Home Forums Campfire Forum Effective range based on accuracy

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    • bruc
      Post count: 476

      Just wondering what everyones effective range, based only on accuracy,would be for whitetail sized game ?

      Mine would be about 15-18 yards and that would be on a good day. Vitals get really small looking after that. I practise on my foam deer out to about 25 yds.


    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Most comfortably, I’d be in a very similar looking boat as yours. My daily practice is out to around 22 yds and my near frequent archery course visits can get me shooting confidently around 30, but only after making a few shots. I don’t know whether or not I would take a shot as far out as my regular long range (22 yds) or not (would completely depend on the moment and the confidence at the time), but would much rather hope to be in around 15 yards or so and this is the way I try to set up my brush/timber blinds in the woods.

    • vajd
      Post count: 29

      I really like to strech out in the yard practice, I work back to 60 yards at times, it makes the 30 yd shots seem close.

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      When I was shooting lefty I was good out to 35/40 yards (on paper anyway).

      Righty… about 15 yards. I’d like to say its because I’m left eye dominant, but thats just an excuse.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Post count: 1384

      I’ve never been really good at archery, good enough to be constantly consistent that is, so I limit myself to 15 – 20 yds where I’m mostly consistent. For some reason 13 yds is my magic number. Anything that gets that close and does not detect me is in serious trouble. 😀

    • Donnie
      Post count: 19

      The places that I hunt are VERY brushy…. So its very common for me to find myself with shots between 20 to 25 yards. (or less) But… I have taken longer shots.

      The truth is…. I really dont limit myself. When I see a deer or an elk, I dont even think of the distance anymore. Instead… I just KNOW whether or not I can make the shot.

      I think the terrain that I hunt limits my shot distances…. but when I practice…. I try to shoot at the longer distances… it sure seems to make those 30 yard shots look a lot closer!

      On an avarage…. Im probably shooting deer and elk at around 20 yards.



    • FUBAR
      Post count: 252

      I try to get a few longer shots in at every practice. 40-50 yards, but always set up under 20yards. I often find myself instantly deciding whether to shoot or not without even considering the distance. Sometimes 15 yards doesn’t feel right, other times beyong 20 seems no problem. Longes shot I can think of was a paced 28yard heart shot on a doe. The minute I released, I thought ‘What am I doing shooting?’, but ended up perfect8)

    • Don Thomas
      Post count: 334

      Honestly, I don’t think I could answer this question, at least with an answer that condenses down to a number of yards. So many variables come into play: the species of animal, weather and terrain, the shot angle, how I felt when I got up in the morning, etc. etc.. I’ve felt comfortable with 45 yard shots and passed up others at 10. Personally, my definition of a make-able and ethical shot is like the definition of art or pornography: I know it when I see it. Don

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Right now, 10 yards under perfect conditions. 15-20 at smaller game (hit a rabbit with a blunt, it’s going down, not so if you miss vitals on a deer). It’s fortunate for me that with the brush and undergrowth in most spots here in Southeastern PA, I usually won’t get a further shot from the ground. Tree stands are a different story, but I don’t hunt them often. Being so new to trad gear, I really limit myself to those parameters. Thing is, I am not at all good at judging distance, so that is pretty much my limit there as well. I hope to someday get out to 25-30 yards, especially if I am going to plan a trip west for Elk.



    • Jason Wesbrock
      Post count: 762

      Over the years I’ve developed a rather simple way to determine my maximum range. During several shooting sessions I see how far away I can keep all my arrows in a target the size of the heart/lung area of the species I’m hunting, then cut that distance by a third. Under the best of circumstances, that is as far as I will shoot. Within that distance, I use Don’s Justice Stewart litmus test.

    • George D. Stout
      Post count: 256

      Always found hunting to be a close range endeavor, although I shoot field rounds all the time….from 20 feet to 80 yards, and can hold a class A card. The long distance shooting will enhance your form, which carries over to hunting distance. You have to decide how your ability fits in to your hunting. The last dozen deer that I have taken with the bow were not outside twenty yards…many inside ten. Work on being a good hunter, and the shot distance is never too far.

    • Stumpkiller
      Post count: 193

      I practice intently out to 25 yards. I practice roving & field archery to 80 yards.

      But I limit my whitetail shooting to 20 yards. Maybe a hair over.

      I have passed on 15 yard or under shots that didn’t “feel” right due to cover or angle. I’m sure someday there might be a 25 yard shot that does feel right and I’d take it.

    • Jeremy Holden
      Post count: 59

      For the coming season I’ve been practicing with my Osage bow. I have to keep my shots at 10-15 yards. I’ve made longer ones at the range, but I’m not consistant. With my recurve I can reach out a little further and still be consistant. Like others on here, I know it when I see it. Passeed up several shot’s last year because it just wasn’t right.


    • Reg Darling
      Post count: 32

      I’m with Don Thomas on this one–if I absolutely had to put a number on it, I would say 20 yards, but in truth it’s a very fluid judgment. That’s why my preferred practice is stump shooting–keeps me in touch with what the doable looks and feels like. And when in doubt, I don’t shoot.

    • Donnie
      Post count: 19

      Reg makes a very good point…. I also am CONSTANTLY shooting (Roving…. Stump Shooting…. ect…) and am constantly “In Touch” with what feels (looks) like the right distance. It fluctuates from terrain to situation….

      The truth of the matter is this…. “I have killed more deer and elk with my recurve than I ever did with a compound”…. and I attribute it to this…. “With a compound… I was always concerned with “Distance….” With my recurve…. I “JUST KNOW” if the range, and situation is right…. there is NO doubt in my mind about making the shot. (Sometimes its a shorter distance…. and sometimes its at longer distances. Again… depends of the terrain and situation) My inner calculator tells me if I’m in range or not.

      Above all…. I shoot all the time because I LOVE IT!!!! And THIS keeps me “In Touch” with my effective range…. whatever THAT is……. 8)



    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      Donnie, really like your last post that sums it up for me. However I still occasionally go to the range to practice at known distances to keep an eye on what feels like a certain such as say 50 yards.

    • Donnie
      Post count: 19


      I do the EXACT same thing! I like to “Rove” & “Stump Shoot” and many of my shots boarder .on the “Hail Marry” shots. 😈 I just love seeing my arrow in flight! It also allows my eye and brain to see the arc of the arrow.

      By doing these longer shots it ALSO shows me what shots are just too far to be taking. And… it all comes together for me when I draw my arrow on a deer or an elk. My mind’s eye already KNOWS what IS…. and IS NOT too far!



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