Contributors to this thread:
What is the longest range you feel comfortable shooting a whitetail with archery equipment with a 95% success?
20 yards or under. I only use a single pin on my deer rig. Never needed to shoot over 22 yards on deer.
Inside 18 on a non alert deer with stickbow, inside 25 on a non alert deer with a compound, if we’re talking 95%
Not more than 20 yards they are too sketchy.
40 yds on non-alert deer. Shot 3 this year. Longest was 15 yds
While using a crossbow ?125.7 yards on an alert running deer.
I’d shoot out to 40, in very good conditions, little wind and relaxed deer. But in 42 years of bowhunting I believe I’ve taken two shots at that distance. The vast majority of my shots have been 20 yards plus/minus a couple yards.
While miracle shots happen from time to time, 20 yards or less is the best characteristic of a successful white tail hunt. Big smile on your face and quick deer death are priceless.
Depends how big the rack is.
20 yards max. 12 to 15 ideal.
I can hit targets accurately well past 20 yards, but under hunting conditions at live game there's just too much that can go "Murphy" on you. I learned that lesson the hard way.
40-45 yds ....... prefer 30 or under
I’ve killed a few at 65 yards. I’ll only shoot over 45 under absolutely perfect conditions.
I practice out to 100 yards but wont take shots near that far. On relaxed feeding broadside deer I've shot as far as 55 yards but 95% of the time shots are under 30.
I can practice out to 80 yards in my yards but I limit shots on whitetails to 30 yards and under with 20 being ideal.
I shoot 100 yards all summer but try to keep it under 30 for deer. 95% I'd have to say 25 yards max.
20 is about it for 95%. Too much room for error past that...
Well I’m told at 40 yards they drop 10” at the shot. Really anything over 20 yards is unethical.
27 yards with a compound. I’ve had several shots in the 33-38 yard range where deer were unalert and yet ducked string
I don't have a specific range. I rely more on animal position and alertness or lack there of. I'd rather take a longer shot at a relaxed deer than a close shot on one that's wired. The times I've had issues were always under 30. Every deer I've shot at over 40 has been very effective. My personal experience, results may vary.
I regularly shoot out to 40 during hunting season on my pair of 3D deer to stay in hunting form. My buck this year was 36 and the longest in over 40 years of bowhunting. The previously long was 32 with a Black Widow recurve back in 1998. During the summer I shoot 50 and 60 for form work, which makes 30 seem short and 20 almost a chip shot.
are you just trying to stir up an argument? There is no set distance that is ethical or unethical. It all depends on the individual shooter and each situation.
Depends on the situation, and the particular deer and their disposition/awareness and a multitude of other things. But I will say "archery hunting" ends at 50 yards regardless of skill level, or equipment, or species.
missed one on Friday, 50 yards on a ridge,,,,, shot was there for the taking, I hit a tree
I will say my "danger zone" is 25-35. Closer than 25 the arrow gets there before they can drop enough to be a problem. After 35 they typically dont react to the shot. 25-35 is where I've had bad things happen. Again, every situation is different and needs to be ethically decided.
Apparently for me it's exactly 38 yards. I've probably only shot 3 whitetails at over 30 yards and my 40 year average is probably right at 20 yards. It's hard to remember all of them. It is more about the situation than the range. The older I get, the farther I will shoot. It's all about experience and knowing what you can do and what an animal might do.
“...are you just trying to stir up an argument? ”
I’ve been stranded with nothing to hunt but whitetails for 20 years now, and in all that time (plus all the deer hunting I ever did in MN) I’ve taken exactly 3 animals past 25 yards, regardless of what weapon I was using, and probably half of those were taken from the ground.
My first deer with a bow was a buck mulie at what turned out to be about 30 yards, but I was shooting 40-50 every day back then, grouping at about 4” wide, so it felt like a slam-dunk and all was well.
JMO, if you’re not hunting for a shot under 20 yards, you are using the wrong weapon. If I were planning to call it close enough to kill at 40 yards, I’d stick with a muzzleloader. If I were expecting to shoot much beyond that, I think a scope would be a smart move.
I guess that’s because (JMO) there’s Archery and there’s Bowhunting, and it pays to know the difference.
It’s funny, the more experience I get the shorter my shots get! When I was younger and less experienced I’d push it if I thought I would kill the deer. Deer aren’t stationary though! At any rate I find my setups are better the older I get so the deer closer but I don’t push the limits like I used to. Farthest deer I’ve ever shot was 50 yards and he didn’t make it 20 yards after the shot but Id guess about an 18 yard average with 35 seasons under my belt and a lot of deer killed in that timeframe. 17 yard average on 5 deer this year with the furthest 30 and closest 3.
Lee, I agree shots are closer now than ever before.
I agree with SaltyB,
but I'd put the "range" that I don't like at 26-40. I'd rather shoot something at 45-50 than I would at 30-35.
Inside 20 yards on a whitetail
I've been fortunate to have bowhunted a very long time. 38 biggame with recurves all 20 or less (20 yds is good). Well over 100 biggame with a compound & comfortable at 30 yds. but average of compound kills just under 25 yds.
I don't have a 95% success rate at any range.
Now that's freakin funny 12! I woulda guessed it be 12 yards!
Haha, the 95% comment by 12 is pretty spot on. How many of us have 95% at any distance? I managed to miss a monster buck at 3 yards when I was about 16 years old. I missed several others inside of 10 yards. In my defense they were running and I had no idea when I should or shouldn't shoot, but I was learning... Now that I've got it all figured out, I've upped my percent-success rate up to well below 95%! :)
I'm serious! Things happen, even at close range, at least for me. And yes, 12 yards is the perfect distance!
Depends on the practice I've had that year and how well I'm shooting.
This year, 30yds. I actually passed one there because he was a bit tweaked up and I didnt want to chance it despite being anchored with the pin on him.
A few years ago I shot a buck at 37. I was routinely practicing to 60 that year and felt very very comfy at 40 with a relaxed animal. But other than that one, all the other deer I've shot have been from 5-25yds. Again, my max range is season dependent but generally in the 30-40 range - I've never felt ok shooting at a whitetail over 40.
Quite honestly I like them about 15 - 18 yards. In closer the angle sucks and if it is pretty calm they can hear you draw - especially late winter when they are skittish. I like them out just a bit. Easy to get away with drawing but close enough to ensure an easy shot.
Pretty much agree 12-18 yds. is ideal. A deer at 25 yds. from a tree stand is way out there vs. shooting at your backyard target at 25 yds. An interesting phenomenon.
Anyway, close predatory distance makes things more exciting and having fun is fun da mental.
68 yds, bare compound in 81' while on the ground. Tracked that deer for days, never located him. One of the better blood trails I had been on, only bedded once, blood every 2-3 ft. filling up individual oak leaves, etc. Had 4 people on that trail tell me yep you got' em he should be just up ahead...Won't do that again. Most of my deer harvested now are 16-25 yds.
top to bottom under 10 yds, 10 yds, 15 yds.