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bronko22000 10-29-2011 04:38 PM

Just wonering
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How many of you guys think you need to be shooting a 70 lb draw for whitetail or mulies? Just wondering because I have been shooting 55 lb for years with real good success. And last week I used the "big" bow to harvest a huge bison. This was a Martin Firecat set at 60 lb shooting 5575 Gold Tips and 125 gr Magnus Stinger 2 blade heads. The shot was 27 yds and was a complete pass thru. Never did find the arrow. So guys, save your energy. Shoot less poundage and shoot more and enjoy youself.

AP HD_Jake 10-29-2011 05:33 PM

if it aint broke dont fix it... lol
but... my setup is 67 lbs @ 30" DL slingin' CX Maximas with Meat Seeker 3 blade 100g and Blazer vanes backed by lumenocks. about 430g stick. 294 fps. enough for a clean pass through on a whitetail. and a mulie. even worked on a bear for me.

olfatguy 10-30-2011 01:21 PM

Earl Hoyt's wife used to kill multiple deer every year with a 35 Lb. bow. She had the patience to wait for the right shot, though, and could put the arrow where in needed to be when the shot presented itself.

My first several years hunting, before I got out of the army, I hunted with a 45 Lb. recurve and had no problem with anything up to whitetail size.

Terasec 10-30-2011 02:24 PM

I shoot a 60-70# bow set at 62,
I don't fault others for shooting higher,
Why does one shoot a 55# bow when 35# is legal min?
Higher poundage is more effective at longer distances,
Some have the luxury of practicing at 30-40-50 yds on a regular basis,
Some who shoot open fields and such rarely get 20 yd shoots and need the higher poundage for the longer shots,
Aside from poundage more common problem I see is wrong draw length,
Many take the bow from the shop and try to adjust their shooting to the bow,
Instead should adjust the bow to your shooting,
Too long of a draw length will make it tougher to draw any bow,
As your pulling with you hand at your chest and soley using your back.
Shorter length puts your hand further in front where you have more power,
Taking an inch off the draw can feel like taking 5 pounds off the poundage.

mofire 11-05-2011 06:30 AM

I don't think it's a need. But more a want. Some of us Western guys shoot 70lbs for longer distances. But even with todays bow technology you can shoot farther with less. So my setup is - Limbsaver DZ-32, Easton Axis 300 Arrows, 100 gr Thunderhead, 3 inch vanes set at 70lbs. Farthest bow kill - 2008 Archery Elk - Arizona 65 yards with complete pass through.

bronko22000 11-06-2011 03:45 PM

mofire, congrats on your elk. but you pretty much answered my question. 65 yds is a heck of a shot and yet you still got a pass thru. If you can continue to shoot 70 lbs then be my guest. I have shot 80 lb when I was younger. But with today's faster more efficient bows you can probably reach the same kenetic energy with 60 lbs as you would with a 70 lb bow 15 yrs ago.
And after poking that big lug of a bison at 27 yds, I would almost guarantee a pass thru on an elk at twice that range.

Nomercy448 11-14-2011 09:49 AM

Spice of life right?
This is the same question that gets asked about rifles over and over again... "Why do guys shoot a .300win mag for deer when a .30-30 does just fine?"

There is no denying that a .300win mag shoots flatter and carries more energy than a .30-30, so there is equally no denying that the mag offers distinct advantages over the .30-30. On the flip side, there is no denying that those advantages come with a price (higher recoil, higher ammo cost or powder cost).

I pulled a 3 horse trailer all around the country with a F-150 with a 302ci, so why does a guy need a F-350 diesel?

Frankly, who cares? To each their own. Shoot what you want, and I'll do the same. It's not hurting YOU that I shoot a heavier bow than you're comfortable with, and it doesn't hurt me that you shoot a bow that doesn't have the range that I want.

For the archer, there were literally millions of deer, elk, buffalo, etc etc that were killed by handmade bows and arrows using flint heads and turkey feather vanes and fingershooting. So why do you need a compound bow at all?

Personally, I'm in good enough shape and still young enough that I don't struggle pulling a 70lb bow. Why I shoot as heavy as I can handle is because I don't limit my shots to 40yrds. Lighter arrows lose KE and drift in the wind much faster than heavier arrows, so I'd much rather have a 400grn arrow trucking 320fps than a 280grn arrow at the same speed. At 70-80yrds, you'll DEFINITELY see the difference in a 50lb bow and a 70lb bow, even if they have the same speed at the bow (same as a .223rem and a .300win mag, both are 3300fps at the muzzle, but at 1000yrds, the 50grn .223rem is off the map, while the 180grn .300mag is still smiling).

I'm also a pretty big believer in creating trauma. The more energy and momentum an arrow has, yes, the more likely it is to pass through, and once you exceed the energy transfer and pass through, all that energy is wasted. However, when you have WAY too much energy and momentum, you can make changes to your arrow to improve the energy transfer, i.e. shooting more blades, or shooting 'punch cut' heads instead of "cut on contact" heads. With a 50lb bow (running KE around 45-50ft.lbs.), I'd almost NEVER recommend a punch cut head, nor mechanicals. With a 70lb bow (running 65-75ft.lbs.), you can STILL get pass throughs even with punch cut 4 blade heads, and you'll get MUCH more bleed.

10-15yrs from now, sure, I'll probably reining in my shots and shooting a softer cam bow with a lower draw weight, but until then, gimme a hard cam 70lb bow and I'm good for a day of shooting.

From the cost perspective, there's almost no difference in price in the equipment to get set up for a 50lb bow or a 70lb bow. The bows will generally be within $50, the arrows will cost about the same, broadheads (80s vs 100s vs 125's) will all cost the same, so the only REAL difference is that a heavier bow is harder to draw, and has a little extra range.

Ultimately, I agree, for a guy that's only accurate enough to shoot at 30yrds, for whitetails, he won't see any difference between the two. But for someone that shoots a bow well, a heavier bow can REALLY extend your range.

Nomercy448 11-14-2011 10:47 AM

If you consider the mathematics, heavier bows really show their advantages. The "percent change" versus "value change" becomes pretty evident.

The simple example is that if something weighs 3lbs and I increase the weight by 20%, it only means a difference of 0.6lbs. If something weighs 300lbs and I make the same 20% increase, now we're talking about 60lbs. 0.6lbs isn't much, but 60lbs is a lot, even though they're proportionately the same 20% increase.

Similarly, we can compare the numbers for bows. In my opinion, there are two critical values for a bow ENERGY and MOMENTUM, both of which hinge on arrow weight and speed. In my experience, ENERGY has a lot to do with the level of damage done, and MOMENTUM has a lot to do with penetration and ability to fight off wind, but both are coupled together.

Kinetic Energy: KE = 1/2 (Mass) * (Velocity)^2, off the cuff, we calculate ft.lbs. KE by (arrow weight in grns) * (velocity in fps) / 450380

Momentum: P = (Mass) * (Velocity), again, off the cuff, I calculate momentum in terms of lb.ft/s by (arrow weight in grns) * (velocity in fps) / 7000

By design, a bow will ONLY ever deliver approximately the same energy level, because the draw weight curve and efficiency is constant, so the bow will store the same potential energy, and deliver the same kinetic energy no matter what arrow is used, but the momentum of the arrow will change.

So, a 50lb bow that pushes a 250grn arrow at 300fps (being generous, most 50lb bows IBO well under 300). That's a KE of 49.96ft.lbs. and a momentum of 10.71 lb.ft/s. Say I want to go black bear hunting, and I want to increase my arrow weight by 20%, that means my arrow jumps up to 300grns. From that, I can back calculate that the new velocity of the 300grn arrow will drop to approx 274fps (273.8612788 fps for those of you holding a calculator). The new momentum will jump up 9.6% to 11.74 lb.ft/s.

Ultimately, a 20% increase in arrow weight meant 50grns, no change in KE, and 1.03 lb.ft/s improved momentum.

Comparing that to a 70lb bow that shoots a 350grn bow at the same 300fps (being conservative, most modern 70lb bows IBO over 300fps). That's a KE of 69.96ft.lbs. and a momentum of 15.0 lb.ft/s. Increasing my arrow weight by 20% means the new arrow will weigh 420grns and fly 274fps (same as the 50lb, because KE is held constant, 20% increase in mass means 8.7% decrease in velocity, and both started at 300fps), and carry 16.43lb.ft/s momentum (energy unchanged).

So ultimately, it gets an increase of 70grns, and 1.43 lb.ft/s improved momentum.

Both bows increased arrow weight by 20%, decreased velocity by 8.7%, and increased momentum by 9.6%, but relatively speaking, that 20% change in 50lbs isn't as important as a 20% change at 70lbs. The same "20% increment" meant 40% more difference in arrow weight (70grns vs 50grns) and 40% more difference in momentum (1.43 vs 1.03).

The moral of the story is that making changes in arrow weight to improve performance will make MORE improvement for a heavier bow, making the heavier bow more versatile. A 60-70lb bow can come down low enough to be comfortable and have enough power hunt deer, but still go up high enough to hunt anything on the planet.

bronko22000 11-17-2011 04:38 PM

So nomercy you also answered my question in a very long and well thought out post. And to get one thing straight before you get the wrong impression of me. I don't care if someone shoots a heavier bow than I do. And although I too am very capable of shoot 70 and even 80 lb bows - and even with the higher kentic energy they develop, I personally do not see any need to use them with today's faster more efficeient bows. And I am sure the higher poundage bows will continue to fly off the shelf and those bowmen will be happy to have them. And frankly, the results I have seen using my 60 lb Martin on 2 american bison and getting complete pass thrus are proof enough for me. I don't believe I will be using my bow for anything larger than those animals (including moose).
And in regard to distance, last week I was fortunate enough to shoot a mature whitetail buck and got a complete pass thru at 43 yds. Now granted, I don't shoot a mechanical broadhead (which is a whole other debate), but a razor sharp 4 blade Magnus Stinger.
Now I may crank it up a bit should I decide to try for water buffalo which is a definate possibility. Maybe all the way up to 65 lb!

Nomercy448 11-20-2011 01:00 PM

Again, shooting a .300win mag for 100yrds doesn't give you any advantage over a .30-30... It's just not asking much from your equipment. Shooting a 70 or 80lb bow at 30-40yrds isn't asking a lot either. But if you want pass through kills at 70 and 80yrds, you need arrow weight. Yeah, a 60lb bow can shoot a 420grn arrow, but it ain't going to shoot it nearly as fast as an 80lb bow, so you're going to be sacrificing a lot of trajectory, so by the time it got out to 80yrds, it's trivial, you just don't have the range.

Again, a guy that only takes his bow out of the closet 2wks before season to practice and struggles to punch palm sized groups at 30yrds won't benefit at all (your average bowhunter), but for a guy that bundles sticks at 50-60yrds+, or a guy that could ethically perceive a 100yrd shot on a deer (these guys ARE out there), the difference is real. Whether you or I can capitalize on that difference is an individual aspect that's different for each shooter. I'm not a competitive shooter anymore, and definitely don't group shafts like I did in college (shooting 4 nights a week), but I still shoot well enough that shooting groups under 40yrds means a trip to the bowshop for new arrows, so limiting myself to 40yrds just doesn't make sense.

There's also no arguing that heavier bows perform better on "marginal shots". On a clean broadside shot, no doubt a 60lb bow will deliver a clean pass through. But when it comes to driving an arrow through the far shoulder on a quartering away shot, or punching through the spine on a high angle shot (buck beneath your stand), it's nice having the extra KE and arrow weight. I've had two instances where I had bucks come in quickly and pass almost directly under my stand. I had the choice to pass them up, or punch through their spine. The first time I was set at 55lbs, and my glanced off of his spine and out his shoulder. Luckily, breaking his shoulder blade nearly crippled him and he tried to run across open pasture, so I could track him. The second time I was drawing 75lbs and punched a 400grn arrow straight through his spine, through his heart, and about 6" into the ground beneath him (broke the shaft when he fell on it).

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