Over the decades this question arises often and a fair question however…….there-in, lies a problem for yours truly.
When able to do so (it’s been over a year but back at it this coming week), I do a bit of shooting while walking Super Dewey my “Walker Tri-Color House Dog” (80lbs).
Two birds with one stone so to speak. Run some energy off the Dew and shoot. OH yeah, THREE birds…Doc’s orders to get off my keister and MOVE regardless of the urge to NOT do so some days. 😀
The entire purpose of my addition to your informative post is not advice nor wisdom nor will include any “preset” number on yards I’ll shoot at game.
The reason for the later part is because I simply have no clue. Too many factors come into play and the biggest one FOR ME, is simply my thoughts on if I can make the shot and THAT is affected by many OTHER factors.
I will NOT shoot “as far” out of a tree stand, for one. My confidence in my “automatic” perception of the shot is simply….”not good” and I have passed up shots MANY times I wouldn’t hesitate on, Ever……standing on the ground, and I don’t EVER set up for anything close to “long” shots if I hunt a tree stand. Just MY opinion of MY shooting abilities out of one….nothing else indicated.
I am a HORRIBLE “target archer”. Tell me the yardage on a target and I AM IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. That info “clouds” my subconscious thoughts with something conscious, and I will embarrass myself quite horribly.
There may be some out there able to judge distances in ever changing hunting conditions, but I am not one of them, nor do I try. The same results (above) would occur.
Common sense tells me I pass up shots sometimes and not others for any or all of these factors.
1. How I feel physically
2. Lighting present
3. Weather conditions
4. Angle of the animal in question
5. What PARTICULAR (I NORMALLY have more than one that I hunt with. Bowaholic.) set up I am using that day. No, Virginia, I don’t use a set up done so for an Irish Elk on a normal basis therefore, MY limitations change with said setup, mostly accuracy wise. Reading between the lines you will notice I do NOT always hunt with “my most accurate” bow. Of course I don’t hunt with one I am inadequate with, but considered shots DO CHANGE depending upon my own experiences with bow/set up in hand.
Lump them all together and all say “whatever takes away from my self confidence” by bringing POSSIBLE negative things to mind. Confidence kills, doubting thoughts are “KILLERS of MY (all I can speak for) abilities” yet should be listened to when present, IMHO.
I’ve made successful hunting shots on game at distances I will not display for others, and passed up shots at half that distance on yet another day, another situation, on the same game animal species.
As simply as I can put it….”I didn’t feel positive I would successfully make the shot”…..period.
Yardage? Every single time I have to step it off if I wanted to know, or cared (no offense) but PRE-shot? It never enters my mind.
I feel I can make the shot, or I don’t and act accordingly.
For those HORRIBLY confused now, I apologize. IMHO ONLY, I am a “purely instinctive shooter” regardless of those that scoff at such.
From the tender age of 10 on, I had no “tutor”, completely self taught and after a half century? STILL WORKS if I don’t muck it up with too much “data” I don’t require.