heavy exercise and practice holding and then making the shot. Do that and add taking a step left or right in the middle.

    Don’t be afraid of a frontal shot. If you are bugling and calling bulls up it will be the best opportunity you have for a shot.

  20. #20
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    Ya'll can beat this broadhead thing to death and it is important no doubt. My only advice would be to make sure you have more than a one pin site if you are hunting late September. One pin might work on a watering hole but fiddling with it when you are ranging and have an elk coming towards you can prove challenging. Trust me, I know this from experience. I am in the process of moving to an adjustable 4 pin site. Late September, good news bad news is you can get them REALLY close.

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