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  1. #1
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    Maximum Effective Range for Beginner

    Archery season is coming quick and to be honest with y'all, I am getting butterflies already. I need some sage advice on the maximum range I should be looking to shoot for my first archery hunt. I know the easy answer is "whatever I'm comfortable with" but if I am so fortunate to get my sights on an animal my first year out I am going to have a very severe case of buck fever and I can't be certain I will be "comfortable" at any range.

    My bow is sighted in for 10, 20, 15 and 30 yds (it is a single pin sight) as I always figured that was safe and when I'm shooting at my target in the safe confines of my backyard, the groups are tight and consistent enough to be deadly. I want to be reasonable and ethical but I don't want to sell myself short either.

    I have read a few posts where some are shooting out to 50-80+ yds. I have heard that range doesn't matter so much; if your form is good enough to shoot well at 10, then the rest just fall into place. I understand the logic of that in theory but not so much in practice.

    Should I be practicing at longer ranges, say 50 yds. to expect to be able to do well at 30-40 yds?

    Love to hear some thoughts on this from folks with more experience.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I've been shooting bows for about 20 years, I'm still working on extending my range past 40. I really like 20

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    I wouldn't buy into good 10yd form being good enough to go long. You pretty much have to shoot the distances and be confident to the point that missing a 12 ring size spot on an animal is out of the question. The further you practice, the more the closer shots seem like chip shots, so if you have the ability to shoot 50-100yds then do it.

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    I definitely think you should practice at 50 yards. Even beyond that if you want to. Practicing at 60 yards will really tighten your groups up at 30 and 40 in my experience. Good luck buddy!!
    "I love my country, I love my guns, I love my family, I love the way it is now, and anybody that tries to change it has to come through me, that should be all of our attitudes, cause this is America!!"
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  7. #5
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    If you're only practicing out to 30, I wouldn't recommend shooting at game beyond that distance. Past 30 yards, things can go haywire pretty quick if you're not experienced at shooting at those distances.
    I regularly practice out to 60 or 70 yards, and there is no way I'll shoot an animal at more than about 40 yards.
    Like Packmule said, shooting at 70 makes 40 yard shots pretty easy.
    My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

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  9. #6
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    An archers maximum range is a personal thing that you have to own just as you have to own a wounded animal or a lost arrow. I believe with years of experience, and the right equipment, maximum ranges can be extended out well past 60 yards. I have taken animals out to 65 yards but the majority of my archery kills were inside of 30 yards. My current personal limit is at 50 yards due to limited practice time.

    I practice out to 100 yards- I have a farmer that allows me to use his large round hay bales as a back stop for the times I miss my bag. Tiny mistakes are exponentially exaggerated at this type of range so it forces you to get better. A tiny tweak of the bow isn't noticeable at 20 yards but the same tweak at 100 yards will result in your arrow being off by feet. For example a 2" mistake at 20 yards will be a 32" or larger mistake at 100 yards.

    Practice as far as you can- under different conditions. As season approaches, I believe hunters should shoot one arrow several times a day. That one arrow needs to be taken seriously...like it is your one shot you get that year. Take these solo shots from different ranges and under different conditions. Jog for 30 seconds, then take your shot. Its a good simulation to the adrenalin rush when taking an animal. You can also add pressure with some friendly bets and or a video camera. Adding pressure to your practice sessions will greatly increase you confidence once you get that shot in the field.

    Animal reactions really need to be considered as well at longer ranges. The farther your distance, the greater chance that the animal will have a chance to move before the arrow reaches it.

    Sorry for rambling- hope this helps. The first time bow hunters I am helping this year will likely be restricted to 30 yards. Next year, maybe 40... maybe.

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    Nice post Hilltop

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  13. #8
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    All those responses help a great deal and I really liked Hilltop's suggestions on how to make things a little more realistic from the adrenaline aspect. Especially the idea of just one arrow a few times a day; I think I get too caught up in shooting groups (which is important) but I think all can attest that fatigue starts to do a number on groups and in real life, it is that one arrow, that one shot that is really going to matter.

    I am going to get out this weekend and try some 40 to 50 yarders just to see and feel it. Sounds like the overall consensus is practice 10-20 yds further than what your limit will be in the field.

    Since I have begun archery, it amazes me the similarities with golf; it is really a mental game as much as physical. I am so inspired to pratice right now...mind exploding...must shoot.

    Thanks again guys. You're awesome.

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    I'll echo what Hilltop said. Shoot in differing conditions, kneel down to get under branch, stand on uneven ground. I try to keep all my shots at 60 or under. This is my sons first year hunting with a bow and I want to keep his max at 40 yds while hunting. Everybody is different and it boils down to what you are comfortable with. Can you live with yourself for wounding an animal you knew you shouldn't have shot at?

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    Thanks for boiling that down CO T. Will I be able to LIVE with myself? Yes. Would I ever be able to have the confidence to shoot a bow again? Probably not, especially if I knew I shouldn't have taken the shot to begin with.

    I am going into this with the attitude that if I even see something and can begin a stalk or an ambush, it will have been a wildly successful first archery hunt. On the other hand, I need to be mentally and physically ready for the fact that I might just totally luck out-I have a good range finder and a good camera.

    If, for whatever reason, I cant shoot 'em with my bow, I'll take some good pictures for you guys!

 

 

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