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To be an effective hunter, how good a shot must one be?
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To consider oneself a competent bow hunter, how good a shot should one be?

For example, what kind of groups should a competent bow hunter shoot at 40 yds?

AIU
 
Posts: 3720 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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6" groups at 40 yds will kill any big game, but shooting small groups doesn't make you a competent hunter.

Controlling scent and movement, and learning to observe without being seen makes you a competent hunter, and means you can get closer than 40 yds

I've killed only one deer at 40 yds, and most of my deer at 10-15 yds


One shot , one kill
 
Posts: 197 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: 13 December 2002Reply With Quote
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I really don't think you can measure it in a general group size.
It depends so very much on what animals you target to hunt, what hunting methods you use(blinds, tree stands, stalking and more) and how close you are able to get to the animal before the shot.

The killzone and behavior of the different animals differ so very much.
Moose are large and docile animals while a Whitetail can be small and nervous.

At the range I can consistently shoot 8-9" groups at 60 yards with fixed broadheads and would not hesitate to take that shot on a Moose, but I would not even consider trying it on a Roe deer at anything further than 25-30 yards.
And at 25-30 yards everything would need to be perfect because Roe deer are not only small, but they are often nervous and fast moving.

You also need to consider your shooting skills in a hunting situation and in a hunting position.
Sometimes you need to shoot while on your knees or when sitting.

Let the animal you target and your shooting skills to always hit inside the kill zone of that animal at a given distance, determine your max ranges when taking a shot.

Now I am happy with being able to consistently group 1 1/2" per 10 yards with fixed broadheads, but I hope to become better.

My goal is 1" per 10 yards out to 100 yards or better with fixed broadheads.
I don't plan to take hunting shots at 100 yards, but it is great practice for shorter hunting shots.

The most competent bow hunter is the one that manages to get the closest before the shot Smiler
 
Posts: 461 | Location: Norway | Registered: 11 November 2011Reply With Quote
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I have killed tons of deer at under 20 yards.

Any range you can place then all onto a 8X11 paper well do.

If one can not shoot well at a longer range one just has to get closer.
 
Posts: 18323 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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I think you need softball size groups at what ever range you shoot. The vitals on most animals is much bigger, but shooting paper and shooting live animals is completely different.
I have bow hunted for over 35 years with many animals taken. I can count on less than my fingers the number shot over 25 yards.
Shoot accurately and get close, its fun.


NRA Patron member
 
Posts: 2547 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by df06:
I think you need softball size groups at what ever range you shoot. The vitals on most animals is much bigger, but shooting paper and shooting live animals is completely different.
I have bow hunted for over 35 years with many animals taken. I can count on less than my fingers the number shot over 25 yards.
Shoot accurately and get close, its fun.


df06 hit it right on the nail head. I've started many bowhunters on their career and once they can consistently put 5 arrows into a softball sized target at 20 yards, they're ready to START hunting. It's a long trail to becoming a good bowHUNTER and only part of that is how good of a shot you are....
 
Posts: 816 | Location: Whitlock, TN | Registered: 23 March 2009Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the replies - good info. AIU
 
Posts: 3720 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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I just brought a cross bow due to physical problems accurate fired 3 shots off a rest.

First bolt pulled 2nd bolt shot pulled 3 shot they all went into the same hole at 40 yards what a 3/8th inch group at 40 yards.

Gives a hold new meaning to accurate bow hunting.

I think of the thousands of shots fired with a long and recurve bow to just get good enough for a 20 yard shot.
 
Posts: 18323 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Very interesting question, that every hunter should be thinking on.

For me, I find that paper shooting is not a good measure of hunting shooting. Really you need to ask, "How accurate am I when I am in front of game I want, in a time limited way, and in a less than ideal physical position." At that point how accurate am I?

I found I needed about 4500 well practiced shots before I started to see serious competence in the field. And of course practice must be consistent, ie. very near every damn day, because bow skill evaporates fast compared to rifle.

My experience base: deer, black bear, elk, mountain lion, turkey, eland, warthog, zebra, impala, red hartebeest, and blesbok.
 
Posts: 1864 | Registered: 16 January 2007Reply With Quote
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P dog,

I was astounded at the accuracy of the crossbows when I tried on in January.

A fearsome weapon for sure.

K
 
Posts: 4095 | Location: London | Registered: 03 April 2003Reply With Quote
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I am not much of a bow hunter but I shoot 3" at 30 yards when on paper. When hunting. I limit myself to 20 yards when hunting. I believe you loose 1/3 of your accuracy when shooting game.



Doug McMann
www.skinnercreekhunts.com
ph# 250-476-1288
Fax # 250-476-1288
PO Box 27
Tatlayoko Lake, BC
Canada
V0L 1W0
email skinnercreek@telus.net
 
Posts: 1210 | Location:  | Registered: 21 April 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by chilcotin hillbilly:
I am not much of a bow hunter but I shoot 3" at 30 yards when on paper. When hunting. I limit myself to 20 yards when hunting. I believe you loose 1/3 of your accuracy when shooting game.


Although I have limited experience, I agree and you loose some strength as well.
 
Posts: 3720 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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This is my best shooting to date (25 yds, 70#). IMO good enough for hunting, but I MUST develop more consistency and strength. Yet, I was able to bag an impala.



 
Posts: 3720 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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Anything I can keep them all in 4" circle with some wind, is good enough for me to hunt with. Today, that's about 65 yards.
 
Posts: 1489 | Location: New York | Registered: 01 January 2010Reply With Quote
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A friend who has several animals in the Pope&Young record books tells me, I hope somewhat facetiously, that the William Tell story is a good measurement for distance.

I'm still trying to come back from a second rotator cuff surgery and looking at the new Mathews ChillR.
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Idaho Sharpshooter:
A friend who has several animals in the Pope&Young record books tells me, I hope somewhat facetiously, that the William Tell story is a good measurement for distance.

I'm still trying to come back from a second rotator cuff surgery and looking at the new Mathews ChillR.


When you try the ChillR after your recovery, make sure to try it with the 85% let off roc mods. They make an incredible smooth bow even better. And then when you get to full draw, you can hold that 15% of your draw weight forever! Also don't forget to try the ChillX. It's supposed to be an even smoother drawing bow.

Peter
 
Posts: 120 | Location: Oshkosh, WI | Registered: 21 December 2009Reply With Quote
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With a bow, i believe 98% of the hunters out there should not be taking 40yd shots. If you limit yourself to 30yds with perfect presentation, you will be chasing around a lot less wounded animals. This is what makes a bowhunter effective, as clint once said "man's got to know his limitations".
 
Posts: 29 | Registered: 24 May 2013Reply With Quote
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It depends greatly on how tight your butt cheeks get when that big buck or bugling bull comes in. I shoot competitive archery and ain't too bad, but I have to concentrate HARD when the big boys come callin'. Practice after running around for about 3-4 minutes and you'll get the feeling.

Gary
 
Posts: 1964 | Location: NE Georgia, USA | Registered: 21 March 2002Reply With Quote
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I think a better question would be "how good of group should you be able to shot at 40 yards... when aiming at a live animal?
I have seen many a great target shooter miss one animal after another....
 
Posts: 594 | Location: Plano Texas | Registered: 15 July 2002Reply With Quote
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I got a great deal, so I am going with a 70lb Mathews Monster Wake.

I'll stick with the softball sized group as my yardage maximum.

Rich
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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I am very confident I can hit a softball every time at 60 yards or maybe even a bit farther.

I will not consider a shot on a animal over 40 yards and prefer a lot closer.

No matter how good of shot you are, no matter how fast your super hooty bow is and no matter how sneaky you have been getting in on an animal all he has to do is take one step forward, to turn the perfect shot into a gut shot. The farther out they are the greater chance of that happening.

The closer the better!
 
Posts: 1464 | Location: Southwestern Idaho, USA!!!! | Registered: 29 March 2012Reply With Quote
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agreed...
 
Posts: 23062 | Location: SW Idaho | Registered: 19 December 2005Reply With Quote
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When I was shooting every day between 20 and 40 yards, and practicing occasionally to 75 or 100 yards, I still was uncomfortable on a real live animal beyond 40 yards.

Most of my shots were 20 (or less) to 30 yards.

I've gravitated back to a rifle as my wife suggested that she would prefer that I not stick something that can kill me with a sharp stick before our children are out of college -- and they seem to be taking their own sweet time.
 
Posts: 9139 | Location: Houston, Texas | Registered: 26 December 2005Reply With Quote
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