Bow hunting elks offers an excellent alternative to hunting with a rifle, but believe me, it’s a whole different ball game with new rules.
Luckily, there’s nothing that we hunters like more than a challenge, so you’re probably raring to grab your bow and get out there.
You might be new to bow hunting elk, though, so I’m going to take you through the basics and help you get a head start.
Location tips during your elk hunt
Make sure that you find a location where you can comfortably make a shot from any angle. You’ll want some good cover e.g. some vegetation or a collapsed tree.
But you don’t want too much cover.
If you’re holed up in a thick bush, how exactly are you going to get a clear shot on that bull? You won’t!
You want to make sure you can easily swing your body 180 degrees and still fire that arrow with a clean sight of the target.
Don’t Draw Your Bow When the Elk Is Looking
Although elk aren’t particularly good at identifying stationary objects, you’ll find that they have fantastic visual capabilities for picking up movement.
This is why you need to be really careful when you’re drawing your bow, re-positioning yourself or even scratching your ear.
Aim to draw your bow when the elk looks away or its vision is blocked by something in the environment.
This gives you the best chance of making a clean shot at the target and not its dust trail.
Elk hunt with a Buddy
Due to the limited range of a bow – compared with a rifle – you might find it’s a lot easier to go bow hunting with a buddy.
First off, what’s going to attract a bull more? The sound of one cow calling or the sound of two cows calling? Yep, that’s right, he’s going to want to investigate two, so it makes sense for you both to call initially.
Once you’ve got this curious bull’s attention, one of you needs to retreat to a shooting position whilst the other continues to call. Decide this beforehand to save valuable seconds.
You’ll find this is a great setup as the caller can now position himself to guide the elk right into your path for the perfect shot.
Taking a shot at an elk
The maximum range you should be looking to make your shot from is 25 yards. This ensures a good clean shot with plenty of speed and direction can be fired.
And remember, you need to be aiming to take both lungs out when using a bow.
An elk has a particularly thick hide which protects huge muscles, so you want to make sure you only shoot from a broadside angle as this gives you the best chance of penetrating the ribs.
If you get the right shot then you’ll find that the elk can’t manage to stagger more than 200 yards or so, but make sure you hold back and wait. The last thing you want to do is scare off a half wounded elk.
Hopefully, you’ll have found these tips really useful and I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Also, feel free to add any useful hunting tips for bow hunting elks.