Hunters Need to be Mindful of Making a Killing Shot

Posted by admin On June - 28 - 2010

It’s not as though die-hard hunters need reminding, but a refresher course for those who hunt only occasionally apparently needs to happen: Always make SURE you are making a killing shot.

Be it on a deer, a moose, a bear, a coyote, a rabbit or a bird, a responsible hunter is absolutely positive of their ability to hit what they are aiming and as equally positive that what they are aiming at is a killing shot.

Of course there are moments when this doesn’t happen: A deflected shot, a long-distance target and the wind picks up or maybe the animal is spooked right at the wrong moment.

A turkey on Martha’s Vineyard is getting plenty of media attention right now. No, it’s not some miracle bird. Instead, it’s the victim of a bad shot. An arrow is lodged in the hen, which appears to be moving around and not too terribly bothered by the nuisance. A photographer for a local paper in the area noted that it looked as though the arrow had lodged under the skin of the bird along its back, not doing a horrific amount of damage.

That’s fine and dandy for a photographer to say, but we, as hunters, are aware of what this really means. This bird, which has eluded animal control officers, is likely going to get an infection and die painfully and slowly. The shot was bad, simple as that. It’s extremely high on the turkey, overshooting its vitals and coming extremely close to missing. From the angle of the arrow in the bird, a photo of which can be seen here, the bird was almost directly beneath the hunter when the shot was taken.

Either this hunter is up in a stand 40 yards up into the branches of the tree, or they made a bad shot. There is no reason for not being able to make a good, clean shot on an adult turkey from 20 to 25 yards away. Since their stand was likely only 15 feet in the air, there is no excuse for making such a bad shot from those five to six yards away.

From what we can see, and perhaps we’re wrong, the only answer is negligence. This was likely a hunter who fired their bow a couple of times and made sure they remembered the draw strength and could hit a target once or twice and then went out into the woods and made this horrific gaff. Hunting is an activity that requires dedication and practice. Performance must be at the top of list of priorities. A sure hand, a steady shot and a killing blow MUST happen. Anything less is wrong. There are lives on the line here, after all.

We hope that hunters who take the sport seriously take note of this unfortunate reminder that we all have to continually work at our abilities. We have to always be at our best when it is time to make a killing shot.

Press like this only hurts hunters. Media attention about a hurt bird with an arrow through it riles up the activists and the animal rights groups. Soon, they’re protesting outside of our outdoors stores and, unfortunately, near the areas we hunt.

The more hunters and hunting can avoid negative press, the better. That’s exactly why we here at Northeast Hunting ask that each of you take extra time this summer to practice shooting your rifles and shotguns and handguns and bows. Be perfect in what you do and it will show with a humane and efficient kill.

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