Elk hunting arrows

TexElkHunter817

New Member
May 26, 2015
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Texas
I've killed numerous whitetail with my bow and understand I will need a heavier arrow for elk. I was just wanting to know what arrows and how heavy everyone shot.
I have 2 bows that I hunt with:
1) 65lbs, 386 grain arrow, 300fps
2) 65lbs, 405 grain arrow, 288fps

Will either of these set-ups work for elk or do I need to make changes?
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
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As a generalization, 420gr or round about there is a recommended minimum. That being said, your #2 should perform fine with a well placed shot.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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I agree, you will be a lot better off with a cut on contact head. Expendables work great on deer but not as well on elk.
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
5,589
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Ohio
I like my arrows 400+grain. My current setup is 425gn @ 320 fps.
Lot of folks prefer fixed blades, but the Hypodermic should treat you well. It has me. ;)

Your options are very similar, but I'd choose option #2. You will be fine.
 
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Stay Sharp

Very Active Member
Oct 6, 2015
807
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WI
So what fixed blades would you reccomend?
I would set up no less than 450 grains TAW. Get perfect flight by tuning and use a cut on contact head and leave the rage heads for small game. If you value a pass through go with long head (low aspect ratio.) To max out the likelyhood of a pass through. I wrote this after evaluating this head for 3 seasons on several species including elk.

 
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Maxhunter

Veteran member
Apr 10, 2011
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Wyoming
I shoot an Easton 340 carbon axis. My total weight with everything is 435grains. This out of a 65lb bow. I've taken lots of elk and other animals with this set-up. I recommend 400 grains or more for elk. My draw length is only 27.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
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Eastern Nebraska
I shoot expandables and have had no issues on elk. My setup shoots a 425 grain arrow at 318FPS. This produces 95lbs of kinetic energy. Your 405 at 288 will work but it is on the low end of what I would consider for elk with an expandable. Your setup produces 74.5 pounds of kinetic energy. Keep shots reasonable in distance and only take good broadside shots.

If I were in your shoes, I would likely follow other advice above and switch heads or invest in a higher KE setup.
 
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Kodiak

Member
Oct 27, 2014
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116
….My setup shoots a 425 grain arrow at 318FPS. This produces 95lbs of kinetic energy. …
Dang that is smoking fast for an arrow that heavy. What now and draw length are you shooting.

Tex, just echoing what has already been said but I am a fan of the 420-450gr for elk. The last 3 bulls I have shot have been pass throughs shooting 435grain arrows at 304fps cut on contact.
I would probably switch heads before I switched arrow setups. Elk have been killed with recurves and bows at 50lbs and your setup has way more KE. Shot placement is everything with elk.
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,478
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Eastern Nebraska
Dang that is smoking fast for an arrow that heavy. What now and draw length are you shooting.

Tex, just echoing what has already been said but I am a fan of the 420-450gr for elk. The last 3 bulls I have shot have been pass throughs shooting 435grain arrows at 304fps cut on contact.
I would probably switch heads before I switched arrow setups. Elk have been killed with recurves and bows at 50lbs and your setup has way more KE. Shot placement is everything with elk.
PSE XForce. 70# at 29.5". It actually reads 71lbs on the scale.
 
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DanPickar

Active Member
Mar 4, 2014
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Wyoming
I've shot elk with arrows ranging from 385 grs to 485 grs. Got a pass through with the 385 gr arrow and a gravedigger broadhead. I didn't hit any bones though. Passed through and never found the arrow. 420-440 grain arrow is where I like to be usually but it all comes down to shot placement.

Both setups will work just fine but #2 is the better option for elk. Just stay off the shoulder and you'll be find. I recommend a hybrid for superior lethality but also a slick trick will work just fine too. I would be a little hesitant shooting a rage at elk. I've heard great results from rages on elk but have also heard many stories of lost elk with rages. Enough where some outfitters ban them from being used on their hunts.
 
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