Andy, thanks for your comments on the article. I appreciate that you are fine tuning your skills and equipment for longer ranges. Once mastered, this may expand opportunities in the field. I concur with your comments about shots going awry even at short distances. Thank goodness there are guys like you, with tracking dogs to assist. No offense, but I hope I never need them. Great buck picture and recovery.
With regard to your comment about hunting from a ladder tree stand; this past year I attempted to expand my field-craft by using a climber tree stand with the PSE TAC 15 crossbow
. It definitely added another dimension and more variables. Being in tree when the wind is blowing and tree is swaying, added to the shot complexity. Also being high in the tree offered very little concealment for me. I felt too much in the open and believe the deer picked up on my movement much easier. Plus the crossbow was bulky and awkward in the stand. I had a more difficult time anchoring myself for the shot. As you can probably tell, I'm definitely a novice using the deer stand. At long ranges, I much more prefer the concealment and security offered from hunting on the ground. My recommendation to you if you decide to use the tree stand, practice from it at long ranges before you decide to take the shot in the field.
I'm attaching a short (preview) video clip of Long Range Crossbow Hunting with the PSE TAC 15
from the 2013 archery season in Maryland; stay tuned for the associated article outlining new tradecraft and lessons learned from the field as well as the complete video (with outcome of the final shot on one of the largest whitetail bucks I've ever encountered during fair-chase in the wild). I'll give you a hint on the ending ... I did not need tracking dogs.