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A subjective question but I'll ask it anyhow to get some kind of baseline. For the most part I'm a trad bow shooter. I picked up a barnett 350 a couple months ago at the behest of my son who thought it would be cool to have a crossbow. It was left hanging in the man cave until last weekend when I decided to see what it could do. First I ran it through the chrono to check the actual speed versus what's advertised. To my surprise it was 346, nearly the 350 fps it claimed. This was with carbon express maxima hunter 20 inch bolts and 125 grn target tips for a total weight of 420. That's 111 ft.lbs of energy which was very impressive. Took it out to our improvised shooting range and proceeded to sight it in. The only mod I did to it out of the box was lightly sanding down the rail since I read somewhere it comes a little rough and should be smoothed to mitigate string wear. Shooting from a bench rest accuracy was nearly on par with a rifle at 75 yards. I'm not willing to give up the challenge of a recurve but this would definitely be the ticket on necessary longer range shots. Open range Caribou or a grizzly (at a safe distance) for example. I can maintain pie plate accuracy with a trad at 40 yards but beyond that there probably isn't enough energy to ensure a certain kill on deer or larger sized game even with a perfect hit. With a cross bow, how much further is an acceptable range? Taking into account the ft/lbs of energy it seems it would be at least double or perhaps longer.
 

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I am new to crossbows. I never even held one until about 2 months ago. I bought a Barnett Vengeance and had it stolen 2 weeks later. So, after the insurance company settled, I bought a Scorpyd Ventilator. I have, in the past , done a great deal of long range rifle shooting. Mostly groundhogs at up to 750 yards. I firmly believe, with a lot of practice , that 60 yards is an honest fair limit to the range in a hunting situation. I know several people that shoot to over 100 yards and, though they shoot very tight groups, they seem to feel about the same way. It's not the distance that is the problem, it's the time factor. Too much time for an animal to move just naturally let alone it startled or alerted.

If you really want to find out the potential, bet a couple Firenock Aerobolts. They are the best long range arrows made. Expensive, but they are unreal. Then let your judgement and practice discipline determine your range.
 

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First, WELCOME ... Any "arrow" loses a LOT less energy at 100 yards than you might believe. That arrow is still traveling 308fps and carrying 88KE at 100 yards, so clearly you can still KILL just about any animal out a lot farther than you can HIT the animal. Check out the Pete Ward ballistic table and you'll get a good idea about what I mean. http://peteward.com/ballistic.calc.htm

#2. Around here the "effective" range as determined by a lot of good shooters and hunters is WITHIN 60 yards. Most would say within 50 yards. Conventional wisdom tells us your group size doubles under field conditions. If you can hold 8-1/2" groups at 40 yards on the range, you'd miss a bus out in the woods with that accuracy. My philosophy is that your kill range is the distance you can hold 3" groups WITH EVERY ARROW, while practicing under induced pressure. This of course doesn't take into account hunter ethics, deer behavior & body language. The longer the shot, the better the chance of the animal either moving incidentally, or reacting to the shot. My philosophy is not to take any shot that doesn't come with 98%-99% successful kill rate.

Yes, crossbows are a lot of fun, impressive in the performance department, and an extremely humane and efficient way to ethically take game.
 

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Its not the energy needed to kill an animal that limits archery weapons to certain yardages.
 

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Yep, the animal can be "not there" when even the fastest arrow gets there:) Crossbows are impressive to those with an open mind.
It's good to see a vertical bowhunter that will even give credit where it's due to crossbows. I had no choice but to give up the challenge of long bows and recurves for bowhunting but it will be forever in my blood and thoughts. It was, and still is, the ultimate challenge in taking a buck with an arrow. I had to hunt harder, hunt longer and be more careful with shot placement, contend with those cold fingers in the morning and, most of all, drawing that 74# bow at the right moment, knowing it could not be held but a brief second. I loved it!!!!:) but now I play a different game, a game that started due to necessity but one I've learned to love almost as well. Yes, it takes some of the challenge away, longer shots are easier, I don't have to hunt as hard and with the flatter arrow trajectories, trying to determine of the arrow will clear a limb or twig is less of an issue. In that respect, I can say it makes connecting with a deer substantially easier. With that in mind, I've chosen to not go all out for maximum speed but stay with crossbows that offer a certain amount of challenge, still not that of the verticals but enough that I don't think of it as a minimum effort setup. Another great thing about crossbows is that, just as with verticals, you can choose your level of challenge and fun. Thank God for crossbows:).......all of them. Just think of the multitude of older and physically challenged bowhunters that would not be able to hunt at all during archery season without them. Long live the crossbow!:thumbs_up
 

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Its not the energy needed to kill an animal that limits archery weapons to certain yardages.


I agree wholeheartedly with Scotty.

If you (original poster) do some research on this site you will see a lot of discussion on what is the "maximum" range for a bow -- and K.E. is seldom, if ever, part of the discussion. From what I have seen, the discussion usually comes down to 3 factors: (1.) how well can you or your equipment shoot, (2.) what type of terrain do you hunt (open prairies versus dense woodlands), and (3.) what are your ethical concerns about a deer reacting to the sound of the bow and then moving before the arrow hits.

The decision on maximum range then becomes one of personal values rather than the mathematical lethality of the archery equipment the hunter uses.

For me, the last of those 3 issues is the determining factor. I choose to limit my shots to 30 yards -- even with a 330 fps crossbow with a 420 grain arrow -- because I have seen animals (deer) "jump the string" at even 20 yards and I don't want a wounded deer suffering due to my actions. Also factoring into my personal decision on maximum range is the fact that I hunt dense woodlands. I have seen the smallest twig dramatically re-direct the flight of an arrow. For me, a wounded deer is something I don't want.
 

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one thing a like so much about moons posts is the photos.........after all most men learned at an early age to check out the photos first then if it looks interesting read some more.
 

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Who said "a photo is worth a thousand words"? :) Here's one I learned a lot from. It was taken from a video sequence my nephew took with his Iphone 4. Amazing how much a set of short heavy draw recurve limbs have to endure and stay together as well as they do:) Check the arrow out that's in flight at 362 fps and on its way to the dot:)
 

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Now that's a super cool picture!!!!
 

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I agree wholeheartedly with Scotty.

If you (original poster) do some research on this site you will see a lot of discussion on what is the "maximum" range for a bow -- and K.E. is seldom, if ever, part of the discussion. From what I have seen, the discussion usually comes down to 3 factors: (1.) how well can you or your equipment shoot, (2.) what type of terrain do you hunt (open prairies versus dense woodlands), and (3.) what are your ethical concerns about a deer reacting to the sound of the bow and then moving before the arrow hits.

The decision on maximum range then becomes one of personal values rather than the mathematical lethality of the archery equipment the hunter uses.

For me, the last of those 3 issues is the determining factor. I choose to limit my shots to 30 yards -- even with a 330 fps crossbow with a 420 grain arrow -- because I have seen animals (deer) "jump the string" at even 20 yards and I don't want a wounded deer suffering due to my actions. Also factoring into my personal decision on maximum range is the fact that I hunt dense woodlands. I have seen the smallest twig dramatically re-direct the flight of an arrow. For me, a wounded deer is something I don't want.
Well said!!
 

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Maximum hunting shot distance should be a personal thing...determined by the shooter's skill level and his equipment. We make our beds and we have to sleep in it.
 

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Very good advice Duke you summed it up perfectly.
Neil
 

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Merry Christmas to all!
 

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It's archery equipment, try to keep your shooting to around 20-30 yards with 40 being max. At longer ranges the deer can take a step before the arrow gets there resulting in a wounded deer.
 

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Maximum hunting shot distance should be a personal thing...determined by the shooter's skill level and his equipment. We make our beds and we have to sleep in it.
It's archery equipment, try to keep your shooting to around 20-30 yards with 40 being max. At longer ranges the deer can take a step before the arrow gets there resulting in a wounded deer.
A lot of good advice in the above two quotes from Moon and Rat Trapper. I would also add that the target animal plays a role in the equation as well.
 

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I have a crossbow that is propelling a 429 grain arrow at 380 feet per second but my maximum range hasn't changed from when I use My monster 7.
40 yards is my max and the deer I was fortunate enough to take this year was at twenty.
I would say 99% of my deer/bear/moose were shot at 30 yards or less.
Having said that ,I do practice out to sixty and that makes a 30 yard shot pretty well a chip shot.
My area I hunt is heavily wooded and 20 to 30 yards is the norm.
Out west with little cover, I'm sure you would probably see double that yardage as the norm.
So much dictates what a maximum yardage shot would be... How alert the animal is, is it feeding or walking...what angle...the list is a long one and it falls on the individual to make the call...
One year when I was moose hunting with my Monster 7 I made a good shot on a moose at 40 yards, he was in a marsh and started to walk away after the shot. I emptied the quiver at him as once an animal is hit, I'll keep shooting until he lays down or is out of sight. The last arrow I shot was at 90 yards and it was a good hit. He didn't make it out of the marsh. If I hadn't already hit him he could have stayed out there at 90 yards till dark and I wouldn't have even thought about shooting.
Just remember, once the arrow is on the way, there's no taking it back.
 
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