Brace height on bows

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by hyoi5, Apr 26, 2018.


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  1. hyoi5

    hyoi5 Member

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    I don't want to sound like a complete amateur, but what role does the brace height on a bow play? I always see that is one of the main numbers advertised on bow websites. Is it like the axle length where it's just telling you the height or does it affect something like fps? Also any input on a direction for what I should look at for my next bow would be appreciated. I purchased a used PSE Brute a few years ago and have enjoyed it but it maxed out at 57lbs (brought it to Scheels and Cabelas and they both told me that's all this bow can go too). 57 lbs is fine for deer hunting and I was told it would be fine for elk, but when I took my elk this last fall, I was ashamed at how it preformed and what the elk had to go through before it died. :( I will blame my arrows as well, but once again the Scheels bow manager assured me that he used the same arrows to hunt elk and they would be fine (Beman ICS Hunter Elite 400) First shot grazed an artery so loss of blood allowed me to push it til it didn't have the blood to move. 4/5 Arrows snapped on impact shooting just behind the front shoulder, didn't hit shoulder bone, could have been rib bones, standing 10 yards away. Killing shot at 10 yards, made it 10 inches deep. That compared to my hunting buddy that shoots a Hoyt Carbon Defiant at 80lbs and Easton FMJ arrows that went through the front shoulder blade on his elk and halfway out the other side on the same hunt. So next hunt I want better, thinner arrows for penetration and a bow that can go up to 65-70 lbs. Any suggestions?
     
  2. 257Tony

    257Tony Well-Known Member

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    Short brace height makes for faster speeds, but is less forgiving and more difficult to shoot accurately. I would go to an archery range and shoot a bow that comes in multiple brace heights, see if it affects you.
     
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  3. nmbarta

    nmbarta Well-Known Member

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    brace height is the measurement from the string to the grip.
    6 1/2 -8" is pretty easy shooting.
    5-6" is a little less forgiving and easier to hit your arm or sleeve.
    You pick up about 10 fps per inch of brace height, it's basically doing the same thing as adding an inch of draw length.
     
  4. iowaelkbum

    iowaelkbum Well-Known Member

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    What broadheads are you using?
     
  5. hyoi5

    hyoi5 Member

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    I was using Muzzy Fixed 3 blade, 100 gr. My total was 400 gr. give or take a couple. Had them weighed but don't remember exactly. Since my bow is maxed for lbs, I shoot 100 gr. instead of 125 gr. for a little extra speed.
     
  6. iowaelkbum

    iowaelkbum Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see a fixed blade head for elk, they have heavy bones compared to a whitetail. My setup is on the heavy side. 550g total arrow weight, fixed broadhead, 70# Bowtech destroyer @ 31". Snapping arrows like that sounds unusual, glad you got the elk.
     
  7. Achapa87

    Achapa87 Well-Known Member

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    I’d shoot a ton of the new Bows out. I find smooth and fast is what I like. Being that you’re going up in poundage I’d go to a heavier set up like iowaelkbum above. I’d switch from a 3 blade to a 2 blade or for for penetration reasons. I have found slick trick to be my absolute favorite. As far as brave height imo 6-7” brace height you can’t tell the difference. Most time Bows with shorter brace height are faster but less forgiving and harder on the draw. I’d look into a elite to get the best of all worlds. Good luck.
     
  8. hyoi5

    hyoi5 Member

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    Lucky is the only term to accurately describe the situation. 1st arrow must have deflected off the rib because there was no penetration into the diaphram and it deflected out the bottom of the elk nicking the artery on the inside of the front leg. After 3 and a half miles of us following a very easy to see trail in the snow, we found it laying down and finished it off. You can see the arrow in it, that's the most penetration I got at 10 yards. The small hole under the arrow (right behind the twig)was where the first arrow went in.
     

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  9. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    Very odd. I was shooting an old bow, 1995 Hoyt, sending 395 grain arrows at 238 fps, so not thet much performance....I shot a small 3 point bull behind the shoulder at 13 yards, went through a rib on entrance and exited between ribs on exit, the elk ran 10 yards and I stopped it with a cow call, and saw my arrow haning in the elk on the exit side by just its fletchings. Elk tipped over dead. I was using 125 Muzzy 3 blades. So by all means, your set up should have worked. Very strange.

    My current set up is a Prime Alloy sending 500 grain arrows at 270 fps with slick trick heads.
     
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  10. hyoi5

    hyoi5 Member

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    I've got a friend with a with a chronograph and am going to check my speeds. Also will take a few pics of the arrows when I get home and post them too
     
  11. iowaelkbum

    iowaelkbum Well-Known Member

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    From the looks of the arrow angle in that picture, my guess is that they both hit the off side shoulder. That would explain the lack of penetration. If the elk was flailing around during the shots it is very easy to shear of an arrow that is stuck in the opposite shoulder. My solution for penetration is to shoot an arrow that has a heavier dynamic spine (stiffer) and add a 100g brass insert. Think of the arrow as a broad head delivery system. More weight up front is better for hunting purposes. Weight in the arrow shaft becomes a liability as soon as penetration begins (for deflection purposes). My groups at 50+ yards are tighter due to the FOC increase. We tried 2 blade heads for increased penetration, but went back to 3 and 4 blades. Our trial with 2 blade heads left us with lost elk and really long blood-trails. We will never go back to 2 blades!
     
  12. hyoi5

    hyoi5 Member

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    The Beman's were a 400 stiffness. Sam was shooting 280 stiffness. I did go in after the fact to Scheels who told me based on my poundage and draw length that 400 were the best fit for that bow. I would probably fall onto a different spot on that scale if I go up in poundage with a new bow. I had heard stiffer spine for bigger game so it's good to hear someone else verify that! Sam had 2 blade heads, though I don't remember the brand. I also believe they were 150 gr. They were super expensive but had lifetime warranty if they brought in an animal. They warrantied his when he went through the should blade of his elk and even warrantied one he shot through a car hood(what he used as a backstop behind his shooting target) when he missed.
     
  13. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    Also when picking arrow weight keep in mind your draw length, poundage, and bows speed. My bow shooting 500 grain arrows at 270fps has an IBO of 335fps, I am shooting a 29.5" draw length, and shooting a 70 pound bow with limbs all the way down then backed out a quarter turn. For elk, I would go as heavy as you can and still be at 240 fps or more, with a good cut on contact or muzzy type head. With heavier arrows you may also notice less hand shock and an overall quieter bow.
     
  14. hyoi5

    hyoi5 Member

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    Here are the arrows. Bottom one was the killing arrow but even that one is bent (carbon arrows so that makes no sense) right at the broadhead. The 5th arrow not pictured broke like the other two right at the tip. The odd ball one that broke by the fletching also seemed weird.
     

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