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First Shot or Best Shot?
A topic I was pondering in the stand this evening. Mainly thinking of stand/blind hunts, but open to all scenarios.
In general do you subscribe to the philosophy of taking the first shot presented or do you hold out for the “best shot” you think you will get (or maybe not)?
Obviously no wrong answer, all opinions are welcome. I personally am pretty conservative with shot selection, so I probably fall more in the “best shot” category. Let’s hear some other opinions.
First shot I am confident I can ethically make.
First shot I am confident that I can hit the pup station is the one I take.
I’d say first shot.
Waiting for the best shot, it might have just passed.
I only say that from experience on big whitetail.
I waited, then he walked out of my life.
Depends. If the animal is clueless about me being there and the wind is in my favor, I'll wait for a little better angle.
If I have no reason to believe things will get any better....
Either way, Job #1 = Don’t push your luck.
First shot I am 100% confident in.
I take the best first shot.
I take the first good shot I'm offered. Good, is subjective, for sure. In my effective range, broadside or quartering away, no junk between us to shoot through.
First shot that fits those parameters and I'm going to take it.
Depends on what your definition of “first shot” is. Lots of variables that would dictate my decision. The first is, how big is the animal? JK. I guess my answer would be...depends on the situation at hand.
Ha, Of course too many variables. Maybe I can narrow it down. And for the record I’m never 100% about any shot! ;)
Say the bear is walking straight to the bait barrel. Stops broadside are 35 in the clear. Do your shoot or wait for him to come to the barrel.
The buck is walking up the trail just like you planned. He stops in a lane At 40, but the trail will bring him by at 20 if he keeps walking.
Both of those instances I would generally wait.
With whitetails, I’m pretty picky about wanting them in my lap. Also hunting with the stick over the last few years has forced me to be a lot pickier in setups and what I’m taking for shots. Had a couple giants walk out of my life because of it, which I’m ultimately ok with. If I were hunting with a compound on a not so jumpy animal I think I’d generally take the first shot, being that it’s still a good angle to get into the goods
First shot I can make i am making
First shot.... you may not get a 'best shot'... not even sure one exists.
If it’s not one I’m confident will result in a clean kill, I don’t consider it a shot to begin with. In that vein, I’d have to say my first shot is also my best shot.
Seems whenever I take the first shot, I should have waited and when I wait for the best shot, I should have taken the first shot...
First shot........., then second, third, so on so so forth as long as the animal is with in range and I still have arrows. Obviously with whitetails that’s a rarity, but I have found with elk they will take multiple shots and not run very far.
Once I decide to harvest I take the opportunity as soon as it presents.
If he is walking thru a limited opening and it is not going to be more open I would go for the first shot. If the shooting lane looks like it gets better or he is getting closer or the angle is ok but likely get better I tend to hold off. It seems it is an instinctive more so than a conscious decision. A questionable wind and I take the shot. A buck or doe further out of range that might screw up the shot then I am likely shooting. I like the question and the answers.
There is no way to determine the "Best" shot until the animal is gone and all opportunities can be evaluated. At that point the "Best" shot can be chosen but it's a very moot point. First shot that can be taken with confidence seems like the reasonable choice. At least at that point you will never know if a better shot might have been available.
1st shot opportunity for sure. You may not get another one.
Agree with wyo, there is only one shot. The one you're fully confident in doing your part.
As most of my kills are set up to "walk down broadway", I would be in the wait (best shot) category.
I’m a 1st through 5th shot kinda guy.
First good shot with an angle and range I can make a clean kill with ... however, I have no problems passing and waiting if I think I can get a better shot ... however, the critter wins when that shot dosnt present itself ... yes, it is ok for the animal to win ...
First best shot for me. This year I killed my bull with a quartering-to shot I wouldnt have taken at longer range. But at 7 yards I was confident I could drive the Iron Will through the front of the rib cage and get the front of one lung and the back of the other, plumbing along the way. He went 40 yards.
First shot....I actually practice this and have taken many animals I wouldn`t have had I not.
I'm typically going to take the first shot that I'm confident with. But, there are times that I say, "what the hell" and wait to see just how close I can shoot one. This is usually with a whitetail on my farm. I won't play around with an animal on an out-of-state hunt. I take the first shot that I'm confident with.
I have learned that waiting for the closest shot isn't usually a good idea. They get super sensitive when they see something unusual within 15 yards. Whereas, if they had seen the same thing at 25 yards they would just stop and stare, while giving me time to shoot. I used to see just how close I could shoot one (8' is my shortest whitetail) but now I'd prefer that they be at least 15 yards. Sorry if I got off topic a little...
Best Shot, but how the hell do you actually know what the best shot is going to be, unless you can see into the future!
Sometimes its my 3rd shot :)
I would have said first shot until you gave those two examples.
In both of those examples I don't consider that a shot opportunity, and I'll wait.
First shot for me. If the deer is not in range or positioned to allow me to hit where I want then there is no shot.
First shot usually at about 110 yds. Most of the time they don't even know an arrow went by them so they will present another opportunity. By the time I get reloaded usually around 80 or so yards. May or may not know an arrow went by them, but sometimes they don't know which direction it came from again. So, possibly get another opportunity. Continue this pattern until out of arrows. I bought a larger capacity quiver last year. So I guess I'm a "all of the above".
First, Best Shot !
In other words, I'll wait, until the first opportunity that gives me the angle, to get in the boiler room.
First good shot, sometimes the bow just goes off!
Generally speaking, the second I have a shot I deem ethical I'm letting the arrow fly. There might be some circumstances where I'll hold out for a "better" shot. Note that on Kodiak I'm not only a first shot kinda guy...but a shoot first kinda guy! :)
Varies for me. Good points above. If hunting over bait for bears in a tree.....I'm waiting for best shot. If I'm hunting whitetails in a tree most of my setups are trails so I gotta make it happen when I can, they may not stick around long. Same with elk or spot and stalk critters.....first chance I get an arrows on the way.
I learned long ago to not pass on a makable shot hoping for a better one. More often than not the better one never presents itself. Of course, I don't hunt over bait piles, so my rule may not apply to those who do.
If I have a high expectation the first opportunity will not be the best I will wait and take my chances that a better shot with higher odds will present itself. That expectation is based on 100 different factors and they are never the same from event to event.
I am way too picky about what shots I will take and I have had a bunch of animals walk out of my life forever because of it. I am trying to take the first good opportunity that I know I can make as opposed to waiting for the absolutely picture perfect shot that often doesn't happen.
take the first shot you think you can make
every second you wait, that buck is more likely to figure out something is wrong
I’m a best guy...
Ever play shoot / don’t shoot?
When an animal you’re not gonna shoot is nearing you... decide on a time to shoot. If you keep waiting for a better scenario and it doesn’t come” you loose”
See my point.. it actually is a great learning tool
Like most everyone else I take the “first” “best” shot. My shortest blood trail has been on a hard quartering away shot. I don’t take frontals or quartering to shots on a deer so other than that I take the next best shot.
Hunting with my compound it would be the 1st shot, Recurve and longbow could be either depending on distance, self bow I got to wait for the best shot.
Shug, I do that all the time too. I hunt on the ground for everything so I'm always planning where I would draw and shoot on approaching animals I don't want. Great visualization practice.
Depends on the animal....deer first kill area shot(usually)....bear...best shot.
Ditto fubar’s, WV’s, Brotsky’, et al responses.
First shot that I feel confident in. Also agree about practicing on animals you don't plan on shooting. If I have time I will nock a blunt and actually draw, then hold over it's head. It helps me learn when to draw and what I can get away with.
I like what Shug said. Nice thing about hunting Rut is you can let a doe walk by and have a real good idea what any trailing buck is going to be up to. If she didn’t bust you, there’s about zero chance that he will, so you can reposition for a prime shooting lane & range.
Hunting with sticks, you have to be patient. I suppose most non-compound hunters pass up a whole raft of what would be acceptable shots (for Compound+sights+rangefinder) on every animal they take. 30-40 yard opportunities just aren’t that hard to come by.
I sure hope “VonFoust” was joking, but that’s just not funny.
I'm a lot more successful when I take the first shot instead of waiting for the best shot.
I've never made a bad shot, so I guess it's always my first!! Lol!
I've let some critters get really close and others I've taken further than I think they'd closed the distance.
Would I have killed them if I had waited for the closest shot!? Wind swirl, wrong angle, hard to tell.
Don't hurry the shot, it will end up not being your best shot.
"You rush a miracle you get a crappy miracle..."