Draw weight and effective killing distance

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by BearDog, May 5, 2014.

  1. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    This year I drew the multi-season deer tag for WA state. I have never bow hunted before, and really do not know a lot about bowhunting. I picked up a Bowtech Carbon Knight in a trade, and had it adjusted to fit me. Right now it is set to a 60# draw.

    My question to you more season guys, is what is the max distance you can effectively kill a deer with a 60# vs 70# draw?

    I know shot placement is everything, and you should get as close as possible, and not shoot beyond what you're capable of...I get all that. Im curious if a 60# draw weight is sufficient enough kill at 60 or 70 yards? I'm trying to work out the limitations of bow, as well as with myself. Thanks!
     
  2. ohiohunter

    ohiohunter Well-Known Member

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    The bow has far less limitations than the archer. I would limit yourself to 40-50yds and when you are proficient at those ranges consider shooting further. The bow will kill deer at 100yds, but that doesn't mean you can.

    The poundage of your bow means very little. Technology today has allowed us to launch arrows out of a 50lb bow that exceeds the velocity of bows that were set at 80lb. So your question about poundage is off key, you should actually be more concerned w/ the energy you are sending down range.
     

  3. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    If my question is off key, what variables should I be considering instead? Broadhead or arrow weight, or is this just another one of these "no **** sherlock" lectures? As I said in my original post, I am well aware as a new archer that there are going to be limitations to what I can do. I wouldn't go out having never fired a rifle at 1000 yard and have expectation that I was going to be hitting my target every time. With that being said, if I do have the capability of shooting long distance, I want to make sure my cartridge has enough energy to kill at said distance.

    I want to know what the technical limitations of my bow are. Being an alpine hunter, I don't think it is out of the question to strive to be confident enough to make a 70 yard shot. I think it is probably a must. If I can put it in the vitals every time at that distance, I want to make sure that a 60# draw weight (or whatever other gear variables there are) are up to that task. So outside of myself, what should I be considering when it comes to take down power at 70 yards? Right now Im set up with 340 shafts, 100 gr broadheads, and a 60# draw (can go up to 80).
     
  4. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    As teenagers starting out with a 45# Bear recurves back in the 60's we shot numerous deer, most with passthroughs out to 40+ yards. A 60# compound is heavy artillery, even out at 60-70 yards. Sharp broadheads and shot placement trumps poundage.
     
  5. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Greyfox! That an excellent comparison that really puts it into perspective for me.
     
  6. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk Well-Known Member

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    Kenetic energy of the projectile is what was mentioned in the second post by ohiohunter.

    That, really, is the key to killing power with bows (any bow, modern or traditional).

    Todays bows are so much better at converting stored energy to kenetic energy, and that is one reason you see bowhunters typically using less bow poundage today than 20-30 years ago.

    Real common to see hunters using 62-63 lb bows today vs 80 lb bows back in the 1980's.
     
  7. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk Well-Known Member

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    Kenetic energy of the projectile is what was mentioned in the second post by ohiohunter.

    That, really, is the key to killing power with bows (any bow, modern or traditional).

    Todays bows are so much better at converting stored energy to kenetic energy, and that is one reason you see bowhunters typically using less bow poundage today than 20-30 years ago.

    Real common to see hunters using 62-63 lb bows today vs 80 lb bows back in the 1980's.

    It's really about how much energy you can put into the arrowshaft as it's launched down range. Much like a bullet in a gun, except in the case of an arrow, we rely on a sharp broadhead to do the killing (shot placement is relative here). Kenetic energy comes into play in terms of arrow penetration on certain game like elk.
     
  8. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    The carbon knight is a really nice bow. I almost bought one a few months ago but ended up with a new 2014 PSE Drive LT. With 60#'s you're going to be just fine. Like others have said shot placement, KE, Penitration, and a good Broadhead are things you should worry about. With the technology of new bows, you will probably only be 10 fps slower than the IBO rating of your bow at 60#'s. Draw length and arrow weight will also effect your arrow speed, but without knowing what your arrow weighs, and your draw length, it's hard to say how much. For deer you will want to be in the 400 grain total arrow weight range. That will give you plenty of KE and good arrow speed (a happy medium in my honest opinion). Get a good fixed blade broadhead and practice from now until then (shoot till your arms fall off :D). Two good fixed blade BH's to look into would be something like a slick trick standard 100 grain, or an QAD Exodus 100 grain. Those are two really good broadheads that are tough, penitrate great, and fly really well. Good luck. If you can post some more info about your setup we can give you more information.
     
  9. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Well, I will preface this with, I am completely open to suggestions. Right now the bow is set to...
    60# Draw Weight
    340 Easton Axis Black arrow
    27" Draw Length
    100 gr Muzzy Phanthom Broadheads

    The shafts and broadheads are what came with the trade, so like I said, if you guys think I need to step up to 400 shafts, or a different broadhead, im all ears. A good buddy of mine is a huge fan of G5 striker broadheads. I will need to get new arrows regardless because I will need to have some cut down.
     
  10. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk Well-Known Member

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    The 340 Easton shafts are a bit on the stiff side for that poundage and draw length. (I shoot 70#@29" with a 340 shaft).

    If you choose to shoot a 400 Easton, you are actually loosing shaft weight. That will induce more bow noise (very slight), but increase speed (flatter trajectory).

    If the bow shoots the 340's good, not a real good reason to change.

    My personal broadhead choice is the QAD Exodus.
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    I've taken a few deer with the QAD Exodus (three with the same head). It has always left big holes and good blood trails (two deer dropped where they were shot).

    I highly recommend them.
     
  11. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Wow, those QAD broad heads do a number. I have a QAD rest and am really impressed with it. They seem to make outstanding products. I suppose I will go with what the manufacturer recommends as far as shaft weight goes, although the 340's were holding about a baseball size group at 45 yards. Now I'm not sure if that's good or not, but it seemed to be what I was consistently getting. I know my mechanics still need some work. I'm sure I have a trusting friend with some 400s laying around to test out as well.
     
  12. bowtechboss177

    bowtechboss177 Well-Known Member

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    Heck yeah the bow can shoot and kill at 70 yards. I myself have a carbon knight and is set up to 65 pounds and I can shoot up to 80 yards. If 60 pounds is easy to pull for you I would start bringing it up. A 70 pound bow will be a lot faster and more efficient than a 60 pound bow. All I can say is practice makes perfect and eventually you will be shooting a solid group at 80 yards.
     
  13. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    What I would do is work on shooting form before draw weight. Since I got my bow I have probably shot close to 1000 arrows. I worked on form first. Constant anchor point, sighting through the peep, checking the level on the bow, left arm slightly bent, breathing,etc.. I still have a routine I talk myself through but it is becoming where I don't have to think about it.

    Since I got my bow I have seen numerous other shooters getting bows and trying to pull too much weight. Bad habits are a pain to break as I learned throwing darts. So get your form down and as long as you can hit a 6" circle every time at that distance you should not have a problem with 60# draw weight and razor sharp broad heads.
     
  14. dogbuster0006

    dogbuster0006 Well-Known Member

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    If you are consistent with your current set up don't change a thing. 60# bow and a sharp broadhead will kill anything in north America. When I took my bow hunter cert here in Alaska one of our instructors told us how he's killed just about every critter in NA with a 50# recurve. Including moose and brown bear with his longest kill shot being over 60yd on a caribou and he burried the arrow to the fletching. Pass through are great and you get blood trail on both sides of the animal but not necessary, if you can bury a 27-28" arrow in an animal you've got both lungs and it's not going far.

    Shoot your set up how you are comfortable, if you can consistently keep every shot in a 4-6" group at whatever distance consider that your max range. For me with my current set up that's 80yd, I'm shooting 100gr heads, 340 spline easton fmj and 70# I have the utmost confidence in my set up and have shot out to 120yd. I'd never shoot an animal at that distance but practicing longer range than you intend to shoot will do nothing but help you.

    Each person is a little different and what works great for some people won't for others. If you are confident at 60yd which is still a good distance with a bow then you know you have that limitation. If it's 70,80 that's up to you and your ability but, 60yd it's a reasonable goal for you and your set-up.