I’ve heard all kinds of tall tales of ‘125 yard’ bow kills over the years. Realistically, my range is 30 yards and under for hunting shots, unless it’s a PERFECT shot. -Niko



PJ ReillyPosted by: PJ Reilly on Aug 26, 2014 at Bowhunting.com

“Bad hit!”

I knew it as soon as I released the arrow. The doe was only 20 yards away, but I felt myself pull the bow to the left the instant I touched the release. Not surprisingly, the arrow went left and hit the deer a little far back.

Let’s just call it what it was. A gut shot.

The doe hunched its back when the arrow passed through, then walked away slowly. Hoping for another chance, I quickly nocked another arrow. The doe stayed in some heavy cover, but hit an opening at precisely 53 yards, and turned broadside. I took the shot and sent that second arrow through both lungs. Within seconds, the job was finished.

Fifty-three yards is a good poke with a bow and arrow in the Eastern hardwoods. A lot could have gone wrong. But once my first arrow hit that deer poorly, my usual rules about shooting went out the window. All that mattered was cleaning up the mess I created.

Would I have taken a 53-yard shot with my first arrow?


I have five pins set in 10-yard increments from 20-60 yards on my Spot Hogg Hogg-It sight. And I feel comfortable shooting out to 60 yards. But that’s on the practice range shooting at stationary targets.

The writer shot this Missouri buck at 35 yards without hesitation.

The writer shot this Missouri buck at 35 yards without hesitation.

In a hunting situation, how far is too far?

That’s a loaded question; and the answer certainly is going to vary from bowhunter to bowhunter.

As a general rule, 40 yards is my self-imposed “no-worries” range for hunting whitetails. That means I will take a shot at any whitetail 40 yards and closer without hesitation. I might shoot beyond 40 yards if the conditions are right, but I’m going to put some extra thought into such a shot.

And unless I’m chasing a wounded deer, 60 yards is my absolute maximum, since that’s what my farthest sight pin is set for. If a deer is beyond 60 yards, then it’s too far for me regardless of the circumstances.

Read the rest at Bowhunting.com.


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