Yes, whitetails jump or duck the string. It’s a fact.
QUESTION: Last year, I had a good shot opportunity at a deer with my bow, but I missed. I practice a lot and was sure my aim was dead on. When I mentioned it to a buddy, he said maybe the deer jumped the string. It was about 35 yards away and not moving. Is this possible?
ANSWER: Many bowhunters have experienced the phenomenon known as jumping the string. In fact, it’s more often a case of ducking the arrow as the deer crouches momentarily as it prepares to bound.
Bear in mind that the speed of sound is roughly 1,125 feet per second, so the sound of your shot reaches a deer more than three times faster than an arrow fired from even the fastest bows.
How a deer reacts to that sound often depends on its disposition. If it’s relaxed, it may take longer to react, improving the odds your arrow will impact closer to your point of aim.
If it’s tense, it could move quickly enough to avoid a hit, or significantly change the location of impact. That’s why it’s better to wait for a shot opportunity when a deer is relaxed and not aware of your presence. The relatively slow speed of an arrow is also why it’s not a good idea to shoot at a moving deer. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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