Home Forums Friends of FOC A good FOC arrow saved a botched shot!

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    • jpcarlson
      Post count: 218

      So there I was, minding my own business…..sitting a brushed in blind on a water hole this week. I had an active stock dam on Public Land, no cattle on it, and 30+ goats chasing each other around a hay field to the south. The time was 0700 and it was still cool enough for a wool coat. I had just started rereading a biography about Jim Bridger. My buddy Thad had put this hunt together and taken me to one of his “good spots”. Upon getting out of the car, he asked if I had enough food and water to last the day. Thad kept telling me, “if you sit there long enough today, you will have a shot”. I have never been one to sit very long in blinds:)

      We had been trying some Spot and Stalk on small groups of Antelope the evening before. Two botched attempts and some big smiles later we glassed goats using this stock dam around supper time. The temps were in the high 80s and the grass was popcorn fart dry. We grabbed Thad’s old blind out of the car and headed into the field. There was a low spot on the South side of the dam where we had seen the goats going in; the whole area was filled with goat tracks. We set the blind up within stick bow range of this area and started pulling brush and greenery to brush the blind in. Upon finishing, we felt it looked pretty good for a big Tumble Weed out of place.

      That was that. We went back to camp to enjoy a night on the Prairie. Some good food, sunset, a Red Tail Hawk looking for mice, small batch Bourbon….life is good.

      The next morning dawned cool and clear. Strong coffee and instant Oatmeal, the horizon a blaze of color. I took off for the blind and crawled in. Some glassing of the area showed the goats were up and at em. I had a steady NW wind. About 45 minutes into the hunt I watched two does running away from my SE; they had been coming into the watering hole from down wind and didn’t like what they smelled. Freeze dried food has it’s draw backs.

      A couple of Western Meadow Larks were my first visitors. They came to the water and drank their fill. Well, if they don’t mind my blind, maybe the goats won’t either?

      A Marsh Hawk worked the weeds on the other end of the dam; small squirts of water shot up as the Coots dived under to avoid being breakfast. The Hawk turned toward my blind and flew right at me, passing just over the top. I didn’t hear a whisper from his wings. Well, I guess the Hawk doesn’t mind my blind either! This hunt was worth every moment already. Just being out here with a beautiful bow, a good friend, and the possibilities!

      I had just started to get through the first pages of my book. Something told me to do some glassing before getting to absorbed. I picked up the binos and looked around; straight to the South of me I saw two sets of ears with big eyes looking in my direction. The two does were out 100 yards and decided to start my way. I closed up all of the windows except my shooting lanes, I put my bucket on my pack in front of me and backed up to the very back of the blind for room. I had picked up the bow, knocked and arrow, and come to full draw a few times earlier to see how much I would have to crouch down in this blind to get a good shot without my limbs hitting the top. It was going to be tight with my 6/4 frame!

      The two lead does came in to about 50 yards and stood their ground. They did not like this big Tumble Weed sitting up against the dam by where they wanted to water! I heard one give a challenge call. I noticed they had about a dozen companions with them. A yearling doe decided she was thirsty and came on in. A small mature buck decided the yearling was his kind of gal and followed her right in. These first two were going to give me the farthest possible shot at this spot; 30 yards. I felt good about that shot, I had practiced it and knew I could make it. I was shooting a good FOC arrow; 650 gr total weight, 190 gr Tuffhead Meathead up front that was shaver sharp, 125 gr adaptor, 75 gr brass insert, tuned arrows and a small A&A 4 fletch with a Turbulator. I had my new custom recurve named “Killdeer” from my good buddy Troy B. 64″ 57#@30. The limbs on this bow had a set of Prairie Rattlers I had collected around my home. I had good single bevel broadheads from friends generously filling in the gaps of my lack of good equipment. (Thanks again Joe and Troy:)

      I waited for the following buck to stop broadside. I knew I would take this shot before all of those other eyes showed up on scene. I pulled back and hit my anchor, focused on the crease behind the shoulder, and let her fly.

      Thwak, my top limp hit the roof of the blind. I watched in suspense as my half powered arrow arched in to the buck who jumped forward and started to spin away. The heavy arrow caught him in the front part of his rear quarter. Half of my arrow was sticking out of him. I’ve shot several animals with FOC arrows and am used to pulling the arrow out of the ground on the opposite side of the critter covered with blood. This was my worst nightmare.

      The buck dropped his back legs and started walking away slowly to the west. He wasn’t dragging his back end but looked like he was crouching. He wasn’t going fast. The buck healed over to the side. No thrashing in the tall grass. I thought I heard the death moan but set my stop watch for time. I gave it 15 minutes and kept an eye on the area, waiting to see if he was up and struggling. Nothing moved. The remainder of the herd milled about in all directions then left.

      I knocked another arrow and started toward the spot. Judging on how slow he moved, I wanted to get another arrow in this guy right away and end it. I was not going to loose an animal to my folly.

      I crept through the grass and could see blood everywhere; a blind man could have trailed this goat! 20 yards ahead I found him. Arrow still in him, head tipped to the side. A light touch of my bow tip to the eye and I knew it was over. The FOC single bevel had done it’s job and saved a botched shot!


      I knelt down beside the buck and stroked his back; the strong smell of rutting Antelope filled my nose. Everything seemed more intense; the sky was amazingly clear and vivid blue. The Prairie was a perfect mix of intense gold and browns. The hunt was good.

      We as Traditional Bow Hunters don’t go into the field planning on making a bad shot. We don’t plan on things going wrong, but they do sometimes. FOC arrows and heavy Single Bevel Broadheads have proven their worth to me time and again. This time, they saved my hunt. Without FOC and momentum, this arrow wouldn’t have penetrated. Without the heavy Single Bevel, this arrow wouldn’t have caused lethal damage.

      During the field dressing and butchering Autopsy I found the following; the broadhead entered just forward of the ball joint of the Humerus. The Femoral Artery was severed and part of the Pelvis was broken. The broadhead continued across and severed the bottom of the Lumbar Spinal column. The broadhead continued on to slightly exit the contralateral side. Due to the wound channel and the amount of blood found between contact and recovery, this animal died quickly.

      I can’t say enough about FOC arrows and Single Bevel Broadheads. Try them for yourself and see the results.

      I’d rather be lucky than good any day.

    • Col MikeCol Mike
      Post count: 910


      That was one fine story, great photo’s, and another endorsement of Dr. Ed’s work and Joe’s’ tuffhead. Well done and congrats on a great hunt.

      Semper Fi


    • Charles EkCharles Ek
      Post count: 550

      Excellent story and testimonial. You created your own luck with your setup.

      And anyone with the good sense to use Finnish fillet knives for processing meat is all right in my book. 🙂

    • smiley1
      Post count: 102

      That was a great story. Congratulations on a fine antelope. Proper tuning, heavy arrows, high FOC and sharp single bevel heads have many positive attributes on marginal hits as your experience proved once again. Great Job.


    • Ed Ashby
      Post count: 816

      Great story and photos! You did it right; you tried for the best but planned for the worst. Bad hits can/do/will happen to everyone who shoots very much game with bow and arrow.



    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Post count: 2247

      What a great story. Congratulations on a fine animal and especially doing the work and decisions that culminated in your good luck. It’s a real life story of opportunity meeting preparation. Enjoy those meals. Peace, dwc

    • Vintage Archer
      Post count: 276


      CONGRATULATIONS I would also like to compliment you on doing a autopsy Some times weather ,time and conditions will not allow us to do this investigation work but when possible it can be very revealing.

      “]During the field dressing and butchering Autopsy I found the following; the broadhead entered just forward of the ball joint of the Humerus. The Femoral Artery was severed and part of the Pelvis was broken. The broadhead continued across and severed the bottom of the Lumbar Spinal column. The broadhead continued on to slightly exit the contralateral side. Due to the wound channel and the amount of blood found between contact and recovery, this animal died quickly.”

      Very informative.:idea:Nice work

      Again congratulations on the hunt and a well written story with nice pictures.:)


    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      Great story and excellent preparation. I have botched shots with standard setups and have never gotten that type of penetration, hitting heavy bone, even with a 54# compound.

      I got similar performance with high FOC arrows and single bevel heads on a huge wild hog, using my 55# recurve. It does as advertised.


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