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Thread: Arrow weight for a woman archer

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    Default Arrow weight for a woman archer

    I bought my wife a bow for Christmas, she'd like to work up to a Haul Road caribou hunt late this summer or next fall, possibly black bear this spring. I see the minimum arrow weight for caribou and black bear hunting is grains. I've been pouring over info on arrow weight and I can't seem to settle on a weight for her. I'm hoping she can work up to the full draw weight of 50lb, but she may be shooting at the minimum 40lb.

    I expect her to have a 28" draw length but we haven't set up the bow yet.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Ive posted this on other threads but will again here. The bow doesn’t know male from female it only knows that there is a sweet spot (point of diminishing returns) where adding a heavier arrow/broadhead wont produce any more KE and MO. The only way to find the sweet spot that produces the most KE and MO requires a grain scale and a chronograph. Shoot a variety of weight until you cant squeeze out any more performance from the projectile weight.

    That bow might peak at 7 grains of projectile weight per pound of draw weight or it might peak out at 11 grains of projectile weight per pound of draw weight. Only one way to find out.

    Once you find out that projectile weight pick a good 2 blade cut on contact broadhead, keep the shots close (20 yards or less) and only broadside and you will be eating Caribou steaks rather than wishing you had done some performance testing and lamenting a wounded and lost animal. Go afield confident that your bow is delivering the most energy it can peaking out its lethality.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    A couple things to think about up on the Haul rd... It's often windy and there is very little cover so many times shots are on the long side (40+ yards). I'd try to find an arrow with a narrow profile to cut down on wind resistance and go with fairly small fletchings like Blazers. For arrows, look at the Easton Axis Nano line. Rancid is right, the arrow only cares about the bow efficiency, not whether the shooter is male/female. Color of the arrows on the other hand can be influenced by the sex of the shooter...

    Two blade broadheads work well but IMO they have a tendency to be affected by the wind more than a three or four blade. Also, without small "bleeder" cutting edges, the wound produced by a two blade can seal back up causing a poor blood trail if you end up tracking an animal. Not too big of a deal on the Haul rd, but a bear in the woods might be a different story.
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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Hi Limon

    Congrats on getting your wife involved in archery/bowhunting! I love the activity myself.
    I shoot a little bit heavier spined arrow for my bow, only because during the summer I practice at about 58lb, but come hunting season I drop it down to 52 lb (the spine is correct for the heavier poundage) . I did this because I don't want to have to even THINK about drawing, I just want to do it automatically and smoothly. Probably more of a benefit to me when I am hunting out of a tree stand.

    I agree with AKmud - she needs to practice for longer shots, but encourage her not to get caught up in the 'it's only 10 yds further than I normally practice' mentality and start firing away at longer distances than she is ACCURATE at.

    Get some judo points and do a lot of 'stump shooting' - yardage estimation is important!


    BTW - I am 5'8" and have a draw length of 26.5" ..make sure that when the bow is set up, the length and peep is perfectly set for her.
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    Thanks all, I really appreciate the info. My wife is 5-10" and her draw should be about 28" from the measurement I took, I'm going to take her into the local bow shop shortly and get a second opinion.

    I was calculating a total arrow weight of about 312 grains with 125 gr tips, seems light to me? I'm going to see if I can trade gee shards for a little heavier ones?


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    Limon spend some time reading ed ashbys stuff on ak bowhunting supplies web page. That will answer many of your questions.

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    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    A friend told me that if you wanted to be successful in the slope you need to be able to shoot 60 yards. When shooting at longer distances speed counts (not a power thing but a drop thing your arrow can drop as much as 15 feet over 60 yards if shooting a 200 fps arrow) so there is an added aspect. I'm by no means an expert, or really knowledgable (no bow kills) but I do understand physics and it seems like a large drop would make shooting well a pain.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKducks View Post
    A friend told me that if you wanted to be successful in the slope you need to be able to shoot 60 yards. When shooting at longer distances speed counts (not a power thing but a drop thing your arrow can drop as much as 15 feet over 60 yards if shooting a 200 fps arrow) so there is an added aspect. I'm by no means an expert, or really knowledgable (no bow kills) but I do understand physics and it seems like a large drop would make shooting well a pain.
    Unfortunately too many people try to shoot a caribout at 60 yds and end up wounding the animal. This really puts bow hunting and bow hunters in the prolific 'gutter of hunting slobs'.

    Personally, I believe the state ought to require shooting competency tests for the haul road that require accuracy at 50 yds...but it will never happen. Because only 1 of 10 (if that) bow hunters would ever be able to pass.

    I shoot pretty regularly at 50 yds and occasionally at 60. I would NEVER take a 50 or 60 yd shot at a bou or any other critter, my accuracy at those distances is not good enough. But I would take a 40 yd shot.

    The haul road is a challenging place to bow hunt, to be sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Thanks all, I really appreciate the info. My wife is 5-10" and her draw should be about 28" from the measurement I took, I'm going to take her into the local bow shop shortly and get a second opinion.

    I was calculating a total arrow weight of about 312 grains with 125 gr tips, seems light to me? I'm going to see if I can trade gee shards for a little heavier ones?


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    Seems to me, you letting arrow weight dictate. I go the opposite way, and let bow draw weight/length dictate spine weight of the arrow. You can play around with some archery calculators to figure out the best match for your wife's bow. I recently got my wife and daughters into bow hunting and set them up with GT 3555 (500 spine). Each have bow draw weights that very from about 47 t0 49 lbs. Use 100 grain broadheads for all of them for a total arrow weight of about 311grains. I've never checked the speed so really cant get a accurate KE, but I did witness pass through's on bear at 20 yards. I would say that until draw weights and speed come up, they are going to have to stick with close range bears (black) or deer sized animals. Playing around with a KE calculator, you find that there is a point of diminishing returns on weights, until you can bump up speed and/or draw weight.

    Here is a pretty good calculator to play around with:
    http://www.backcountrybowhunting.com/articles/calc/

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I agree with JuliW about practicing at long distances. When I was preparing for a FITA outdoor shoot I was routinely shooting 100 yds. Believe it or not, you CAN be accurate with a little practice at 100+ yds. Work your way out 10 yds at a time so you don't destroy a bunch of arrows. Now I would never recommend shooting that far at an animal (too many variables...) but it sure makes that 50 yard shot seem easy if you are used to shooting 100.
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    Thanks for the additional responses!

    I selected the arrow spine off the Gold Tip chart, in that spine they make 3 different weight (per inch) and I have the lightest, thinking about trading them for a heavier weight, same spine.


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    If you were on the GT web site you see they have other options to add weight if needed as well. Even thinks like wraps & lighted nocks may add the weight you need.

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    if you want to up the weight of a GT, try aireator hose for fish tanks inside the arrow. You can add different materials for different weights.

    Overall weight will change the dynamic spine requirements less than say adding the weights up front or in the back.

    If you do add hose/weedwhacker line or something else...you may have to glue the nocks in.

    Adding weight up front will decrease spine, weight in the back increases it so if you DO go with some form of weight systems/wraps/paint etc that's not full length you most likely will be retuning so don't be alarmed if your arrow flight changes. Its simple enough with wheels. Try doing it with sticks lol!

    As for the 50 yard requirement.....personally its bogus for two reasons. not everyone does it. Quite frankly I've shot most of my critters including haul road bou at under 10 steps! I can shoot to 30yds and practice out to 50 at times, but rarely shoot past 10 or 15 yards even on the slope! there's no need.

    Second you cant regulate ethics. So we have a test that requires people to shoot 30. it aint working. so lets bump it up to 50....75...100......I'm sure you catch my drift.

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    The ashby studies really come into play for people whose sets up need very little bit of help they can muster. For us and that includes many stickbow folk contrary to most wheel folk mentality, our setups don't need to be tweaked to get nascar perfection.

    People shooting borderline setups is where this really shines. There's already a bunch of gals on the public realm that have accomplished huge feats. Many have written on the subject.

    People scoff at trad folks.....the arrow, of whatever make, has no clue what its been shot from!

    So saying X weight per pounds of bow is kind of a misnomer...due to physics alone WHERE that weight is place has as much or more of an effect than total mass.

    AK Ducks, speed doesn't kill......take a golf ball and a ping pong ball, throw them each 100fps and tell me what hurts worse. Rancids post along with my thoughts is there is a point of diminishing returns....where is that? Its different for every person and every setup. Watch the whitetail hunters on the tube of today....they've gotten better in the last 10 years.....but for whatever reason its been a slow road to getting there. SPEED is the touted number because its easily calculated.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    As for the 50 yard requirement.....personally its bogus for two reasons. not everyone does it. Quite frankly I've shot most of my critters including haul road bou at under 10 steps! I can shoot to 30yds and practice out to 50 at times, but rarely shoot past 10 or 15 yards even on the slope! there's no need.

    Second you cant regulate ethics. So we have a test that requires people to shoot 30. it aint working. so lets bump it up to 50....75...100......I'm sure you catch my drift.

    I am sure MOST people don't shoot over 50 yds on the haul rd...but the few that do, cause bad press. It would be interesting to know the actual stats.

    I can see your point about regulating ethics. Requiring competency at longer yardages would not regulate them, but it would force those who think they can make said shots to prove it.

    I do see where said distance requirement would be unfair to traditionalists, such as yourself.

    Personally I admire those who shoot traditional...takes a lot more dedication to practice
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    AK Ducks, speed doesn't kill......take a golf ball and a ping pong ball, throw them each 100fps and tell me what hurts worse. Rancids post along with my thoughts is there is a point of diminishing returns....where is that? Its different for every person and every setup. Watch the whitetail hunters on the tube of today....they've gotten better in the last 10 years.....but for whatever reason its been a slow road to getting there. SPEED is the touted number because its easily calculated.
    Tradbow- I agree, my point was when looking at longer distances (my limit at the moment is 30 but I want to get up to 50 this year) speed has a effect on drop, the flight time is less so wind will have less if an effect and you can make an accurate shot. Arrows don't kill with force, they kill by cutting (you need force to get through the body and shoulder blade)
    I do plan on adding 100 gr to my setup this year as well.


    Note: I understand that you have probably vastly more knowledge and skill then me, but just wanted to post some thoughts on picking arrows when thinking about the slope.
    I shot my one slope bull (5 miles out) at 10 feet so I know you can get close.

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    The conversation is starting to veer toward many I have found on the internet.

    To be clear, the calculators I've played with put an arrow just over 300gr (state minimum) at 280fps at around 45 ft-lb, is that enough? Should I go heavier and a bit slower to get 55 ft-lb?

    I'm leaning that way...

    Thanks again for the great conversation!


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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    The conversation is starting to veer toward many I have found on the internet.

    To be clear, the calculators I've played with put an arrow just over 300gr (state minimum) at 280fps at around 45 ft-lb, is that enough? Should I go heavier and a bit slower to get 55 ft-lb?

    I'm leaning that way...

    Thanks again for the great conversation!


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    My opinion only.....45 is enough to kill blackies, deer , caribou and moose. The bigger the critter gets, the more critical it becomes to shot only when conditions are just right. 45 lbs at a 15 yard standing broadside moose, good broadheads etc...your going to kill that moose if hit right. I shoot a bow that calculates at 62 lb KE. Most shots are complete or very nearly complete pass through. I can shoot cleanly out to 70 yards, but have never shot at an animal over 35 yards, most have been 15 or less. I always seem to convince myself that I can get closer, doesn't always prove out, but that's bow hunting

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    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    One if the problems with forums is it's hard to tell tone. I try to remember that when someone has a different view then mine.

    I would want to use a arrow heavier then 300 though I mean that seems light, go bigger.

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    You're right Juli, you can't regulate ethics. Well you can, but you'll end up ruling everyone out!

    If you made me shoot 50 yards I know what I would be doing to hunt. I know I can do it with wheels, and at one time could do it with a stick. But that's not saying much when you really start looking back when archery was in it's haydays. I know I cant do it now, and just because I could this year doesn't mean next year I can...what does testing prove? I think testing itself is a great tool but people are using it for the wrong reasons! Its a great eye opener to new bowhunters when put into perspective. My range is dictated by a lot of factors. sometimes its 10 yards, but I know when I'm shooting, 30 yards isn't a big issue, that's my tops, that doesn't mean I'll take a shot just because it was the only shot I had.... I have an continually will pass up close shots if I don't like something. I hunt because I love doing it, not for the fame or glory of a hey look at me pose or another head on the wall. I know and am around too many of them and find myself trying to prove to people that's not how all bowhunters are, even to the rifle hunting crowd at times. Anyone can shoot sticks honestly and do it well. (and its a heckuva lot more fun!)

    Ducks, You're right about drop...but honestly again you have pins or some form of moveable site, drop is not an issue when you have a range finder. I always preferred pins and will do so again if I ever convert back. I started with wheels and was converted over my first year by a few guys at the range. pins are quick, and simple. Simplicity will take advantage in situations where things happen fast/unorthodoxed, or just flat out weird. Its something you hear as a perk to being a trad guy. My bow doesn't have to be up vertical, or even close to it. The same concept can be applied to any bow even with sites. The problem is the big buiz aren't making money so they make the industry believe they need all the fancy hype. you don't! If you know you can get close, I'm curious why you think you need to be able to hunt farther out? Its fun shooting distance I enjoy it immensely. We STILL shoot arrows up in the air just to watch them fly, some of us just never grow up lol. A bow shop doesn't make a living buy people not buying things! range time alone doesn't pay the heat up here!!!

    As for flight time, minimal at typical (not haul road) hunting distances LOL! things like size of fletching or size of head will have more of play than hang time alone. Though it all does factor in. Take a field point and a typical 2 blade broadhead with oh 5 1/2" fletching and see what happens.

    Limon,

    honestly the best thing you can do is read the studies from the people doing the research and you'll see very quick that weight by itself is only a part of the total equation! These are not trad only studies.....they are bowhunting studies. There is some guidelines but no hard and fast rules that will get you a 100% answer, but asking on an internet forum, you're going to get more opinions than science and the science of penetration has been severly skewed over the years. Back to big industry and the almighty dollar! Over all a caribou is a thin skinned animal honestly. And most 40lb sets up with a fitted arrow will be fine with the right head put in the right place. I wont say all! throw in a mechanical head and you now up'd your energy requirements substantially. Throw in a large bone hit/odd angle or goofy arrow flight and you've increased the need for energy to push the arrow through. These are reality's not exceptions. The ashby studies will explain everything you're asking and give you the answers to at least make an informed decision.

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