How much is acceptable?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by rybo, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. rybo

    rybo Grizzled Veteran

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    With the endless parade of lost deer posts, I’m trying to provide a thread for discussion rather than bashing. How much is “just part of bowhunting”, how much is “well things just happen”?
    Today’s bows and equipment are highly accurate and relatively easy to shoot, but there seems to still be TONS of misses and worse, bad hits. Despite all the information available does every bow hunter still need to “live thru” their own progression to figure out what they can and can’t do when it comes to shooting deer, and hopefully not wound too many in the process?

    Knowing that things can go wrong even on the best of scenarios, why do people push the limit in non-ideal ones? Is the acceptance that “it’s just part of hunting” a crutch to make people feel better when thing go wrong? Would people make a more committed effort towards not losing deer if the “it’s part of hunting” excuse wasn’t used so often?

    And on the flip side, why does it seem that those who have already gone thru this "progression" and who try to help others to avoid mistakes already made, get bashed for imposing thier ethics on others? Seems like they get bashed for trying to help.
     
  2. Van

    Van Weekend Warrior

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    I agree, I have only posted in one lost deer thread and will never again. Rather than patting them on the back and saying "oh its ok you'll get the next one" I took the approach that I was taught, which is explaining that you cant just go into the woods launching arrows at everything that moves track a few hundred yards and if you don't find it shoot at another one. And rather than being backed up I was blasted by people saying "oh well it happens, you'll get it next time." My opinion that is if you take a shot that you aren't 100% comfortable with and are positive it is going to be a clean kill then you do not deserve to be issued a tag. Blast me if you want but if your not gonna do it right, don't do it at all.
     
  3. Schuls

    Schuls Die Hard Bowhunter

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    You know, this is my first year bowhunting but have rifle hunted for a couple of years. Number one thing, if you are not confident in your shot or have not been practicing, then keep your butt outta the woods until you will make a clean kill. Number two, if you aren't sure of the shot, give the deer some time then get out there and track it down and don't give up until you have exhausted every option on finding the animal. That is one thing that has disappointed me in this site, especially with that 15 year old kid posting on here with piss poor decision making and shooting and people saying "stick to it, you will do better" and getting upset at others who point out the bad choices and poor shooting. Overall, if you aren't practicing and not confident in your shot....then stay at home this season.
     
  4. Schuls

    Schuls Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I will say some of the posts, in particular Redz, have been looking for suggestions...while he is out actually looking for the deer and I give that man all the credit and respect for the amount of time he spent looking. Yet other posts I have seen, they aren't even out looking and posting about losing a deer....why aren't you out in the woods combing all over?
     
  5. Cablebob

    Cablebob Die Hard Bowhunter

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    The acceptable # of wounded and lost deer is 0. You must go into the woods with this mindset. To say, "it's part of bow-hunting" or "Stuff happens" is the wrong mindset. You must be 100% sure. Not 90% or even 99% sure of the shot. If you have put in the time to practice, drawn your bow ahead of time in the stand, checked your lanes. You should have not problem saying "I'm 100% confident in my abilities with "this shot". That's it. After that, well that's on you.

    a few days ago I had a Doe dead to rights. I was 95% sure of the shot. I let back down. 0% tolerance. There is no gray area.
     
  6. Marauder

    Marauder Die Hard Bowhunter

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    With the amount of bowhunters today it's inevitable that we won't have lost deer. I'm not a perfect hunter, and neither is anyone else. Obviously you want to be confident and be a great shot, I get that. I practice a lot myself. On the other hand, you have to admit that target practicing and shooting at a live animal are completely different. A buddy of mine is a crack shot with the bow. He makes some really nice shots at 40 yrds at the range. Now get him in the woods, he has a hard time making a 20 yrd shot on a deer. True story. What I'm trying to say is that we just really need to do the best we can. Bad shots will happen. Sometimes we get lucky, and sometimes not. Lastly if we do make a mistake in the woods, it's important to learn from it. I'm not a believer that bashing on someone will help them learn from a mistake.
     
  7. Billy-Kayla Pulsifer

    Billy-Kayla Pulsifer Weekend Warrior

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    i think people would be less susceptible to making a bad shot or losing a deer, if 1. they give a deer with a bad shot TIME to die as to not push it further, and 2. shoot 3d tournaments,or hell take your own 3d target move it EVERYWHERE with different variables so that way you're ready for anything and you can eliminate shots you know aren't worth the risk in taking but as previously stated people such as redz who actually care enough to get out there and try to recover a downed/wounded deer at all costs should more or less be accredited and resected for their attempt and exhausting all means possible to locate a wounded/downed deer. same goes for any other game

    IMO
     
  8. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    Like it or not, it really is part of bowhunting. Some caused in part by ignorance, greed, carelessness, chance, over-confidence, etc. etc... It sucks, but it happens. I don't care how "perfect" a hunter you are, something can go wrong on any shot.

    I agree that we should all do everything we can to make a quick and ethical kill and we should also know how & when to track our deer. But we learn by our mistakes. That's part of life. I was told that tequila was bad, but wouldn't you know it, I had to get blitzed on it and make a series of bad decisions before my lesson was learned. Same could be said for any number of lessons in my life.

    But see, that's what's great about a site like this. You can post up what happened and get a wide variety of responses. From ata boy to you (^$%($^ idiot. Seeing all the viewpoints given, you can better analyze your situation. Others just need a place to vent, and that's ok too.

    I'm bummed for the situation when there's a lost deer thread, but I'm grateful for the ability for that person to post it and get some guidance.
     
  9. Fitz

    Fitz Legendary Woodsman

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    We must have different views as to what 'blasted' is....
     
  10. cubs204

    cubs204 Weekend Warrior

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    This. And unfortunately the only way to get better at shooting at a live animal is to...shoot at a live animal. I am guessing the percentage of lost deer among new hunters is vastly higher than experienced hunters.


    I was actually going to start a post similar to this, so I guess Ill tell my story here instead. When I started hunting I was 19 years old. Two of my buddies convinced me to buy a bow as they had just got there first bows. None of us had hunted deer before, and none of us had fathers who hunted. We thought we would give it a try because we like fishing, looking for mushrooms and other outdoors stuff. The three of us taught each other how to hunt, with no guidance. We made mistakes and used poor judgment......a lot (one example of a terrible outcome, one of my buddies took a 50 yd. prayer shot at a doe, hit her in the leg. When we tracked her all we found was a little blood and bone shards. Yes, bone shards from her leg bone. It was heartbreaking). I cant even tell you the number of deer we lost in the first 2 years. I cant speak for those guys, but here is my story. My first deer was a button buck I shot at 6 yds. He went 30 yds and fell. Success #1. My second deer, a small 6 pointer, I shot at 52 yds and nailed him. I had never even shot a target over 40 yds. He went 45 yds losing what looked like gallons of blood along the way. My 3rd deer I shot I hit good at 30 yds and she went about 60 yds before laying in a thicket. Mistake #1: we tracked her immedialtly, pushed her and never found her despite the massive blood loss. My 4th deer I shot was through a 6" opening in some thick stuff. I nailed her and she fell in sight.

    I got lucky my first year on some very poor shot selections and that led me to believe that that was the norm and all I had to do was get an arrow in a deer. The next year I shot and didnt recover 4 different deer. The year later that I shot and didnt recover 2 deer. I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing out there and decided to research some of this stuff. After extensive research (and some maturing as well) I realized the error of my ways. During the next 7 seasons I have shot 12 deer and recovered every one.

    So I guess my point is that if someone on here posts a lost deer thread, try and remember that not everyone has had the teachings of an experienced hunter and may not even realize the error of their ways. Point them in the right direction and hope they have the character to become a better hunter. Save the bashing for a guy with enough experience/guidance to know better yet still takes poor shots.

    BTW, between us 3 guys in the last 7 seasons we have only had 1 lost deer. We just had to learn and grow as hunters on our own.
     
  11. brucelanthier

    brucelanthier Grizzled Veteran

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    For starters, it seems a lot of "bowhunters" have an extremely unrealistic idea of what their maximum range should be. They may practice in their yard at 60 yards on a stationary target but that does not come close to equating to a 40 yard shot on a live deer. Flat on the ground, non-moving target does not equal 17 feet up a tree, twisting around, bending at the waist moving target. And this is considering a full broadside animal.

    They also seem to think that since they have a "fast arrow" (most not even 300fps) that the speed will make up for a bad shot so they try quartering to, full frontal, spine, "faster than the animal can move" and other ridiculous BS. To get that fast arrow they have a stupid light arrow that makes a bad shot much worse. How many broadside shots don't even get full arrow penetration , let alone a pass through.

    Then there is the guy like I spoke with last weekend. Our bow season has been in since Sept. 7th and he said he will get out soon but he hasn't even shot his bow yet this year. He will get it out shoot it to make sure it hits the target and then go bowhunting.

    There is also the issue that, from reading many threads here and talking to folks, that the vast majority of bowhunters are clueless about their equipment. They do not know how to make it shoot correctly (tune bow and arrow), do not know how to make effective arrows (or even ineffective ones) and do not even understand how their equipment actually works together to be effective.

    I'll stop here.
     
  12. MartinMagCat

    MartinMagCat Newb

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    I definitely agree we as bowhunters have a responsiblity to try and make ethical decisions. That being said I don't think it's right for guys to talk about zero tolerance when it comes to making bad shots on deer. What you need to understand is there is a learning curve for guys getting into bowhunting. As an example, when I first started bowhunting I didn't think there would be a difference in the way a field point and a broadhead would fly. Call me dumb but I thought as long as they are both 100 grain there shouldn't be much of a difference. I thought the broadhead blades couldn't throw it off that much with that high of a velocity from a compound bow. I practiced my butt off with field points and was shooting very well out to 40 yards. I was told you want to have very sharp broadheads so I didn't want to practice with them and dull them. So when it came to hunt I threw on my broadheads and went out. When my shot didn't hit where I aimed I wondered. I then practiced with my broadheads to find out they were 3-4 inches off from my fieldpoints. I was then told I needed my bow tuned. I didn't know anything then about tuning a bow. The point is that there is a learning curve with beginning bowhunters. Another thing is buck fever. A guy could go into the woods thinking I will only take a sure ethical shot on a deer. Then the buck comes in..he starts shaking..he can't think straight..he aims with the wrong pin...or doesn't see the thin tree branch in the way that can deflect the arrow a bit. This happens. He could be the most ethical hunter in the world but buck fever can alter judgment. But with years of experience, a hunter learns, improves, learns to deal with buck fever, etc, makes better decisions. This needs to be understood by the vets on here that come down on the newer bowhunters.
     
  13. Marauder

    Marauder Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I understand everything you said Bruce but your signature contradicts your post somewhat. :tu:
     
  14. Adam Winters

    Adam Winters Weekend Warrior

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    How many bow hunters practice "the shot"? Everyone....... shoots 20 to 30 yards, ill put money on 20, and level shooting lanes. But honestly how many hunt from a stand and never practice shooting "down"? How many practice short shots, 10 yards or less? Now make a short shot.... down! Yes its a challenge, go out and try it! What about low light conditions? Who goes out and practices in the cold and rain? Try running a few laps around your house before taking a shot (to get your heart racing and hands jittery), don't wait.... take a shot right away! This is a SHORT LIST of why people make bad shots. Ill prepared to shoot at a living creature to make a quick, clean, humane kill.
    The mentality is "I can go buy my bow.... hit a target under ideal conditions after a few days.... I'm ready to hunt!" But until you can make "The Shot" in the real conditions in which you will hunt, you have no business taking the shot!
     
  15. DrawBackBowhunting

    DrawBackBowhunting Weekend Warrior

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    50 yds is the farthest shot I would take, this only being done if the conditions are right(relaxed deer, slim to no wind, and 100% clearings.) other than that, no way. This is because I'm confident in this situation. I do believe inexperienced hunters/archers will push their luck, and will hopefully lean from their mistakes. Or hopefully someone will lean them in the right way of thinking before deer end up wounded. Once again, who are we to judge a complete strangers effective range?
     
  16. kthomas21

    kthomas21 Weekend Warrior

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    Well, I think 80% of the lost deer threads could be avoided by waiting for a good shot. "when in doubt, back out" is completely overused. New bowhunters think well if I don't hit him perfect, I will find it in the morning, so they aim at the kill zone instead of picking a spot. Focus should be on a quick, clean kill within a very effective range. I also think distance should not be stretched just for horns. That being said freak accidents happen. I lost a deer one time, one a broadside shot, complete pass through. Found the arrow covered in blood, the deer was never to be found or jumped up. I have a very good blood dog, and he never located it either. One of those mysteries. However, I feel those are a very small % of the lost deer threads. Most can be avoided.
     
  17. cubs204

    cubs204 Weekend Warrior

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    I get what you are saying and agree with you for the most part. But, how are you going to learn to take "the shot" without ever taking "the shot". IMO, to learn to keep your cool taking a shot at a living animal, you have to shoot at living animals. Adrenaline is a vastly different beast than running around the house a couple of times. Nothing but shooting deer will condition you to keep your cool better when shooting at a deer. Unfortunately, there are going to be some mistakes along the way. The only thing you can do is try and do it better next time.
     
  18. brucelanthier

    brucelanthier Grizzled Veteran

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    Funny/Sad thing is bowhunters accuse cross bowhunters of this all the time when they want to exclude them from bow season. They say allowing crossbows in bow season will invite a multitude of slobs flinging crossbow arrows at deer. More sad than funny I guess.
     
  19. brucelanthier

    brucelanthier Grizzled Veteran

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    Maybe new hunters should try limiting their range to 20 yards or less at broadside animals. Sure, there may be less shot opportunities but there would also be less mistakes. It is one thing to make mistakes when you limit the risk as much as possible but to make mistakes when trying shots riskier than your capabilities.......But then again, many are clueless about their capabilities.
     
  20. Parker70

    Parker70 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I think you make an interesting point. Not many people practice from an elevated position. My neighbors often wonder who the redneck on top of the house is and why he has a bow. Fact is that shooting from a stand is different from shooting on the ground and between the angles and deer jumping the string it can result in a high hit, single lung hit etc...

    I also don't think a lot of people were taught how to track game. I'm not talking about following blood trails Stevie Wonder could follow, but rather getting on the ground and following the tiniest blood spots, marking the trail, finding broken limbs or kicked up leaves, or noticing where a deer is favoring one side while running.
     

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