Bowhunting ELK in Wyoming

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under "ULTIMATE BOWHUNTER", BIG GAME

I will be heading to Wyoming  September  for my first Elk bowhunt.  We have been planning on this trip for a long time and excited that it is nearly hear.  I do not profess to be an expert Elk hunter and excited to learn more on this hunt by just doing it.  You can read and do research but until you are in the field you can only learn so much.  It is like Turkey Hunting with a bow vs. Hunting Whitetails with a bow.

Physical Conditioning leading up to the hunt

I normally work out 4-5 days per week and have for nearly 25 years but over the past year I have changed my workout routine to incorporate more cardio and lose some body fat.  Knowing I would be going on this Elk Hunt this type of work out would put in good condition to manage any type of terrain or long range walking to get the job done on a mature Bull Elk.  My routine incorporates a great deal of weights at a fast pace while incorporating core muscle exercises in between sets.  I am literally moving for an hour straight to stress my areas of focus for that routine and keep my heart rate up.  Post work out will incorporate some type of cardio that would include bike or boxing.

Let’s discuss shot placement on an Elk

An elk standing broadside represents the best bow shot because it requires the least amount of penetration to reach to vital organs. The broadside shot is also the best angle for accomplishing a double-lung hit, resulting in the collapse of both lungs. Look for  the best aiming point on an elk by picking a spot halfway up the side of the animal and about a hand’s width behind the hollow of the shoulder. An arrow with enough Kinetic Energy will penetrate the ribs. With that said be careful to avoid the shoulder bone. Wait until the near front leg is forward and concentrate on a spot behind the shoulder.  You can see from the diagram to the right there are a variety of anatomy descriptions from the skeletal to circulatory system that involves vital areas for your arrow and broadhead.


A  quartering away shot is less desirable for large animals such as elk vs. a deer (can be great angle).  An elk is considerably broader in birth and have proportionally larger stomachs.   In a quartering away position the arrow must pass through a foot or more of intestines and stomach before reaching the vi tal area. An elk’s stomach full of grass and browse can stop an arrow cold.  If you are going to take a quartering away shot consider picking a spot on a quartering animal, think in three dimensions. Imagine where the lungs are and determine where to aim so that the arrow will miss heavy bones and angle forward into the vital area. The exact aiming spot will vary with the degree to which the animal is quartering away. Remember that this angle is very important. The greater the angle, the closer you are to making a wounding rear-end. The smaller the angle, the closer you are to having a broadside shot and the better the opportunity of penetrating both lungs.

Calling Elk for a beginner

I read a recent article featuring Will Primos where he discussed tips on a successful Elk Hunt.  One of the key factors he mentioned was having more than one caller to prevent Bulls from getting “Hung Up”.  Will explained that a mature Bull is going to only come so far until he insists on seeing what is making the calls.  By having a second caller ~ 40-50 yards away you can set up to catch the Bull as he is coming in to make a good broadside shot that we discussed above.

Equipment Check List

1. PSE EVO Bow - currently shooting 310 fps at 64lbs with Mayhem Arrows

2. Carbon Express Mayhem Hunter Arrows

3. 2 inch SWHACKER Broadhead

4. Black Creeks Day Pack that holds quiver and Bow for long hikes in and out with camelback H2O bladder

5. Underarmour Early Season Ridge Reeper Pants and Heat Gear Shirts in Mossy Oak Infinity

6. Underarmour Boots

7. SOG Knife

8. Flash Light

9.LEATHAL FIELD SPRAY and Unscented Baby Wipes to help manage scent while in the field

10. Hootchie Mama Elk Call

11. Nikon Binoculars

12. Nikon Archers Choice Rangefinder

In my Pack I will have change of socks, rain suit, range finder extra shirt, jacket, matches, lighter, “stricking paper”, unscented baby wipes, water bladder, cliff bars, energy gels, and water.  If you are not new to bowhunting but new to bowhunting Elk I hope these tips will help you have a more productive hunt.  I did research and discussed hunt with Spook Spann to make sure I leveraged his experience of harvesting a number of monster bulls over the years.  Oh yea I will be filming the hunt myself to add a bit more complexity to the hunt.  I will let you know how that turns out….


Originally posted 2011-09-14 16:34:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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