How far? - Mississippi Hunting and Fishing Forums
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Old 08-20-2020, 06:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How far?

Ok guys...let's discuss shooting distances with a bow.

Like everything else bowhunting trends go in cycles, and there are many schools of thought at any given time. Sometimes it's about speed. Other times it's about kinetic energy. Then there's arrow weight, diameter, spine, materials/composition...speed vs penetration....overall weight...FOC...

Watching the Hunting Public and the Ranch Fairy lately, the emphasis has been on heavier setups, higher FOC, penetration...and shorter shots. While they don't set any hard limits, these guys are optimizing their equipment and setting their expections for shots within 30 yards.

Conversely, I'm close friends with two really experienced bow hunters who don't give all that any thought whatsoever. They are obessed with speed, and everything they do is geared toward being able to take longer shots. Both use single pin sights, light setups, and regularly practice up to 60 and 80 yards, so they'll feel comfortable taking real-world shots up to 50 yards.

FWIW, I'm NOT being critical of any way, and the guys I'm talking about are experienced, ethical hunters who most often take the same shots as most guys, but they prepare for the longer shots in case the opportunity for something special presents itself.

So...what are your standards regarding shot distances with a bow?
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My farthest pin is set at 50 yards but that doesn't mean I'll shoot at a deer that far. I'd say 40 yards is my typical max but with the right practice, 45-50 yards is not out of the question if the circumstances are right.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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35 yards for me. I’m confident at that range. I shoot 40 in practice but 35 it is.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use a single pin hha sight. I practice out to 80 yard. I set my sight at 30 yards and have never moved it to shoot 99% of the deer I've killed. I ranged and shot an 11pt in Missouri at 47 yards. Before that I had fixed pins set at 20,30,40,50. I shot one deer at 42 yards. In 30 years of bow hunting 99 percent have been 25 yards or less and I've killed a lot of deer with a bow. I think stand placement has more to do with those numbers more than anything. Just ask some tradition bow hunters how important stand placement is.
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Old 08-21-2020, 06:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have pins in 10-yard increments from 20 to 60. I can shoot plenty well enough at 50. I really, really want the deer 30 or closer though. I would take a 40-yard shot at a whitetail if I deemed the conditions perfect. Just too much can go wrong with this longer shots!
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Old 08-21-2020, 06:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've always thought that no matter how good a shot you are...the chances for wounding go up dramatically after 20 yards. It's often not a matter of degree of skill; but rather the unknowns (wind, deer movement, limbs, excitement, etc) come more into play. When I hear about someone 'sticking a deer" (I hate that term) it almost always someone who has attempted a longer shot.

Being a recurve shooter, my max range on deer is 25 yards...but the truth is I rarely shoot over 20 yards. I'm likely 90% on 20 and under....but increasing just 5 incremental yards really makes my accuracy suffer to the point that ethically it's barely a passing grade. Using this approach, I rarely lose a deer even though I'm shunning more advanced technology.

When hunting larger game in the western United States, I don't mind stretching the shot to 35 to 40 yards as the kill zones are much larger (elk) and the terrain is more open and less obstructed.

Last edited by Stringwacker; 08-21-2020 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 08-22-2020, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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IMO , although im shooting the best equipment I can afford , Bowhunting is about how close you can get them . Im a lot better woodsman then a archery shot . I like em under 30 .
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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30 yards is my max but most are 15 to 20. I've always set up to get them close. I hunt a powerline and sometimes it's tempting to take longer shots but as I get older my self control gets stronger. I do practice out to 45 yds but I don't feel comfortable shooting at a whitetail that far. A hog is a different matter.
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