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October 16, 2007

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Rifle vs. Bow

Among the differences between hunting with a rifle and hunting with a bow is how we manage to miss with each. As a general rule, when shooting a game at rest, rifle hunters miss by shooting high while bow hunters miss underneath. I’ll leave the psychological explanation for this phenomenon to you.

John Snow


Slick Rick

Most bow hunters I know, and from personal experiences, we tend to miss high. If the deer doesn’t jump the string, we miss read the distance by over guessing the yardage. I do agree with you that most rifle hunters miss high. I’ve seen where guides tell clients the animal is closer than it actually is so they won’t shoot over the animals back.


I'd bet that it's the difference in WHERE we aim....
A bow hunter wants the tiny spot down behind the deer's shoulder where heart and lungs meet. Already aiming low.

A gun hunter wants to hit bone so all of the bullet's energy is dumped and the animal goes down. Or they are shooting at neck:-(
Mainly its 'cause they tend to look prior to follow through. Or maybe that's just me...

Ralph the Rifleman

I tend to agree with your article John. Rifle hunters seem to under estimate how flat bullets actually fly.(Exception given to big caliber/heavy bullet rounds as a general rule.)
I instinctively shoot my bow,no sights, have all my life, and tend to undershoot deer, but not on practice targets?

matt pfohl

But then you throw in the treestand factor ! Makes bow hunters shoot high . So practice
at elevated stands or get a pendulum site .


This is my first year bow hunting so i have shot high and in front of 2 bucks but i think it all has to do with excitement myself

matt pfohl

could be buck fever.
One thing that helps most is
pick a spot , don't look at the deer as a whole ,just focus on that spot (behind the sholder bottom 1/3 of the chest) and follow through !(hold on the spot till the arrow hits) I know easier said than done !