head on bow-shot

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Deebz
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby Deebz » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:28 am

thanks for all the responses guys...  Charlie, awesome deer man!  I tend to agree with the consensus that everybody has to decide what their abilities are and abide by them.  I know my buddy was kinda broken up over not finding his deer, and even more so about the fact that he fed the coyotes.  I suppose i would feel comfortable placing an arrow exactly where i wanted it if the deer was inside 20 yds...  more than that and my left right tends to move a few inches.  i've only killed 2 deer with my bow, but both have been more or less broadside shots where i took both lungs.  the doe (my first deer), was actually quartering towards me a bit, but at 8 yds i felt pretty confident. she made it less than 25 yds down the trail. the buck was around 15 yds, hit him broadside through both lungs and watched him pile up in the field about 40 yds out.  can't wait to get some tree time this season!

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JPH
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby JPH » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:01 am

As long as we're sharing stories, let me offer one to counter the one above.

The buck in the photo stepped out into the edge of a picked bean field and squared off with my decoy. He was facing me head on with his ears pinned back at 20 yards. I sat at full draw until I began to shake. I finally let my draw down and somehow escaped detection. A few moments later he walked up to the decoy, which was 12 yards from the base of my stand. I drew again and he stopped, still head on. Again, he gave my decoy the evil eye until I could not hold my draw. He was at 12-13 yards but I was not about to risk hitting one lung or sticking his shoulder blade! I let my draw down a second time. Luckily he was fixed on the decoy. A few moments later he turned to his right and stepped into the field. I put a rage right in his pump station and he dropped within 60 yards.

I do not think confidence is enough justification for me to take a marginal shot. I could have risked it and said, "It was the only shot I had." After all, I can thread a needle at that range. But waiting him out made that night one of the most memorable in my hunting career. Taking the head on shot might have ruined it forever.


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shaman
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby shaman » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:30 pm

I've taken the head-on brisket shot twice.  Once was deliberate.  One wasn't.

In 1999 I was hunting on the ground and managed to nail a buck at under 5 yards with a brisket shot.  He ran about 60 yards out into a field and expired.  The arrow was buried about 2/3 in, and as he ran the shaft caught on the high grass and worked its way around in his chest cavity.  His heart and lungs looked like they'd gone through a Quisinart

In 1992, I had a buck jump the string at under 15 yards, turning towards me as I released.  What had been a nice broadside shot quickly turned into a head-on brisket shot.  It buried up to the fletchings.  The buck sent blood 8 feet into the trees as he ran off and collapsed about 25 yards further up the trail.  The way to the deer looked like I'd got at him with a chainsaw-- blood dripping everywhere. You can see from the pic where the arrow exited, down around the solar plexus.

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What's common in both of these is that they were taken at close range.  I think that is what made them successful.  If it's up close and you're sure of what you're doing, I'd say go for it. However, remember that I didn't get complete pass-through on either shot.  One was sticking a third of the way out of the buck's chest.  The other went all the way into the fletching, but only exited enough for the broadhead to show.
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MSHunter
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby MSHunter » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:04 pm

I was presented with a head on/quartering toward shot this afternoon. I had a doe come out of the trees directly across from me at about 50 yards. she crossed the ground in front of me closing to within 30 yards on a diagonal and then turned 135 degrees opening from my stand, but never presented a suitable broad side or quarter away shot until opening the distance to about 40 plus yards. I had to pass on the shot as I didn't think I had the ability to pull it off.

paulie
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby paulie » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:46 pm

I've taken that shot with a rifle (and would do it again) but, I'm not thinkin I would try it with a bow (even though, some of you have 'proven' it can be done)! For me, it's not a matter of having 'confidence in my ability' (if I werent confident, I wouldnt be in the woods to begin with). But, I know the (gut wrenching) feeling of not recovering an animal that I've shot[>:], and the way I see it, taking "low percentage" shots just increases the odds of having "that feeling" again... no thanks! Just my opinion but, "to each his own"!

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SwampLife
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby SwampLife » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:38 pm

There are a lot of shots I would take under 20 yards. I'll leave it at that.
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charlie 01
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby charlie 01 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:40 pm

Nice buck. Don't know If I have ever seen so much black on the face of a deer. Looks almost like a different strain. Do most of your deer look like that, or is this one just different?
never say never
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dmcianfa
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby dmcianfa » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:29 am

ORIGINAL: JPH

As long as we're sharing stories, let me offer one to counter the one above.

The buck in the photo stepped out into the edge of a picked bean field and squared off with my decoy. He was facing me head on with his ears pinned back at 20 yards. I sat at full draw until I began to shake. I finally let my draw down and somehow escaped detection. A few moments later he walked up to the decoy, which was 12 yards from the base of my stand. I drew again and he stopped, still head on. Again, he gave my decoy the evil eye until I could not hold my draw. He was at 12-13 yards but I was not about to risk hitting one lung or sticking his shoulder blade! I let my draw down a second time. Luckily he was fixed on the decoy. A few moments later he turned to his right and stepped into the field. I put a rage right in his pump station and he dropped within 60 yards.

I do not think confidence is enough justification for me to take a marginal shot. I could have risked it and said, "It was the only shot I had." After all, I can thread a needle at that range. But waiting him out made that night one of the most memorable in my hunting career. Taking the head on shot might have ruined it forever.


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JPH,
 
Your situation is much different in my opinion.  You had a buck, that was clearly hanging around and would be for some time allowing you to take multiple draws on it.  Often times these animals do not present this kind of timing, nor do they allow multiple takes.  In any case, your buck was more interested in the decoy and at some point or another I think any bowhunter here would have waited for the shot to present itself.  In many situations, without decoys or distractions to occupy a deer's time, it becomes instantaneous, such as follows:
[ul][*]The buck immediately spots you when you see him and you are both at stalemates, with him more than likely bolting in a matter of seconds.
[*]The buck is chasing a doe and when you stop him with a grunt or bleat or something he ends up facing you.
[*]The buck is quickly moving out of range or closer and is clearly on a path, which is not condusive to any type of quarter or broadside and it becomes clear he has no intention of hanging around responding to any calls, scents, ect.....  Nothing you do turns him the right way in other words.  It becomes a stand off and you risk getting completely busted or losing the buck for good.
[*]You've waited and waited and this buck isn't turning and it's getting dark out to the point where you have to make a decision to shoot within the next minute or two.  [/ul]
These scenerios play out in hunting, its bound to happen.  Of course I'm not saying you have to make this decesion every time to take the shot as many other factors play out.  It depends on size of buck, days in season left, range, broadhead type, ect.... But, It is my humble opinion that your situation clearly showed the buck was very interested in the decoy and at some point would probably take many attempts and routes at this "fake" deer maybe even smashing it to smitherines at some point.  In other words, chances were good in your scenerio that the deer would eventually present a less marginal shot.  I would have no problem waiting out a deer in your situation and I think it was the correct decision.  Regrettably, your situation doesn't happen all the time in the woods and quick decisions along with poor angles are the only option one has.  Nice buck by the way.  I've always liked taller than wider and he's a dandy.
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.

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JPH
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby JPH » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:05 am

dmcianfa, I see your point but I disagree.

For one thing, it is easy to say that the buck in question was bound to stick around. After all, he's dead now. But at the time the outcome was far from certain. My experience with mature bucks is that they are very unforgiving. All it takes is one rogue breeze, sqeeky tree stand or blink of an eye to send one of them into heavy cover, never to be seen again. I have had far more close encounters with mature deer that ended in humiliation than I have heads on my wall.

I was not sitting in the stand with cool confidance that night. I wanted to shoot him from the moment I saw him. But I wanted to do the right thing even more.

Most importantly I reject the idea that shot selection should be influenced by the size of the buck, the time of day, the length of the season or any other such thing. I think shot selection should be determined by what shots are safe, will result in a merciful death and a quick recovery. Period.

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dmcianfa
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby dmcianfa » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:44 am

ORIGINAL: JPH

dmcianfa, I see your point but I disagree.

Most importantly I reject the idea that shot selection should be influenced by the size of the buck, the time of day, the length of the season or any other such thing. I think shot selection should be determined by what shots are safe, will result in a merciful death and a quick recovery. Period.


I also take those factors into account as well during hunting.  Everybody is entitled to their opinion of course.  I think I should have included the ones you referred to above as well as they are part of my process too, but I wouldn't discount the one's I stated either.  I think it would be neglectful to discount that hunter's think of them as well if not as much as the details you speak of.  I would be willing to bet they factor in more than you think with some hunters. They are just as crucial, as always in my opinion of course.
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.

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