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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 11/2/2009 5:06:31 AM EST
Just thought I'd share my weekend events on here. I will preface this by saying I am quite new to bow hunting (crossbow) and This is my first season to actually hunt with one. We have a small spot of land on a mountainhere that is teeming with deer I decided to buy a crossbow and take advantage of the early bow season. I practiced for about a week with the bow and I became a great shot with it and was starting to get the hang of estimating distance. I was keeping 3" groups at 40 yards and I was finally ready (I thought) to go in the woods.

After an uneventful Friday night in the woods, I headed out Saturday afternoon with great optimism. After about an hour, I see some movement out of the corner of my eye and see a doe and young deer (not spotted, but obviously this years young) She sees me bring my bow up and stops approx 25 yards away, broadside and I have a window approx 10" wide between trees to shoot through. I had to crane around sideways to get the shot, I line up, pull the trigger and watch the arrow smack the side of the tree and go get deflected way off target. I was craned so far sideways and in my excitement I didnt make a concious enough effort to keep still during the followthrough and I kicked it to the side.

fast forward to Sunday morning, with Saturdays dissapointing miss still lingering I head out about an hour before light (and still spook two groups of deer in only a half mile walk) I sit at my spot and about 30 min after light a group of three deer (out of range) go sneaking through and out of sight. After about five minutes a small 4 point appears from the direction the group disapeared and starts trotting my way. I quickly raise my bow and try to make a snap judgement on range. he sees me move and stops approx what I think is 25 yards away (in actuallity he is more like 14 yards away) I put the crosshairs on him, squeze the trigger an watch my arrow soar 1 inch over the top of him and smack into an oak tree with a resounding "THUD" ... another miss. He was heading my way so quick I misjudged the distance and I rushed the shot. anyway, I spent the rest of the day sunday practicing and doing "distance exercises" I am hoping I can get it together and actually HIT someting this weekend. I have never been so disappointed with myself, I am just glad that I didnt end up wounding one of them.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 5:24:10 AM EST
Keep after it, sooner or later you'll connect.

My .02 - keep all shots at 30 yards or less and never shoot at moving deer with a bow / crossbow. It's better to have missed outright than to hit the animal poorly and it die a day later and a mile away.

Good luck next time out.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 5:41:16 AM EST
Stick with it man, you will score eventually –– and keep practicing.

I was surprised to read that you think that the difference in point of impact between 14 yards and 25 yards would cause the arrow to sail over the deer's back. Assuming you were zeroed for about 25 yards, I would think that the arrow wound be right about dead on at 14 yards also. Anything more than about 2" difference in POI would seem very strange to me. I don't know what your setup is though.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 5:55:19 AM EST
I've heard from others that crossbows are louder than bows.

Is it possible that those deer jumped the string like I've had them do with a bow?
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:12:23 AM EST
I'm disgusted with you too...

jk..

practice, practice, practice...
then practice some more.
From a tree, from your roof, etc...
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:18:33 AM EST
that's why its called hunting and not killing deer (at least thats what i tell myself) at least you spotted some!
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:24:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 6:24:46 AM EST by danc46]
Pick your spot on the deer you are shooting at. Concentrate on that spot and watch it get hit when you shoot.
As funny as it sounds, you're looking at and thinking of the whole deer and it is throwing your aim off.
Concentrate on the shot, imagine that is where you will hit, then shoot for that spot and watch it hit.

ETA - The above is assuming you are the cause for the miss and not the weapon.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:38:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 6:38:29 AM EST by Yankee_81]
Originally Posted By danc46:
Pick your spot on the deer you are shooting at. Concentrate on that spot and watch it get hit when you shoot.
As funny as it sounds, you're looking at and thinking of the whole deer and it is throwing your aim off.
Concentrate on the shot, imagine that is where you will hit, then shoot for that spot and watch it hit.

ETA - The above is assuming you are the cause for the miss and not the weapon.


it's not the bow, def me. I can plunk them in a 3" group at 40yards when I'm shooting at a target. and in response to the earlier post about POI, my bow shoots almost flat (+or- 3") from 10-25 then drops quicker after that. I was just rushing the shot and not thinking I aimed a little high in case he was further than i thought and went right over him. I just dont have the experience to make a snap decision on distance yet, thats what I need to work on this week.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:46:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 6:51:38 AM EST by eracer]
"Craning around sideways" throws all your fine motor control out of whack.

If you think you will have shots like that, you should practice them. I'm no expert, but I do know that target shooters work hard to develop routines that get them in very specific and repeatable body positions. Obviously, hunting isn't target shooting, but it seems that some of the lessons would apply.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:11:03 AM EST
Experience is a bitch of a teacher huh?

Try surveyor tape. One color for 20 yards, different color for 30, 40, etc. Put them all around your stand.
Pick your spot on the animal as soon as you see it. If you decide to shoot aim there - dont look at the whole animal.
Calm down. SLOW down. 2 shots in 2 days is pretty good.
Far better to clean miss than stick one in the guts or ass.

You will succeed.

Tag for pics
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:16:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By Yankee_81:
Originally Posted By danc46:
Pick your spot on the deer you are shooting at. Concentrate on that spot and watch it get hit when you shoot.
As funny as it sounds, you're looking at and thinking of the whole deer and it is throwing your aim off.
Concentrate on the shot, imagine that is where you will hit, then shoot for that spot and watch it hit.

ETA - The above is assuming you are the cause for the miss and not the weapon.


it's not the bow, def me. I can plunk them in a 3" group at 40yards when I'm shooting at a target. and in response to the earlier post about POI, my bow shoots almost flat (+or- 3") from 10-25 then drops quicker after that. I was just rushing the shot and not thinking I aimed a little high in case he was further than i thought and went right over him. I just dont have the experience to make a snap decision on distance yet, thats what I need to work on this week.


Invariably, people shoot high when excited or under stress. With rifle, handgun, or bow.
I went from a tricked out compound bow to a plain sightless recurve when hunting and my success rate jumped dramatically when it came to killing deer. I vary seldom shot high with the sightless bow and shot high a lot with the sited compound.
I had less to think about with recurve and just concentrated on the target and I bagged a lot more deer.
Including a couple of shots some people would call "hail mary" shots.
Nothing beats experience and time in the woods actually hunting.
You'll get there but don't obsess on your inexperience.
I can tell right now the next shot you get will put some meat in your freezer.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:42:07 AM EST
I bow hunt and have the same problem of shooting high(i shoot low for some reason when gun hunting. go figure). I solved the problem by setting my sights so that I shoot 3 to 4 inches low at a known yardage.

First time out trying this method and plugged an eight point.

This year I could not bow hunt due to a shoulder injury and funds kept a crossbow out of sight.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:23:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By Zoomer302:
Experience is a bitch of a teacher huh?

Try surveyor tape. One color for 20 yards, different color for 30, 40, etc. Put them all around your stand.
Pick your spot on the animal as soon as you see it. If you decide to shoot aim there - dont look at the whole animal.
Calm down. SLOW down. 2 shots in 2 days is pretty good.
Far better to clean miss than stick one in the guts or ass.

You will succeed.

Tag for pics


I have heard the same thing from a few people and it seems like it will help. I am going to try to do that sometime this week.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:27:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By ar15hookem:
I bow hunt and have the same problem of shooting high(i shoot low for some reason when gun hunting. go figure). I solved the problem by setting my sights so that I shoot 3 to 4 inches low at a known yardage.

First time out trying this method and plugged an eight point.

This year I could not bow hunt due to a shoulder injury and funds kept a crossbow out of sight.



I was thinking the same thing this year, but I found this site selling the Barnett Panzer V for $126 with quiver, 4 arrows and sights. A lot of people poo poo on the barnett's but I have nothing but good things to say about mine. very accurate, very confortable, lightweight and quiet. link
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:28:44 AM EST
Learn to bumpfire, maybe?

Relax though, we all miss, it is just a matter of how often and how bad.

TRG
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 9:33:35 AM EST
Start practicing at unknown yardages. If you don't have a rangefinder, you need to know how to judge yardage.

Some 3D clubs allow crossbows, that would be about as good of a practice session as you can get.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 11:46:59 AM EST
get a range finder.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 11:58:34 AM EST
At least you saw some deer. All I had go by was a turkey.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 12:02:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By MTNmyMag:
get a range finder.


I had been considering that greatly, however, after both these shots I realize that at ranges as close as I encounter bow hunting I wouldnt have been able to use one without spooking the deer. they both came in so quickly and stopped so close that I would have been busted if I had made the extra movements to use a range finder. The situation would be different if I had a treestand, but I am hunting from the ground this year. as mentioned above, I am just doing a lot more shooting at unknown distances and also just walking around the woods and picking a tree/rock etc. judging the distabnce and then pacing it off to see how close i was (luckily, my normal pace is almost exactly 1 yard) I also plan on using flagging tape to mark distances from the spots I hunt from.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 12:08:53 PM EST
Can you build a ground blind in your state? Limbs, leaves, brush to help conceal movement?

TRG
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 12:10:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By Yankee_81:
Originally Posted By MTNmyMag:
get a range finder.


I had been considering that greatly, however, after both these shots I realize that at ranges as close as I encounter bow hunting I wouldnt have been able to use one without spooking the deer. they both came in so quickly and stopped so close that I would have been busted if I had made the extra movements to use a range finder. The situation would be different if I had a treestand, but I am hunting from the ground this year. as mentioned above, I am just doing a lot more shooting at unknown distances and also just walking around the woods and picking a tree/rock etc. judging the distabnce and then pacing it off to see how close i was (luckily, my normal pace is almost exactly 1 yard) I also plan on using flagging tape to mark distances from the spots I hunt from.


work on your camo and concealment. I can range deer within 10 yards and not get busted. If you hunting in a fixed spot you need a to build a really good blind if if its just out of natural materials. Make sure you do 4 sides and a top keep your shooting holes as small as possible and not in line with each other. The darker you can get it inside the better off you will be. Also just move slow and steady you can get by with alot more movement than you think you can. or go higher. also pre range something as soon as you get set up. Its a good idea to get a range finder anyways if you think you will ever hunt anywhere else.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 12:26:57 PM EST
I missed with my muzzleloader from 75yrds Sunday evening. It happens I guess, but it sure is a crappy feeling.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 1:40:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 1:43:18 PM EST by Mach]
You should put natural yardage markers on the ground, to estimate distance better.


ETA: May I add, there is nothing to be stressed about. the deer aren't going to shoot back, so calm down and move slowly.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:24:20 AM EST
My son is quite the accomplished bow hunter. He has a range finder on his neck every time he goes bow hunting.
He has the Leupold RX1.
Something like this:



He took a doe at over 30 yds with it a couple of weeks or so ago for the land owner he occasionally hunts on.
That friend of his has the entire deer made into summer sausage for the holidays. She weighed over 110 lbs.



I started him bow hunting (almost 20 years ago) and I never carried a range finder.
But he got into competition and the higher end of bow shooting and insists on carrying that range finder every time he goes onto a stand.
I guess it must be worth doing or he wouldn't mess with it.
I always thought there was two approaches to hunting deer. Super fancy with all the gizmos or just keep it simple.
But I'll bet money either way you go the next shot you take will put a lot of blood on the ground, and a pile of guts not too long after that.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:51:48 AM EST
Stick with it man. Don't get discourage. I missed a big 9 point this year at 22 yards, he jumped the string on me. I went out the next week and shot him on the other side of the field I was hunting at 22 yards again and got him. Just always make sure you have a clean miss. Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:49:24 AM EST
Thanks for all the encouragement, I am going to head to my spot this afternoon and hopefully if any deer show up I"ll be posting pictures instead a story about another miss.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:11:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By Yankee_81:
Thanks for all the encouragement, I am going to head to my spot this afternoon and hopefully if any deer show up I"ll be posting pictures instead a story about another miss.

Get one!!!!!!
My dad talked about me using a rangefinder. I do when I first set up on a stand and have an idea of where the deer will be coming from. I always carry one in my pack. It is a big help when I first go on to a new stand.
Gauging distance is the real challenge in making killing shots when deer come into range.
But you'll have it under control when you shoot next time!

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