Contributors to this thread:
Return from elk camp digusted
I just got home from my New Mexico elk hunt hunt and am totally disgusted and somewhat ashamed to call myself a bow hunter. The outfitter I hunted with incouraged clients to take in my opinion unethical shots. By this I mean log shots, bow hunting is a close encounter sport, taking shots at 60 to 90 yards to me just wrong. One evening 4 bulls were shot I set of antlers were recovered, no meat as it had spoiled for not being recovered that night. When asked where was the elk hit the reply was "I don't know but it sounded solid" Is this what bow hunting has become? I asked one of the guides his thoughts on this and his reply was " if peta found out how may elk were shot and not recovered in this area they fight to shut down bow hunting.
You should report him I would have said something to the outfitter while being there At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own choices/shots. This makes me sick at my stomach knowing this...it really gets to me..
This is where we pipe in and say "I only take shots to XX yard" and if that's true, I'm glad to hear it, but the number who take long or poor shots is unbelievable. One fellow this year took an 80 yard steep down hill at a nice 4x4 muley. Stoned it with a neck shot when the buck jerked it's head around and caught the arrow that would have been a complete miss if the deer didn't move.
On TV we see the guys shoot long range. The question is "What about the ones we don't see?"
Unfortunately this is not going to change. The bigger the animal, the closer to the end of the hunt, and the more paid for the hunt, the further and more unreasonable the shots become.
Report unethical behavior to the authorities, and post an outfitter report on here...
There are those that leave alot to be desired in all walks of life. Unfortunately, bowhunting isn't exempt.
Yes, most (pretty much all) game agencies want to know about this kind of stuff. The outfitter agrees to adhere to hunting regs. Although nothing in there, necessarily about regulated shot distance, at some point in time an outfitter (and guide) will need to answer to something like this. Blatant wanton waste to a degree...
Yeah, I'd expect that an outfitter is expected to exercise "due caution" to prevent wanton waste, and it sound like these chumps never got the memo.....
And the amazing thing is that these geniuses don't even seem to register the fact that they're slitting their own economic throats by killing more than necessary.
Probably they thought they'd branch out into bowhunting, figured out that they're no good at it, and they're not going to even mess with it next year, so they were just trying to salvage a few bucks....
Well, a guy can HOPE, can't he? Gotta wonder what they're thinking by letting bowhunters kill & lose bulls that their rifle-season clients would like to take home...
this guide never shot one arrow!!! its up to the person letting the arrow go!
Did the guides hit the trigger?
Blame the bowhunters and get over the self loathing/guilt that our media has convinced us is a reasonable response to something like this.
And Forest & Matt are entirely correct. No matter how bad your guide is, you're still responsible for your own actions.
I'm with Forest.....(EDIT: and Matt) I doubt the guides put a gun to anyone's head and tell them to drop the string. Ultimately...... it is the bowhunter who makes the decision. There are long shots that shouldn't be taken...... and honestly many close shots that shouldn't be.
But ultimately it's up to the bowhunter. The buck stops here... so to speak....
Sounds pretty silly to use an excuse of "the guide told me to take the shot.....", much prefer "Had the wrong yardage" and the ever ready "hit a stick"......
WRT "reporting" them I don't think any action can be taken with "they encouraged people to take bad shots....."
Poor form to encourage low percentage shots but I can't blame the guide for people actually doing it. The hunter owns that.
I'm no saint and have stretched things or pushed the limits more than once but I would never place the blame on anyone but myself when things turned out bad.
True, the hunter is the one. However, a licensed professional saying it's all good and encouraging it?
That dog won't hunt either...
No one drew the bow and shot except the hunters doing it. Put the blame where it lies.
Horrible event but the blame lies on the one who punches the trigger no one will ever dictate when or how I will shoot that's just me Lewis
Outfitter`s do have a reason for this thinking....next year you will see on his website...."in 2017 80% of our hunters had shots at Elk". Personally not a fan of guided hunts....hunters fork over BIG BUCKS to go on these hunts. Then as the hunt wears on the pressure builds....and if you`re with a guide that says "go for it" many will give it s go. Takes a very disciplined hunter to say no.....I won`t even bring up what these newer broadheads have brought to the equation.
I wont speak for someone else, but I know for a fact MY success rate and recovery rate went way up years ago when I got it into my head that I did NOT have to shoot unless the shot was right. Know your limits and capability's.
My disgust was with both The hunter for taking a bad shot and with the outfitter for his policy of let's wait till in the morning to track the elk.
I hate to even think about all the animals over my many years of bow hunting that I have let 'walk' as they were over my 40 yard comfort zone.
To each his/her own though----------->
Good luck, Robb
Don't just vent here. Post the outfitters name and then post a review on every site you can find.
Sounds like no one in the camp knew bowhunting.
If I were a guide (I'm not and probably never will be) I would treat client shots like it were my own boy's shots. I would never encourage an unethical shot or put him in a situation where failure to make a clean kill was likely. Let them walk if it's not a good situation.
With that said you guys are right that ultimately the hunter makes the choice on what shot to take, but a guide who encourages low percentages shots is poor form at the best.
" Is this what bowhunting has become? "
Yeah, about 25 years ago. Where you been?
1: Before going on the hunt, the guide should know the hunter's capabilities and adjust his advice accordingly. 2: It ultimately is the hunter's responsibility to know his capabilities. 3: The guide is working for the hunter. The hunter is the boss.
For those that say "blame the hunter" I agree for the most part. However, on a guided hunt is the hunter the only one responsible for animal recovery? We've all heard stories where x & x guide was pissed that a client didn't shoot. Nothing illegal about that, but it sure is poor behavior.
Yes, the hunter himself is to blame, but the outfitter/guide is also. What if it is an inexperienced bowhunter, and the guide is telling them to take the shot? Even if it is an experienced bowhunter, and you know better, you can be talked into doing things in the heat of the moment. I definitely blame the outfitter/guide.
Regardless of one's proficiency with a bow the shot should always be an ethical shot.
Ethic's are determined by the hunter.
"Lets wait until morning" could be the right decision. the problem is that all of this is subjective. I know a guy that can consistently hit an 80 yard shot. I feel like I am good to 60. But the 60 needs to be the right situation. If you are pulling the trigger, the trigger pull is all on you. When you have a hit, you know better than anyone how and when to track the animal. A situation that requires a direct confrontation need to happen then. I have hit animals at 15 yards and not been sure where I hit them.
How is an outfitter supposed to police what you have complained about? The hunter must be responsible for his own decisions. I would never pay an outfitter who regulated ethics on me that may or may not apply to me or a situation. Bow hunting is going to have unrecoverable kills. EVERYONE has them. If I was an outfitter and someone took a shot that was too long and it was a marginal hit I would wait until morning too. Its the man who made the marginal hits fault that he isn't going to get that meat. Isn't it better and more ethical to make the guy who made the bad shot tag it so he doesn't kill two? I have been on hunts where a bull was hit and the outfitter got on the trail too quick and bumped the bull. Was that his fault or mine? I thought it was mine. I should have spoken up. If the bull was dead the meat was good. If the bull is dying and we bump it the meat is gone. The hunter is the hunter. he must make his own decisions. If an outfitter consistently fails over ruling a hunter that is something to complain about. Most outfitters have a blood and done policy.
There was a thread about where is bowhunting headed. This is common and where it is headed, and already is well on it's way. The only person to blame is the shooter, just think what scoped archery equipment is capable of. Most long shot shooters have no guide or outfitter to blame. Do you ever wonder what happens when nobody is watching?
Nobody is forcing the hunter to take a bad, unethical shot. Did it ever occur that by encouraging the hunter to take a bad shot, the outfitter can then claim, "You had your chance but you missed!" Allows them to brag about the high rate of shot opportunities in their camp. Nothing here to report as the outfitter did not break any laws. However, if you hunt with an outfitter that encourages unethical behavior I would use social media to let other responsible hunters know what is going on so they can avoid this outfitter.
I once did an elk hunt in Colorado. Muleys were in season as well but I was the only guy in camp who also bought a muley tag. The attitude in camp was to go ahead and shoot a muley and then go to town and buy a tag. While driving out for elk, we drove past a bedded muley. Truck stopped. Several guys grabbed for their bows. I looked at everyone in the truck and announced, "Since I'm the only person in this truck holding a muley license, I will make the stalk!" Should have seen the look on the faces of the other guys.
and we continue to see some on this very site that have no issue taking long shots on elk & deer, and continue to tell us lowly clowns that they are comfortable with taking an elk with a bow at 80 yards...................................
And some here say "if you aren't good enough, don't do it, but don't tell so & so that he shouldn't take that 70-90 yard bow shot"
Well I thought it's all about the antlers, at no cost. When a guy pays 7k plus to kill an elk, damn if he's going to be denied. That outfitter you can't blame, because in order for him to fill next years camp he has to be able to say that 100% of his hunters had shots on Bulls. If your so outraged by this why didn't you speak up to the outfitter, or maybe call the DNR? Why haven't you reported this guy to the states guide association? Why haven't you given this guys name out so that others hunters don't hunt with him? this is what the hunting industry has Produced with the horn potn they sell. The manufactures push these long unethical shots and everything else they try and hoc just to make a buck.
Blame also falls on the horn porn gang and that gang are all the hunters who ask stupid questions of whether or not a certain animal is a shooter or should I pass on him to grow bigger. I have always said that horn porn is going to be the downfall of hunting, and if the antis had half a brain in thier head they would attack hunting on this exact subject. The hunters ego is what drives this horn porn, for some reason the guy who shoots a bow a few weeks before the season needs to be able to put up a trophy on his wall so that he feels that he's a great Hunter. Let me tell you , the guy who pays thousands of dollars for a guide to do all the work and point to a animal for him and say shoot is not a great Hunter, he's an armchair Hunter.
Don't be ashamed of being a bowhunter, be ashamed that you didn't stand up and say something at camp, making yourself fell better by coming on bowsite and acting like your disgusted is a little late. It does no good for you to bitch on here, where it may have done some good at camp. Next time someone shows me a 130/140 class deer and ask if he's a shooter I'm going to strangle them. The primary goal of taking an aniaml should first and foremost be the meat it provides , antlers should be secondary. Now I will get off my high horse and next time I hope you speak up when it will matter.
Surprised it hasn't come up because it's not original: "If you hit an animal and lose it, you're done". If outfitters had that approach most of this would go away except for all the guys who hunt on their own.
I know an outfitter and guides that use very "controversial" techniques up to almost being illegal.
Most of the time, some hunters don't know what they're getting into and have a tendency to go along with it at the time and then beat themselves up about it later, sadly enough.
the Outfitters Website can now show 100% opportunity in 2017. Everyone took a shot!
Is hoot a crossbow...now. But I am with LBShooter on this one.
its not illegal to take long, questionable shots
legal doesn't mean ethical though
Unfortunately long shots are the norm, 50> yards and seen an advertisement for a compound that 100 yd shot be taken, with light arrows and weather conditions wounding has increase, draw first blood your tag should be punched. Maybe I am old school but bowhunting was up close and personal and long shots are made for the gun, but ethics are not considered.
^^^^exactly^^^^ but we don't want to question someones great ability to make a long shot with a short range weapon...............................
When I guided an elk hunter(s), the first hing I would do is determine two things to my satisfaction: Their shooting ability and their physical condition. If a hunter was consistent at 60-yards, I would limit the shot to 50. If they could not walk for 10-minutes up a pretty steep incline, I knew where we could and couldn't go. From that point on, taking or passing the shot was the hunter's call. Always...always, when to start trailing was my call. Very seldom in bear, cat and coyote country, did we leave one overnight. As long as we could see blood, we kept going. That said, if you are not pleased with something a guide is doing or not doing, it is your responsibility to tell them. You wrote the check. It is your hunt and it is your right and responsibility to voice your feelings.
Just look at TV. Most nights you can see basically "let it go and hope" shots at 50 yards plus often resulting in poor hits. They eventually recover the animal (or it wouldn't be on TV).
No doubt in my mind several animals are lost for every one you see recovered on the screen.
Many guys take shots at 85 yards plus, hence the lack of participation in this thread. Very, very common where trees are less dense.... and potential visual recovery territory is larger.
LBshooter ----- nice post,,,, usually I just reach my hand out, to shake a hunters hand and say nice deer, no matter what he shot,,,,,,,
I will not judge distance shooting, because some are set up for hit, both with ability and the right arrow bh combo, but too many are not, and I think its an out west thing,,,,,
I shoot my long bow no farther than 15 yards, that's it, and I get good penetration,,,, With my compound 30 yards is my max, again, it leads to recovered game,,,,, but that is me,,,,, I like to be in the money zone,,,,,
Patience is what hunters need,,,,,,
Not cool at all, really bad actually.
Serious question though. Has this "practice" escalated over time, as the cost of doing a trip like this increased. In other words, is a guide more likely to tell guys to shoot, so they at least feel like they got a chance so they "get there money's worth"... Or different, have people treated guides horribly because they didnt get an animal on a hunt, so the guide has started to open the proverbial flood gates.
Bad reasons, and people should figure out how to stop that practice (IE, individual hunters should not be trying to shoot those sorts of distances).
"I'm good out to 60" is the new catch phrase.
I agree with the guys on this is on the guy dropping the string. Sure an outfitter can end an unethical hunters hunt. Yes the outfitter will claim a higher chance percentage for next years batch of hunters. In the end he will hurt his business if to many bulls are shot and not recovered. There will be less bulls running around eventually.
I try not to judge a person on what they can shoot for distances. I tend to only worry about myself.
As for leaving them lay overnight with predators in the area. Well that's a chance you take when your hunting in them areas. If the shot is back you do way more harm then good tracking to soon.
My bull this year was hit farther back then I wanted. He died ruffly 20 hours after the shot. Every minute I was concerned with wolves and grizz. I was fortunate to recover my bull and didn't have to donate him to the wildlife in the area. So leaving them lay over night is not a bad thing.
"I'm good out to 60" is the new catch phrase.
Lol, that was 20 years ago! It's 90 now!
Coaxing hunters to shoot beyond effective range is the oldest "guide trick" in the book.Couple that with a"draw blood " policy and hunt is over and you have a recipe for a really short hunt and I happy guide in SOME instances. Bad outfitter/guide choice plus even worse decisions by hunter usually do not end well.
I'm good out to 120 (feet) 8^)
IF you do go with a guided hunt, make sure of two points brought up in this thread.
One, If I draw blood, am I done? This will tell you a lot about how they view their supply of game in their hunting area as well as their ethics on wounding game.
Second, many advertise their "shot opportunity" or "% of hunters getting shots" ASK for actual "Harvest success" Shot opportunity is ambiguous at best and Shot % leaves too many unknowns. Know how many animals were hung in camp.
Friend of mine just got back from a guided hunt in Colorado and one guy had a hit and no recovery. Head guide chewed everyone out for wanting to take too long of shots, told them no one else could shoot unless you knew the exact range.
That was not a problem, as none of the other nine hunters in camp even saw an elk the entire week.
I suppose it depends on what your contract reads...
Perhaps the guide and outfitter were very competent bowhunters that assumed the average archer should be able to make that shot.
On one of the only guided hunts I have been on, the outfitter showed us to our living quarters and, said in parting that our guide would be along shortly to give us our proficiency test. What we asked? He replied, "Yes, before we let you shoot at a hog, you have to prove you can shoot.". Shortly our guide showed up and shot the breeze with us for a minute, he then asked us to get our gear and meet him at the 3D targets in the main court of the bunk houses. We did. We had zero problem hitting the kill zones of the hog targets at the ranges of 10 to 40 yards. Which was all the distance that realistically could be expected to shoot in southern Florida. I went on to shoot two hogs over the next 3 days and lost them both after impressing the guide with my ability to hit the 3D hogs in the ear canal every shot. He told us that was the DEAD button. Who's to blame for that? ME fellas. Not the guide.
While I didn't every try to shoot a hog in the ear, I found out hogs don't stand around like 3 D targets. And, both hogs that were shot and lost were shot at 15 yards or less. It just happens and people like to make excuses for it happening. This isn't a remote control game. You get one chance per animal most times so, if you don't make it count, that's on you. And, sometimes things happen.
Before I'd get all worked up and assume things about the guide and/or outfitter, I'd just leave it alone versus flopping off about why they were wrong. The hunters flinging the arrows were the ones responsible for releasing the arrows. No matter who was saying to do it. The guides and outfitters could have been like the fellas at that hog camp. God Bless men
I have to agree with those saying this is all about jacking up the shot opportunity claim for the outfitter. Never let anyone else tell you to take a shot you aren't comfortable with. And good advice to pay attention to successful harvest numbers instead of shot opportunities.
If you would shoot a whitetail at 30 you should shoot a elk at 60! I think I like the elk at 60 better
I'm glad you know your limits but sadly this the real truth of bowhunting. Some have guessed there are 2-3 bucks crippled for every one taken with a bow. I have had my bad luck over the years, a doe took one in the scapula, a buck took one in the neck, another the expandable didn't open and I shot him again later with a .308. Anymore, I shoot nothing less than 70lbs and a 125 gr head at less than 40 yds.
It's the hunters responsibility to determine their effective range, but it's also the guides responsibility to promote close range opportunities. In my opinion, it's also irresponsible to post this thread to begin with, it might not even be factual, for all we know the author could be trying to discredit bow hunting and guides to begin with. You can't govern morals, and posting this thread casts a negative light on everyone. I suggest you take it up with the outfitter directly and promote bow hunting in a more positive manner, rather than posting your complaints on a worldwide site.
60 yard shot on an elk is standard .,...if your not practicing from 60 then you should not be hutning elk
Threads like this really tick me off ! They never mention the Outfitter or Guide's name. And I could give a rat's behind if they happen to be a Bowsite sponser or not.
I was on a hunt this year in August. On Day 3, we got blown off the mountain by rain, hail, and lightening. When the sun came out, I took my target and started practicing from 20 out to 80 yards. My guide was like, "Gee, I wish my elk hunters could shoot like that!" I turned to him and said that it wasn't that difficult with the right gear and lots of practice. He the told me that he was lucky to have guys shooting well at 40 yards--and this is a high-end outfitter that takes 2-3 years to book an opening. I know plenty of guys who can make the long shots but your guide is lacking a few brain cells in thinking that everyone should adopt this long-range mentality, especially if they haven't even practiced it. I have a friend who does 1,000 yard rifle competitions and holds some world records. Still, his philosophy is that you owe it to the animal to get as close as possible.
"60 yard shot on an elk is standard .,...if your not practicing from 60 then you should not be hutning elk"
Lol, if you are shooting from 60 yards, you're not hunting elk. :)
Lbshooter lmao perhaps the OP thought it would be best to not stand up for what they believe in as to fear legal action may ensue if things escalated above a verbal disagreement?
Perhaps the best way is to not say anything not stand up for what he believes in face to face and just voice it over social media aka hunting websites.
JAbbot what is your age? If over 50 you did the right thing not standing up for what you believe in!!!
Lol sorry guys to easy couldn't resist
Have a great weekend everyone!
Ohio opener starts tomorrow
I guess if I figured I would need to be able to shoot 50 yards or farther to kill an Elk, I would buy a can of Goex and a box o' .54 balls to practice with and put in for a muzzleloader tag.
But it's so much easier to practice shooting at 60 than sneaking at 20 that I can kinda see how they'd fall back on what they're more familiar with, even if they're not all that good at it.
Which is Stupid... but then most of human nature is…
But the distance is only one relatively minor component of the decision as to whether a shot is well- or ill- advised. What about light, wind, weather, the animal's mental state, tracking conditions, the shooter's mental state, the shot angle, the terrain, the cover...???
Yeah, maybe you think you can hit that animal, but can you find it if you do? What if there's no blood? Then what? Can you follow a light blood trail a quarter mile from where that animal is standing? Because if you can't, you really can't afford anything less than a 10-ring hit, can you? Maybe you think you're good at 60; but are you THAT good at 60???
Just seems to me that the average bowhunter is really only prepared to have everything go RIGHT, yet I'd bet that the majority couldn't find the animal's track at 50+ yards without an almost immediate and fairly heavy blood trail and/or their arrow stuck in the ground. Hell, one time up in MN, I marked the spot, climbed down out of the stand, got disoriented and couldn't figure out where the deer had been when I hit him until I back-trailed him.
25 yard shot. Massive blood trail. Snow on the ground.
Thick cover can be a bugger! If you've ever hunted in it, you'd know.
I guess I haven't been "hutning elk" for the past 43 years....
On my one and only guided elk hunt, we were told we would have to demonstrate our shooting proficiency the first evening of camp before the hunt. I liked the head guide's line - If you can't shoot with 6 guys watching you because you're nervous, how good will you shoot when there's a 6x6 watching you?" He mailed us a 3x3 post-it during the summer and wanted us to be able to hit it every time at 30 yds. About 1/2 of us could do it- those were the ones who took home a bull - mine was a 5x5 shot at 18 yds.... ; )
So the outfitter I work for does have his act together on this subject. First he says "shot opportunities "which is different than "shots" also the hunters understand on his ranch the policy is if you draw blood your hunt is over ,period. This year my second hunter took a 40 yard shot on a nice 6x6 bull and the arrow flight looked great until it hit a branch a struck the bull in the hip. He later told me his first thought was that his hunt was over but my only thoughts were of trying to recover the bull. He bedded down in view and died quickly because the arrow cut an artery. My third hunter had a big bull come out behind a tree that we had ranged at 55 yards and I assumed when the bull stopped he would use his 60 pin and shoot. At that moment I forgot my job ( range bull) and became a spectator. Then no arrow flight and he says " what's the range" and he didn't shoot. That hunter had learned from past experience and wanted everything right,no yardage guessing. Very classy and lesson learned for me. Less than an hour later he shot a nice 6x7 bull at 40 yards and 100 yard recovery!
I passed a 30 yard broadside shot on a 190" Bighorn sheep with my recurve because I felt it was to far to shoot. I shoot everyday but I was not going to take the chance of wounding a Bighorn. Shot a 193" ram with my gun at a 90 yards and am very happy
Kelly, see "Jax" silly post a few above mine.
LB you are right on some points. I buy guided hunts and I clean and pack the animals out with the guides. No armchair hunter here. You'd be surprised how many guys have hunted their entire lives and buy hunts simply because in some cases, it costs as much in gear and time as it would just to hire a guide to get you on animals. I was in the guiding business 4 years during college. I found it quickly it is a greed driven sport/business. Bowhunting is full of new hunters that really don't know what they are doing. Even veteran hunters on here cripple animals as have been seen frequently on semi live hunts.
Scott has never seen a elk!!!
Thornton, your correct , I was wrong to generalize that everyone who pays a guide is a armchair Hunter, my bad on that. There are many talented hunters who don't have the time to find the animals due to work, family etc... I don't believe a seasoned Hunter would let a guide talk them into taking such long unethical shots. It really reflects poorly on the guides skill or lack of, in that he's unable to get his Hunter closer for the shot.
Agreed. At this point, I'd never pay $7k for an elk. Most I've ever paid was $3500 and now I try to do it on my own.
I just don't see the point in shooting at any animal past 50 yards with a bow, and that's a long shot. What's the point in bowhunting to begin with, you may as well gun hunt. Bowhhunting is the art of getting close to game. 50 yards ain't very close IMO anyway.
Lots of good points here, but one fact is being missed by most. It's very unusual for the guide to even be in a position to encourage, or discourage, a hunter to shoot. When calling elk, which is what we usually do, the guide is almost never standing near enough to the hunter to have any input on whether or not to shoot. Yes, you should discuss scenarios before you go out, and you should have a blood and done policy, but when it actually comes time to shoot it's really on the one holding the bow. I hunt in an area of very heavy cover, and it's really unusual for the guide to know if the hunter has a clear shot even if they are close together. I've been guiding bowhunting for over 20 years and I don't remember a single time I've told an archer to shoot. As I stated earlier you are rarely in a position to tell the hunter anything when it's crunch time. One more point is that distance is not the only measure of whether one should shoot or not. If the animal is feeding with it's head down and completely unaware of any danger, then a 45 yard shot might be higher percentage than a 30 yard shot when he is on full alert. Is it raining or expected to? This can affect your ability to track and should be taken into consideration. These things can be discussed in advance, but once again the hunter will ultimately make the decision.
I agree, Brun. I talked to a guide recently. He said he rarely sees (and only sometimes hears) the client shoot because he's 30-50 yards away doing the calling.
He also said he's done his share of long tracking jobs....
You 100% right. And sadly "yes" this is what "bow" hunting has become, and it is definitely the current trend or direction things are progressing. This modern society/new generation has truly created an instant gratification culture, and with social media and the internet it has just made it to hard for these guys egos to take failure. True hunters have always known that you don't have to actually kill something to be successful. Because of their egos countless animals every year endure countless hours of pain and suffering so that they can have a chance to "be the man". We need to take our way of life and our heritage back from these soul less posers... (If you can't get closer than 50 yards from a Bull Elk during the rut you may want to re think the whole "bow hunting" decision.)
Its not about how far you can shoot ,but about how close you can get. You dropped the string, you own the shot.
I judge by action, not words. Outfitter uttered words..."bowhunters" took action.
At the risk of sounding like a Grumpy Old Fart, I'm going to agree with Elkman....
In my 20s, I got to be quite good with a scoped 7Mag; I figured all I really had to do was to find a legal Elk that would show itself inside of 400 yards. And sure enough, None Did.
But GOD, did I hate rifle season. Did it one year and said to hell widditt.
Then when I was about 30, I had three glorious years of minimal employment and got to hunt 14-16 hours a day about 20-some days a year, and I'll tell you.... Once I started hunting for a 20-yard shot, seeing Elk at 40-60 became a daily occurrence, and every year I had a shot or two on mature bulls that would have been complete slam-dunks with my .54 roundballer. The closest that I know that I got to a herd bull was about 18 yards, and there I was with no arrow on the string.
Then I moved away, and for my first trip back, I drew a cow ML tag... which I punched at about 10:30 AM on the first day with a 40-yard chip-shot.
Completely ruined a 10-day trip... though as a consolation, I went up a week later with my brother and we got right on top of an exceptional 6X6 - very good bull anywhere, but especially on public land. That was the year I adopted a Bull or Bow policy.... But a bull tag in my pocket just guaranteed a series of close encounters with sub-legal Raghorns and their lady friends and I've only bowhunted since. I figure even if I don't get an Elk, I'll at least get to go hunting every day, and I'm there to go Hunting, not just kill something as quickly as possible.
I guess my point is that if you go out looking for 50-yard shots, you'll likely get a few opportunities at 60-80, but you'll be damn lucky to get any closer. Not because of Murphy's law, but because of your own mind-set.
If you're only thinking to be sneaky enough for 50 yards, you'll soon discover that you're ACTUALLY just about sneaky enough for 100; they're a lot better at this game than we tend to give them credit for.
If you go looking for a 15-yard shot (and a LOT of cleanly-killed Elk ARE shot at that distance every year)... Anyway, if your mindset is that you are trying to get into position for a 15-yard shot, you will probably start getting inside of 40 a whole lot more often than you would ever have believed possible. Thing is, you can't just tell yourself you're looking for 15 or 20 when you're really banking on 40; you do that and yes, you will become one of Those Guys who believe that it is not possible to kill an Elk unless you are EXPECTING to have to shoot at 60 and WILLING to take risky shots at farther still.
So JMO, when I read something like "If you're not planning to shoot 60 yards you're not hunting Elk... ", I can't help mentally calling Bullschitt.
If you don't think that it's really no big trick to get within 60 yards of an Elk -especially during rut - then you may well know less about hunting them than I managed to teach myself in my first season with a bow. Not saying that Elk can't be killed cleanly enough at 60 yards if you really do know what you're doing; JMO, if you have the skills, then as we say to the kids, well, that IS a choice. Just saying that if you think that's what is REQUIRED, then chances are that you're not nearly as good a Hunter as you probably think.
the long shot artists that I have talked to ALWAYS say I can shoot small groups at 80 yards(or what ever) so I feel good about an 80 yard shot, well they should be congratulated for being an excellent shot but should be reminded or educated that once the arrow leaves your bow there are a multitude of problems that could and often do happen and none of them are in your control, the only thing you actually control is the length of the shot,
I'm willing to bet that there are far more animals lost shooting at 20 yards, then animals lost that were shot at 80 yards. I'm not advocating long shots either. What I am a saying is there is no way anyone of you should be the deciding factor in what another hunter is capable of. God Bless men
WV, numbers wise I'm sure you're right(multiple times more shots taken at 20 than 80), percentage wise I'd bet you are orders of magnitude wrong. Pretty much all hunters groups will be 4x worse at 80 yards than at 20 yards( under ideal conditions), the arrow will be in the air more than 4x as long, and be acted on by the atmosphere for 4 x as long....What could go wrong?
spookinelk, you understand, yet so many don't grasp the situation.
Mark this date down. I agree with Justin.
The question is where do you draw the line in the sand. Because there are some bowhunters that shouldn't even be allowed to shoot at all. They are terrible. Not only their skill sets suck they have don't have the composure to execute a good shot at any distance. For these guys there is are no slam dunks.
James, I'm willing to bet that if you didn't take my stance on one topic personally, you'd find we agree on more than you realize.
Steve, no one is missing the point some of you are making. We all understand what is being said. I'm not saying I don't agree with it to some degree. But, I know if I hunted out west, I'd do my best to get accurate at the furthest distance possible. Because the opportunity to capitalize on that ability is pretty high. What you and the others are not getting is what you think and are capable of is no standard for others. And, while the probability to have a bad outcome is greater at further distances, there is no distance or situation you can control once the bow is fired. Do we just quit, based on that reality?
I have made bad hits at 5, 20 and 30 yds. I will not stop bowhunting because of that.
I have made deadly double lung hits at 50 yds. I will continue bowhunting because of this.
All of these shots were made on elk, deer, and bears out west and will continue to do so because I can.
Not to be too hard you but you were there sir did you stand up in the room and tell them your opinion!! These story's have become to common these days!! It will only hurt the length of seasons and opportunity for bow hunters unless we attempt to police our own ranks. Also, Guides that's a cop out clients will follow your lead and persona almost always that's why you get paid I know because Ive done it, we all have to work to police our sport that we all love!! My .02 cents worth
Good Hunting Rob
Taking long shots at game with a bow certainly isnt anything new. If you read any books about Howard Hill, Fred Bear,or some of those other old time archers they took some pretty long shots. some in excess of 100 Yds. Seems like the mindset back then was if you got a shot you took it. Im not condoning it thats just how it was.Should we make it illegal to shoot at anything farther then 30 yds?