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Thread: How far?

  1. #1
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    Default How far?

    Dusting off the bow for a elk hunt this fall after a few years away from archery hunting. Traditionally I am a tree stand archery hunter so my comfort zone has never needed to exceed 25 yards.

    When talking with the folks over at Blackgold today a question came up that I hadn’t thought about much. Spot and stalk is very different, with good equipment and practice, how far is too far? I understand this is a personal question with each persons ability and ethics. Just looking to see what average distance people feel comfortable at when hunting and what distance they feel comfortable practicing at.
    Last edited by Addicting; 07-11-2018 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Large thumbs

  2. #2
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    I currently feel really good out to 40yds hunting and practice out to 80 regularly. Shooting out to distances really makes you focus on your form because inconsistencies are magnified. Like you said, it's different for every person.

  3. #3
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    confident to 40. Practice to 60....er, I hit the target at 60. Don't have a desire to shoot much further really. Rather get closer than shoot farther.

  4. #4

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    I shoot a lot at 60yds. Killed a bull at 63 yds. I would say you need to at least be proficient out to 40.

    I didn't think you were elk hunting this year?
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

  5. #5

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    Rep at 50/60 out to around 100, but hunt at 40 or less. Practicing at longer distances helps me personally with my follow-through and trusting my bow. Minor imperfections in your shot are brought out in longer distance shooting.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Elk View Post
    I shoot a lot at 60yds. Killed a bull at 63 yds. I would say you need to at least be proficient out to 40.

    I didn't think you were elk hunting this year?
    It looks like we are not getting deployed as they tagged half of our group on a State side mission for the next 3 years. My group was not part of it, so my schedule opened up. Wife said she is going to Disney so I’m taking Cushman to Wyoming to chase some cow elk in the end of September. Should be a fun time!

  7. #7

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    I'm comfortable with my 50 yard pin and closer, no further for me though. I do practice out to 60 but I wouldn't say I'm comfortable.
    "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take a chance?" -Ronald Reagan

  8. #8

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    60 yards my limit for shooting at a live animals.

  9. #9
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    I have property and a nice archery target set up that I can shoot out to 100+ yards. I usually shoot at least a dozen arrows a day at various distances, usually mixing it up through the shots. I have shot antelope at 73 and 64 yards because I know I can do it and the conditions were dead perfect. I suggest the long distance practice even if you limit yourself to 40 or whatever because you never know when you're going to get a chance at a second shot, that might be at longer distance, but it's nice to know you can make the shot. It also has a lot to do with your equipment too and how well you know it.
    I'm an addict...archery, rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, hunting, fishing, fly fishing..and I don't want rehab

    CWEH...Colorado's Worst Elk Hunter 2007-2017 (but I'm still damned sexy) 10 years of consistency!! Taking 2018 off

  10. #10

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    I'm very confident at 40yds. I think most people can get proficient at that distance with decent equipment and some practice. In fact I prefer shots between 30 and 40 yards because I find the animal is less likely to jump the string. My longest shot was an elk at 54 yards.
    Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly.

    Micah 6:8

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    Spot and stalk is very different, with good equipment and practice, how far is too far? I understand this is a personal question with each persons ability and ethics.
    It is a very personal question. Your max effective range should not be influenced by anyone else's. If you can't shoot well enough out to a certain distance, does it really matter how far I can shoot?

    Part of practicing, for me, is to learn what my max distances are in as many scenarios as possible. I might fling arrows at ranges some consider extreme, but I do it to know whether or not I can do it with regularity. If I can't shoot X-yardage well enough in practice, I cannot expect to make it happen in the heat of the moment when I'm hunting, therefore I won't take the shot.

    When my friends ask me this same question, my response is this, "Practice as far as you can shoot, but only shoot an animal as far as you can hit it with 100% confidence."
    "Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you." ~ Mike Rowe

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sn.outdoors View Post
    It is a very personal question. Your max effective range should not be influenced by anyone else's. If you can't shoot well enough out to a certain distance, does it really matter how far I can shoot?

    Part of practicing, for me, is to learn what my max distances are in as many scenarios as possible. I might fling arrows at ranges some consider extreme, but I do it to know whether or not I can do it with regularity. If I can't shoot X-yardage well enough in practice, I cannot expect to make it happen in the heat of the moment when I'm hunting, therefore I won't take the shot.

    When my friends ask me this same question, my response is this, "Practice as far as you can shoot, but only shoot an animal as far as you can hit it with 100% confidence."
    Knowing a larger pool of people’s comfort zone does help, it helps define a base line of realistic expectations to use as a goal. Also, I am ordering a new sight and if the average is only 40 then I really only need to order a 3 pin verses if the average is 50 then I should probably get a 4 pin. So when they asked how far I wanted to shoot I didn’t really know. In my original post I said I have never had to shoot any further than 25 yards. Most of my shots were less than 10 yards from a tree stand. Which really didn’t give me those base of knowledge I needed in setting up a bow for Western spot and stalk.

  13. #13
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    IMO, being comfortable taking 40 yard (or longer) shots while elk hunting is important. We all want to get closer, but one must understand that getting within 40-50 yards of an elk on public land is difficult.
    I've made good, clean shots on elk at: 50, 51, 34, and 62 yards. Also made clean misses on elk at: 50, 55, 42, and 45 yards. I dream of the day I shoot an elk at 20 yards or less.
    I practice daily at 50 - 65 yards and always try to get lots closer to a live elk before releasing the arrow.
    "The Rocky Mountains is the marrow of the world" Del Gue

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    Knowing a larger pool of peopleís comfort zone does help, it helps define a base line of realistic expectations to use as a goal. Also, I am ordering a new sight and if the average is only 40 then I really only need to order a 3 pin verses if the average is 50 then I should probably get a 4 pin. So when they asked how far I wanted to shoot I didnít really know. In my original post I said I have never had to shoot any further than 25 yards. Most of my shots were less than 10 yards from a tree stand. Which really didnít give me those base of knowledge I needed in setting up a bow for Western spot and stalk.
    Or get a movable site pin and go down to one! Think of it as an archery CDS!

  15. #15
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    Most of my treestand shots are 15-25yds like you. I do shoot a lot of field archery (out to 80 yds) and marked distance 3-D out to 70yds. Most of my practice is between 40-70yds

  16. #16
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    There are a myriad of factors involved in longer range (over 40 yards) archery shots. Wind drift, animal movement, form flaws, clothes, bino pouches, and a host of other things can affect your accuracy. I've shot BH at 70-80 yards, and feel very comfortable with a foam target. Having had an elk jump the string on a 30 yard shot, which resulted in an unrecovered animal, my thoughts on maximum range are probably different than most.

    Good luck on your hunt.
    Fear the beard....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1_pointer View Post
    Or get a movable site pin and go down to one! Think of it as an archery CDS!
    I used to have one of these quite a while ago. I found over the years I didn’t care for it. I would forget to adjust it, or had gloves on and couldn’t loosen the lock nut. So, then I went with a G5 5 pin and found it to be too bulky and the Micro adjusts were crappy. So, now with all of the input, I am looking at replacing it with a Black gold Widow Maker in a 4 .19 pin. Seems a lot cleaner and adjusts better.

  18. #18

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    Coming from the northeast my first five years of bowhunting all of my kills were less than 20 yards. I sometimes practiced out to 30 as thats all my yard allowed for but was not comfortable at all and my groups were terrible. Oh well I'm dead on at 20 and that's all I need so I never practiced or thought I'd get better.

    After moving to new Mexico and having the space and desire to practice further I am now regularly shooting 60-70 yards. Had a 50yrd 5" group this morning. I ended up getting a 7 pin just so I can extend my range. Also after shooting 60-70, the 40-50 yards shots will feel like layups. I rarely shoot 30 or closer anymore beside just an arrow or two or if I shoot at all different targets because of ruining fletchings and knocks.

    I would reccomend this, practice practice practice with your current set up and get comfortable get a consistent grip and form, know what poundage you want to shoot and go get a new string if it's been a while and the correct arrows for your poundage, speed, tip weight setup/needs. Having properly tuned gear will help in every aspect. I have learned so much and been humbled the last few months that I realized after shooting archery for over 6 yrs I knew absolutely nothing. I now feel like I know a smidge.

  19. #19

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    As far as hunting goes now, I would feel comfortable at 40 and my max would be 60. No archery tag for me out west this year though. Maybe some coyotes

  20. Default

    I regularly practice to 120 yards. And I know guys who have taken elk at 80yards. I try to limit myself to 60 or less but conditions always determine if I let it fly or not. If you have any reason to doubt the shot or if you can do it just respect the animal and let it walk

  21. #21

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    How far is too far? It's different for everyone. For me anything over 60 yards is too far because I only practice to that yardage. To that range I know I can hit my target in good weather conditions. If it's windy all bets are off and my limit would be much shorter.
    When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

    Cree Prophecy

  22. #22
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    depends on a multitude of factors. I am comfortable shooting at 60 under the right circumstances and have before, on the flip side I have passed 30 yard shots for various reasons. I see it as no different with rifle hunting I know guys that can shoot effectively out to 1000 yards all day but I also know guys I wouldn't trust at 50 yards with a rifle. All comes back to the person behind the tool.

  23. #23
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    I’m headed to the bow shop today to get some help. I might as well be firing Motars at 40 yards, because they are more accurate. Talking with a few others I think my drop away rest is hitting the fletching. So, I tried paper tuning it and every rip was in a different direction. Worked really hard on making sure I wasn’t torqueing the bow and still got multiple different direction tears. Now it’s time for a professional to step in.

  24. #24
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    While i don't like to shoot that far, i'm sighted in for 60 yards.
    Hunting along a gas line most of my shots should be kept to 40 yards or less.

  25. #25

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    To the original poster..............,
    All of my archery hunting experience has been treestand and or ground blinds in the East.
    Never needed longer than my 3 pins would take me ( longest kill shot was 33 yards in 1996)
    Everything else has been between 10 and 20 yards, most shots are right around 12 yards.
    In regards to sight pins ....I just had a Black Gold Ascent Verdict 3 pin slider setup on my 1996 Mathews Z-Light.
    This sight is very bright and appears to be very high quality.
    After watching many YouTube videos on sighting in this sight, this should be a snap to set the pins and then match up the tapes against the pin spreads.

    As someone else had commented just get a slider with a single pin.
    I considered this before buying but as I pictured hunting the rut in NJ I remembered a couple hunts that made me change my mind.
    I have had a couple hunts where I was dancing around in my tree stand trying to get a shot at bucks that were actively chasing does.
    These times I would have never thought of sliding my single pin up or down for deer that were between the bottom of the tree and 33 yards.

    Regarding the quality of the Black Gold sights......my local pro shop installs a lot of Spot Hogg sights.
    He was very impressed with the B.G. Ascent Verdict
    My hope is that I get a chance to stretch my yardage in practice which I hope will get me where I need to be for AZ archery in coming years.
    My decision was eventually finalized after a resounding endorsement by Big Fin a few months ago.
    Good luck and good hunting.
    After tagging along on an Elk Rifle hunt in AZ last year, it was very apparent that I need to step up my game if I will bow hunt out west.

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