Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

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john1984
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Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby john1984 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:10 pm

On the screen I watch people taking long shots with their bow on western game alot , shots over 50 yards.

What's with the double standard???

Why is it Not Ok to shoot at a Whitetail over 40 yards but perfectly acceptable to shoot at a jumpy goat at 60 yards??


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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:46 pm

I don't know for sure about goats.
But elk have such a large kill zone the proportion allows long shots.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby ThePreBanMan » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:54 am

I think this probably a number of factors that go into it but I do think that you're on to something with the double standard.

You can make the point that the animals are bigger so the kill zone is bigger. But that also means that you're more likely to have penetration issues. I don't necessarily see the bigger animal is being something that allows for a longer range shot. That said Western hunts tend to be on much more open terrain where you're not going to have sticks and twigs and brush and cover that can deflect the shot. That type of terrain also necessitates a longer-range shot because you're not going to be able to get close enough to the animal without being spotted and their busting out.

I've never been on a western hunt and I personally don't know anyone who has. but all the YouTube personalities that I've seen taking part have bows that are up around 80 lb. I don't know as that most whitetail hunters are pulling poundage that high. Is that probably plays a factor as well.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Eddiegomes83 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:32 am

I would think any shot that is within your capability is ethical. I dont think tv or others can tell you what that is. You know your abilities and whether or not you are comfortable and capable of making the shots you take.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Hawthorne » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:36 am

They practice more for it out there because of the open terrain and spot and stalk hunting.The average bow kill In Michigan is 18yds. I will only shoot 40yds max here. If I hunted out west I’d change my set up and practice to kill at 60.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Dewey » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:51 am

My longest shot on a mule deer kill was 43 yards. Longest on a whitetail was right at 30 yards. Big difference shooting an animal in the wide open plains on the ground versus thick woods, swamp or marsh from a treestand. Also when hunting out west I practiced a ton at long ranges so I was much more accurate well beyond 60 yards so 40 didn’t really seem like much at all. On whitetail I don’t practice super long shots anymore because my average kill is about 12 yards with many less than 10 yards. I like my whitetail close. That can be real difficult with western animals so you need to be prepared for that.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Huntoholic » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:07 am

One observation I’ve made and also heard a lot is that whitetails are a lot more jumpy than western game and more likely to duck the arrow. Western game doesn’t seem to duck the the arrow.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:03 am

Huntoholic wrote:One observation I’ve made and also heard a lot is that whitetails are a lot more jumpy than western game and more likely to duck the arrow. Western game doesn’t seem to duck the the arrow.
I think that would make all the difference. I can hit a dot at 60 in the backyard but a deer would be a different story. It probably wouldn't still be there by the time the arrow made it. Maybe western animals tend to stand still more often.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Swampbuck » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:53 am

Mainly because Elk and mulies are a lot less jumpy than whitetails. Thats the main difference. They also have much bigger killzones.

The terrain is also different so they are expecting longer shots so are better prepared for that on average
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby may21581 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:39 am

My biggest buck to date was shot at like 46 or 47 yards. Everything was perfect though. No wind, quartering away, good angle, animal was calm with head down smelling the ground, good light, open area.
I practice at longer distances out to 50 yards when shooting. I know what my limit is and what i can shoot. I practice for worst case scenarios. Your limitations will be what you set for yourself and practice at.
Ideally we would all like those 25 yards and in shots. Sometimes this just doesn't happen though.
I know what your saying about the shooting distances out west compared to the midwest. I Never hunted there so I can't speak for them, only myself. I just know the only limitations I have are what I set for myself going into the season.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby The Runt » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:38 am

I think the biggest problem is people impose their shooting limitations on others. Ethics are a personal thing, only you have to live with the results of taking a shot. Practice for what you expect and beyond. If you are comfortable with the situation, go for it, as long as you can deal with the aftermath.

I have been ridiculed for taking some shots others wouldn't, but the same guy shoots at a running deer with a rifle, without a range estimation. Has no way of practicing that shot and probably hasn't even shot his gun out to 250 yards even off a bench, but he can call out my ethics. Same hypocrisy as a Midwest whitetail hunter vs. a western hunter. There are many situations out west were getting whitetail close isn't possible.

SO again, if you can look at yourself in the mirror after the fact, go for it.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Trout » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:00 am

The PC answer is its up to each individual archer to determine what shot is right for them. If you can hit a paper plate consistently at 100yds in eastern woods, take that shot.

I think it comes from the fact that terrain is more open out west, which makes it more difficult to get closer to game. I dont think its a kill zone size thing- see the vitals on an antelope or mule deer. Its also a practice thing. Western guys practice long shots with gun and bow. Eastern guys dont. More than once I've had buddies who are making their first trip out west and they can't even find a range where they can practice rifle shots over 200yds around here. They have to find a farmer with big fields or a power line. Same for bow. Go to Total Archery Challenge at Boyne Mountain here in Northern MI and a lot of guys are scared away by the 70-110yd shots on the western courses because they don't practice or have pins for those ranges.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Wannabelikedan » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:42 am

I’d ask guys go watch the shot Zach from THP made on his bull this year. Big animals can jump at the shot too and his was about 30 yards. Granted it could’ve been a little better shot, the bull nearly wheeled out of that one. Id shoot longer distances in prep for western hunts but I still don’t see me taking aim at anything beyond 50. I hate anything beyond 30 in the whitetail world. It’s all preference IMO. Do what you’re comfortable with.
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Crazinamatese » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:44 am

The Runt wrote:I think the biggest problem is people impose their shooting limitations on others. Ethics are a personal thing, only you have to live with the results of taking a shot. Practice for what you expect and beyond. If you are comfortable with the situation, go for it, as long as you can deal with the aftermath.

I have been ridiculed for taking some shots others wouldn't, but the same guy shoots at a running deer with a rifle, without a range estimation. Has no way of practicing that shot and probably hasn't even shot his gun out to 250 yards even off a bench, but he can call out my ethics. Same hypocrisy as a Midwest whitetail hunter vs. a western hunter. There are many situations out west were getting whitetail close isn't possible.

SO again, if you can look at yourself in the mirror after the fact, go for it.

100% agree
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Re: Why are long shots only "ethical" on western game??

Unread postby Pudster » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:29 am

As stated, it all comes down to yourself and your ability. I know a guy who says his range is up to 60 yards on whitetail, yet I know of 2 good bucks he has wounded trying shots in the 40 -45 yard range. That to me is un-ethical, with the excuse that they jumped or moved after the shot......duh, I am of the belief that your ethical effective range is what you can kill cleanly at every time. Last year I was struggling shooting, I assumed it was target panic, my max range I set for myself was 25yards. Fast forward to this year I figured out it was not target panic, but my drop away rest was not working properly causing really random arrow flight. This year i would feel comfortable increasing my range on a whitetail to 33 yards. Western game= less pressured animals, open country, bigger animals, and the ability to see them for longer periods of time after the shot.


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