Many hunters know when the opportunity comes on a good shot to take it. Most of the time hunters will have limited chances that are presented to take a shot.
If you are hunter that hunts from a tree stand, blind, or spot and stalk this article is for you. Many times I have pasted up deer, elk, and other spices to think I would get a better opportunity, but it never came. When the opportunity present itself take it. When there is a shot take it or you could go come empty handed.
As a bowhunter, it is very important to know your range and angle of shot. If a an animal is at 50 yards you want to have the right pin on the animal to take the shot and get them down. There has been a couple times when I have been out elk hunting. I was calling up a few canyons and the next thing is a bull elk is bugling and coming in. The sheer of excitement takes over and you do not have time to pull out the range finder to get distances. This is where practices pays off. Many times when I go to the range I pull out my range finder and start ranging random things and guessing how far they are. This will help you better guess ranges when you are in the field. I have missed couple of big elk by over guessing my ranges.
If you are a bow hunter and do not know the range take a guess and try to stack as many pins on the animals as you can. This will give you a better chance at getting an arrow in the animal. But always try to get a range on the animal because in return you will mostly have better chance at recovery it and it will speed the process up of it dying ethically. A range finder with angle technology is a bow hunter best friend. The new technology compensates the angle for the shot so its good shot.
If you are a rifle hunter ranges are still very important especially if you are shooting long distances. Most rifle hunters sight in around 150-200yds. Practice with your rifle at many different ranges and shooting position this will help you when it comes making the shot of a lifetime. When I rifle hunt, I like to practice before I go out and shoot at random boulders at different ranges without a finding the distance before hand. This helps me understand my gun and my shooting abilities. By practicing different shooting position you never know what different position you might have to use when you are in the field this just makes it easier for yourself to get used to.
Shooting at unknown distances will develop your understanding of your rifle in case you do not have time to range an animal and have to guess. With the developing technology and scope technology there are many helping aids. I prefer to shoot scopes with a BDC (bullet drop compensation) which has different dots under the cross hair. When you sight in your scope at certain yard the the following dots will corresponded with yards. A great tool is to get index card and draw out your dots on your rifle scope so for quick reminder. When you are in the field you can refer to it. Also, I like to tape the index yard onto the butt stock of my rifle. Knowing your equipment and ranges while rifle hunting will pay off.
Trying to take any game animal is very changeling especially if you are hunting with a bow. It every important to take your time in your set up to range find different things around you. If I am hunting out of a blind I like to range find every little bush or tree around me. This give me an idea how the distances around so if I have something come in I know already the distance and make a good shot. Elk hunting especially it pays off to range every little bush before you start calling. As many animals elk are unpredictable in which directions they will come in so by knowing every distance of bushes and trees around you will give you good idea how far you have to shoot. This tactic can be used for whitetail hunters to their advantage.
It does not matter if you are a bow hunter or rifle hunter practice will always pay off. I like to start shooting months ahead before my hunts. This give me plenty of time to fine turn my bow or rifle so I can make the perfect shot when it comes. By practicing at different angels, positions, and yardages you can prepare yourself for your hunt. If you hunt out of a tree stand set up a stand and shoot out of it. Practice like you hunt it will help you in the field. If you are hunting mountain country out west and know will have a pack on shoot with a pack on. It give you whole different feeling and you have to practice your balance.
Shot placement on an animal is very important. Study the type of animal you are going to be hunting. If you are hunting in North America shoot right be in the shoulder blade and aim for the vitals. If you are lucky enough to be going to Africa study up on the animals many of them have different lay out and there hearts sometimes are little lower than North American animals. Knowing where to shoot on an animal is very important. Being prepared for your hunt will increase your success and make your hunt a better experience.
Be patient after you make your shoot. Give the animal plenty of time to stiffen up and not able to move. I believe if you are bow hunter you should give the animal at least 30-60mins of time to pass on. Many times hunters rush and bump the animal they just shot and it run off with adrenaline. Now, they will be chasing for miles instead of giving the animal the proper time to pass on. This is very important to be patient and wait. As a rifle hunter this is important to give the animal plenty of time to pass on. You never want to bump an animal then it runs off to somewhere you cannot get to it. I have heard many stories where hunters shoot an animal they get excited and go after it.
Next thing they know the animal has jumped the fences and it on someone else property. By giving the animal the
proper time to pass on you will save yourself a hard ache from knowing you could not retrieve it.
In 2010, I had premier bow bull elk tag in my pocket and going to try my hardest to harvest a bull. The excitement of hearing an elk bugle in the the distance. I keep calling at it and the bugle is getting closer and closer. Now I can glass up the big bull in the open meadows. He is coming toward me. I have ranged everything and I am ready to harvested this trophy. The bull bugles and it enjoy to my ears. I draw my bow back and I am holding for a minute long. He finally steps in to my shooting lane. I have practiced all summer and this has been the moment I have been waiting for. I let the arrow fly and it sounded like it hit a wall of bricks. I am so excited I believe I have just made a good shot.
The bull runs off 200 yds and lays down. I can see him and he just laying there and moving his head around. He looks to be hurt but not that bad. I noticed my arrow did not stick into him. I was just too excited. I gave him 20 minutes, and he still laying down moving his head around. Now, I have ethical question to ask myself. I had only 20 minutes of light left. I made the decision to go after him and try to get another arrow in him.
I never recovered the bull. I learned from a few mistakes I made. I shot way close to the shoulder bone and my shot placement was not right. I needed to shoot couple inches back. I knew the bull was hurt but later to find out he was not bleeding very much. If I could of redone it all over again. I would of left the bull in the same spot and came back in the morning to see if he bleed out over night. I learned to be more patient and have better shot placement. You learn from your mistakes, and you do them once they will not happen again.
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