Limits of an Ethical Shot - Charlie3

I plan to begin testing myself shooting over the next few months to determine my success ratio of hitting a deer-sized target from a variety of distances. I have practiced like this but never actually documented the results. The human element and other variables are impossible to eliminate, so i can hardly call it foolproof science. However, I believe it will shed some light on what shots I should attempt while deer hunting. Anyways. My question for you all is what constitutes an ethical deer hunting shot if you could simplify it to a percentage you would achieve at a given distance? My answer would be 50% or higher. The goal of my test is too see how far away I can stick the 8-ring at least 50% of the time. Some of my reasons to have a number that low: 1 I hunt on large tracts of open land and am committed to tracking/waiting for a day or more. 2 there is an abundance of coyotes, so if I did not recover the deer the coyotes would, thus preventing death by starvation/infection. 3 my hunting season is only 3 weeks long, so a longer shot may be the only one I get in two or three weekends of hunting. What do you guys/gals think? Feel free to critique my parameters or list your own

Subject
Reply

Re:

Recurve
March 16th, 2014 05:03:54am
I'm trying to get a better picture here Charlie??? you ask what I think and i'm asken if you ever harvested a large animal with a bow??? Any Bow??? Need to know this before one critiques your parameters.

Re: ethical shot

Notyal
March 16th, 2014 06:03:32am
As a veteran bowhunter and a IBF instructor, I would keep my shots inside of 20 yards, especially with traditional bows. I learned from my bad experiences, it is not ethical to take a marginal shot and spending hours trying to find a wounded animal, not to mention the suffering animal. I have always felt ashamed of myself for taking or making a poor shot. Closer is better.

Re:

Buckshotap
March 16th, 2014 08:03:47am

[ email ]
I would say that a less than perfect shot is possible at any range. There are so many variables it would be difficult to predict the outcome for any given distance. That said, I think your idea to practice & document a percentage of success at different distances is sound thinking. Confidence in your ability & equipment is very important. Your approach should help you build the confidence you need to decide to take a shot. I would hesitate to say you should shoot only 20 yds. or less. Your decision to shoot should depend on your ability & equipment & whatever you decide is ethical for you. If one deer hunts long enough, one will end up wounding an animal sooner or later no matter the distance. Over the yrs., I pulled off a shot or two at distances I probably should have passed. But, I had the confidence & conditions were perfect. Today, I limit myself to 25 yds.. One other factor would be the draw wt. of your bow. It should have sufficient KE for the distance in question.

Re:

Charlie3
March 16th, 2014 10:03:54am

[ email ]
Recurve, I have killed a total of 7 deer with a bow and arrow. 5 of those were with a compound more than 10 years ago. I lived in the southeast and had no trouble getting deer directly under my treestand. I moved to eastern Washington in 2012 and here longer shots are more likely.

Re:

Chuck DeLeeuw
March 16th, 2014 08:03:47pm

[ email ]
I agree totally with Notyal above. I've been teaching the bowhunting portion of Michigan's Hunter Safety class at our church for quite a few years now and if I'm asked, which invariably I am in each class, that's the answer I give - 20 yards. In all that time, I don't think I've taken a shot longer than 18 yards at an animal. If I don't get the shot I want, the animal walks and I live to hunt another day. I've been bowhunting myself for more than 4 decades now and I've bowhunted with a lot of different people. While I'll never, ever say I've seen it all, I've seen a lot. I'll stick with the 20 yard thing. That varies a bit relative to a person's skill and equipment but by and large, I'll never be convinced that bowhunting is anything more than a short range proposition. It's important to maintain and validate the limitations we’ve placed on ourselves that serve to ensure a certain measure of challenge and satisfaction in using traditional equipment.

Re:

Willie
March 16th, 2014 09:03:53pm
your ethical range is when you can go out WITH ONLY 1 shot and hit your target, no warm up or thats close enough are allowed.take a loaf of old bread and tape it on each end and hang it horizontal.when you nail this you are good to go.leave the crumbs for birds etc.

Re:

Charlie3
March 16th, 2014 09:03:35pm

[ email ]
Willie good point, not often you can warm while hunting!

Re:sandman

Sandman
March 17th, 2014 07:03:48am
I stay within the 20 yard mark .We had a bow shop that had techno hunt I thought that was good practice because the animals are moving and stop just like animals in the wild maybe you should look around and see if you can look one up .

Re:

David McLendon
March 17th, 2014 10:03:35am

[ email ]
These kinds of threads always end the same. For me ther are no absolutes, if you aren't there you cannot judge it but only make generalizations. I can shoot accurately probably farther than most, but several factors come into play on a long shot. One and settig the stage for the rest, the animal is going to hear the shoot, two is time of flight because more distance equals more time for things to deviate from the sight picture that you released on such as the animal turning or taking a step. Then there is all the stuff in between not only cover but in my area of the world overstory can come into play pretty quicly on a longer shot regarding the trajectory of the arrow. And also is the shot level or isit up or downhill and have you practiced enough to make that adjustment unconsciously under pressure? All that being said my longest kill shot was 37 yards on a calmly moving elk going up the side of a draw resulting in a complete pass through and a hell of a lot of work afterwards. one of the reasons I shoot traditionl is the hunt and a good hunt to me is getting close and my most memorable shot was several years ago on the ground wearing a ghillie when I had to wait for a buck to walk far enough past me so that I could draw my bow at 4 yards. Nothing has topped that yet for me. There is no pat answer

Re:

David McLendon
March 17th, 2014 10:03:21am

[ email ]
Sorry for the typos, iphone and no reading glasses showing my age.

Re:

Dave Lay
March 17th, 2014 11:03:15am
so is 50% a goal your ok with? out of the 80-100 deer i have killed over the years with trad gear i dont think more than a hand full were over 20 yards and i have passed alot of shots under that.. i will pass most shots under about 8 yards or so out of a tree stand due to the poor angle. all situations are diffrent, and countless variables involved. Simply watching a deers body language tells you alot and might give a indication of jumping the string or not, is it walking? sometimes a close walking shot is preferred, wind blowing? angle of shot? brush or just that 1 limb in the way? your shooting position ? as the guys have said above there is no one set distance..but for me, im stretching it when im over 20 or so, but can hit a 8 ring on a foam deer thats standing still in the open all day long at 20-25 yards..

Re:

Recurve
March 17th, 2014 02:03:35pm
I finally got the two posts Ive been waiting for. Willie and Dave Lay your in my camp Guys. If you put profound thought to what Charlie is asking in his post its the Golden question to everyone in our sport. What is an ethical shot with a bow shooting at an animal that breathes life into its lungs??? My personal opinion and answer is the very one Willie posted. And for Dave's post you questioned the 50% acceptance goal? Spot on Brother. Theres a whole lot to question here folks with this post. Stay tuned I have more posts coming. This one aint an easy one by know means.

Re:

Recurve
March 17th, 2014 03:03:01pm
Your first sentence I'm all in with what your trying to determine here. Your gathering data and without (DATA/information) we are all at the mercy of chance in whatever we do. I'm with you thus far all is good here Charlie with the documenting of your results. I'm with you 100% on your second question on the human element side of things. Lots of things happen when you throw the human factor into the mix. Look no further then our Federal Government and you can testify to this human element thing. I'm with you thus far Brother. (Continued on next post)

Re:

Recurve
March 17th, 2014 04:03:24pm
Now for the part you ask what constitutes and ethical (deer hunting shot) part of your question and simplify it into percentages at a variety of distances. And your answer is what gets my full attention at this point in your post. Lets analyze what your stating here and put some profound thought in your next three sentencees about your shot percetage acceptance on the lower end of your (50% or higher shot placement spectrum). The goal of your test is to see how far away you can stick your 8 ring target 50% of the time. I have a couple questions here Charlie on this one. (Continued on the next post.

Re:

Recurve
March 17th, 2014 06:03:03pm
Lets say your surgeon has 50% or greater acceptance standard in his line of work what about an airline pilot had the same standards taking off and landing would you accept those stats and continue in using them??the 50% number is a tough number to swallow in archery and pursuing game. I squint a tad when hitting your sentence using that number. Ouch!!! Regardless of what range you choose to shoot from those words that Willie spoke is what holds true. Each and every arrow released hitting its mark each and every time is ethical. Accept nothing less. Hope to here back from you after your study is over.

Re:

Buckshotap
March 17th, 2014 07:03:32pm

[ email ]
Need to have 100% confidence level when you shoot. No doubt about that. Hopefully your experiment & all the practicing you do during it will provide you with the answers you seek. Need to feel 100% confident whatever the range. I knew a MO State Archery Champion (recurve) at one time. He would tell stories how he would empty his 6 arrow quiver at one deer & never hit it. As I recall, he finally killed one after several yrs. of trying. In camp, he could out shoot everyone. Point is targets are targets & deer are deer. Walking, jumping, breathing live animals. Shooting targets in the Army was one thing. Shooting humans, well, that's something else.

Re:

Charlie3
March 17th, 2014 10:03:21pm

[ email ]
Valid points all of you. I continue to be impressed by the quality of guys you find in trad bow hunting compared to hunters in general (not to say hunters in general are not good folks, just my experience with traditional bow hunters has been above and beyond). One other item I failed to mention that factors into my decision making process. My family does like to eat venison. We are by no means hungry nevertheless the 50 plus lbs of meat from a harvest does improve our quality of life to some extent. I grew up working on both beef and poultry farms and experienced my first slaughter as an 11 year old. Placing over 100 chickens in a funnel upside down, cutting their throat and holding them still for 90 seconds while they bleed out made me promise myself I would never feel guilty for engaging in a fair chase hunt. I think the trade off is is fair to the animal...if I ate only domestic animals I would never make one suffer by wounding it, but the animal would lead a sorry existence cooped up and would have no chance to live long. Maybe my 50% is a bad way to approach it. Aiming for perfection is never a bad idea

Re: Recurve

GILBERT
March 18th, 2014 11:03:19am

[ email ]
I grew up during the old times when the question of ethical, and morality was never asked. The longest shot with a traditional bow is, if I remember correctly 235-245 yards on film, done by Pearson of Pearson bows. Google Pearsons greatest bow shots. That old fart was a very good shot to say the least, as well as Fred Bear (Bengal tiger at 80 yards), Howard Hill to name a few. I have always kept away from getting involved in trying to answer a question that most of the time can only be answered by the person asking. I will break my rule here because "Recurve" your post #3 NAILED IT. What did ole Clint say.... "A man has know his limitations". Great post Recurve.

Re:

Recurve
March 18th, 2014 06:03:46pm
Gilbert I appreciate your post. I would like to bring up another name that to me is the one who defines what standards we all should look to for guidance in what ethical bowhunting means. Paul Shafer!!!! The man was just incredible with a bow and in life, Gene Wensel posted one of the best reads on Paul thats on the net, Brothers of the Bow. There were many others who came forward in sharing stories about Paul after his passing and everyone of them are just incredible in reading what this man was made of. I invite those who never heard or knew him to GOOGLE his name in the Bow Hunting World. You want to know what ethical bowhunting is look no further then this mans name. Truely one at the top if not the best with a bow in my book.

Re:

Charlie3
April 17th, 2014 06:04:25pm

[ email ]
The control group of my study is done! I decided to count only my first shot of the day at either 7 am or 6 pm (before or after work). I was shooting at a broadside 3-D deer from 20 yards in the open on flat ground. I hit the heart/lung area first cold shot 17 out of 18 days. Next step will be same thing at 27 yards. This time I will try to shoot one in the morning and the evening so it wonlt take me a month to get 20 shots in. I will post the results!

Re:

Andy Man
April 17th, 2014 07:04:03pm

[ email ]
do your one shot with a broad head from the way you intend to hunt, and wearing your hunting chothes, things will be different for me its how the shot feels at the time, not the yardage, and factor in a live animal is different than shooting at foam Just Me

Re:

Paul M
April 18th, 2014 05:04:16am

[ email ]
I have shot one deer at 27 yards and i missed. It was a big buck it ducked the arrow big time but 15 to 20 yards are the most killshots.

Re:

Doug
April 25th, 2014 03:04:31pm
practice you point on distance & in. mine is 60yds. go for it. field archery wasn't for nothing.
Charlie3

[ email ]
Recurve
Notyal
Allen Payne

[ email ]
Charlie3

[ email ]
Chuck DeLeeuw

[ email ]
Willie
Charlie3

[ email ]
Sandman
David McLendon

[ email ]
David McLendon

[ email ]
Dave Lay
Recurve
Recurve
Recurve
Recurve
Allen Payne

[ email ]
Charlie3

[ email ]
GILBERT

[ email ]
Recurve
Charlie3

[ email ]
Andy Man

[ email ]
Paul M

[ email ]
Doug
Welcome visitor you need to login or create an account in order to post.