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My dad taught me to always take the 2nd shot when presented with a rifle,.. and most of the rifle animals Ive killed in the past got a 2nd bullet before they hit the ground. What do you fellows do,.. your first shot is good,.. and the elk is just standing there, maybe you can see the blood pumping out do you move and risk spooking an animal that is standing and likly will bleed out in a few moments or do you take the 2nd shot
Yep... without hesitation. I've seen too many "perfect" shots turn into 2 day blood trailing jobs.
If you can do it wihtout spooking it absolutely. If the first shot is suspect, absolutely. I the animal is really ppumping blood, is likely going to die right there, and movement will likely spook it? I'd think twice.
absolutely shoot him again. nothing to think about in my opinion.
twice. 3 times if you can. the more leaks you put in them, the easier they are to follow.
1 hole is good, 2 is better than 1, 3 and 4 and so on. Keep shooting!!!!
I've never had the opportunity to take a second shot, however, if presented with one, I wouldn't hesistate. My feelings are the same as gil_wy's. What appears to be the perfect shot sometimes turns out to be anything but.
If I had a "full auto" option on my Mathews I'd use it!!;)
Chris Roe's Link
you never know when you might wish you stuck a second arrow in an animal. sometimes what looks like a perfect shot could turn into a nightmare tracking job. 2 arrows are better than 1. could result in more blood on the ground and more damage to the lungs or whatever is hit. this yr i shot a buck 1st shot was midbody, liver if lucky. he only ran 10 yards and i drilled him again. only made it 30 after that. even if i had hit him perfect on first shot i'd prob wacked him again if i had a chance. never know we have seen some strange things happen..like that waddell tbone show everyone was talkin about last week. 1st shot appeared perfect but look what happend..
Let it fly!
Chris Roe (Bowsite Sponsor)
never look a gift shot in the mouth
I have been on a lot of pain staking blood trails. Been on hands and knees for hours at a time in rain. I would much rather track a deer with 3-4 holes than one with 1-2 holes. Also I personally think folks start tracking way to early myself. I always wait 1 hour unless I see it fall.
When in doubt quiver out.
"When in doubt quiver out." Now I can relate to that!!! (grin)
Yes, without hesitation a 2nd one is flying! 2nd shots with a bow within seconds of the 1st are not the norm but when it occurs & it has several times he will get another!
If the animal is standing and pumping, I won't take the chance to spook it. If I am confident but unconfirmed in my initial placement, yeah, I'll follow up.
I wonder how many follow ups or attempts have garnered blood trails from critters who would have been content to bleed out without further cause to move. Rhetorical question.
I think this one of those questions that cannot be answered unless it plays out live because a fellow would have to assess the shot and read the animal.
"I wonder how many follow ups or attempts have garnered blood trails from critters who would have been content to bleed out without further cause to move."
Many years ago, I hit a bull out of my treestand. Hit was a pass-thru and looked perfect. As it turned out, it wasn't. At the steep angle, I hit him a little low and somehow missed the far lung. When I started the blood trail, there was no doubt he wouldn't go far. He bled like a stuck pig for the 1st 75 yds or so. I was looking up ahead for the carcass when I noticed an elk standing 25 yds ahead thru the timber. I continued to scan for my elk. I finally raised my binocs and looked at this "other" bull. Much to my surprise, there was blood on his side. There was also a large pool of blood beneath him in the snow. Unfortunately, he wasn't bleeding anymore. He even wobbled to the point I just KNEW he was going down at any moment. I thought about putting another arrow in him, but didn't have a clear shooting lane. He finally slowly walked off and went out of sight. Since it was now getting dark, I slowly backed out. I found him much later, and since he quit bleeding, it was pure luck I found him at all. How he stopped bleeding from the low exit hole on the far side is a question that will haunt me forever. Nevertheless, it happened. Hindsight, I should have tried harder to find a way to get another arrow in him. I'll never make that mistake again.
Turn them into a "pin chusion"
Take a second shot for sure if possible.
I shot a bull in 2004 at a quartering away angle and he jumped and ran about 10 yards and just stood there wobbling a little. Later found that the shot got liver and one lung. My second shot was broadside and double lunged him. He ran about 40 yards and went down. Had I not taken the second shot and he decided to run there is no doubt he could have covered a lot of ground and probably would have bailed off into a steep canyon.
I'll always take the follow-up shot if presented.
Empty your quiver if need be as long he's still alive and you've got a decent shot.
I've put two arrows into two of my bulls, both within 30 yards.
I would not hesitate if I got a second opportunity in good range. However, most of the second shots on animals I have taken were out of mercy when they were too weak to stand, and this was just on a couple of occasions.
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
That's why I have a 60 yard pin ( besides practice). If I'm sure the first one is in him- 2nd is on it's way.
that why there's a my quiver bow.
always save one arrow never shoot them all.
The only opportunity I've ever had for a second shot on an elk was back in '83, when I hit the biggest bull I've ever shot (even now,to this day). Looked like a perfect heart shot, pass-through, and I watched as he stood there bleeding, expecting to see him fall over any second. I could have easily shot him again.
He walked away, the blood trail stopped after 150 yards, and I never found the bull or any other sign, even after two days of looking.
Lesson learned - I will always deliver a second shot if the opportunity is there.
My wife hit a bull, from a tree stand. The thing walked in a 30 foot diameter circle, then stood still for 15 seconds, then walked off. She tried to get a second shot in, but caught a branch since the bull was now behind the stand.
When the guide and I got there, the trail where he walked in a circle looked like a hose was draining, no spots, a steady stream. Where he stood was a 18 inch puddle. When he walked off for 75 yards the "tracking" was literally walking just before dark , at a normal pace. It was that easy.
then it slowed. We backed out came back in the morning. NEVER found him. Blood stopped within 300 yards.
Yes she hit it high, but she could see the blood pumping out. Our guess, hit the shoulder and stopped the arrow from anything good, but sliced some good muscles open.
If you can get an arrow in, do it.
Always... absolutely... without question...Ed F
I've done it and would do it again. In the seconds after the shot and as I'm nocking my second arrow I would be assessing the situation and may decide not to shoot again, but most likely would shoot again.
In the months leading up to hunting season we practice shooting at paper and foam targets preparing for that one exciting moment when we get to shoot at a live target. If we get the opportunity to shoot twice, it's twice the fun!
Back when I use to shoot 2 blade Zwickey's, getting a second shot opportunity was more common.
Short Answere: YES!
My second bull ended up with two arrows passing through him. The innitial shot was at 40 yards and it hit one lung went through the heart and exited low on the brisket.
He had no idea he was hit and wondered 20 yards closer looking in my direction. Eventually he started wobbling back from where he came from and I double lunged him with the second shot. It was game over. Attached is the exit wound of the first shot.
In many situations yes. A few, no.
If given a GOOD shot at the vitals I'd take it like I took the first shot.
If I hit him good on the first shot and only had a marginal shot as a second, no. I would do what I could to not push them any more than I had to.
If I made a bad shot? Maybe would take an iffy shot as a second one given the chance? I'm still not sold on it though. Many times an animal will lay down in short order if not pushed. 3 years ago I had a too low shot on a bull that glanced off the front leg into the bottom of the chest angling back. Not like I had a second shot opportunity, but he was hurting and laid down about 150-200 yards away. Was able to slip in and finish the job but what if I had another shot that hit wherever and just pushed him? Even a hard hit or gut shot elk can go miles when pushed.
Bottom line, you make a bad shot you're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't. A gift of 20-20 hindsight would be much appreciated. If you have that one I'd like some of it please...
Definitely. I'll keep shooting as long as they are standing there in most situations. Matt brings up a great point, however, in that there are times when it might not be in your best interest to spook them with a follow up shot. 99% of the time though, I'll be shooting again.
Robert Ruark once said that the biggest problem he experienced with American hunters in Africa was that they tended to "admire their shots". Instead of giving the critter a second one, they would stand there and want to see it fall from the first one. the result often was a lost critter.
This is a thing that is reinforced by the "horn porn" shows on TV. How often do you ever see them take a second shot? Maybe one out of a hundred.
For my money, if I have the chance to put 2 in him, he's going to get it. Heck I'd shoot him 3 times if I could.
This Gemsbok took 2, the first one spined him.
With most of you, take a 2nd shot if it presented. Usually something i don't get very often. Fun story from this years elk trips.
Emptied by quiver twice this year on two bulls within two days of each other. First one i wasn't sure if i had hit him at all on the first shot, then shot two quick ones while he was walking away throught the tree. 3 arrows gone in under 20 seconds !! Finally pulled up my binos and rangefinger on the the last arrow while he was starting on a old logging road. Far shot but put it right next to first one at a better angle. Put him down for good.
Second elk, good first shot. Layed down within site, coyotes got him up within a few minutes of going down, weird. Put another on in him walking away, while he was standing bleeding put another one in him kind of running away at a distance. Snuck back up on him, then a final heart shot, took longer than you would expect. This guy had a will to live.
Called my buddies on the radio to tell them i porcupined another elk and to bring the packs. Haven't gotten much razing about it since i help my buddy kill his best bull the next day. Every other elk i have shot have died within a few minutes of me shoting them with one arrow. Never know what is going to happen. Keep shooting !!
Only if I can draw without him seeing me. I would rather watch them bleed than spook him and get him running. 3 years ago I shot and watched him die when I could have shot multiple times. The following year I put a second arrow in two bulls (different states). Both of them I was very glad I had a second arrow, because the first looked good but was not perfect.
Thanks guys mostly the way I was thinking,.. just sometimes maybe not, Just makes me feel more comfortable about possible choices
Thanks guys mostly the way I was thinking,.. just sometimes maybe not, Just makes me feel more comfortable about possible choices
How many of you made a good shot the first shot and made a bad shot on the 2nd?
Wow... a 6 1/2 year old thread. Might be a record.
Ghostbird......not even close! There was one on here a few months ago from 2008!
Vogue...not sure you can have a bad second shot, if the first one was a good one.
I would only take a second shot if I could do it without spooking the animal. I have watched them stand very calm after a shot and lay down and die without knowin what happened. If a second shot were to spook them it could mean a very long track or worse. If the second shot could be done without spooking them then I would absolutely take a second shot.
Never have and probably never, will but I did watch my hunting partner put 6 arrows into a bull one time from about 20 yards. One of the most disturbing things I've ever witnessed.
I take it if there are even decent odds I can connect which makes my range about 90 yards. A hail mary with almost zero odds makes no sense because you risk spooking a gut shot animal that may lay down in the very near future. There was one instance on a deer when I absolutely knew it was a flesh wound shoulder shot and I passed up a second shot, that animal is going to live no problem. In the end it's just a judgement call. Other than that, the opportunity has only presented a 2 other times for me and neither time did it make a difference, they were both animals dead on their feet.
I would love to have the opportunity to add an arrow or two to every animal I seek to kill. I want the kill to be quick as possible.
Majority of my shots are a 1 hit and be critter goes down within seconds. But I will definitely put more arrows in an animal if given the chance
t-roy, don't forget the classic from '99 that popped up again in March: gota oppomsum
Only had 1 opportunity to take a 2nd shot. And I took it. Bull was DEFINITELY dead on his feet after first shot, but 2nd made no doubt. Take it if you can. A second shot isn't going to spook him into the next county any more than the first one. Just stay quiet, move slowly, etc. to reduce chances of spooking him before you are able to launch the 2nd. I'm certain the number of stories "wish I would have taken a 2nd shot" outnumber the "wish I wouldn't have taken that 2nd shot" like 1000 to 1.
A discussion worth the price of admission! I always thought I'd rather not risk spooking the animal but have learned a completely different reasoning based on some of your guy's actual experience. Thanks!!
T-roy, I should have clarified my question. Has anyone made a shot, that looked good, but you had an opportunity for a 2nd shot, so you took it, and then with the 2nd shot you gut shot the animal or hit them in the leg or other non lethal place?
I've shot many deer twice, even if I think the first shot is good.
Sometimes the 2nd shot was the only one that hit the deer.../:^)
I have had this opportunity a few times and every time the 2nd arrow was sent. In 2005 I will admit to a case of Adrenaline and "Bull Fever". The bull of my lifetime stepped out and I made a pretty good shot. He went about 80 yds. and laid down. Coughed and grunted for 45 min. My buddy came up behind me and whispered he watched the shot and thought it was back in the gut or liver. My heart sank. I chose to sneak up and look after an hour. His head was down and I could see horn tips. When I got to about 18 yds. He raised his head and started to stand up, I launched one directly behind the shoulder. The bull rolled around and I launched another into his ribs. Now he is about 10 yds. from me looking at me head on, I panicked and drilled him dead center in the neck. About that time I heard my partner yell at me. "Are you going to empty your quiver on that thing?" He later said he would have kept shooting as well when he saw the 361" rack on public land.
I have always launched a second when given the chance but last fall it almost cost me my moose, first shot 15 yards, lung liver gut, moose runs out to 60 yards stops and puts his head down and just stands there, so I shoot again and hit him above the spine, he mule kicks and runs 200 yards with no blood trail, 5 hours of searching I found him, got lucky!
Here is another 2nd shot opp. bull. 1st arrow I knew clipped a limb and hit him directly in the front shoulder. Luckily I was shooting solid steel heads, but I wasn't sure it had made it into the lungs in the heat of the moment. He turned 1/4 away and stood still. The angle was hard but I sent 1 right behind the last rib up into the chest cavity. He tipped over within seconds of the 2nd arrow.
I shot my Shiras Moose cow that was with a bull right in the heart, however I followed it and stuck my whole quiver in the boiler room as she was still breathing. The bull kept trying to get her up and raked her over quite a bit. We ended up throwing snowballs, sticks and rocks at him yelling at him until he finally walked off. But then he came back several times while I was breaking her down and he chased us away.
The animal is usually falling over by the time I can get another shot off....but i have a buddy that I swear has another arrow in the air before the first one hits on his longish shots.
Mt. man nice pic,,,,, congrats
Once you have killed enough animals you can usually tell if a second shot is needed. That said I agree if you can get another arrow into them then do it. It can't hurt. I have shot several deer a second time just too be sure. I have also killed plenty where I have just know a second shot was not needed and they tipped over before I could shoot again. Shawn
I would definitely take the second shot. more holes mean more blood I have shot 4 elk more than once, ive never had one spook on the second shot and most that I have shot twice where hit good on the first shot usually in the heart or arteries connecting the heart to the lungs, that's probably why they only ran several yards and stopped for the second shot. all my lung and liver only shots have ran out of the area before I could get the second shot in them.
100%, you should ALWAYS take a second shot. Anybody that has bowhunted enough realizes things are not always as they appear.
I agree, always a second shot as long as I can possibly hit them again.... in any body location.
When i was 13 i smacked a cow broadside with a 243 at 30 yards she dropped at the shot but her head was still up then she got up and took off i ended up shooting her twice more before the dust settled about 1000 vertical feet below where i shot her the first time. Never again will i stop shooting an elk thats still breathing let alone still on its feet.
If they were good enough to shoot once then they are good enough to shoot twice....
There are very few things I love doing more than getting even more arrows sent! I daydream, plan, work, 365 for my chances to send like a measly few arrows through the air each fall. ANY chances I get to send more I always do :) I've had a number of animals that were "dead on their feet" that still got an extra one. Never regretted a single extra broken arrow.
Same here APauls, If it'll stand there, I am flinging some bow bullets!! Hey they should be my quote of the day:)
First bull I shot was a double lung pass through. He ran about 30 yds and piled up. Then he got up. I got back within twenty yards and he started to walk so I put another arrow in him. Found out latter it split a vertebra but had little affect. He walked off and bedded down. I waited for him to die but he seemed far from it. I was close enough that I put another one through his lungs. He got up and started walking through trees towards a pond. I didn't want to go swimming so I ran and got ahead of him. He walked straight at me and at 10 feet he stopped. He raised his head up and I said give it up buddy. He walked a couple steps and collapsed. I put one more in him to finish him. Shot another bull in the same spot and he went 5 yds and fell over dead. The first one I'm sure would have died from the first shot. Not sure if shooting him twice more was necessary or not. I was impatient and wanted that bull dead as soon as possible. It ended well for me.
One Elk, double lung pass through. 1 hour later as I approached he got up. 2nd arrow double lung pass through he, went another 40 yds & done. NO IDEA how he was still alive. Elk, heart shot, watched him drop 100 yds away, walked up to him & he started to get up. 2nd arrow in him too. Caribou, as he went by after 1st shot through him & as you can see, he is in the process of getting a 2nd.. I never hesitate.
my bow hunting mentor back in the early 80's told me to "fire till the quiver is empty!!" good advice throughout the years for archery and rifle hunting.
I really, really, really wish I had done a second shot last year. From now on I will if the chance presents itself.
Never heard of an elk or any critter for that matter that a hunter failed to recover because he shot it to many times.
I shoot longbows and to say that I'm not as accurate or can shoot as far as most is a huge understatement.
I got in front of what turned out to be my best caribou, hunkered down behind about 15" of brush as he approached. At 30 yards (way out there) he turned and started walking broadside. I shot as he started to continue the turn and hit him perfectly behind the shoulder.
He staggered about 5 yards and fell over. I had another arrow on and shot as he tried to rise, hitting him in the front left knee. By this time adrenalin was in charge and I promptly shot a 3rd arrow hitting the same side rear knee.
The bou continued to try and rise so I ran up, grabbed the rear leg arrow and stuck him through the lungs. That did it.
It turns out the first shot had gone in front of the heart, making a superficial cut, the stuck in the brisket bone in the front of the chest. It was large diameter carbon. When he went to run the arrow, tight against the heart, snapped. Apparently the was quite a shock to the heart and he had issues.
I'm sure that left alone he would have eventually left the area. Shoot till you're empty.
always. done it 2 times on elk, once within 15 seconds of first shot. And done once on deer. Definitely in the "empty the quiver if they are alive" camp.
when I arrow an elk, I am usually reaching for another arrow even as I watch initial reaction to 1st shot....just in case.
I shot a sheep, at 25 yards, failed to use the arrow with light nock, went thru it so fast, and hit a rock, I thought I missed.... sheep body language is showing its hit, goes down and over, and along a trail,,,,, I look over the side, there he is, 42 yards ranged, now send a lighted nock, thru the right ham, out the left shoulder........
Sheep, runs up the trail, now he is over 50 easy, and I launch one, send it over him, but he was already falling down and done........
wow, keep shooting,,,,,,,,,,
It will die after the first shot no matter what you do next. So why don't ?
Never on an elk myself, but a bull I called in for Steve last year took the first arrow in the 12 ring at 25 yards, ran to 40 and Steve hit him in the 10 ring with a second arrow. No animal can take two Rages like that, he just flopped over and rolled down the ridge. I would say the whole thing took about 15 to 20 seconds.
as ahunter55 says, never hesitate.
I called a nice bull in for a buddy in Co back in 2010. He got a layup shot at 20ish yds that was a little high. I came to full draw but had to back off as the bull ran too close to my buddy [none likes an arrow whizzing past his ear!] The bull stopped for about 15 seconds -where my buddy had another 10 yarder but passed.
After the bull spooked I asked him why no followup and out came the bowhunters curse, "Thats a dead bull right there" he stated matter of fact. FFWD 3 effing hours grid searching..... zero blood ...and we jumped him....... last time we saw him he was going over a mtn pass at 12,500' a mile away. Never did get him. ___ Had another hunt for mulies in the mtns of Nevada....my buddy Chuck shot a mulie...bad shot but didn't see where. I was above him.....and when the buck ran out of a strip of aspens below me I had my Fred Bear moment.....a quick draw and shoot at a running deer 70ish yards away......hit him right in the back ham and after following the one mile blood trail from that we finally finished him off.
I was shot a doe WT. She went about 30 yards and died. I got down with my climber, talked with a guy who watched the whole thing happen from his climber 50 yards away! (Public land illinois. ......that's a while different story). He got down. We talked, then walked over to the dead doe. She came back to life and took off! I had made a grotesque gut shot that I won't detail, but the last sign I found of that deer was an intestine pile that snagged on a thornbush. Needless to say I will empty my quiver nowadays if given the opportunity.