What’s a good draw weight to kill anything with a bow?

I know you also have to take into account kinetic energy, arrow weight and grain, and feet per second. I have hunting land with turkey, coyotes, whitetail deer, elk, and wild pigs. Someday I may hunt grizzlies but that’s getting ahead of myself. I’ve googled that killing anything below the size of an elk only requires a 40 pound draw weight. I struggle just a bit at drawing 70 pounds, which is more than enough to kill anything. Should I work out to be able to steadily shoot a 70 pound bow or shoot something around 55-65 pounds? 

7 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    There are bows with upwards of 75lbs draw weights.  That kind of power will take most animals (when paired with good shot placement). I personally stay around 50-55lbs while some hunters go as low as 30lbs.

    Practice, practice, practice! And check your local state hunting laws.

  • Adam D
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I would consider looking at various state laws to see what they require as a minimum. Many state hunting laws are written to provide a bit of buffer against people who are just plain bad at things. For example, some states place a 40 pound minimum for whitetail deer. This makes it a good bet that a 40 pound draw weight will probably be enough with a well placed shot, and 50 pounds would give you more margin for error.

    So go see what various states require for hunting elk, then if reasonable, tack on 5 or 10 more pounds of draw weight (if your bow shoots well at that amount) just for good measure.

  • 1 month ago

    You need to check with the game warden or rule book because some states require a minimum draw weight.

    In my opinion a 40lb to 45lb draw weigh would be enough. I have killed many deer with a 40 lb.

    draw weight. Good shooting.

  • 1 month ago

    Your first sentence much sums it up the bigger the game,usually the more energy required.

    My archery amounts to target but take same arrows and different bows.

    35Lb sinks an arrow near 1/3 its length into a bale, Tried a 60Lb hunter bow, sank the arrow completely. A lot faster=a lot more energy.

    There are many bow hunting sites, some with blogs and forums.

    A good place to sift through and decide what is best suited for you and the game you hunt. That hunting bow I shot was one of those compound, I see its engineering gives its energy to the arrow over a longer distance than the plain recurve.

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  • Matt
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    I shoot at 55lbs, more than enough to kill a whitetail which is what I primarily hunt. My first deer I harvest I shot with a 35lb draw from 15 yds.

  • zeno
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    I was told 60lbs and I use a old adjustable

    50 - 60 lbs Hoyt. I think it's a ultratec but

    I haven't used it in years. Someone broke

    Into my storage locker and stole 3 of these

    I pain stakingly put together exactly how

    I wanted them along with my aluminum

    Arrows I built. The replacement bows

    Haven't been modified or put together

    Yet. It seem every time I put something

    Nice together some A hole tries to steal

    It of take it away. Life sucks. The Hoyt

    Ultratec was the smoothest quietest

    Most accurate compound Bow I have ever found. It is under valued.

  • abdul
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    A 40-45 lb. draw should do it. Bows that are stronger than that tend to send the arrow clear thru the animal. That can cause it to get away and bleed to death and be wasted. If you intend to hunt grizz, you may need a heavier bow and heavy arrows. Check out this bowman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjV05RjyTPY

    Youtube thumbnail

    • Adam D
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      When bow hunting, the animal bleeding to death is sort of the objective, you're not putting enough energy on target to destroy internal organs or shock the whole system. An arrow passing through means 2 openings for the blood to come out.

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