Max range would you say is far enough?

Crossbow Hunting

Moderators: Bill T, Excalibur Marketing Dude

Post Reply
User avatar
Boo
Posts: 12144
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:04 pm
Location: Newtonville, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by Boo » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:48 pm

dithian wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:14 pm
Boo wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:38 pm
A deer wandering in on it's own, head down and pointed away, calm slow smooth movements would be my green light
I'm curious about the head down business. I used to always wait for head down and grazing because I assumed it meant a relaxed animal, but then someone shared the video I shared above, after I posted about two deer with exit wounds HIGHER than the entrance wounds——I was shooting from a stand. Seems deer can use their heads as leverage for faster-than-gravity reactions when their heads are down? Both of the above mentioned deer were between 20 and 30 yards, so I'm inclined to believe it. But I'm also hunting axis deer, which are jittery, supersonic and psychic. I'm just raising the question, certainly not questioning your experience or advice.
I don't know that a deer with it's head down is relaxed every time. It maybe looking or smelling a coyote scent or another deer. I'd be more inclined to think that a deer eating something off the ground is preoccupied.
The best person I can think of to help here is SEW.
If there are no dogs in heaven then I want to go where they went. Will Rogers
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Truth is not what you want it to be, it is what it is and you must bend to its power or live a lie. Miyamoto Musashi
Boocustomstrings.com

User avatar
janesy
Posts: 2496
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: Beavertown. Ont

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by janesy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:13 pm

Boo wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:48 pm
dithian wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:14 pm
Boo wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:38 pm
A deer wandering in on it's own, head down and pointed away, calm slow smooth movements would be my green light
I'm curious about the head down business. I used to always wait for head down and grazing because I assumed it meant a relaxed animal, but then someone shared the video I shared above, after I posted about two deer with exit wounds HIGHER than the entrance wounds——I was shooting from a stand. Seems deer can use their heads as leverage for faster-than-gravity reactions when their heads are down? Both of the above mentioned deer were between 20 and 30 yards, so I'm inclined to believe it. But I'm also hunting axis deer, which are jittery, supersonic and psychic. I'm just raising the question, certainly not questioning your experience or advice.
I don't know that a deer with it's head down is relaxed every time. It maybe looking or smelling a coyote scent or another deer. I'd be more inclined to think that a deer eating something off the ground is preoccupied.
The best person I can think of to help here is SEW.
I'm no expert by far. But I had a doe with two fawns stick her head down by a bunch of carrots and stare at me while the kids played. She was pretending to eat so She could catch me moving.
I just waited her out as she is off limits for me, I have watched her from the tree many times. Unfortunately, she's not shown up yet this year.But head down doesn't mean grazing unless the teeth are working too, in my experience.
Micro-Hybrid-bulldog "PitBull370"
MOBU Micro BD345 "Greener"
Xtra Micro BD310 "Small-Fry"
Micro Axe MOBU.

Every little sound in the bush sounds like footsteps... Until you hear footsteps!

SEW
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:55 am
Location: NE Arkansas

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by SEW » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:03 pm

I’ve been reluctant to respond to this or any other thread concerning maximum “ethical” range. There are so many convictions out there that are formed from incorrect suppositions such as not enough energy remaining at such and such range, or the deer could die from old age and be lying on the ground before the arrow gets there, or the deer has so much more time to react to the sound of the crossbow/arrow going off - with the incorrect supposition that it will react the same at 60 yards as it would at 20 yards (WRONG!) - actually the noise helps as it tends to freeze the deer in place while the arrow passes through, and for other reasons.

Being an insatiable accuracy and long range shooter has caused me to run headlong into controversy in the crossbow community. Background: Chem/Math degree, have been thru multiple benchrest schools and days spent one on one with Tony Boyer, taught ballistics/bomb dropping/strafing in the USAF, Top Gun Graduate/Top Gun, worked with Toby Bridges on the loads for the 10 ML/ML-2, had the first 40 cal smokeless MLer, and have averaged 1,000s of shots yearly thru my crossbows primarily at 50-100 yards. Tested arrows for Tapp Nation, others. I only mention this in order to validate that I am a serious , long range crossbow shooter. Additionally, I’m an instructor in the NASP program and still hunt with traditional recurve vertical bows. I’m familiar with both sides of the street.

IMO, a very relaxed deer or even alert deer at 60-70 + yards will freeze in place at the sound of a shot. A relaxed deer will often show no reaction. Using normally a 2x8 Zeiss Duralyt/Optimizer on my BD400 and SWAT , or another Zeiss such as the parallex adj 4.5x14/Optimizer on my Aculeus 460, the higher power setting can give more information about the deer’s state-of-the-art-mind. Scope quality needs to be pretty good for longer range shooting.
I hunt agricultural areas and private land with long shooting ranges. This is different than most people’s situations.

Crossbows are like rifles: a 44 Mag carbine doesn’t have the capability of a 270 Winchester, neither does a Micro 335 Gen 2 have the capability of a Nemesis 480. This is neither good nor bad, just different. Each crossbow has its own limiting factors, strengths and weaknesses. So, the crossbow with the best matched arrows and optics are needed to reach the maximum practical range with that crossbow. The weak link usually is the hunter. It is for me. I bench shoot/test my crossbows to see their limits then work on my own skills to work towards optimally utilizing the crossbow/components.

As most of us know, in general, as limbs shorten the longer range accuracy suffers at 60-70 yards, the Micros will not match the Matrix series in accuracy. Stretch that out to 100 yards and the difference is dramatic. Same with arrow lengths but to a lesser degree.

I think with good optics, maybe 18” arrows with adequate foc, and the Micro would be good to 60, maybe 70 yards. The BD400, M380/405s are all capable of <1 1/2” 3-shot groups at 100 yards, repeatedly/consistently.

Groups tend to mysteriously open up when practicing off a tree stand rest, in the woods at a deer target place at random distances. But not greatly, especially if using good technics , a scope level, etc.
Energy loss is approximate 25% from 0-100 yards. IOWs , not a factor.

So, a long range crossbow could be useable to 100 yards (range measurement is critical) and a short range crossbow 60 might be the limit.
My personal goal is 40-70 yards. That is the range that I consider a chip shot.

This is my only hobby. My wife (of 51 years) says I’m ADHD so moderation isn’t a fault with me. I put my all into this hobby. If a person is willing, will get the right training and practice, quality equipment, use good judgement, there are “ethical” ranges beyond 30 yards.

FWIW, I’ve lost a total of 5 deer in 62 years of deer hunting,

SEW
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:55 am
Location: NE Arkansas

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by SEW » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:04 pm

This is a test and comments from a couple of years back with one of my M405s.

20" ST 418.6g M405
1yd 369'/sec . 127ft-lbs.
20yd 360'/sec 120.
40yd 354'/sec 117.
60yd 337'/sec 106.
80yd 325'/sec 98.
100yd 311'/sec 90.
So from 20 yards to 100 yards only 58'/sec (16%) was lost while only 30ft-lbs (25% )of the energy was lost. More energy was lost due to the speed squared factor of the formula E= 1/2 MV(2). Any energy above the minimum required (34'-pds) or desired (40'-lbs) for deer (20 more for bear), for moose, elk 55’lbs and more is just gravy. These energy levels are for "average" fixed blade broadheads. Its been stated, correctly so in my opinion that once adequate energy has been reached, trying to get more energy by sacrificing speed is not desirable. I agree totally. With this in mind, the energy loss of 25% from 20-100 yards is irrelevant since still over twice the energy needed still remains.
So, what can we derive from this? First off, my heavily noise/vibration attenuated M405 has been slowed to where it is just upper mid level, performance wise. These shots were all made with a 5-8 mph l-r xwind. The accuracy of the M405/20", 92g insert, 125 Griz Trick, helical Blazers, flat plastic nocks is incredible. Since the M405 is actually sighted in with Lumenoks , I aimed off slightly to help preserve my chronograph . Still, in spite of the wind and the 20g difference in nock weight, I felt comfortable testing out this far. No target practice has been done with this Xbow since mid-September. Its only shots were deer kills. It's still on.
Back to the results. Contrary to what many have stated, energy loss seems to be a non-factor even out to 100 yards. Trajectory, range estimation error, and time of flight remain the critical and limiting factors. O.88 sec to 100 yds, 0.51 sec to 60 yds.

Why all this? Because of repeated comments on various forums concerning loss of energy at what many consider "extended" ranges (40-60 yards). I've been repeatedly chastised for shooting at these ranges because "not enough energy" remains for an ethical kill. False!! However, some broadheads can require a tremendous amount of energy to get a passthru (FOCs). After all my promotion of FOCs for higher powered xbows, I've now discontinued their usage in favor of (currently -verdict not in) Grizz Tricks. I want passthru's . I killed a 100#+ doe p(though the picture doesn't look like it's that large) last Fri with a GT(2nd deer of year with this BH). Massive blood trails.
Last edited by SEW on Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Boo
Posts: 12144
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:04 pm
Location: Newtonville, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by Boo » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:09 pm

Thank you Steve. I want everyone to know that I asked Steve to contribute. He was hesitant because of idiotic comments that he has met up with in the past. So if anyone has anything bad to say, keep it to yourself or stick to PMs. Stupid flaming and poorly spirited criticism prevents some people from contributing. If you want to chew on someone when you don't like what you hear, you'll eventually get only what you want to hear. At that point, there will be no true sharing, contributing or learning. That is not what this forum is about.
If there are no dogs in heaven then I want to go where they went. Will Rogers
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Truth is not what you want it to be, it is what it is and you must bend to its power or live a lie. Miyamoto Musashi
Boocustomstrings.com

User avatar
Bcxbow
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:44 am
Location: North Georgia

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by Bcxbow » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:16 pm

Thanks Don and Steve :thumbup:
Billy

BD400
M380 Blackout Cerakote Riser & Rail (Midnight)
Trinity Strings (nchunterkw)
Boo Strings

User avatar
janesy
Posts: 2496
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: Beavertown. Ont

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by janesy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:19 pm

Thanks Steve. With the background and testing you've put into your crossbows I shake my head why people would question or flame you. It's a shame. However I could see how someone could cherry pick your info and assume they too are capable of a 70 yard shot on a Deer.
The Ethics issue is relative to the shooter as you've mentioned.

Keep up the good work, many of us do like to read your findings when you post them :thumbup:
Micro-Hybrid-bulldog "PitBull370"
MOBU Micro BD345 "Greener"
Xtra Micro BD310 "Small-Fry"
Micro Axe MOBU.

Every little sound in the bush sounds like footsteps... Until you hear footsteps!

User avatar
Boo
Posts: 12144
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:04 pm
Location: Newtonville, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by Boo » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:43 pm

We were shotgun hunting deer one year and in the meeting prior to getting out there was a vote to take any and all animals. From does, to fawns to bucks. Well I wasn't amused by this vote and I wasn't really wanting to shoot a fawn let along a doe with a fawn in tow. A while later, sitting in my box stand I see a doe with 2 fawns. Well the conscience fight was on and I really didn't want to whack one, but the group decided and so on target my 12 gauge slug gun went. I really didn't want to hurt them but I pulled the trigger. Three shots over the doe's shoulder, reload and shot 2 more shots and the doe finally started to wander off. It was a while ago but I remember it being 70 to 100 yds away. It must have been pretty noisy but it really wasn't aware of the slugs that must have went a few inches over it's back. They came out tail twitching a bit but not looking around, just walking and nibbling, nice and calm. If I had a crossbow capable of the shot, what do you think would have happened when an arrow came sailing at it with much less fanfare that the slug gun has?
I am not encouraging anyone to shoot further that 40 yards. I am merely relaying a story that is relevant to "how far is far enough?"
If there are no dogs in heaven then I want to go where they went. Will Rogers
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Truth is not what you want it to be, it is what it is and you must bend to its power or live a lie. Miyamoto Musashi
Boocustomstrings.com

User avatar
dithian
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:35 pm
Location: Hawaii

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by dithian » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:46 pm

Amazing info, Steve! Thank you for sharing. And thanks, Don, for drawing him into the conversation. :clap:

Brandon

vixenmaster
Posts: 13552
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:51 pm
Location: Land of Rocks, Ozarks Mo.

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by vixenmaster » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:33 pm

dithian wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:17 pm
vixenmaster wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:54 pm
As to wether a Micro is fast enuff to cleanly take a tick toter out to 50 yds. That is how good n skilled you are? Here is a clean 47 yd shot usin said 335 Micro, yeah buddy was jus few seconds it was all over but the field dressin.
https://postimg.cc/9zQQcyyv]Image
Nice shot! What's your secret sauce for long distance kill shots, aside, of course, from competent marksmanship?
Practice n lots of it, if you observe those tick toters they give sign as to their alertness or not. Tick toters seem to become ungluded wid close in shot/arrow noise 30 n under. Where as once 35 yds n beyond they are more apt to jus look in the noise direction than flee
Limb Breakin Half Bubble Off BD360
Marie Laveau MXB Charge Banshee MXB320
Awshucks Relayer 25
[email protected] 417-505-9315

SEW
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:55 am
Location: NE Arkansas

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by SEW » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:36 pm

I apologize for not answering the question. I believe a deer with its head already down, if it’s tail is down and totally relaxed, is in a relaxed mode. Those matriarch does are so alert! And can be mean, like the dominate hummingbird at a feeder.

Arrow noise - I stand behind a tree, building, whatever and have someone shoot arrows past me. Be facing the crossbow direction. This can make a difference in what you hear. Some of the vented fixed BHs and busy expandibles can be quite noisy. Of course, stiff, low profile vanes are quieter that many others.

Spell Check - it added “the-art” to my statement I made in my first post.

With Excaliburs, we frequently can get string stretch. I use a pen to mark where the string should be on the rail. I’ve found that month to month to year accuracy/consistency is better with my Excalibur than my compounds.

User avatar
ihunt
Posts: 449
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:30 am
Location: Montreal Canada

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by ihunt » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:51 pm

dithian wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:46 pm
Amazing info, Steve! Thank you for sharing. And thanks, Don, for drawing him into the conversation. :clap:

Brandon
X2 Amazing info!
Micro Camo 335
Zombie Slayers

User avatar
janesy
Posts: 2496
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: Beavertown. Ont

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by janesy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 pm

I want to keep this thread going, I regret using the term "ethical" earlier on. I realize it often insights arguments, suggesting ones ethics are better than someone else's . Which is hardly the case.

I think I should have used a term like " self imposed limit" or something like that. We can all assume all day long that a deer is standing there perfectly for us daydreaming away, and we would do this or that. But what about the real world, where you have the 3 seconds to make the call situation?
Micro-Hybrid-bulldog "PitBull370"
MOBU Micro BD345 "Greener"
Xtra Micro BD310 "Small-Fry"
Micro Axe MOBU.

Every little sound in the bush sounds like footsteps... Until you hear footsteps!

User avatar
Ferguson Outfitters
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:14 pm

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by Ferguson Outfitters » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:51 pm

Like I said, I usually take the shot because I couldn’t care less if I miss or wound them. And I don’t even use the term energy with bows, spears, pistol calibers, or muzzle loaders, the term is irrelevant. “Hole” is the only relevant term.

If you can hit at an extended range, take the shot.

I back it up, look how this man died, paragraph 4:

https://www.odmp.org/officer/18480-captain-john-bird

paulaboutform
Posts: 4874
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:32 pm
Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia

Re: Max range would you say is far enough?

Post by paulaboutform » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:33 pm

Firstly, let me say thanks for taking the time and effort to post so much info Steve. Much appreciated. Steve is an absolute wealth of knowledge and I've enjoyed being able to talk to him and pick his very large brain. :wink:
Secondly, I believe the max distance for anyone should be their own personal effective range. This being the distance which you can hit the pie plate 100% of the time without fail. There's your max ethical distance.

Paul

Post Reply