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Thread: 90 yard shots at big game with a bow

  1. #1

    Default 90 yard shots at big game with a bow

    This thread isn't intended to bash anyone, just trying to get others thoughts using a variety of scenarios, if you are scared of getting bashed for your thoughts, then PM me and I will track. I am not promoting 90 yard shots, but would like to know what makes a person tick when faced with the moment of truth.

    Scenario 1: Caribou 90 yds, broadside

    Scenario 2: Moose 90 yds, broadside

    Scenario 3: Elk, 90 yds, broadside

    Scenario 4: 10' Brown Bear, broadside


    If you said yes to 1-3, but not 4, then why not, if you said yes to any of 1-3, but not 4 then why not

    If you are a registered guide, would you allow a client to take a 90 yd shot with a bow at an animal?

    If you are a registed guide do you ask your client to shoot in front of you to prove their abilities, at any distance?

    Please take the time to think about this--of course it is easy when we haven't been faced with the moment of truth--so please don't be flippant with the response

    TY for your responses

    Wayne
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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default No Way for me!

    Between my release and the vitals, there is too much room for ERROR! I would not take the chance of wounding an animal. There may be folks out there that are accurate at that range, but I haven't had the pleasure of meeting them!

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Saw a post on the PSE forums a year or so ago. Kid nailed a whitetail at 90 some yards. Double lung/heart shot, even had pictures, perfect middle of the heart. However, he was into long range 3D shooting, and regularly shot at 125? yards.


    If your accurate enough to do it, then go for it. I'm not, and doubt I ever will be.

    On top of that, a deer is somethin' different from the animals we have up here, especially the bears. I don't know how much killing power a arrow would have at that range...




    Jon

  4. #4

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    My response is any of these are irresponsible under any circumstances. A bow is not intended for these distances, and there is WAY too much room for error, plus, at that distance, the arrow is traveling at a much slower velocity that would be adaquate for good penetration.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  5. #5
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    Default Not taking the shot

    After having shot competition for several years, I still would not take the shot. There is way too much room for error, and the payoffs vs the risks just don't pan out. You are talking about an animal, not a target. Something alive, not inanimate. I personally feel a huge responsibility to do what I can to minimize any suffering ensuing from my actions while hunting.
    So I would ask the same question of the die hard rifle hunters. Would you make the same shot, figuring in a 4:1 or 5:1 factor in comparing a bow to a rifle. Would you make that same shot at 360 to 450 yards, under the same conditions as you are picturing the bowhunter, and do so off hand?

  6. #6

    Default add on

    Thanks for the response, would love to hear from a guide, I guess there is no distance that can be agreed upon as "what is to far", one guy on archery talk said it is personal ethics, but I challenged that by saying what if your ethics/poor decisions cause me to lose my hunting rights--like was done by the hillside hunts. I threw the four scenarios out there as a trick, and I am amazed at the people that have said yes to shooting at all 4 animals at 90 yards--I surely thought that the BB would make them stop and think a bit--as he is going to fight back if wounded more so than the first three, but no, he would get shot at?

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If I am that far away then I should be able to find a rest for a rifle. I would send a follow up shot at that range off hand but would not take a shot at that distance without at least a nealing supported shot. I would not question a 300 yard shot with my 325 WSM but wouldn't feel comfortable today taking a shot much past that without more practice at those ranges. 90 yard bow shot absolutly NOT on anything but small game. A 90 yard shot on a rabbit would be sweet! Too much chance of wounding an animal for long range archery on big game, but on a rabbit it aint going far with an arrow bolting him to the ground even with a less than perfect shot.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I'd arrow a bear at 10 feet
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default lujon, off hand only

    I don't doubt you have the ability to go prone or supported and make that shot. The comparison was for offhand only. Put the scenario any way you want, but the bowhunter shoots offhand, period.
    And are you saying a 300 yard shot offhand is unquestionable? Are you sure? You make a comment about too much chance to wound an animal for long range on archery. I sense a bias. Across the board, nationally, the wound rate for animals is approximately 30% regardless of method of take. I have tracked more game wounded by firearms than by archery equipment by far.

  10. #10
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Doesn't taking long bow shots at game defeat the idealogical choice to hunt with a "limited range" weapon?

    Why do we (as a society) carry our "must win/must have it now" attitudes into the field.

    Hunting with a bow is all about getting as close as possible, about pitting superior intelligence against superior senses.

    If I could shoot like Howard Hill I would not take a shot at game over 50 yards. A brownie at 10 feet? It depends...but probably...at 10 feet there's a myriad of things the bear could do to force you to shoot. Optimum bowshot on dangerous game IMO is 20 yards.

  11. #11
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    As a bow hunter I would not take a long shot like you have put before us .
    All of the game I have taken has been under 30 yards .

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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    Default Good Point Erik

    One of the things I teach in class is that people chose of their own accord to limit themselves physically. They must also change their perceptions and decision making process while afield to match those limitations.
    And even though you do not imply it, shooting a rifle does not mean that there are not limitations.
    I do get weary of rifle hunters using poor verbage and assumptions when talking about archers and what they perceive should be an archers limitations when they do not impose those same restrictions on themselves. I am not in any way insinuating that everybody falls into the same group. But we see it time and time again from a chosen few. And lastly, for those that don't know me, I hunt with both as the opportunities arise. Would I make that long shot offhand with a rifle? Not on your life, and certainly not on the life of an animal.

  13. #13

    Default It depends

    It really comes down to training and everything being just right. I grew up hunting elk, deer, bear, cougar, turkey. I've taken a number of elk and deer at 60 plus yards. I've also turned down shot at less than 20 yards because the shot wasn't right. I do not believe you can group into 'yes' or 'no'. I have spent much of my life shooting at long range both with archery and fire arms. When I was training a lot, I might take a rifle shot at 1000 yards but only because I trained for that kind of shooting on a very regular basis. Today I wouldn't shoot much over 600 yards simply because I don't have the time or the range to train at those longer ranges. The same thing with a bow. I still train out 60 yards regularly and can keep a dozen arrows inside a 4 inch circle and used to train at 100.
    The question that comes to mind is.....Are you trained to shoot those kinds of distances AND can YOU make this particular shot? If it's questionable for what ever the reason then the answer is simply NO. No matter how good you are. If you do not train for this kind of shooting you have no business even thinking about it.....even if you connect it's nothing but sh#%house luck.
    Good Shooting and keep your powder dry!!
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    Default 90 yards

    Even my barn door is safe from me 90 yards away. I've shot enough to know my realistic abilities. There is always a chance at killing that animal 90 yards away, but I've never found myself that hungry yet.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    90 yards for a bow is 600 yards for a rifle, and guys do that. it all depends on each personals capabiltiy. i shoot alot out to 80 and would take that shot in perfect conditions on select game. not bears and not deer and not in ANY sort of wind or moving game. small targets and targets that don't like being wounded....
    i would let a client take a long shot, and yes they need to shoot infront of me, EVERY DAY before i'd let someone take a nutso shot like that. one client i took shot for mathews, he shot his bow at 80 yards everynight, popcan bottom size groups, i'd have let him take a 80 yard shot. if i've got a guy shooting paper plate size groups at 40....35's gonna be as far as i'd let him shoot.
    Same with a rifle if he shoots a 6in group at 100 yards, then 150 is about as far as i'm gonna let him shoot. capabilities. big difference between "flingin' one out there" and taking a shot.
    touchy subject..but i also always carry a firearm when i bow hunt. so i'm not a purist.
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    Member JustinW's Avatar
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    Default All my opinion

    I personally wouldn't be 100% comfortable with any of those four scenarios. I don't think that there are too many bowhunters out there that would be. I have shot and killed animals out to 70 yards with complete pass throughs. You need the right conditions, the right equipment, the right tuning and enough experience. I know my father killed his first caribou over 20 years ago at over 100 yards, his first shot at a caribou. An experienced archer that knows how to make long distance shots can do it, and do it ethically with consistent kills at a rate no less than that hunters same shots at 40 yards. I know a handful of hunters that can confidently and consistently make those shots.

    In these shot conditions what it really comes down to is having proper equipment and great form. Your bow should be a bow that can be perfectly tuned, long axle to axle, aluminum arrows with a lot of kinetic energy (more inertia means more forgiving). A short axle to axle, reflex riser bow with carbon arrows and little broadheads is to finicky to even attempt a long shot.

    Scenario 1: Barren ground means many of your shots are going to be beyond 40 yards anyhow. There really isn't much difference in 60-90 yards as far as the shot is concerned. A caribou is so soft penetration isn't a problem and you have a large vital area. Caribou don't stand still often, this shot would become very difficult on a moving animal.

    Scenario 2: Huge vital area. Shooting proper equipment this shot should still go at least to the fletching which is more than enough for a clean kill.

    Scenario 3: Could be the only shot you get on a large bull with cows around. Yet again another large vital area. Should be an easy shot at 90 yards if you practice out that far.

    Scenario 4: I don't think I would take this shot if it were on level open ground but I would certainly take that shot if say, i was shooting down onto a riverbank from a cut. This shot all depends on the angle and whats in that 30 feet between that bear and myself. If a bear doesn't know you are there and you shoot, even on flat ground he is likely to run towards his escape path, not towards the hunter. This shot I find to be the least clear cut.

    **********************
    Again, I cannot stress enough that having the proper equipment designed to make a shot like this is important. The key is a stable bow and a stable arrow. This isn't the hyped stuff you see in the magazines every day. This is a more traditional looking bow, a longer axle to axle bow shooting a longer arrow. These arrows are more than likely aluminum which is heavier, have more consistent spine, is straighter and has more inertia which makes it less prone to changing direction from bow torque or environmental factors. These bows are also meticulously tuned using more than one tuning method. They are shooting 4 helical fletched vanes. These guys are also shooting a quiver mounted on their bow that has quite a bit of weight. The result, a very very stable bow shooting an arrow thats also going to be very stable in the air. Combine that with lots of practice, excellent form and no peep site and its actually quite easy to shoot out to those distances with accuracy.

    The latest and greatest isn't likely to shoot these distances well. The modern bowhunter tends to borrow a lot of the technology used by target archers. This doesn't lend well to broadhead flight. Chuck Adams actually has a good article a wrote that sums it up well. Even taking into account the source of the article, take the statements made, do your own tests and you will find the same thing.

    http://www.eastonarchery.com/article...umaremyfav.asp

    That's my opinion, take it for what its worth. Don't dismiss it though. Do some in depth thinking and your own investigation. Its likely to be an angle that is counter to your own.

  17. #17

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    1-3, NO under any and all circumstances.

    4, depends on the circumstances, how far, animals behavior, distance etc. I personally hunt bears with a longbow and wood arrows, my goal is a nice brownbear some time in the near future. I would guide a bow client to bears in a heartbeat! I would also have them shoot before hand in front of me, mandatory. I'm assuming that bb is any range....90 would obviously be a NO

    I am a registered asst guide. I do ask my clients max effective range and I do ask to see them shoot but I dont push the issue (for dangerous game I would push that issue). Typically we get into a shooting session just for fun anyways which takes care of that, the nice thing about being a bowhunter and a bowhunting guide. I do check over there gear and broadheads to be sure they are sharp. And usually the boss ask's them questions, past experiences etc which I in turn ask again. Most people lie atleast a little, my last client was a doosy!!!

    Buckn rut and anyone who thinks like you, you're welcomed in my camp anytime!!!!

    Erik, I wish I could have come close to saying as well. And it goes for all weapons not just bows. The I gotta kill mentality! If ya ever get in a bind for a partner, dont hesitate to shoot me an email!!!

  18. #18
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    Default 600 yards offhand?

    Brwnbr, is that what you are telling us? That you think that there are riflemen out there that can consistently and ethically shoot that far offhand? Are you one of those guys that can do it? I estimated a 4 or 5 to 1 ratio comparing a bow to a rifle. You are making the comparison at over 6 to 1. There well may be the anomaly, but I do not know anybody that can make that shot with a rifle. I also know of nobody that can make the same claim with a bow. Remember, that is 100% of the time, every time.
    Gobblinfool baited us a bit, but he baited us with this conundrum based on archery. I expanded it to include firearms. We are all hunters, yet he questions only the aspect of bow hunting in his second post as to how that could affect his opportunities to hunt.
    Bow hunters offered to set in place limitations based on education which included both formal and practical training and evaluation. Across the board, rifle hunters have not stepped up to that plate in the state of AK. Rifle hunters are substantially more prevalent, and therefore provide many more opportunities for negative issues to be raised by the non-hunting public.
    My goal is not to set in place a rift between the 2 groups. My goal is to ensure fair equitable comparisons between them. Additionally, Gobblin's point appeared to be focused around lost hunting privileges (not rights), in the ANC area. The opportunities for firearm hunting of big game in populated areas are reasonably restricted in most cases. But it behooves all of us to advocate for positive measures that might initiate new opportunities.
    As for Hawkens claim that bows are not meant to shoot those distances, you should watch the Olympics. Comparable shots are made w/bows pulling a lot less poundage than bows required to hunt in AK. A 1oz (437.5gr) arrow out of a 60lb bow can fly upwards of a 1/4 mile and with a razor sharp broadhead have enough energy to create havoc. Do not underestimate the lethality of especially modern archery gear.

  19. #19
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If I am 300 yards from an animal I can't imagine a situation that I wouldn't have time to use some sort of a rest. I wouldn't shoot offhand past 150 yards and would prefer not past 100. I have not archery hunted but shot quite frequently until I left the state in 98. I could put consistent groups out to 50 yards as a kid. The problem I have with long shots in archery as opposed to firearm is that it is far easier to judge the trajectory of a rifle, it is much flatter shooting which limits the likely hood of hitting an obstacle. In order to get the trajectory of an arrow on target it must go through a much higher amplitude arc on its path taking the arrow out of the line of sight and potentially into unseen obstacles. There is also the increased potential for the animal to move between the release and impact of the arrow. I have seen video's of deer ducking an arrow at 40 yards it would seem that animal movement at further distances would be exponentially more likely. I would think that caribou could potentialy put a confident accurate archer in the most likely position to make a 90 yard shot successfully but I wouldn't take the shot. I am not dogging archery I hope to one day get back into it and for me even with a rifle I will get as close as possible before squeezing the trigger, I would prefer to be in bow range no matter what weapon I am carrying. In short no 600 yard shot with a rifle and NO to all 4 questions the first three due to respect for the animal and the 4th add respect for my own life

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I wanted to ask the bow and gun combo hunters if they feel (as I do) that due to the way you hold a bow versus a rifle referring to them both as "off-hand" is a bit apples to oranges. I always felt comfortable and balanced with a properly set up bow far more so than with a rifle standing unsupported (off-hand)

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