Elephant with a bow?

Charles de Ribeau

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A friend just returned from a safari in South Africa. He told me that on the return flight he sat next to guy who claimed to be a PH and also claimed to have successfully hunted elephant with a bow. The guy said that the bow he used had a 100 lb draw. There are several things about this story that make me suspicious. What you folks think? Is this a plausible story or more likely BS? I know that Fred Bear took an elephant, but he was a special case and probably shot everything that was legal in his day.
 
Some have but something I do not agree with.....elephant deserve better......

Is it bowhunting you disagree with or just bowhunting for an elephant?
 
Tom Miranda did an ele with bow on a TV show once. Not sure if it was edited or not but bull went down within 100 yds with a heart shot.

I know @mrpoindexter was looking into this at one time.
 
A friend just returned from a safari in South Africa. He told me that on the return flight he sat next to guy who claimed to be a PH and also claimed to have successfully hunted elephant with a bow. The guy said that the bow he used had a 100 lb draw. There are several things about this story that make me suspicious. What you folks think? Is this a plausible story or more likely BS? I know that Fred Bear took an elephant, but he was a special case and probably shot everything that was legal in his day.

Bowhunting for elephant is absolutely plausible and can be done quite effectively provided that the hunter is using the proper equipment. A bow with a 100lbs of draw weight and an arrow with a total arrow weight of 1,000+ grains is the standard minimum to consider for this large of an animal. With the proper set-up and a well-placed shot, a heart or double lung shot will dispatch the animal very quickly.

As far as the ethics of bowhunting for elephant or any of the larger dangerous game animals, that can and will likely be debated to death... I have found that most folks who have a negative opinion of bowhunting dangerous game also have little or no personal knowledge and experience with it.
 
I know a guy who killed an elephant with a bow. Back in say 1999 or so. He is a fanatic so would not have considered it a bow kill if his PH shot it. He used a Martin Fury bow that we helped him get setup. If you know anything about the original Firy you know they were tough to shoot because of the low brace height, much less the 90 lbs and Fury Cam. If I remember right he did the old trick of putting a 2018 arrow inside a 2219 or maybe 2315. Can’t remember. He used a two blade broadhead. Maybe a Zwicky or Eclipse. He used to come in the store to shoot and after a round or two we’d have to help him get to full draw. He also killed an absolutely huge hippo with the same bow. He was a pretty incredible hunter.

Tink Nathan also killed elephant with a bow. As I believe has Pete Shepley of PSE bows.
 
A friend just returned from a safari in South Africa. He told me that on the return flight he sat next to guy who claimed to be a PH and also claimed to have successfully hunted elephant with a bow. The guy said that the bow he used had a 100 lb draw. There are several things about this story that make me suspicious. What you folks think? Is this a plausible story or more likely BS? I know that Fred Bear took an elephant, but he was a special case and probably shot everything that was legal in his day.
Bowhunting for elephant is absolutely plausible and can be done quite effectively provided that the hunter is using the proper equipment. A bow with a 100lbs of draw weight and an arrow with a total arrow weight of 1,000+ grains is the standard minimum to consider for this large of an animal. With the proper set-up and a well-placed shot, a heart or double lung shot will dispatch the animal very quickly.

As far as the ethics of bowhunting for elephant or any of the larger dangerous game animals, that can and will likely be debated to death... I have found that most folks who have a negative opinion of bowhunting dangerous game also have little or no personal knowledge and experience with it.
It’s been done and first time, I believe, was in the 1950’s by Howard Hill. Howard Hill. Howard killed a bull elephant in Africa with a wood long bow with a supposed draw weight of 175lbs..he likely made the bow himself as well arrows in 40” length (no idea the weight). There is camera footage that captures the feat however it is poor quality. I also believe there is some reports (unconfirmed) that the Elephant was first “shot” and Howard finished it off —-not sure on the accuracy of that or if it was only rumor. Either way, Howard was credited as the first to take an elephant with a bow without use of “poison tipped arrow”. Considering the modern archery equipment today - I believe the feat very achievable and easier (Not easy) then 70 years ago. As far as ethical - that is for each Hunter to decide.
 
I know a guy who killed an elephant with a bow. Back in say 1999 or so. He is a fanatic so would not have considered it a bow kill if his PH shot it. He used a Martin Fury bow that we helped him get setup. If you know anything about the original Firy you know they were tough to shoot because of the low brace height, much less the 90 lbs and Fury Cam. If I remember right he did the old trick of putting a 2018 arrow inside a 2219 or maybe 2315. Can’t remember. He used a two blade broadhead. Maybe a Zwicky or Eclipse. He used to come in the store to shoot and after a round or two we’d have to help him get to full draw. He also killed an absolutely huge hippo with the same bow. He was a pretty incredible hunter.

Tink Nathan also killed elephant with a bow. As I believe has Pete Shepley of PSE bows.
Do you know what Country allows bow hunting for Elephant? Is it only SA? Regarding a bow killed Elephant that also required a rifle shot from the PH - that would might take away some of the “accomplishment” for the Archer. Not that for “safety Reasons” it wouldn’t be understandable but I think many Hunters and Archers want to take the animal unassisted. Also, I believe that Pope & Yound does Not recognize bow trophies if a firearm was also used.
 
Do you know what Country allows bow hunting for Elephant? Is it only SA? Regarding a bow killed Elephant that also required a rifle shot from the PH - that would might take away some of the “accomplishment” for the Archer. Not that for “safety Reasons” it wouldn’t be understandable but I think many Hunters and Archers want to take the animal unassisted. Also, I believe that Pope & Yound does Not recognize bow trophies if a firearm was also used.
I think it was Zimbabwe where he went. Not sure what’s allowed these days.
 
I remember watching a woman on one of the hunting shows take an elephant with a bow. That was several years ago. Don’t remember which one.
 
I know someone who has done a couple elephant and several hippo with a bow. Not my cup of tea at all.
 
I know bow hunters who have taken elephant and hippo with a bow. One hunter made a one-shot kill on an elephant. It is a doable hunt with the proper equipment and proper shot placement.

I had a PH tell me that most elephant bow hunts ended with a gun.
 
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One shot kill. It is legal in TZ if you apply for a permit.
 

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