Contributors to this thread:
Long Range Practice?
I would like to extend my shooting distance. So, moving back out of your comfort zone, what do you use for a long range target? The chances of missing my regular target are very probable and with the cost of arrows today, it could be expensive. I want to shoot broadheads. Do you use a larger target, or do you use some kind of a backstop? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
Shooting 50 dollars worth of arrows and components will make you concentrate! I misplaced an axis pro with a German kinetic this summer when I thought my single pin slider was sighted in. Apparently it wasn’t. Sailed right over the 18-1 rhinehart at 90 yards. 4 hours later I found that sucker!
"The chances of missing my regular target are very probable"
Then why step back? If you are spraying your arras at 40-50 yards its only going to get worse at 80-100. And why shoot broadheads at long range? Maybe you need to become more proficient before stepping back. A lesson from a pro shop is very reasonable.
I shoot out to 70 with my same bag target. At $12/arrow, I concentrate real hard.
18-1 looks real small at 100!
18-1 looks real small at 100!
Maybe learn how to hunt better? Just a thought. Bowhunting is meant to be a close range effort.
Nice Krafty! First, if you practice consistently at long ranges it makes a 20-40 yard shot a chip shot. Second, it is a blast to do with your buddies! And isn’t that what it’s all about? Having fun and perfecting our skills!
X2 Krafty….I wish people wouldn`t practice at long yardages because then they think they can make them in the woods. Where as a guy that never practices will never raise their bow.
Krafty...I wrote a few different responses to your stupid response , none of them pat approved so I’ll just say this. Shooting at 20 yards is boring. Shooting at 80-100 is fun! I do my own tuning and having a German kinetic XL hit a pie plate at 100 gives me a ton of personal satisfaction. If you have a problem with it go pound sand.
Lots of interesting responses, but none answered the question. If I wanted to shoot way beyond my comfortable range, I would sink me a couple 4x4s in the ground and hang a horse stall mat between them as a backstop.
Y'all carry on now.....
Shooting far for fun and practice and shooting long for hunting is two different things.
I enjoy long range practice because it makes me perfect my form and make me be a better shot. Whats generally the goal of practice? To become better right?
So I want to get better and more accurate for those close shots
I shoot at a bag target
If you own the land and have room, I've always wanted a dump truck of sand on a small hill for a backdrop. Sadly our HOA doesn't agree with me on this. With my setup, I doubt I could use my sight out past 150 yds or so, but like others said, it's pretty fun to shoot long ball and nobody is advocating taking questionably long shots on game. I've seen a couple shooters at 100 yds that are better than most guys I see at 30-40 (including myself!).
I understand where Krafty is coming from, because we see it all too often. Somebody talking themselves into a shot because they don't have the discipline not to. However, NOT everybody is like that. I occasionally shoot out to 80 or more yards because it's fun and instructional. But I NEVER shoot at an animal past a predetermined range. In fact, that is what I consider an acceptable use of a range finder. My maximum range has not changed from my first bow season, 35 years ago. What I was comfortable judging back then WITHOUT a range finder is what I still limit myself to. If it looks like more than that pin, and I'm not comfortable holding not more than dead on with that pin, I either pass or range if I can. One yard past that distance, means I'm not done hunting.
But back to the original question. You don't just start shooting out of your comfort zone, even for practice. You gradually increase the distance. There are no short cuts.
There are advantages to long range practice. That doesn't mean your going to take unethical shots. As for backstop, I just put a sheet of plywood behind the target.
When I shoot longer range I stack a couple targets on top of each other then put my glen del in front of them.
I got an old piece of boat dock foam - it’s probably 5’x5’. I use it as a backstop and have shot out to 100 yards. I do it in preparation for heading out west. Makes my groups at 40 yards a lot tighter.
Ok it`s time for us to all be honest here. Long range practice does not make you a better shot at a shorter distance. You think it does but it doesn`t.
Does shooting a basketball at 50' make you a better free throw shooter....no .......Does hitting your 5 iron improve your wedge game in golf....no
You are putting a pin that is 30" from your eye on a BLOB of color 100 yards away. You are not AIMING at anything....you are lobbing arrows. You cannot see an aiming point 100 yards away....so what do you do....you increase the target size. So you increase the target and increase your distance and lob an arrow at it.
Even the smallest diameter pin COVERS the entire target at 100 yards. You want to become a better shot shoot at a dime size target at 30 yards and do it 1000X.
So lets quit BSing each other and just admit we do it for FUN and it challenges us to see if we can do it. PERFECT PRACTICE is what improves your accuracy.
Geez!!........Aren’t you glad you asked such an asinine question, shorty?!! You should know better!
Google “bowsite best backyard target”. There are several ideas that might help you out some. Happy target shooting!!
I just shoot against a dirt hill. If I miss target still can recover arrow. I like to shoot 70-80yards to make those 40 yarders feel close. Shooting a dime size target has same effect so what ever floats your boat. Long practice makes me practice perfect form and release. It helps me so I do it. I think people should be able to shoot a target farther out than there max shooting distance at an animal. Classic responses from some on here!
Set a round bale behind your target. Then use it for mulch in your garden next spring.
Shooting at long distances definitely makes you a better shot at shorter distances. Just keep in mind that shots on stationary targets and shots on animals are two different things.
In terms of practicing, do what you are used to and start extending the distances and you will figure out what you need to change to keep the costs down.
I have a 4’x4’ target which is great for shooting 100 plus yards for practice . Which in turn makes me a better shot at closer ranges . In the words of Rancho Safari founder . If arrows ant’t flying things ant’t dying .:)
dry creek has it. 4x4 posts with a horse stall mat between. They come in various sizes and are much cheaper than any range target. And more effective imo
I had the same dilemma, but needed to protect my backyard neighbors from my arrows.
Built this backstop using 4x4's, (correction: think I used 2x4's) tin roof & sides, and two hard rubber stall mats (horse?).
Works great and has stopped thousands of arrows.
Franklin are you serious?
Long range shooting is huge for tuning and form flaws,not to mention learning wind drift, or broadhead tuning.
FYI the pin comment, most of us split the bullseye/target with the top of the pin, so only half is covering it.
As far as a target, just a big block or bag target
Ignore stone agers. When starting,consider using judo points in short grass areas.Set up paper cups at assorted distances.Voila,a varying long range with no risk of arrow loss.
Russel, i like that, great job man! Great back stop and it protects your targets from the elements. awesome! Is that an actual skull over the 3d deer target? Franklin, I totally disagree with your opinion. Are you a back east/midwest 20 yard tree stand hunter or do you hunt out west here in big open country? Wisconsin?? So yes, lets be honest here. I practice out to 80 yards to perfect my form. Any little twitch off makes a miss. When you get your form to be consistent at those distances the muscle memory is that much more ingrained and it DOES make a 40 yard shot not only seem like a chip shot but it soars your confidence. Never drew back on an animal past 40 yards, That's my discipline max but I have killed more animals at 40 than I have ever killed at 20. I see nothing wrong with stretching out the practice to perfect form at closer distances. But to your point Franklin, the pin does cover most if not all of the target at that distance so you must perfect your form to hit dead center as your pin floats. Practicing out at long distances perfects your form. That's not an opinion, that's a fact. Oh and I almost forgot, its fun too, you should try it.
Works great for broadhead tuning. 20 yds good. Moving out in 10 yds increments to 60 yds tells a much better picture on how well a setup is tuned.
I'm a good shot out to 70 yards, but a great shot at 20. That's punching targets. Much different in hunting conditions. Normally pass on deer beyond 30+ yrds.
That pic was from several years ago. This afternoon I'll post a current picture.
"Even the smallest diameter pin COVERS the entire target at 100 yards. You want to become a better shot shoot at a dime size target at 30 yards and do it 1000X."
How does your pin not cover a dime size target at 30 yards?
First of all the pin will not cover the whole target. If it were to even cover a 12" circle, your mind still will center as you have trained it.
I'll answer the original question. I talked to a manager of my local Tractor Supply store about using a horse stall mat as a backstop. He said that a couple of his bowhunting friends just picked up Styrofoam blocks instead. So I went to the back of the store and was given 30 Styrofoam blocks that are about 12" on each side. Tractor Supply gets them in with shipments and then has to dispose of them so I was saving him money by taking them. I set them on the floor of my garage so they were 6' x 5' and then tightened a ratchet strap real tight around them. Then I stood it up between two 4x4 posts and secured it. It is a super cheap and useful backstop that won't ruin an arrow. You can't use it as a target because it won't last too long but it makes a great backstop.
Shorty.... This past year I had same issue and needed a backstop. I bought 2- 4x8 sheets of pink 2" insulation, cut it in half, then used subfloor adhesive to glue the 4 pieces together. Then I just sunk a couple t-posts 4' apart and secured the backstop w wire between the posts. I put this behind my regular target and it worked well. The less you're worried about losing an arrow the lesser the chance of developing target panic. It's a ton of fun shooting long range and really helps to point out form and equipment flaws.
Redneck target pile :) Can't miss
at my yard, we built a large back stop,,,,, just makes sense,,,,,, drycreeks idea is a good one
I use the horse stall mat. I have a full one and a partial tacked to the back of my shooting backstop. I wish I could practice out to 80-100, but I am not that good. In my bow-shooting career I've probably maxed out at about 60 yard practice and that was pretty limited. Of course I have never shot anything over about 30 yards, and don't really have plans to for deer. If I am in good shooting shape/form, I might extend my elk range out to 35-40.
If you hit the mat with a broadhead, it will probably go through. However, the entire arrow likely won't. Having said that, bows/arrows are a little different, so it would be worth a close range practice shot with another backstop to determine effectiveness. I haven't had any issues with field points either. I can see where you are coming from, as pulling a shot slightly at the ranges you are discussing likely means a flier that won't hit your target.
I like to practice at 30 and shoot animals at 100. Isn't that the new way?
Yeah, I definitely think shooting long distance makes you better at closer ranges. I only shoot out to 60 yards, but when I do that a lot, my 30 and 40 yard groups definitely tighten up.
With field points and mechanical practice heads, I use a commercial 32" square bag target for longer-range practice out to 100 yards. This can also be used with fbbhs, but they're more difficult to pull, and you'll tear up the target fast. So for fbbh practice shooting, I use an old shot-up large-size bag target to back up a Rhinehart block target. I mostly avoid field point practice, except for initial set-up of a bow, because it tends to cover up shooting form errors that can develop, as well as tuning drift that can develop in your set-up.
I do most practice at two ranges....60 and 100 yards. I've been doing that for years, and in my experience, shooting that kind of practice makes me more effective at normal hunting distances of 15 to 40 yards. Do whatever works best for you.
Lost Arra's Link
Back in the day, archery was how far you could shoot something [Think Fred Bear]. Now its how close you can shoot something.
When did it change?
In the words of Allen Iverson, I think the OP is talking about PRACTICE, not shooting at GAME.
Easy to replace or shuffle foam layers when they get shot out.
Easy to replace or shuffle foam layers when they get shot out.
box made out of 2x4's stuffed with old poly sheeting/plastic bags and covered with old carpeting with the backing side out.
box made out of 2x4's stuffed with old poly sheeting/plastic bags and covered with old carpeting with the backing side out.
Replacing the carpeting which lasts a few years or more depending on how much you shoot
Replacing the carpeting which lasts a few years or more depending on how much you shoot
Here are my targets; one for field points and one for broadheads. I built them specifically to increase my confidence when shooting longer range (out to 120 yards) and because I was tired of wearing out a $100+ broadhead target every year. With smaller broadhead targets at long range I found that it contributed to target panic due to the fear of missing the target completely.
Like t-roy said, there have been several threads on targets...
The guy that rents my field drops a round bale off every couple of years that I use as a back stop, hard to miss that.
First, to answer your question. . . . I would not recommend a hay bale. I've lost several arrows in a large round bale. Can't find them at all. They're somewhere inside of it.
I didn't get fancy, because I'm non-mechanical and not handy. I put my regular target in front of a small dirt berm that the farmer put around a new waterway installation. Don't know what I'll do after they finish the waterway project.
Secondly, there are perfectly valid reasons to shoot long range. Personally, I made a vow to be able to shoot to 100 yards after a terrible close range shot at a zebra. He stopped, wounded badly, at 100 yards, and I had never shot that far. I vowed to never let that happen again. Fortunately that zebra bled out in about 4 minutes. Today, I am confident I could get another arrow somewhere in that already wounded zebra.
So that's one valid reason to be proficient at longer ranges, to try to lessen the suffering of already wounded game.
Another valid reason is that it ABSOLUTELY DOES make you a better shot at close ranges. To be accurate at long range your form needs to be perfect. Practicing and hitting at 100 yards will improve your form and mechanics. I absolutely believe that.
We stack hay bales behind our targets. Wrap them in heavy contractor plastic from Lowe’s to keep them dry and set them on a pallet to keep them off the dirt. Last over a year that way.
If you shoot 3D shoots, you should be practicing the long shots. Most of the ones I've shot have at least one or two targets past 60 yds.
I practice out to 80 yds year-round, and start shooting 100 yds from early spring through beginning of Summer, to prepare for the 3D Nationals in Redding.
I just took a photo of one of my backstop (I have two like this). Maybe more elaborate than most would do, but they've been in use for about 20 years.
I poured a concrete slab first, with a foundation bolt on each side at the correct spacing. Then attached all-thread the correct length with a threaded coupler. Then stacked 3 compressed straw bales. I keep them firm, somewhat dry, and compressed with a piece of 3/4" exterior plywood, backed with a treated length of 4X4 bolted on top.
I originally used excelsior bales. But they didn't last too many years. I found that compressed straw bales work best. These were stacked between 10 and 15 years ago. If you shoot in the center a lot, it will get soft, but you can re-stack the bales if that happens. Also the bales are NOT the primary arrow stopper so that isn't a major problem. I face the stack with a 2' X 2' X 2" ethafoam sheet as the primary arrow stopper and that gets replaced when needed. Broadheads get shot into the lower broadhead target.
Ziek: My set up is very similar to yours. Four straw bales that are in a homemade press of sorts. I have used this system for over 20 years. You can hang a bag or foam in front of it and catch even the worst shot from a long ways back.
If you guys shoot the big western shoots like TAC, etc. you better be able to pull the trigger at 100 or you'll be using the lady's stakes (and there's quite a few ladies at these shoots that are not moving up so take that for what you paid for it). It's fun to lob arrows in there, doesn't mean you'll be shooting at game at that distance. I use a bag target with a dirt berm behind it at our archery range.
4' square target made from 2"x10", 3rd hand archery target faces and stuffed with window screen scraps.
Don`t think for a second that guys that plays around with long shots doesn`t decide to give it a go when a trophy steps out past his normal comfort zone. A animal can do a complete 360 degree turn in the time it take from the arrow to leave the bow and get to the animal. Some have the ability...most don`t.
3-D targets don`t crawl off into the brush and die a slow death. I`m just saying what needs to be said and most want to avoid saying. Every year we tell hunters...."don`t worry it happens to everyone" when we should be blasting them for not even knowing where their arrow went.
Sometime the hard truth and tough love is the answer.
I use a commercial outdoor range target that is 29" by 31" for initial sight-in before shooting a life-size deer target for the majority of my practice. I am making a target out of compressed cardboard that will be 6ft tall by 3 feet wide and 9 inches deep and intend to practice as far as my sight will allow in the upcoming spring. I do believe that my long-range practice has made the shots at 40 and in easier but has affected my range estimation a bit. After practicing a bunch at 50 and 60, when I move forward to what I think is 20 yards, I find that I am closer to 30 yards when just guessing. Thank goodness for the rangefinder. I practice with broadheads for about 2 weeks before and throughout the season but it is murder on the deer target. Good luck.
"Sometime the hard truth and tough love is the answer."
Most of the time tending your own garden is the right answer as long as no laws are being broken.
If you have access to a body shop or 2 the head liner material from cars inside of a cardboard box works great. I use a pine tree but it usually ruins my arrows when I miss.
Well said Brotsky. Franklin, you routinely come across as a know it all, my way is best because that’s the way I’ve been doing it for 50 years, get off my lawn grouch.
“Sometimes the hard truth and tough love is the answer.”
I really don't think that practicing at long ranges and improving your archery skills correlates to taking unethical shots. But rather it makes you a better shot at normal "accepted" shot distances which can result in being a more ethical hunter because you improved your shooting ability...
The only things that are obvious here is 1) Franklin is out to lunch, 2) Long range shootIng certainly DOES improve accuracy. When shooting long range it is imperative to pay attention to ALL the small details simultaneously which helps a shooters abilities at all ranges. No doubt anyone who does it reports better accuracy at all ranges.
I started typing, but I don't even think Franklin's quips warrant a response it's so ridiculous. All you can really speak to is yourself and that's your situation so be it. It's not everyone else's.
My long-range target. Thanks to Mike the Cheesehead...I've been shooting this target for about 4 Years. Measures 4' x 4' basically.
Rookie mistake, forgot the pic!
that one is super helpful for those long range bovine shots!
I use the Cheesehead target as a backstop with a bag target stacked on top of broadhead target in front.
“I’m just saying what needs to be said and most want to avoid saying “
Most avoid saying cause they figure you will be along shortly to do it for us anyway, as well as pointing out the flaws in our thinking, Franklin.
Here’s the target I built stealing from cheesehead Mikes’s setup. I don’t shoot Broadheads into it any closer than 40 yards. It is a bitch to pull the arrows out of it unless I’m 40yds or further out. I also added some small wheels to the back of the skids that it sets on. I can tilt it back and wheel it around easily.
That's a sweet setup t-roy. With that asphalt right in front of your target, maybe tie a piece of mule tape around your target then tie it off to the 2 pieces of all thread you have to "center" the target on your backstop. Anything low might skip off the asphalt. Just a thought that popped in my head lookin at it.
Here's an updated photo of the target I made 7+ years ago. 8'x6'
The two pieces of black rubber pad in the back stop arrows easily if they penetrate all the way through the target. This is especially true with the large blue faced target that is stuffed with pillow stuffing.
The large black target Range King is my broadhead target.
The Black Hole target is my portable one that I take out to the field for long range shooting.
Chuckster.....I just rolled the target out to take a pic of it. I set it up past the end of the asphalt a ways. I have yardages marked on the driveway though!
I use to shoot noncompetitive 3-D every weekend for about 5-6 years until I suffered a shoulder injury that ironically was caused by shooting so much 3-D without warming up first. A local private archery club was on of the venues that held a shoot I attended every weekend I shot. They usually held a 50/50 fundraiser where you paid $5 for a single chance to hit the closest to a bulls-eye at 100 yards with a BROAD HEAD tipped arrow. I watched countless guys pay and try and I was astonished by how few people could even come close to hitting the 2'x2' paper target. However there were a few guys who could do it regularly to the point they were allowed to try only once a month, then once a season. I have no doubt there are archers who have the skills needed to make ethical shots past 40 yards as in MY opinion any shots at a living animal past 40 yards is a LONG shot. Again this is my opinion but shots on game at 50 or 60 yards let alone longer should be only attempted by archers who's skills are at that level. As I don't think its a matter of opinion when I say as the distance of the shot grows, so does it's difficulty, likely exponentially in proportion to the increase in distance. I am also of the opinion there are FAR, FAR to many archers today who THINK they posses the level of skill needed to make ethical shots at long range than ACTUALLY DO posses the skills. There is an almost immeasurable difference between the ability needed to put a field point tipped arrow into a foam target under comparatively ideal conditions of ones back yard or 3-D course at 50, 60, 70 yards or beyond VS at a living animal with a arrow tipped with a FB/BH under the stress of actual hunting conditions. No doubt there are archers who can do it, it's MY opinion most archers can't count themselves among them, and sadly for the beloved animals we pursue I suspect to many do. I guess to counter my stance one could get out his/hers latest copy of P&Y and average out the distance at which most trophy animals are taken and unless it has changed from the last time I saw the average for white tail deer the #1 big game animal taken with a bow, I think it was under 25 yards. Now if the average distance has jumped to say 35-40 yards then I will concede my argument at flawed. But I'll go out on a limb here and predict the distance has changed much if at all. Just my opinion.
I get some foam that comes on a huge roll. It is like 8' wide. Stuff is similar to foam mattress material but a little stouter. It comes from some factory in West Virginia
I cut it up with a butcher knife and end up with targets that are about 4' wide and 4' tall. This stuff lasts a long time, does great with broadhead and is free. I haven't bought archery targets in 10 years.
I would like to thank all who have offered some thoughtful information. The others,well you are what you are. I would really like to be able to hit a paper plate constantly at 100 yards. Not that I would ever shoot at any animal at that distance except maybe a yote. I like the idea of the compressed foam targets and I appreciate those of you that have taken the time to post pictures of your setup. Now I have a suggestion or recommendation for you. This fall I shot a nice buck right at the end of legal shooting light. He came to a scrape in a field I have behind the house. The shot looked real good because I was using lighted nocks. It took him only seconds to make it across two hundred yards of the clover field before he ran up a small road through the woods. Now as he ran I couldn't see the nock at all so I figured I didn't get a complete pass through and the nock must have been inside of him. I am colorblind and can't hardly see blood during the daylight and it's even worse at night. So I called a friend of mine and asked him to come over and help me track him. He showed up about a half hour later with his lovely wife who also wanted to help. I took them up to the field and showed them the stand I was hunting from and approximately where the buck was standing when I shot him. There was very little blood and was thankful to have them there to help me. My buddy shined his flashlight across the field at maybe 150 yards or so and ask me what it was that really lit up when his light hit it. I wasn't sure. So as we follow the blood it took us up to that shining object, it was my arrow! I had forgotten that I had wrapped some of my arrows with a 7 inch white reflective wrap from One Stringer. At 150 yards it stuck out like a sore thumb. Once the arrow came out it looked like a crime scene. There was blood everywhere and there laid my buck about 15 yards up the road. I was using the new Rage Extreme 4 blade heads and they really did a number on him. This was the first time I have used a mechanical head on an animal. I selected this head because of the cut on contact 7/8 head on the front. The blades opened up a 2 1/2" hole breaking two ribs going in and broke another rib on it's way out. I figure that he expired in less than 10 seconds. So I was really impressed with two things, the arrow wraps and the broadhead. I contacted One Stringer and ordered more of the white reflective wraps. Every arrow I shoot is going to have one on including all my practice arrows. I have been wrapping the arrows 7" up from the insert. This serves two purposes, making it real easy to recover your arrow and it gives you a good indication by the blood on what type of hit you made. The lighted nocks I was using would have been useless finding the arrow because it was full of blood. So there you have it my suggestions. I again want to thank those of you that had taken the time and effort to help me out. Merry Christms to you!
elkmtgear, I dig that target, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to stick one of those slow elk when it messed up my plans...
At least the OP "Shorty" was honest enough to say...."he wanted to hit a paper plate at 100 yards". He didn`t try to cloud the issue with some BS that it will improve his accuracy....lmao. My hats off to you Shorty for being honest in your intentions.
These are some great ideas for targets. Can't wait to get a piece of property where I can build a long range target like these. Unfortunately I live in suburbia and the neighbors would frown upon arrows being flung on the other side of the fence. I think both sides are right. There are definitely some valuable things to be learned about form, arrow drop, etc... from shooting at longer ranges. And I'm sure its fun as heck to shoot at long range too. However, I have to agree with poor Franklin, that SOME hunters who practice at long ranges will be induced to shoot at game at those ranges, leading to some wounded game that won't be recovered or suffer ugly deaths. Hopefully, most hunters out there are ethical and don't do this. What sickens me is some of the hunting shows out there that glorify shooting at elk at 70+ yards with a bow or 700+ yards with a rifle. I think there's even a rifle hunt show that only shoots at animals at extreme ranges. I often wonder how many animals are wounded or completely missed that they never televise before they make a clean kill? I think Jager is spot on with the 40 yard max for big game with a bow for most hunters(myself included). I'm sure there are a few skilled bowhunters out there that can consistently make a clean kill shot in the heat of the moment beyond that range, but not many.
Just for fun I shoot at a lighted old spa cover at night with luminocs set at 100 yards
Here is a pic of the setup that I described above. The backstop is 6’ high and 5’ wide. Typically when I’ve missed the bag target it’s because I forgot to set my sliding sight.
Of course you can improve accuracy by shooting short range (30yds), but many people don't have the willpower to do so. The penalty for a flyer at 30 is pulling your arrow out of the bag 6 inches from the bulls-eye (and is rather non-eventful, and acceptable)... the penalty for a flyer at 100 is losing your precious arrow. There is inherently more pressure on each shot at longer ranges that forces more attention to details. I believe that it creates a routine that helps counteract buck fever. The hunter who finds a way to place pressure on practice shots is better equipped to handle the pressure of a hunting shot.
Is someone who practices long more likely to take a long shot? Depends on the person's personality. Many very rational men have made very bad decisions in the presence of great amounts of money, beautiful women, and giant bucks. You don't hear a lot of stories about poachers targeting does, and most "I made a bad shot, help me find my deer" threads start about how it was the biggest buck they have ever had a shot at....
Forgive me for this... but the whole time I read this thread I've pictured the crossbow add that promised 100yd accuracy and all the comments I've read over the last year or so about the evils of something that will shoot 100yds in archery season. And of course if someone has it they will certainly take 100yd shots at deer. Lol, I know it doesn't exactly apply here but the parallel concepts gave me a chuckle.
Elkstabber, great looking back stop. How old is it, how's it hold up to the weather?
The decision to take a shot that is beyond one's effective range has absolutely nothing to do with a person's practice routine or what weapon he has in his hand. It all has to do with what he has between his ears.
"He didn't try to cloud the issue with some BS that it will improve his accuracy....lmao." You are either being intentionally obtuse now, or you are just an idiot. Consistently hitting a paper plate at 100 yds. would make probably all but the very best shooters among us more accurate at short range.
I never target shot long range until I elk hunted out west. Then my sole purpose for shooting long range was to improve accuracy out to 50 yards on live animals. So I practiced at 100 yards on my 5’x5’ piece of high density boat dock foam. Small issues of form, follow through etc are magnified at long ranges so it helped me focus on them and therefore improve my accuracy. It made my groups much tighter at 40 and 50 yards - period. To each his own.
I passed on 2 elk last year at 70 yards broadside - so much for the broad smear/generalization on taking out of range shots on live animals solely because you’ve practiced at long ranges.
"Sometime the hard truth and tough love is the answer."
That's absolutely true. However, sometimes not being a rude, know it all, holier than thou D is also the answer. :)
"Obtuse?!... did you call me 'obtuse' Dufrane?"
"Andy.... ohhhh Andy.... It was the longest night of my life"
Every time I hear "obtuse" I think of poor Andy lol!
Jethro: I built the backstop in January, so it's almost 1 year old. See my post above for what it is. Similar to oldschool's boat dock foam. Where I live (southern VA) high winds are unusual and I just carried it into the garage when we had a hurricane nearby. So it has been outside for the entire time. Underneath it I built up the ground a little and then laid down a 2x10 pressure treated board so that the Styrofoam doesn't sit straight on the ground. I think some critter like a skunk has been gnawing on the corners but so far no problems. I can't think of a cheaper, more effective big backstop. If you live somewhere that has a lot of wind I would suggest gluing a plywood board to the back of it just to keep it all together. If it weren't for this big backstop I don't think I'd have many arrows left!
Jeff, does that umbrella decoy still work? Seems like its full of holes. LOL
Eric, I still have a box full of those Moo Cow Slips. I just pin a new one up there every 6 months or so.
"At least the OP "Shorty" was honest enough to say...."he wanted to hit a paper plate at 100 yards". He didn`t try to cloud the issue with some BS that it will improve his accuracy....lmao."
Ummmmmm, I don't know about you Franky, but 'hitting a paper plate at 100yds' and 'accuracy' are pretty much the same thing in my book...lmao
Catscratch made a very valid point.
Franklin has a reputation on here as being a little too much "TBM". Most of his posts get laughed at and/or ignored. He does make a valid point this time, even though he didn't express it very well. I'm going to put my coaching hat on here and give the facts that seem to go down the middle of these two sides of the argument.
I won't go as far as saying long range practice is wrong. Long range practice does two major things... it gives one confidence to make that ever important follow-up shot when that presents itself. Secondly, and most importantly, it takes target panic out of the equation. TP is the single most leading cause of poor short-range practice. Pin float at 30 yards is a very real thing. It's impossible not to notice pin float at close range. And...most shooters don't handle that well. Therefore, shooting at 70+ yards subconsciously allows the shooter to focus and "accept" the pin float as natural. It's basically the same concept as blank bale shooting at close range. It's all about tricking your mind into not overthinking it.
In summery, yes long range shooting can make you have better form at close range. And... Yes, the same form and accuracy can be maintained by close range shooting, if you have the mind for it. Even so, one should always practice long range shots in case you need that follow-up shot.
FWIW, I personally don't practice beyond 20 yards. I have my bow sighted in out to 60, and I know that the bottom of my pin guard is 80. All but a few of my kills have been using my 20 yard pin. THAT is the sight picture I want to practice the most and be automatic with. But then....I don't have TP.
Sounds like I struck a nerve on those that are doing all the belly aching. Poking paper and shooting a live animal are 2 different things. I know guys that can hit a gnat at 50 yards but fall apart like a wet Kleenex when a animal comes in. Not to mention they can`t sneak up on a glass of water.
Sounds like some of those that are posting fit this profile.
Years ago we policed ourselves and kept a strong arm on those that could put the sport in a bad light. Maybe it`s time to start that up again.....just saying.
So while I'm out having fun slinging arrows in my backyard at 80 yards I'm now putting the sport in a bad light...? Come on... seriously...?
Didn`t say you....your a proven killer. I`m saying poking paper is just what you said....."having fun slinging arrows". You`re being honest.
Just what I said 80 posts ago....but reading comprehension seems to escape some of you. If that hurts your feelings...oh well.
lol Too funny. Too bad Franklin wasn't around to police Fred Bear. Could have prevented him putting the sport in a bad light.
Anyone who hunts with a bow and shoots long range has no misgivings about how long it takes an arrow to get there. Anyone who hunts seriously knows how quick an animal can move. Deciding to take a shot knowing those two factors is a total personal decision. Guess what, sometimes, by reading an animals body language, a longer shot isn't even a bad decision.
Nobody balks at a trad bow shot of 20-25 yards. In reality a compound could be reaching 35-40 yards in the exact same amount of time. Yet sometimes the same people that say 20 yard recurve shot is fine will say a 35 yard compound shot is unethical on a whitetail and they will base that on the animal being able to move. In reality, the further compound shot would be less likely to have the animal string jump as it is further away, the noise is less immediate, and the movement is more minimal.
The reality is every shot is an individual choice and will be determined by that person's thinking and where they are in life. You can coach, help and instruct when asked, but please don't take it upon yourself to police other people's legal decisions. No one enjoys that. Tha's about as fun as telling people which legal animal they should or should not shoot.
At least your starting to see my side of things...because that has been my point all along. Our woods are full of incompetent hunters and archers. Pushing this long range nonsense as if that is the Holy Grail of bowhunting does more damage than good.
There are thread after thread about 1st time bowhunters wounding deer and when they relate the story it`s....." he was 35 yards away and I could barely see". I have never taken a 35 yard shot in 40 years of bowhunting....and in those 40 years I have not recovered 2 animals.
I wish people would spend more time in the woods becoming a better HUNTER and woodsman and drill on killing shots.
What are the "sucess %" of bowhunters now compared to years ago. With all this fancy equipment and long range accuracy the numbers should be 40- 50% right?
We aren`t getting it done folks....and you wonder why wildlife agencies are pushing crossbows. We made our bed now we must lie in it. YouTube killed bowhunting....not the crossbow.
2 out of 4 ain't too shabby Franklin. :-)
You want to play "whip out"....lol....I`m in.
How close do we have to be for that?
You stole my line, Justin!
Geesh.....some people could brighten up a thread just by leaving it.
Would you rather a guy that practices regularly at 80 - 100 yards take a fifty yard shot, or a guy that only practices to thirty and thinks he might pull it off?
Not being a race car driver doesn’t stop some from speeding excessively . And conversely, I don’t think real race car drivers are more apt to speed beyond their skills on the road.
I don’t know ambush. When I leave the go cart place, I can’t help myself when I get in my car! Maybe ole franklin isn’t as dumb as he makes himself sound on here!
You can tell the ones that I hit the nerve on....they are taking it personally.
Ambush....I would much rather they became better woodsman...and hit a gnat at 20 yards than post a YouTube vid or a pic. My question is how do you get your arm around that far to pat yourself on the back.
I have a friend who pitched for the White Sox....funny, he never practiced pitching from 2nd base. You would think moving up to the mound would be a "chip shot".
Franklin, you didn’t hit a nerve, that’s my funny bone. You should practice more.
Not practice more... practice farther! :)
"..police Fred Bear. Could have prevented him putting the sport in a bad light."
Sorry APauls. That was a different time and place. Some of the things they did back then WOULD be seen in a bad light today.
But I do know competent longbow and recurve shooters that are capable shots on game out to about 50 yards. It's NOT their go to shot, but doable for them under the right circumstances. I killed my first big game animal with a bow (a mule deer) using my 50 yard pin, no peep, fingers, before range finders and shooting about 200 fpm. My shot was right on in elevation but slightly back through the back of the lungs and liver. Easy recovery. 50 yards is the longest I feel comfortable judging distance under the right circumstances, but I rarely push it that far and won't go even 1 yard over, knowingly. Of course, the only way I would know that is to cheat and use a range finder. To me, bowhunting is about developing MY skills, not over-relying on technology. The shot sequence begins with range estimation. If I wouldn't take the shot without the range finder, I won't consider it using one. And most of my shots are under 30 or 35 yards (my average shot is in the mid 20's) and most of my hunting is in the "wide open west"). With today's compound bows, no one should need a range finder at those distances. And if you want to use technology to shoot farther, might as well use the technology of a different weapon.
But target shooting is NOT hunting. For many years I set the Extreme Range for the CBA Jamboree. I tried to set realistic but demanding shots. Most out at mid to long range (30 - 50 yards), but a couple out at 90 -100 yards. Not every one appreciated that and I always got some complaints and questions on why I would "encourage" that. Well, that wasn't what I was doing. The targets that were "out there" had very few holes in them and many people looking for arrows, and everyone used a range finder first. I hoped to show that that WASN'T an appropriate shot. Besides, all the other ranges were what we all look for when hunting; boring (from a shooting perspective), close range shots. It's FUN to launch arrows at distant targets once in a while.
This thread is fun!
Better woodsman huh? The best woodsman I know is the worst shot I've ever seen with a compound. Lost a lot of deer. And he's not flinging arrows at long range. I'm talking 15-20 yard shots. He doesn't get buck fever, he just can't shoot. He can get them close though. He's a hell of an all-around outdoorsman. Knows where and when to catch fish, find mushrooms, can trap anything on land or water, thinks like a deer, quacks like a duck, can outsmart any old gobbler, and spends a lot of time in the woods. He just can't shoot a bow for nothing.
"I would much rather they became better woodsman...and hit a gnat at 20 yards"
I feel like my pins would cover a gnat at 20yds, is there a smaller pin size to use for that?
Franklin makes a great point- people who practice at a distance he doesn't like are terrible people and really painting the average bowhunter in a bad light. He does a much better job of painting the average archer swimmingly by coming on here and acting like an arrogant ass.
"...but reading comprehension seems to escape some of you..." Franklin, are you related to bowriter? You sound an awful lot like him. Those who disagree with you are just too darn dumb to see your way, the right way, of doing things. Must be nice to always know what's right and best.
I practice out to 100 yards frequently and I'd NEVER consider shooting at an animal at anywhere close to that distance. If you can't grasp how shooting at that kind of distance cleans up a person's form, it's you who's too clueless to get it, not vice versa. The flip side is that there's no doubt some people incorrectly think that because they can hit a spot or bust foam at that distance it is just fine to shoot at a living creature at that distance. No doubt they're wrong in assuming it's the same deal.
Talking about the success rate of new bowhunters - heck when I started bowhunting YouTube wasn’t a thing. That was only 16 years ago. Man I remember emptying my quiver at anything. Running deer through a valley through timber - flong- heck I was pretty close that time! Just fell below his feet! Dude I just learned by trial and error. Realized pretty quick running 70 yarders through bush wasn’t a shot worth taking when I only had painted pins to 40.
With the information available to today’s new bowhunter on the internet I’m far less worried about their shooting percentage than the new bowhunter of 20/30 years ago.
You know what else? Wouldn’t trade it. I might rub some people the wrong way but that learning period of trial and error, taking “stupid” shots was some of the most fun I’ve ever had bowhunting. And in the grand scheme of things I didn’t ruin the whitetail woods. Sure I made about 2 deer per year easier for the coyotes to catch up to those first couple years but I don’t regret it in the slightest. I was a hunter learning to hunt.
Quote Franklin: " Ambush.....my question is how do you get your arm around that far to pat yourself on the back."
You'll have to show me where I did that "patting". I mean, given my lack of reading comprehension and all.
And why not just intelligently refute the premise I put forward instead of a resorting to a personal slag?
"That was a different time and place. Some of the things they did back then WOULD be seen in a bad light today." Contact Harvey Weinstein and let me know how that argument is working for him. Now I'm not saying Fred Bear was a bad image. I admit to doing the same things as I learned to bowhunt. But why would ethics change over time? Doesn't really make sense to me. In my mind they are animals then and they still are today. What should/shouldn't have happened then should/shouldn't happen today.
Long range practice may help in the event of a follow up shot to a wound. Have done it several times in fifty years.
I'm lucky to have a dirt embankment & I shoot to 80 yards as I shoot field rounds. Hunting is mostly 20-25 & 40 max.
x-man, I know you know your stuff, so I'm going to say that I respectfully disagree with there being only two main forms of long-range practice helping. I believe that longer-range practice forces you to focus on form inconsistencies that didn't show up, or were insignificant to the result and ignored, at 20 yards. Am I wrong?
In full disclosure, I'm kind of like that guy Bake describes, except I'm not as good at fishing, mushroom hunting, trapping, or outsmarting old gobblers, and I don't quack like a duck. ;^)
APauls, ethics do change over time. When sustenance rules the day, ethics go out the window (generally speaking). In Fred's early years, there was a more sustenance-friendly mindset in the court of public opinion, albeit that didn't necessarily apply to Fred while he was out on a sport-hunt.
Apauls, Franzen is right that no doubt ethics do change over time. I understand the idea that it seems like it should be black and white-- right and wrong-- but it's not. Do a little snooping online and you'll find tons of examples of this.
Ethics and sentiment have changed over time for many, I have never altered mine. What happens on the prairie, stays on the prairie... and therefore I justify to nobody.
Good point Franzen....when Pope and Young would go on hunting trips they would take 6 dozen arrows.
I`ll take the great woodsman and a terrible 20 yard shot over a lousy woodsman and a lousy 40 yard shot any day of the week. The odds are that the "woodsman" is shooting at a calm deer that came into the setup in the right direction. The odds of him crippling a animal are less than the straight on fully alert arrow flinger.
You guys should get your "pie plates" framed. At least you would have something to put on the wall...lol
I believe Randy Ulmer uses the homemade "stick and string" method of form training. Not to mention shooting an arrow with your eyes closed standing just feet from a target....focusing only on muscle memory and proper tension to execute the shot. That might not fit into this "instant gratification" generation of bowhunter but it is effective.
That's pretty much what I was saying. [You]practice at long range to show [your] form inconsistencies. Those same inconsistencies will show up at close range if you know what to look for, and you don't have to wonder if it was you or the wind.
I just shoot a bag target when I shoot long distance. I practice out to 130 yards.
Franklin- if you don’t think shooting at further yardages doesn’t improve close shots your silly. Try it sometime. Practice at 60 yards 70 yards. Then try shooting at 20
Franklin, Randy Ulmer, the person you reference above, has also written about the size of the group he shoots at 100 yards. Is he a scourge to all of bowhunting?
I love long range practice. It’s a ton of fun and provides immediate feedback on form when there’s no wind. It’s also helped me make a couple of 80 yard plus follow up shots when things went wrong at closer range.
I’ve got a range at home that’s 110 yards and a large 6’ x 4’ backstop I bought from Pacific Bow Butts. It’s built on a 2” x 12” frame, wrapped with heavy nylon cloth, much like that used on a bag target but heavier, and stuffed with window screen material. The thing I like most about the target is that I can pin a full size animal target on the bottom and a couple smaller targets on the top. I’m on year 6 with it and it’s still going strong.
“Franzen, That's pretty much what I was saying. [You]practice at long range to show [your] form inconsistencies. Those same inconsistencies will show up at close range if you know what to look for, and you don't have to wonder if it was you or the wind.”
Beg to differ. Maybe if you have a coach watching you, but when you’re on your own, shooting 3-4X the distance will call out your mistakes loud and clear.
The proof is in the puddin’...
It’s easy to shoot 2” groups at 20 yards (with sights and pins). And it’s easy to believe that that will translate into 4” groups at 40 yards... unless you’ve spent a lot of time shooting 40 yards and you’ve seen that most of us are probably less than half as good at twice the range, meaning that a 2”@20 yard shooter is more likely to shoot around 8” at 40 than anything close to 4”....
I never shoot at my club without shooting long for at least part of the time - 65-80 yards or so. Didn’t happen quickly, but I’m closing in on groups that are comparable to my brace height in width... But I’m having to hold on a spot that’s between about 12 and 20 feet over the target, so it’s a real rarity for me to lob 8-10 shots down-range without putting at least a couple of those into the dirt.... Doesn’t matter; I’ve had pretty decent luck with arrow longevity. And I’ll tell you - how many “Trad” shooters do you know who are only mostly happy shooting 8” wide at 40 yards? When I rejoined my club, I’d been busting nocks and snapping arrows routinely out to about 50 feet, and at 40 yards I was happy just hitting an NFAA target somewhere on the paper.
So yes, real distance work is an exacting coach...
But answer yourself these questions:
1) If you knew that you could group into 10 MOA out to 100 yards, would you really consider taking a shot at a moving target at 75? Especially if you don’t know WHEN it’ll start moving, or IF, or how fast, or in what direction?
2) Would you take that shot if you had a PH watching over your shoulder and your big-dollar non-res tag would be punched the moment you drew any blood whatsoever?
3) Closer to home: if you were going on a rifle hunt, would you consider for one hot minute the prospect of taking a rifle that would only shoot into 10 MOA?
"“Franzen, That's pretty much what I was saying. [You]practice at long range to show [your] form inconsistencies. Those same inconsistencies will show up at close range if you know what to look for, and you don't have to wonder if it was you or the wind.” Beg to differ. Maybe if you have a coach watching you, but when you’re on your own, shooting 3-4X the distance will call out your mistakes loud and clear."
GF, I'm not sure I understand your post. Or maybe you didn't understand mine.
I don't have the benefit of a 100 yard indoor range. There are maybe 10 days out of the entire year that I could shoot outdoors in perfect conditions, which is the only way to practice properly at that distance. I have never advocated for NOT practicing at long range. I do it every chance I get, but like I said that's maybe 10 days a year.
I expect all of my arrows inside a nickle at 20 yards. They don't all go in that small circle though. Small form flaws, lack of focus, a wandering mind ect... all will make that 1/2" group have a flier out in that 2" group range. And a brain-fart will put one out into the 3" group range. If I did the bulk of my shooting at 80-100 yards there is no way I could tell if my fliers were caused by form, focus, or wind currents. Shooting at those yardages are fun and necessary for sighting in, but it does nothing for your physical preparation, only your mental preparation.
Wayward shots are wayward shots. They will show up just as easily for me at 20 yards as they do at 80 yards. That may not be true for everyone. I realize that some shooters cannot group well at 20 due to TP. And like I stated in my first post, shooting at long ranges can eliminate TP from the equation. Unless you shoot indoors though, you'll never know if fliers are you or the elements.
My Halon 6 is very sensitive to hand torque. Shooting long range with it has taught me, or rather forced me to learn the proper grip technique, which I now incorporate into every shot. This has improved my shooting at all ranges, including close range.
I don't know that I would have fine tuned my technique to the degree I have if I wouldn't have practiced at and committed to becoming a good shot at long ranges.
I’m not going to argue with anyone who says he can either hit a nickel every time or (apart from called fliers) can blame it on the wind.
Me..... These are about the first shots I ever took with a ‘69 Thunderbird that I picked up off of Craigslist. I had maybe a dozen shots through it before these, but those were shooting off of a very wide, flat shelf without so much as a piece of tape on it, so I installed a $3 Bear Weatherest and this is what happened at 20 yards.
2” group apart from two 2016 aluminums that spine a bit stiff and kicked out to the left, but at least they were consistent about it.
If I could shoot like this all the time, I’d probably quit my day job. But I wouldn’t have gotten here by never shooting beyond 60 feet.
Shooting 65 or 80 yards or more, you find out real fast how consistent you really are, and there’s none of this business of telling yourself it was a “good enough” execution when you’ve got a beat and a half to watch that arrow tail off to one side.
I don’t ever blame my misses on the wind, but I WOULD venture that a lot of guys who figure they’re good enough to be taking shots past 40-50 yards actually have no clue whatsoever as to what effect wind really has on their arrow once you get out there...
So all I’m gonna say is that until you’ve done your fair share of shooting at longer range, you have no idea how much harder it is. And live targets are no place to find out.
"...have no clue whatsoever as to what effect wind really has on their arrow..."
True that! For instance; everyone thinks bow tune is primary. Why? They want their arrow flying true as soon as possible after release so that all the energy is transferred straight down the shaft through the point, on impact. If that were really true, they would NEVER shoot outside at an animal. If there is ANY wind, the arrow always hits traveling somewhat sideways, virtually negating the effect of your perfect tune with respect to impact alignment. If the animal is moving when the arrow arrives (walking shot, "jumping the string") - same result. Tuning is really only a starting point that is much easier to control than what you should be more concerned with; what happens at impact. Many other choices, that are less considered, can have as much or more effect on terminal performance than bow tune.
I love checking in on these threads.
I think guys are confusing what some guys mean by form at long range (100 plus). It’s honestly the same at 20, your just able to see it better at long range if your a good shooter.
If your a 300 round shooter and “pull” one at 20, your only a half inch off of your average group. Do that at 120 yards it’s 5/6 inches. Makes it a heck of a lot easier to see on a block or any other standard target.
The other perk to shooting long range is getting good at calling wind. Once a setup is dialed calling wind is an uphill battle. Makes it a heck of a lot easier at 60.
And just to say my 20-yard group wasn’t a total fluke....
4 shots in damn near dark. 1/2” wide, tops.