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Old 11-06-2018, 08:00 AM   #1
Dry Bones
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I debated whether or not to even post this, and I hope I do not get to many hot daggers in the process.
I like to believe we all give it our best when we (traditional bow hunters) go to the woods and use such simple designed weapons. No modern advantages of the latest technology and equipment. I will admit that I did not shoot near as much through the summer as I have the last couple years, and was pretty uneasy about the start of this bow season. A few long sits, and one hog later we are into rifle season. Again, NOT shooting as much as I feel I should have been. Last weekend- Friday afternoon to be exact. I had an opportunity lots of bow hunters wish on. A fully mature buck stands at 17 yards, completely broad side, steps forward on the inside leg and seems to "pose" for the shot. To say I got excited is a HUGE understatement. I came to full draw, anchored, verified my sight picture was correct and let the string slip from my fingers. - I wished I could stop right there- The next thing was sickening. I watched my arrow smack him in the main bone about 2" forward from the point of the elbow and stop right there. Almost all my arrow hung out, he wheeled and ran. I watched him duck off into the woods some 40 yards away without the first sign of blood coming from the shoulder. I sat there knowing I had just messed up, and that this deer was going to be tough to find, if at all. When I did start the trail I knew where he went through the drainage and up the other side, but I started at point of impact and worked my way up the creek and into the trail. It was almost 100 yards away before I found the first spot of blood. My hunting buddies came out and we tracked a total of 3 hours Friday night. I repeated the tracking process and covered about a mile of ground (literally) Saturday morning into mid-day. I know there is a strong chance the broadhead Never made it to vitals, but we do all we can.
The problem I have been faced with and still ongoing is, I had 100% confidence in any shot I ever took with my compound bow. It was either there or it was not. With my traditional bows (longbow or recurve) I have yet to find that confidence and in such loose some very import edge. I do occasionally have that "flyer" when shooting target, and not all shots are touching in the foam. I would never accept that as "good enough" with my compound or rifle so why have I accepted it with the traditional bow?
IF you have followed my post to this point, thank you first off, the question remains- At what point do we say, "I can ethically hunt animals."? Is there a numerical pattern that gives us the green light?
I think for me it is time to go back and do a lot more shooting on target, and spend the hours it takes dedicated to the weapon I want to use, OR, realize I do not have the time it takes for me to be that solid and not go to the woods with that bow.
In final thought I know I missed my spot by 4"give or take a few hairs, and real world seldom gives the perfect scenario. I also know I am not one of those who can lay the bow down for weeks and then pick it up and shoot just as I have before. For me it takes lots of practice.
We choose to hunt with a simpler weapon of design to increase the challenge of our hobby and increase the experience in the woods. Though with that challenge is a responsibility to make the commitment to be able to execute the shots we are given or keep the bow in our lap and watch. At 17 yards I should have been able to execute the shot, but this one has made me go more into personal reflection on what I am doing and how responsible am I being.
Do not misunderstand me by thinking I am saying I or anyone else should not hunt with the traditional style bows, because that is not it. I am saying for me it is time to either fully commit or back off.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:22 AM   #2
Jcjohnson
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Sorry you missed your spot bud. Lot of hard ache and self critiquing come with wounding anything especially a great buck. It can happen with any weapon. But as you said the more you practice, the better chance you eliminate human error in a hunting situation as you build confidence in your equipment of choice. Enjoyed your post and feel bad for ya at the same time. It's part of hunting unfortunately.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:31 AM   #3
Drycreek3189
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Bad shoulders and **** poor eyesight have kept me from bowhunting this season for the first time in 20 plus years. But with no confidence in my ability to kill humanely, Iíll just stick to the rifle for awhile.

Iím preparing to get back into handgun hunting and gonna start with hogs until I know what I can do.

Sorry you lost your buck, but from what you describe heís probably still alive.

Itís a good thing to admit where you fall short and dedicate to improving.

Last edited by Drycreek3189; 11-06-2018 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:33 AM   #4
CRM_95
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I understand exactly where you're coming from. I've managed to kill a few pigs and exotics with my trad bows. Last year I had my first ever opportunity on a whitetail and did exactly what you did. Hit the shoulder bone and never found her. But, she showed back up on camera no worse for wear other than a scar, so that made me feel better. This year I made what I thought was a perfect shot on another at 10 yards, pass through, arrow soaked in bubbly blood...and then had very little blood after that and never found her. I started shooting my compound again the next day and killed a nice buck with it last Thursday. And for me, the funny thing is I still shoot my longbow a lot and am shooting better than ever before. But, I've lost my confidence in my ability to kill animals with it. So for me, if I'm not confident it's not going to the woods. With that said I'm not giving up on it, it's just gonna take me some time to get back to where I feel good about hunting with it.

But it's obvious that they're definitely effective weapons. Just look over the trad harvest thread. Guys like Bisch, Buff, Jeff, Randy and a few others absolutely slay critters. But I wouldn't fault you a bit for using whatever you're confident with!!
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:48 AM   #5
Dry Bones
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Thanks for the words. I did manage to put a little meat in the freezer before the end of the weekend. I used my compound and took a doe on a hard quartering to me shot. I know those are frowned on, but I also know my ability with that weapon and she piled up in 30 yards.
CRM, it may be just as you stated, "it's just gonna take me some time to get back to where I feel good about hunting with it. "
They are effective hunting tools, but you have to be able to use it and trust it. In the right skilled hands even a simple knife could become an effective hunting weapon.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:10 AM   #6
MEsquivel
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Practice is key. And better yet, keep them closer.
17yds is a good distance. But if your brains have little doubt, you’re out.
Take shots from 8-12 yards. Build up your confidence. Then you’re good.
I tell everyone this is a game about concentration. If you cant focus, you might as well not shoot.
I missed a hog the other day thinking my bow was going to hit a tree limb. He was like 14 yards and I shot about two feet over. But I was worried about the limb the whole time.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:16 AM   #7
Hunter Todd
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First of all, I'm sorry your hunt ended that way, but it happens to all who hunt with any gear. The reason I started hunting with trad gear is for the challenge. When I was younger I became bored hunting deer with a rifle, because if I could see it, I could kill it. Then I went to a compound bow. I hunted with it for 27 years and finally got bored with it. If a deer got to within 25 - 30 yards of me, he'd better have his affairs lined out. So, I went to traditional gear. I don't know that I'll ever have perfect confidence in my ability to kill deer at ranges greater than 20 yards. At this time I will not shoot at anything over 15 yards and much prefer them at 10. That's part of the challenge for me. That's a big part of the fun is creating set-ups that give me the advantage and put me close. It's hard getting within 15 yards of a mature deer (especially an old doe). But when it happens there is nothing on earth like it. I guess we just have to accept not only the limits of trad gear, but our personal ability as well. The difference for me between 15 yards and 17 yards feels like a mile. haha
Keep at it!
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:44 AM   #8
M.E.B.
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Shoot closer.

Good luck
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:33 AM   #9
DRT
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There are a lot of good comments and advice given so far so I don't feel I can add a whole lot. What I can tell you is that although I practice at 20 yards all the time and on my target I can hit within an inch or two of the one in inch bullseye pretty consistently I don't seem to be able to translate that to game. Being 4 inches off at 15 or 17 yards is the difference between a liver or gut shot and a good double long shot. So after a couple of bad experiences shooting big pigs, hitting one high front shoulder and one right in the shield both shots getting little penetration I decided to limit my shooting to 12 yards. At 12 yards I don't have to think too much about the shot and 10 yards I can almost just point and shoot and hit a 1-inch consistently. It limits me far past the equipment's effectiveness but I have to hunt within my effectiveness.
In the end we have to do what we know is right for us.
Saturday evening when a large boar presented himself at the feeder 15 yards from me I picked up my compound instead of my recurve and killed him.
I remember the line in the movie Magnum Force. "A man's got to know his limitations."
There is no shame in hunting with a compound either. Just can't post the kills in this section. It is still bow hunting.

Gary
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:21 PM   #10
RickBarbee
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Stuff happens.

I'm not trying to be condescending, or mean in any way with the following question.

Are you looking for suggestions, and/or a push in one direction, or the other?

I'm not the best shooter around, but I'm fair.

What gave me the confidence in my shooting (for hunting) was to learn a hard aiming system, and know what the maximum consistently proficient distance is for that system.

As long as I know the distance, I am confident in my shot out to 30 yards, BUT I know that keeping, or trying to keep my shots even closer gives me even more confidence, so I keep, or try to keep my shots from 15 yards & in.

I've killed way more animals at 15 yards or less, than over. Way more.

Rick
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:17 PM   #11
60 Deluxe
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I have poor eyesight. I will not take a long shot because the odds of it being a bad shot are probably 80%. So, my magic number is fifteen to seventeen yards. I have not taken a shot yet this year because I haven't had an open shot at that distance. Four or five times now I have had deer within that range, but behind brush. All of the open shots have been thirty yards and up. Come December I will probably put meat in the freezer using a rifle. My fear is wounding an animal and telling a story much like yours. All that I can say is you are being thoughtful about the process and that is a good thing. The decision about what weapon to use is your personal choice and only you can make that decision. Meanwhile, enjoy the season. It doesn't always have to be about killing. Many times I will hunt with a camera instead of a bow. I get a lot more shots and have a lot of fun.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:16 PM   #12
Ronnie
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You just have to remember what Johnson and Todd said. It can and does happen with ANY gear. Rifle, compound, crossbow. Its amazing how tough animals are. I know how you feel and its BAD. I can't count the times I've sworn off hunting because I've lost a deer. Even hogs. But I keep getting over it. Lol
Like said though, that deer will probably survive.

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Old 11-06-2018, 07:03 PM   #13
flywise
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I'm sure we all fully understand what your going through and thinking. I have been there, I barely shot my bow before season started. But, to gain confidence i walk around with a judo and do ALOT of cactus and cedar sapling shooting. I'm 100% confident in my shooting but i still missed a wonderful 10 Friday. ( Knats had something to do with that) but regardless I still made a poor shot. Perfection should be what we strive for but even if we did we would still make poor shots. Things happen, sometimes we control those things sometimes we dont. Point is, everyone has your same story. Just work on it until your ready to give it another try.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:02 PM   #14
coojay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBarbee View Post
Stuff happens.

I'm not trying to be condescending, or mean in any way with the following question.

Are you looking for suggestions, and/or a push in one direction, or the other?

I'm not the best shooter around, but I'm fair.

What gave me the confidence in my shooting (for hunting) was to learn a hard aiming system, and know what the maximum consistently proficient distance is for that system.

As long as I know the distance, I am confident in my shot out to 30 yards, BUT I know that keeping, or trying to keep my shots even closer gives me even more confidence, so I keep, or try to keep my shots from 15 yards & in.

I've killed way more animals at 15 yards or less, than over. Way more.

Rick


Hard aiming system will help n ur confidence, agree with Rick!


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Old 11-06-2018, 08:05 PM   #15
KenWood
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**** happens bud. It all boils down to that. I’ve done exactly what you did. I will say if you wanna fully commit, sell your compound. I did and was forced to practice and gain my confidence. You don’t need much practice per session but you need lots of sessions to do this trad stuff. Or at least I do. If I walk out and shoot six arrows and am happy with how they hit, I’m good. I go in. Also, 17 yards is a shot I’ll take IF I feel good about how the animal is acting. I usually know mid draw if I should let back down. I guess I have to because when I touch anchor the arrow is gone. Like said above, feed em in closer. You nail a few at ten or twelve yards, you’ll be plenty confident! Good luck man!
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:15 AM   #16
Draco
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As Rick mentioned, a hard aiming system is hard to beat out of a stand. Your form still has to be correct but you never have to second guess on your sight picture. Just as you said, with your compound, it's either on or it's not and you will know which.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:24 AM   #17
Dry Bones
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Thanks again everyone. Rick, I didn't take you as being condescending. I am thankful for the thoughts and encouragement as I move forward. I always felt in the past that anything inside of 20 was a gimme (arrogant). I also practice further out on foam or carpet in my situation, but have never considered such on animals due to my own accuracy. I have taken a few deer with my traditional bows, and your right, it's not always about taking something home. HOWEVER I do enjoy putting a few in my freezer every year.
My main point of the post was to air a little out and get the feedback that many of you willing have. Again thanks for the responses.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:03 AM   #18
Dkincaid
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Itís all hunting whatever weapon you use. I have no desire to put self imposed limits on how I hunt. My main goal is to fill my freezers and have fun. I hunt with whatever I want rifle, longbow,crossbow,compound. Sometimes I change mid day day. My weapons are a tool I would never have a tool box with one tool in it


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