How To Archery Hunt Elk
Learning how to archery hunt elk can help you get in touch with nature, provide a greater challenge than rifle hunting, and help you get in touch with centuries old hunting heritage. Train well in order to prepare for this exciting and rewarding hunt.
Things you will need:
- Hunting license
- Elk tag
- Arrows with broadheads
- Cloth game bags
- Lightweight emergency kit
- Acquire a bow-hunting license and elk tag in the locale you will be hunting. Even if you have completed hunter safety and have your hunting license, many states require hunters to complete additional coursework when learning how to hunt with a bow. Check the laws in the area you wish to hunt prior to embarking on your elk hunt. Depending on your location, tags may be purchased or may be raffled or auctioned. Check the Department of Natural Resources website in the state or province where you plan your hunt
- Plan your hunt. Elk are large game animals--an adult bull weighing an average of 700 pounds. Elk live in various habitats, from desert valleys to forests and mountains. To harvest an elk and to pack the meat out from the hunt will take forethought and planning. It is also important to let family or friends know where you plan to hunt in case you get lost, injured or are unable to pack out of your hunt location. Take an emergency kit so you have water, food, shelter and bandages in case of emergency. Scout the area you would like to hunt so you are aware of the terrain and obvious dangers. Look for signs of elk like hoof prints and scat.
- Prepare your bow and arrows. Have your bow tuned and practice with it. A poorly tuned bow can cause arrows to fly erratically. To humanely take the animal it is important to shoot accurately into the heart or lung.
- Prepare for the shot. When considering how to archery hunt elk, look for opportunities to get within 40 yards. The ideal distance to hunt with a bow is 25 yards. Look for places elk have to navigate and set up a blind or stand. Also look for natural resources such as water or food. Places where elk bed down are also good places to set up for a shot with a bow.
- Drawing for the shot. When you learn how to archery hunt elk, a key lesson is to stay calm. It is easy to become anxious and excited when you see your elk that you release the shot early or jolt as the arrow flies toward its target. This can ruin your hunt by missing the target or injuring the animal but not resulting in an immediate fatal wound. Countless archers have left the wild in this situation, dejected about their miss and worried the animal will die leaving the meat wasted.
- After the shot. Now that you’ve critically wounded the elk with one or more arrows, it is important to know what to do. Hunter Safety recommends waiting one hour after hitting an animal in the vital organs. The International Hunter Education Association trains hunters to approach the downed animal from behind and to poke it with a stick.
- Preparing your elk for the table. Be sure to gut the animal and cool the meat as soon as possible. Packing out a full animal can be a chore, but in the long run, it is worth it. Cloth game bags help absorb fluids and keep the meat clean. You can take a trophy rack and have high quality natural meat for a long time to come.