Mechanicals for Elk

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Hammer1171, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Hammer1171

    Hammer1171 Weekend Warrior

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    I just wanted to get some opinions on mechanical broadheads for elk? Do you use them? What do you use? Why do you think they should or should not be used? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
     
  2. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    I'm no mech hater and I'm far from the most experienced elk hunter here; but I would prefer not to use them on elk.
    I have yet to use a mech head that hasn't experienced significant blade damage on a whitetail at some point. And I've used a lot of different mech heads. Prior to last season I would've said an exception would be Muzzy HB; but I had pretty severe blade deformation this past year on a whitetail.

    I haven't used them yet but I am curious as to how tough the Rage No Collar Hypodermics are. These got rid of the first generation Hypodermic's "shock collar" notch which was a very weak spot in a blade which revealed itself repeatedly.

    At the end of the day; put a good mech in the rib cage and I'm sure you'll be OK but if you hit shoulder you may be SOL.
     
  3. SouthDakotaHunter

    SouthDakotaHunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Long as you aren't super low poundage and are shooting a good arrow they work fine. I've taken numerous elk with fixed and mechanical (I've never lost an elk with a mech but have with fixed).... One was a half a mile track job but that was on me and I most likely wouldn't have found him if I hadn't been shooting a mech... My experience with an elk is that their body structure is much heavier than deer so doesn't really matter if you are shooting a fixed or mech if you hit that shoulder wrong - you are screwed either way.... Long as the design isn't overly radical a mech should be fine... I've got a couple of friends that have shot the Hypodermic +P and had good luck, my WY bull last year I shot with a killzone and the one before that I shot with one of the old Ulmer Edge BH's (basically the newly released SEVR's)... That being said - in my 6 arrow quiver I normally have 3 fixed and 3 mechs... :-)
     
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  4. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Like SDH said "If you hit that shoulder wrong you are SOL". I shoot a 450 grain arrow at 270 FPS, I personally don't feel that is fast enough for a Mech head on elk. Also I have a son that lives in Idaho and when I hunt with him up there you cant use Mechanical. We have one guy in Elk camp here at home that likes the grim Reapers and has done ok with them.
     
  5. Jeckolame

    Jeckolame Newb

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    +1
    [​IMG]
     
  6. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

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    Unless you're a gutt shooter, I see NO advantage for shooting any mech head.
     
  7. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Based on your vast experience that never left your back yard.
     
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  8. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    "If your elk hunt hinges on a broad head, don't use a broad head that hinges"

    Pretty much all of the great names in elk hunting are shooting fixed blades. Corey Jacobson, Paul Medel, Randy Newberg, Gritty Bowmen, etc.

    Elk are both bigger and tougher than whitetails, that exit hole is critical in recovering your animal and since they are quite a bit wider, every inch of penetration is a important.

    Pick a fixed and make sure your shot placement is right. Do not hug the shoulder on an elk.
     
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  9. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I have zero experience with mechanicals as Idaho doesn't allow them. But I will say from experience a fixed will get you decent speed and pass throughs.
    My setup for years has been an arrow around 385-405 grains with an original Muzzy 100 grain 3 blade. I've heard many say that is way too light of an arrow for elk, yet I'm getting pass-throughs easily with this setup (70 lbs draw and 27.5" draw length). I say easily because of the zip they still have on them pinging off the trees after they go through an elk. I once shot a bull that my partner thought I'd missed because the arrow still had so much velocity going down through the trees behind the bull. I've never had one not go through them like warm butter if the far side shoulder isn't hit. Also, get both lungs and the exit hole isn't that important, they go down fast when both lungs are collapsed and bleeding like crazy. I haven't ever recovered a broad side hole in both sides elk any closer than I do a one entry hole quartering away elk if both lungs were hit.
    To quote the most important thing I feel was said in this thread by MnMoose, "Do not hug the shoulder on an elk". That should be in all caps and bold. Their lungs are huge and extend quite a ways back from the shoulder if your holding half way up. I hold a good 4" behind the shoulder for the margin of error it provides to avoid that flat out arrow stopping of a granite shoulder.
    To back up SouthDakotaHunter's comment about the density of an elk, I have a good example. Use the info as you see fit. Many years ago in the same year I shot a bull with a 25/06, and then a whitetail buck just a couple of weeks later. Same rifle and bullets out of the same box. The bull was 155 yards away and the bullet went in between two ribs, through the lungs, out between two ribs, and I found it against the hide on the far side...never hit bone but didn't exit. The buck was 450 yards quartering to me. The bullet went in through the front shoulder, clipped the heart, and exited behind the far shoulder. At nearly three times the distance the bullet was able to go clear through the deer, including a front shoulder plate.
     
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  10. trial153

    trial153 Grizzled Veteran

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    I have nightmares about the one lungers I have seen on elk. That alone is enough for me to rule out mechanicals for elk. And for the record I have killed them with both fixed blades and mechanicals heads. My personal sample size with mechanicals is limited to one, and a very positive experience at that. My other experiences with mechanicals on elk are guys I hunted with and for the most part it’s been a 50/50 proposition, they work excellent or they fail excellent.
    I stick to stout mostly CC fixed blades in front on fairly heavy arrows, for both elk and moose.
     
  11. Tiny_MN

    Tiny_MN Weekend Warrior

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    I've been shooting G5 Montecs for a few years. But, recently purchased three of the Sev'R broadheads to see what happens.

    If this video is any kind of real test, I'd say it'd work on an elk.

     
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  12. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

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    You have KNOW idea sotapop:lol:

    You see, you're always spouting off how " great" you are at solving problems at work. That great. You obviously do a good job at doing so or you wouldn't have a job.

    I've been involved with 100' s ( 1000) of bow kills.
    my experience with mech heads have been horrible!!!
    I will not allow them in any camp again.
    Once again, just like you on the job, I'm not gonna tolerate inferior performance.
    Check my spelling now. I'm sure I srcewd up sumwher
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  13. 206moose

    206moose Weekend Warrior

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    Take a poll of outfitters and see how many recommend mechanicals.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I have yet to hunt with mechanicals for elk. But after seeing what happened to my fixed head G5 Striker after only hitting rib bones a couple years ago, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest a mechanical.
    Plenty of people do use them, and they will kill elk though, but I’ll stick to deer sized animals for mechanicals.

    Coming from Illinois I have a healthy investment into an elk hunt, with both time and money. I switched to Iron Wills last year for my hunt and was very impressed. We killed 2 elk with them and for mine I ran a 480 grain arrow 3/4 of the body length and buried it in the ground. If I’m spending the time and money, spending an additional $60 on broad heads, the actual tool that will punch your tag, is plenty worth it for me.


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  15. Hammer1171

    Hammer1171 Weekend Warrior

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    Thank you guys for all your input. I leave on Sept 14th for Colorado. I was contemplating switching to a fixed but did some tests with 1/4 plywood and my current set up of 27.5 inch 340 FMJ arrows and Killzones (100 gr) from my Elite at 70 pounds. I'm getting impressive penetration. Having, said that, I will definitely not hug the shoulder if I get an opportunity.
     
  16. parkersdad

    parkersdad Weekend Warrior

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    In general I find in my area hunters seem to be old school for the most part. A lot of guys are of the mentality that mechanicals are going to fail. I do not shoot that heavy of a bow and have a short draw length and anything inch and a half or less in a mechanical has been deadly for me on black bear and deer. I would not hesitate to shoot my inch and a half sevr broadheads at elk anytime.


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  17. dnoodles

    dnoodles Legendary Woodsman

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    that's a good quote. Who originally said that?
     
  18. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    My brother stole it from a western-focused forum, maybe wapiti talk or hunt talk?
     
  19. MnMoose

    MnMoose Grizzled Veteran

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    Black Bears and Deer are very different than elk. Bears are notorious for being "Soft" Animals. Elk are not. I just shot a bull on sunday with a 200gr .300WSM and none of my 4 bullets were pass throughs, the KE of that bullet is a MINIMUM of 20x your arrow and roughly 5x more momentum. I understand bullets are different than arrows, but the point is elk are dense. I dont want a mechanical that will sacrifice penetration on an elk.

    Also, most elk hunters know the typical shot opportunity in archery season isn't super far, accuracy isn't usually a limiting factor.
     
  20. SouthDakotaHunter

    SouthDakotaHunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    40B91653-14D7-4E7F-A7C8-59C98BF3CD0B.png 36EA7330-BBE8-4AEF-80A5-9E83E7191D63.jpeg
    Good luck on the hunt! I shot my bull from Wyoming last year with the killzone with impressive results - if you get lucky enough for an opportunity they won’t let you down. I just got back from my 2019 elk hunt and used up some old Ulmer Edge (basically the newly released SEVR) and those did the trick again... I’m 6 for 6 on elk recoveries with mechs - and the only reason I would switch to fixed is if I hunted Idaho (as fixed are required by law)... For me I had two specific bulls that I hammered with fixed and never recovered- so now I want to do as much damage as possible and I don’t try to get caught up in the theoretical possibility of hitting something that is going to cause trouble. The primos crew has over 200 elk recoveries with mechs and they have had tremendous results. For every celeb that shoots fixed I’ll point to one that shoots mechs so don’t fall for the old school guys that have never field tested mechs or hunt in ID all the time like Mendel, Jacobson, etc...

    (2019) 35 yd shot, 35ish yd recovery - complete passthrough with ulmer edge.. (the smaller one)

    (2018) 45 yd shot, 65ish yd recovery - not a passthrough but the killzone did the trick in short order and he was stumbling from the shot.

    Both bulls shot with my MR6 at 60# and 27.5”..
     
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