Sitka Gear
MOTM or Shiddle?
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
rattling_junkie 05-May-21
rattling_junkie 05-May-21
elkmtngear 05-May-21
wildwilderness 06-May-21
carcus 06-May-21
SBH 06-May-21
wildwilderness 06-May-21
Teeton 06-May-21
Bou'bound 06-May-21
Bowfreak 06-May-21
wildwilderness 06-May-21
SBH 07-May-21
Brotsky 07-May-21
smarba 07-May-21
APauls 07-May-21
smarba 07-May-21
Rob Nye 07-May-21
skull 07-May-21
APauls 07-May-21
rattling_junkie 07-May-21
rattling_junkie 07-May-21
buckfevered 08-May-21
Helgermite 10-May-21
rattling_junkie 11-May-21
Helgermite 12-May-21
Mike Ukrainetz 12-May-21
Dino 13-May-21
Scoot 13-May-21
TD 13-May-21
Nick Muche 13-May-21
Rob Nye 13-May-21
Stickflingers 13-May-21
carcus 14-May-21
smarba 14-May-21
Nick Muche 14-May-21
jstephens61 14-May-21
Nick Muche 14-May-21
carcus 15-May-21
Nick Muche 15-May-21
rattling_junkie 19-May-21
Nick Muche 19-May-21
t-roy 19-May-21
Ambush 19-May-21
rattling_junkie 21-May-21
05-May-21

05-May-21
So, in bear camp we have talked lots about the middle of the middle shot (motm) placement. I don't like it as I've been on too many track jobs because guys whistled arrows through the guts aiming for motm. This placement confuses a lot of guys. Is it middle of the body cavity? Or is it the middle from head to tail? MOTM does not make shot placement on a bear simpler.

Yes, I have seen all the overlays of the bear vitals and have seen Woody's pic of a bear. From my experience behind the shoulder is the best aiming point. Yes, there are guides and outfitters with more experience, but my opinion is not solely my own but that of very experienced hunters and outfitters as well.

So, my advice is to keep it simple, follow behind the front leg and stop halfway between the belly line and back. If you do this you don't have to worry about hair length because you already took that into consideration by going halfway up. And to get even simpler, aim between the shoulder and middle, which is considered the "shiddle" and you will have a short track job!

Obviously on a quartering away bear you'll have to aim in the middle to reach that offside leg.

From: elkmtngear
05-May-21
"Shiddle" worked well for me, (straight broadside), on a 400 lb blackie boar...I watched him go down and die in sight (snapped, growled, and rolled for maybe 40 yards).

06-May-21
I hit my brown bear MOTM and it died quick, albeit a poor blood trail. I think that shot is best with a very large Broadhead, probably a mech with 2” or a big 4 blade fixed....

From: carcus
06-May-21
MOTM is only good if the bear is quartering away, otherwise its inhumane!

From: SBH
06-May-21
I don't think anyone that is in the MOTM camp is advising gut shooting a bear. The way I have always took that saying was.....stay off that shoulder. Where you might be good tucking it tight behind the shoulder on a deer/elk, that's not where you want to play the game on a bear. Giving yourself room for error if I'm going to miss a few inches on a broadside bear I'd rather miss back then forward into the shoulder. I hear what you're saying David and agree that "shiddle" shot placement would be perfect. It's a good point to make based on how that term is used and what people mean by it for sure.

06-May-21

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
exit was back by the ham
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
exit was back by the ham
My first black bear I shot (and lost) was a monster 7' bear on POW that I shot quartering away in the shoulder crease. That has scared me off the shoulder for sure. Since then I am a MOTM fan and haven't lost a bear. This brownie died just fine, and was hit back of what most people would do? I'm not saying this is the ideal spot but worked great.

From: Teeton
06-May-21
Back in the 80"s on the second bear I ever shot, I hit it right where I was aiming and lost it. The bear came in and sat down with it's back to me at 15 yds. I put m pin on it's back just left of the of the spin and sent the arrow off. Pass thru hitting only one lung. Yes your only going to hit one lung with that shot. After that I only took shots that was going to hit both lungs or a quartering shot hitting liver and a lung. No way I would settle my pin in the middle of a bear. I've been on a few track jobs looking for bear and know your not going to find a bear thats not hit in the liver or at least liver and one lung. One lung and your odds of finding that bear fall off, a lot. Gut's and I don't think your going to find them.

From: Bou'bound
06-May-21
mechanicals on bears are a big plus regardless.

From: Bowfreak
06-May-21
Love the videos and I suspect this will turn into a really good thread.

I'm jealous of those guys that live in areas where they can bait for bears and of those guys that can hunt elk out there back door.

06-May-21
My thought- Guts is better than 1 lung. Not advocating gut shots, but I would take that over 1 lung. Something toxic in bears guts- which allows them to eat anything, makes them super sick, not wanting to go too far and die.... also a big mech or large cutting works better if guts are hit. I'll stay away from the shoulder for sure.

From: SBH
07-May-21
I agree wildwilderness......again not advocating a gut shot but if I'm going to miss I want to miss back on a bear. Gut shot bear is a dead bear and you have a chance if you don't bump him. Good luck out there guys!

From: Brotsky
07-May-21

Brotsky's embedded Photo
Brotsky's embedded Photo
Shiddle fo’ sho’ :)

From: smarba
07-May-21
Nice Brotsky LOL

From: APauls
07-May-21

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
I always assumed when guys talked middle of the middle they were talking middle left to right and middle top to bottom. The middle left to right was nose to tail not middle front to back legs. Middle nose to tail basically gets you to the same spot as shooting behind the shoulder. I've always been an advocate of shooting there regardless of mammal species in NA.

From: smarba
07-May-21
Agree LPauls. Honestly I always thought the MOTM phrase was much ado about nothing. Aim at vitals behind the leg just like any other animal...

From: Rob Nye
07-May-21
Local hunter hit and UNrecoverd a bigun a couple days ago. “Arrow looked perfect: right behind the front leg. Maybe a bit high....” Have only heard that story several dozen times.

From: skull
07-May-21
APaul that’s perfect representation, I agree with you

From: APauls
07-May-21
Yes but Rob we also here that story a million times on whitetails. Not to mention actual leg placement is so much more difficult to see on bears due to long black hair especially in failing light when they are liable to come in. Compound that with a quartering to angle being much more difficult to distinguish than other animals.

Bottom line reality and what people say often aren’t the same thing.

07-May-21
I got my wife to point where motm was in her opinion, well it was a far back shot. So, why make it difficult on new hunters. I have been on a few track jobs because of too far back and never recovered and a few too far forward and never recovered. I wonder which ones lived and which ones died?

Wildwilderness the bear you shot in the crease was quartering away, any animal there might not be recovered. You need to aim back and for the offside leg on that angle, you would've got your bear.

APauls totally agree!

My point is MOTM is confusing and often results in a gutshot bear. I've had guys pumped, "I shot it right through the middle!" Walk up to the arrow and its clean of blood. Well my follow-up video will be very comprehensive and will drive the point home for the "Shiddle, and not the middle!"

07-May-21
Besides if guys were referring from nose to tail and shoot in the middle, like do we need to get out some crazy surveying equipment. Like you Adam I try and shoot all my animals like you posted above. But I can tell you MOTM has led to many conversations in bear camp and guys shaking their head, and not in a good way.

From: buckfevered
08-May-21
MOTM was a long discussion my first year in deer camp. All my research was coming up “farther back than a whitetail” and that was the general consensus in camp that year. When my first night bear came in, stood broadside, “stay away from the shoulder” and MOTM were ringing in my ears. My 18 yrd shot was back, got liver at best, probably front portion of guts. 11 bloody beds later, we lost the blood trail. Bear was found 7 days later by some great “never-give-up” attitude by my outfitter.

Since that night, I have moved my aim forward about 3-4” with a lot better results.

As stated previously, MOTM can be very confusing and tough to judge in the field. From a whitetail guy, it’s the absence of the brisket in front of the front legs that changes things somewhat in my mind.

From: Helgermite
10-May-21

Helgermite's embedded Photo
Helgermite's embedded Photo
Shiddle all the way!

11-May-21
Nice, Shiddle and get away from the middle! I have no issue with that placement.

From: Helgermite
12-May-21
Since we are bowhunters, we automatically (or should) look at kill zone area and block out the rest. Then focus on picking the spot! On perfectly broadside for bears, I was always taught half way vertical on the body, then horizontally half way between the center and the forward leg. So the Shiddle.

12-May-21
We just shoot them behind the shoulder...broadside only.

From: Dino
13-May-21
Behind the shoulder with a big mechanical, and a well tuned bow, is a lethal combination!

From: Scoot
13-May-21
Shiddle vs. Behind the shoulder: I don't get it. To me they are the same thing, and mostly rely on the same reference points. Middle of the middle is different because you use different reference points. However shiddle requires you to see the front leg just the same as shooting behind the front leg does, so I am not sure how it offers an advantage. I'm not arguing or picking on anyone's approach, just saying I don't get it…

From: TD
13-May-21
Picking a point on the surface without factoring in the shot angle taken is pretty arbitrary IMO. I like to try and focus on and shoot for a point "inside" the animal depending on my angle. But.... bears are notoriously hard to see angles on, as dark blobs of fur in normally low light conditions would be. What folks THINK they see as classic broadside often isn't. Been there. That goes for any animal, much more so for bears in particular. It can be like wondering where the finger holes are on a black bowling ball in a dark closet.....

Throw in shots from ground angles, treestand heights, etc..... I can see how someone would feel they made a perfect shot with less than perfect results.

From: Nick Muche
13-May-21
I hope to shoot one in the middle tomorrow!

From: Rob Nye
13-May-21
Nick for the win! That is funny right there! thanks for the laugh and good luck.

13-May-21
Have no idea how after all these years of killing bears that I’ve even recovered a single bear by shooting them behind the shoulder? C’mon guys, STOP the middle nonsense. It’s time to get ethical. “Shiddle” all the way

From: carcus
14-May-21
I'm hoping to shiddle one today, always works for me

From: smarba
14-May-21
I always aim for the middle of the middle of the shiddle...oh fiddle

From: Nick Muche
14-May-21
Good luck Jason!! I'll be in the stand this evening with my wife, hoping for a good outing.

From: jstephens61
14-May-21
Good luck Nick. Is your bride going to out do you this year?

From: Nick Muche
14-May-21
I told her we are playing rock, paper, scissors this year.

From: carcus
15-May-21
Good luck Nick, had a big shooter hold up behind the bait, no shot

From: Nick Muche
15-May-21
I had a grizzly at 15 yards after a great stalk...behind some brush. Needed another step or two. Winded me and gone. Try again!

19-May-21

rattling_junkie's embedded Photo
rattling_junkie's embedded Photo
I got a camera man, hoping for a shiddle shot!

From: Nick Muche
19-May-21
Good luck!!!

From: t-roy
19-May-21
Hoping to get to try this “shiddle” thing pretty soon!

Just hope it isn’t in my pants….

From: Ambush
19-May-21
^^^ Bwahaha!!!

21-May-21
No shiddle shots were taking and our pants remained sorta clean.

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