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Animals have an extraordinary ability to dodge arrows. This attribute wasn't understood until the behavior of white-tailed deer was captured on videotape and studied carefully. Deer can take flight with uncanny speed at the slightest hint of danger, particularly unnatural sound, including the sound of a bow twanging. This phenomenon is called "jumping the string."

Prior to discovering this behavior, bowhunters assumed that every shot that sailed over the deer's back had simply been aimed too high. What they couldn't see without the benefit of slow-motion replay was that the deer had reacted instinctively to the sound of the bow. The deer collapsed its front legs and dropped its chest to the ground preparing to spring, unconsciously ducking below the arrow.

The problems with jumping the string can be minimized if you will:

  • Limit shots to well within your effective range.
  • Shoot only a quiet, well-tuned bow.
  • Shoot only at unalarmed deer.