Can You Hunt Elk With A Recurve Bow?

Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and OutdoorsmanOpens in a new tab..

For many hunters, hunting elk is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are the best at staying out of sight, and they have a keen sense of when someone is nearby. The success rate is lower with elk, but it is thrilling when faced with a 600 – 1000 pound bull elk. One topic that comes up often is, “Can you hunt elk with a recurve bow?”

You can hunt elk with a recurve bow. Bowhunting elk is more complex than using a rifle, but it can be done if you are experienced and shoot accurately. Ideally, you want a 60 to 70-pound bow, and you want to be within 40 yards to kill it. It is best to train to use the heaviest bow you can use without sacrificing accuracy. 

The most important thing is that you have the strength and fitness to get the most out of your hunt. When you go elk hunting, you need to be ready for long days and make the most out of any opportunity that arises. Continue reading to learn about hunting elk with a recurve bow.

Can You Hunt Elk With A Recurve Bow

How Do You Train to Hunt Elk with a Bow?

First of all, you will be up early when you are hunting elk. The elk will be up as soon as the sun rises, which is one of the best times to find them. Schedule your training at the same time of day so that you are used to it. Don’t allow any distractions while you are training. 

Consider what kind of shape you are in, and get fit. You can try high-intensity interval trainingOpens in a new tab., which helps you get fit quickly and efficiently. For your exercises, you will have 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. Be sure to complete eight consecutive sets of each movement. 

Try some of the following exercises:

  • Burpees: Start out standing, and lower yourself to the ground with chest and thighs touching the ground. Then, push yourself back up to standing and clap your hands above your head. 
  • Box Step-ups: You can use a 20-inch box. Alternate legs and step up and down at the same intervals. 
  • Walking lunges: Keep good posture as you lunge. Make sure that your back knee reaches the ground, and take long steps as you move forward. 

Make sure that you are eating healthy as well. Reduce your snacking and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. When you eat healthy foods, you will find that you have the energy and stamina to get the most out of your elk hunt. 

Practice with Your Recurve Bow Before You Go

If you are serious about getting ready for your hunt, you should be up at 5 AM and go for a run. Then, you need to practice with your bowOpens in a new tab.. You don’t need to practice every day, but you should be consistent. You need to be solid in the basics, including having good draw length and form. You need to have the best equipment you can afford, and you should understand how to assess your improvement. If you are a beginner, you should take lessons. 

You can keep a journal and write down what you accomplish each time you practice. Include your score and what you worked on. Some people train with a heavier bow than they will use to hunt, which makes it easier when you are on your hunt. If you have time, you can even enter an archery competition to see how you do.

If you are going to hunt elk with a recurve bow, it is vital to be accurate. The best way to become more accurate is to practice and take it seriously. The more you can practice and get a feeling for the real thing, the more likely you will be to have success if you have the opportunity to shoot an elk. 

Advantages to Using a Recurve Bow for Hunting

There are some advantages to using a recurve bowOpens in a new tab. for hunting. First of all, they make less noise. They have limbs made with quiet material, which is crucial if you don’t want the elk to know you are there. 

They also have a better draw rate, which makes it easier to shoot to kill. Draw weight plays a role in the arrow penetrating the elk’s body, and as long as you are using the right length, you will be able to penetrate the elk deeply enough to kill it.

The only real disadvantage is that beginners aren’t as accurate with a recurve bow. However, you can practice to improve and gain experience. Ensure that you have the correct stance, bow grip, draw, anchor, aim, and release. You need to practice as much as you can before you go to make sure that you have the experience to hunt the elk accurately. 

What Is the Minimum Draw Weight and the Maximum Range for Hunting Elk with a Recurve Bow?

Some people use a draw weight as low as 35 pounds, but most people recommend that you use 50 pounds or greater. There are minimums set in some states; in Idaho, it is 40 pounds, and you should look up the regulations in the state where you plan to hunt. 

The range should be 40 yards or less. Elk are large animals, and they are bulky. Their hide is thicker than a whitetail deer. You need to get around 10 inches of penetration to effectively and quickly kill an elk. 

You should also use a heavy arrow of at least 10 grains per inch. This way, the arrow will absorb as much energy as your bow generates. Although you need to be less than 40 yards from the elk, it is ideal to be within 30 yards. This reduces your margin of error and helps to ensure that the elk are less likely to take a step out of the way.

Final Words

You can hunt an elk with a recurve bow. The most important thing is to make sure that you are accurate and have the experience to shoot the elk accurately for a quick and ethical kill.

Steven Lines hunter pic 1

Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since he was a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of outdoor experience. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channelOpens in a new tab. dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.


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Hi, I'm Sam! I used to work as a caregiver, and now I'm in medical school. My blog is about helping people get healthier through fun activities like archery, hunting, and powerlifting. If you like one of my articles, please share it with your friends and family so they can be healthy too!

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