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Author Topic: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings  (Read 4290 times)

Offline Rainier10

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2017, 09:35:22 AM »
The written word is tough to interpret sometimes, especially when you have passionate people involved.  Just went back re reading it all and some of the posts have been modified now.

I do think that the OP was looking for a discussion about frontal shots and situational ethics and hopefully he is not taking the comments as he did something wrong.
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The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HuntWa or the site owner.

Offline huntingfool7

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2017, 09:37:22 AM »
Maybe it would be better to kill the bull with a rifle rather than having it suffer with an arrow in it? I would sure feel better if that had been the case. Of course we'd never have heard the story if that had happened. But I hate knowing there's an elk out there suffering like that.
Those are tough calls.  Honestly, I think I would have pulled that trigger.

Offline Wanttohuntmore

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2017, 09:41:31 AM »
I'm glad this was shared and kudos for sharing.   Just remember thousands will read this.    Do you want each hunter you see in the woods taking frontal shots on bulls?  I now pass on these shots due to making the mistake,  hitting exactly where i wanted the arrow to go,  but with failure.   I do find dead,  spoiled elk each 2-3 years with marginal shots on them,  usually bone stopped a quick kill.   But broadside shots almost always kill them quick.  I've seen totally bad shots drop elk.   Not that i would suggest publicly to take them.   There are many factors that can determine a good shot,  but publicly we need to be stewards for the high percentage kill shots.

Offline elkinrutdrivemenuts

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2017, 09:50:23 AM »
It sounds to me like he or his partners were struggling with whether or not to shoot it with a gun.

It is interesting to me when ethics start to override what the rules are.

It is interesting how the written word is interpreted differently.  I assumed his buddy was joking with him when I read it.  It is also interesting how sometimes the ethical thing to do may be to break the rules on occasion.  Of course this only applies to ethical people, who are trying to do the right thing. 

Offline Jonathan_S

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2017, 09:52:24 AM »
40 yard quartering away is a dream shot for many and 20 yard frontal is just as lethal as a broadside, just a smaller target. Anybody with archery skills to make a 40-50 yard broadside shot, can make a top pin frontal shot if they’re poised for the shot and know where to stick it. I’d never fault a guy for either of those shots.

Lots of elk hit in the leg bone or guts from broadside shots too. It sucks to lose an animal.
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Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #50 on: December 19, 2017, 09:58:26 AM »
I appreciate every single comment, thank you all.  I am pretty pragmatic about the realities of hunting and the lives of wild animals.  I have counseled/consoled quite a few distraught hunters over the years that wild animals live short lives and die violent deaths, and that doesn't change whether you decide to participate.  I have lost multiple animals over the years, although I'm pretty sure my recovery rate - with all weapons - exceeds the average.  The second bull, much of my regret is that I didn't get to take him home and eat him, I was hoping it would save me the cost of a side of beef and meat that I prefer over beef.  I don't feel any regret whatsoever when I kill an animal cleanly, I do however strongly dislike a slow kill or a wounding loss.  My own personal ethic is if I believe I killed and lost an animal, I'm done.  That is not what the law requires, and I don't expect anyone else to adopt that philosophy, but it works well for me. 

Going in, I was planning to kill any bull I could.  I modified that to a branched bull because I wanted to get a cape for a friend who has a bull to mount.  That is why I passed a chip shot on the 1x2, and also why I was tempted to take him.  I purposely mentioned my self-imposed limitations - broadside, 40 yards or less - because I obviously did not stick with that.  I have successfully stuck to my own self-imposed 40 yard shot limit on game archery hunting for a couple of decades, based on the crazy things I've experienced deer and elk do between release and impact. 

I regret taking the first shot.  I was very invested in that stalk, and a lot of split second decisions I made.  Based on that bull's aggressive behavior to the cows, I could/should have anticipated his coming closer and running the cows back over the hill, based on their behavior.  The entire time I watched him (antlers), he was on the move, never stopping more than a second or two.  As a result of not factoring that in, I hit high.  I hit him in the ass because he continued his turn away when I released.  The quartering away shot is a much narrower window to the vitals, had I held to the broadside shot plan, the odds are greater the hit would have been to the vitals even though he moved; however failing to account for his move closer while obscured by the cows, It would have hit high.  In the heat of the moment I failed to consider all of the factors at my disposal, and was too caught up in taking the shot before an elk winded me and they blew out.

However, my first error was in applying for an archery elk permit solo.  I had the hard work after a kill covered, but with my limitations I should have been applying with at least one other hunter who could more ably pursue a wounded animal.  Having spent my 11 points, that is probably moot for Washington, but when I next burn my Wyoming elk points, it will be with other hunters.  Same if I hunt general elk season in Washington.  I can't ethically be the only legal shooter - again, my ethics, not anyone else's.  Things go other than as planned. 

On the second bull, I've been asked more than once if I could have slipped the arrow between the rib cage and shoulder.  That is a definite possibility on a frontal shot, especially if the elk is angled rather than dead on.  He was dead on.  The shot placement was right on, the arrow penetrated entirely, and there is no way the arrow didn't encounter and cut major blood vessels and lung on its path.  The cough and fall also make me very confident that is what happened and he was a dead bull.  I don't know why we didn't find him, but in the timbered wet soil, under an open canopy cutover thinning, with chest high grass and extremely dense hawthorn, willows, rose and other shrubs, I know we could have been within several feet and not seen him.  If I had gone back the next day and the next, I'm pretty sure the scavengers would have shown us where he was.  In an ideal world I would have passed the shot and waited for that broadside, to better ensure a blood trail to follow.  For some hunters, there is a satisfaction in finding the dead animal long after any meat recovery is possible.  I have done that in the past once, and found the bull on the third day (35 yard broadside shot) - it gave me something to do while my partner continued to hunt elk, but it didn't bring me any additional satisfaction.  I have all the mounts, skulls and antlers I'll ever want or need, locating the kill after the possibility of meat recovery is gone doesn't do anything for me.  Once I'm confident I killed an animal, I'm done with that tag, whether it gets notched or not.         
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline huntingfool7

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #51 on: December 19, 2017, 10:08:05 AM »
Thank you for sharing.

Offline Wanttohuntmore

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2017, 10:09:46 AM »
 Thanks for sharing Double lung.  Now someone post a picture of the ideal shot placement on a frontal bull.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #53 on: December 19, 2017, 10:14:32 AM »
Thanks for sharing Double lung.  Now someone post a picture of the ideal shot placement on a frontal bull.

http://www.elk101.com/features/shot-placement-feature/
:fire.:

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Offline Okanagan

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #54 on: December 19, 2017, 10:16:58 AM »
Gutsy post to make with such honesty.  You did some very good hunting and had some very bad luck.  The best hunters I know may kid around at times, and they do not tell some of their stories to many folks,  but when talking seriously with another good hunter, they never fudge the truth.  We don't learn anything unless we are ruthlessly honest about what happened, what we did, what the animal did etc.

With calm unlimited time, a comfortable chair and hindsight, it is easy to tell someone our opinion of what he did wrong or that he might have done differently in the moment of action. We can learn as we dissect what happened and prep for a similar situation in the future without dissing the man that was there.  He acted in the moment of having a shot, the situation every elk hunter is seeking and a majority rarely achieve. 

Thanks for posting.

Re the hind quarter shot:  my FIL shot an arrow from a recurve bow at a bear facing him at 18-20 yards.  The bear whirled at the release and the arrow hit him in the hindquarter angling forward, in this case a quickly lethal arrow placement. I.e. An animal can move significantly during arrow flight, even from a quick compound bow.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #55 on: December 19, 2017, 10:17:49 AM »
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2017, 10:20:12 AM »
Good stuff doublelung.  You let me know when you are ready for wyoming.  I'll run down your cripples like a cheetah :chuckle: :tup:
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Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2017, 10:36:04 AM »
my issue i have with this is he said in the second paragraph that we would limit his shots to "broadside at 40 yards" yet he goes on to say he arrowed 2 bulls and neither of them fit this criteria.  yes i can understand that shooting at a quartering away bull because of the likelehood of a kill but at 40 yards aiming for the off shoulder you would be shooting over 2 feet left to hit him in the ass where he said he did.  Then he goes on to say that the second bull he aimed for the "bulge in the neck where the trachea is"...where is that in comparison to a broadside bull's heart/lung area ?   
It is a shot to the heart/lung area through the opening where the esophagus and trachea enter the body cavity.  It is a 6-8" target at 90 degrees to the broadside heart/lung shot.  Disadvantages are the smaller target and reduced blood trail unless the jugular or carotid are severed, which are located on the edges of that opening which result in massive bleeding and very fast death.  I hit the center of that opening, behind the trachea within the body the trachea branches into the bronchi and then lungs.  It is also a path through concentrated major blood vessels from the top of the heart to the major blood vessels above the heart: aortas and pulmonary arteries.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 10:44:11 AM by DOUBLELUNG »
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Online pianoman9701

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2017, 10:43:25 AM »
I found the story interesting, horrifying, and riveting, DL. With one elk under me, I have no right or enough experience to Monday morning QB you. But I will absolutely benefit from your telling of the experience. Thanks.  :tup:

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Offline tlbradford

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Re: Frontal shot on elk, situation ethics and other musings
« Reply #59 on: December 19, 2017, 10:55:49 AM »
Gutsy post to make with such honesty.  You did some very good hunting and had some very bad luck.  The best hunters I know may kid around at times, and they do not tell some of their stories to many folks,  but when talking seriously with another good hunter, they never fudge the truth.  We don't learn anything unless we are ruthlessly honest about what happened, what we did, what the animal did etc.

With calm unlimited time, a comfortable chair and hindsight, it is easy to tell someone our opinion of what he did wrong or that he might have done differently in the moment of action. We can learn as we dissect what happened and prep for a similar situation in the future without dissing the man that was there.  He acted in the moment of having a shot, the situation every elk hunter is seeking and a majority rarely achieve. 

Thanks for posting.

Re the hind quarter shot:  my FIL shot an arrow from a recurve bow at a bear facing him at 18-20 yards.  The bear whirled at the release and the arrow hit him in the hindquarter angling forward, in this case a quickly lethal arrow placement. I.e. An animal can move significantly during arrow flight, even from a quick compound bow.

Thanks Okanagan for expressing exactly what I was thinking. 

Thank you Double Lung for sharing your experience so others can learn.
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