My personal feeling is to use a quality fixed head on Elk or any other big boned animal. Preferably 125gr. Shoot a heavy arrow which will get your Kinetic energy up, which will get you better penetration. It also makes your bow quiter at the shot. My experiences and friends experiences haven't been good with expandables. Not to sat that they don't work under the right conditions, such as close broadside shots, but you are relying on valuable energy/momentum to make the blades open, cross your fingers and pray that they do,when that energy could be better utilized for more penetraion and hopefully get a pass thru. You have to consider the angle of the target also. Some expandables have a reputation for not fully deploying on acceptable to hard angling shots so you have to be very careful which shots you take. I've taken my share of elk with a bow and it's just my .02, but I'm going with fixed.
Rage broadheads are being used these days by almost everyone on everything. i am going to try a new expandable/mechanical this year called the EPEK. check it out on youtube. just punch in the word "EPEK" and multiple videos will come up.
to me, making it to the target accurately and with more FPS, is the most important thing besides shot placement. not too many broadheads out there can cut a 1 1/2" entry hole and equal the kinetic energy of an expandable that flies like a field point. out west here it is not unheard of to take shots at 60+ yards up to 70. no fixed broadhead made would give me confidence at those ranges, but i'm sure there are guys out there who will argue this point with me or who will argue they wouldn't shoot that far at anything. i shoot consistently into a paper plate sized group at 60 yards and have made some good shots at 3D targets out to 80 if the conditions are just right and i have time to set up and range the shots. i don't know about you, but if i'm paying an outfitter (or not) and i get the opportunity to take the trophy of a lifetime and he won't come in or holds out at a distance for whatever reason and i have confidence i can pull off the shot at 65 or 70 yards, i won't hesitate. JMO
The rage broadheads work very well on elk,it hardly takes anything for those bad boys to open up. The days of mechanical broadheads not working on angled shots are gone. The broadheads they are building now are nothing like the first ones to come out.
I have been shooting a bow since I was 6 years old and hunting big game since I was 14. I have shot many different broadheads over the years and tested a lot of broadheads. Shooting them into concrete blocks (especially Thunderheads when they first came out ) and plywood to see how they hold up. I have found both fixed blade and mechanical broadheads in elk, whole pieces of arrow shafts in there chest cavities, and this is years after they were shot. If you get one lung they don't always go down. The second bear I killed had a broadhead in its spine, but it did not go far enough in the spine to parralize it. I actually gave the broadhead back to the guy that wounded it. I shot the bear two years later and it was a two blade fixed broadhead (he shot the bear at 10 yards). Just throwing in my opinion.
Good luck and good hunting!
First of all, if you haven't gone winter backpacking, it needs to happen in the near future. It puts a very unique twist on the summer version of the activity. Yes, it's cold but it's nothing that being prepared can't remedy. Beyond it's therapeutic and recreational value, I think it is a very good tool for the big game hunter as well. I don't think that you can spend too much time getting to know the ins and outs of the area that you hunt. And there is no better way to gain experience in...