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Minimum draw weight for deer?

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Unread 04-21-2014, 10:18 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 72
Minimum draw weight for deer?

Hey guys I was just curious what you guys think the minimum draw weight for deer and elk should be.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 08:03 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 936
Re: Minimum draw weight for deer?

Deer I would go no less than 40 and use good broad heads and shot placement. Elk I would go no less than 55. I consider those the bottom line numbers and prefer deer up over 55 and 70 for elk. But one deer was successfully taken with my wife's first bow on 38 pounds.
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Unread 04-26-2014, 10:00 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Anchorage AK
Posts: 176
Re: Minimum draw weight for deer?

50lb and great shot placement for elk, 40# for deer. This is another one of those endless debates but a broad head through the lungs and it's lights out.
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Unread 04-26-2014, 07:12 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Spring Lake Michigan
Posts: 1,416
Re: Minimum draw weight for deer?

Really depends on bow. Some shoot faster for with less weight. With that said my father shoots a Mathews q2 Older bow. He pulls 52lbs because of his shoulders, he has killed everything in North America and most things in Africa. I would say as long as you can shoot well I would feel comfortable down to 40. I say this cause I've killed many large Michigan whitetail growing up with that. I would recommend a good cut on contact Broadhead such as montech. Those seem to cut very easy compared to a muzzy which I shoot for the bone smashing tip. Lol. hope this helps
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Unread 04-27-2014, 02:04 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 14
Re: Minimum draw weight for deer?

I agree with what snox is saying. With good shot placement, you should be ok down to 40, at least for deer. For elk, I'd say more like 50-55 minimum.

I think shot placement and a good broadhead are the keys.
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Unread 08-30-2014, 07:57 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Aberdeen, SD
Posts: 557
Re: Minimum draw weight for deer?

Make sure you check the state you are hunting in regulation for minimum weight requirements.
RMNS 8:28
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Unread 08-30-2014, 07:28 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Re: Minimum draw weight for deer?

State requirement is the most important. Here in MD it's 30 lbs. for deer and bear. More important than draw weight, however, is kinetic energy, meaning you can get away with a lighter draw weight assuming you have a heavier arrow/broadhead combo. Remember your physics from high school? F=mv.

Velocity (v) is a function of a few things. Assuming all bows are equal, which they aren't of course, the three things that would affect "v" would be your string acceleration, string force (draw weight, basically), and draw length. The only way to really affect acceleration is to buy a new bow, so we can count that out. Draw length is going to be pretty much constant, so changing your draw weight is the only variable factor, but it only has a fraction of an effect, and that fraction is only on a fraction of the equation. Therefore the effect is minimal.

BUT, heavier arrows ("m") have a direct effect on part of the equation, so shooting heavier arrows is a better way to increase penetration. That and quality, DEPENDABLE (no o ring to fail), heavy broadheads will be more effective on larger game.

To avoid arguments, I'm not talking about animals jumping the string, only penetration. Also, I'm not advocating using a 30lbs draw weight on Alaskan moose, just saying that going from 60-70 lbs will not be as effective as shooting arrows that are 50 gr heavier.
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