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Which has cost you more big game?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Old School 29-Jul-20
Glunker 29-Jul-20
Old School 29-Jul-20
Bake 29-Jul-20
Jaquomo 29-Jul-20
Bill Obeid 29-Jul-20
ohiohunter 29-Jul-20
cmbbulldog 29-Jul-20
Grey Ghost 29-Jul-20
Dale06 29-Jul-20
Scoot 29-Jul-20
808bowhunter 29-Jul-20
elkmtngear 29-Jul-20
South Farm 29-Jul-20
Treeline 29-Jul-20
rooster 29-Jul-20
Glunt@work 29-Jul-20
EMB 29-Jul-20
x-man 29-Jul-20
KSflatlander 29-Jul-20
Buffalo1 29-Jul-20
Thornton 29-Jul-20
JL 29-Jul-20
ELKMAN 29-Jul-20
gmanelkslayer 29-Jul-20
Jaquomo 30-Jul-20
IdyllwildArcher 30-Jul-20
Old School 30-Jul-20
Franzen 30-Jul-20
Franzen 30-Jul-20
12yards 30-Jul-20
Buck Watcher 30-Jul-20
Buck Watcher 30-Jul-20
carcus 31-Jul-20
Oryx35 31-Jul-20
Witchdoctor 31-Jul-20
Witchdoctor 31-Jul-20
MichaelArnette 31-Jul-20
Will 31-Jul-20
Old School 31-Jul-20
carcus 31-Jul-20
MDW 01-Aug-20
South Farm 02-Aug-20
Aspen Ghost 02-Aug-20
ohiohunter 03-Aug-20
From: Old School
29-Jul-20
The thread on trajectory/penetration was something I’d kicked around a few years ago when a fellow archer encouraged me to shoot a much heavier arrow to avoid losing big game due to poor penetration. (A problem I had never experienced).

My question to him back then concerned swinging the pendulum too far the other direction and now missing more big game animals due to trajectory issues of a heavier arrow. (And it’s easy to determine how much the heavier weight affects trajectory).

So here’s my question:

1. How many big game animals have you lost due to poor penetration?

2. How many animals have you shot at and missed due to misjudging yardage?

For me - 1. None that I can think of 2. More than 5 or 6

From: Glunker
29-Jul-20
Think your premise is challenged. With most animals ranged before the shot or the shot being a known distance, a miss is likely not a function of too slow an arrow. Most likely a choke, flinch, wrong pin, did not pick a spot, etc. Not sure anyone can accurately answer the question.

From: Old School
29-Jul-20
My question #2 is pretty straightforward- it isn’t about how many you’ve missed, it’s how many you’ve missed due to misjudging yardage - in other words you didn’t range it.

You shot low or high, walked over to where the animal was and found out - I misjudged the yardage.

From: Bake
29-Jul-20
1. 0

2. 0 (edit: this probably isn't accurate. I'm sure I've missed some shots at times due to misjudged yardages. But I can't think of any off the top of my head. Back in the early days I had no rangefinder, so I'm sure I missed some shots. But I've mentally blocked them :) )

From: Jaquomo
29-Jul-20
1. 0 (not counting nonlethal shoulder blade hits)

2. Too many to count after shooting trad most of my life. 0 in years I've shot compound.

From: Bill Obeid
29-Jul-20
I can't recall ever losing an animal to poor penetration.

And I've missed most all of my shots at big game by misjudging yardage.

Most before i carried a rangefinder , Some after. I didn't always have time to range my shots. Old days I stepped off my yardage , mentally marked a tree and then misidentified the tree. 2 or 3 of the biggest bucks I've had shots at went home healthy because of misjudged distance. ( it's 3 ! )

From: ohiohunter
29-Jul-20
I'll play as the question is presented, Jaq style.. excluding non lethal elk shoulders: Missed: 0 Poor pen: 0

x2 Glunker, Missed, or missed where I would've like to hit? Missing an entire animal such as an elk is somewhat difficult at "typical" hunting ranges.. for lack of argument 0-40yds, OR say a deer 0-30yds... So I'd fall back to my statement, missing point of aim causing poor penetration vs missing an animal is vastly different yet one in the same.

From: cmbbulldog
29-Jul-20
1. 0 2. Never lost an animal... missed a couple in my younger days though

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jul-20
1. None. Penetration has never been a problem. I usually find my arrow sticking in the ground somewhere beyond zipping thru the animal.

2. Several. I've carried a range finder for 20-plus years, but have rarely ranged an animal before shooting it. It just always seems like unnecessary movement, noise, and time to fiddle with a range finder when an animal is within range. Trajectory resulted in my most memorable miss on the only shot I've taken at a Bighorm sheep. Due to a shoulder injury right before the hunt, I had to crank my bow down to 50 pounds in order to pull it back, once. On the second day of the hunt, a beautiful full curl ram stepped out of the timber at 45 yards. I guessed 40. Due to the steeper trajectory of my slower setup, the arrow only caught hair at the bottom of ram's chest. To this day, I think I would have killed that ram if I had been shooting my normal 70# setup, even though I misjudged the yardage by 5.

Matt

From: Dale06
29-Jul-20
For me, getting excited and not picking a spot and making a bad shot

From: Scoot
29-Jul-20
0

A bunch

From: 808bowhunter
29-Jul-20
I like slightly heavier because easy to tune, which helps me place arrows where I want to on an animal. Not sure how light some guys shoot but my pins don’t change too much on a 50 grain increase. My misjudged yardage shots in the past all seem to be over the back! Not something a lighter arrow will help

From: elkmtngear
29-Jul-20
All my ranging is done in my head...and yes, I've missed a bunch of critters over the years. Fortunately, all have been a clean miss, or a non-lethal hit.

I've mostly always used two blade COC heads with heavy arrows, so penetration hasn't really been a problem. There was a short time when I was using a single bevel BH, and that's when I lost this bull...I know the arrow used to twist its way in due to the single bevel, because I would have to follow the twist, when pulling them back out of my 3D targets. A twisting entry seemed like energy loss would be a thing, affecting penetration, at least in my head...so I gave up the single bevel heads shortly after this hunt.

Anyway, I obviously didn't get an exit wound...possible shoulder blade hit, but I should have had enough steam to get through him IMHO. Still haunts me.

From: South Farm
29-Jul-20
How do you determine poor penetration if you can't find the animal?

From: Treeline
29-Jul-20
My experience matches Lou’s with my trad bows.

Except for the compound. Been 25 to 30 years since I shot one of those contraptions. Never had a range finder so had a few misses with due to range mis-estimation with a compound as well...

Just missed faster with the compound than with my recurved or longbows;-)

From: rooster
29-Jul-20
Never lost an animal I hit with an arrow, knocking on wood. Missed a handful to poor yardage estimation and other malfunctions.

From: Glunt@work
29-Jul-20
Penetration =1

Distance guess wrong = a bunch

Choke = some

Mysterious twig appearing = some

All with trad. I did kill a deer with a compound once but a Martin Cougar barebow with fingers wasn't much of a step up from a recurve.

From: EMB
29-Jul-20
1. Elk quartering away shot. Hit a rib resulting in 4-6 in penetration. Recovered arrow showed depth. 2. Too many.

From: x-man
29-Jul-20
One, it hit the hard round shoulder to leg joint. Penetrated about two inches.

' Two backstrap hits at dark-30 when the deer was much closer than I judged.

From: KSflatlander
29-Jul-20
1. 1- and he was a giant white-tail...biggest I ever had the opportunity to throw an arrow at. Shoulder blade hit.

2. 1-easliy a P&Y mule deer at 45 yards...possibly B&C. I laser ranged a doe that crossed a shooting lane not realizing she was closer than the buck. Shot an inch under him when he entered the shooting lane.

Neither shots are ever leaving my head. Ugggh.

From: Buffalo1
29-Jul-20
Most of the animals I have lost was due to simply missing my target, or animal ducked the arrow none were due to trajectory or penetration. I can only fault myself and learn from my errors.

From: Thornton
29-Jul-20
The bow has cost me more game than anything. but at the same time, some of my quickest kills were with a bow.

From: JL
29-Jul-20
I can only think of 4 shots that didn't pass thru....3 were spine shots and one was a leg hit....all recovered.

I only had one that passed thru and I didn't recover. The shot was too high and passed thru the void below the spine and above the vitals. Followed the deer for a couple of hours and lost the trail. It was a Montec G5.

If you hunt enough....you will whiff a shot. Around 2007 I shot at a doe 3 times and missed all 3 times. She walked off and I hung my head in shame and left. That's when I started practicing out of a tree stand and haven't missed one since (knock on wood). That practice adjustment was a page turner.

From: ELKMAN
29-Jul-20
2 misjudged

29-Jul-20
For me it's definitely been 2. misjudging. I've missed two. But more importantly, that seams to always have the greatest potential to affect the upcoming season.

From: Jaquomo
30-Jul-20
There is no "void". There is high lung below the spine that may be a survivable shot, maybe not, but doesn't leave much blood trail, if any.

30-Jul-20
Obviously zero since I've never wounded/lost an animal. Except for the few that I have...

One. Spined a buck who fell and while I was nocking another arrow, stood up and took off. That was back when I shot Muzzy's. I blame the BH. I spined a deer almost the same angle with a VPA and it tore the spine in 1/2 through the bone, passed through the deer and was anchored in the ground when I got to him.

As far as missing high or low...oh, I've done that plenty. Too many times to count. Enough times that I have a rule of no shots over 29 yards without a LRF reading.

From: Old School
30-Jul-20
Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences.

-Mitch

From: Franzen
30-Jul-20

From: Franzen
30-Jul-20
It seems like I remember one deer that I shot that I didn't get good penetration, and never found the deer. Unsolved mystery on that one. I've made 2 spine shots that "poorly penetrated" and required a followup.

I've mis-judged yardage on a couple shots on turkeys... 100% sure. If you are a little less than perfect on the shot, and misjudge yardage on a turkey, you are going home empty handed. On deer/etc. I've made some poor shots, but I would say that only two likely had some impact from mis-judged yardage. One of those was a result of being in close and hitting high. Missing the spot some in combination with the mis-judged yardage likely made the difference. The max. distance I've shot at an animal is roughly 35 yards, and I've never ranged any animal.

From: 12yards
30-Jul-20
1. Penetration, three shoulder shots that never made it into the goodies. Two using arrows in excess of 550-600 grains and cut on contact heads and 70 pound bows.

2. A couple I've misjudged yardage.

3. Lost several because I didn't maintain composure and get the pin in the right spot. Read: rushed the shot/buck fever.

From: Buck Watcher
30-Jul-20
1. I have only lost 1 to poor penetration - I hit the shoulder blade with a Rage on a 480gr ACC from an #80 bow. The arrow was sticking straight out slapping trees as he ran away. I seen him 2 week later with my ACC still sticking out. Neighbor shot him at gun season.

2. I have never lost/missed do to in accurate range estimation. BUT in 40+ years of bowhunting, I never shot father that 25 yards.

From: Buck Watcher
30-Jul-20
double post

From: carcus
31-Jul-20
1. none 2. Multiple

From: Oryx35
31-Jul-20
1. 0 if you don't count a likely nonlethal shoulder shot (glad I'm not the only one, but that shot still haunts me)

2. None that I recall, but I almost always use a range finder. Most of my misses have had more to do with buck fever and not picking a spot.

From: Witchdoctor
31-Jul-20
My wife complaining I’m not spending enough time with her and the family during hunting season!

From: Witchdoctor
31-Jul-20
Even though I’m with them the rest of the year

31-Jul-20
1: 2 out of 4 hits involving the shoulder.

2: god countless 20? 30? More?

From: Will
31-Jul-20
1: 1 (shoulder hit, I assume the humerus because I got all of the insert for penetration. 2: between 5 and 10. Not something I recorded so it's one of those things where I'm thinking about it, but not really sure.

From: Old School
31-Jul-20
Others experience looks much like what I expected. Just wanted to verify it.

Taking a properly tuned arrow that’s somewhere in the 400’s grain wise and adding 100 grains for better penetration may do more harm than good. You’ve improved penetration which you really didn’t need and cost you valuable trajectory which you will more than likely need if you mis-judge your range.

From: carcus
31-Jul-20
Exactly oldschool

From: MDW
01-Aug-20
Poor penetration has cost me two animals, one nice eight point buck hit directly in the shoulder and good bull moose that I centered a rib on and only got one lung. He got across a river that I could not cross and got away. Guess I was so nervous that I shot completly over a 200" n-typ whitetail a few years back Otherwise usually complete pass throughs on every animal in the past 45 years, course I have never taken longer then a 30 yard shot at anything live.

From: South Farm
02-Aug-20
How do you know you only got one lung if he got away?

From: Aspen Ghost
02-Aug-20
Old School, - That's one way to look at it. The other way to look at it is that all those guys shooting light arrows are still misjudging distance and losing animals because of it. So why give up penetration if the light arrow isn't preventing misses/bad hits?

From: ohiohunter
03-Aug-20
Tit for tat and up to the end user to decide whats best for them. If I were constantly hitting shoulder blades on deer I think I’d work on my shot placement rather than increasing arrow weight. Is there anyone here consistently blowing through shoulders with heavy arrows? I cannot say I ever have, best I’ve done is shattered off side humerus with 2413 & 100gr thunderhead, no idea the weight. It was not a complete pass thru. The avg Midwest bow hunter has no idea what their arrows weigh. Typically it’s just X arrow and Y bh, Hunt. I’d imagine that’s pretty common across the board.

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