Bow Hunting Failure

G Skinner

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Jul 25, 2013
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No room for failure there !


AH fanatic
Sep 6, 2016
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Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, UAE, California
Seems like we had someone give a hunt report in the last 6 months that hunted with a bow. He had only started with it like 3 months before he left?? A well tuned bow with proper components will reduce the learning curve. Africa is a great place to get a good start to being experienced with a bow. After all, you will have shoots at multiple animals on virtually any Safari that you take. Good luck. Bruce

That would probably have been me. I bought a bow and 5 months later, went on a hunt in South Africa. In 8 days, I took 2 bushbuck (two arrows each - first one a pass through and second a finishing shot), a kudu (pass through shot), a nyala (pass through also), a zebra (pass through and then a finishing arrow), 1 wildebeest (good hit but he ran and was finished with a rifle), 1 giraffe (terrible shot - nicked him like a paper cut, chased for hours, 1 rifle shot, 1 arrow w/27" penetration to chest), 1 eland (3 arrows shot - one good hit, then when he was down, went to finish. Misjudged range, hitting hoof, next hit lung and finished him), 1 impala (pass through) and 1 cape buffalo (1 shot pass through. Was asked to put a second in from a distance to make sure he was dead and he was already dead). I also lost one zebra on what looked like a good placement.

This was the first time I had ever gone hunting anywhere with anything.

Thanks for the reply. My biggest fear as a new hunter is how to deal with the failure. Not retrieving the animal as the worst. And this is causing doubt even before i begin. As there are 6 to 8 months before my hunt(still planning) i might give the bow a miss this year and practice more. As to what the guys had to say im sure they are just partial

Dealing with failure is a personal thing. Some get discouraged. Some focus more and get better. It does suck though. Looking back, I would have rather used 70lbs for a plains game just in case I hit a rib wrong with my arrows. 6-8 months is plenty of time to prepare. I only had 2-3 months to prepare for my trip. I had started archery as a hobby only a few months before the safari opportunity presented itself. Although I have not hunted with a gun of any kind, I remember the stalk of my buffalo and knew I could have shot any animal in two different herds many times over before I got my shot on the dominant bull with my bow. That gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I look forward to my next hunts and am petitioning very hard with the Zimbabwe government to let me use my bow on my next hunt. Hopefully they give me written permission to use it.

Devin Twitty

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Nov 18, 2016
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Archery is setting that takes practice and knowing your limit. I can't tell you how many shots I've passed on for the simple fact I was unsure of the conditions. Things you can do to avoid just wounding a animal are practice, get good sharp heads, have a foc of about 13%, bow tuned, and don't try to pull more weight then you can be comfortable with. Even the slow bows today are a lot faster then bows a few years ago. I've not shot a animal and lost one bow hunting but I have shot and hit a stick and missed or miss judged the yardage.

Rifle hunting is much easier to just pick up a gun and be marginal to kill a animal, I use the same approach to shoot a gun and it shows in accuracy.

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