Whitetail Video: Heavy 10-Point Buck Jumps the String — and Right Into Arrow’s Path

The saying “it’s better to be lucky than good” could be used to describe the longbow shot sequence on this big buck in Mississippi.

Whitetail Video: Heavy 10-Point Buck Jumps the String — and Right Into Arrow’s Path

In the 5-minute YouTube video below, the host of Munson Creek is pursuing whitetails in a Mississippi swamp. He’s self-filming, which is tough, but he’s increasing the degree of difficulty by a factor of 10 — at least — by shooting a traditional bow instead of a compound.

Before I jump headfirst into my Monday morning quarterbacking about this video, you should know that I’ve hunted with recurves for 45 years. (I also deer hunt each fall with compounds and crossbows.) I don’t practice year-round with compounds and crossbows, but I must with my two recurves or my accuracy will suffer greatly.

The host believes he’s made a decent last-light shot, but as you’ll learn, the heavy 10-pointer isn’t found until 1.5 days later on a neighbor’s property about a mile away. I’ve read through all the comments for this video, and to the host’s credit, he interacts with many of the people who have something to say.

While blood-trailing the following day, the host jumps the buck, which obviously means the arrow didn’t penetrate both lungs. He eventually learns that his arrow impact was too low and too far back, basically a paunch hit (or maybe clipped the bottom corner of the nearby lung). Look closely on the video and you’ll notice the buck is quartering-toward slightly, which contributes to the result.

The buck jumps the string, which isn’t surprising. As the buck approaches and is working a new scrape, it looks up at the host in the treestand a couple of times. I’m surprised, in fact, that the buck offers any shot at all.

As you’ll see, the arrow hits low even though the buck jumps the string. I’ve replayed the video many times, and held the tip of a ballpoint pen on the buck’s bellyline and backline to gauge how much the buck dropped. I can say with 100 percent confidence that if the buck hadn’t jumped the string, the host’s arrow would have missed low by at least 4 inches.

In the YouTube comments, the host says he expected the buck to move (drop down) upon the shot, so he aimed 2 inches above the bellyline, tight behind the near front leg. If his arrow had hit where he claims to have been aiming, then it would have hit high in the lungs — a much better result than a paunch hit. In other words, his arrow didn’t fly to where he was aiming.

My most common miss with my recurve is low, so I’m not surprised the host’s arrow is on a path to hit about 6 inches below his aiming point. In my experience, most traditional bowhunters who shoot instinctively have this same miss at close range because the gap between the bull’s-eye (in this case, the buck’s lungs) and your arrow point at full draw is so large.

As you watch the video, I invite you to mark the buck’s backline or bellyline and then hit “play” and “pause” quickly and repeatedly to see for yourself just how much this buck moves. It’s a good reminder that it’s best to shoot at relaxed animals whenever possible.

Congrats to the host on a tremendous buck. Not all of our arrows impact exactly where we aim — sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.


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