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Thursday, February 24, 2011

How far can I shoot ?





We often get asked the question regarding "how far can I shoot?" A gentleman said that he had been chasing a big buck in the last year and he could get no closer than 60 yards. No closer ....it was always 60 yards. He asked if our bow could help him. He was currently shooting a crossbow where he had accuracy out to 43 yards but after that, he had no confidence in his bow or the shot. Our answer was --- "get closer and make the 40 yard shot.... 20 or 30 yards would be better". Don't buy our bow thinking you can spend money and take longer shots. The nature of a crossbow makes it a shorter range shooting tool. While accuracy of our crossbow can be much further, a good decent, ethical archery shot is 40 yards or less. (ie. be a hunter, not a sniper). Here is why. It was lunchtime in Africa a few years ago and we were taking shots with our vertical bows at 80 yards. My partner was consistently banging a cola can at 80 yards with his judo point much to the amazement of our PH (Professional Hunter) and I was impressed as well. The conversation quickly turned towards making a stalk that afternoon and duplicating the shot we were making in camp on a blesbok or similar sized antelope. We were all excited and a little stupid. The PH was fueling the fire because he had seen many archers but few that could shoot that well consistently. Like most schemes, this venture was destined to go awry. We made the stalk. The arrow was launched. A perfect shot. A lot can happen during the "time of flight" on a long trajectory and in this case, the animal took a half step. We spent the rest of the day and the next morning recovering the poorly hit animal. Lesson learned. Be a hunter. During that expedition, several animals were taken at 30 yards or less and none of the animals traveled further than 40 yards. Pictured is a nice impala taken with archery equipment done the right way. We looked in the video archives here at Kodabow and found the first shots we ever took with a Kodabow at longer distances. In this situation, the distance was 70 yards and wind was blowing right to left at 6-14 mph. The first 2 shots were orientation to the distance (prototype bow, first shots remember) and the final 4 arrows were launched using the proper hold position. Even with a good 3x optic, shooting at 70 yards is not totally an exact science --- and even with variable wind in the mix, we were able to get a decent group that afternoon at the lengthy 70 yard distance. VIDEO CLIP AVAILABLE ON "KODABOW YOUTUBE". That was with shop arrows - nothing special. We do much better today and try to pick days without the wind blowing hard. Accuracy wise, a Kodabow can be an exceptional performer. It doesn't mean that a long shot is advisable. Restrict your shooting to 10, 20 or 30 yards. Go to 40 yards if you have the confidence and have practiced at that range. We say "be a hunter."




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