Hunting Outdoor

Draw Weight for Elk

Written by Chris Alan

Maximum draw weight and arrow draw length, expressed in pounds and inches, respectively, are used to determine a bow’s power. People frequently make the error of buying a bow whose maximum draw weight they can easily pull back while standing in the store. 

They are unaware of two factors that may prevent them from smoothly drawing back the bow during a hunt while seated in a tree stand on a chilly day and wearing heavy clothes. First of all, standing is easier to reach full draw than sitting. Second, cold weather impairs your muscles’ efficiency even when standing.

You’ve undoubtedly spent a lot of time online trying to get a straight answer from blogs and hunting websites on the ideal draw weight for Elk. This search process could be puzzling and frustrating. I put together this simple approach to help new hunters feel more at ease choosing a draw weight for elk to help make things a little easier.

Ideal draw weight for Elk

Despite the fact that every hunter will have a distinct choice, the average draw weight is between 45 and 80 pounds. How then can you choose a draw weight that is suitable for you?

Of course, each hunter will have a preferred weight. Consider your comfort level with your draw weight and how much control you have at that weight. Several bows have a draw weight of at least 80 pounds, although that serves to improve them. You’ll get more precise and penetrating shots with higher-pound bows, but if you can’t reliably handle your bow at that weight, you’re in huge trouble.

However, some individuals can only lift 45 to 50 pounds. At that weight, they will also be capable of killing an elk. But they will need a much cleaner angle, a closer picture, and the right positioning.

Beginners in elk hunting should start with a draw weight of 50 pounds, while one of our experts suggests starting with 55 pounds. Add five pounds to your pull when you can fire safely and accurately with this weight from a variety of positions. Repeat this technique until you have a weight that you can hold for one to two minutes.

The normal hunter should weigh between 60 and 70 pounds once their muscles for drawing back a compound bow have developed. With this much draw weight, an elk can be pierced.

Don’t let ego stand in the way. You can consistently shoot deadly shots into an elk even if you don’t feel comfortable pulling back 70 lbs. It’s almost certain that you won’t make a good shot if you can’t maintain proper form throughout the entire shot.

Minimum draw weights for Elk by state

There are distinct draw weight regulations for each state that permits elk hunting. The maximum let-off percentage is constrained in several states. The amount of energy your compound bow holds onto while drawing all the way is known as the let-off percentage. The cams store this energy in your compound bow.

With this let-off, it is simpler to continue holding the weight while you are fully drawn. For instance, a 50-pound draw weight with an 80% let-off would feel like you were carrying 10 pounds at full draw.

The elk hunting season is almost here, so hunters prepare their gear and attempt to choose which state they will hunt in. The minimum draw weight required for elk hunting varies from 30 to 50 pounds depending on the state you are hunting in. If you can easily pull back a heavier draw weight, go for it. For minimum draw weight specifications, check your local laws.

Minimum draw weight requirements

When it comes to drawing weights, some minimal requirements are in place to provide a quick and accurate kill. State-to-state variations in these requirements can be seen. Most of them have a minimum draw weight requirement of 40 lbs. In reality, minimum draw weights for specific species have been established in a number of jurisdictions, including Alaska. 

For deer, they require 40 pounds, but for larger animals like moose, they need 50 pounds. There are certain states that even impose restrictions on how much freedom you can have. For instance, the 80% let off clause is no longer in effect in Colorado. A general rule of thumb for the weight needed to take a big game animal is 40 lbs for a game the size of a whitetail deer and 50 lbs for larger animals like elk. 

The creature becomes larger as its hide, bones, and chest cavity become stronger, denser, and larger. To put it simply, there are more creatures and challenging obstacles for the arrow to overcome.

Need a specific draw weight

It varies from shooter to shooter what draw weight feels comfortable. The majority of adult male shooters shoot between 60 and 70 pounds, while some shooters can shoot 70, 80, or 90 pounds. A lot of huge game species can be easily dispatched by 40-pound compound arrows when used with modern bows, which are highly powerful. 

Whitetail deer hunting is permitted for animals weighing more than 40 pounds. For larger animals, such elk or moose, a realistic recommendation is to have a draw weight of at least 60–65 lbs.

As a general rule, a shooter should be able to utilize a bow for about 30 consecutive shots before becoming weary. If the shooter is unable to draw the bow 30 times, the draw weight needs to be reduced.


Getting outside and shooting is the greatest method to fine-tune your ideal bow hunting setup. To find combinations that are effective for you, experiment with various draw weights and broadheads. A successful archery hunt begins before you set foot on the field. Getting acquainted with a draw weight is one of the most crucial components in the puzzle of harvesting an animal. The other pieces must all come together at the appropriate time.

I hope that this article helped you decide on the appropriate draw weight for your upcoming elk hunt and that it highlighted your objectives.

About the author

Chris Alan

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