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Ethical kill, what is the max distance you would shoot at a deer ? I think it's 375 or 380.
I'm using 22" bolts, and out to 40 yards so far. 2nd line down on the scope.

I know I can get to 50 yards no problem. Would you shoot to kill beyond 50 ?
 

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Ethical kill, what is the max distance you would shoot at a deer ? I think it's 375 or 380.
I'm using 22" bolts, and out to 40 yards so far. 2nd line down on the scope.

I know I can get to 50 yards no problem. Would you shoot to kill beyond 50 ?
Depends on the place and situation. I killed a Pronghorn at 52 yards, didn't go 30 yards, did a 360° stumble and dropped right in front of me out west. Distance is crazy.

Out west what we consider long isn't. Once you get home at that distance it's crazy long. I don't know how to explain it. Flat open terrain vs parkland woods are to different environments. Just my thoughts per the OP.
 
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50 is low percentage.
 
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I'm with Tom....Depends on the situation. I have killed a few deer at 40+ with a vertical bow, not one having gone more than 100 yards before expiring. I also have NEVER gut shot or otherwise accidentally made a bad shot with a vert bow. I did one time as a young man make a poor decision on a P&Y buck that I shot from the ground, and that was to take a broadside neck shot. SMH. I was young, in my 20's and I wanted that buck bad! I had some history with him and when I finally got my chance it was in a tight thicket near his bedding area. I snuck in there and waited for him to return to the bedding area after feeding. My feet on the ground, he knew something wasn't right and he came in to the opening only enough to expose his head and neck. I took the shot with a Muzzy Trocar and smacked him dead center in the side of the neck from about 20 yards. Got terrible penetration of about 6 inches when I found the broken off arrow. He ran through the creek and through some back yards, leaving very little blood. I looked for that deer for a week, to no avail! Broke my heart man. :confused: I honestly don't think he died, because he was never found, and it was a small urban patch of woods. Lesson learned the hard way, and I became a better, more patient hunter because of it. Back to the OP's question though. It would depend on my confidence in my bow and how it and I have been shooting during practice before I'd even consider anything near 50 yards. If my equipment was dialed in and it's tack driving, and the deer was relaxed and feeding with NO chance of me hitting any obstructions, I'd likely take a 50 yard shot. Anything past that, Mehhh, I'm not so sure.
 

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Bulldogboyz, great comment and post and in alignment with you. You got my respect regarding vertical compound history. 😎

I have a 40 yard target in my backyard and shoot 5 times a week with my Barnett TS370 and red dot sight/HHA Optimizer. Simply, I can't shoot at the same spot at 40 yards. I"m alway hitting arrows.

Just my opinion but my Xbow on a shooting stick creates a notable advantage vs a compound vertical bow so any referenced to a 50 yard statement is not my reality and over generalize that requires more details. Shooting my Xbow at 50 yards nets sub 2"patterns 9 times out of 10 shots or I damage arrows.

I think a go time to shoot should be predicted with practice, practice, practice routine and physical conditioning. Also, I think we don't factor physical conditioning enough in the equation. I think my shooting results is the norm with most Xbow owners who put in time.

Now I won't shot past 50 yards in Parkland terrain with my Xbow for tracking reason, unseen hanging limbs and waiting in the stand for 30 minutes before I go looking. Out west I'll shot at 60 plus yards in a New York second on high elevation, wide open prairie if windy conditions are acceptable. That's me in my world of crossbow hunting. Just use common sense.

Out west may longest shot as noted is 52 yards. Here in Bama 32 in the woods and 47 yards over a wide open food plot. We all have to make that call.

Shoot on!
 

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My longest shot to date with a crossbow was 45 yards and that was with my Excal which shoots @ 305 fps. I'll admit that I aint comfortable at taking longer shots like that as the deer could move enough to make for an extremely hard tracking job. I've let plenty walk off waiting for a closer shot than that. I much more prefer shots from 20 yards out to @ 30-35 yards (both my crossbows are zeroed dead-on at 25 yards).
 

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50 yards is pushing it shooting at a live animal. It's pretty easy shooting over a bench with a dead rest, but in the field and with adrenalin pumping...I won't take a shot past 40 yards on any game animal. There's a lot of talk about limiting crossbow speed, but the thing we need to limit is the distance at which we shoot at game.

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Hmmm, how does your target compare with a whitetail or "speed goat" in the 40 yard dash?:giggle:
When they are standing there before I squeeze the trigger about the same speed. :p
 
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50 yards is pushing it shooting at a live animal. It's pretty easy shooting over a bench with a dead rest, but in the field and with adrenalin pumping...I won't take a shot past 40 yards on any game animal. There's a lot of talk about limiting crossbow speed, but the thing we need to limit is the distance at which we shoot at game.

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That's why I have never used a bench or a dead rest when I shoot. I exclusively use a shooting stick. I always practice like I hunt. Works for me.

Go west sir on open prairie public land and lets see how close you get. 40 yards is the starting point if you are stalking a pronghorn or a mule deer with a bow. In a blind different game or if you can hunt with a outfitter in a blind you can get a much closer shot. In many cases the same in a blind in general.

All I can say western hunts on public land is completely different then my back home hunts in Bama. However, I can respect your position. Good approach in general.
 
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That's why I have never used a bench or a dead rest when I shoot. I exclusively use a shooting stick. I always practice like I hunt. Works for me.

Go west sir on open prairie public land and lets see how close you get. 40 yards is the starting point if you are stalking a pronghorn or a mule deer with a bow. In a blind different game or if you can hunt with a outfitter in a blind you can get a much closer shot. In many cases the same in a blind in general.

All I can say western hunts on public land is completely different then my back home hunts in Bama. However, I can respect your position. Good approach in general.
I hear you. Most of my hunts take place in the bushveld region of South Africa where a 70 yard shot with a rifle is about average distance. With archery gear, I decided for my self to limit the distance to max 40yards. I went so far to take off my Hha Optimizer on one off my crossbows because it's not needed and takes more time to dial in the distance. We do have open areas where an average shot will be more in the region of 200yards but for that application, I will not use a crossbow.

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Believe it or not, some of us are actually immune to "buck fever" and massive adrenaline surges while hunting. When I was much younger and newer at it, yes it was prevalent. After one has harvested enough game and spent enough time in various situations, it is possible to no longer be affected by the "surge". Now if I were hunting dangerous game it would probably be much different, but as far as deer and predator hunting goes, I'm "As cool as the other side of the pillow" under pressure. For the record, I'm still not shooting over 50 yards though. LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The question is ... at what range does the bolt loose enough energy, that it's not ethical for a kill shot ? ?
 

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That's a good question.

I've killed a pronghorn at 52 yards last year (out west) on open prairie range and he dropped 30 yards from my shot. It was a quick kill. Also, shot a doe on a food plot at 47 yards, double lunged and didn't go 35 yards. If it's open range, I'll shoot that shot in good wind conditions in a heart beat.

Furthest shot in the woods for me is 32 yards.

Arrow penetration (20", 400 grain @ 367fps) on both were complete pass throughs. I can sleep soundly at night with both long range kills. If you practice long range you develop a sound routine. I only shoot from a shooting stick tripod too. I practice like I hunt. I never have shot from a bench rest.
 

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Don't remember which post it was in but arrow speed and KE was measured at both close range and longer ranges. Surprisingly the speed and KE didn't drop all that much like you would have "thunk"!;):)
 

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The question is ... at what range does the bolt loose enough energy, that it's not ethical for a kill shot ? ?
With today's crossbows, most arrows will have plenty of momentum left even at 100 yards to get a pass-through or at least reach the vitals on whitetail size game. But at what distance will that buck have time to make 3 turns and bolt out before the arrow gets there? That is the question. The Impala and Warthog here in SA are notorious string jumpers and will be gone in a flash, long before the arrow reaches it if long shots are taken. So it largely depends on the game animal hunted, its state of alertness and so on I would think. And do we dare open another can of worms! Can it be that at a long distance the buck will not hear the shot that loud and will look at the sound rather than string jump?

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Believe it or not, some of us are actually immune to "buck fever" and massive adrenaline surges while hunting. When I was much younger and newer at it, yes it was prevalent. After one has harvested enough game and spent enough time in various situations, it is possible to no longer be affected by the "surge". Now if I were hunting dangerous game it would probably be much different, but as far as deer and predator hunting goes, I'm "As cool as the other side of the pillow" under pressure. For the record, I'm still not shooting over 50 yards though. LOL!
I will stop hunting or move to dangerous game hunting if I ever lose that feeling. I'm not talking about an uncontrollable shaking, but that shaking of the hands after the shot, fast heartbeat, and so on when everything came together and you were able to send an arrow flying. Nothing beats that.

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For me I call it an Adeline rush. We all have a different experience so what makes one shake others may not but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy the hunt as me or others who feel the rush. Shoot on!
 
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