Curt Wlls article " Long Bombs"
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Jack Whitmrie jr 25-Mar-20
Bou'bound 25-Mar-20
midwest 25-Mar-20
Bowboy 25-Mar-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 25-Mar-20
Spiral Horn 25-Mar-20
Spiral Horn 25-Mar-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 25-Mar-20
altitude sick 25-Mar-20
Tdvorak 25-Mar-20
JL 25-Mar-20
Shawn 25-Mar-20
SBH 25-Mar-20
BTM 25-Mar-20
steff 25-Mar-20
SBH 25-Mar-20
Matt Palmquist 25-Mar-20
PECO 25-Mar-20
12yards 25-Mar-20
Matt Palmquist 25-Mar-20
Jaquomo 25-Mar-20
Tonybear61 25-Mar-20
Tonybear61 25-Mar-20
Muleysareking 25-Mar-20
Mike in CT 25-Mar-20
JL 25-Mar-20
Rock 25-Mar-20
Jaquomo 25-Mar-20
LINK 25-Mar-20
x-man 25-Mar-20
Ucsdryder 25-Mar-20
Matt Palmquist 25-Mar-20
Nick Muche 25-Mar-20
Bloodtrail 25-Mar-20
Ambush 25-Mar-20
BTM 25-Mar-20
Missouribreaks 25-Mar-20
x-man 25-Mar-20
1boonr 25-Mar-20
JohnMC 25-Mar-20
Shawn 25-Mar-20
Bowbender 25-Mar-20
LINK 25-Mar-20
rodb 25-Mar-20
grizzley21 25-Mar-20
LINK 25-Mar-20
elkmtngear 25-Mar-20
Mad Trapper 25-Mar-20
Scooby-doo 25-Mar-20
Missouribreaks 25-Mar-20
JohnMC 25-Mar-20
Norseman 25-Mar-20
Missouribreaks 25-Mar-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 25-Mar-20
Spiral Horn 25-Mar-20
t-roy 25-Mar-20
JB 25-Mar-20
JohnMC 25-Mar-20
Spiral Horn 25-Mar-20
dg72a 25-Mar-20
Tonybear61 25-Mar-20
midwest 25-Mar-20
Tdvorak 25-Mar-20
grizzley21 25-Mar-20
BOHNTR 25-Mar-20
JohnMC 25-Mar-20
Glunt@work 25-Mar-20
Jaquomo 25-Mar-20
rodb 25-Mar-20
Jack Whitmrie jr 25-Mar-20
Buffalo1 25-Mar-20
Jaquomo 25-Mar-20
SteveBNY 25-Mar-20
bowhunter24 25-Mar-20
wyobullshooter 25-Mar-20
JL 25-Mar-20
Nick Muche 26-Mar-20
MichaelArnette 26-Mar-20
Nick Muche 26-Mar-20
Bou'bound 26-Mar-20
hawkeye in PA 26-Mar-20
Trophyhill 26-Mar-20
Tdvorak 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Bake 26-Mar-20
Bake 26-Mar-20
Bou'bound 26-Mar-20
Jaquomo 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
Jaquomo 26-Mar-20
Russell 26-Mar-20
12yards 26-Mar-20
willliamtell 26-Mar-20
ground hunter 26-Mar-20
Too many bows Bob 26-Mar-20
Jaquomo 26-Mar-20
ground hunter 26-Mar-20
Muleysareking 26-Mar-20
Ucsdryder 26-Mar-20
Buffalo1 26-Mar-20
Kurt 26-Mar-20
1boonr 27-Mar-20
GF 27-Mar-20
Mad Trapper 27-Mar-20
Mad Trapper 27-Mar-20
Jaquomo 27-Mar-20
bowonly 27-Mar-20
GF 27-Mar-20
Michael 27-Mar-20
bowonly 27-Mar-20
Tilzbow 28-Mar-20
Ambush 28-Mar-20
Jaquomo 28-Mar-20
George D. Stout 28-Mar-20
Jaquomo 28-Mar-20
Ironbow-cell 28-Mar-20
GF 28-Mar-20
GF 28-Mar-20
splitlimb13 28-Mar-20
GF 28-Mar-20
Paul@thefort 28-Mar-20
Jaquomo 28-Mar-20
bowonly 29-Mar-20
25-Mar-20
Ok I I have taken shots I probably taken a shot or 2 I shouldn't have taken when I was young. But Curt Wells hit a Grand Slam with this article IMO. I'm so sick of the " experts" advocating shooting long distance on game. I watched a famous archer shoot a deer at over 80 yards on TV here a while back. Yeah I'm positive he can make the shot at that distance 99 out of 100 times . But will the deer still be in the same position when the arrow gets there? Anyhow good job Curt Wells!

From: Bou'bound
25-Mar-20
One mans bomb Is another mans firecracker

From: midwest
25-Mar-20
So has it finally been written in stone how far is too far? Define "long distance". I haven't read the article but much respect for Curt Wells.

A now deleted poster on here who used to jump all over these 'long distance' threads and call anyone that would shoot an animal at long distance (whatever his definition was) every name under the sun, shot a deer last year that went from broadside to a quartering to at 30 yards. Luckily, he recovered the deer. He said the deer was working a scrape so not on full alert. So is 30 yards, too far?

What about these southern deer that everyone says you practically have to aim underneath them to account for string jump at 15 yards and hope for the best? Should these deer not be bowhunted at all?

I know my limits which is probably closer than many others but I sure as heck won't define someone else's.

From: Bowboy
25-Mar-20
Midwest X2!

It's a great article by Curt Wells.

I'm going to start making popcorn. I bet this thread is goes south pretty quickly.

25-Mar-20
Yeah it is a debate that has went on forever, I agree with Curt on his article. Doesn't mean I am correct, but it's the way I hunt and teach new bowhunters. Anything can happen at ANY distance, but the farther the greater the chance of it happening.

From: Spiral Horn
25-Mar-20
I’ve taken a handful of animals at what I consider long range for a hunting shot (beyond 50 yards). But only when I knew there was no way to improve the situation and conditions were such that I was extremely confident that I could make the shot. Fortunately, all but one I can quickly recall hit their mark (there were likely a few others). The one that didn’t, the animal sensed the arrow coming and ducked and the Broadhead shaved some hair.

In this situation, always felt a Hunter has the obligation to ensure their equipment is right and they know their own current abilities/limitations.

From: Spiral Horn
25-Mar-20
Just curious - does P&Y have a position on this?

25-Mar-20
I doubt that P&Y does

25-Mar-20
Speaking of southern deer. My experience is that they were extra jumpy in South Carolina. I would purposefully aim below them.

Granted this was in the 80s and I shot a very slow Martin Warthog

Maybe I should have shot at them out at 100 yards and they wouldn’t ducked the string so bad.

From: Tdvorak
25-Mar-20
In my camp, if you wound an animal, that’s your animal. Now guys that claim to be effective at 50-60-80 yards rarely shoot past 35.

If you’re interested in what MY expectations are of my guided hunters, check on my “Fantastic Antelope Hunting” thread that is up right now.

From: JL
25-Mar-20
As I see it....if someone has the skills (shooting and hunting) to consistently make what may or may not be a "long" shot to others, should they be thought less of by others who do not have the same skills?

From: Shawn
25-Mar-20
It does not come down to skill all the time!! It comes down too the animal taking a step or turning at the moment of release. I understand it can happen at 20 and 30 yards as well but less likely than at 80 and beyond. I am good friends with a guy who had won the worlds and Vegas plus many others, too many to count and he limits himself to 60 yds and even than things have to be perfect. He can put 4 broadheads tipped arrow in a group the size of a tea cup at 100 yards but that don't mean he should shoot game that far. Shawn

From: SBH
25-Mar-20
Anyone have a link to the article?

From: BTM
25-Mar-20
Reminds me of the time I took a weekend bowhunter education class. Saturday 5 p.m. the instructor asked everyone to write down their effective distance on game. When we arrived Sunday 8 a.m. we were greeted with a steel doe, and he made everyone take a shot at their "effective" distance. Two-thirds broke their arrow.

25-Mar-20
Shawn,

I asked you not to post that stuff about me;-)

From: steff
25-Mar-20
Whether it's a bomb or a firecracker, they both have potential to be a dud....Good judgment is the key

From: SBH
25-Mar-20
Bruce that's a great story. I could totally see that happening.

25-Mar-20

Matt Palmquist's Link

From: PECO
25-Mar-20
Link to the article?

From: 12yards
25-Mar-20
When I took up bowhunting many moons ago (approaching 40 years ago), I had been rifle hunting for several years. I wanted to try bowhunting and quickly realized the thrill of it all was getting close to the animal and the associated incredible intensity/adrenaline rush. I don't look at it differently today despite the improved equipment. To me it is still a 25 yards and in deal. If you look at my handle, you'll see that I like them even closer than 25 yards. That is when the heart is hammering the hardest. If an animal is out there 40 yards and further, I am standing at the ready, but don't even contemplate a shot at that distance. Out that far is just not why I took up bowhunting and I'd probably lose interest if that's what it took to be successful. To me, it would put "getting the animal at all costs", over the experience of getting an animal close. I'm not sure I'm relating it very well, hopefully it comes across as making sense. Anyway, that is my thoughts. I realize other people bowhunt for different reasons and motivations. My desire is up close and personal.

25-Mar-20
See above...If you read the article part of what Curt covers is not bragging about taking the long shots. It is becoming acceptable to showcase the long distance shots through social media, videos, etc. It leads new archers to think long range shots are the norm.

I thought the article was great, but I also understand limits are different for everyone. Also, things can go south at any yardage, unfortunately I am speaking from experience on that.

Matt

From: Jaquomo
25-Mar-20
FWIW, I believe all but two of the letters/emails to Bowhunter in response to Curt's essay were supportive of his position. I believe the huge majority of bowhunters do too. The problem is in determining "how far is too far.

From: Tonybear61
25-Mar-20
Get as close as you can and still have a shot, not be so far as to take a shot and not miss. I've said it once and will say it until I can't hunt anymore bowhunting is s short range sport. Been on way, way too many bad tracking expeditions due to poorly placed shots on game (e.g. I can make it long range, running shot, bad angle, known issues with equipment-hunt any way, "well I just couldn't let him get past me" mentality).

From: Tonybear61
25-Mar-20
If the shot is followed by a fBomb probably not the best shot, eh??

25-Mar-20
Long range shooting = desperation for most. Like KHNC said on the recent xgun thread "sometimes I get tired of animals getting away". We are supposed to have limited success because because that is the reason bowhunters get to hunt BEFORE the gun seasons. Would you be more proud of the statement "I killed my elk at 15 yds" or "I killed my elk at 85 yds"? ....Mike

From: Mike in CT
25-Mar-20
One quick point relating to an animals likelihood of moving at greater distances; actually aside from the natural movements associated with feeding (or other "routine" movements) the majority of deer movement in bow hunting is a result of one of two things; detecting hunter movement or a reaction to sound (stand creaking, bow noise (shot of course but at close enough proximity the effect is minimized given the speed of the arrow)).

At longer distances the impact of both of these factors is greatly reduced.

Now please, don't take the above as an endorsement of long-range shots; it is intended solely as a statement of fact relating to specific claims.

We can advise our brethren and certainly attempt to guide the newcomer as Jack alluded to above; we act presumptuously (however well-intended) when we decide for someone else their effective range.

Maximum effective range should be arrived at by each individual and should above all take into account what translates into the highest probability of a successful outcome; a clean, ethical kill. All factors that can negatively impact that outcome should be taken into consideration before releasing the string regardless of what any individual can do under ideal conditions.

Years ago I had a good friend get on my case about the number of good bucks I had not taken a shot at that were in the 45-55 yard range. He pointed to how frequently I could center punch the "X" on 3D targets at that range as evidence that I was short-changing myself.

I told him I appreciated his comments but I had set a standard that my maximum shot length would never exceed the range I felt confident absent animal movement or an unseen branch at which I could execute a clean, ethical killing shot 100% of the time. The slightest question was cause to hold off on shooting and I've never had any regret regardless of the quality of the buck as I know the self-recrimination for shelving my hunting ethics would be severe.

Good topic with many good answers; stay safe & well all and may this current situation pass quickly.

From: JL
25-Mar-20
Shawn....your friend has the shooting skills but he would also need the hunting skills. Folks that have good hunting skills...specifically those that have observed alot of animals and their behavior, can usually tell if the animal is calm, nervous, distressed, etc. I think those are the folks who have the tools to decide whether or not to shoot. I have what I feel are real good observing skills but do not have the long range shooting skills....so I won't do it. For me...anything past 30-35 yards I probably won't shoot.

From: Rock
25-Mar-20
Jaquomo, your phone must have the TBM virus which causes it to make multiple posts! :-)

From: Jaquomo
25-Mar-20
A few years ago I had to conduct proficiency testing for a special suburban bear hunt I was asked to manage by the CDOW. I didn't specify a distance, only that each archer pick his own effective range in which to put five arrows into the 8 ring of a Rinehart bear target. Those who could, got a license. The local WCO and several community leaders were there to observe.

Some experienced bowhunters became so rattled under the pressure that they couldn't accomplish that at even 20 yards.

From: LINK
25-Mar-20
Animals move, probably just as much at 20-40. I shot a buck a couple years ago at 35 that at my shot he dropped and turned from broadside to nearly straight away. My arrow spined him way back taking out his hind functions. Lucky that one didn’t get wounded. I’m not advocating 80+ yard shots but animals ability to move is a non issue in my opinion. If that’s your stance you better hold your arrows to 15 yards and in.

From: x-man
25-Mar-20
Good on you, Curt Wells!

From: Ucsdryder
25-Mar-20
This argument always gives me pause....

Would you rather have Levi Morgan shooting at you from 125 yards or your typical recurve guy at the range in August shoot at you from 25 yards.

Or some variation of that. The reality is, if we are going to put stipulations on archery hunting we probably need to have some kind of testing to weed out that can’t shoot at 20 yards. And we’ve all seen them, getting ready for archery season, usually wandering around behind the bales looking for their arrows.

25-Mar-20
If I can move I will take my chances at 125:) LOL!!

Point is valid though, Levi is on another level, so is Dudley, and the list goes on. However, posting videos showing kills on turkeys at 100 yards doesn't really provide realistic expectations to new archers. To me that is the biggest take away.

From: Nick Muche
25-Mar-20
"Some experienced bowhunters became so rattled under the pressure that they couldn't accomplish that at even 20 yards."

Then they aren't as experienced as you thought or they said. Handling pressure is one of the most important aspects of killing stuff with a bow.

And as Rock mentioned, your phone has TBM Syndrome! haha

From: Bloodtrail
25-Mar-20
My take on that article was this: Curt was calling out the social media portion of younger or inexperienced bow hunters being influenced by others with their long range shooting.....specifically, but not in print, Cam Hanes. Everything pointed to Cam and his long range practicing being promoted on his Instagram page. I applaud Curt for writing what he did. I also admire Cam for what he does for the bow hunting community.

From: Ambush
25-Mar-20
Our local club has what’s called the Fred Bear shoot in August. Binoculars and range finders allowed. X’s, tens and eights scored as usual. Any hit outside of the 8 ring is scored minus 5. Miss is zero.

Tons of casual bow hunters show up and lots struggle to break even.

From: BTM
25-Mar-20
Amen, Ambush! There should be a penalty--not a five-point reward--for a bad hit.

25-Mar-20
Long shots will continue to get longer....

From: x-man
25-Mar-20
The gist of his article isn't that you can't take long shots under the correct circumstances. It's that you shouldn't boast or brag about it . And you should never post it on any media.

From: 1boonr
25-Mar-20
Muleysareking- unfortunately today instant hunters think the 85 yard shot takes the most skill and therefore they would be more proud of that. The more seasoned bowhunters strive to get as close as possible. It definitely takes a lot more skill to consistently get within 20 yards of a mature animal, and that is why we bowhunt.

From: JohnMC
25-Mar-20
I totally agree with his article. I really like his last paragraph:

Am I asking you not to take such extreme shots? No, I am not. I cannot tell you what to do. But I am saying it’s unethical. If that offends you, then find your safe space. However, I am asking that if you engage in such gambling, please keep it to yourself. Think about who is listening when you publicly thump your chest about how you killed your critter at 95 yards, or whatever ridiculous distance. Some young, impressionable bowhunter is paying attention, watching your video, or listening to your podcast. You’re giving him the misguided impression your unethical shot was okay. Keep the yardage to yourself. Take the shot if you must, but the rest of us don’t need to know how far it was. I feel the same way about this as I do about wounding losses. If you wound and lose an animal, I don’t want to hear about it. Neither does anyone else, but especially non-hunters. Keep it to yourself, for all our sakes.

From: Shawn
25-Mar-20
In NY if you want to hunt NYC reservoir property you must qualify by shooting 3 arrows into the kill zone of a deer at various yardage. I believe the farthest shot is around 30 yds. You get 5 shots to get 3 arrows in. It may have changed but when I last did it 10 years ago that is how it was. I was shooting a recurve and the other 5 guys compounds. I was amazed that only 4 of the 6 of us qualified, I being one of them and I missed both my shots at 30, over the back and gut shot yet I qualified. Now put a 160" Mikey out there at 70:yards and see how most guys do!! It's a joke to shoot at animals that far unless already wounded. Shawn

From: Bowbender
25-Mar-20
Looking back over the years, I can’t think of any shots I regret not taking. However, there are few I do regret taking.

Every year, PA bowhunters are under fire from the rifle hunters for taking too many buck. We keep saying it’s a short range weapon. Well, when kills, especially with xbows are approaching the distance of the average rifle kill it becomes harder to make the case it’s a short range weapon.

From: LINK
25-Mar-20
I agree with him that you shouldn’t brag or post about long shots. That said for those that can shoot it I don’t know that 80 is more of a gamble than 30. There is a calculated risk in any shot and I don’t see that the risk is much worse for those with the ability to shoot well at a distance. I’ve not recovered 2 animals the same day as the shot. Both were roughly shot at 15 yards. Be careful throwing rocks at someone’s glass house when yours has plenty of windows.

From: rodb
25-Mar-20
The outdoor show has been hunting for a week and no kill, down to the last day and this long range opportunity comes along so they take the shot. If they miss they don't show it, if they kill it they do. If they wound the animal they might not show it but they might go get the gun and finish it off and say they "SMOKED IT"!

From: grizzley21
25-Mar-20
can you see all the small trigs and branchs that in you way at yardage????

From: LINK
25-Mar-20
From what I see on elk hunting shows most don’t see them at close range either. I would also bet the vast majority of limb deflections result in a miss. I don’t take 80 shots but if I did it wouldn’t be through tree branches.

From: elkmtngear
25-Mar-20
Here's a good example. Granted, Tim Wells is arguably one of the greatest shooters in History, but I could see how an inexperienced hunter might be influenced by videos like this.

I noticed...the comments had been turned off on this one:

I count at least two seconds, before that shot falls back to earth...

From: Mad Trapper
25-Mar-20
I have been blessed to go one quite a few guided hunts. On virtually every hunt, once the guide has sized up my physical condition and we have exchanged pleasantries, the first question out of his (or her) mouth is, "How far can you shoot?" I suppose from a guide's perspective, that is a valid question. Although I guided turkey hunters in a prior life and that is a question that I never thought to ask. I figured that it was my job to get the turkey as close to my hunter as possible and then let the hunter determine when it was close enough. Although a few times I had to remind the hunter to shoot. Anyway, these days I reply to the guide with the question "How good of guide are you?" I then follow up that question (before he or she has had a chance to answer) with a reminder that we are bowhunting and that closer is always better. Every scenario is different and all of the various factors - wind, angle of shot, footing, position of the animal, whether the animal is alert, etc. come into play. I may be able to shoot long shots on the range, but that is different from at shooting at an animal with those factors at play . If the guide keeps pressing, I tell him what my normal practice distance is and then I tell him that for this hunt, I don't plan on shooting past 30-40 yards, unless he is not good enough to get us into position - at which point I would ask to speak to the outfitter to see if another guide was available. That usually ends the conversation. I admire these target shooters who can shoot beyond 100 yards consistently. They are freaks of nature (in a good way). I am not one of them. My concern lies that when they publicize their long shots on animals, that younger or people new to the sport will be inclined to take shots at similar distances. I think that it is prudent for all of us to remember why we bowhunt and choose to not carry a rifle. Closer is always better. My 2 cents.

From: Scooby-doo
25-Mar-20
Mad, well said. We should teach these younger guys that closer is better cause it takes a hell of a lot more skill to get with 30 yards of an animal than it does 100 yards. I am not judging as I know from being a bit of an archery historian that for years folks figured it was good enough to just get an arrow into a critter than use their tracking skills to find it. Many an animal taken at over 100 yards with recurves and longbows and selfbows.. It was a differnt time a 100 years ago, hell it was a different time a month ago the way things are now. I say lets leave the bonmbs up to the guys who are capable of them and let them live with those results. Shawn

25-Mar-20
The outcome of the shot is exactly the same, whether you brag about or not. Not bragging, changes nothing as far as ethics.

From: JohnMC
25-Mar-20
The ethics of that shot on that animal may not change. But the ethics of what you are doing to help or hurt the image of bowhunting is affected when you brag. I know ranchers that will allow you to rifle hunt but think bowhunters wound to many animals. There are members of the non hunt community that are pro hunting but not pro bowhunting.

From: Norseman
25-Mar-20
Hail Mary!

25-Mar-20
Well I have to tell ya, as hunters embrace more and more technology, the shots will get longer. Scoped crossbows ( allowed for all in many former bow and arrow seasons) can lob in some long bombs. All who supported advancing technology, including increasing compound bow let off and speed, should be proud of what you created.

25-Mar-20
Great discussion and for the most part everyone stayed civil. I read everyone of the posts twice and feel the majority agree with Curts article.

From: Spiral Horn
25-Mar-20

From: t-roy
25-Mar-20
Spiral Horn....I believe you are confusing two different guys. Curt Wells wrote the article, and Tim Wells is the guy in the video that elkmtngear posted.

From: JB
25-Mar-20
You are correct Jack that for the most part everyone stayed civil. One guy near the end got a bit judgmental, but to each his own. I love the new technology and really love to shoot long distance. It feels great to put all 5 close to the bullseye at 70 yards. Put a live animal out there and it’s a whole different story. I have my own personal limit on deer, but refuse to judge those who have a limit that is longer. Target shooting at long distance for me is fun. Getting within 5 yards of an unsuspecting whitetail is even better.

From: JohnMC
25-Mar-20
I think about the only three things they have in common is that they bowhunt, are human, and their last name.

From: Spiral Horn
25-Mar-20
My bad

From: dg72a
25-Mar-20
I agree with Curt`s article. Personally, the closer the better for me. That`s why I bowhunt.

From: Tonybear61
25-Mar-20
"can you see all the small trigs and branchs that in you way at yardage????"

No you can't, thus keeping bowhunting what it should be, short range harvest method.

From: midwest
25-Mar-20
Well, since it's turkey season....ya can't do this with a shotgun!

From: Tdvorak
25-Mar-20
Last fall I had coffee with a hunter that was bragging about shooting an elk at 95 yards. I must have lost my poker faces because the sport said “I know, I know. I would have never taken that shot myself but the guide told me to.” I thought how lucky he was that the guide didn’t tell him to s___ his d___!! :)

From: grizzley21
25-Mar-20
why is that turkey hunter even wearing camo??/

From: BOHNTR
25-Mar-20
I’m always impressed by those who shoot critters at mere feet, not football fields! ??

From: JohnMC
25-Mar-20
That turkey was walking no less. The article referenced could have just shown that video and don't do this or this is a lot of what is wrong with bowhunting today. If that was the norm states like NE and KS that have a early bowhunting season might change it to an early shotgun season only. Then let bowhunter join the shotgun hunters later in season.

From: Glunt@work
25-Mar-20
Sorry, its human nature to push the limits of equipment and ability when trying to accomplish something. If its something that elevates status or comes with a paycheck, even more so. Of course not everyone does it and of course some guys are capable at 80 yards and some folks are border line capable at 20.

All the stuff bowhunters love that makes a 25 yard shot a pretty high success scenario, is the same stuff that also makes the long shots possible. Too late to go backwards on what we allow for technology so what we are seeing is exactly what we should expect.

Not easy to convince a young hunter that bowhunting is a close range sport when what they can do with their gear and what they see celebrity hunters doing is telling them the opposite.

I have killed stuff at long range with a rifle. Had zero doubt about the outcome because of the gear and the practice. I bowhunt with trad gear and things need to be pretty close but can't throw too many stones because I have taken shots beyond my true effective range. Some lessons need to be learned first hand to sink in.

From: Jaquomo
25-Mar-20
If Dudley, Wells, Burnworth, Lakosky, and the other hunting "stars" only shot animals at distances at which we simpleton mortals shoot them, they wouldn't be Extra Special. Anybody can shoot an elk at 10 yards, but it takes a superstar to shoot one at 110.

From: rodb
25-Mar-20
"but it takes a superstar to shoot one at 110." Really! I was thinking more like an idiot than a superstar.

I hope you're joking!

25-Mar-20
Not in my book, you guys who get your bow drawn then shoot them at 10 yards are my special superstars!

From: Buffalo1
25-Mar-20

Buffalo1's Link
I'm sticking with my man, T Bone to define a "long bomb!"

Anybody at the bar want to take the TP Challenge?

From: Jaquomo
25-Mar-20
My tongue was firmly planted in cheek...

From: SteveBNY
25-Mar-20
Hard to have a position unless we have a clear definition of the "too far" distance that applies to everybody.

From: bowhunter24
25-Mar-20
I posted a thread on this article a couple of weeks ago and the only response was people don't read the magazines anymore. Dwight and some of the other great authors may not be with us anymore but I thought Curt was right on and proud he took a stand. I don't recall e-mailing an author before but I did this time and he e-mailed me back the next day thanking me and said most everyone agreed. Bowhunter does a great job and in my opinion and being an old guy I like print on paper. (Nothing against a great hunting thread on bowsite). P.S Zack also had a great story in the same issue relating to the kill not being the most important part of the hunt! Something I like to hear coming from our younger hunters with the T.V. shows making it seem like if you didn't smoke something you are a loser.

25-Mar-20
“Hard to have a position unless we have a clear definition of the “too far” distance that applies to everybody.”

Not hard at all. I have a position of what I consider as “too far”, and it’s not based on what anyone else’s position is. I can only control what I do. Personally, I prefer the “up close and personal” aspect of bowhunting. As others have alluded to, if you want to impress me, tell me how close your shot was, not how far.

From: JL
25-Mar-20
An observation about Mr Wells' perspective. If making successful long distance shots should not be bragged about because in his view it is not ethical and negatively influences new/young bow hunters.....does he hold the same perspective regarding folks who brag about killing a "trophy" deer? Should those successful "trophy hunters" not brag or show videos of their deer because it influences new/young bow hunters to brag when they kill something or unless it has big horns it's not a "trophy"? You could also ask him his ethical stance on Montana heart shots. Should those also not be bragged about or shown on video because they influence new/young bow hunters that it's ok for them to take that shot?

I would be curious to see if his ethical equivalency applies to those two examples above. I think he might be walking a fine line with his ethical outrage.

From: Nick Muche
26-Mar-20
"I thought how lucky he was that the guide didn’t tell him to s___ his d___!!"

Willy, there are children that read these threads.

26-Mar-20
What bothers me more is the fact that legal archery equipment can be used to take 90 yard shots that hit where they were meant to 9 times out of 10.

When I started bowhunting in the 90s people talked about 40 yards shots like they do about 90 yard shots now...what has happened to bowhunting!?

Go try it with a stickbow or quit complaining I say

From: Nick Muche
26-Mar-20
Michael, somewhat valid point. However, what about those guys that can hammer the 10 ring all day at 20 but then when they get an animal in front of them they choke?

From: Bou'bound
26-Mar-20
two things I know:

#1 These thread go on and on and there is never a way to determine how long they will go. There is 48% chance it will end up being locked.

#2 At the end nobody mind will be changed.

26-Mar-20
I thought it was a good common sense article. Shooting critters close don't sell bows and noisy hunting garb imo.

From: Trophyhill
26-Mar-20
I think it's a shame that hunters bash other hunters because of their "perceived" method of take if it doesn't match their own. Whether it's weapon type, distance of shots, baiting, dogs etc......

26-Mar-20
I have never understood why expressing an opinion counter to that of another hunter is frequently perceived as bashing them. Humans disagree on just about everything, hunting is no different.

From: Tdvorak
26-Mar-20
I kinda like the thread because it paints a picture of differences in people’s views, ethics, integrity, honesty, arrogance and experience...and more. Nobody gets hurt and it’s entertaining.

It is as easy to brag about the successful long shots as it is to “not mention” the long shots that wounded the animal FOR SOME PEOPLE. They should work for the media or become politicians.

They try to sell us stuff so “on the last day, at the last hour and you see that trophy walking over the hill a mile away after you’ve spent all that time and money getting there....do you want to ho home successful or go home empty handed?” Ethics apply when you consider what happens right then if the animal gets wounded.

From: Russell
26-Mar-20
I wonder what Saxton Pope and Arthur Young would think about these long-range shots, especially using traditional archery equipment.

Here's a few pages from the book hunting with the bow and arrow by Saxton T Pope.

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo

From: Russell
26-Mar-20
I guess the moral of the story is, if you practice at certain distances, and you're comfortable, then you take the shot.

I'm good at forty, but I'm a lot better at 20. 15 is even better. I'm not advocating taking long-range shots like Mr Pope and Young did.

To each their own and who are we to tell others that they shouldn't be shooting that far.

From: Bake
26-Mar-20
150 yard shots with longbows. . . . Dang! They would probably shoot 300-400 yards with today's compounds. :)

Cue the guys who say "But. . . . . " in 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . .

From: Bake
26-Mar-20
I also particularly like where he talks about trophy hunting "massive old bucks with innumerable points"

That should really make some guy's heads explode :) :)

From: Bou'bound
26-Mar-20
There was no internet then to Pollute their image with societal norms. They just corrupted a guy named bear in Michigan.

From: Jaquomo
26-Mar-20
He was shooting at the deer's neck at 65 yards and the arrow went through the antlers.

So, not much has changed from then until today....

From: Russell
26-Mar-20
Jaquomo,

I'm going to post the paragraph that talks about their three shots of those deer. It was interesting how accurate those guys were back then. There's also interesting to read that they would go hunting with a full quiver of arrows and come back with very few.

From: Russell
26-Mar-20

Russell's embedded Photo
Russell's embedded Photo

From: Jaquomo
26-Mar-20
Thanks - I have the book, as well as "The Rarest Works of Saxton Pope" and a number of others. The measure of ethics was different back then, as was the perception by non-bowhunters.

Howard Hill shot an elk at 165 yards, but it took three shots to hit it. Fred Bear shot a polar bear in the butt on purpose, to get it to turn around.

From: Russell
26-Mar-20
Good point regarding the measurement of ethics.

From: 12yards
26-Mar-20
They also obviously didn't care if they wounded an animal. Some hunters have a higher acceptance of wounding than others.

From: willliamtell
26-Mar-20
Good quarantine debate, one that has been raised before. My 2 cents: If you are an experienced hunter and have been in a number of situations, your good judgement on what is a high probability shot is your best guide. I was just listening to a podcast about axis deer hunting on Lahaina, and one of the people was bitching about how a deer jumped the sound of the string on a compound bow at 35 yards. Of course it was a clean miss. Funny how its' always a clean miss, not a gutshot otherwise wounded animal that will run away and suffer and eventually die and not be recovered.

I'd love to see the outtakes from those long-distance shooting programs. Then again, I probably don't. Other posters have noted that the modern hunting context has changed greatly from Ishi's day. Make no doubt that antihunters are out to shut down our sport, and in places like California they are doing so. Modern liberal ethics are what we are judged by. An arrow in the air for a second (or more!) is begging for an animal to move the foot or so that's the difference between a clean kill and sure recovery and not. Particularly since the sound gets there well before the arrow (unlike a bullet).

I have won $$ from a long distance shooter at his home range on whether he could hit a gong in a strong crosswind. This gets to my first comment. Imo if you know what is an ethical shot, take it. If you have any doubts, don't. Any regrets about a shot I didn't take are way less than what I would experience wounding an animal.

26-Mar-20
Lou.

You mean standards advanced since then? Say it ain't so! I bet our disagreements/discussions/debates help to move our current standards forward as well.

Wonder what they thought about baiting and crossbows back then? Do you think they would have used an e-bike if they could have?

;-)

26-Mar-20
I have seen Trad shooters wound plenty of animals well under 20 yards...... give me a break..... some guys can shoot, some guys can not.....I personally have not shot anything over 40 yards.... but I can tell you I have seen some great bow hunters under the right spots make some great 50 to 70 yard shot on mule deer.

Working in bear camps, I have seen a lot of blown shots..... most were made with trad bows.... oh by the way, I shoot a recurve and long bow all of m y life..... I have some seen some great compound shooters bowhunters eat their own..... Go tell that to Howard Hill

Ethics comes down to the situation, the environment of the shot, etc and many variables...... Most bowhunters, know what to do.... most of the guys who complain, are those, who spend more time, behind the computer, than they do in the field....

26-Mar-20
The shot I talk about when asked "what's you best shot?" is when I shot a caribou at 3 yards. Top that one if you can!

TMBB

From: Jaquomo
26-Mar-20
Baiting has been going on as long as there has been hunting, legal or not. Crossbows back then were heavy, wood stocked, cumbersome tools so probably not. If today's compounds were available then, everybody except a few purists would be shooting them? And ebikes? You bet they would be eagerly adopted to get to where the hunt started, just like Willlys Jeeps opened up the West after WWII.

Somehow I don't think the Studebaker-driving hunters looked on Jeep drivers with hateful disdain. More like green with envy.

I have an entertaining book from 1954 called "Hunting Whitetails". Those guys did argue about broadhead styles, fletching, arrow weights, draw weights, bow styles, etc. And they did big drives and flung arrows at running deer until they ran out of arrows. Occasionally somebody hit one and if it was recovered it was a Big Deal.

26-Mar-20
My first caribou hunt was 1987, you could just about kill em with a base ball bat.... Those were some days, that was for sure

26-Mar-20
Too many bows Bob......Shot a lion once at less than 18 inches, bow between my legs and a flashlight in my mouth, shooting straight down. It was a second shot after a long track with no dogs........Mike

From: Ucsdryder
26-Mar-20

Ucsdryder's Link
This might be the worst one I’ve seen. 128 yards. 8:45 mark for those that don’t want to sit through the build up.

From: Buffalo1
26-Mar-20
Bottom line to me is this: “Long Shot” is a relative term. What is “long” to one archer may not be “long” to another archer. To put this in Southern language, “ Hold my beer, you ain’t gonna believe this s^*t !”

From: Kurt
26-Mar-20
I shot a P&Y Alaskan moose at less than a yard, nearly straight up into the chest as he came by going to the caller. I was crouched in the river pressed to the bank at full draw when he walked the trail right along the bank after demolishing a willow bush a minute earlier. I literally could have reached out and grabbed his front foot but swung the bow up and shot him instead.

From: 1boonr
27-Mar-20
Wow Kurt your arrow wouldn’t have even been off the string yet, but it was going full speed. That’s what makes bow hunting so challenging.

From: GF
27-Mar-20
“ Whether it's a bomb or a firecracker, they both have potential to be a dud....”

For the win!

But let’s look at the Reality; north of 90% of “bowhunters” don’t give a rip about bowhunting; they’re in it for the longer seasons, extra tags, and - in a lot of states - the chance to hunt the Rut. That’s why they gravitate to the latest and greatest in technology, and if rifles were allowed during what is now called “Archery Season”, you’d be able to buy a top-end compound (used) for less than most guys have plowed into their sights. When bows were a clearly less efficient/effective weapon than rifles and it took - ON AVERAGE - seven YEARS to fill that first bow tag, hardly anyone could be bothered with them.... and now it’s non-stop carping about how crowded the seasons have gotten to be.

Meanwhile, the age of the internet has made everybody think they ought to be a YouTube Hero. There aren’t more videos of long shots because nobody wants to see a good deer taken at close range; there are more long shots on video because they’re easier to get and easier to film, and when you screw the pooch, you just try again. And people who don’t know any better will be awed by the self-promoters and will elevate them to Hero status out of sheer ignorance.

It took me a while to figure out that my limitations do not necessarily apply to others; that’s when I stopped giving more experienced hunters hell for taking shots that I figured were “too far”.... Along the way, I’ve improved my own shooting to where I can quite frequently hit the 3Ds right where I wanted to even at double or triple what I used to consider as my “maximum”; I now understand why some of those guys were willing to take those long shots, so no, I will not condemn them for it.

But I sure wish they’d keep their traps shut about it. Those who Can, Do; unfortunately, a lot of those who CANNOT, also DO NOT have the sense to know any better than to try to emulate the former. And the non-hunters (who increasingly decide our future at the ballot-box) will not stand for the consequences of those bad decisions...

From: Mad Trapper
27-Mar-20
Bob and Kurt, you guys have me beat. I shot a caribou at 4 yards and a moose at 8 yards. You guys give me something to shoot for!

From: Mad Trapper
27-Mar-20
Matt x 2!!

From: Jaquomo
27-Mar-20
My closest is a 3 yard longbow shot on a bull elk that was trotting toward me. I was hunkered behind a tiny spruce on the edge of the trail and he was going to run me over.

As to how quickly an elk can move....I drew and shot in one motion, intending to hit him in the frontal money-spot. He spun so fast that the arrow hit him quartering away, got liver and one lung.

From: bowonly
27-Mar-20
Pope and Young bow hunted and killed grizzlies inside Yellowstone National Park. At night. With no license. An endangered species, no less. Therefore, doing so today or anything approaching that should not be considered as so bad.

From: GF
27-Mar-20
They weren’t “endangered” then, and they had Collection Permits.

Different scenario entirely. So don’t be a dumbass.

Like that moron in the 128 yard video who thinks he’s ENTITLED to take a stupid-risky shot because he logged 20 WHOLE miles in the effort. Boo- the -freakin’-hoo. On level ground at low altitude, no less.

Zero respect for anyone who uses live targets for pulling off a Stunt. And shame on the outfitter for not caring, because hey - he’s getting paid so long as the Punter draws blood.

From: Michael
27-Mar-20
I shot a buck one year at 3 yards chasing does. I was standing by a big cottonwood when the action ended up right in my lap.

After we recovered the buck my dad asked me “what pin I used?” I replied “all of them.”

I would rather take a 50 yard shot on a muley buck then a whitetail at 30 yards in the black hills. Those black hills whitetails will be in the next county before your arrow gets there.

From: bowonly
27-Mar-20
Uh, now GF, Jaquomo is not the only poster who should be allowed "tongue in cheek". The absurdity of my example exposes the absurdity of equating P&Y long shots to justifying long shots today. Kind of the whole point of my post. It was a different time period with a whole lot of different values. And thanks for that historical lesson about the Endangered Species Act. Also, thanks for allowing me the chance to explain to the people who do not recognize the evident sarcasm of my post. Sometimes, with some people, it is harder to understand, although let's be charitable and not call them "dumbasses" .

From: Tilzbow
28-Mar-20
If an animal moving and your personal ethics are your biggest concerns, then get a rifle for crying out loud! Yes, archery equipment is extremely lethal but if clean kills are your primary focus then use a rifle, get within bow range, squeeze the trigger, get a clean kill EVERY time and STHU!

Animals are less likely to move, as a result of bow noise, outside of 40 yards than inside of 40 so become a great shot, learn to take shots at the right time and enjoy the harvest.

From: Ambush
28-Mar-20
A few “take-always” from Bowmar’s 128 yard shot.

First, it was a stupid action that ended with the result he hoped for. Sometimes things go good or bad despite our choices.

If you watch how much the other animals move in the same time frame as the target animal, then his target animal could just as easily have been hit in the hind or missed altogether. Then we would never have heard about the shot. Skill + luck = success.

A heavy arrow works!

A good mechanical is lethal even on a quartering toward shot! Sevr’s sales probably went up a bit.

There will be some hastily bought Hoyts sitting in closets because they didn’t enable the new owner to “Bend it Like Bomar” .

Paid Fame encourages bad behaviour.

From: Jaquomo
28-Mar-20
Bowmar "had" to take the shot because he was running out of time and it was as close as he could get.

I've been hearing that from guys who have "nicked" and lost animals with downrange bombs ever since I was a kid.

"I couldn't just let him walk away. I had to try a shot." is another old favorite.

28-Mar-20
Bear did not shoot a polar bear in the ass to turn it. If you watch the video....and it is on video, you will see and hear that he shot in front of the bear to "hopefully" turn it. That worked. May want to be sure of what you speak on bowhunting forums in the sake of accuracy and not assail one's character when they are dead and gone.

If your shooting sucks, you should always make your shots close, but only the guy or gal and their own ethic has to consider what is right for him or her.

From: Jaquomo
28-Mar-20

Jaquomo's Link
George, go back to the Leatherwall where you have some credibility. You may want to be sure of what you speak on bowhunting forums in (sic) the sake of accuracy.

Here's the link to Fred describing, in his OWN WORDS, how he shot it in the ass to make it turn around.

From: Ironbow-cell
28-Mar-20
Back in the '80s when 2D targets had a kill zone that was 8-12" circle we tried something at our archery range. We normally scored targets with a 10 for a kill and 5 for anything out of the kill zone. We tried a new way of scoring, a 10 for a kill and -5 for a "wound", zero for a miss or you could have 1 point if you passed the shot.

We had a lot of negative scores turned in! Shots were 10-40 yds. It was very interesting. I wanted to keep the scoring that way but was voted down by about everybody.

Try that with your 3D targets some time. All 8's are a minus and see how you do!

From: GF
28-Mar-20
Well, as a matter o’ fact, bowonly, Lou IS the only one here permitted the use of sarcasm, because he’s the only one who’s good enough at it for most people to be able to tell when he’s doing it....

Archery isn’t the ONLY sport where we need proficiency testing.

LOL

So let’s assume that Tilz is serious about this:

“ Yes, archery equipment is extremely lethal but if clean kills are your primary focus then use a rifle...”

JMO, that’s an attitude that’s going to do even more damage to bowhunting than all the long bombs and fan-boy hero worship on YouTube put together, because on a thread dedicated to the problem of on-line bragging about shots where the guy who took it is clearly amazed that he succeeded, we have someone who professes to be an accomplished bowhunter saying that clean kills are basically not a predictable outcome of ANY shot with archery equipment, and that if your first responsibility as a Sportsman/Steward of the Resource (a clean kill, every time) is your top priority, then, no, you should only use a rifle because with archery gear, it’s just not gonna happen predictably.

And if you think that I’m misconstruing the statement.... just wait till the Antis get hold of it.

From: GF
28-Mar-20
“ Try that with your 3D targets some time. All 8's are a minus and see how you do!”

On the one hand, you raise an excellent point about straight-up accuracy.

The 10-ring on a 3D is a RING for scoring purposes ONLY. And that’s fair because a 3D competition is a SHOOTING CONTEST and not an anatomy quiz.

On the other hand..... The really important vitals on a deer are about the size & shape of a gallon milk jug... and if you hole it - with two holes through the hide - you’re in very good shape, so long as you don’t screw up on the recovery process.

The vitals on an Elk are even bigger, of course, but are shielded by much heavier bones and much thicker layers of muscle, so they’re a bit more forgiving... and also somewhat less forgiving.

Now....

You can argue that any shot that’s not virtually dead-center is inadequate because the animal need not move very much for a marginal hit to the vitals to turn into a serious wound... which is true. It’s also true that a shot striking near the left-hand edge of an 8” circle gives you about 7 1/2” of leeway should the animal move to the left, whereas a hit dead-center would only give you half the margin for error.

So overall, I think the 8-“ring” score is fine, provided that a pass-through hit would EXIT without straying over the line... except where that would still leave you with a mother of a trailing job, or you hit toward the rear when the animal would more likely move forward, or... or... or....

Personally, when I’m scoring myself for that pre-hunt Reality Check, I use my knowledge of the anatomy to score 1/0 - either I would be happy about following up after making that shot at the end of legal hours... or I would not. I don’t need to apply a “penalty” for bad hits because despite the implications for my conscience, a missed shot is a lost animal just the same as a wounding hit, and either way I go home empty-handed.

Besides- it’s a Pre-Hunt Reality Check, based on realistic hunting ranges, and I don’t recall the last time I missed clean when shooting on that basis. Not to say that I never do, but as a rule I either get the solid hit that I want or I’ve REALLY screwed the pooch. And I don’t care about the average; I wanna know that when I make up my mind to kill an animal, it’s already good as dead.

From: splitlimb13
28-Mar-20

splitlimb13's embedded Photo
splitlimb13's embedded Photo

From: GF
28-Mar-20
^ - try a field point.

ROFL

From: Paul@thefort
28-Mar-20
While I agree with the premise of the article in Bowhunter, I found it interesting as I scrolled down below the article and found in the Popular Videos section this article, "Equipment for extended Ranges" and then in Trending Articles, " Double your shot distance, and the another article "Bowhunting gear for increasing Long Range" . All being advertised in Bowhunter magazine. Seems like the dog does not know what the tail is doing when speaking of how not to encourage "long bomb shots". my best, Paul

From: Jaquomo
28-Mar-20
Paul, Tony Peterson makes a point in "Equipment for Extended Ranges" that this is for practice, to help make hunting-range shots "chip shots". In "Bowhunting Gear for Increasing Long Range", his example is a 65 yard shot on a broadside standing unalarmed muley.

In that article he says, "I've also heard the stories, and watched the videos, of bowhunters launching arrows at animals 100 yards in the distance. I'm a big believer in being able to take shots that you're confident in, whatever the range. If that happens to be a football field away, so be it. But please, don't show it to the world."

Which is pretty much the premise the OP is making in this thread. I know Tony Peterson, and he has never advocated taking long shots on game.

From: bowonly
29-Mar-20
Well, I give up GF. You sure shut me down. I just didn't recognize your infallibility.

  • Sitka Gear