Bow hunting is one of the most primal ways we hunters have to harvest an animal! But it’s also one of the most difficult ways as well. With bow hunting, there are many things to take into consideration before flinging an arrow towards your intended target, bringing up the point we are going to be talking about today. POUNDAGE! To me, this is one of the most important steps you can take in your bow hunting journey. Some of you might say or think “The faster it flies, the faster it dies!” But this, my friends is…UNTRUE! If you practice and become good enough to place your arrow in the correct spot or “Kill Zone” you can take down a massive bull elk with just 45 lbs of pull! Now, the most common heavy poundage in my opinion is 70lbs of pull. There are a lot of hunters that pull this weight, which is fine and a good weight to use if you can pass……THE TEST!!! You see, shooting at an animal and shooting at a target can be very different. When in a real hunting scenario you never really know what your intended prey might do while you’re pulling your bow into full draw. It could step behind a tree, bush, another animal, boulder….you get the picture. If the animal does this, blocking it’s vitals but leaving it’s eyes exposed, you have 2 options. #1 – You can try your very best to slowly and quietly ease your string back down. But let’s be honest, you are most likely going to get busted trying to make this happen and potentially blow an opportunity of a lifetime! #2 – You can sit there at full draw and wait him out and hope you have enough strength and fortitude to still make an accurate shot when the animal finally moves into position! Now while this is probably the best option, when that moment is happening and you’re in the mix of it, seconds seem like minutes and minutes like hours. So if you don’t want to be stuck in this situation and want to make sure you’re putting the odds in your favor for when this moment happens, and it will happen, this is the test you need to take upon yourself to truly decide what the right pound of pull is for you.
First, you want to make sure that when you pull your bow back you do so without having to arch your back and point your bow to the sky. You want to be able to smoothly pull your bow back while keeping your back straight and your bow in front of you. This creates less all around movement and allows you to keep your eyes where they belong…your target!
Next, you want to be able to hold your bow at full draw for at least 1 min and still make an accurate shot on your target. You may say “well shucks that’s easy!” If it is, then you are probably spot on for your weight and may even be able to take it up a notch. But if you try this, and by the end of the minute your struggling and can’t make an accurate shot, then you may want to take a long hard look at taking your poundage down 5 to 10lbs. I know for most of us there is a pride factor to being able to crank back as much weight as possible. But keep in mind there is even more satisfaction and pride in taking your dream animal and being ready for anything when the time comes.
I hope this helps some of you as much as it certainly has helped me. Happy Hunting and God Bless.