Home Forums Bows and Equipment Shooting Game Already Dead..issues?

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    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      These tests, by multiple hunters across the nation, are going to be a great addition to Dr. Ashby’s report and will do some testing of my own, as I’ve said.

      The more information we have on penetration, be it through the kill zone intended or through heavy bone, will be subject for scrutiny for literally thousands and thousands, if not millions of hunters for decades to come.

      I may be alone in this thought but feel it important enough that I attempt to bring it up in the correct manner.

      I just watched a Penetration test on youtube shooting a dead elephant to show the penetration of the heavy / arrow combo with a single bevel head.

      For reason’s I doubt I’ll be able to successfully explain the video clip made one thing very clear to me.

      I AM NOT going to be able to shoot any game I’ve already taken AFTER it is down. It’s just a personal thing involving the respect I have for game animals.

      Having been a part time taxidermist and venison butcher for 15 years, that I only do for myself now, I have preached proper game / cape / meat care, year in and year out.

      The horror stories I could tell of game mistreatment would turn any hunter’s stomach. More times than I care to remember I flew into a red faced, foot stomping rage about mistreated game being brought to me.

      TRUE! Shooting the animal again will only slice yet another hole or two and little, if any, meat loss would occur.
      That is not my point.

      I am now, and have been as long as I can remember, awed by the beauty of the game animals I have been fortunate to hunt. I can no more shoot a beautiful adult specimen again after it’s been taken than I could shoot an arrowhead into my 40 year old recurves.

      I post this not to create a dispute but to tell others that may feel the same that they are not alone in this area of thought.

      Oddly, I do not feel those DOING SO, are committing any crime and feel that information is greatly useful for us, but I for one will make an attempt to make shots EXITING a scapula (hopefully)whenever possible.

      My information will, of course, very sparse for getting repeated shots like that will be difficult to say the least. If I can’t get one at that angle then the standard shot at the lung/heart area will be taken and reported on with whatever combination I use.

      I appreciate the opportunity to make this statement and do feel that some will feel the same. I hope to offer important results to the total testing but the option of “re-shooting” a game animal I’ve taken will simply not be within my agenda.

      I simply am incapable of doing so. For those of you that can in the name of greater and increased information, I thank you but I feel no shame in this statement.

      Looking forward to our combined efforts here and the discussion. COME ON FALL!

      (and cooler weather! YUCK is it HOT!)


    • Chris Shelton
      Post count: 679

      I agree with you, although I think it is so very important that people who are willing to do these tests, such as Dr. Ashby, becuase it aids in the development in the most humane designs for broadheads. But I think I will never test on any of my animals, for two reasons. Like you steve I greatly respect the animals I hunt and not only because they kick my but in the fall more often than none, but becuase without out them I belive this world would be a boring one! Secondly because I like to tan my furs, and I mean all my furs. Everything from squirrels to rabbits to deer. To me the furs tell more of a story than me actually telling the story. I can see exactly where I hit the animal most times and one can tell what form of a weapon was used. If I pick up a pelt it is like watching one of my videos, it brings back the memorys, and tanning makes me feel closer to my great uncles who make there life off trapping!

    • J-dog
      Post count: 47

      Yeah Clay I agree with you but it in another way this is why Dr. Ashby started the testing – a love for the game animals we hunt. Kinda same thing.
      Deer meat rules – my wife could not care less what horns or antlers I show her or come home with. She checks the freezer to be sure I am hunting hard! LOL

      Great points,


    • IronCreekArcher
      Post count: 79

      I agree with you Steve but I sure am glad Dr. Ashby has done testing like this. Its not that I don’t have respect for the game animals I harvest because I do. But, it can also be taken like those people who donate their body to science, nothing but respect is shown to them who do and the knowledge gained is priceless. It is with this mindset that I am going to attempt some testing this fall.

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      I would have to actually kill something besides a squirrel or grouse before I could do any kind of testing. Usually, this means I need to slow down when I’m walking, actually sit still when I’m sitting, and overall, actually have a successful hunt.


    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      Good discussion. I will absolutely “test” my elk this year, should I be blessed to get one. I’ll have four different heads on four otherwise identical arrows and rotate them on the string throughout the hunt so that the one that does the job will be by lottery, as it were. Whichever one kills the elk, the other three will go into a shoulder blade, or maybe both shoulders, after propping the animal in an upright position to make it realistic as possible. I’ll then try to take the animal apart in a way to photograph and show penetration and bone damage in detail. And I don’t expect this to ruin more than a very few bites of meat total, and all of that on the shoulder(s). No biggie in my ethical view given the addition to knowledge that has the potential to prevent massive amounts of wounding loss and suffering. Nonetheless I’m deeply impressed that we have hunters among us who have such deep respect for the animals they hunt that they choose not to do this. Not everyone needs to do this — just enough of us to confirm repeatedly what Ashby’s research has shown, conducted by a variety of hunters on a variety of game, etc. But first, I have to find a cooperative elk! Dave

    • IronCreekArcher
      Post count: 79

      As usual well said Dave…

    • Wary Buck
      Post count: 15

      I can understand why a guy wouldn’t want to do that, and I respect that opinion. But I also respect those willing to do those tests so the rest of us don’t have to, yet we can learn something which may help us do our job better.

      I have enjoyed reading the Ashby reports and only wish the last issue’s installment was mandatory reading in bow shops and bowhunter education courses nationwide.

    • IronCreekArcher
      Post count: 79


      I could not agree more…your book is awesome by the way…I read it cover to cover in three days. When is the next one due out? 😉

    • Wary Buck
      Post count: 15

      THANKS so much for the kind words on My Neck of the Woods. I’m maybe 70% done with the second, but how soon I wrap that up may depend on how things go in the early weeks of this deer season. I’ve got several ‘projects’ in the hopper, but hearing from you and others makes me want to put the full-court press on and get the next one done soon. Have a great fall, our season starts in three days!

    • bruc
      Post count: 476

      I would not shoot or test on an animal that is already down. The animal does deserve respect!!!!
      In todays modern world, there has to be synthetic materials that would work to simulate these animals for arrow and broadhead testing.
      If the animal is down, no need to test anyway.
      The arrow obviously did its job. Bruce.

    • rayborbon
      Post count: 298

      I don’t shoot enough animals to have the luxury of a testing bed. 😆

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      Greetings to all. First time poster, but have been an avid archer since I was a kid (long time ago) and this was the first post I read.

      I have to say I agree with the OP, excellent post and obviously a heartfelt one, but like autopsies, they seem to be necessary evils. Imagine how little Dr’s would know if there were no post mortom exams/testing on humans. I place humans on the level God placed them, well above animals,but I still have respect for animals and while I have no qualms killing when necessary, I do not favor abuse. That said, I don’t consider testing on dead animals abuse, but it is necessary and better than testing new designs, for the first time, on live animals.

      Some new designs I see of broadheads make me shudder at thinking of their performance on live tissue, but some guys keep designing and selling them on the “cool” factor alone.

      Good post and like he said, I doubt this will ever get a unanimous agreement.

    • Holten101
      Post count: 66

      handirifle wrote: …. like autopsies, they seem to be necessary evils

      Good point. In my mind its rather simple…testing on dead animals have brought us data that will increase the frequency of humane kills….if that not is ethically sound then I dont know what is.

      As long as meat waste is kept to a minimum…and no other competetive method of testing is proposed, then im all for it.


    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      From a physical or spiritual point of view, what does it matter if we shoot a few broadheads into a dead carcass, with solid moral justification not just for the heck of it, minutes before we totally disassemble that carcass with a knife? How is one an insult and the other not. To me, it’s what’s in the shooters’ mind and heart that grants respect to the fallen prey. For instance, I cringe and bitch every time I see a disgusting “rodeo cowboy” pose of triumphant hero hunter sitting astraddle fallen prey. Yet I feel that whatever I can do to improve my own and others’ lethality on future animals is something the “test” animal would concur with if it could. So far as meat waste — most such test shots are taken through the rib cage and/or scapula, where there’s little if any prime meat to be harmed. On this year’s elk I took two postmortem shots — one through the lungs and the other at an angle into the shoulder blade. Alone with the killing shot, that provided penetration info on three different broadheads shot into three different parts of the animal from different angles and distances. Neither test shot wasted a single bite of meat, and I now have confidence that should I someday unintentionally make a shot at a forward angle into an elk’s shoulder — say, it turns toward me on arrow release, which is not uncommon — my current arrow and broadhead setup will still get the job done (19″ penetration in the test and broadhead undamaged). My personal bottom line is making fast humane kills, and postmorten testing has been a significant boon to that goal. But in the bigger picture I am not arguing that everyone needs to do this, and if only more hunters would show the great respect for the living animal that many who are posting here show even for dead animals, how much better off hunting would be, eh? I also appreciate the fact that nobody is emotionally or defensively “dissing” anyone here due to differing opinions. Rather, each view is trying to explain its reasoning, while politely acknowledging the value of the opposite view. That’s cool, and darn hard to find on a hunting forum. :D8):D dp

    • bates777
      Post count: 34

      [if only more hunters would show the great respect for the living animal that many who are posting here show even for dead animals,
      Well said David you are a fantastic writer.
      Thanks Curtis

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      David, you’re going to succeed into talking me into doing this yet! 😆

      The thought still makes me flinch but…..all said and done I really cannot EXPLAIN why shooting a deer already taken bothers me…but danged if it don’t.

      On the other hand, I AM committed to this site and the results so drastically needed to be accumulated for all of our use that…..:? I guess I’ll have to think more on it.

      I’ve got months now to do so. argghh!

      Thanks again for your input on this subject. It DOES give one thought, yet being a creature of emotions I cannot yet say what I will decide.

      Steve Sr.

    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      HiYa Steve! Brother, I am NOT trying to talk you or anyone into anything … merely trying to explain why I, why feel as strongly as anyone alive an almost supernatural love for the animals we hunt and kill, would do such a thing. I do it because it makes me a better, more efficient thus more humane killer. Hunters are killers and I’ll defend that to anyone, as I’ve tried to do for decades. But I can only defend it if I do it the way I’d want it done to me. And these experiments on what, at that point, is meat, truly have helped me understand what shot angles, arrow set-ups etc. almost always work, and what does not. There’s no need whatsoever for you or anyone else who feels queasy about it to do it, and I admire you for that resolve. Hint: It helps to put your jacket over the animals head. Animals die with their eyes open. Cover that and the rest is just meat. dave

    • Steve Sr.
      Post count: 344

      Thanks, David.
      I totally understand but I ATTEMPT to use logic and reasoning often enough to make some think I’m only HALF nuts so your points are not only well thought out….they are quite accurate.

      One would think that after butchering over 3000 whitetail that I’d not view them with such admiration and respect HOWEVER I DO think seeing SO MANY horribly abused by so many *ahem* “hunters” definately has had it’s effect on me.

      I had never lost a deer before this year and the decades of hearing such stories has engrained such loathing for doing so that I must admit that too has radically lowered my self esteem more than it probably should have….yet it did.

      COMMON SENSE tells me the information gained THROUGH utilizing ALL means of testing TO give us (and others) that extra percentage or two in our favor does indeed merit consideration, emotions not withstanding.

      I to would never deliberately ask a hunter to change his viewpoint …well, yeah I would….Sorry, a whole bunch of them but not on this issue. 😀

      Thanks, my friend.

      Steve Sr.

    • Ed Ashby
      Post count: 816

      David Petersen wrote: I do it because it makes me a better, more efficient thus more humane killer. … these experiments on what, at that point, is meat, truly have helped me understand what shot angles, arrow set-ups etc. almost always work, and what does not.

      Dave, that is a gem of a statement, and is exactly what I’ve been trying to get folks to do. You can learn more in a few days testing than in a lifetime of shooting animals. You have to see the “why” of the failures to understand what went wrong. You can’t see that on an animal you hit and don’t recover. Bottom line: It helps reduce the number of wounded and not recovered animals.


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