Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


is 35# enough for deer?

Messages posted to thread:
rich battistoni 09-Dec-08
PeteO 09-Dec-08
lareva 09-Dec-08
timbow 09-Dec-08
IndianGuy 09-Dec-08
jeb 09-Dec-08
Cardinal 09-Dec-08
George D. Stout 09-Dec-08
Marc W. 09-Dec-08
Bill C. 09-Dec-08
earl 09-Dec-08
Mo0se 09-Dec-08
CJ Gregory 09-Dec-08
Hubhunts 09-Dec-08
EricW 09-Dec-08
justin hunt 09-Dec-08
Stickbender 09-Dec-08
pdk25 09-Dec-08
tradmark 09-Dec-08
pdk25 09-Dec-08
babysaph 09-Dec-08
Pre-Clovis 09-Dec-08
pdk25 09-Dec-08
rich battistoni 10-Dec-08
David Mitchell 10-Dec-08
Beev 10-Dec-08
fullfreezer 10-Dec-08
Silent1 10-Dec-08
Cecil 10-Dec-08
rich battistoni 14-Dec-08
DeerSpotter 14-Dec-08
pdk25 14-Dec-08
Aspirinbuster 15-Dec-08
adkman 15-Dec-08
Coldtrail 15-Dec-08
Wudstix 15-Dec-08
ela gözlü avci 16-Dec-08
Altec 30-Dec-08
Frisky 31-Dec-08
Ishi 31-Dec-08
bushytail 31-Dec-08
bowyer45 31-Dec-08
fuzzy 31-Dec-08
Coldtrail 31-Dec-08
Cecil 31-Dec-08
George D. Stout 31-Dec-08
Yunwiya 31-Dec-08
Oldruffedhunter 31-Dec-08
Elk77 31-Dec-08
Yunwiya 31-Dec-08
Rick Barbee 31-Dec-08
Hubhunts 31-Dec-08
Mike Mecredy 01-Jan-09
EricPootatuckArchers 02-Jan-09
Yunwiya 02-Jan-09
RckyMtn Joe 02-Jan-09
PineLander 02-Jan-09
RckyMtn Joe 03-Jan-09
Treeman 03-Jan-09
rico 03-Jan-09
bowyer45 03-Jan-09
badjuju 03-Jan-09
LV2HUNT 03-Jan-09
Altec 03-Jan-09
PineLander 03-Jan-09
r.grider 10-Aug-22
deerhunt51 10-Aug-22
Corax_latrans 10-Aug-22
tradmt 10-Aug-22
Corax_latrans 10-Aug-22
David A. 10-Aug-22
babysaph 10-Aug-22
Murph 10-Aug-22
David McLendon 10-Aug-22
groundhunter50 11-Aug-22
Kodiak 11-Aug-22
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bluesman 06-Sep-22
Yunwiya 06-Sep-22
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Phil Magistro 07-Sep-22
Jed Gitchel 07-Sep-22
From: rich battistoni
Date: 09-Dec-08




is 35# enough for deer? any opions would be appreciated. thanks,rich in pa.

From: PeteO
Date: 09-Dec-08




I think so, I had a youth hunter get a clean paas through on a button buck this year. His bow is 40#, but at his draw alot closer to 35#. He actually saw the deer drop! Not bad for a first deer, and with a recurve to boot.

From: lareva Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Dec-08




It can be done. Just make sure you put it right in the boiler room with a very sharp broadhead. Most will not reccomend that light but if that's all you have, go for it. lareva

From: timbow
Date: 09-Dec-08




I shot my 1st deer with a 35# recurve. It was 1969. If you are good wit shot placement and distance, it can be done. These days I personaly prefer 45# and up.

From: IndianGuy
Date: 09-Dec-08




Should be enough with a close range shot and a good sharp head, but is it legal poundage in your area our state has a min of 40# to deer hunt with bow.

From: jeb
Date: 09-Dec-08




Yes

From: Cardinal
Date: 09-Dec-08




According to your state deer hunting regulations it is; bother to read 'em to ensure your compliance with all of the rregulations. And likewise with any other state you intend to hunt in, as they may differ. Checking the regulations prior to every season is recommended as changes may occur from year-to-year.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 09-Dec-08




Pennsylvania thinks it is enough. My friend's wife killed several deer with a 35# Shakespeare Necedah. Obviously you want to get as close as possible and have perfect arrow flight.

From: Marc W.
Date: 09-Dec-08




My son shot a doe with #32.Fifteen yard shot with a 2 blade.Complete pass through and never found the arrow.He didnt brake any ribs but seemed to be plenty of weight.I would say as long as you put it where it needs to be you are fine.

From: Bill C. Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Dec-08




Back in the 50's a lot of really big deer were taken with bows that were in the 30# range. I wouldn't recommend it, but also would not discourage anyone from using such equipment if it were legal and they had good reason to not use a heavier weight. I am a proponent of shooting the heaviest weight you can shoot accurately....emphasis on the "shooting accurately".

From: earl
Date: 09-Dec-08




Absolutely match your arrows to the draw weight of the bow,and shoot a two balde that's so sharp that you hate to handle them. Ilike 9 grains of arrow weight per lb of draw weight.

From: Mo0se
Date: 09-Dec-08




I know of many who have hunted succesfully with that weight. I feel one should always do the quarry a favor and shoot whats most accurate.

From: CJ Gregory
Date: 09-Dec-08




I don't subscribe unless there is a limiting physical reason for it.

From: Hubhunts
Date: 09-Dec-08




Yes,I can say that because I have killed several deer with 34# to 38# @ 28 and my draw is 27 inches I have several pass thrus with 35# bows with Bear razorheads Remember don't shoot a light arrow in bow hunting speed don't kill, penetration and accuracy and Hemorage.

From: EricW
Date: 09-Dec-08




Not in Nebraska. They say 40 or 45lbs at or before 28" draw.

From: justin hunt
Date: 09-Dec-08




I shot one with a 33lb Black Widow target bow with a heavy birch shaft with no problem

From: Stickbender
Date: 09-Dec-08




My 6 year old nephew killed his first 5 point this fall with 24 lbs. ,arrow sticking out opposite side, pretty proud moment for both him and uncle. fell in site

From: pdk25
Date: 09-Dec-08




If everything is perfect, yes. As others have said, I wouldn't go that low unless I had a physical reason limiting my accuracy with a heavier bow. Have fun.

From: tradmark
Date: 09-Dec-08




#35 is no problem for a well tuned set up. this is not debateable and i'd rather have someone shoot that well than barely handle #55 and go hunting with that.

From: pdk25
Date: 09-Dec-08




Out of curiousity, why are you asking?

From: babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 09-Dec-08




I would go with 75 lb if I could

From: Pre-Clovis
Date: 09-Dec-08




I know Mike Fedora used to hunt with what most would consider awfully light bows. Last I was at his place was 4-5 years ago, but I doubt he's changed.

Another thing to consider is arrow speed rather than draw weight. Draw weight in itself doesnt mean much. An efficient 35# bow could hit harder than an inefficient 45# bow.

From: pdk25
Date: 09-Dec-08




True enough, all bows are not created equal. Draw length has an effect, the type of arrow and broadhead used. Many other factors as well. This type of post pops up all the time and it's always the same thing. For some, no matter what number is stated, it will be plenty. For some, it won't be enough. At some point I would think there is a number where it isn't a good idea to try. If someone knows a friend of a friend who shot a milk straw out of a rubberband and got a complete pass through, it still is probably not a good idea to try.

From: rich battistoni
Date: 10-Dec-08




thanks,for all the replies,i'ev come to the conclusion that with everything matched right,sharp broadheads and fairly close shots,that 35# is capable of taking deer,and checking with pa. regulations 35# is leagal in pa.,thanks to all,rich in pa.

From: David Mitchell
Date: 10-Dec-08




Rich, I have not nor would I hunt any big game animal with a 35# bow. Not saying it can't or hasn't been done, but the theme always seems to be "if everything else is right, etc." Why take the chance IF you are able to shoot more weight. That will help in those many instances when things go wrong through no fault of your own. It doesn't take much for things to go south fast when shooting at live game--all the animal has to do is move just a tad at the very moment you release and then you have an entirely different situation on your hands. Marginal hits happen to most all of us if we hunt long enough. There is no feeling quite like knowing that you wounded a living animal that may or may not go off and die unrecovered. Especially is that true when you know that better penetration, due to shooting a bit more weight may have made the difference. I have never understood the desire to just scrape by with minimal performance equipment unless there is absolutely no way to do more by reason of physical handicap. You will fare better in the long run to develop the ability to shoot a bit heavier bow and arrows appropriate for it. Always give yourself some margin for the things that can (and someday will)go wrong. That is why for the forty yeras plus that I have been shooting bows the experienced among us have said--"shoot the heaviest bow you can accurately shoot" and for most men that is more than 35#. Just my thoughts after many, many years of this.....Dave

From: Beev
Date: 10-Dec-08




According to the law here in MN. it is.

I do believe that if the circumstances were right, it could work. It'd take a lot of patience though.

From: fullfreezer
Date: 10-Dec-08




Maryland DNR says a 30# bow is enough for deer. With close well-placed shots, proper arrow flight and a razor sharp cut-on-contact head, even a 30# bow is a deadly weapon. That being said, I personally prefer a bow in the 45-55# range for deer.

FF

From: Silent1
Date: 10-Dec-08




I Agree with what David Mitchell wrote! 100%

From: Cecil
Date: 10-Dec-08




Shot placement and proper tuned equipment that is the key. I shoot around 40# most of the time. put it where it goes = dead deer.

From: rich battistoni
Date: 14-Dec-08




are we all going back to the macho thing again. when less then 60# is for sissy's,i think the state laws are put there for a reason,i'ev heard about so many people that overbowed themselves and wish they would have gone with a lower weight,maybe we should all re-think about our bow weights,unless your comfortable with what you now shoot.and as far as hunting with the state minimum weight if you think it's enough go for it,i think i'm gonna try it next year.

From: DeerSpotter
Date: 14-Dec-08




I am a member on this site and have been a member on Trad gang, and the song and dance is about the same. There are those that like it, and those that don't.

In the state of Minnesota 30#is legal for hunting, I do not agree with it, the reason being, they lowered the weight thinking that more younger hunters would get involved in purchase license, I don't agree with it because of the lack of experience.

For someone that his bow hunted for years, or has a workable knowledge of what he's doing, there's no reason why he or she could and use 30#, I've heard many stories about guys dropping the weight, and becoming the best shot they have ever been. I think it's personally up to the individual, I ordered a custom bow, from JD at whisperstik bows and it is 42#, when I first place the order I want a 38#, and eventually I think I will get a 30#, and that one will be custom too. I think the efficiency of the whisperstik is excellent, and that's because of the knowledge and skill of JD Bow maker.

But then again I think I'm in that unique club, that doesn't matter to me what's in your hand, it's how efficient you are with it, and your abilities and your skills to master the accuracy, and I think that's what it's all about. Oh by the way it is also supposed to be fun !!!!! So if poundage divides us our sport has been soured.

Carl

From: pdk25
Date: 14-Dec-08




No macho thing here, just think you should shoot the heaviest poundage that you are accurate with. No downside to that. I always wonder with all the reports of people killing deer with light bows, why there aren't people reporting times when there was suboptimal penetration and the deer was never recovered. It makes it difficult to truly assess what is adequate and what isn't. I doubt that when the states establish their guidelines the are using any scientific data.

From: Aspirinbuster
Date: 15-Dec-08




Cathy Addington (my mom) shot her first deer with a 27# recurve in 1971. She used a microflite arrow and a 125# broadhead. It was a 22 yard shot.

To quote my father, "35 # will kill if you hit what you are shooting at.."

I would make certain you have a good arrow and the right broadhead and then make your shot count. I've seen a lot of people new to traditional tackle overbow themselves and then miss when in the woods. My two cents.

Shoot Straight, Frank Addington,Jr.

ps Mom is up to 18 bear with her bow now---although she uses a 45# compound now.

From: adkman
Date: 15-Dec-08

adkman's embedded Photo



If you can do this 1200lb buffalo with a 38# you shouldn't have a problem with a deer and 35#

From: Coldtrail
Date: 15-Dec-08




Pass thru is pass thru. I've never killed a deer where poundage would have made a difference. A deer doesn't have a thick hide nor an undelicate rib cage. "Shoot the heaviest bow you can handle" is meaningless advice unless your target has more substance than a deer. A deer survives by witt, senses, reflex, and speed, not from being tough.

From: Wudstix Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 15-Dec-08




Have to concur with David Mitchell on this. As heavy as you can draw then back off about 5-10 pounds to get hunting comfort.

From: ela gözlü avci
Date: 16-Dec-08




It's been a clichee to discuss about the sufficieny of bow poundage, but the main point is usually ignored. So, Pre-Clovis is right. A 35# wooden long- or flatbow is completely different than a fiberglass hi-performance longbow in efficiency. In general, recurves are more efficient than longbows and compounds are more efficient than the recurves. Even the cam design does matter too much among compounds if it comes to efficiency. However, there may be longbows that are more efficient than many recurves. Everything being equal, changing the brace height or increasing the arrow weight may cause huge differences in arrow speed and/or efficiency.

I don't see any reason to discard low poundage bows for thin skinned, vulnerable big game BUT such a bow must be highly effiecient and must be tuned perfectly.

From: Altec
Date: 30-Dec-08




Light bows and arrows kill deer but consider the downside. Light poundage = less penetration. Heavier poundage = more penetration (duh). More penetration good, less penetration bad (lightbulb). There comes a point when the tradeoffs inherent to using lightweight or target-style equipment for hunting (like fewer pass-throughs or minimal/missing blood trails) isn't worth the risk. Despite wishful thinking and rhetoric to the contrary, perfect shots aren't the norm when bowhunting. Common sense suggests that penetration/bloodtrails/easier and shorter trailing will shrink in frequency as animals get bigger, woods get thicker, light gets dimmer, bows/arrows get shrimpier, etc. Lots of little variables collectively make 'on the edge' choices a poor approach for bowhunting. Careful and conservative beats marginal and risky any day. Regarding state hunting regs, they are often written for political convenience much more than for good overall results. Make smart choices, respect the animals and use enough weapon. You'll be much happier.

From: Frisky
Date: 31-Dec-08




As some have stated, 30# is the minimum in Minnesota. It used to be 40#. I took my 1st deer with a bow pulling 45# at my draw. I was 15. I realized that 45# was plenty, but I still went up to 50# the next year. I was not a strong teenager but had no trouble building up to 50# and I believe that most hunters would be wise to use as much weight as they can handle. Yet, I'd rather be accurate with 30# than struggle to control 50. Also, a fast 30# bow could equal an average 40#.The lowered draw weight in MN likely assumes the hunter will be using a compound.

Joe

From: Ishi
Date: 31-Dec-08




There are a lot of variables involved in killing a deer. We have a tendency to focus on just 1, draw weight. The OP does not tell us his draw length, bow style (recurve, longbow, self-bow) or limb material. He also does not supply any arrow or broadhead information.

My 28# recurve shoots a lot harder and I am more accurate with it than my 40# self-bow. I have watched a lot of guys shoot heavy bows. Many of them get to about a 3/4 draw and release the arrow while still bringing the draw hand back to give the illusion of a full draw. What counts here is how fast the arrow travels, how hard it hits, where it hits and how much penetration you get.

Most Native American bows were inefficient and drew at about 40 lbs. My namesake's bows fell within this description. He had no problem dropping deer.

Find a rig that you are confident in. Practice a lot. Consider using a chronie to check arrow speed. Compare arrow penetration at a range. Most of all....

Shoot safe.

From: bushytail Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 31-Dec-08




Something else to consider is the time of season.When you practice in the summer,the bow may be comfortable.But when hunting season comes around when it gets cold,"depending on where you hunt ofcourse"It gets harder to draw back.Sometimes you can`t draw the whole way because your to cold and stiff.Something to think about.

From: bowyer45
Date: 31-Dec-08




I don't disagree with using as much bow as you can handle for all big game but many animals are killed from the "work" a sharp broadhead does when the arrow stays in the rib cage. I have seen many instances of close to 100% of lung damage from one broadhead because of this. As the animal runs if the head is not lodged in the far side it whips around inside cutting as it goes back and forth. Many experienced bowhunters in the late fifties and sixties purposely held their draw weight down for this reason. My first successful hunting bow pulled 53# and once in a while I would experience this, however upon going to heavier weight and getting 100% penitration I hardly see this any more even on elk. Ask yourself if you would stand a chance being hit in the chest by a 35# bow and it puts it in perspective. We'll not doing much more than making a knife wound with an arrow attached when you think about it. Placement is every thing.

From: fuzzy
Date: 31-Dec-08




I duno, the question has never come up, so I never considred it before ;-)

From: Coldtrail
Date: 31-Dec-08




"Light poundage = less penetration. Heavier poundage = more penetration (duh). More penetration good, less penetration bad (lightbulb)." That ain't necessariy so all the time. Some substances have such little resistance that penetration will be 100% regardless of arrow speed (within reason). A deer's ribcage is an example. You can't get an arrow to go any deeper than pass-thru. While heavy bows can make the difference on bad shots such as a shoulder), you have to admit that a shoulder is seldom if ever the spot we shoot at; therefore, a shoulder shot is a "miss". For those who hunt with with 35lbs., you have the same chance for a kill as they guy with the 60lb. bow, IF you hit where you aim. I think the real advantage of heavy bows is the diminished arc of the arrow; you can be more accurate at longer ranges. Not that you should shoot at deer at longer ranges, but it's nice to hit at 40 yards or sixty yards when you're at the range or stump shooting. I personally pull a little less than what I'm capable of because because of the ease of shooting, which translates, for me, into more consistent shooting. My 2 cents.

From: Cecil
Date: 31-Dec-08




Shoot what you can shoot comfortable. I shoot light bows hunting deer. I shoot most time 15 yards or less. getting close that is part of the reason I bow hunt. seems there is alot of focuse on pass thru and poundage. I have shot deer that I didnt get a pass thru they only go a little ways and bed down becouse that arrow is working for you. pass thrus are fine to. the most advantage I see in a heaver bow is being able to shoot farther.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 31-Dec-08




The fact is that heavy bows aren't always the answer either, since most (and I mean most) who shoot bows over sixty pound short draw them. Watch the shooting line some time at Denton Hill or other shoot.

It is another fact, that one should shoot the heaviest hunting bow that he or she can handle comfortably and accurately. For me that is up to about 55 pounds, but I like closer 50...which will kill anything.

Here is the caveat on bow weights: my friend has a 68 pound longbow that he pulls 26". I have a 48 pound recurve that I pull 28 1/2. My recurve outshoots his longbow in distance with like-weight arrows. It's a matter of draw length, release and design.

I also can pull his bow to 26" and shoot a bit farther than him with his own arrows....that means it's release and follow-through also. There are dynamics to this sport that many don't understand or don't want to.

A fellow with a 45 pound bow, may well be developing more energy from his bow/draw/release/arrow than another shooting a 55 pounder. That's why you can't put numbers on this issue and have it stand up.

I would further state that folks using bows they can handle comfortably are much better at making killing shots than those who have to pucker their sphincter to get to their "full" draw, which is about 3/4 of what it should be. The "duh" comment really applies to those who would use it to insult another who is probably thinking at a higher level to begin with. "Duh!"

From: Yunwiya
Date: 31-Dec-08




Maybe the draw weight and carry weight should be factored. If you insist on hunting like a Hobbit, kill what you can carry field dressed. If you are just out there to kill, put antlers on deer mice.

DEER WEIGHT TABLE (from New England Sportsman) Chest Measuremnts 21(inches) Live Weight 53 lbs Field Dressed Weight 39 lbs (plenty of venison for Frodo)

Chest Measuremnts 46(inches) Live Weight 286 lbs Field Dressed Weight 244 lbs (better bring the boys from the Shire to haul this one)

TO TELL THE TRUTH How to estimate the weight of your deer by measuring chest circumference -- Measure the girth of the animal just behind the front legs. This measurement in inches, will give you the approximate weight of your deer in pounds.

From: Oldruffedhunter
Date: 31-Dec-08




My dad took a doe a couple years ago with the first selfbow he built. The weight was 37# he was shooting a cane arrow with flint head. He broke a rib on exit and the arrow stuck in the ground about 4". So I'm sure a modern recurve or longbow is more than plenty. BTW he ended up taking 2 more deer with that bow as well.

From: Elk77
Date: 31-Dec-08




its not poundage or speed its shot placement

From: Yunwiya
Date: 31-Dec-08




Yeah, just be sure to place the Campfire girl close enough, and then make sure the other 30 Campfire girls put down the S'mores and help her drag it back.

From: Rick Barbee
Date: 31-Dec-08




I shoot bows ranging in draw weight from 70# - 100#.

I shoot them without any difficulty.

The day I can't shoot them without difficulty I will drop down in draw weight.

I will always shoot the maximum (comfortable) draw weight that I can.

If I can only shoot 30# then that is what I will shoot, and if legal to hunt with, then I will hunt with it, and will ignore anyone who tells me I can't, or should not use it.

Take your 35# bow. Learn to shoot it without lying to yourself about your ability, and go kill a deer with it.

You, and only you know what you are truly capable of, and anyone who tries to tell you different is full of hot air.

From: Hubhunts
Date: 31-Dec-08




If you don't think 35# bow wil penetrate let me shoot you with a 600 grain arrow with a Simmons Broadhead and you will change your mind as it exits your torso.

From: Mike Mecredy
Date: 01-Jan-09




Sure, if it's legal. Deer don't know what bow you're holding. It's not legal for us here in Idaho. We have to use at least 40# up to or at 28".

From: EricPootatuckArchers
Date: 02-Jan-09




first, read your game laws for minimum bow weight requirements. I personally prefer 55 to 60 lbs range for deer. I see no problem with 45 lbs as long as you can group consistently and ensure your broadheads are cutting sharp, real sharp... and this really goes for everyone regardless of the legal bow weight used.

From: Yunwiya
Date: 02-Jan-09




If you have to "pucker your sphincter" to draw more than 35 pounds, you need to switch to a rifle.

From: RckyMtn Joe
Date: 02-Jan-09




I know---I know---everyone will dump on me here. Listen friends, hunting is a wonderful thing but the bottom line is this: You are putting the existence of a living creature on the line when you release an arrow, a bullet---or a death ray LOL.

Lots of Poachers will tell you that a .22 rimfire will kill a deer, and that is true. But if you're going to hunt with a recurve or whatever, for crying out loud----shoot something a little stronger than 35 pounds---OK?

This thread keeps winding down---is 45 pounds enough? is 40 pounds enough? is 35 pounds enough? Sooner or later you enter a no-man's land. 35 pounds is enough if you are at close range, everything is perfectly tuned, your broadhead is razor-sharp, and you MAKE A PERFECT SHOT without hitting ribs etc. etc. etc.!

Nobody wants to say "enough is enough" for fear of antagonizing all the dudes that barely pull 40 pounds to start with, and for fear of antagonizing the disabled, or special needs people.

I hunt nothing but trophy deer---if he doesn't have big antlers, I am NOT interested. When I am no longer able to pull at least 45 pounds on a recurve, I will quit hunting deer. Even 45 is a bit marginal in my opinion. I owe at least that to the Trophies I seek in the woods.

So, to answer the original question---under normal hunting conditions, 35 pounds isn't enough IN MY OPINION.

Joe

From: PineLander
Date: 02-Jan-09




Joe, not sure why you think that killing "trophy" deer should be limited to nothing less than 45-50 lbs. Big-bodied deer are no more difficult to kill with a 40 lb. bow than they are with a 50 lb. bow. And it's also quite obvious to me that big-bodied deer are no more difficult to kill just because they have big antlers on top of their head. That's too bad that you would quit bowhunting deer if you couldn't pull 45 lbs.... you would be missing out on the killing of those trophy deer. :^)

Even though I don't agree with Hubhunt's usual opinion that a bowhunter should shoot really heavy arrows, the part about taking a sharp broadhead through one's torso usually brings most people back to reality when hem-hawing around about what would or wouldn't kill a thin-skinned, thin-ribbed whitetail deer. :^)

With all things considered in a deer bowhunting scenario... the most important part is shot placement and sharp broadhoad. Any bowhunter who has been doing it long enough (killing and/or wounding deer regardless of bow poundage), should know that without question.

From: RckyMtn Joe
Date: 03-Jan-09




Pine---we are likely on the same page; however, the deer I hunt are usually large, in their prime- real male he-men. They are at the peak of their physical fitness and present a formidable challenge, which is why their antlers are so hard to come by.

When one of these real he-man tpes comes by, I want a bow capable of propelling a heavy arrow with a heavy broadhead through ribs, cartilage and muscle even when the angle isn't perfect. If a small twig gets in the way--so be it!

Please see my previous post: I agree that under ideal conditions, MAYBE a 35 pound bow can propell a deadly missile into the vital regions of a big deer---but I doubt that those ideals situations are going to occur very often. In real life situations, 35 pounds won't get the job done.

If you want to KILL--TAKE THE LIFE----of a wild animal, then you owe it to that animal AND yourself to do all you can to make sure that you don't create a scenario where undue suffering and pain is inflicted on your prey. IN MY OPINION, 35 pound bows don't measure up. You want to defend 35 pound bows as acceptable hunting weapons? That is your right---I happen to disagree!

Joe

From: Treeman Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 03-Jan-09




"Please see my previous post: I agree that under ideal conditions, MAYBE a 35 pound bow can propell a deadly missile into the vital regions of a big deer---but I doubt that those ideals situations are going to occur very often. In real life situations, 35 pounds won't get the job done. "-RockyMtnJoe

It is always nice to be confident of your opinion even if your opinion is completely detached from reality.

From: rico
Date: 03-Jan-09




Why would 35# be enough to kill a deer if its legal; and not enough if its not legal?

From: bowyer45
Date: 03-Jan-09




Personally I feel that 40#s would make an adeqate bow for most deer hunting especially from stands where the shot can be more of a setup and insure a closer calm animal. The problem is not all youths can pull more or even that much well because not all are fully grown in muscle mass yet, there are many exceptions, the answer is use a compound but some want to be like their grandpa and so have to wait a few more years to get in on the fun or hunt with a rifle. I am in that boat now with my grandson and I really am anxious to get him out archery hunting maybe in a year or two. Taking him rifle hunting has been great fun for me but I sure want to plant the seed for good before other interests pull him away. As for adults, shoot the most you can shoot well and don't worry about it! the arrow is still the difference.

From: badjuju
Date: 03-Jan-09




MA state regs requires a minimum of 40# pull @ 28". Personally if 40# is the minimum then I'd be going out w/ something a little stronger.

are you going to use a pen knife to skin/gut/process your deer? it's sharp and can do the job but wouldn't you want something w/ a little more "umph"?

bottom line is check the regs for your state and then make a judgment call. is 35# the most you (or someone else) can pull? if so and it's legal in your state then you have to make that call. personally I'd want a little more "umph".

From: LV2HUNT
Date: 03-Jan-09




Yes, a properly placed arrow from a 35# bow will kill a deer. I shot my first many years ago from a long bow drawn to 37#.

From: Altec
Date: 03-Jan-09




Trying to attach an absolute here is nothing more than an effort in semantics so lets look at this from another angle. If you wanted to hunt moose would you choose a .22 rifle? With perfect shot selection and bullet placement it COULD kill the moose, but arguing that its a decent choice would be ludicrous. How about using a .222 on Musk Ox? Or a 30 lb. (at FULL draw) bow on a big buck that may or may not step into good range at a good angle and stand statue-like still? Whats the chance of a perfect/good result in these very dubious situations?

Anyone who thinks the adequate poundage question can be reduced to a 'Well just let me shoot YOU in the chest with a little bow and see how YOU like it' is using laughable logic. Its not about what MIGHT work in rare perfect situations...nearly anything MIGHT work when the moon and stars align just right. Its about what makes normal sense for a given need/situation under field (far from perfect) conditions.

Here's another consideration...is it justifiable or ethical to shoot the moose with a .22 or a big buck with a targetweight bow just because thats all you can handle for a weapon, or just because you feel like it? In a non-survival mode (thats hunting, by the way) does using a weapon of marginal capability to indulge one's year to kill spell good hunting strategy?

From: PineLander
Date: 03-Jan-09




This can make for some very lively debate... as always. :^)

Joe, I'm sure there is a line in the sand where bow poundage/arrow weight can be crossed where it would be ineffecive in killing deer, but I don't believe I've personally crossed that line yet. Been doing this for a long time with recurves between 40-60 lbs. and the ONE common denominator I've noticed is arrow placement. Hit 'em in the vitals, dead deer... hit 'em elsewhere (regardless of aforementioned poundage), deer lives to see another day.

It might be popular for me to say (within the heavy bow crowd at least) that a 35 lb. recurve isn't effective, but I can't honestly do that. The reason being is that I KNOW a 40 lb. bow (short-drawn to 36 lbs) will indeed easily kill a big-bodied, healthy, in it's prime, peak of it's physical fitness, real male, he-man deer.

Believe me Joe, I have no less respect than you do for all the deer I hunt.... but I also have respect and knowledge of what a sharp broadhead placed in the vitals of ANY deer will do. And at this point in my bowhunting experience, that would include using a recurve bow from 35 lbs. and up. I can understand your concern (and others as well) by not being familiar with the subject at hand. But unless you have actual experience in such things, dissenting opinions are nothing more than unverified assumptions.

Rico, you're trolling again as your question appears to be misleading or uninformative at best. Maybe you should come back when you have something pertinent to say about the subject. :^)

From: r.grider
Date: 10-Aug-22




Idians killed buffaloe with bows that would not equal the performance of a modern glass backed longbow/recurve.

So, yes, 35# will kill a deer.

From: deerhunt51
Date: 10-Aug-22




With at least a 28" draw, a 380-400 grain total arrow weight, a sharp cut on contact broadhead, well-tuned so there is very little correction needed by the fletching. Then, yes if well placed it will certainly enable a skilled hunter to fill his deer tag.

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 10-Aug-22




And we brought up a thread old enough to have its own facebook account because….

????

From: tradmt
Date: 10-Aug-22




I don’t think it can be counted on consistently.

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 10-Aug-22




I think it probably can be if the archer can be. Tuned, Placed and Sharp kinda covers the bases. But that means that (like certain light-caliber rifles) they may be a better tool for an expert than for a Noob.

Being overbowed is the deal-breaker. If you can’t shoot, don’t hunt.

From: David A.
Date: 10-Aug-22




The "well placed arrow" doesn't make a lot of sense as far as draw wt. advantage/disadvantage. If you hit shoulder blade odds are you are getting zip even with a 55# bow. If you get guts, ez penetration.

Joe, as far as your macho bucks, the kill zone isn't soldi muscle. You've got about 1" to penetrate to get into lungs and they offer very little resistance. Other internal organs also don't over much resistance.

If I recall correctly, Ashby showed a 40# longbow could out penetrate a 70# longbow on big game utilizing heavy front loading/high FOC and light back end weight.

Carbon arrows have less impact wobble than wood or aluminum. Could be worth 10-15# in draw wt. So now our 35# bow may be just as capable as 50# bow of yesteryear.

What about arrow flight? Another BIG factor in penetration. My guess is a high percentage of bowhunters decades ago didn't generally get top end arrow flight.

More knowledge on how to do that today. That also could be worth 15# so comparatively

our 35# bow may now be equivalent to a 65# bow of yesteryear.

What about broadhead design and sharpnesss of yesteryear vs. better options today?

Also a big factor for the conscientious bowhunter using lighter weight bows.

From: babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 10-Aug-22




35 lbs is not enough. 38 is though

From: Murph
Date: 10-Aug-22




If I was shot with a sharp broadhead that traveled 15 yards, and it got me in the chest , I don't think I would live long.

From: David McLendon
Date: 10-Aug-22




It's enough for Grizzly Bear, step up and take your shot. Let us know how it goes, with pics.

From: groundhunter50
Date: 11-Aug-22




I made my own decision, based on my experience, and that is close now to 45 years of bow hunting. Due to rumetoid arthiritis , in my left shoulder and elsewhere, shooting my long bow, is strictly recreational, and small game, which I love to do...... rabbitts and squirrels.

At 28 on my bow, its 34.2 lbs. Fun and smooth, but I personally would not shoot deer with it, within realistic range of 20 yards or under,,,,, Thats a personal choice.

I know what it takes, to get penetration I need, and I would not kid myself,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

In my state that weight is legal, but would work, if it was a compound,,,,,,,,

My previous weights were all in the mid 50s, and got good results from 25 yards in..... sold them to the Footed Shaft, like to see them in younger hands, to enjoy them.

From: Kodiak
Date: 11-Aug-22




Do I hear 25#?

15#?

Lol I couldn't care less what poundage somebody shoots. These threads are borderline hilarious though. What hardly anybody mentions though is that a deer is almost never 'stationary' when the arrow arrives. That does in fact impede penetration, that's just a fact. Shooting too light of a bow might be a recipe for heartbreak. Don't hate on me.

From: Peej
Date: 11-Aug-22




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbOAeki2IFg

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 11-Aug-22




Guess he’s so full of hot air that he didn’t have any problems with minimum KE requirements. Just another stupid stunt.

Bowmania killed a B&C moose with #38. Not to prove that it could be done, but because that’s what he could work with. There’s a big difference.

I have to agree that poor flight = poor penetration; not going to tell anyone how many pounds worth of draw weight equivalent are involved , but all the purported benefits of high FOC do stand up to Physics.

And Kodiak is Not Wrong. Which supports (to my way of thinking) the idea that pushing the lower limit is best left to old-timers working their way down, rather than anyone starting out and who just can’t manage the weight yet. Wisdom, judgement, patience, discipline… those kinds of reasons. The Noobs have plenty of time out ahead.

From: David A.
Date: 11-Aug-22




Well, for a "stunt", he certainly made an impressive argument. That little dart couldn't have the KE of a hunting arrow from a 25 lb recurve.

From: bluesman
Date: 11-Aug-22




Many years ago . My good friend OG was hunting Columbian Mammoth in South Dakota. If I remember right his hunting partner was GROG...Grog was concerned this new weapon the bow at 35# might not have the killing power of the spear, he argued with Og saying the arrow was lighter than the spear Grog said yes , but the arrow... its faster ...a and I'm using the new Stone head made of obsidian and not chert. Well Og snuck up on the huge mammoth and as he was releasing the arrow his barefoot stepped on a thorn and missed his mark by a long ways . But it struck the mammoth in the EYE!!! . It entered the brain and the majestic pacaderm, fell where he stood. Well there ya go .. if it can kill a Columbian Mammoth .. a deer is a piece of cake . It took the tribe a week to take that wonderful meat back to the communal cave.

From: bluesman
Date: 11-Aug-22




Sorry Og said the arrow was faster etc... my memory isn't perfect... he told me the story q0,000 years ago

From: bluesman
Date: 11-Aug-22




10,000 years ago .... man I'm old

From: bluesman
Date: 11-Aug-22




By the way....Og bareshaft tuned his arrow before he attached the stonehead . He was ahead of his time ..... way ahead.

From: bluesman
Date: 11-Aug-22




Pretty sure OG mNy years later after his cousin Ghor invented the first wheel built a new bow with them .... I think he called it ... "oh my OG" is this fast !!!!

From: bluesman
Date: 11-Aug-22

bluesman's embedded Photo



OG's cousins later discovered another effective spot for the 35 lb bow . I'll attach the evidence

From: tradmt
Date: 12-Aug-22




I wouldn’t even use 35# on a dead cow.

From: N Y Yankee
Date: 12-Aug-22




If you must, and it is legal, and you are tuned well with broadheads, give it a try.

What bothers me is folks wanting to shoot 30 or 35 only because it's "easier".

You want "easier" use a compound. My 2 cents.

From: David A.
Date: 14-Aug-22




Actually, I'm pretty sure a lot of trad bowhunters as well as compound bowhunters want is

better accuracy and no extreme sights and wheels.

If we break this down one of the main ingredients of accuracy is dominating the bow - i.e., extreme steadiness at full draw. From all the bowhunters I've seen over the decades, maybe just maybe 1% can really dominate the bow.

I'm dropping bow wt. down to about 35# at my draw because I want top drawer accuracy and having gotten it, I can't see myself going back to 55# at least for deer. In an earlier post I mentioned even macho big bucks only have about an inch to penetrate into the kill zone...

Another big component is bow mass and yet so many bowhunters brag about how light their trad bow is...

From: ReddOaker
Date: 14-Aug-22




35# bow or 65# bow. I'd spend most of my time dialing in the arrow & sharpening the head. Then spend the rest of the time thinking of how to close the gap in under 15 yards for the shot. If the arrow flight is wonky no luck can help that.

From: Tembo62
Date: 06-Sep-22




I've been gone from here for almost a year letting my bow arm shoulder heal up and a while back I came across a pse 64" longbow cheap that was marked 30 lbs and thought I'd go ahead and get it so I'd have something to shoot when I get so old I can't shoot my Tembo. It weighed heavy at 34 lbs on my scale. I fooled with it, made a 10 strand d97 string etc. I shot some 27" 600 shafts with 100 grn brass inserts and a 100 grn stinger for total of about 370 grains and consistently got 9 to 10 inches of penetration in a solid stryofoam block at 15 yards. I guess a deer around here has a rib cage not more than 14/15" thick, it's hard to think that with good arrow flight that a 35lbs bow wouldn't drive a 2 blade coc broadhead completely a deer's chest and out the other side if it missed the rib bones and even if it did hit the bones it seems it would still punch out the other side. Hitting heavy bone is another story.

But you gotta think, guys shoot 800 lb elk and 1200 lbs moose all the time with 50/60 lbs bows and kill them, seems 100 lbs doe and a 35lbs bow would work just as well.

From: bradsmith2010santafe
Date: 06-Sep-22




i hope so

From: Tembo62
Date: 06-Sep-22




Here's a little comparison, I shot a buck last year with a 40lb compound/65% let off( nothing super duper,just a round wheel little bow I got off amazon for my grandson) shooting maybe 230 fps with 27" 500 shaft, aluminum insert and same broadhead and shot completely through that deer at 20 yds (little back so I got lungs/liver) and never found the arrow after looking for at least an hour. The deer walked about 25 yds and fell over dead. He was down within 30 seconds after the shot. I shot that same setup at the styrofoam block and got 14" penetration.

From: bluesman
Date: 06-Sep-22




Let's see. 38 divided by 2 is .. ...... ... ah 19......19 is a prime number . hell ya!!!!!

From: Jarhead
Date: 06-Sep-22




This is a garbage question...

Bow poundage is but ONE portion of the equation. How is it the community simplifies lethality to "just poundage...."

What's your draw length? What type of bow are you shooting - a Zipper Z4? a self-bow?

From: Don T. Lewis
Date: 06-Sep-22




“Big Yawn”

From: bluesman
Date: 06-Sep-22




Do ya think this thread was restarted for a legit reason ? Me thinks not ...

From: Yunwiya
Date: 06-Sep-22




No. You need an arrow. 35 pounds is not enough and dry firing only scares the deer.

From: Wudstix Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 06-Sep-22




I've never killed a deer with a 35# bow. Started hunting with 45# Ben Pearson at age 12. So I can't answer your question.

From: ButchMo
Date: 06-Sep-22




There are a few folks saying it's not enough. How many of you guys have any experience shooting deer with that kind of weight? Just curious.

From: Desperado
Date: 06-Sep-22




tradmt is 100% correct......No factual evidence but I suspect the # of deer shot with a 35lb bow and crippled is far more than the # shot and quickly killed......Too much to chance !!!! Des

From: GUTPILEPA
Date: 06-Sep-22




Absolutely Desperado

From: babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 06-Sep-22




I would be called a troll. lol

From: Harleywriter
Date: 07-Sep-22




I just can’t believe that somebody truly interested and dedicated to the trad life can’t pull a bow heavier than 35 pounds. That 35 pounds is like pulling a little over 4 gals of water.

May be the age, but most guys I know work to get stronger.

I’ve been fighting injuries for 3 or 4 years and earlier this summer decided nothin is keeping me out of the woods this year. I draw and relax 4 or 5 times a day. I began with my son’s KMag which is 35 pounds, then a 45-pound grizzly and now l shoot the 55-pound Schafer AND my 65 pound Parsons recurve. I wouldn’t hunt w 65 pounds this year but it sure makes that Schafer a cinch to draw and hold.

Well ya know where I stand on this. I think a lot of these questions are just somebody seeking validation: “Well the guys on the Leatherwall said yeah cause they know lotsa guys who shoot 35 pounds and kill deer”

Ya really can’t draw something a little more manly than 35 pounds?

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 07-Sep-22




"Ya really can’t draw something a little more manly than 35 pounds?"

It sounds like you've been fortunate with good health. Go get your chest cracked open and you'll find that it takes time to get to where you can even pull 35 pounds. Have shoulder or elbow problems and you may be lucky to just make a drawing motion. Arhtitis, rotator cuff, muscle tears, inflammation, chronic illnesses.....effect many people and belittling them does nothing to answer the OP's question.

Now you may have had health issues and worked through them. If so you should be very thankful because you are better off than many other aging bowhunters.

From: Will tell
Date: 07-Sep-22




I'm guessing there has been a couple of thousands Deer, Elk and Bear killed with 35# bows using stone points. There's probally a bunch of Buffalo killed with a 35 # bow and maybe even a Dinosaur or two. : )

From: Bernie Bjorklund
Date: 07-Sep-22




Phil.....you stated it perfectly! For me having survived a horrific motorcycle accident I feel blessed to even pull 35 pounds.

From: mangonboat
Date: 07-Sep-22




I'm not judging, because I have been known to shoot some really 'tender' venison-on-the-hoof. But 35# isn't enough of a deer for me.

From: Therifleman
Date: 07-Sep-22




When competing in offhand rifle matches I built a 29 caliber that was 9.5 pounds. It performed great. I was 180 pounds at the time. I'm 135 now and can no more hold that rifle steady than I can shoot a 50# bow accurately. I shoot bows in the low 40# range because that's what yeilds the most consistency and accuracy for me. And for me it's not about working up to a heavier bow or putting in the time--- I shoot every day. I've seen more guys who were overbowed and underbowed.

From: Boker
Date: 07-Sep-22




Boy we love to debate bow poundage on this fourm.

I am no expert so take anything I say with a grain of salt but as of today here is my 2 cents worth.

35lb will kill a deer and likely many other big game animals.

You cant debate that because it has been done already.

I personally read an article where a lady killed an elk with a 38lb recurve.

As others have said it comes down to well tune and prepared equipment. great shot placement is always a must for any ethical kill.

I have had friends debate the same issue with rifles.

Here’s a fact not an option. You are better off shooting an animal in the vitals with a 223 than hitting them in the butt with a 30/06.

Same goes for bows. You may shoot 50+ poundage bows but if you can’t hit the side of a barn with any consistent accuracy then your setting yourself up for a huge disappointment as well as making all other bowhunter look bad to boot.

I’ll go as far as to say your an unethical hunter if you are more worried about the poundage of the bow vs your ability tune, prepare and place shots consistently in the vitals.

If someone with health problems can only handle 35lbs accurately then I am all for it as long as they put in the time to make the equipment flawless.

On the other hand if someone is shooting 35lbs just because they are not willing to take the time to build up the strength and Stamina to shoot more poundage then we are getting back in the lane of an unethical hunter in my opinion.

Let’s be honest 45lbs isn’t hard for any HEALTHY adult man to draw.

There’s no reason not to shoot as much poundage as one can comfortably handle and again shoot accurately.

For me concerning deer hunting weights, I feel like that’s in the 45-50lb range. now if I was hunting larger game such as elk id try to stick to the extreme higher side of that while staying within my limitations of accuracy. If it’s small game then the opposite is likely true.

3d and just for fun is obviously whatever one chooses.

Will a 223 kill a deer when shot in the vitals? absolutely but would I rather hit the vitals with a 30/06? Most definitely

Is a vital shot with a 300mag any more effective than a 30/06? Probably not but sure ain’t any less.

it’s a individual responsibility within the limits of state regulations to be an ethical hunter.

Be honest with yourself and about your own abilities. If you are don’t worry about what others think or say.

As hunters/bowhunters we owe it to the game animal to be confident of a clean harvest and if we like it or not our choices are a reflection of all bowhunters.

Traditional archery is already under the microscope as an unethical hunting practice in

Many archery circles.

Likely due to ignorance of the equipment or the impression left by trad guys that didn’t take the sport seriously.

However I know it and if we are honest we all know that the bows we choose to hunt with are nowhere near a match for modern equipment on many levels.

So is 35lbs trad bow capable of killing a deer? I think so but we should take the time to consider more than just that in my opinion.

From: Wudstix Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 07-Sep-22




I feel fortunate to have survived several vehicle accidents and ambulance rides and still be able to draw my hunting bows (62-71#). Even walked away from a couple MT Bike "sudden stops" without any serious injuries.

From: babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 07-Sep-22




Bunch of trolls. LOL. We said Phil. After my shoulder surgery I could not lift my arm let alone pull a bow. And I can not imagine having my chest opened up. I say do what you do to stay in the game. It has taken me 3 years but I am now shooting 52 lbs. I have to work at it but i would not hesitate to shoot 35. I killed two deer 7 months after my surgery with 35 lbs. So it can be done. I sure am not as strong as I once was.

From: Harleywriter
Date: 07-Sep-22




Phil, I’ve had my chest cracked open for a Quadruple bypass; I’ve had my bow shoulder rebuilt twice and I took a fall shortly after my bypass and ripped all the wires loose in my chest.

I had my thyroid removed because it was covered in tumors. But, no C.

I sat at a desk for 45 years in a high stress job and dealt with two or three daily deadlines. I blame that for much of the wear n tear.

Right now I’m dealing w two knees that don’t work right and keep me from walking for more than a couple of blocks. Maybe it’s the arthritis that runs in the family.

So yeah, Phil, I do agree with you. I am fortunate. I can still shoot a bow and I can build up to a hunting weight. It takes a little work.

From: Harleywriter
Date: 07-Sep-22




Oh. And my apologies to the OP. I don’t know what came over me. Bad day at Blackrock, I guess.

From: Phil Magistro
Date: 07-Sep-22




Harleywriter, you are fortunate indeed. Good for you.

From: Jed Gitchel
Date: 07-Sep-22




My kids shoot a 35# Shakespeare necedah. I would not hesitate to hunt with that bow.





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