Hunting Outdoor

Arrow Weight for Elk Hunting

Written by Chris Alan

You’re probably wondering what elk arrow weight is best for your needs. Aren’t you?

Elk are as majestic as they are enormous, making it a significant effort to kill one with a bow. If your arrow is not sufficiently heavy, it will not pierce the elk’s vitals even if you make the perfect shot. As a result, the elk is hurt or condemned to a painfully slow death. Making every effort to collect your game as humanely and responsibly as possible is part of being a responsible hunter.

That is why selecting the appropriate arrow weight is crucial. The ideal arrow weight for elk hunting is described here.

Ideal Arrow Weight for Elk

Elk arrows should be at least 450–550 grains in weight. The draw weight of your bow determines the arrow weight you should use. Making your arrow weigh around 6-7 grains for every 1lb of draw weight is a simple method for determining the arrow weight required for your specific bow setup. Therefore, a 490gr arrow will work nicely for you if your draw weight is set at 70 pounds (7×70 pounds). Your arrow must have the proper weight to have sufficient kinetic energy to kill an elk with ease.

To make the process of choosing an arrow weight more convenient, you can utilize an arrow weight calculator. The following are some more specifics for each bow and weight:

  • Broadhead weight for elk hunting (430+ grain)

  • Crossbow arrow weight for elk hunting (450 grain)

  • Optimum arrow weight for hunting elk hunting (450 grains)

  • Recurve bow arrow weight for elk hunting (500 grains)

Tips for Setting Arrow Weight

To make sure you have the right arrow set up for you, you need to be aware of a few fundamental tips.

  • Keeping Perfect Arrow Flight

Be careful; a smooth flight shouldn’t be compromised when setting up your arrows. Check to see if your arrows are not under-spined as well. Your shots will be entirely inaccurate since an arrow will bend and fly in an unexpected way. When fired, an arrow that has been badly under-spined may potentially explode. Due to the arrow’s inability to withstand the quick pressure created when the string is released, this will occur. 

If you could see it in slow motion, the line will essentially break in half, beginning at the notch and splitting through the middle of the tip, sending arrow pieces flying all over the place away from your body.

  • Shot Placement 

Even with the finest arrow setup, hitting solid shoulder bones will prevent you from effectively dispatching the animal. The shot placement is still crucial. Get ready for a long day or night of tracking.

  • Do Not Use Mechanical Broadheads

Mechanical broadheads are cool, but because they have moving parts, they are not trustworthy enough to be used for elk hunting. It is advisable to exclusively use fixed broadheads because the moving pieces add a layer of unpredictable uncertainty. Fixed broadheads are reliable and guarantee that you can repeatedly achieve the same results.

  • Selecting Correct Arrow Weight

As was indicated above, determining your accurate arrow weight is as simple as multiplying the weight of your bow by 7. For instance, multiplying a 60lb draw weight bow by 7 results in an arrow weighing 420g.

Best Arrow Speed for Elk

Given how robust and tough they are, one might assume it would take a thunder arrow to kill an elk. It’s just not true in that sense. How much kinetic energy your arrow is producing is the key thing you should be concerned with. Your arrow won’t have a chance to efficiently penetrate an elk’s vitals if it doesn’t have enough kinetic energy during flight.

Elk should be subjected to kinetic energies between 50 and 65 foot-pounds. To calculate the kinetic energy, multiply the arrow weight (arrow grains) by the square of the arrow speed (determined with a clock), and then divide the result by 450,800.

The formula to find the kinetic energy of your arrow is: 

KE = (m*v2)/450,800

Where M stands for the arrow weight (arrow grains), V for the arrow speed, and KE for the kinetic energy, the output to the equation will be kinetic energy expressed in foot-pounds.

For example: 

If your arrow weighs 450 grains and travels at 270 feet per second, you must multiply m=450 by v=270 squared to get 32,805,000. Simply divide the multiplication answer by 450,800; the output is 73 ft. lbs.

(The term “squared” refers to a number that is multiplied by itself)

What Should Be the Arrow Weight for Elk Hunting?

Your arrow’s average weight will vary depending on the desired outcomes and level of performance. It could appear simple to fire an arrow from the bow to the target. The mechanics of each shot are, however, positively influenced by the weight of the arrow.

The kinetic energy that arrows need to function comes from pulling a bow. When you finally let go of the bowstring, the energy is transferred to the bow. The arrow’s weight will affect variables, including target penetration, drop rate, and speed. 

These are all major aspects that will affect the outcomes you can assume when shooting elk. Typically, experienced shooters try out various arrow weights in an effort to maximize performance. You’ll also observe that arrows fall into one of three weight classes. The classes for these are light, midweight, and heavy.

The light arrows are simple to group tightly and fly quickly. However, they frequently need a lot of effort to adjust well. The heavier arrows fly more slowly but provide great penetration and wind resistance.

Problems like using the incorrect arrow weight with a bow can potentially cause long-term damage to the apparatus. Because of this, bow manufacturers design their products to work with particular arrow weights.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, we have observed that elk prefer arrows with a weight of 450–550 grains. Additionally, you can roughly calculate the weight you require by dividing the draw weight in pounds of your bow by 7.


Additionally, we now understand how vital kinetic energy is to kill an elk. And that you can determine how much kinetic energy your setup produces by using the formula KE = (m*v2)/450,800 so you can be aware that you have sufficient power to kill elk.

About the author

Chris Alan

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