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Switching from bow to rifle -ahhhhhhh

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Switching from bow to rifle -ahhhhhhh

Old 11-17-2014, 05:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,355
Default Switching from bow to rifle -ahhhhhhh

I love bowhunting, due to our seasons in NH I get to bowhunt for 3 months and gun hunt for a few weeks. I'm somewhat backwards as I have shot more deer with a bow than a rifle/gun.

While I love bowhunting I also love busting out the .30-06 and rifle hunt. My issue is lack of chances with the gun, where I started gun hunting (when I was 17) it was family tradition over seeing deer, in 25 years I got two bucks with the rifle. Seeing a deer made for a good year between low population and family tradition not really including hard core hunting! At two different times we had 3 generations hunting together. Last few years it's fallen apart with Dad/Uncles hanging up the guns (one uncle still hunts) and me and cousins needing to raise families, some have moved etc.

Due to this I am now hunting harder with my rifle in my bow spots and see more deer this way!

Anyway, I ran into this problem this past weekend: Sitting there at 7 AM on one of the two "doe days" in this zone, where either sex is legal. I had a deer walk/feed along about 75 yards behind me. I heard the steps and turned, found the deer. Turned out to be a very large buck, 8-10 pointer SLOWLY feeding along.

I got turned around and had a solid rest up against the tree. The buck fed in a place where I had a small tunnel all the way to the deer's shoulder. Not tiny, I could see most of the buck body and clear path to the front shoulder. I had the cross-hairs lined up and should have shot, but......

Archery brain got in the way, while the bullet path was clear, the arrow path wasn't! Even though it's to far (way to far) for a bow shot, all my brain could do was point out the stuff in the way of an arrow flight. I decided to hold off on the shot because if he went straight another 15 feet he was in a BIG opening.

He didn't.

Never got the shot. So....

for those that switch back and forth, how do you recalibrate your brain to seeing the bullet path, not the arrow path?
Bob H in NH is offline  
Old 11-17-2014, 06:03 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The "empire" state-NY
Posts: 583

Me, I love the bowhunt which is how I started as a kid but it wasn't until I embraced what rifle hunting truly is that I could appreciate both.

Bow- how close can I get?

Rifle- how far can I get?

The idea of a rifle is to reach out and touch your target; when I finally understood that and began to hunt at 200 yds ( which isn't all that far) it changed my entire approach, but that was in fields.

It occurs to me that many areas here in the east may be better suited to a shotgun or "brush" gun than a rifle simply due to the terrain & heavy trees/vegetation; a 30.06 can be thrown off trajectory pretty easily by even a small branch.

Your habit of ensuring a clear path to your target may not be one you want to break.

Last edited by ModernPrimitive; 11-17-2014 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:53 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,473

Dude, no recalibration needed. Maybe it was just buck fever that screwed your head up in the moment. Know your arc. If you can see it and the gap is clear, you can shoot it.

Either weapon, I like to see how close I can get. When hunting with a gun it's always a muzzleloader. I've taken deer at 180 yards with it but for the past four seasons every deer I have taken with my ML has been within bow range. I have taken deer at 15 and 10 yards this year (both on the ground) with my ML. I just got busted this past Friday by 3 does at 15 yards. They saw "something" on the ground but I won that battle and just had to wait for them to continue on (head behind a tree, etc) so I could move to take the shot. As they proceeded onward, a gust of wind came from the wrong direction and they were gone like lightening!

Win or lose, nothing gets your heart pumping at 200 yards like that.
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