Your Effective Distance

Lukem

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Mar 1, 2012
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Nebraska
I'm curious as to what everybody considers their effective hunting range. What limits do you place on yourself for your shots distance wise? We're always told the western hunter has to be prepared to shoot farther, so how far is it?

For me it's pretty much 50 yards on a calm animal or one focused on a decoy for a first shot. I might be tempted to stretch to 60 or better on an elk, but 50 is about it, 40 or less on a whitetail. Second shots are a whole other ballgame. So are alert animals.

This distance varies for everybody, and we each have to live with the consequences and responsibility of each arrow we let go, so lets not go AT on this one, I just want to know the process everybody goes through.
 

shaun

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Apr 29, 2012
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Central CA
I have no problem comfortably shooting out to 80 shot my buck 2 years ago at 76 and I couldn't have shot him better I do practice out to 140 in my back yard quite alot
 

armyjoe

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140 yards in your backyard? Nice backyard

I was thinking that same thing! haha

I'm pretty dang confident to about 50 - 60 yrds depending on terrain. I practice out to the max the range goes, 80 yrds, but 50 - 60 in the mountains is the limit of my comfort zone.
 
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Lukem

Lukem

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Mar 1, 2012
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Nebraska
I should add that I do practice out to 90 and 100, and can keep decent groups at that range. I'd love to be able to practice to 140, just don't have the pins/sight to do it.
 

shaun

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140 yards in your backyard? Nice backyard

Yes sir very blessed could stretch it out to 180ish maybe we moved out of the city last summer to a house on acerage so I diddnt have to board wife's horses anymore and was able to finagle my own archery range
 

vcb

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Feb 24, 2012
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Colorado
80 or less. Strong Wind will knock my range down quickly to 50 or less. I practice 80's in the back yard
 

Craig4791

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Dec 2, 2012
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Soldotna,AK
60 is really all I feel comfortable with right now. I can shoot farther but that's practice with no adrenaline flowing or antlers in view!

I really push to keep my shots less than 50 though especially on smaller game.

Everyone is different though. If I had a 140 yard range to shoot all the time like Shaun I would probably be a much better shot at 80 than I am now.

One of my goals this year is actually to practice at 100+ yds to make those 60yd shots easier.

Confidence is a huge part of it IMO.
 

Hardstalk

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Apr 29, 2012
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Before last season I set my range @ 50 but constantly practiced to 100 ( backyard) in all of my posts about my kills this season I left the distances unknown. Antelope was 60 deer was 70. Felt insanely confident on both. Both needed no follow up shot. Deer actually dropped in its tracks. Literally. It all depends on circumstances and confidence. I was afraid that people would judge. In the end it doesnt matter. If you feel you can do it. Do it.
 

ckleeves

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Feb 25, 2012
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Montrose,Colorado
My max on things that breath is 60 in perfect conditions. When I was in my teens and first getting into bow hunting I took a few shots way out of my ability and thankfully made good shots but looking back it was pretty foolish. My skills were in the 40 yd range but I killed a few critters past 60.

Now that I'm a much better shot i prefer to keep it inside 40 in all honesty. 60 is kinda the max I think about but the buck I killed 2 years ago was at 61 so I bent the rules a bit but thought long and hard about it and he was feeding and totally calm.

Sometimes its tough, 2 years ago I had a 339 bull (hunting partner killed him 2 days later) at 74 and the temptation was there for sure! This past year I had a 310ish bull at 71 and passed him also. Probably could have killed them both, but who knows?
 

velvetfvr

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May 12, 2012
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Nevada
I am comfortable out to 80 but the conditions have to be perfect. Otherwise 60 or closer.
 

trkyslr

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Feb 25, 2012
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My EMR vary depending on circs of the species, conditions, terrain, weather, animals activity, etc. Furthest kill was 63 yard lope.
 

Manosteel

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Jan 24, 2013
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Alberta, Canada
It all depends on the situation. No hard fast rule other than "do I know I can make the shoot and feel confident in the situation." Like many on here I practice a lot on long distance shooting. I routinely practice out to 80 yards, it makes anything under 40 seem too close. I can say that most of the animals I have harvested over the last 2 decades have been between 45-60 yards. My bull moose this year was at 54 yards, complete pass thru, and on my bull elk it was 66 yards complete pass thru. Both were double lung and both went less than 40 yards after the shoot. But then again I once shoot a whitetail at 7 yards, and was one of the hardest shoots I ever made.
 
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justin davis

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Feb 24, 2012
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Colorado
I like shooting long range but my max range on an animal is 60 yards. I can shoot accurately much further. But I am a bowhunter and if I wanted to shoot long range is rifle hunt.just my opinion thou
My furthest kill has been 50 yards.
 

Maxhunter

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Mar 31, 2012
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Wyoming
I practice a lot at 90 plus yards in the spring and summer to build my confidence and form. My max is 70yds if the conditions are right and the aniaml is unaware of my presence. The furthest shot I've taken at an animal was 64yds I ranged it twice and waited until it turned broadside. The elk only went 25yds and piled up. It all comes down to knowing your equipment, using common sense, not rushing the shot, and having confidence in your ability to make longer shots IMHO.

Honestly 99% of my animals have been taken under 35yds.
 

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