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I shot a deer with my bow at 60 yards. One of my hunting buddies said I shouldn't attempt shots at that distance, that there was

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  • I shot a deer with my bow at 60 yards. One of my hunting buddies said I shouldn't attempt shots at that distance, that there was

    I shot a deer with my bow at 60 yards. One of my hunting buddies said I shouldn't attempt shots at that distance, that there was a good chance I would only injure the deer. Is he right? How far is too far when you're bowhunting big game? -J.R., via e-mail

  • #2
    This is a hotly debated question. In reality, a safe distance is determined by the individual archer's skill level. Out West, it's not uncommon for bowhunters to harvest animals at distances past 100 yards. Mention these distances to Southern bowhunters and they're liable to expel you from their hunt camp. I recommend that archers only attempt shots they can routinely execute on the practice range. If you practice at 35 yards and are consistent, your effective range is 35 yards. If you're accurate on the range past 50 yards, then it's a safe bet you can drop an animal at long distances. Keep in mind that Olympic archers compete with recurve bows shooting fingers at 90 meters (that's 98 yards). You simply can't put a yardage limit on shots; it's all about your competence level.

    -Todd Kuhn, Bowhunting Expert

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    • #3
      35-40 yards

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      • #4
        The slightest error in judgement when shooting at those distances can cause a bad shot. It's dangerous and should only be done if you're positive you'll kill the deer. Shoot anywhere within 40 yrds to be sure of a safe shot.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bear hunter View Post
          35-40 yards
          That's generally the max distance for me too.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mdhager115 View Post
            The slightest error in judgement when shooting at those distances can cause a bad shot. It's dangerous and should only be done if you're positive you'll kill the deer. Shoot anywhere within 40 yrds to be sure of a safe shot.
            I'm with you deerslayer.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by outdoorlife-editor View Post
              This is a hotly debated question. In reality, a safe distance is determined by the individual archer's skill level. Out West, it's not uncommon for bowhunters to harvest animals at distances past 100 yards. Mention these distances to Southern bowhunters and they're liable to expel you from their hunt camp. I recommend that archers only attempt shots they can routinely execute on the practice range. If you practice at 35 yards and are consistent, your effective range is 35 yards. If you're accurate on the range past 50 yards, then it's a safe bet you can drop an animal at long distances. Keep in mind that Olympic archers compete with recurve bows shooting fingers at 90 meters (that's 98 yards). You simply can't put a yardage limit on shots; it's all about your competence level.

              -Todd Kuhn, Bowhunting Expert
              Todd, that's a good answer. My limit is more like 35-40 yards.

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              • #8
                He's in no position to dictate to you the distances you should be able to shoot at. I would say if you're shooting a bow with heavy enough arrows moving fast enough that it still makes good penetration at 60yds for a humane kill, more power to you.
                Why don't you take him to the range sometime and show him how well you can group at that distance and how well your groups still penetrate. That will give him proof positive and hopefully he's a big enough man to admit when he is wrong

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