We highly recommend the use of modern compound bows with draw weights in the 50-70lb range. The use of a 100 grain or bigger fixed blade, cut on contact broadhead is highly recommended for all archery elk hunts. In our opinion and experience, expandable or chisel tip style broadheads wound more elk than they kill. The following are some of our favorite broadheads based on field performance: G5 Montec, Muzzy Phantom, Magnus Snuffer, NAP Hellrazor, and German Kinetics Silverflame XL.
Most archery shots will range from 20-50 yards. We encourage all our hunters to practice shooting from various angles to include: standing, kneeling, and uphill/downhill positions out to 60 yards. We also recommend setting a fixed 5 pin sight at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards to ensure accuracy in all scenarios. Hunters should also purchase a bow sling to prevent wrist strain.
Scoped, bolt action rifles are the most common weapon of choice for elk hunting out west. The most popular cartridges are 7MM and 300 Mag. Variable power scopes in the 3x9x40 range are the most common, although several clients have started using high power and larger objective lens scopes. Rifles should be zeroed in for 300 yards unless your scope has a ballistic compensating reticle. Practice shooting from various positions (prone, off steady sticks, over a pack, kneeling). There is a wide variety of bullets suitable for elk hunting. The following bullets are some of our favorites and have proven themselves in the field: Nosler Partition, Nosler Trophy Bonded Tip, Winchester XP3, Winchester E-Tip, and Nosler Accubond.
Scoped, in-line .50 caliber modern muzzleloaders are recommended for our elk hunts. Variable power scopes in the 3x9x40 range are the most common. Nikon and Leupold both make a great ballistic compensating muzzleloader scope. Muzzleloaders should be zeroed in for 125 yards, unless your scope has a ballistic compensating reticle. Hunters should be confident shooting out to 200 yards and should know their ballistics and performance out to 250 yards. Practice shooting from various positions (prone, off steady sticks, over a pack, kneeling). We recommend using a premium bullet in the 250-350 grain weight range. Bullets we recommend are Parker Productions Ballistic Extreme, Barnes Spitfire T-EZ, TC Shockwave, and Hornady SST. Powerbelt bullets are not allowed for our muzzleloader hunts. In our experience, powerbelts have wounded 10x more elk than they have ever killed.