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WyoChris

Shot distances?

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This was my first year bowhunting. Back in late september I took a shoot at a doe at about 35 yards. Heard a loud "whack" upon hitting the deer, waited a few hours, then followed a blood trail for about 150 yards, then it clotted up. Spent the entire day doing circles around the end of the blood trail. After a long search, and from what I heard and saw from my shot, I concluded I probably pulled the arrow a few inches to the right and hit it's right shoulder blade/bone missing the vitals. I never found the arrow as it probably stayed stuck in the doe. Although I saw several more deer this season, including a nice buck, I didn't take any shots because I didn't want to take a shot over about 20 yards to avoid having a repeat incident and not getting a good clean kill shot. Had some deer get within 35 or 40 yards, but passed on the shots.

At the range, I can consistently stick an arrow in the vitals of a deer decoy at 40 yards. However when im in a treestand, with an elevated heart rate, and a deer that isn't perfectly positioned like a decoy, it just isn't the same as being at a range.

So i'm just curious... for the veteran bowhunters, at what range do you usually take shots at? Is 35 yards a long shot in your opinion? I know a lot of this depends on your archery skill, but what range do you usually take a shot at?

Thanks

Chris

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I rarely take shot shot over 25 years from a tree. I shoot a pendulum sight which I believes helps on the longer shots but I just do not like to take one over 25 yards.

Seems there is always a twig or something in the way for a longer one. I do not even practice at over 25 yards any more as I personaly just do not like them from a tree. I shot one once at 43 and 52 yards years go and that worked out just fine.

I have taken longer shots and made them and also missed and wounded a deer and I do not like to lose deer.

35 yards is not that long of a shot but from a tree it's getting out there.

I am sure that there are archers that will take the shot and if they have practiced those shots from an elevated position and feel comfortable with the shot, then so be it.

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If needed I can shoot out to 50yds comfortably. With that said though I cant say that I ever have 99% of my shots are under 20yds. My advice you need to leave the gun hunter mentality at home when bow hunting. meaning you need to put yourself in positions that force the deer in closer to you if that makes sense. I remember trying to get my dad into bow hunting before he passed. We would go out to hunt I would recomend a spot for him to set up At the end of the day when we would meet back at the truck to [PoorWordUsage] about what we had seen he would always tell me about how he found this great tree He could see 150yds every direction. All I would say is sweet how far can you shoot again?

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Yes, my dad never understood archery hunting. If I came back to the house and said I saw one at 50 yards and did not shoot, he said you should throw that stick and string away and take your rifle.

It's more about the time in the woods for me now. But I still have that need and desrie to whack one every time out.

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I can thump arrows into a paper plate pretty consistently out to 50 yards. No great feat...most experienced archers can do the same. But having said that, 30 yards would be max for me in a hunting situation. Just too much time for a deer to jump the string and make a good release into a lousy hit. I got a new bow last summer that is MUCH quieter than the old clunker, and this helps some, but I still see 30 yards as the top end. Good luck...learn by doing!!

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I don't like to shoot at a live deer over 35 yards. Like others have said I have no problem putting the smack down on a target at 50 yards. Too many new factors to take into account when shooting at live game in the field.

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For me its really one of those depends answers. If the animal is alert(IE knows something is up.) Then about 20 yards is the max. No matter how quiet your bow is, no matter how fast your bow is, they will react to the noise. People say they duck the shot, but its more a reaction and a load of the muscles to flee. Now on a relaxed animal, I have shot out to 35.

I am a perfectionist when it comes to practice and used to shoot a lot of comps. I practice out to 80 yards quite often. But on the hunting bow.. 35 yard pin is the last one.

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There are many factors to weigh. How clear is the shot, how good is the shooting posture, light, etc. I feel comfortable to 35 yards on a perfect setup. Found out how good I am at 20 yards this fall, and from a less than perfect set up it wasn't pretty. Yes I completely missed the the deer on the first shot and quickly and humanely dispatched it with the ugliest luckiest hit ever seen on a deer with the second shot. In other words, even at just 20 yards, trying to pick a hole through the brush, on uneven ground, in low light, with the string bumping my glasses out of alignment, and clearly excited in the heat of the moment, I'm not very good.

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i stick to about 30-40 yards. Out in south dakota things were more open and i thought about longer shots, i had a decent shot at a doe at 50 yards but chose not to shot because i wasnt 100% comfortable with it

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I have two pins sighted in for 20- and 30-yards. I can shoot decent out past 30-yards, but choose not to because a bad shot is multiplied that much more the further out you go. When I first started I was taught that bowhunting isn't about how far you can shoot, but how close you were able to.

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30 for me and I try to limit my stands where I cant shoot any further. I dont even practice any further than 30 anymore. I had a good bow season on the does this year. Longest shot was 30 and that one I wrote about in bow log, Hit liver and had to come back the next day to trail. The other 2 fell within 40 yards, both under 20 yard shots.

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I guess it comes down to ethical shots. I use to feel comfortable taking those long bombs but I don't even practice them anymore as it's to high of a risk shot.

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I agree with many of the others, I am very comfortable shooting out to 40 yards but have yet to take a deer past 25 and most of the time they are 15 and in when I shoot. In hunting situations it's always better to be patient and wait for a great shot vs shooting past your comfortable range.

With that said we are all at different skill levels and experience and we should know what we can and can't do. If you aren't sure I would keep it around 20-25 yards to start out and then with time and experience you will get a better idea what your range is.

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One thing I consider when shooting is temperature. I will not shoot at a deer over 20 yards if the temp at night does not get below 45 degrees. You never know when you may need to leave it overnight. Too many things can go wrong past 20 yards. 30 is the farthest I have ever shot a deer and 40 is the farthest I ever would even try it. Each person should know there personal accuracy range and your bows range for the animals sake. Just because you can hit a spot on a target 9 of 10 at 80 yards with a 45 lbs bow doesnt mean you should shoot a deer that far. Hitting a paper plate at 30 yds is not accurate. Hitting a golf ball at 30 is IMO.

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25 yards is my max. In the past I have taken longer shots at deer, and I learned not to do that again.

To me, bow hunting is more about doing everything (scent control, movement control, being quiet) right to get the deer in close than shooting at them. If an easy shot presents itself, I'll take it. But I don't feel any pressure to harvest a deer so I won't take a questionable shot. I do most of my harvesting come rifle season.

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I prefer 20 or less, however I practice out to 60, this makes the 20 feel soooo good.

I know for sure when you have a bad deal like the original post, that I really wait for the slam dunk to get my confidence back!

Longest sucessful shot was 43 yards

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I shoot a single pin slider that I have yardeges marked out to 100 yards this is just for practice and it's kinda fun to shoot that far. I am confident I can kill a deer at 60 but will never take that shot punching paper targets and shooting a animal are way diffrent to many variables once your out in the stand, In the woods I don't shoot over 30 yards if im on the field edge and the deer is feeding I will shoot out to 40 if it's feeding and not spooked. I have been bow hunting for 18 years now and taken around 50 deer and the farthest shot I have taken on a deer was 28 yards that includes mule deer in wyoming the farthest shot was my turkey this spring strutting at 43 yards

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Same boat as everyone else here, I practice out to 60+ yards, but live deer require a shot for me of 25 yards or less.

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Lots of good idvice...

Archery for me is a close range experience. Most of my shots are 8-12 yards. I have taken a few out to 18 and one 22 yarder.

I do practice out to 40 yards and can drill real small groups there but too much can happen at that distance. Practcing those long shots really helps me zero in the short stuff... grin

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Archery for me is a close range experience.

Well put Dark Cloud, it's nice to be able to shoot further if needed but really whole challenge for me is get them in real close. I setup my stands for 10 to 20 yards shots, its nice to be right on top of a deer and they have no idea you are there. It also helps cut way down on tracking/wounding deer when you can slam dunk double lung them and watch them go down within 75 yards of your stand.

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35 yards is about what I'll shoot. Like most have said I don't plan for that shot, but if I can cover two trail instead of just one with that length of shot I'll do it. That said it's got to be the right kind of shot to shoot that far. Shot one deer at 35, another I misjudged distance & shot at I think it was 43, very lucky on that one. I'm not really that good. Shot a lot of deer in that 20-25 yard range, but just a few over that. With scouting & putting in your time it's not that hard to get them in that kind of range in most situations.

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This is a great topic. I am really surprised at how so many can shoot out to huge yardages at targets, but on deer the vast majority are calling under 30 yds for deer shots.

Very impressive. I hear stories from people about the 50 yd shots and "stuff" off and on, and I just cant fathom how thats an option to take a shot at a deer like that.

I am the 25 yd and in fan. No way I will ever take a 40 yd shot.

Now 30 yds, if its so perfect I will take it, but it would a very rare occasion that I would consider that.

Kudos to everyone on this topic and the sensible shot opps you have all talked about.

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I would attempt a 35yd shot but the deer would have to be standing still eating and not "on edge" so not to increase your odds of jumping the string/arrow. It is amazing though year after year I try to set my stands back off there trail far as i can say 20+ yards and for some reason the deer come closer and closer to me.

The buck in my avatar was shot at 7-8 yards, first doe of this year was at 5 yards but it makes it hard to pass up when they get that close. grin

mr

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