November 04, 2010
My personal hunting notes reveal a startling fact about more than 500 animals I have seen shot with a bow: Those inside 15 or 20 yards were four times more likely to jump the bowstring than those beyond 30 or 35 yards. If you press animals too close, they will go ballistic at the slightest movement or sound.
In stand-hunting situations, I prefer to set up for medium-distance shots well within my accuracy range. There is such a thing as too close with a bow -- a distance from which the tiniest rustle of clothing or the slightest creak of a bow can panic the animal you want so badly.
In foot-hunting situations, you can get too close, too. It is tempting to pass up a 30 or 40-yard attempt with the hope that you can creep 5 or 10 yards closer. But taking the first good shot you get makes a ton of good sense. You might step on a twig, the wind might suddenly shift, or another animal might bolt as you try to shave those few extra yards.
For best results, know your personal sure-kill shooting distance, and resist the greedy temptation to get closer than is really necessary. The effort might backfire in your face!