Alaskan Moose Arrow
Q: I'm shooting a 70-pound compound bow that has an IBO rating of 290 fps and an AMO rating of 225 fps. I plan on using a 28-inch arrow with a 125-grain broadhead that cuts on impact. What arrow would you recommend for an Alaskan moose? What should the minimum overall weight of the arrow be?
-Dean Wessels, Fairbury, Illinois
A: The key for a big moose is penetration and that means not using an arrow shaft that's too light, regardless of your raw arrow speed. When I hunt moose I shoot a 28 1/2-inch Beman ICS Hunter 340 carbon shaft and 125-grain broadhead for a total arrow weight of about 441 grains.
At 263 fps, I get an initial kinetic energy of about 68 foot-pounds, which is plenty of punch for a big bull. I've tried lighter arrows on large game like this, and although the animals were recovered, I haven't been satisfied with the penetration.
You should also consider three other factors. First, be sure your broadhead is flying like a dart. Second, your broadhead blades should be so sharp that they scare you. Finally, take only broadside or quartering-away shots, taking great care to avoid hitting either the scapula or the stout front leg bone. Good luck! -Bob Robb
Whitetail Bowhunt Beginner
Q: I'm writing because I've been thinking about getting into bowhunting for white-tailed deer. I don't know anything about archery, and I'd like some advice on purchasing good, reasonably priced equipment.
-Danny Novinger, Princeton, Indiana
A: For starters, visit your local archery pro shop and meet the people working there. Not only will they give you valuable advice, but they can install many of the needed archery accessories-like an arrow nock, arrow rest and peep sight-that are tricky to do on your own. They can also assist you in adjusting your sight pins. In fact, most pro shops have an indoor archery range and they'll have you shooting accurately before you head home. If you don't have a pro shop nearby, drive to the nearest town that does-it's that important.
You should be able to buy a decent "package"-bow, sight, arrow rest and quiver-for $200 to $250. PSE and Buckmaster both have packages in this price range. One final cost-saving tip: Invest in a high-quality target and your arrows will last for years. I use a Morrell Carbon Six Shooter target, which works great with both field points and broadheads. -Dave Maas
Q: I'm 13 years old and interested in bowhunting. Several years ago I was given a Ben Pearson Pony 7020 bow. It's 5 feet long with the number 7020-35#. Until now, I shot it traditional, but as I was looking at it the other day I noticed something that changed my mind.
On the side by the arrow pegs there's an arrow that points at me.
Could I have been holding it wrong? What kind of arrows should I use?
-Chris Sutton, Selah, Washington
A: Your Ben Pearson Pony bow with the arrow icon was built between 1968 and 1970. The arrow icon was first attached to Pearson bows in 1968. The numbers 7020-35# indicate the catalog model number and the bow's draw weight of 35 pounds. It was available in weights of 20 to 40 pounds. The dual peg arrow rest allows the bow to be shot either right- or left-handed.
When strung properly, the arrow icon should be pointing forward which leads me to believe that perhaps you are stringing the bow backwards, a rather common mistake. The Pony is a semi-recurve design, which means it should be strung against the slight limb curves, not from tip-to-tip on the inside of the curves. If you are stringing it incorrectly, you will find that by reversing the bow's bracing to its proper position, it will be much more powerful and eliminate the chance of the string coming off the tips if it's pulled too far.
Stringing it incorrectly can be dangerous.
I suggest you locate an archery pro shop in your area and have them measure your draw length which will determine the bows pulling weight at that draw. They can then fit you with properly spined arrows to give you optimum accuracy and performance from the bow. -Jim Dougherty