Video: What’s Best for Bowhunters? Deer Head Up or Down?

To minimize the chance of a poor hit, bowhunters can learn from this informative video that details a deer’s reaction to the sound of a shot.

Video: What’s Best for Bowhunters? Deer Head Up or Down?

Wildlife biologist Dr. Grant Woods is host of the popular hunting series called “Growing Deer TV.” I’ve known Grant for more than a decade, and while I don’t see or speak to him as often as I’d like (he lives in Missouri and I’m in Minnesota), we stay in touch via social media and email. I also tune into his Growing Deer TV online series because when it comes to managing for whitetails and techniques for pursuing deer, few people on the planet are as knowledgeable as my friend.

An episode of Growing Deer TV recently caught my attention, and the subject was whether it’s best to release an arrow when a deer’s head is up or down. In the past, conventional wisdom said it’s best to shoot when a deer is most relaxed, for example, when a deer’s head is down as it feeds. However, as Grant explains in the video at the bottom of the page, he is now convinced it’s better to release an arrow when a deer’s head is up.

The video at the end of this article details what’s happening in this screen-shot. Both deer are the same distance from the shooter, and when the string is released, the deer on the left has its head up while the other has its head down. The difference in total drop between the two deer is significant.
The video at the end of this article details what’s happening in this screen-shot. Both deer are the same distance from the shooter, and when the string is released, the deer on the left has its head up while the other has its head down. The difference in total drop between the two deer is significant.

In addition to learning a lot about deer jumping the string in this video, you’ll hear Grant talk about limiting your bow shooting range on whitetails (alert or relaxed) to 30 yards. I agree 100 percent. I don’t care if you can stack arrows at 40, 50, 60 yards and beyond; in my opinion, it’s a bad idea to shoot at whitetails beyond 30 yards with a bow (crossbow included). The reason? Deer can move too much while your arrow is in flight, resulting in a marginal hit.

We owe it to the deer we pursue to pass shots beyond 30 yards — regardless of body size or antler size, or how long we’ve pursued a particular hit-list buck. Bowhunting is a close-range affair, and no matter how fast your bow, how accurate your arrow/broadhead combo, and how highly developed your shooting skill, a whitetail can still react to the shot and move too much before arrow impact. Hoping a deer stands still isn’t a good plan; it’s a recipe for disaster. If you don’t have a broadside or slightly quartering-away shot at a deer inside 30 yards, then the animal wins that round. 

I recommend you share this article and Dr. Grant Woods’ video with members of your hunting group as a discussion starter. If you disagree with Dr. Woods and me, I’d like to hear why you think 30-plus-yard shots on whitetails are worth the risk. You can reach me via email at editor@grandviewoutdoors.com.

The 16-minute video below recently surpassed 50,000 views on YouTube. It’s worth your time.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.