Mathews Inc.
Shoot while walking or grunt to stop the
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Mike-TN 20-Jan-18
Bake 20-Jan-18
Backpack Hunter 20-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 20-Jan-18
Genesis 20-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 20-Jan-18
Genesis 20-Jan-18
Genesis 20-Jan-18
t-roy 20-Jan-18
Kevin Speicher 20-Jan-18
Franklin 20-Jan-18
t-roy 21-Jan-18
Charlie Rehor 21-Jan-18
JTV 21-Jan-18
APauls 21-Jan-18
JW 21-Jan-18
deerslayer 21-Jan-18
MichaelArnette 21-Jan-18
standswittaknife 21-Jan-18
t-roy 21-Jan-18
M.Pauls 21-Jan-18
patdel 21-Jan-18
Bowriter 21-Jan-18
Mike-TN 21-Jan-18
Glunker 21-Jan-18
Shawn 21-Jan-18
skipmaster1 21-Jan-18
Beendare 22-Jan-18
Franklin 22-Jan-18
mnbwhtr 22-Jan-18
rodb 22-Jan-18
Rock 22-Jan-18
Treeline 22-Jan-18
Arrowhead 22-Jan-18
x-man 22-Jan-18
Genesis 22-Jan-18
TD 22-Jan-18
From: Mike-TN
20-Jan-18
I have been watching a lot of episodes from the last few years of Midwest whitetail.... great show and very informative. On a lot of the shots taken the deer are really dropping hard and causing some bad hits. It seems like this happens a good bit after the hunter has voice grunted or bleated to stop the deer and the deer is at full attention after stopping. It has left me wondering if it is a relatively close shot and the deer is not moving too fast that it might be better to shoot a walking deer than one that is at attention. Thoughts? Mike

From: Bake
20-Jan-18
I always mouth grunt them to stop. But I also hunt VERY unpressured deer for the most part

20-Jan-18
I try to read the situation, having said that it is rare that I grunt or bleat to stop an animal.

20-Jan-18
I've taken walking shots. I've never hit them exactly where I wanted to. Leading an animal is art. And walking animals still jump the string. I think that the biggest problem with leading is that the tendency is to shoot while you're swinging your bow. While that may work with a gun, it doesn't work with a bow. Moving the bow while shooting causes pressure on the back side of the arrow from the rest pushing the arrow(I believe) and makes your arrow hit the opposite side of the direction you're swinging, which on a moving animal, is farther back.

Try it. Try swinging and shooting a static target and then shooting a swinging target like a volley ball on a rope and move ahead of the ball, stop, and lead, and see how much better you hit.

This is why, for stands, for the past few seasons, I've relied on mock scrapes to stop animals. Make one in each shot window and pee in it a little and they cant help but stop to take a sniff.

From: Genesis
20-Jan-18
Light whistle increasing in volume until they stop.Grunting is natural and can cause the animal to slightly quarter to the sound .

Ive never had a whitetail quarter to on a whistle

20-Jan-18
Genesis, ever had them run/spook at a whistle?

From: Genesis
20-Jan-18
Never,ever.If they are close I will lower my volume some but it an unnatural sound so they are very good at putting the brakes on in their tracks.Grunting will sometimes not stop them abruptly and their curiosity will cause a slight quarter to..from a tree stand that is a deal breaker

From: Genesis
20-Jan-18
Heck,sometimes it takes hey! hey! If they run through my whistle.I shot one buck two years ago walking a strong quarter away that I chose to shoot walking.Every deer I've ever shot with a bow that was walking doe or buck,I stopped with a whistle before shooting.I just don't like shooting into deer with moving parts.Dynamic floating scapulas to say the least.......just a scupulaphobe I guess.

Just seen some weird deflections on stationary deer so I can only imagine the addition of movement to the equation

From: t-roy
20-Jan-18
I’ve had to yell at a few of them too, Steve. I don’t think they can hear that well when they’re walking/running in the leaves, or intent on the trail of a hot doe. I always try to stop them, usually with a, for lack of a better description, “meep”. Not really a grunt. Similar to a whistle, somewhat of an unnatural sound. Low at first and increasing in volume, till they hear it. Out of the dozens of deer I’ve stopped, I can only recall one deer that spooked at the sound.

20-Jan-18
Genesis X2, a whistle will generally stop them in their tracks. I have also never had one spook from the whistle.

From: Franklin
20-Jan-18
Never "meh" at a walking deer....trotting or running yes. I have killed a lot of deer in this manner so it`s no big deal for me. But I am not a lengthy aimer....it`s "point and click".

From: t-roy
21-Jan-18
I think I’ll stick to my method, Franklin. I’ve had ok luck with it so far.

21-Jan-18
I agree with Idyl about not moving the bow on a walking shot as you would aiming at a pheasant with a shotgun. I took a walking “second” shot at a liver shot deer this season that would not stop due to the wound. It did a circle around my stand at 25 yards. I fixed the pin in front of his shoulder and it hit just right. That said stopped deer are always the preferred shot. To the OP’s question the tv deer are stopped and generally the shooter holds for a while for the camera/tv crowd which gives the animal and increasing flight vibe which can cause the dropping. I generally shoot within a second of stopping an animal to minimize dropping. C

From: JTV
21-Jan-18
if it is close and a slow walk, dont risk spooking it by making noise... a faster walk and further, I'll try a light baaaa .... if a buck/deer is too close and you try, it may explode out of there ...

From: APauls
21-Jan-18
20 and under I’ve always just let ‘er rip. I’ve practiced enough moving shots it feels very comfortable and they’ve always been great shots. They never seem to jump string if they’re walking when you shoot.

Past that I’d stop em.

From: JW
21-Jan-18
Unless they are inside of 15 yards, I’ll use a subtle mouth bleat to stop them. But I always make sure I’m settled in when I stop them and the shot will break almost instantaneously. I have had to yell at a few bucks that were chasing does hard. Some stopped, some didn’t... :(

From: deerslayer
21-Jan-18
Mike, watch the last 2017 MWW Montana episode. (Actually, watch the MWW Montana hunts from the past 7 seasons and you will see a lot of deer fall to the mouth bleat). That particular buck was at 40, and I had to bleat twice to get him to stop. When he did, he locked up hard, and didn't flinch until the arrow hit him. I do more of a bleat than a grunt, kind of like what Troy is describing. I think some of it is dependent on the situation. That buck was following a doe and had his mind elsewhere. On the other hand early season on an already nervous deer may be different. However, I've used the bleat my whole life and can't ever recall a deer running from it. Very few animals have heard that sound and lived to tell the tale. The ones that did, did so because of my screw up, not them blowing out of there. For me personally I always, always, stop them. To many variables the other way. On the very off chance they take off on me (hasn't happened yet) it is a chance I am willing to take. The odds are much more stacked against me to let them keep walking than to try and stop them.

21-Jan-18
Here’s my take on the matter. I normally make a sound to stop them because I know exactly how they are going to react every time and I can aim accordingly.

When a white tail is walking or worse it’s in the rut trot I have no idea what it’s next move will be. It may stop when it hears my bow shot, it may duck, or it may continue loving but you never know. So I’d rather settle for the inconvenient known of a ducking and then pulling away reaction than the unknown

21-Jan-18
Lost a big bull ek while he was slowly walking. Would have been the largest elk I’ve ever shot. Vowed then and there to always stop them and not risk losing them..

From: t-roy
21-Jan-18
To JW’s point, I am always at full draw before I attempt to stop them.

From: M.Pauls
21-Jan-18
I prefer to not alert them before releasing the arrow. ‘Walk’ is pretty slow, if they were trotting then yeah I’d probably try and stop them. This is for cagey whitetails, I’m not talking other species

From: patdel
21-Jan-18
I stop them with a mouth grunt. I've had to yell at a couple over years. I mean top of my lungs yell. But those bucks were chasing does, hard.

Works for me.

I've never had one spook, but I know people who have.

From: Bowriter
21-Jan-18
First, quit watching hunting shows on TV. Second, practice shooting a target moving at a deer's walking speed. Third, discover how more calm a deer is when you shoot them when they are moving-they seldom duck a string. Fourth, I have never tried to stop a walking animal in my life. Fifth- do whatever suits you.

From: Mike-TN
21-Jan-18
I fully agree that logic would say that you should stop them with some noise whether it be a whistle or bleat. Much easier to hit a stationary target than a moving one. But after watching a ton of episodes of MWW I have been surprised to see how much those “stopped” deer are moving at the sound of the shot. I have not hunted with a camera and have not had the benefit of watching in slow motion how the deer reacts to the shot and MWW staff work hard to get good footage of the shot. These guys would all appear to be excellent shots and the arrow is going right where they want it. But those deer are moving a ton at the sound of the bow resulting in some tough shots. It appears that many times they are anticipating a drop and aim low.... sometimes that works out and sometimes the deer does not react at all. At the end of the day there are some variables with bow hunting that you cannot control and a deer’s reaction to the shot is one of them. In the future I will probably take a small lead on a casually walking deer at close range. Based on a earlier response it sounded like one of the pro staff from MWW posted. I know that is a ton of work getting all that on camera but it is incredibably informative and entertaining. Even the tough shots are educationally and I appreciate you guys showing the whole story. Mike

From: Glunker
21-Jan-18
If deer are 25 yards or less, elk 40 yards or less i would rather not try and stop them. Doubt they will jump a string if walking but have seen them speed on a sound. Worse yet is having them stop where you can't shoot. Also they might pick you off then spook or be so alarmed that they likely will duck on the shot.

From: Shawn
21-Jan-18
If walking then yes I always mouth bleat to stop them, I do not do well on walking shots!! I have also had to literally yell to get bucks to stop escp. when chasing a doe around. I believe the biggest mistake guys make is not bleating loud enough and the walking deer does not hear it the first time and the deer ends up stopping not where they want it. Shawn

From: skipmaster1
21-Jan-18

skipmaster1's embedded Photo
skipmaster1's embedded Photo
I've shot piles of walking deer. I almost never shot them unless they are far or running. This year, my target buck came in chasing a doe at a run, I couldn't stop him but he slowed to a trot as I yelled "meh". He was only 18 yards, so I just shot him on a trot. I've never shot anything with a compound moving that quickly but I've shot a lot of animals moving much faster with my stick bows. I always just swing with them as I shoot.

From: Beendare
22-Jan-18

I prefer shooting while they are walking if its a layup shot. I almost always prefer them to stop on their own on longer shots. Grunting/ cow calling is a last resort for me...but I've done it.

From: Franklin
22-Jan-18
T roy....I was referring to myself....as " I never".... I also don`t follow the deer.... I position the pin where he is heading and as soon as he hits I shoot....usually ends up right where it`s supposed to.

From: mnbwhtr
22-Jan-18
I shoot them walking, if moving fast I'll whistle to slow them. Like skipmaster1 I've shot a pile of them walking with a stikbow.

From: rodb
22-Jan-18
I always grunt and that seems to stop them every time.

From: Rock
22-Jan-18
I have never tried stopping them as I do not want to alert them. moving target have never been a problem for me and it even seems to be a plus at time as I shoot instinctively I just seem to go on auto-pilot and the arrow just appears where it is supposed to.

From: Treeline
22-Jan-18
They don't duck when you shoot them walking. They do when they are looking at you and alert from you making a noise.

From: Arrowhead
22-Jan-18
If I can feel confident that I can make the shot walking then I shoot walking. I have spooked too many trying to do a soft grunt to make them stop only to see them bolt out of there.

From: x-man
22-Jan-18
Treeline X2

From: Genesis
22-Jan-18
Whitetails will most certainly duck when walking. Geographical differences will dictate how much.Stopping and shooting is very intergrated for us compound guys that use the technique,but I understand trad guys liking shooting while walking.This will be my year to try trad and I'll probably take the walking shot

From: TD
22-Jan-18
Walking? On axis deer most times trying to stop them you're just loading up their springs...... A calm walk it's pretty rare they jump the string. At a faster walk I've tried to stop em...... sometimes it works, sometimes they just blast off.....

Don't swing with them. Get out in front of them and hold on an opening they are coming to. Shoot as they move through it. For deer just an inch or two lead, they aren't moving that fast. Elk and big animals move faster, faster than they seem to, need more lead. But then an elk isn't so tightly wound and not the string jumpers other animals can be. They seem to react better to soft grunts, mews etc. to stop them than other animals.

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