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Bowhunting ELEPHANT Best Setup

This is a discussion on Bowhunting ELEPHANT Best Setup within the Bowhunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hopefully, in august I will have my first elephant bowhunting safari in ZIM. I am thinking about using FMJ dangerous ...

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    Default Bowhunting ELEPHANT Best Setup

    Hopefully, in august I will have my first elephant bowhunting safari in ZIM.
    I am thinking about using FMJ dangerous game, 315 grs Ashby single bevel bh, FOBS, for a total weight of 1000 grs, shot at 220 fps, with a KE of around 105,5 and a Momentum of about 1.
    Any suggestion ? Do you think it is enough energy ? I would not go upper with lbs, otherwise I need two bows...
    Let me know !
    Frank

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    Hi Doc,
    Welcome and I hope you get a chance to hunt jumbo with a bow. I will look around as I know I had some specs written down for a good elephant set-up. I saw on another forum that you posted you were planning on using a 65# bow. To be honest, I am not sure they will allow you to do that. I certainly would not even consider shooting an elephant under 95#'S and would try for 100+.
    I always carry two bows to Africa on safari. For the amount we spend on a good safari its always best to have a back-up. My regular safari bow is 80#'S and I would not use it for elephant. I used a 90# bow on a giraffe and a buff and I would not go any lighter myself on those animals and they are nowhere near as big. I know you stated you pass thru animals with a 65# but I would guess you would get poor penetration on an elephant. I will see what I can dig up for you and maybe someone on here has the laws for big game bow hunting in Zim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushbuck View Post
    ... maybe someone on here has the laws for big game bow hunting in Zim.
    Bowhunting in Zimbabwe
    Bowhunting plains game in Zimbabwe started in 1989 when the government began allowing bowhunting under special exception of the law. In 1999 the government of Zimbabwe officially opened bowhunting under new legislation.

    Bowhunting in Zimbabwe may only take place on Alienated (private) Land or Communal (tribal) Land. Bowhunting is illegal in Zimbabwe on National Parks Safari Areas.

    Bowhunting Class A Game (Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo) is not permitted in Zimbabwe unless a special bowhunting permit for those species has been granted by the general director of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) for which the safari operator must apply for well prior to the start of the bow hunt.

    General plains game bowhunting in the country at present leaves somewhat to be desired. There are a few isolated locations that are still acceptable but not the quality that there used to be.

    Zimbabwe offers a few isolated plains game areas that are still relatively good for bowhunting but not the quality that there used to be. The country however has great dangerous game hunting safaris by bow, however few operators have the experience to conduct bowhunting safaris, so careful selection of the hunting outfitter is very important.

    Zimbabwe does not have an additional bow qualification for professional hunters, however a professional guide or professional hunter licensed and registered with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) is required to be present during the hunt to guide and protect the hunting client.

    Minimum Equipment Requirements for Bowhunting in Zimbabwe
    • Class A Game
    Bow Kinetic Energy 80 ft/lbs
    Arrow Weight 700 grain
    (Elephant, Hippo, Buffalo)
    • Class B Game
    Bow Kinetic Energy 77 ft/lbs
    Arrow Weight 695 grain
    Broadheads with only two cutting edges
    (Lion, Giraffe, Eland)
    • Class C Game
    Bow Kinetic Energy 70 ft/lbs
    Arrow Weight 618 grain
    (Leopard, Crocodile, Kudu, Oryx / Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Zebra, Nyala, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc.)
    • Class D Game
    Bow Kinetic Energy 56 ft/lbs
    Arrow Weight 463 grain
    (Warthog, Impala, Reedbuck, Sitatunga, Duiker, Steenbok, Jackal, Game Birds, etc.)

    Bowhunting in Zimbabwe may only be done with compound bows. Bowhunting with recurve bows, longbows or crossbows is not permitted in Zimbabwe unless a special permit has been issued for which the safari operator must apply for six months prior to the start of the bow hunt. This special bowhunting permit comes at a substantial cost.

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    Great information by Jerome and good recommendation by Bushbuck.
    Tom

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    Thanks a lot everybody.
    My actual bow, an XLR8 Mathews, is actually set at 65; it' s performances are astonishing: I hunted 2 safaris with it, no dangerous game, with 535 grs arrows at 280-285 fps, KE around 87.
    I tested it set at 65 lbs with a 1000 grs arrow, having it fly at 205 fps.
    These days I will turn it up to it' s max, and will be around 72 lbs, with an estimated speed of 220 fps (that I will verify by cronograph, of course). To my opinion, these are values to be considered typical of a 80-85 lbs bow (with a Black Max you need to be almost in the 90 lbs...).
    Thanks again.

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    I am sure it is a great set-up Doc, But it is not legal. The Minimum is 80#'s looking at what Jerome posted. I personally never would appreciate a trophy that I took knowing I was breaking the law to get it. Another thing you have to consider is if something goes wrong, you take a chance of ruining bow hunting for future hunters. Hunting dangerous game with a bow has been a touchy subject at times and it has not always been legal.
    Do yourself, the animal, and fellow bow hunters justice. Follow the laws of the Country you are in and do your best for a quick, clean ethical kill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushbuck View Post
    I am sure it is a great set-up Doc, But it is not legal. The Minimum is 80#'s looking at what Jerome posted. I personally never would appreciate a trophy that I took knowing I was breaking the law to get it. Another thing you have to consider is if something goes wrong, you take a chance of ruining bow hunting for future hunters. Hunting dangerous game with a bow has been a touchy subject at times and it has not always been legal.
    Do yourself, the animal, and fellow bow hunters justice. Follow the laws of the Country you are in and do your best for a quick, clean ethical kill.
    It looks like the regs Jerome posted are speaking of minimum arrow weight and kinetic energy, and do not mention draw weight of the bow. Dr.Frank says he gets 105.5 ft-lbs kinetic energy from his set-up (kinetic energy being velocity^2 * weight which is only indirectly related to the draw weight of the bow), which appears to be well past the minimum legal limit. Am I missing something?

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    I think Bert might be right here. At least as far as the law reads.
    Tom

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    I would suggest a minimum 90# bow for Elephant, shooting a high FOC arrow of at least but preferably more than 1000-grains flying at/or faster than 230fps. Although some lower poundage speed bows do seem to have what it takes on paper, in practise it is quite the different thing.

    All the best of luck with your hunt!
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    Thanks again; we have to be quite shure about this legal matter. It looks to me also that the two parameters are KE and arrow weight. Of course, I perfectly agree with Bushbuck, everything must be perfectly legal. What I want to underline, is that with my bow I am perfecly confident, I have a lot of training and hunting experience with it, and know that under the worst scenario I can open it and remain steady for two minutes...
    I do not want to go with a "macho men" bow just to tell friends it' a 90...
    Anyway, if it will be necessary because of terminal ballistic or legal reasons, I will, but I have to know it quite in advance to have time enough for a serious training.
    Respect to the animal, and to Bowhunting, are the keys; that' s why I am asking you all friends and experts to give your opinion !
    Frank

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    One more thing to Engene; what should have to be the arrow total weight, in your opinion ?
    A 1200 grs flying at 230 is really a lot...
    Is this a personal opinion, or do you have some field data ?
    I ask because I take very seriously what you are writing...

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    After reviewing a great many hunts for Elephant with bow and arrow and the penetration achieved by all I have come to the conclusion that one absolutely needs as much "punch" as possible. Just for interest, my personal set-up for Elephant later this year is as follows:

    102# Athens "Big 5 Series" Accomplice (28.5")
    1185gr Easton Axis FMJ with brass inserts and weight tubes.

    As I said, one might get away with lesser equipment as they have all the specs on paper, but is this really the hunt on which you want to put a theory in practise? Not only is it highly inadvisable, but someone can get killed. I would rather have a set-up that can comfortably kill my animal than one that is marginal. I hope this helps?
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    I know a few people that have taken elephant with a bow, and they would never recommend anything less than a 90 pound bow...most would say 100 pound bow should be the minimum. You make a bad shot at all and you will be chasing that thing for days on end...and you may never catch up to it. I know the of PSE archery has lost elephants before. I know someone pretty prominent in SCI that chased after a elephant for 10 days after the initial shot didn't get good penetration...it was a nightmare of a hunt...they eventually got it.

    On a personal note, I think everyone that archery hunts needs to prepare to put the animal down as fast as possible, it looks terrible to the non hunting public when we don't end a life fast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.FrankB-Mimic View Post
    I do not want to go with a "macho men" bow just to tell friends it' a 90...

    Frank
    Hey Doc,
    Just a thought. I would never feel that someone who used a 375 or bigger to shoot an elephant instead of a 243 was tring to be "macho".
    I would say they gave there target the respect that it deserves.

    I would say however the guy that tried it with the 243 just to tell his buddies he slayed the beast with less gun than others was actually the one putting safety and respect aside for the sake of being "macho".
    Just sayin,..

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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    I know a few people that have taken elephant with a bow, and they would never recommend anything less than a 90 pound bow...most would say 100 pound bow should be the minimum. You make a bad shot at all and you will be chasing that thing for days on end...and you may never catch up to it. I know the of PSE archery has lost elephants before. I know someone pretty prominent in SCI that chased after a elephant for 10 days after the initial shot didn't get good penetration...it was a nightmare of a hunt...they eventually got it.

    On a personal note, I think everyone that archery hunts needs to prepare to put the animal down as fast as possible, it looks terrible to the non hunting public when we don't end a life fast!
    Perfectly said, I cannot agree more. Well said.
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    See, I just do not find it very useful to go ahead talking about lbs, considering the incredible evolution we are seeing in bows. Up to 2007, I used to shoot a Mathews LX set at 68#, 478 grs arrow at 240 fps. Then, a Drenalin at 68#, shooting a 500 grs arrow at 250 fps. Now, a Monster XLR8 set at 65#, shooting a 530 grs arrow at 285...
    And we are not talking about 15 years... we are talking about 4, and to duplicate the performances of my previous LX at 68#, I could shoot the same arrow with a 54-55 # Monster 5...
    To my opinion, once I have set the correct arrow weight and it's speed, the lower poundage a bow needs to get it, the better.
    INGOZI: what model and weight of BH is your choice ?
    BUSHBUCK: what I teach to hunters, talking about firearms, is "get the bigger YOU CAN EFFECTIVELY HANDLE".
    So, I perfectly agree with you, but it taked me some 10 years to really handle dangerous game rifles, and 100# would be too much for me.
    I must be conscious of my limits, otherwise i'll be a fool; then if it is not enought gun for the animal, I change the animal, not the gun.
    LAST QUESTION TO YOU ALL: Mathews just relased the new Safari (2100 boxes !); it is a 70-85#, and I really think it is intended for dangerous game hunting, elephant included, and has been engeneered by people who know what they are doing...
    What do you think ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.FrankB-Mimic View Post
    ... then if it is not enought gun for the animal, I change the animal, not the gun...


    Exactly! I understand not being able to handle enough bow. I would follow your advice you give to others with a gun.

    I dont know if the safari model was nessessarily made for Dangerous game, but it sure does look nice. I heard there were issues just a couple weeks ago so I am waiting a bit. I am not even sure if it is actually available yet. Once it is out and shot a bit I am planning on getting one myself, just because.

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    Is the safari model going to be special order only? They do look unique but $2100 is a lot for a bow. But I am a little cheap!
    Tom

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    the safari model is still not available. I heard maybe this summer, but nothing solid. Tom it would actually end up being around 6000. You figure we travel with 2 bows and you have to set both of them up.

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    I will say this, the guys, I know that have bow hunted elephants, went to the weight room everyday and worked on there muscle in there upper body and even their legs. They did a lot of preparation for the hunt. Heck, I even know the woman on the show "Dangerous Game" that did it a few years ago on Versus. If you are going to hunt elephant with a bow...you better be prepared!

    You should give Pete Shepley, owner of PSE Archery a call, he's lost elephants...hunting them with a bow. I have talked to Tom Miranda before too. You are going to need to pull a lot of weight. Maybe the Safari bow at 85 pounds is good enough....but I'd ask Mattews archery first.

    I agree with you a heavy arrow and sharp broadhead are very key....but a elephant is nothing to toy with, you could get someone killed playing around with the wrong set up.

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