Friday, October 9, 2009

Elk hunting with a recurve bow

I started hunting Roosevelt Elk or Wapiti when I moved to Oregon in the early 1970s.

I bought a recurve bow with a draw weight 53 pounds.

I purchased a dozen cedar arrows with a broadhead that you insert a razor blade into.

You always had to check the blades to make sure that it didn't slip out or you would only have one cutting edge on the broadhead.

This would only create a hole about 3/4 inch wide,which would seal itself from the animals fat content preventing you to loose a blood trail.

The animal would most likely die out there and go to waste.

I was hunting an old growth logging road which was grown over with shrubs about thre feet high,when I noticed fresh elk sign as droppings were fresh,so I proceeded slowly down the road,when all at once a couple of cows jumped up from behind a downed tree.

I immediately came to full draw and followed the cow with my line of site down the arrow shaft,placing it on the cows lung area as she was walking at a fast pace away from me.

I released the arrow when the elk was about 20 feet away from me and the arrow struck the cow ,entering behind the left front leg.

The cow immediately took off down the trail at a run then slowed to a trot as she went out of sight.

I waited for 15 minutes and decided to slowly close the distance between us and see if there was a blood trail.

When I reached the spot where she was initially standing I noticed a lot of blood showing on the ground so I proceeded in following the blood trail as it was at least 2 inches across.

I walked for 100 or so yards and looked up to see the cow leaning against a spruce tree dead.

That was the easy part for now I had to field dress the big cow and then pack her meat to my jeep which was parked around 500 yards away.

I was shaking like a leaf for a while as the adrenalin was running wild through my body.

Well after getting the meat to butcher and weighing her I had 430 pounds with the bone and hide on.

Since those days are past I have graduated to a compound bow with a draw weight of 70 pounds.

What a difference an invention makes,if you have shot both types of bows.

Now elk are huge animals. Most hunters don’t realize just how big they are until they see them for the first time. To be successful at archery elk hunting you need to practice and practice some more.

You also need to read about the the animal; where they feed,what they eat, where they like to feed, Where they bed down. Understanding your prey is the first step in the journey to becoming successful in archery elk hunting.

I followed the elk I harvested for two weeks before season opened and knew where they would be on opening morning.

Finding a water hole is a good place to watch for elk,especially during the warm part of the day as bulls like to take a mud bath or wallow.

Hunting the deepest tree area is a good spot after the season has started,as the rifle shots will scare the smart bulls into the thickest cover there is.

Elk feed on grass,as they are classified as grazers,like cattle. Finding these food sources could be your first step in creating a stand. Where the food is, the elk will follow.

You can also set up a stand on the ground or in a tree. You might have to sit in that stand for hours, so you should make sure it has everything you need and is comfortable enough.

As for myself I don't like stands.

Since elk are so big, you also need a bow that packs a considerable punch. Your arrows should be big enough to make a clean kill, and you need to practice long hours to develop the skill needed to make a good enough shot to kill them.

When practicing,you should wear different types of clothing and use the rubber bands around your arms to keep the bow string from hitting your clothing and throwing the arrow off target.

When archery elk hunting,I use a bugle and a cow call as it works well when the animals are inthe rut.

Archery elk hunting can once starting is a sport hard to put down as when you harvest a big animal like this you will never forget the experience it provides.

These are big animals and you need to know how to field dress one quickly as the body heat will spoil the meat within hours.

It wouldn't be fun to pack an animal out just to have the butcher tell you the meat was spoiled.

I know we like to show an animal off down town but remember your animal is spoiling every minute you delay getting it to the butcher.

Carry your camera into the field with you and when the animal is found,take a few good shots without showing the blood and get busy cleaning and packaging.

Lay the intrells on a small canvas or something and drag them away from the rest of the animal,as this helps keep a bear or meat eater away from you and your meat.

Hang the meat in a tree at least ten feet in the air as you can't pack a whole elk out of the forest at once.

Hopefully you will have a hunting partner to help you.

Good luck and good hunting.

Carry your bear spray with you also.

No comments:

Post a Comment