To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

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galamb
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To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by galamb » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:17 pm

I guess this is sort of an ethical question.

Here's the circumstances.

It's the second day of our 92 day bow season for Deer (although a two week rifle and one week black powder hunt overlaps at different times). While you have had six does and a fawn come into the stand, you only have a single Buck tag and when it's full your deer hunting season is over.

You are sitting for the evening hunt. Last "legal" shooting light is 7:15 pm. After listening to thunder for half an hour, almost at 6 pm on the dot, the sky opens up and it pours buckets. By 6:30 it has tapered off to a steady light rain, but because the day had been warm (70'ish degrees), the cold rain brought in some fog - not pea soup, but it's foggy.

The terrain is hilly and rocky with dozen of gully's running every which way. The trees are mixed hardwood salted with white pines - any "open space" (small clearings barely 200 square feet in size) are covered with thigh high Juniper bushes. And surrounding and interspersed with this is dozens of small swamps (2 to 5 acres in size).

Because of the rain, 6:48 pm already looks like last shooting light (and again, it's still raining, just not pouring - but thunder is still rumbling). However, at that moment a decent 6 point buck steps out and presents a picture perfect broadside shot @ 17 yards. (I am not a trophy hunter and the buck was "heavy" - would fill the freezer for sure)

Do you take the shot? with the caveat that you can not possibly get back to the site until 5 pm the next day if you can't find him in the rain and the dark - but it's still "legal" to shoot for 28 more minutes....

I won't say what I did - interested in other replies..
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Normous
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by Normous » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:31 pm

With 90 days left in the season I would wait. Tracking in rain conditions may not lead to a positive outcome if the deer manages to cover some ground after the shot.
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Patcon
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by Patcon » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:32 pm

I wouldn't think it's cold enough there that I would want to let it lay on the ground for 24 hours. If it was really cold like I am sure you get, I might if I thought the 4 legged predators wouldn't get it...

So if you shoot the 6pt your season is over? Even for does?
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by georgiaboy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:48 pm

If I can't give a 100% effort into tracking even for circumstances out of my control I don't shoot. The animal may require a finishing shot for humane reasons.
If I can't fulfill my obligations i won't shoot.
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galamb
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by galamb » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:57 pm

Patcon wrote: So if you shoot the 6pt your season is over? Even for does?
Yes, up our way you get a "single" tag for a buck when you buy your licence. You then enter a "lottery" for an "antlerless" tag (doe or fawn). Our does are "protected" and the number of doe tags issued per area are kicked out from some computer model to try and manage the size of the overall herd.

If you get pulled then it's noted on your tag that you can shoot an antlerless deer - but it's still only a single tag. If you take a doe, your season is over. Use your "annotated" tag to take a buck - your season is over.

Only one deer per person per year where I hunt :(

(although if you hunt in a group, as long as you are all hunting the same area at the same time you can fill anyone's tags. But the hunter with the tag has to be "in the area" - no calling them at home to come out and tag a deer)
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by sproulman » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:16 pm

I am set up to track at night ..I have lumenocks on arrows and my Vichelo head lamp in my pack with extra batterys ....

Without that i would not shoot a buck at dusk..Many times i come out at 11pm dragging a buck ..now using deer cart SWEET it is as jackie gleason said...
only thing that is little scary is coyote/bears following me at times i hear their footsteps behind me when i used to drag my bucks now i use deer cart...

yes i take shots at dusk but if its raining no i pass at dusk but not 2 hrs earlier in rain ..

Me i only hunt bucks meat means nothing to me and getting a buck is a lot of meat for me i do not need to fill a freezer i buy t bone steaks on sale at lingles for 4 dollars a pound and freeze the steaks ..

gerald strine
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by gerald strine » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:45 pm

Their are a ton of variables in this question, But for me hunting is about putting food on the table, I only harvest animals to eat and to be honest NON trophy size animals make better table fair so yes pull the trigger , say a prayer of thanks, and you will have wonderful food for the winter !
I feel the only reason for hunting is for meat, Trophy hunting only for trophy sake is getting on the wrong path. you hunt to feed people that is the real reason to hunt .
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by nchunterkw » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:34 pm

My experience is that many times getting a good archery shot opportunity is limited. No guarantee that you will get another chance later in the season. As the season wears on the deer get more wary and skittish making even seeing them tougher and tougher. BUT I do not like shooting one in the rain for the obvious tracking questions. BUT BUT with a well placed shot in the lungs, the deer should not go more than 50-100 yds so tracking shouldn't be too bad. It's also one thing to sit here thinking about all of this, but in the heat of the moment I probably take the shot 95% of the time.
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janesy
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by janesy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:23 am

Tough one, after a day like that, the opportunity would look pretty darn good. If it was not a trophy and a perfect broadside 17yard shot, probably take it .

On the other hand, I rarely make legal cut off. I wear rigid contact lenses and the years I've sat in the woods have taught me that after a certain point my vision start playing tricks on me and I become wary of my capabilities to ENSURE an ethical shot. When that twilight happens I call it a night.

So I think the answer to your question is knowing your limits and what you are willing to do to ensure that deer is recovered safely and promptly
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Joshuaj34
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by Joshuaj34 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:29 am

At that distance I'd probably shoot. I understand that everyone might not feel the same as I do though. Also, from my experience, if you aim just a few inches above the shoulder they drop in their tracks once hit. Now I typically always aim for lungs but in that situation I'd aim slightly high on the shoulder and shoot.

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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by sproulman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:32 am

janesy wrote:Tough one, after a day like that, the opportunity would look pretty darn good. If it was not a trophy and a perfect broadside 17yard shot, probably take it .

On the other hand, I rarely make legal cut off. I wear rigid contact lenses and the years I've sat in the woods have taught me that after a certain point my vision start playing tricks on me and I become wary of my capabilities to ENSURE an ethical shot. When that twilight happens I call it a night.

So I think the answer to your question is knowing your limits and what you are willing to do to ensure that deer is recovered safely and promptly
1 of my nicest Bucks i woke up at 11;20 am CONTACTS dry on my eyes.Hardly could see.rubbed and blinked...looked to left at 25 yards a Buck ..Grabbed the recurve and shot him in heart ...looked to right there was hunters 30 yards away coughing and smoking..lol..

stories i could tell.. :lol:

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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by sproulman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:33 am

Joshuaj34 wrote:At that distance I'd probably shoot. I understand that everyone might not feel the same as I do though. Also, from my experience, if you aim just a few inches above the shoulder they drop in their tracks once hit. Now I typically always aim for lungs but in that situation I'd aim slightly high on the shoulder and shoot.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by sproulman » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:35 am

gerald strine wrote:Their are a ton of variables in this question, But for me hunting is about putting food on the table, I only harvest animals to eat and to be honest NON trophy size animals make better table fair so yes pull the trigger , say a prayer of thanks, and you will have wonderful food for the winter !
I feel the only reason for hunting is for meat, Trophy hunting only for trophy sake is getting on the wrong path. you hunt to feed people that is the real reason to hunt .

:roll:

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drkeenan
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by drkeenan » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:47 am

17 yds broadside. Unobstructed view. I take that shot and watch him go down within view of my stand.
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Re: To Shoot or Not to Shoot???

Post by paulaboutform » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:00 pm

There are two BIG caveats in the question you've posed as I see it. One, it's raining and two, even with a half hour of legal shooting light left, in the terrain you're in it's darker because of the dense cover....and you said you can't make it back to the area until the following afternoon. That's a lot to take in and consider in mere seconds. Considering those caveats I think I'd have to pass. Seventeen yards broadside is a beautiful slam dunk shot that you'd be hard pressed for a critter to go beyond fifty yards. I would normally take that shot at last light but with the having to return the next day, no.
****great scenario you've painted. So what did you do? :wink: ****

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