Contributors to this thread:
Elk quartering towards shot
I’m new here and would like to get your guys opinions on a near frontal quartering towards shot. I called in a bull to 44 yards that gave me a near frontal but quartering towards me shot. He never made a sound but just appeared out of the thick reprod. I shot him last evening and my arrow went where I aimed center cavity at the seam of the shoulder. However I noticed as he spun around there wasn’t much penetration found my arrow about 50 yards away with 3 inches broken off but with blood all down the arrow for another 12 or so. I backed out and went in at first light this morning and got on decent blood after 100 yards after tracking him. I tracked him for about 300 yards and he ended up climbing back up onto the mainline of the logging road. To my surprise there was constant drops of blood and even blotches for close to another 800 yards. Then the bull re entered some reprod and after another 100 yards or so I begin to find even larger blotches of blood every 3 or 4 feet. This lasted about 75 more yards. After this the blood trail seemed to get smaller again and then I lost it completely in the thick reprod mess. But not before I heard some sticks cracking above a short distance up in the reprod. So I went up after it but not sure if it was the bull or another elk moving away through the reprod. Didn’t find anymore blood or the bull the rest of the day. I feel horrible that I wasn’t able to find him after having consistent blood for close to a mile. I figured before I began tracking him that I wasn’t going to find him due to it being a shoulder hit and expected little to no blood due to what i’ve heard about hitting elk in shoulder. But I was wrong with there being a pretty decent blood trail for most of it so I don’t know what to think at this point..... I’m wondering if any of you have some thoughts or experience with a situation like this.
Sorry to be blunt but you got what you asked for. Elk aren’t deer. I bet you never do that again. My 2 cents.
If it makes you feel any better I’d say that elk lived to tell about it.
Curious..... weight of bow you were shooting, how heavy of an arrow and broadhead and what type, to take that kind of shot,,,, no judgement here, just curious
To my knowledge Bou it’s replanted pines in logged areas. Usually smaller and thick. In Montana anyway.
Reprod is a replanted clearcut. Can be really thick on the west coast.
44 yards is too far for that shot. I’ve taken it before and killed animals. But sounds like you hit shoulder. If done right, the arrow should enter the near side chest and lodge in the back ham. You only have a small degree of turn from a full frontal, to still make this shot work. I’ve taken it at 10 and 5 yards.
Sounds like the arrow stuck in bone, little penetration...if arrow was "rigid" when he spun instead of "floppy", there's no doubt.
Bull will probably be just fine, and be chasing cows in a week, like nothing ever happened.
That's a helluva long shot for a frontal!
I made that mistake with a whitetail once, only at 8 yards, a 'sure thing', had full penetration with no arrow showing, and had the same result with the blood trail - a lot of it regularly but never found the deer after two days of exhaustive searching, and two weeks later I saw that buck in an open field limping along, but very much alive. I'll never do a frontal shot again, and I 'd not recommend it to anyone. Especially on an elk...
Not to debate you trapper, but the frontal shot is extremely lethal. Ever noticed that when one person has something go wrong with it, they say never again yet when something goes wrong on a broadside shot, they don’t ever say that?
My point is, clearly your experience wasn’t the norm on a frontal shot. Where as mine has been devastating over and over again. One bad experience with it shouldn’t define the whole thing, if it did, we would stop shooting at animals all together.
The frontal shot can be very lethal, however the margin of error is extremely small when compared to the broadside or quartering away scenario. Does not mean it is wrong, but expect more wounds to recovery ratio.
"I called in a bull to 44 yards that gave me a near frontal but quartering towards me shot."
At that angle, at that distance, he wasn't giving you a shot.
Yeah, I know. But its a pretty small hole that the arrow has to enter and if it misses that hole, the arrow skirts along side the ribs and causes the result I had, and probably the one the OP had. Hit that hole, and its a sure thing for sure. That said, I think the range of error is far less on a broadside shot than a frontal. The lethal zone on a broadside shot includes the heart, lungs, and liver zone of impact, vs the relatively small carotid and heart zone on the frontal. If you are absolutely sure of connecting that zone on the frontal, my opinion is that it would be MORE lethal than a broadside zone shot, and bring that animal down quicker. I see what you are saying. I just would not recommend it, nor take it again unless I was 95+% sure of a direct hit on that 'hole' at close range.
'and its a sure thing for sure'... LOL, I best start proofreading my posts... :)
I would take the shot because it always works on TV
I would and have taken a frontal every time its offered as long as its with in 25 yards. you need the right bh and a heavy arrow.
Front shirt pocket is deadly under 20 yards!! Read that again. Under 20 yards!!
A shot that allows a quick kill or a living animal when gone wrong is a good shot in my book. I wouldn’t take a frontal over maybe 25 yards but like others have said I bet your bull is doing fine. You likely passed behind the shoulder or into it but not into the body cavity, nothing more than a flesh wound for a bull elk.
I would re-trace the blood until I found the animal or got myself lost trying. Sounds like a LOT of blood lost, so get back to where you got distracted by the noise, get down on the ground and see how much you can learn from this whole deal.
Presumably, you’ve already learned the reason why they don’t teach that shot placement in Bowhunter Ed.
44 yds is quite a bit too far for a strong quartering to shot...For me. If you called into that position sure seems he is gonna turn for a better angle eventually. Patience is HARD.
Thanks guys, and yes I won’t be taking the shot or will wait to see if he turns broadside before bolting. I will be continuing to search in the thick reprod but as a few of you mentioned hopefully he’s back to chasing cows sooner or later. The reason why I didn’t wait is I had been cow calling every so often for about 10 min where I saw him disappear into the brush. And I thought he was gone as I didn’t hear any sticks crack or noise so I continued to sit there and then I looked up and there he was. I mean he had me pegged from the start so I figured that was the only window I would get. Wish I would’ve slowed down and just waited it out. As he could’ve turned around and then stopped him with a cow call. Lesson learned the hard way I guess.
Good luck Oregon, and keep after them.
If they are locked onto you, you can bet they will move at the shot. Marginal shots become high risk.
Live and learn. Good luck with the rest of your season.
The seam in front or behind the shoulder?
Took that shot once at 25 yds. Never again. Poor shot selection. Doubt you'll ever find that bull and he's likely fine. Quartering to = bad idea. Too easy for the arrow to strike heavy bone in the forequarter or pass between hide and ribs. Full frontal at less than 20 or quartering away = OK in my book.
Lesson learned...just because an angle maybe “the only window I would get” doesn’t mean you have to take it. Better odds on a shot means you won’t regret taking it even if you miss. You can rest assured you took a good opportunity no matter the results. We all owe the animal we hunt this.