bear

panhndlpoke

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So some friends of mine have been asking me to go with them to New Brunswick to hunt black bear this fall, and I think I'm going to go. Wife is on board and the cost isn't too crazy. $1500 for hunt, $160 for tags, $750 for flights, $500 for car and incidentals to bring it to about $3000.

It's over bait and you can take 2 bear. I'd rather do a spot and stalk, but thought for my first recurve bear hunt, maybe out of a tree stand over bait would maybe be a better beginner set up.

Anyone ever done anything like this?
 

TexasCowPoke

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I've never shot a bear. Doing so with a Recurve would be something special. I'd definitely be in a tree stand however!!!
You have to practice shooting from elevations a lot however. Sounds like a memory maker to me!
 

panhndlpoke

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I’m using a 19” Border Archery Covert Hunter ILF riser and a pair of Uukha VX1000 limbs. I believe they’re at about 42 lbs but I have to be at a minimum of 45 lbs. I don’t know if I can get there with these limbs and may need to buy a slightly heavier set. I’m hoping to get some chronograph speeds on the limbs this or next week so I begin to fine tune my arrow/limb combo.

I am trying to find out some KE needs and arrow weight needs to try to come up with a combo that makes sense.

Currently would be shooting a 500 grain arrow/two blade COC Eski-Lite broadhead.
 

TexasCowPoke

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Sounds good. The Covert Hunter is a top notch bow!

Tuning is THE thing, as you know. A well tuned setup is what allows you to shoot instinctively, imho. You probably have used this, but I'm a big advocate for Stu Millers dynamic spine calculator in matching arrows to a specific bow and poundage/draw length. Wish I were close so I could help... this is the fun part for me.
https://www.3riversarchery.com/dynamic-spine-arrow-calculator-from-3rivers-archery.html

It's fun to play with, at any rate. Just know what your poundage is at your comfortable draw-length*, as it often varies significantly from the stated poundage on the bow and we rarely draw the exact length stated on the bow for that poundage. *I finally learned to base by tuning setup on a draw length/poundage that is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch shorter than my "perfect form" draw length. I rarely have the situation that allows perfect form with a deer around the tree stand and I'm contorting all around to get drawn.
 
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panhndlpoke

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I use the 3 rivers calculator a lot. I’ve used it to help my choose.

I’m using a 34” Black Eagle Vintage crested arrow 400 spine with a 125 grain point.

The calculator says the arrow should weigh 466 but all of mine weigh within a grain or two of 490. I guess it’s possible I put heavier points on than I’m remembering. If so, I’ll have to re-figure my broadhead to match my arrow needs. Also, I think I will probably want an arrow weighing closer to 600 than 500. I have time to figure it out though.
 

TexasCowPoke

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Sounds like a great setup and like you've got it down pretty close now. 34 inch arrows are very long however (though some swear by them). The extra reach will help you keep the bears out of the tree stand with you.... :)

I use a 29.5 inch Gold Tip Traditional arrow (400) with my 27.25 inch draw. You can get brass inserts/weights as small as 5 gr washers up to 25, 50, 75, or 100 gr inserts to achieve what your looking for that fly well. I fletch my own arrows so I play with 3 or 4 fletch in various sizes and materials but have landed on using three 4 or 5 inch feathers.
I work in the extra weight of a lighted nock too in the calculator. Like I said, for me this is the fun part of getting the right combo that shoot where you look.
 
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panhndlpoke

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Well, I weighed my 135 eski-lite broad heads and they range from 138-145. My field points are 125 and the arrows were about 495ish. Now they're closer to 510-515. They flew well at 10 yards. I'll step back to 20 later and make sure they're still flying well at 20. Uukha limbs are strangely forgiving of arrow spine. A friend shot my arrows with his 65 lb recurve and they flew well.

34" arrows make aiming a lot easier. The points are much nearer the impact at draw. I used to use short arrows, but the gap was so huge, I was aiming 3 feet below the bulls at 20 years. Point on was 55 yards or so. 34" arrows get it closer to 12 inches below the bulls. It's a lot easier for me to manage. The only complaint I have is that the arrow very suseceptable to cross wind. More so than an arrow 4" shorter. Also, I have had trouble getting arrow weight up on shorter arrows, but I don't know much about inserts.

The regs in new Brunswick require 45 lb bow so I just ordered some new limbs that will say 45 lbs so I don't have trouble with law enforcement. Most folks aren't clear on how an ILF bow works and how a 38 lb limb could really be 45 lbs. Also, I ordered shorter limbs so my bow size will go from 64' to 60". That will help up in the tree stand.
 

TexasCowPoke

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I think that is a wise choice on the limbs and 60 inches is the ideal size limb for hunting, imho.

I did a little checking on the Kinetic Energy recommended for black bear and I keep finding the numbers 42 to 65. To get around 42 lbs, it seems you need about a 590-600 grain arrow flying at about 180 fps. Getting that at 45lb of pull might be hard to do. Your bow might surprise however, as it's about the most efficient recurve in the world.

I think you'll be ok at 45 lbs at any rate, especially with a good cut on contact broadhead, and shot placement is everything at that poundage.

I'm anxious to see what you find out!

Border Archery- (a serious European company), and the Covert Hunter is the best of the best, as far as I can tell. Get your new limbs from Lancaster?
 
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panhndlpoke

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Well, the covert hunter is jus the riser. Their bolt down CH is more efficient than the ilf with Uukha limbs, still, the uukha’s are solid carbon fiber and unaffected by moisture, temperature, etc. and are very efficient.

I ordered the limbs from alternative sporting services in Britain. They’re much less expensive than Lancaster. And Lancaster doesn’t carry the limb I ordered.

All the primitive guys say a 500 grain arrow out of a 45+ pound bow will get you all the energy you need to kill a black bear. 50 lbs and a 600 grain arrow will make accuracy less important, of course.

I read an article describing how KE is really a pretty poor predictor of penetration because it focuses too much on velocity, which is a compound bow thing. The penetrating power of a heavy arrow at 150 fps that generates about 40 ft-lbs of KE was massively higher than a lighter arrow traveling at 230 fps that produced 60 ft-lbs of KE. They tried to use momentum and KE to try to better predict the ability of an arrow to penetrate and did a good job of it. Essentially a heavy arrow going slow trumps a fast arrow if it’s too light. Fast = flat trajectory = easier aiming, especially at distance. I don’t shoot past 20 yards so flat trajectory is pretty irrelevant to me. A heavy arrow is just as heavy at 20 yards as it is at 2 and is the more important and reliable of the trade off between speed and weight for shooting the distances I’ll be loosing from. Therefore, what most compound shooters fixate on, fps and KE, is largely irrelevant as long as it is reasonable.

My bow will be in the range of 47 lbs on the finger and have the equivalent power of about 50 lb standard recurve. When I get some data, I’ll post it up so I can calculate the KE of the bow.
 
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