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Thread: Mechanicals for elk

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    Default Mechanicals for elk

    Is there anyone using mechanical broadheads for elk and has good success? I've tried to get fixed blades to fly good for me but I just can't get any stability with them.
    My bow is perfectly adjusted, so it must be me. So I was thinking about using mechanical broadheads this year.
    Any suggestions?

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    No elk, but moose, zebra, kudu, gemsbok, waterbuck, and I don't know how many deer. I use three blade fixed and they fly straight to 60 yards with no issues. I use 4" vanes, 28 3/4" Carbon Express at about 9 gpi, Magnus Stainless Steel Snuffers or similar. Those little vanes they sell today just don't seem to work for the larger fixed blades for me. I think you might just want to try a 4' vaned arrow. I won't use mechanicals on anything except to hold papers down.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    Member smarion's Avatar
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    And don't forget to check the regs for wherever you plan to hunt. I know Idaho for example, does not allow the use of mechanicals. At least they didn't as of last fall which was the last time I hunted there. For the record, I too have had a hard time getting my fixed blade heads to fly as well as I would like. I have tried long vanes, short vanes, Montecs and Slick Tricks. I just can't get the results I want.

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    If you're shooting a compound then you will most likely need to make adjustments for broadheads

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    Quote Originally Posted by vjenkins View Post
    Is there anyone using mechanical broadheads for elk and has good success? I've tried to get fixed blades to fly good for me but I just can't get any stability with them.
    My bow is perfectly adjusted, so it must be me. So I was thinking about using mechanical broadheads this year.
    Any suggestions?
    We need more information.

    What bow? DL? What arrow? What broadhead?
    As the others said, use a fixed blade, preferably three blade (the more blades the less penetration). With elk you want PENETRATION! Don't use mechanicals on elk (unless maybe you are hunting in a private ranch shooting tame elk right out of the hay wagon (just kidding!). Fixed blades do better against heavy bone. You say your bow is set up perfect? It isn't if you cant shoot broadheads to fly straight! Large vanes are great when stabilizing certain broadheads AS LONG AS THE WIND IS NOT BLOWING HARD. (I have tried them on caribou on the open tundra and they fly like sidewinders if the wind blows hard, as it usually does!) Check your ARROWS! Are they straight? Maybe you need to shoot a heavier arrow? Way too many possible variables to come up with a definitive answer.

    What works: A small to medium three blade fixed broadhead, small diameter arrow, 400+ grs arrows (some guys also use weighted inserts, I don't). Your draw weight will have a lot to do with what you use. Spot and stalk elk will be a longer shot and you must then make sure your set-up is good up to 60-70 maybe 80 yards. Bugle hunts are a lot closer shot and your set up may be a little different.
    If all of this is too confusing, try to find someone who can check your gear who REALLY KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING....there are many wannabe archery shops out there...beware!

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    I would not use mechanicals on anything larger than a deer. Probably not even on deer either since my broadheads fly fine. I'm still shooting aluminum shafts and Satelitte Aero broadheads with the replaceable razor inserts. Long plastic vanes, straight fletched. I shoot clear through moose with this set up. My bow is cranked up to 80. I have taken 18 moose with my bow. Lots of 1 shot kills.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Watching the outdoors shows helped convince me. When I see a 20-30 yard shot and only 12" of penetration on a whitetail!!! Watched a girl on a Texas hunt one time and her arrow bounced off at 15 yards. The last whitetail I used a mechanical on ran 100 yards. A very good 22 yardish shot. He hardly bled at all. I finally found him and he only had one hole in him. Humm…… should of gone straight thru. I started gutting him and found the broadhead and 12" of arrow shaft in the guts. That was the second time that happened. I'll use then on coyotes and baboons but nothing else.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    I witnessed an interesting thing this last weekend with Grim Reaper mechanical s. My hunting partner shot a moose at 50 yards right where the lungs are located. We later learned the arrow never made it past the ribs. Thank Goodness it gave us another shot so we ended up harvesting it. He unscrewed the grim Reapers and threw it deep into the woods. Supposedly they are great for turkeys and whitetails, i would not recommend them for larger animals like elk.

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    No parts to break. No blades to open. Easy to sharpen. I have never had one fail to penetrate. Moose, caribou, coyote, kudu, baboon, zebra, gemsbuck, blue wildebeest, warthog, Russian boar, whitetail deer, waterbuck...…. I have complete faith in them.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    I am wondering about the elk question myself. I started using mechanicals on Kansas whitetail to help with the incessant wind. Try as I might I just couldn’t get my fixed broadheads perfectly tuned. Have now shot 3 bucks with the mechs. All pass throughs. Absolutely devastating wounds. Big bodied mature deer. Very impressed with accuracy and performance.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    I am wondering about the elk question myself. I started using mechanicals on Kansas whitetail to help with the incessant wind. Try as I might I just couldn’t get my fixed broadheads perfectly tuned. Have now shot 3 bucks with the mechs. All pass throughs. Absolutely devastating wounds. Big bodied mature deer. Very impressed with accuracy and performance.


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    I have no issues with accuracy out to 50-60 yards, my maximum practice range. I use Carbon Express Maximum Blue, 28 3/4", 4 inch vanes and 125 grain 3-bladed broadheads. I can not get them to stabilize with the Blazer vanes at all. I am at about 64 pounds which I can shoot easily and draw with my arm extended. I decided a few years ago that since I was hunting with broad heads that I'd practice with broad heads. So my ones that pass thru and get nicked become me practice heads. It is rough on the targets but then again, I am practicing what I hunt with, not what I target shoot with. If I switch to my target arrows, same arrow but Blazers for the winter leagues, I do have to adjust my sights a bit. But so what. If I wound a target I don't have to chase it. If I wound an animal, I'd rather not chase it.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    I have no issues with accuracy out to 50-60 yards, my maximum practice range. I use Carbon Express Maximum Blue, 28 3/4", 4 inch vanes and 125 grain 3-bladed broadheads. I can not get them to stabilize with the Blazer vanes at all. I am at about 64 pounds which I can shoot easily and draw with my arm extended. I decided a few years ago that since I was hunting with broad heads that I'd practice with broad heads. So my ones that pass thru and get nicked become me practice heads. It is rough on the targets but then again, I am practicing what I hunt with, not what I target shoot with. If I switch to my target arrows, same arrow but Blazers for the winter leagues, I do have to adjust my sights a bit. But so what. If I wound a target I don't have to chase it. If I wound an animal, I'd rather not chase it.
    Do your best to get that double lung pass through shot , I hunted in CO for 8 years and have seen several bulls called in and shot at 30 yards or less and these carbon arrows just donÂ’t penetrate enough period. I myself even shot a bull and got lungs for sure, but when the bull ran away I had zero blood trail. Had a buddy shoot a bull dead center in chest at 15 yards with a muzzy and aluminum arrow and it ran off and I called and he shot it again at 30 yards broadside and he hit it too high above the lungs and we never found it, no blood trail, we felt sick. just because a bow can shoot over 300 fps doesnÂ’t mean it can penetrate both rib cages of elk and moose.
    just wait for that shot and donÂ’t call anymore when he is standing there looking at you, they always get nervous and turn, unless they wind you .

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    IBO speeds are measured at:

    • A 70 lbs. draw weight version of the bow
    • A 30″ draw length
    • A 350 grain arrow

    My setup is an arrow length 28 3/4" at 525 grains. I shoot 64 pounds. Even though the bow is rated at 330 I believe a more practical speed would be about 280 fps. So I should be getting about 94 foot pounds of energy. More than enough for anything in America.

    Take that light IBO arrow. He's only getting 84 f.p. Still adequate. I believe the "need for speed" came when people started shooting field courses as they wanted as flat as trajectory as possible. Is my 11-12% more energy going to help. Maybe?

    My heavier arrow set-up is also, on the same bow, going to be quieter and more forgiving. I don't shoot past 50 yards any more and my site is adjustable out to 100 yards so it is good enough.

    A smaller diameter arrow, carbon or aluminum is going to penetrate further than a larger diameter of any material. Less drag on the material going in. Put them in an identical set-up, speed and weight the smaller is going to penetrate further.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    I'm still shooting aluminum shafts and Satellite Aero broadheads. 4 blade razor inserts. My Parker bow is cranked up to 80#. I get pass through shots most of the time. But back years ago with an older bow that had less speed and some broadheads I learned to hate, I had a moose tracking experience like no other. Poorly hit large bull. The only way I found blood was by tracking on all fours. In other words I was on my hands and knees. My buddy behind hanging surveyor tape when I found blood. He was hit high in the shoulder. As he walked, the rear feet stirred up the vegetation. I was turning over leaves to sometimes find a fleck of blood on a leave that had been disturbed. I tracked him like this for 3 long hours. Finally caught up to him and got another arrow in him. In the opposite shoulder. A hit almost like the first. Long story shortened, I tracked the bull for over 14 hours. Just before dark I got on him again and we were able to whack him several more times. He was nearly dead on his feet, but still going. Just at dusk I finally gave him the shot that kept him down. We covered miles that day. Persistence paid off. Don't overlook getting down on the ground to track. Be patient. Mark you trail. Looking back at where he's been might help you figure out where he's going. Also if you have a problem staying on the trail, you can go back to 'last blood' and try to sort it out again. Don't EVER let anyone besides the tracker get out front.
    I have taken 18 moose with my bow. Most were one and done. They might run out of sight, but usually not far.Some left a blood trail a blind guy could follow. Others, not so much. You must pinpoint where they went before you rush off after them so you know where to look for sign.
    My hunting partner nailed a 4 brow tine bull this year. I was quite a distance away, but I consciously watched as the bull ran so I would know where to go to pick up the trail if necessary. It wasn't. He piled up on the run into a spruce tree.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    I agree with what your saying, I've shot elk, moose, deer, and antelope with my bow with three different broadheads. A deer and antelope all day every day I'm gonna take a mechanical, I've done the fixed blade thing with success, but my all time favorite is a magnus stinger two blade. I personally sharpen all my hunting blades to my standard and I kid you not those two blade stingers are what I've completely switched to. I had the ft. rich moose tag a couple years ago and first day out I pulled my son from school we had a 40in bull that he just had to have (I loved having that experience with him it could have been a spike and died), I was shooting the 2 blades and he was rubbing brush when he got on the legal side of the road, at ten yards I took the top of the heart off on a frontal shot and then he hobbled to 50 and turned broadside and I had a complete lung shot pass through hitting ribs on both sides. It made me a big believer.

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    Just tagged an AK Elk two weeks ago at 35 yds with Afflictor mechanical broadhead, it worked great! DSC00491.jpg

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    Two blade works best for me and tend to go between rather than thru ribs. Never shot a moose but did have the pleasure of hunting big Russian hogs while stationed in Turkey in the mid 70's and at that time I used an old Bear 2 wheel compound at about 50lbs, alum (2119 I think) Easton arrow and a very sharp Bear two blade...worked good on the 2 I killed with the bow. An 870 with slugs gives a better feeling up close. Biggest was over 200 kilo and the ribs were over 3 feet long...lot of fun hunting back then.
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    Do you know what broad head works best? The one that flies the best out of your bow...the one that is sharp....the one that hits behind the shoulder.

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    There is beauty in simplicity. I avoid mechs in Alaska for that simple reason. Stuff always goes wrong on remote hunts. Eliminating things that can go wrong will help turn a hunt into a harvest. Add a bunch of moving parts and pieces to a broadhead, and you add a bunch of things that can fail. Make sure your arrow is spined right for your bow, and spend the time it takes. I use Montec g5's on carbon shafts with full fletching, and love them.

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    I would shy away from mechanical heads - called in a bull for my buddy in CO and after a well placed broadside shot at 40 yards, 0 penetration (blades did not deploy as intended), and a couple unsuccessful days of searching I have yet to see anything but a fixed blade in his quiver.

    Mechanicals will work most of the time but fixed heads will work all of the time.

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