What’s the perfect big game arrow setup?

dgc1963

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Feb 17, 2019
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My every day arrow set up is 550gn all up.
We have water buffalo Here in Oz, they are genuine big game animal. I found 750gn works for me - have shot as high as 870gn. The heavier arrow didn’t really penetrate any better. I’ve always used 2 blade double and single beveled broadheads on big critters.
Im mostly chasing our Pa whitetails and even bear dont go far with holes in both lungs I go heavier when I head out west for elk
Ive seen vids of water buffalo I bet they are a tough animal
 

Ajax2744

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Perfect arrow setup will vary greatly between hunters. I personally dont like montecs but a lot of people use them and kill with them. I think for elk a mid to heavy shaft (8+gpi) traveling a decent speed, with a good sharp head shot accurately is plenty for elk. Personally on my 65lbs bow I run a 475grain arrow with a iron will 100 grain head at 285fps. On my 80lbs bow I run a 625grain arrow at 300fps. But I also have a 30.5" draw. So it's all speculative but I would look into a new sharper head that might give you a better blood trail. Other than that I think your doing just fine.
 

Roughwater

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I'm a fan of the Ranch Ferry. He is definitely unique and opinionated but his opinions happen to make sense. I like the idea of planning your hits on animals to be successful even when the worst case scenario happens. A fairly heavy and high FOC arrow along with a super sharp 2 blade broadhead should be part of that equation at least for large game anyway like Elk. The sharper the broadhead the more the blood loss.
 

magnum44270

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Try to get above 475 total grain. Use a quality Cut on contact breaodhed and aim straight up the leg, 1/3way up, in the vital V.
 

Kensley

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Perfect arrow setup will vary greatly between hunters. I personally dont like montecs but a lot of people use them and kill with them. I think for elk a mid to heavy shaft (8+gpi) traveling a decent speed, with a good sharp head shot accurately is plenty for elk. Personally on my 65lbs bow I run a 475grain arrow with a iron will 100 grain head at 285fps. On my 80lbs bow I run a 625grain arrow at 300fps. But I also have a 30.5" draw. So it's all speculative but I would look into a new sharper head that might give you a better blood trail. Other than that I think your doing just fine.
I hate to say it but I think you got your speed wrong on your 80 lb bow. even with a 370IBO bow that would only get you to 286fps. You are either lying, Someone lied to you, or you got the arrow weight wrong. a 525 grain makes more sense with the speeds your claiming.
 

bts09

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Aug 9, 2017
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Guys, jumping on to this. First time bowhunting elk this fall. I'm starting to wonder if my setup is just WAY under weight for elk, or whether it's ok. Here's what I've got:

60lb draw weight Mathews Triax at 29 inch draw length.
350 grain maxima red carbon express arrows
100 grain Rage hypodermic mechanical broadhead

Do I need to do an insert? Do I need to go with a heavier (450 grain?) arrow?

Thanks.
 

Valley1320

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May 5, 2019
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East central NM
From what you stated, your set up seems fine and you already have positive results. IMO, the broadhead seems heavy considering what most use these days (100 grain). You might try a slightly heavier arrow and a lighter broadhead. This will re-locate the center of mass on the arrow and may allow the momentum to drive the arrow (differently) on impact. Basically, the arrow would drive the broadhead a little better (no actual scientific proof). Just an idea.

I recommend you speak to your local (pro) archery shop and discuss your current setup and what animal you will be hunting.
You want the broadhead to pull the arrow thru the target. Therefore go with a heavier broadhead, and gets you higher FOC
 

blueridge

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Blue Ridge Mtns, VA
Guys, jumping on to this. First time bowhunting elk this fall. I'm starting to wonder if my setup is just WAY under weight for elk, or whether it's ok. Here's what I've got:

60lb draw weight Mathews Triax at 29 inch draw length.
350 grain maxima red carbon express arrows
100 grain Rage hypodermic mechanical broadhead

Do I need to do an insert? Do I need to go with a heavier (450 grain?) arrow?

Thanks.
Have you weighed your current setup on a scale? If so, what was it?

350 is the spine, so my guess is you’re lighter than you think. 9.07gr/in. 30” would be 272 grains for the shaft. If you have the standard aluminum insert, blazers, and plastic nock, you’re likely right around 400gr all in, including the 100gr broadhead. If that’s the case (let me know if I’m wrong), I would add some weight up front.
 

bts09

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I have not weighed it (don't have a scale), but my suspicion is you're close--I'm guessing total weight at around 410 (31.5" arrow at 9.07 gr, etc). What I really don't understand is, what should I be shooting for with that draw length and draw weight? 450 total?
 

Kensley

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Bozemen, Montana
I have not weighed it (don't have a scale), but my suspicion is you're close--I'm guessing total weight at around 410 (31.5" arrow at 9.07 gr, etc). What I really don't understand is, what should I be shooting for with that draw length and draw weight? 450 total?
If she tunes out good, shoot it. Thats more then enough for elk.
 

HiMtnHntr

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Wyoming
Ask 10 different people about this and you'll get 10 different answers. Use what shoots well for you and what you have confidence in. Shoot an elk behind the shoulder and there probably isn't a nickels worth of difference between dozens of broadhead choices. For what its worth I've used muzzy 4s and made nice pass through shots through elk shoulder blades.
 

MT Bound

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if you are having no issues I wouldn't change a thing. My bow setup is almost exactly like yours except I shoot 100 grain tips, but my bow is now 12+ years old now & I'm starting to have problems with arrow flight, have checked everything over, new strings & cables, been in the pro shop a few times....so I've been experimenting with added 75 grain inserts and it seems to have helped the flight some downrange.

As far as the penetration issue....for what it's worth I'll preface it with this: I've been shooting/hunting w/ a bow now for 35+ years, (still can't believe the years have gone by), so many technological changes since I had my bear whitetail II back in 1984....anyway sorry I digressed. In MY humble opinion & yrs of experience, I PERSONALLY feel that full pass thru shots are over-rated, I've had alot of kills where the deer and elk died within site <50 yards & the arrow did not pass through. Yes I've had pass throughs that also did not run further than 50 yards, but I've had a pile of kills where my arrow was still sticking out of them and they tipped over within site, regardless whether it was a fixed or mechanical.

Again, this is just my opinion & what works for me, and it makes me feel very confident when I take that shot. That's what you need to feel.
 

Longbowelk

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Oct 5, 2019
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I know y'all talking compound but as a recurve bow shooter, 47# Bob Lee, I'm shooting 29 in Gold Tip Trads 35/55 with a 130 gr Grizzly COC single bevel broadhead that is one of toughest heads. I get it shaving hair with a regular bastard file. Total arrow weight right at 480 which is on the heavy side for this bow weight. It's only going about 150 to 160. I've killed 2 elk with it. A nice 5x6 bull at 30 yards. Buried it to the fletching. Good blood trail. He piled up about 75 yards. The head and screw in insert puts it at around 160 gr. This is about my max range shooting instinctive no sights. Personally I don't like a lightweight arrow and light broadhead for elk. JM2Cents
 

Ajax2744

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I hate to say it but I think you got your speed wrong on your 80 lb bow. even with a 370IBO bow that would only get you to 286fps. You are either lying, Someone lied to you, or you got the arrow weight wrong. a 525 grain makes more sense with the speeds your claiming.
Yup big fingers on a smartphone don't mix haha it is 525 shot through a Chrono and averaged 300+/- 3fps.
 

TrumpkinTheDwarf

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Jul 15, 2018
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My body is in Texas, but home is the Big Sky count
Another trad shooter here, and I will second/third/whatever, those saying go with a better steel. Razor sharp broadheads add a figurative 5-10 pounds to my draw weight. Magnus Black hornets get sharp/stay sharper, and come in 100 or 125 grain without breaking the bank. But there's also VPA 3 blades, and then on up into the Iron Will's/Day 6's, etc.
 

kbhillhunter

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May 25, 2016
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Texas / New York
shooting a 60lb bow with a 31.5" draw. I'm using Gold Tip Hunter XTs 250 spine with 50gr inserts and 100gr heads which is about 12% FOC. Total arrow weight of about 528gr flying 275fps. First time using this set up so hope to report back this fall!
 
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