« First Look: Eyedeal Camouflage | Main | 2008 Polaris Ranger XP Browning »

July 25, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

My first bow (way back) was a 45# Shakespear recurve. Had a heck of a time dropping deer with it...got a shooting from the tree and quartering away on the ground. Missed alot to string jumping so I picked up a Bear Whitetail compound. Did better , but still had some bad days. Then bought a Onieda Sreamin' Eagle and got a "jump" on those boys. Shot LOUD and fast, but had not one jump the string. (if you missed...you were in trouble!) Shot close to one hundred deer with that bow. Now I have a Mathew's Switchback. Quiet and fast spells relief for me....so now slinging arrows at them within 40 yds. is meant to be!

I always try to release the shot when the
deer's eyes are peering away from me, if at all possible. And, as Mike mentioned, the deer out east (PA) are "instinct" programmed
for alertness. The deer I hunt in the midwest seem to care less when arrows are zipping at them. Why???

Thanks for the reply. Thats what I love about this blog and why I read it every day. Between what you know, your resources, and the fellow blogger brothers (and sisters) you cant beat it! Here in WI I havnt really noticed the string jump as much if at all personally. 1126fps that would be one fast bow son! I was just thinking with the lower decible bows and a twenty yard shot it might be achieved but I guess it looks pretty impossible.

i have harvested several deer with my current bow and it is thought to be one of the quietest bows at our archery shoots.......i consider this to be one of the biggest factors when buying one!

last winter i shot "at" a doe and couldn't figure out why i missed....... slowed the video down on playback and marked the screen with where she was and this doe at 28 yards slammed to the ground and missed the arrow by 10"........ i also noticed she never stopped chewing on the food plot plants through the whole process.......strange..... I really believe some times it is a nervous reaction and they don't even know what is happening..... after she ran off all the deer spooked and then came back to the plot where i shot the next doe, and none of the deer spooked at the shot on the second deer so i know the bow is very quiet....... they didn't run off until she fell over

sometimes deer are just surviviers!!!
that's why we can't get enough of this crazy addiction called hunting

Listen guys i am not trying to start another debate, simply responding to the post: I have killed 3 deer with my Parker Safari crossbow. Each time, the deer never flinched, the bolt hit where i aimed. I was suprised but the cross bow does not make alot of noise when you "release" (i know i'll get bashed for that so i'll say pull the trigger). BTW, i stalked a nice 8 last night scouting. I let him cross the field, then crawled a fence row to get within 30 yards with my binoculars, that was FUN!

Bows may shoot at .266 (1/4) the speed of sound, but at 10 yards it takes your arrow .1 sec. to get to the deer. That means that the sound got there in .026. The fastest reaction for runners in the 100 Olympics take more the .25 of a second to move after the gun is fired. If they move before that, it is a false start. The gun is fired from about 20 yards. So at 10 yards the deer have less then .074 of a second to move. Humans can’t move that fast, when anticipating. I have no doubt that deer are faster reactors, but it seems impossible to duck a 10 yard shot from a 300fps bow. Anything over 25 yards (.25+ sec. for your arrow) is very possible.

I believe the deer's reaction, or lack of it, depends also on what it is doing and its state of mind at the time of the shot. Hunting at my family's ranch in the Texas hill country last year, I offer two examples: Hunting from a pop-up blind, I had a 22 yd shot at a lone doe who was very nervous as she was feeding. Should have been a slam dunk, but I neglected to aim low enough. She ducked at my shot and escaped untouched. I think her nervous state of mind made her more prone to reacting at the sound of the shot. Later in the season my 13 yr old son and I were in a "natural" ground blind, and a nice 10 pt buck came in. He was more focused on a couple of does nearby than anything else. When he was finally broadside at 20 yds, and looking away from us at a doe, Connor drilled him thru the heart with an arrow. We were both standing, and I was looking right over Connor's shoulder, and that buck never twitched at the shot. (BTW a very cool experience for a dad!) The buck was so distracted he never knew what happened. So my conclusion from these, and other similar experiences, is that if a deer is already nervous/worried/skittish, it is more likely to duck at the sound of the shot.

Once I had a giant buck jump the string and I hit the little forkhorn standing behing him.....at least that's what I told the guys back at camp when I came dragging the smallest buck of my hunting career in!
:>) BD

I really think RGB has hit the nail on the head. It depends on how alert they are, and how nervous they are.

A relaxed deer, tail down, looking away, eating, etc. is much less likely to duck an arrow than one that's really wound up, fidgety, or being persued.
When they are on alert they can and do move like lightning. Plus their reaction time is nothing short of amazing.

Try this sometime, when you're shooting your bow with a friend. Stand off to the side at about the distance the shooter is to the target. At the sound of the shot take a step, see how far you can get before the arrow hits.
At twenty yards you can a get a good step or two. At 30 you can go several steps. If you are anticipating the shot, ie like a wound up deer looking for danger, you can go much further.

Try it the results will surprise you.

never had one duck on me just put their head up before it thwaked em. bucks does it could very well be a genetic thing with in areas so humans are twitchy so deer can be too

I've killed a bunch of deer with my Jenning's T-Star - although, I've also had my share of "jumps." One in particular was a published story in my hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan.

I was hunting in an area with a buddy and we could both cover this natural funnel. A buck deer was making his way through the funnel and gravitated my way. With his right side exposed and a short 10 yards away, I let go with the arrow. When all the dust settled (or hell broke loose), I realized that I had hit the deer in the neck! Now I'm a good shot, so I couldn't believe this! Long story short - I hit the deer in the neck...on the LEFT SIDE! This buck had dropped, spun, and twirled to the point that I hit him in the neck on the opposite side I was shooting at - all within 15 yards! It was crazy!
He dropped on the spot, so I got down and finished him off by hand, but it was an awful experience. Neither my buddy, not I, could believe it - and he saw the whole thing from his stand 65 yards away.

Here in Michigan getting bow shots are fairly easy. Never been beat by the " Duck and Run" But I had a Whitetail biologist tell me that the first thing a fawn learns is to squat at the knees at the first sign of danger. I wonder if this programed knee bend at the shot is where it comes from. Also we know the hearing of a deer is better than ours with those huge ear canals, maybe the bow sound to the deer is louder than we think ?

Doug Hagan
Whitetail Nut from Michigan

Doug, great addition, exactly what this blog is all about, thanks from a fellow whitetail nut!!

Thanks Mike I really have learned from your hunts. I'm a poor guy that always dreams of getting to Alberta or Saskatchuan. Are you online with My Outdoor TV ? I watch that alot.
Doug Hagan
Whitetail Nut!!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Welcome to Big Deer

  • About This Blog

    The blogosphere has changed the way we talk about world events, politics, entertainment…and now hunting. Come join the discussion...think, learn and tell us what's on your mind. This blog is also the place to see and read about some of the biggest whitetail bucks shot in North America. Send me your story and photo!

Big Deer Blog™

  • a Big Deer, Inc. website
    (c) Big Deer, Inc. All Rights Reserved


My Photo


  • “Some men are obsessed with good guns, fine wine and beautiful women. I am consumed with one day shooting a drop-tine buck.”—Hanback, January 1, 2008, the day this blog was launched

Get Updates Delivered!