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
You shot low or high, walked over to where the animal was and found out - I misjudged the yardage.
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 :) )
2. Too many to count after shooting trad most of my life. 0 in years I've shot compound.
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 ! )
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.
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.
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.
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;-)
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.
' Two backstrap hits at dark-30 when the deer was much closer than I judged.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2: god countless 20? 30? More?
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.