Sitka Mountain Gear
Miss to Wound Ratio ?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Ambush 25-Nov-20
t-roy 25-Nov-20
Supernaut 25-Nov-20
drycreek 25-Nov-20
Chief 419 25-Nov-20
Scoot 25-Nov-20
Ambush 25-Nov-20
IdyllwildArcher 25-Nov-20
Ambush 25-Nov-20
Bou'bound 25-Nov-20
Franklin 25-Nov-20
Missouribreaks 25-Nov-20
12yards 25-Nov-20
Bou'bound 25-Nov-20
t-roy 25-Nov-20
Whocares 25-Nov-20
Sand man 25-Nov-20
Milhouse 25-Nov-20
Michael 25-Nov-20
Bou'bound 26-Nov-20
Old School 26-Nov-20
PECO 26-Nov-20
Franzen 26-Nov-20
GF 26-Nov-20
APauls 26-Nov-20
redquebec 27-Nov-20
JL 27-Nov-20
GF 27-Nov-20
JL 27-Nov-20
Milhouse 27-Nov-20
writer 28-Nov-20
Scooby-doo 28-Nov-20
MDW 02-Dec-20
LINK 02-Dec-20
Saphead 02-Dec-20
Saphead 02-Dec-20
DRR324 02-Dec-20
goyt 02-Dec-20
Sand man 04-Dec-20
Rocky D 04-Dec-20
SteveBNY 05-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 05-Dec-20
ahunter76 05-Dec-20
Shuteye 05-Dec-20
RCDuck 08-Dec-20
From: Ambush
25-Nov-20
For those that have had wounded non-recovery or clean misses, what would be your ratio. Don’t have to list numbers of each just the ratio.

Just to clarify: the question is the ratio of wounding OR missing completely. So if you have two clean misses and one wounding , that’s 2 - 1

Include the reason if you like, as in; twig, range estimate mistake, posture or “.. frick’en thing was frick’en huge and I frick’en lost it totally!!”

From: t-roy
25-Nov-20
Total WAG on my part, but I’d estimate I’m probably batting 85%+. I missed a blacktail in Kodiak at 35 yds last November (nicked a twig). Missed a doe at approximately 30yds a couple of years ago (wheeled at the shot when she was quartering away and on full alert). Wounded and didn’t recover another doe at approximately 25yds that same year (totally just gunched the shot and hit her too far forward) lost the blood trail eventually. Been a few other hits-but-not-recovered along with some other outright misses over the years, including one of each, that are still too painful to go into right now :-(

From: Supernaut
25-Nov-20
1:1 ratio for me.

One wound on a buck at 20 yards, hit an unseen twig right before impact. Buck was killed in rifle by a neighbor that same season so I at least got a little piece of mind.

One miss on a buck at 20 yards, hit an unseen twig right before impact and the arrow rocketed over his back and out of sight. Evening of the last day of archery season that year.

F*$king unseen twigs!!!!

From: drycreek
25-Nov-20
I’d have to say 50/50. I only know of three WT does that I wounded and didn’t recover, flesh wounds on two as far as I could tell, no blood on the ground, just a smear on the arrow and it smelled like muscle. The third was gut shot, arrow deflected and I saw it hit right in her gut. One pronghorn shot in his rear foot because he hit the jets when the bow fired and he was going uphill. The only pronghorn that I ever shot and didn’t recover. :-(

Misses, four or five, all ducked the arrow and all were WT does, and all had either seen me or heard me draw and were on alert. Three in one season and I shed myself of ever releasing on an alert deer.

From: Chief 419
25-Nov-20
I'd guess it's a 60% kill to 40% miss/loss ratio. All of us have a shot or shots we wish we could have a do over. Unfortunately, that second opportunity is rare.

From: Scoot
25-Nov-20
Supernaut, start looking for twigs!!! :) LOL

I knicked a monster two years ago- shot for 40 and didn't realize he had angled off the trail and was at 47. Grazed the bottom of his torso, just on the back edge of the leg. Other than that, I haven't missed in quite a long time. I am pretty darn selective on shots and pass a lot of opportunities that a ton of guys would take. I'm ok with that...

Now that I said that, I'm sure I'll whiff on my next eight shots! In total, I'd guess my numbers are similar to t-roy's. However, my first decade or so of hunting carries the lion's share of why I'm that far below 100%! I was very fortunate though, in that virtually all of my bad shots were airballs and I have wounded very, very few animals in 37 years of bowhunting.

From: Ambush
25-Nov-20
Just to clarify: the question is the ratio of wounding OR missing completely. So if you have two clean misses and one wounding , that’s 2 - 1

25-Nov-20
There are some people on Bowsite who've been hunting deer for decades, have killed triple digit animals with a bow, and never lost an animal.

From: Ambush
25-Nov-20
^^^ ... and only on the ground or in Kansas??

From: Bou'bound
25-Nov-20
This is a tough one. I’m still pondering the other thread from awhile back where we were assessing if they turned right left or went straight upon impact.

From: Franklin
25-Nov-20
Idyll....the key word there is "some"...but sadly far from the norm. I get your vibe on this thread though and agree.

25-Nov-20
In 55 years, and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of blood trails of friends, clients and others, using mostly compounds, but some traditional, approx 60% of all animals hit with arrows are actually recovered in a timely fashion.

From: 12yards
25-Nov-20
I'm probably at 1 miss for every 2 wounded. I don't completely miss very often because my shots are typically fairly close. My recovery rate for animals hit though, is over 80%, and the majority of those hits were flesh wounds that I think the animal probably survived.

From: Bou'bound
25-Nov-20
I sincerely wish I was a good enough shot to miss more often but because I’m not a very good shot I seldom miss because I pass all but the closest of opportunities.

From: t-roy
25-Nov-20
I’ll revise my answer, Rod. Misunderstood your query. I’d probably say I’m somewhere around 1 to 1, maybe 2 to 1 miss vs wound.

From: Whocares
25-Nov-20
Never missed, never wounded. Think I've mentioned before I have no bad habits other than one.....I lie a little.

From: Sand man
25-Nov-20
5/2 I’ve bow hunting for 34yrs and it took 2 years just to get a shot. Misses the next 3 years then I killed one at 6yards. Lost a doe the next year. Started practicing with a 3D target shortly after. Lost a doe 2 years ago that I shot the night before rifle season (should have given it more time) jumped her out of a bed. Someone else was going to be rifle hunting opening morning and I didn’t want to mess opening day up for them. No hidden limbs, jumping the string, or anything other than excitement and a lack of waiting for the correct opportunity on all the misses. I can’t think of too many deer I’ve shot over 15 yards. It’s how I set my stands up...

From: Milhouse
25-Nov-20
I've probably flat out missed 4-5 times? I've wounded at least 3 does. 2 of those does more than likely didn't make it, one was an absolute flesh wound, on her brisket. One of the easiest slam dunk shots ever, wide open, 15 yards, and when the arrow hit her, it was a cloud of white hair. I didn't realize what happened. I found blood, and lots of it.... it quickly petered out. Saw her a week later with a healing scar on her brisket. That was a couple of years ago. I'd almost bet she's still alive out there. It's on my dad's land, and does usually get treated like sacred cattle in India.....

From: Michael
25-Nov-20
I would say 2 misses to 1 wound. 90% of my misses are wrong range. Weather I didn’t get an accurate range or misjudged the yardage.

From: Bou'bound
26-Nov-20
This is a tough one. I’m still pondering the other thread from awhile back where we were assessing if they turned right left or went straight upon impact.

From: Old School
26-Nov-20
In my 35+ yrs of bowhunting my ratio is pretty close to 1:1 - for a variety of reasons.

From: PECO
26-Nov-20
I have only wounded or missed those sketchy whitetail deer in Michigan. The ratio I am guessing, 3 misses to 1 wound.

From: Franzen
26-Nov-20
I am guessing about 2:1 miss to wound. In my younger years I shot 3 arrows at a doe fawn and got nothing but air. Climbed down, retrieved the arrows, and went home. Post hunt shooting session never revealed any equipment issues, so it may have been divine intervention.

From: GF
26-Nov-20
“I am pretty darn selective on shots and pass a lot of opportunities that a ton of guys would take. I'm ok with that...”

And a ton of guys here thank and admire you for that.

I clipped one as she trotted past me at18-20 yards; I had the lead as perfect as I could ever have possibly wished for, but I checked her back line just before I took the shot telling myself “don’t shoot over, don’t shoot over“… So of course I shot over.

I was certain that it was a clean miss until I found my arrow well short of where it should’ve landed and then noticed that it had a tiny shred of meat on 1 blade. Followed her tracks for a couple hundred yards through the pine duff, and never a single drop of blood on the ground.

Then there was one that I very nearly smacked in the hoof. She was practically stalking my brother, trying to figure out what he was about, and just as I released, she picked up a hind foot to take a step forward; that really got my attention, so that’s where my arrow went. If she hadn’t locked up at the sound of the shot/arrow coming in, I would have drilled it.... which meant that I had missed the spot that I had chosen by a well over a foot at maybe 15 yards.

Trouble was it took me about two years to figure out what had actually happened.... and so several days after that event, I passed up a perfect broadside on a very nice cow at about 12 yards because my confidence was so shot.

In my first couple of years, I did talk myself into taking a few shots that I had no business with; I had it in my head that if I was shooting down an opening between trees such that I could only see vitals, there was no way that I could hit anything but vitals or trees. I hit a lot of trees.

Well, really only a couple. I’m not THAT slow a learner... and I just got very lucky that I didn’t just barely skip off of any of those trees just enough to wound anything.

Apart from that, I have a shot clean over several - attempting to estimate the range has a way of doing that for me - and I can recall two occasions on which I deliberately threw the shot at the last second just because I decided very late in the game that I didn’t like my odds. It doesn’t really seem possible, but I am convinced that the arrow was already moving when I made those decisions.

And I skipped one off the side of a 2 inch Lodgepole when I swung on a young bull at about 7 yards after a lengthy stand-off.

Every other big game animal I have ever shot at has ended up in the freezer, as planned, though the one deer I've taken with a compound could EASILY have gone bad; she was just too close, and my arrow passed just barely over the spine and angled through the top of the off lung. It was getting late and I didn’t have permission to be there the next day (complicated relationship with that landowner), so I was extremely lucky that I got a follow up opportunity when she circled my stand back around toward where she had come from. Pure, dumb luck pulled my fat out of the fire on that one.

From: APauls
26-Nov-20
I wish I could remember them all! I'm a pretty positive forward thinking guy, so I actually don't really remember my misses and stuff. There's some skeletons in the closet, but I don't reflect on them often enough to know them by heart.

This year I did hit one doe right where I was aiming. 5 yards. No blood, and couldn't find the arrow. i got her on trail camera a number of times later with a hole right up the back side of the front leg a little over 1/3 of the way up. Never know. Rocket Steelhead

From: redquebec
27-Nov-20
8 to 1. Unlike A Pauls my misses haunt me. I hunt on the ground with a longbow for the past 15 years. No wounded animals! Awesome right? Well...I have been on a streak for the past 8 seasons, the first buck I get close to (and it's always a great buck when this happens), I get so excited that I forget to pick a spot and shoot at the entire animal. Amateur mistake I know.

Every single miss has been right over the heart...by about 12 to 15 inches and my arrow goes an inch over the buck's back. My misses are never right/left. It's become a source of depression when I allow myself to think about it.

The only bad hit in my entire hunting career (age 15 to 50) was a 18 yard shot at a buck where I forced myself to aim low and cut his brisket. The blood was plentiful and then no blood after 40 to 50 yards. And no deer. I knew it was only a flesh wound but I still lost sleep and looked for him for the next 2 days. No deer. 8 misses, 1 wound.

Remember a clean miss is the second best shot in hunting...think about it. Unfortunately for me I keep coming in second place. LOL.

From: JL
27-Nov-20
From the movie The Guardian.....

Jake Fischer : What's your real number?

Ben Randall : 22.

Jake Fischer : 22? That's not bad. It's not 200 but...

Ben Randall : 22 is the number of people I lost, Jake. The only number I kept track of.

I killed what I consider quite a few but don't know the exact number. The bow misses......6 complete misses on 4 deer (shot at the same deer 3 times and muffed all three shots. I got out of the stand in shame and went home...not my finest moment). The wound and no recovery count....two. (High hit in "the zone" on one and shaved belly hair off another)

My unwritten rule....you gun or bow hunt long enough....you'll choke. There's those that have...and there's those that will!

From: GF
27-Nov-20
And nobody is careful enough to control the things that are out of their control. All you can do is minimize.

Hell, I had a Nosler Ballistic Tip ricochet right back out off of the ribs of an average doe whitetail on a quarter-away angle. I’ve had a whole bunch of people tell me that’s just not possible, but I have a tanned hide that tells the tale, plain as day.

From: JL
27-Nov-20
The thing is when you pull the trigger or release the string.....you own what happens down range. That's why I hate missing or worse yet wounding something. IMO....that means I did something wrong at some point in the process.

From: Milhouse
27-Nov-20
I take back everything I said previously. I forgot about a time hunting with a longbow, and missing the same 1 1/2 year old buck 5 times. Yes, 5 times..... in the space of probably 3 minutes. I shot under him, every time. He would run off for a second, then come back.... shoot, miss, shoot miss, shoot.... you get the picture. I know it was 5 times, because I had a 5 arrow quiver. When it was empty, I got down, and pulled my arrows out of the ground, and went home. I probably could've missed a couple more times, if I'd have had a 7 arrow quiver.

I am actually not a terrible shot with a trad bow.... from the ground. In a treestand, I suck.

From: writer
28-Nov-20
Appreciate the "man-up," JL.

Twigs, ducked the string, spun to leave, took off after a doe, took a step forward just as I released the arrow at 12 yards.. Most excuses for hunters who won't fess up and accept that they blew it.

Been a while since I missed one clean, though I wouldn't be surprised it I do it next time out. Three of the four that I've not recovered, over about the past 12 years,, survived. Two were hit high. No, they didn't move, or duck or step in a ditch or be part of landslide. I pulled one sot and didn't give the right hold for a known distance. on the other. Another ancient mule deer took one in the shoulder because I rushed a shot when I probably had time. He was seen several times over the next week or so.

From: Scooby-doo
28-Nov-20
Wow, killed my first deer in 1977 with the bow. In all that time I would have no clue on my misses or wounds. I hate to admit it but I have probably wounded more than flat out missed but I imagine it is close. I would say both are up there in the 20 plus misses and 20 plus lost deer that I have hit. I know in the early 90's I was killing 15-20 deer a year and I cannot remember them all for sure. Shawn

From: MDW
02-Dec-20
In trying to remember the past fifty years of deer hunting, I can only recall completely missing two deer and wounding six. Of course the longest shot ever taken was at twentyfive yards and that one dropped in his tracks from a spine shot. In the early years I could only get one tag, but in later years could get one buck tag and up to five doe tags per year.Probably a total of one hundred deer, but this is only a guess.

From: LINK
02-Dec-20
3:0 Since adulthood I’ve missed 3. First a 160” ten point in about 2005, then a 150”er in 2016 and a spike bull at 27 yards opening day this year. I’ve never not recovered an animal. Now there are two bucks I’ve lost to coyotes overnight but recovered what was left. I guess that makes me 3:0 I’d guess my hit to miss ratio is about like t-roys, somewhere around 85%.

From: Saphead
02-Dec-20
If I was a deer I would rather be missed or wounded!

From: Saphead
02-Dec-20
I did a study on wounding Compound vs traditional vs gun. Seemed like it was 85% kill w compound 81% kill with traditional 89% kill w gun Over 10 years around 60 deer. Something like that.. can't remember exactly Deer caused misses happen with traditional equipment more. Jumping out if arrow path.

From: DRR324
02-Dec-20
I'm old enough now that I can't remember why I walked out to my pole barn sometimes... Certainly had a few misses when I was young, and then a few more for the 12-14 years I hunted with a recurve. If I were guess at it, 8-10 misses and 4 wounded (3 of those were 100% flesh wounds and lived)

From: goyt
02-Dec-20
I have no idea. I remember that back in 1969, my second year bowhunting I missed 18 deer clean with no wounds or kills. The year before I never got a shot. Then I started practicing my shooting like crazy and killed the first deer I shot at the next year. In the next 51 seasons I had a lot happen. I wounded an elk in CO taking a 45 yard shot and decided never to shoot over 30 yards again. Then I went 5 years where I killed everything I shot at. This year I am 5 for 5 on kills. Over the years I have missed some and wounded some but I seldom have a clean miss any more. I certainly wound more than I miss now but in the days before compounds, range finders, straight arrows, precision broadheads and tree stands I banked some misses.

From: Sand man
04-Dec-20

From: Rocky D
04-Dec-20
“ There are some people on Bowsite who've been hunting deer for decades, have killed triple digit animals with a bow, and never lost an animal”

Obviously, they were lucky before they were good.

From: SteveBNY
05-Dec-20
There is a whole lot of animal between a clean miss and a kill. Hard to believe the ratio for most would not be 1 to 1 or greater to the wounding. A clean miss means a shot was at least a foot off for the most part.

From: Pat Lefemine
05-Dec-20
As long as I can omit my traditional years I’d say I’m averaging about 80% kill/hit or miss. Only wounded and lost one buck in the last five years and that was in Kansas for all the world to see. Was shot during late bow by a neighbor who also wounded him and then was found dead the following spring.

From: ahunter76
05-Dec-20

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
I started in 1956 & thats 20 years of Recurves (38 kills) b/4 switching to compound. I kept a log for many years & had all this actually written down but it was lost in a move 20 years ago. Anyway, My misses to kills with recurves is close to 1 to 1 ratio & if memory serves me right. I lost 3 (1 Doe, 1 Bear & 1 Elk) the Doe was found a day later by other hunters & they kept it. the Bear was killed a week later by a rifle hunter (Canada & guide verified arrow hole, same bait I had bowhunted, shoulder hit) Elk turned & I hit shoulder head on getting penetration only depth of head & it fell out when he jumped & ran off (Snapped off at head). Then Compounds since mid 70s. I have tagged nearing 150 biggame with compounds & clean misses must be around 20 (guessing & remembering). Lost animals, I know 1 hog, shoulder hit & doubt he died, 3 Whitetail Bucks. I also believe 2 of the Whitetails died & know the other did not. So 150 killed, 20 clean miss & 4 wounded. My shots are 99% under 25 yds. I just "wait" for them to get close or pass

From: Shuteye
05-Dec-20
When I was a lot younger I had killed 19 consecutive deer with a compound bow. I was in a tree and I heard my cousin, who was a couple hundred yards from me hit a tree limb with his arrow. Not five minutes later a big doe walked right down a woods road about 20 yards from me. I drew and shot. I heard the same sound I heard from my cousin a few minutes ago. My arrow hit a small branch and was sticking straight up in the edge of the woods road. My cousin got a kick out of that. Recently, since I am retired, I can hunt anytime I want and wait for good clear shots and haven't missed any and wounded one. He survived. Hit the edge of my ground blind and the arrow went over the deer's spine. Saw him later and he was fine. I have been using a crossbow the last few years so if you take your time you just don't miss unless you hit a branch or the side of your blind. In my recurve days I missed and wounded several.

From: RCDuck
08-Dec-20
I don't what it means, but my ratio is much different than most it seems.... I've never complete missed a deer, and have wounded/lost 3. Of those 3, I wish I would have missed. I guess I don't take "hopeful" shots, but only ones that I think are a slam dunk, and even at that, it hasn't always turned out that way.

  • Sitka Gear