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Thread: Am I being irresponsible?

  1. #1

    Default Am I being irresponsible?

    First I'll say that I'm not new to bow hunting. I didn't pick up a bow from about 1990 to 2004, but I've taken many white tails and one elk with a bow prior to that, and I've taken moose with a rifle but not a bow, so I'm not an inexperienced hunter by any means.

    I've shot 40 or 50 arrows at a target four or five days a week year round, plus bunnies and grouse when I get a chance in the winter, for the last four years. About a month before moose season, I place some targets in the woods on my farm and "stalk" them from different approaches. I make a point of shooting from various standing, sitting, kneeling, and prone positions. I also place egg timers on the targets set for a random time between 10 minutes and one hour. If I'm "stalking" a target and its timer goes off I have to make an instant call to either take a shot then and there or pass it up.

    I put 179 out of 200 arrows into paper plates on my course in the woods today, which is the best I've ever done. Usually it's more like 160-170. The remainder are usually within a 12 to 18 inch circle, but at least two or three are clearly not in a kill zone every time.

    I have a neighbor who just target shoots year round, always standing and always from known distances using sight pins. He says he puts 98 or 99 out of every hundred arrows in a 6 inch circle without fail. I've watched him shoot, and that's not unbelievable. Also, he shoots a 75# compound, I shoot a 63# recurve. I've invited him to run my target course, but he's declined.

    He thinks that clearly makes him a much better archer than me, which I could care less about, but he also says he thinks I'm being irresponsible to shoot live game with the percentage of hits I'm making, and that bothers me a lot. I say he's full of crap because his percentage has nothing to do with real hunting situations. He says "well, OK, how do you compare with other hunters?" My answer was, I don't have a clue. I've never discussed it with anyone.

    Which comes to the point of my rambling - given the information above, do folks here feel I'm being irresponsible to hunt moose with a bow? Am I way out of the ball park compared with other hunters? I feel confident about my ability to take responsible shots and make clean kills. Last year and the year before I hunted with a bow, but passed up shots that I didn't think were clean and went without moose as a result. However as things stand right now I think I'll never hear the end of it if I make a less than perfect shot. If he's just being a pain in the butt, I can live with that, but if a lot of people agree with him I might have to rethink my choice of hunting with a bow this year.

  2. #2
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    The hardest part of archery hunting is estimating without aid unknown ranges under field/hunting conditions and then making an accurate shot. I tend to practice like your friend/neighbor, but only because that's readily available to me. What you are doing is much more difficult. If I could shoot similarly to you I would. The best part about shooting like your friend does is practicing/perfecting form. Your technique practices everything relevant to the hunting aspects of archery hunting. In short I'd say he's full of it and challenge him again to shoot your course! For traditional gear you're kicking butt!!!!

    Brett

  3. #3
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default 80-85%

    thats not terrible...especially with a recurve....it sounds to me like you know your limits and when to shoot or not to shoot......if it were me i'd keep doing what your doing....and maybe take a leak in that neighbors garden every once in a while
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    go hunting... you should have time to clean up your shot. if you stay quite and are paitent.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  5. #5
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    Thumbs up you're ok

    You shoot a lot more often than most people who will be out bowhunting this year.

    You're ok - you're neighbor sounds like an azz.

  6. #6

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    Thanks to all for the feedback. As I said, I feel confident about my ability to make responsible shots and clean kills, but he got me second guessing myself and I'd hate to wound a moose and leave a non-fatal arrow hanging in him because I'm more confident than my abilities. I'll keep working to improve, but I don't feel like I'm being stupid now. Thanks again for the feedback.

  7. #7
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    I do not agree with your neighbor. You are dedicated and practing much more than most and % wise you are much better than state proficency testing requires. Enjoy your hunting you have earned it .
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
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  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    Practice, practice, practice. You are on target, and you do know your limits. Well done. I can't speak for your buddy. He has his own ideas, and whatever makes him proficient, that is fine. Bottom line, each person is accountable for his own actions, and hopefully each bow hunter will uphold high standards of making ethical decisions. In the end, it will only help bow hunters as a whole.

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    tell your neighbor to shoot a real bow
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10
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    Um, 85-90% kill shots at unranged distances, with A LOT of time spent practicing, not from simple standing positions, but as close to real life situations as you can? Did you honestly just ask if that was "irresponsible"? I'd be willing to say you are doing more that 99% of the bowhunters out there to get yourself as prepared as possible to make a clean kill...including myself. Aside from a bit thicker skin, you're doing outstanding.

    Your neighbor is a clown. Tell the guy to take a hike, do not invite him to your course and whatever he says about archery and bowhunting isn't worth a nickle.

    Sorry to be a little, direct, with this...I just can't stand guys like that.

  11. #11
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    Default No you're not being irresponsible

    I agree with everyone else, you are doing mroe than most in preparing yourself.
    Just a thought but, you're shooting 85-90% at unknown ranges, your buddy is shooting 98-99 at known ranges. He wont accept a challenge to back his mouth on your range, try him on his. From your post, you will probably smoke him at his own known ranges, or at least tie him. That will give you the confidence to know you are not being irresponsible and shut him up at the same time.
    Add in some practice at the distances he normally shoots, and when you're ready challenge him. A sporting way to make him back up what he says.

  12. #12
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    Part of being an adult is accepting criticism and applying it as it fits and discarding that which isn't applicable. Yes, a compound will out perform a recurve. So will a rifle. Given the constraints of a given weapon one might say anything is irresponsible depending upon a desired outcome.

    You passed the "being concerned and self concious" portion of this test.
    Be the Arrow, grasshopper!

  13. #13
    Member ArcherBob's Avatar
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    Default No

    Definately not, actually you've just enlightened me. I shoot a lot on my property and never thought about the timer, what a great idea. Puts more realizm into the "stock". Thanks!
    Bob

    Become one with Nature......... Then Marinade it.

  14. #14

    Default I agree

    With everyone else that has responded. Not only are you practicing 'real' hunting scenarios, you are also practicing ethical hunting. Can't tell you how many guys I have heard of/seen that wouldn't know an ethic if it came up and kicked them in the arse...expecially the ones taking cows up on the haul road, when there is an obvious calf running around with it. As an old high school football coach once imbibed on us "practice does not make perfect; PERFECT practice makes perfect...".
    Your neighbor may be comfortable in a static shooting environment, but as we all know, out in the field, nothing is static.
    Keep doing what you are doing, and 'consider the source' of your neighbor's taunts.
    Wish I had the acreage to do what you are....unfortunately not, and I find myself in the static environment. I do have a little bit of envy for the scenario's you have set up for yourself.

  15. #15
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mics_54 View Post
    Part of being an adult is accepting criticism and applying it as it fits and discarding that which isn't applicable. Yes, a compound will out perform a recurve. So will a rifle. Given the constraints of a given weapon one might say anything is irresponsible depending upon a desired outcome.

    You passed the "being concerned and self concious" portion of this test.
    Be the Arrow, grasshopper!

    BS I regularly out shoot compound guys in 3d events. Bill over at back country archery is a 20 time all Alaska champion, most of those with a recurve.

    Iron sights your on track your neighbor is a typical my tech is better than yours butt head ignore him and find some real archers to shoot with, whether there bow has wheels or not.
    BHA Member
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  16. #16
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Bill over at back country archery is a 20 time all Alaska champion, most of those with a recurve.
    ...in his division.

    Back to the poster... I think you shoot fine. The kill zone on a moose is huge and as long as you know your limitations you will do just fine. Plenty of arrows have been stuck in the wrong parts of moose by both recurves and compounds. Plenty of misses too.

    I am also a multi-time Alaska State champion shooting a compound (In my division) At some point I've probably whipped your neighbor .

    We all miss. Even your neighbor misses and he admits it. 98 or 99 out of 100 in a 6" circle at what distance? I went months, thousands of arrows, not missing a 3" circle at 20 yards in my indoor target league plus practice...then promptly missed my first caribou at 20 yards that same year Poop happens.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  17. #17
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    ...in his division.
    Against folks shooting compounds, there is no seperate divison for trad shooters.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orelk6x6 View Post
    Um, 85-90% kill shots at unranged distances, with A LOT of time spent practicing, not from simple standing positions, but as close to real life situations as you can? Did you honestly just ask if that was "irresponsible"? I'd be willing to say you are doing more that 99% of the bowhunters out there to get yourself as prepared as possible to make a clean kill...including myself. Aside from a bit thicker skin, you're doing outstanding.

    Your neighbor is a clown. Tell the guy to take a hike, do not invite him to your course and whatever he says about archery and bowhunting isn't worth a nickle.

    Sorry to be a little, direct, with this...I just can't stand guys like that.
    I guess that's one way to look at it. I tend to think of it as 30 or 40 misses on each run through my target course. That sounds like a lot compared with my neighbor's one or two misses.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up Like AKDoug said

    Everyone misses, and that isn't how you determine if you are ethical or not. Shooting targets and shooting animals are two different things. Just because you can shoot a target doesn't mean you can hit animals and just because you can shoot animals doesn't mean you can hit paper targets. I know guys that are put in front of a target and don't always hit the kill zone but put them in front of an animal and they are down right deadly. Then I know guys that shoot a 300 60X five spot day in and day out and then put them in front of a animal and they fall apart. When I started bow hunting in Montana the advice that was giving to me was go buy as many doe tags as they would sell me and start gaining experience and confidence. It takes a couple of bow kills to give you the confidence that it takes to start settling down. As it was stated to me one day " There are those people that say could have, should have, would have but never do". So the moral of this story is don't worry about your neighbor and go shoot a moose.

  20. #20
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Rick, maybe I should start a new thread...but I can't let this one go. At every State shoot there is a division for Trad shooters. Bill has a long history and I'm sure he beat some compounders in the early days when there wasn't a seperate division.. it was seperated in the early 70's by the NFAA. He sure likes his wheel bows now and has a bunch of titles in his division using one in Alaska.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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