I was reading through some old posts about minimum draw weight for bows used to hunt deer.
I thought I would share a story for you.
For years I hunted with very fast heavy draw weight bows with light weight very fast arrows. My typical draw weight was 70-75 pounds in my compond bow. In fact I have an early production Bear Jennings Carbon Extreme that was given to me by Tom Jennings in 1988 in the old Bear Jennings Plant in Archer, Florida. That bow was rated at 80 pounds draw weight and I hunted with it for a number of years and harvested my fair share of game with it.
I joined the Military in 1989 and I retired early last year. This is where my story really begins. As I said I had always hunted with high draw weight bows because I believed like others on this board that the heavier the draw weight the better it was to harvest game. Well in 2004 that all changed for me. I was deployed to Fallujah in November of 2004 as a Combat Medic. The fighting was pretty intense and I was shot in my left wrist by an insurgent. The round penetrated my wrist and shattered it along with my Ulna. I medivac out to germany then back to the states where surgeons repaired the damage. They basically rebuilt my wrist and ulna. I have 18 screws, a titanium plate,along with a titanium rod through the center on my ulna, holding everything together. It took me three operations and a year of rehab to get back 40 percent of the strenth and use of my left wrist and arm. Let me tell you I was really looking forward to getting back to shooting and hunting with my bow after I was all healed up. I come to find out that my left wrist was unable to hold the strain of a 70 pound compound bow any longer. I thouight I would not be able to hunt again when I decided to try a recurve bow set at 25 pounds and I was able to shoot that with some discomfort but able to shoot all the same. I slowly worked my way up to a 30 pound then a 35 and finally a 40 pound recurve bow. I was finally able to hunt again as my state requires a minimum of 40 pounds of draw weight to hunt with.
Hunting season 2008 on my first hunt with the 40 pound recurve, I was sitting in a natural ground blind when a nice six point deer walked out at 20 yards and presented me with a nice broad side shoot. My wood ceder arrow with a Bear Broadhead punched clean through and the deer ran less than 50 yards. I killed two more deer and a 210 pound wild hog that same hunting season. The biggest deer weighed 130 pounds. All were complete shoot throughs except for the hog which was a quartering away shot. The arrow almost penetrated the hog except for the fletching end that the hog broke off when he ran throght the woods. All shoots were under 30 yards.
2009 hunting season I was using traditional archery equipment I made my self. I constructed a Osage Orange bow with a 39 pound draw weight at 28 inches and ceder arrows using obsidian broadheads I made. I was again at my favorite hunting spot on opening day of archery season when a nice size doe walked out at 15 yards and I connected with my self made bow and arrow and the shot passed clean through the doe and she was down. I was able to get a nice 8 point later in the season with the same set up and it too passed clean through except for a few inches of the fletchings.
I guess the point I am trying to make is you do not need all that draw weight to make a clean kill on deer. You just need good shot placement and know the equipment you are using and its limitations. I practice at 20 and 30 yards consistantly so I limit my shots to that distance.
This year I am taking my traditional bow and arrow out west to hunt elk and I hope to have the same kind of success will let you know how it goes.