• You touch on vaguely…but feel it should be almost a catagory….”skill level” what is each person’s skill level & allowances for that in descision making moments w/other variables in play and mind(the elements in practice simulations might be very different to those in the real setting/field) …another might be the company you are in -that as another possible obstruction/”distraction”+how well is one at handling & determining distractions w/proper consideration in what should be a deeply focused moment(s) w/flexibility of that in mind. Plus, you are aiming to kill not just shoot and hopefully hit your mark. Other than that I feel you have done an “excellent” job in presenting some valuable facts and helpful reminders to not only “bow” but hunters everywhere…even not hunters but those w/goals who hope to work, train &or develop a skillset(s) toward achieving a perceived target. THX

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks for your feedback, Jaci!

  • Al Quackenbush

    All great tips, Mark. The key thing to remember with ALL of these is that you will normally get about 10 seconds -> a minute to run through all of these in your head. Most of the time I figure by the time you draw, you have about 10 seconds or less to make the call on whether you will shoot or not. It flies by!

    That being said, you usually have more time than you think to take an ethical shot. Run through your mental checklist, breathe, and don’t rush the shot just to get it in there. Patience pays off for you and for the animal.

    • SoleAdventure

      You’re right, Al. There’s usually more time than you think. I was just practicing some timed drills yesterday, and I’m much more deadly be taking just an extra couple of seconds to “settle” once I reach full-draw.

  • Tom Sorenson

    This is an outstanding list. I don’t feel very qualified to add to the discussion because of my own penchant for taking ill advised shots on occasion. That said, light can be a factor, too. Dusk and dawn in the dark timber will probably limit your shots to a different selection than midday in the open sage.

    • SoleAdventure

      “Light” is a great addition to the list, Tom! Thanks!

  • Sean Fullerton

    Great article and the only thing I would add is position of the animal. My kids and I drill it over and over ever time we go to the stand with respect to what is a good shot. Should we shoot if the front leg is back or forward, quartering away or towards and is the animal alert of casually feeding. We are very specific about the “right” kind of shot in the right kind of situation. Unfortunately the animal does not follow a script and when the right shot is not there, we pass. No exception. We would rather not take the shot than risk maiming the animal regardless of the size of the rack or last day of the season. Doing the “right” thing for our own rules is most important to our family.

    • SoleAdventure

      You’re right, Sean, position is key. I touched on that briefly in “angles”, but you bring up some other nuances that are spot-on. Taking the “right” shot and doing the right thing is what it’s all about. I’m glad to hear your raising the next generation of hunters up with that mindset!

  • Mike Dwyer


    The point about angles is important. As I noted in my post (thanks again!) weird angles completely threw me off my game that morning. They are so important with bow hunting. The laws of physics play a much bigger role with a bow than with a gun. I think Positioning is also a corollary to this. As a right-handed shooter there is nothing harder than a shot where the animal is moving to the right. This is when I think it is really important to have a stand that is roomy and stable enough to support some movement if you need to adjust.