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Discussion Starter #1
I think many AT bowhunters have a myopic view of what hunting is like. It is not all treestand hunting in thick woods.

For those of you who think 50 yards or longer is unethical. You need to come out to Southern California and try archery deer hunting where I hunt. I will show you the spots and you hunt it for as long as you like. You will see deer, but the closest shots you will get are 50 yards - and that is only if you are VERY good at stalking. There are few trees and the trees that are there are unsuitable for a treestand.

If you actually want to get a deer instead of just watching them through your binoculars, you will quickly get a 7 pin sight and head to the range and practice out to 100 yards like the rest of us Southern California bowhunters do.

All the Southern California bowhunters I know start practice at 50 yards and work back until they shoot at least 80 yards. I often set my first pin at 30 yards, not 20, as you will never get a shot at that close range.

And you will need an ARC rangefinder as the mountains are very steep and the distances are longer, so the range over gravity will be much shorter than the distance from your eye to the target.

Ray
 

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Smilin' Bob
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You guys don't even shoot deer....just buy 'em off ebay.:wink:
 

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You guys don't even shoot deer....just buy 'em off ebay.:wink:
Funny! Some may, but I like to shoot my own. :wink:

My first year bowhuting here, I didn't call it "spot-and-stalk." I renamed it "spook-and-fling." The deer always seem to pause after the initial spook just to look at you to see if they can figure out what you are.

Ray
 

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My world

You just described california blacktail hunting perfectly. Shoot a blacktail of any size with a bow and you've got a right to be proud.
 

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I agree Ray.. I think that is good advise for nearly all western hunting. Granted terrain will usually dictate the ability to stalk, but never hurts to be able to extend your effective range. I routinely practice beyond 80yards, but this season killed my antelope and elk at a combined 42yards. Usually it doesnt work like this, so it is to everyones advantage to be a better archer at longer ranges whether you intend to shoot that far or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You just described california blacktail hunting perfectly. Shoot a blacktail of any size with a bow and you've got a right to be proud.
I didn't know if Northern California is the same experience. Furtherst north I have hunted the blacktail/hybrid is Santa Barbara.

Arizona mule deer hunting is mostly the same thing - only the shot distances can be even further!

We shoot most of our deer between 50 and 70 yards.

I've only killed two at 30 to 35 yards in Southern California and both where hunting on the ground still-hunting. I have never shot a deer out of a treestand in Southern California.

Ray
 

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It seems like a ton of people are against taking longerish shots on AT, but I'm not at all. Each situation is different, and different people have different abilities. If you practice it... then go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I forgot to mention, bring your binoculars or you will not see any deer at all.

The first few times I hunted here, I went out without binoculars and only saw one doe running around 150 yards away. Once I got good binoculars, I started seeing deer everywhere - but usually 200 to 500 yards away from me.

Ray
 

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Doesn't matter if you're hunting deer on the moon. If you can't make the shot because you or your equipment limit your abilities to be precise, then you shouldn't try.

Cali doesn't have anything I need.
 

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It seems like a ton of people are against taking longerish shots on AT, but I'm not at all. Each situation is different, and different people have different abilities. If you practice it... then go for it.
I agree, see your from Minnesota and shoot a schaffer rest. Are you schaffer goer?! I live about 7 minutes from there!
 

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No thanks,

No offense, but I would think southern California has to be in the top 10 worst places to bowhunt in the US.

There are 10 bad places to bowhunt?? I'm usually pretty happy bowhunting wherever!! :wink:

I do agree with Ray...and think his words ring fairly true for a much of western bowhunting. Close shots (under 40 yards) CAN happen, and I definitely love those opportunities when they come along, but a 50+ yard shot is much more common. If a western bowhunter can be proficient at over 50 yards, his chances for success increase without a doubt...and vica versa. :)
 

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Smilin' Bob
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Hunting blacktails is what I cut my teeth on. I still hold them in high regard, but far from impossible. Alot of the shots are dictated by terrain and hunting method...just like anything else.

Doesn't matter if you're hunting deer on the moon. If you can't make the shot because you or your equipment limit your abilities to be precise, then you shouldn't try.
That's what I've learned over the years....
 

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Isn't it strange how people that do not make the comitment to learn to shoot at long range, are the experts on long range shooting and how game acts when shot at.
 

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You will see deer, but the closest shots you will get are 50 yards - and that is only if you are VERY good at stalking.
Sorry Ray I have to respectfully disagree.......I've arrowed close to 50 deer in Southern California over the last 30+ years.......the vast majority were taken from distances of 40 yards or less.......many far less than that. All were spot and stalk.

Take a look at the newest edition of California Bowmen Hunters record book and you'll find MANY shots less than 50 yards. In fact, out of the top fifty record book Hybrids (typical) only 7 were taken at distances over 50 yards. Both of my bucks from this year (D-11/A-31) were taken at 27 and 30 yards respectively. Mys son's was taken at 22 yards.

Now having said that do I think 50 yards is too far? No I won't make that blanket statement...........it depends on the hunter's ability and the conditions that exist when that arrow is cast. I've seen folks who shouldn't be able to shoot further than 15 yards......some that simply do not miss at 60.

I think my longest shot on a deer is 63 yards......my closest is 5 yards........I'm much more proud of the 5 yard shot! JMO
 

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Hunted for 20 years up in northern california.Around mt.shatsa same deal shots can be from 30 yrds to 70 yrds.Same in eastern oregon.We practice the same way that you guys do down in s.calif 50yrds to 80 yrds.
 

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Sorry Ray I have to respectfully disagree.......I've arrowed close to 50 deer in Southern California over the last 30+ years.......the vast majority were taken from distances of 40 yards or less.......many far less than that. All were spot and stalk.

Take a look at the newest edition of California Bowmen Hunters record book and you'll find MANY shots less than 50 yards. In fact, out of the top fifty record book Hybrids (typical) only 7 were taken at distances over 50 yards. Both of my bucks from this year (D-11/A-31) were taken at 27 and 30 yards respectively. Mys son's was taken at 22 yards.

Now having said that do I think 50 yards is too far? No I won't make that blanket statement...........it depends on the hunter's ability and the conditions that exist when that arrow is cast. I've seen folks who shouldn't be able to shoot further than 15 yards......some that simply do not miss at 60.

I think my longest shot on a deer is 63 yards......my closest is 5 yards........I'm much more proud of the 5 yard shot! JMO


Well...you must be a much better bowhunter than myself!! (And even the THOUGHT that you aren't better is really quite laughable...:))

I understand where you're coming from, and like I said above, those closer-range shots are definitely possible, even in the most difficult of stalking terrain. I've been lucky enough to take animals spot-and-stalk inside of 20 yards, and over 70 yards.

FOR ME...I'd rather become proficient at 50+ yards and take those shots when presented, rather than try to close the distance and risk blowing the opportunity.

50 yards is my number...if I'm over 50 yards and I think there is a chance to get closer, I try. If I'm 50 yards or under I'm shooting, regardless of a chance to get closer. I'd rather take the comfortable shot then, instead of moving into that buck's "red zone." That's me...not everyone.
 

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You guys don't even shoot deer....just buy 'em off ebay.:wink:
My vote for post of the day :wink::wink:

In all honesty, I agree with the OP. When I hunted in CO for the first time, I was poorly prepared for the open country and the longer shots. It costs me several opportunities on truly monstrous mule deer bucks. I ended up taken a respectable buck, but I will be more prepared for longer shots when I head back out west next year for elk.

With that said, hunting in open country is no excuse for taking long shots if you are not prepared for them. That means PRACTICE those shots.
Dan
 

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I'm surprised the AT ethics police haven't started barking yet. I'll be watching:happy1: I love it when they decide what other hunters abilities are. Here in MN I don't have too many spots that I would shoot over 45yds, but I do have a couple that will push 70yds. Because of this I regularly practice up to a 100yds and do so in many different situations and conditions. With the equipment I have and the practice I put in, I would have no issue taking a deer at long ranges.
I think you need to be confident with your ability to make the shot and practice often.
 
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