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I just wanted to share some thoughts from my last elk hunt which might help someone someday. When I am hunting, I limit myself to 30 yards on my first shot. I bowhunt to get as close as possible to remove as many "Murphys Lawyers" as possible to get the best kill I can. Ever since I had a talk with Dan Evans from Trophy Taker when we were in New Mexico, I have adopted his idea to some degree. Dan practices out to 120 yards and that was due to an elk where he could have had a 2nd shot if he was prepared years ago. I never forgot that and I practiced most of the time out to 45 and 50 yards (as far as I can shoot in my yard).
Well, the cow I killed came down the mountain and was about 40 yards away but she turned left (toward me) and we ended up face to face (as I was on the stalk figuring a bull was behind her). It was getting late in the hunt and I had a cow tag as well as a either sex tag so I figured if she gives me a good shot I am taking it. So she couldn’t make me out but probably could hear me breathing and see my breath in the cold morning air and turned to exit stage right. As she did, I drew my Allegiance with a Beman Black Max tipped with a 125 grain Silver Flame and when she stopped almost broadside to look at me I had the pin right behind her leg for the boiler room.
I shot and it felt perfect but she ran about 20 yards and I could see blood running down the side of her from way high :eek: :eek: , almost a spine shot :noidea: I couldn’t believe my eyes. So she ran again and went around some bushes and came out broadside and stopped. I had another arrow nocked and ready. I estimated the range at 60 yards and knew I needed to get another arrow in her as I felt the first shot may not be a kill shot if it didn’t hit an artery.
I adjusted my HHA OL-5000 for 60 yards and settled the pin on her chest and like clock work from many days of practice, my Chocolate Addiction release sent my arrow on the way and it hit her with a loud smack. Sounded like it hit a tree.
She starts to run up the mountain but I see she is hobbling as her right front shoulder is really messed up. I put my binos on her and watched til she went down in thick oak brush. I figured she laid down but in a few minutes I heard that very loud crashing sound and death moans. I knew she was dead and I was very relieved! I did not want her to suffer.
A very good blood trail led us right to her and the first shot must have been deflected by a bush or branch I never saw as the entry wound (from 1st shot) was lower than the exit wound and should have been the opposite. I missed spinning her by mere fractions of an inch.
My 2nd shot entered her chest and sliced thru the heart and into her right shoulder and busted the shoulder all up. I could not believe the damage the Silver Flame did from a 60 yard shot. I was shooting a 464 grain arrow at 68# from my Allegiance which helped give me some extra ummph.
So with all this said, if I had not practiced long distances (for me is 60 yards), I would have been up S’s creek with no paddle and would have had to do a hallelujah shot. I do have to admit to ranging the area prior and a bush close by was 52 yards so that helped.
So I wanted to pass along this lesson learned as practically no matter where you hunt, you might get a follow up shot(s) and being ready will hopefully seal the deal as it did for me. :)
I’ll try and get some of the video uploaded ASAP. Been really busy.
Good luck to all.

 

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Congrats Jerry! Glad it all worked out! Durocab and myself didn't see a thing during legal hours.
 

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Great post Jerry. Ive also always been in favor of long range practice as well. Im glad to see it payed off for ya:thumbs_up
 

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In 'Da Head
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Jerry good story and sound advice. I don't think many people think about a possible "2nd shot" when practicing and if you have a wounded animal on your hands...you have to seal the deal. Now how about that bull video:wink:
 

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Jerry I completely agree with you, and I would like to add THERE WILL NEVER BE A TIME WHEN YOU ARE IN A HUNTING SITUATION THAT YOU SAY "MAN I WISH I WOULDN'T HAVE PRACTICED OUT TO 80 YARDS!!" Even if i never shoot anything past 38 yards (my longest yet) I am confident knowing that if I HAD TO I could shoot something @ 60 yards.Good job on the elk couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!! Flingr
 

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Glad you were ready, I wasn't.

Nice job and good post. I had a similar situation years ago where I hit a bull and it ran about 40 yards and stopped. Now being about 60 yards away, I didn't even think to take a 2nd shot; since I had no experience at that range (40 was my max).

After a long tracking job we found the bull the next morning (shot the evening before), but a 2nd shot could have saved a lot of work and suffering for all.
 

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Because I also shoot NFAA field rounds every weekend, I have five pins on my bow (from 20-60 yards). HOWEVER, the last two are strictly for finishers and/or follow-ups like some of the previous posters have mentioned.

This fall I ran into a lot of hunters with those new seven-pin sights, which --based on how poorly they did on 3Ds in camp-- was about three pins more than they should've been carrying.
 

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Congrats Jerry of a successful hunt. Hunting out West is a whole different world for archery. I practice out to 100yds. Another advantage is the confidence that making that 80-100yd shot gives you. If you can drill a BH into a pie plate at 100yds, then that 25-30yd shot is down right easy. The doe I shot out in the sage this year was 48yds. Drilled her perfect and she went 40yds before dropping.
Dan
 

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You hunted the the great Dan Evans? DAMN! That must have been special!
 

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Very well written.

I know what you say to be true. In 2000 I went out to CO with a couple of buddies and the one guy is one of the best shots I have ever seen with a bow. He practiced out to 80 yards all the time back then.

He made a shot on a nice bull at 25 yards only realize he must have hit him a little low as the bull was leaving town. At 80 yards the bull stops to look around and see what hit him. He launches his second arrow to make the kill shot and the bull goes down within sight! The bull actually did a little "black stallion" action, raising up on his hind legs and then his head fell between two large aspens where he was permantly wedged. We had to take tree saws and actually cut one tree down to get him free. Took forever cutting a 18-20" tree down with a little pruning saw...

But the moral of the story is if he was not ready at the far yardage, he may have never gotten than bull.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not only does long range practice make you a better shot, it also shows the smallest of tuning flaws and your bow will shoot much better. Bad BH flight will really show up if they arent right at long distances.
 

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Cool

Good advice Jerry. I have preached that around here for years but it falls on def ears alot. :rolleyes: Nice couple of elk BTW. Enjoy the Steaks. Junkie
 

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This is great advice. Never really thought of it this way since most of my hunting is done in the Mississippi thickets.

I like practicing out to 60 yds, because it seems to make those 30 yd and in shots much more automatic.

Congrats on your success.
 

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I have always praticed out to 60 yards, not every time out but several times throughout the summer. I feel it was a great way to make sure your windage was set tight. Tigher then shots at 20 and 30 could ever show you.
This year I set up a 100 yard pin and it wakes you up to serious form consintration to hit your mark at that range.
I mean you make sure all "I"s are dotted and all "T"s are crossed. Your breathing, hand torque, trigger punching, etc... Form to the max just to get on target.
It really upped my game and I am shooting soo much better due to the extra long range practice.
Plus there is a definate cool factor to be able to smoke a target at 100 yards for your friend who have a hard time with 50. LOL
 

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Probably one of the best posts I have seen in a while. For those who only shoot a max of 30yds, long range practice can be a very valuable tool, I know my shots at 30yds are just automatic now. Like they are at 20yds. And that is just shooting from 60yds. 40yd shots are still great too. Practicing from longer ranges will only help you out in the long run, and improved accuracy can never hurt!
 
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