head on bow-shot

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texsalerno
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby texsalerno » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:56 pm

1980 my first deer with compound (Jennings Model-T, 50Lb, 6 blade wasp) I shot a doe in the brisket,heart shot at 15 yards. Went 60-70 yards.The deer pulled the arrow from it's chest before expiring. A blind man could have trailed this deer.The shot was close, angle just right and a ton of luck.Low percentage shot for sure.Passed this same shot up last Saturday 10/16/10 with 50Lb longbow on a spike buck at 10 yards.Not that the longbow wouldn't do the same job as the model-t. After bowhunting whitetails 36 years, I try to take shots with a high percentage of killing and not crippling a magnificent animal.

One of the things that amazes me about deerhunting to this day is the conversation between deerhunters where a long or marginal shot was taken at a P&Y or a Booner. Some times a long trailing job that didn't end well. Yet same guy says I wouldn't have shot a doe or fawn in that same scenario. Antler fever? Head on the wall worth crippling probably the best breeder in your area?

Ethics is doing the right thing when nobody else is looking!

Tex Salerno
www.stickbow.com

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kevjack6
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby kevjack6 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:07 am

My thought process for shot selection is very simple. If there is only a marginal chance for a double lung hit, I don't shoot, it's that simple. If a deer can't breathe, it can't run far. The likelihood of a pass-through is very high which results in quick, easy blood trails.

Can a head-on shot be lethal? Absolutely. But I've been on many blood trails resulting from this type of shot and MOST ended badly. One lunged deer can go a long way. Without an exit wound, the blood trail can be sparse. Bow-hunting is hard enough without taking risky shots. I've taken a bad shot before which resulted in some sleepless nights and my quitting bow-hunting for a year. The only shots I take now are "slam dunks" and my recovery rate is 100% since. If the deer doesn't give me the shot, it walks, plain and simple. If I see it another day, great. If not, is it really the end of the world? Shooting a deer with a bow isn't just about being able to kill it...it's also about being able to recover it. In my opinion, a head on shot is like playing with fire; sooner or later you WILL get burned.

There is nothing that infuriates me more than watching the "professional" hunters take a shot with a deer that's quartering to, or facing them. While maybe they are very experienced and excellent shots, it gives young or inexperienced hunters the perception that this type of shot is o.k. Plus, there are just too many uncontrollable variables such as the deer jumping the string, wind, not quite hitting your mark, etc.

Anyway, this is just my opinion, happy hunting!

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dmcianfa
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby dmcianfa » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:46 am

I agree that a double lung shot is not your goal on a head on shot and would be very hard to accomplish.  However, hitting the heart will dispose of the animal just as fast if not quicker.  Understanding where the heart is in relationship to the angle the animal is at head on is critical.  I would be aiming for this of course.  Any bit of lung being punctured as a result is a plus.  Let's be 100% clear here.  I would not attempt this shot past 20 yards most likely.  As that is the distance I feel I can drive nails at with no issues.  I know the heart isn't very big in relationship to say lungs or liver, but I'm confident I can hit it at that range, but it also depends on the angle both vertical and horizontal. 
"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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SwampLife
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby SwampLife » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:31 pm

ORIGINAL: kevjack6
Shooting a deer with a bow isn't just about being able to kill it...it's also about being able to recover it.


Loved your post, especially that sentence.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

ilovetohunt
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby ilovetohunt » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:27 pm

I don't think I could every bring myself to attempt to take this shot. 1. I'm not experienced enough to be comfortable with this shot and 2. I feel I owe it to the animal to wait for a better shot opportunity to present itself. I do 100% of my bowhunting from a stand and it's not only a bad angle to take a shot like this, it's not ethical to take a shot like this. I could understand if someone took this shot from a ground blind or something but even then I still wouldn't take the shot. Kudos to those who can or who have had success from this shot, though!

Brian

deerslayer333
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby deerslayer333 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:14 pm

Great topic. I had a large (aroung 140") buck staring right at me at 25 yards hunting from the ground one time and I was already drawn back before he spotted me and I didn't shoot because I wasn't comfortable shooting from the kneeling position for a head on shot. The more I studied deer anatomy the more I wish I would've taken the shot because on a large deer you have about the same size area to hit as you do from broadside. Dare I say this might even be a better shot than broadside because if you aim for the area slightly above the base of the neck where the chest cavity is there are no bones to hit and correct me if I'm wrong but its about the size of a large dinner plate. Of course there are always factors you have to factor in like distance and acurracy. I feel if I would've been more confident on knowing deer anatomy as well as I do now I could've taken that buck but as fate would have it a car beat me to it and I now have a nice set of rattling antlers but he would've looked a lot better on my wall lol.
One shot, one kill. Semper Fi.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm

The sad truth of this thread is that for many bowhunters, as long as a deer is within range, they will take the shot, regardless of the poor angle, light conditions, or the deer's state of alert. ALL of these things, combined or individually, can and will lead to a botched shot and an unrecovered deer.

The shot in question is bad on MANY different levels, the most obvious being the small bullseye that's surrounded with "bad shot" area, and the most basic rule of bowhunting that you NEVER draw on a deer that's facing you. That's like ASKING the deer to jump string. I know it's easy to do, I did that exact boneheaded move about 2 weeks ago. I realized this after I drew, and would not have shot even if the deer hadn't seen me draw.

If you want to be able to shoot every deer that comes withing range, then stick to gun hunting. Bowhunting is NOT easy, and that's what makes it so great.

My personal credo is to only take HIGH PERCENTAGE shots. This limits me a lot in the amount of shooting opportunities I have, but when I do shoot, it's with 100%....yes, I said 100%....confidence that I can make that shot. Have I gotten every deer I've ever hit with a bow? Of course not. Even with the best of plans and situations "doo-doo" can, and WILL happen. That's why I limit myself with my shots, because at least then I know I've done everything possible to the best of my ability to take a shot that I'm 100% confident in. This means that if my maximum effective range on a 3-D range is 25 yards, for HUNTING I reduce that by a third. That also means that if I'm not 100% sure of my "spot" on the deer (angle, light, branches in the way, etc.), I don't shoot. You can't call the arrow back, or have a "do-over". This is the real deal, literally life and death, and possibly a long agonizing death.

Part of the problem I believe is with some bowhunters who haven't killed a number of deer yet, and feel the pressure to get a bow kill. Some of it is plain inexperience, and some of it is just bad luck. All I know is that I've had some deer that I shot at that I had no business shooting at (mostly for the reasons stated above), and not recovering them torments me to this day. We owe them, and ourselves, better.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Deebz
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby Deebz » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:48 am

Glad to have been able to spark so much discussion on this.  It seems like most people would pass on a head-on shot... as would I.  I've only killed 2 deer in my hunting career, both with a bow.  Both shots were double lungs.  The first left a blood trail that was amazing, the second had hardly any blood at all, but the deer piled up in the field less than 50 yards from where i shot him, so he didn't really have time to bleed too much.
 
I have shot AT many deer.  As a teenager, I had probably a dozen opportunities that were missed due to various reasons (misjudged yardage, branches deflecting the arrow, buck fever, etc...).  2 of those shots connected, but i was unable to recover either deer.  Both of the deer I connected with were within 20 yards and broadside.  I'm totally with Woods Walker on this one in that I will only take a shot with a high percentage chance of delivering a quick and humane kill. 
 
Just to share a bit of irony...  I started this thread early in the season. The first deer I saw the next weekend was a mature doe.  Guess what the only shot opportunity she gave me was... She had no idea I was there at full draw waiting for her to turn, but wait I did. I waited right up until she stepped off the trail into some really thick stuff and trotted out of range...

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:47 am

Just to share a bit of irony... I started this thread early in the season. The first deer I saw the next weekend was a mature doe. Guess what the only shot opportunity she gave me was... She had no idea I was there at full draw waiting for her to turn, but wait I did. I waited right up until she stepped off the trail into some really thick stuff and trotted out of range...


And you did the right thing, and you know it. At the moment it's disappointing, but later on you'll feel good about it, because you know what's right.

When I have to pass one up, I always think about the ones that I didn't and never found. Passing one up feels FAR better than that!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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SwampLife
 
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RE: head on bow-shot

Postby SwampLife » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:10 pm

Hey, I know I have been pretty 'pro-choice', if you want to call it that, as far as what shots you are personally comfortable with taking, but last week in PA I had an opportunity at what would have been by far my best buck to date, I grunted him straight to my tree to 12 yards, only shot I had was head on and walking away(the one brought up in another thread by charlie01) and I just couldn't bring myself to loose an arrow at him... even at that distance.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

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