You can hunt wild deer and turkey with a 40 lb recurve bow. Nevertheless, you must first check your state’s bow hunting regulations for imposed minimum draw weight.
All bows are available in different draw weights to cater to every archer’s needs and fit. Included in the roster of various draw weights for recurve bows is the 40 lb. However, it is also important to note that due to the difference in draw weights, not all recurve bows have similar penetration power.
For those with a 40 lb recurve draw weight, you may wonder whether you can hunt with such a draw weight in the next hunting season. Although draw weights can increase, it will take you months to work on it.
Luckily, you can generally hunt with a 40 lb recurve bow; however, do not expect you can take out large animals like elk using this draw weight. You would require higher draw weights to take down animals included in the big game.
Even if you insist, you will only end up wounding and not ethically killing the animal because of insufficient penetration power. Thus, it is better not to push through with this idea and stick with smaller animals until you increase your draw weight.
On the bright side, you can instead take down wild turkeys and deers with your 40 lb recurve bow. Most hunters agree that a 40 lb recurve draw weight is the ideal minimum draw weight to give an ethical kill.
Aside from penetration power, your state’s bow hunting regulations are another thing you must consider and be aware of to avoid legal consequences. Some states impose a minimum draw weight, whereas some don’t.
An excellent example of states in the USA that don’t require a minimum draw weight are Kansas, Texas, and Iowa. Meanwhile, states like Connecticut, Illinois, and North Carolina, imposed a minimum bow draw weight of 40 lb for hunting.
Other states like Maine, Colorado, and Delaware have a lower minimum draw weight requirement of 35 lb.
Nonetheless, don’t forget to double-check your current state bow hunting regulations first before joining the hunting games.
You can also check out these other recurve draw weights and note what they can offer for hunting:
- 25 to 30 lb recurve bow
- 35 lb recurve bow
- 45 lb and above recurve bow
Unfortunately, 25 to 30-lb recurve bows are more suitable for target archery than hunting. You will likely have trouble successfully hitting and killing the animal with such draw weights because they don’t have enough power to penetrate and ensure an ethical kill.
On the contrary, such draw weights are suitable for youth and small-frame females for target archery. They will be able to successfully hit the target from about 60 to 70 yards away with proper form and aim.
Compared to 25 to 30 lb recurve bows, 35 lb recurve bows can be suitable for hunting in some conditions. Some hunters don’t recommend a 35 lb draw weight for hunting because often, it does not deliver enough kinetic energy and force.
However, if you insist on using a 35 lb recurve bow for hunting, it is ideal not to shoot more than a 15-yard distance to ensure you can pierce the target successfully.
Moreover, some states impose a 35 lb minimum bow draw weight for hunting, so it will be at least worth a try as long as you are comfortable and have enough skills.
Regarding target archery, you can easily hit the target at a distance of more than 80 yards with a 35 lb recurve bow.
Any recurve bow with draw weights 45 lb and up is pretty much suitable for hunting and target archery. You won’t ever feel restrained with such draw weights because of their capabilities that you cannot materialize in lower poundages.
Furthermore, you won’t have difficulty looking for recurve bows with such draw weights because they are in high demand due to their high kinetic energy and force, ideal for hunting. High draw weight recurve bows can also take down giant animals.
Hunting isn’t as easy as randomly selecting a recurve bow with any draw weight to kill ethically. You will not have too much trouble hunting with recurve bows 40 lbs and up, especially if you are comfortable with them.
How to choose a recurve bow for hunting?
Identifying the following: draw weight, intended use, bow weight, limb quality, bow length, riser quality, and bow manufacturer will help you choose the right to recurve bow for hunting.
Selecting the suitable recurve bow for you to use for hunting can be puzzling, especially for some who are yet to get into the field.
Here is a list of the following things you must identify to help you choose a recurve bow for hunting:
- Draw weight
- Intended use
- Bow weight
- Limb quality
- Bow length
- Riser quality
- Bow manufacturer
Draw weight is one of the most critical factors when buying a recurve bow for hunting. As mentioned, you must choose a recurve bow with a draw weight not less than the allowable minimum imposed by your state.
Moreover, note which recurve bow draw weight allows you to penetrate the target successfully. Besides this, you must also remember that, unlike compound bows, recurve bows have a fixed weight at a particular draw length.
Since the draw length is the constant factor in the equation, calculate your draw weight by adding or subtracting two to three pounds for every inch under or over the 28-inch draw length.
The rule regarding the usage of recurve bows is that not all are suitable for hunting but are all ideal for target shooting. It means that not all recurve bow models are for both hunting and target archery.
Some recurve bows you cannot use for hunting may be due to low poundage or design. In finding the right recurve bow for hunting, you must select the one that can penetrate the target’s bone, thick skin, and fat tissue.
Therefore, identifying where you intend to use your recurve bow can help you decide if you should go for high poundage or not.
Another factor to consider is the recurve bow weight to choose. You may think bow weight isn’t that important, but when you go on the whole day carrying around your bow in the woods during the hunt, you would wish you should have bought a lightweight bow instead.
Lightweight recurve bows are easy to carry around and will not make you get tired quickly.
Look for recurve bow limbs containing fiberglass material. They are ideal for hunting because limbs with fiberglass are more resistant to bending and breaking.
When you go hunting, carrying a recurve bow that is not too long is better to avoid inconveniences such as getting hit by branches that create noise and startles the target.
The ideal bow length for hunting is generally from 58 to 62 inches. Try to look for recurve bows with size falling into such a category.
Be careful not to opt for ultrashort ones. Although smaller and easy to maneuver, accuracy is difficult to achieve with such bows and tends to produce harsh string angles.
You can also go for take-down recurve bows which can give you an advantage if you are packing into a hunting area.
Choose a recurve bow with a riser that gives you better control and handling while aiming for the target. Furthermore, a good quality riser comes with a comfortable grip and high durability that won’t produce a lot of vibrations and sound when you release the bowstring.
Moreover, most archers highly recommend selecting a recurve bow riser with brass bushings since it will allow you to install additional accessories and tools you need for hunting.
Be careful in determining which bow manufacturer you would want to buy recurve bows from since some of them don’t live up to expectations. Look into the bow manufacturer’s history, bows’ unique selling point, and customer reviews.
Purchasing a recurve bow from a trusted and high-quality manufacturer gives you peace of mind. Therefore, carefully examine the bow manufacturer’s reputation first before deciding to look into the recurve bows they sell for hunting.
By considering the following factors above and identifying each one, you now have a helpful guide that can help you find the correct recurve bow for hunting that is suitable for you.
What are the tips when hunting with a lower draw weight recurve bow?
Hunting with a low draw weight recurve bow is challenging because of its low penetration power. You can instead shoot at closer distances, use fixed-blade broadheads, never downsize arrow weight, establish a plan, focus on accuracy, and take ethical shots to compensate for the low poundage.
There are challenges in hunting using a low draw weight recurve bow, including less penetration power. You can tell that a recurve bow falls in the low poundage category if it has a draw weight lesser than 40 lb.
Most hunters that use such recurve bows faces such difficulties because they release lesser kinetic energy and force, resulting in lower penetration power than high-poundage ones.
Despite such disadvantages, below are some practices that can help you still aim and successfully shoot your target:
- Shoot at closer distances
- Use fixed-blade broadheads
- Never downsize arrow weight.
- Establish a plan
- Focus on accuracy
- Take ethical shots
Using a recurve bow with low draw weight makes it hard for you to shoot the moving target accurately and successfully at far distances. Hence, it would help if you instead shoot at closer distances, not more than 15 yards.
You’ll also have more chances of hitting the target on its vital parts since shooting at closer distances doesn’t lessen your arrow’s penetration too much compared to father distances which are primarily ideal for high draw weight bows.
In shooting low draw weight recurve bows, you don’t want to waste the limited kinetic energy as you release your arrow. It is important to note that although mechanical broadheads are a great option in hunting, they pose a disadvantage to low-poundage recurve bows.
Unlike fixed-blade broadheads, mechanical broadheads use kinetic energy as they expand. Thus, it would be best to use scalpel-sharp fixed-blade broadheads for maximum penetration.
Understandably, speed is an essential aspect for every hunter in hunting. However, speeding up your shoot has underlying consequences.
Therefore, remember never to downsize your arrow weight too much because doing so can prevent it from effectively penetrating the target’s thick skin and tissues.
Always remember that it is not the speed you are after but to maximize the limited penetration power of your recurve bow.
Nothing beats a carefully planned hunting plan. Most hunters forget that preparedness is a critical factor in a successful hunt. Pay extra attention to the external factors that can affect your hunting, such as weather and animal patterns.
You can also start devising a hunting scenario in your mind, or you can write down your plans to remind you from now and then.
Accuracy will always be the primary factor that concerns all hunters and target archers alike. However, for hunters shooting with a low draw weight recurve bow, the emphasis on accuracy is more significant.
Don’t forget that hunting not only depends on your bow’s power but is more of a sport of accuracy. That’s why it is crucial to practice as often as possible, especially in areas you lack that are critical in hunting.
Thus, work a lot on your shooting accuracy and proper placement to deliver a deadly shot to your moving target.
In hunting, it is a rule of thumb and essential to take ethical shots. If you aren’t 100 percent confident your arrow won’t ethically kill the animal, please don’t take the shot and wait for another perfect timing.
Check out these enumerated points to ensure you’re taking an ethical shot:
- Only shoot at a distance that is comfortable for you.
- Don’t hunt with weapons you are not familiar with or uncomfortable using.
- Go for kill shots, not those that aim to wound animals and leave them suffering for long.
- Make sure your broadheads are always brand new when you hunt.
Great penetration power is significant in hunting, but you don’t have to push yourself too much and shoot at an uncomfortable draw weight just because you think low-poundage recurve bows can never be a good one to use for hunting.
You only need to know what techniques and practices to follow to compensate for the downsides.
It is possible to hunt with a 40 lb recurve bow as long as your state bowhunting regulations permit it. Since not all hunters can shoot with high draw weight recurve bows, you must choose the suitable one for hunting and improve some areas to make up for what you lack to have a successful hunt.