Average Distance of Big Game Kill Shot


October 31, 2005, 01:53 PM
Opening of Elk was this past weekend for Eastern Washington. I made it up half the day on Saturday and was supremely lucky to get on some game. It is a spike only GMU and my buddy flushed a train wreck right down on me, I came up full broadside with my .338 and leupold and saw an awesome 6x5 tearing through the trees, there was so much rackett that I couldn't tell what was crashing around. Once I see the rack I drop my rifle down to get a wider field of view in time to see 2 spikes following the bull, by the time I get my rifle back up there wasn't a good shot to be had. Needless to say this was all happening within 50yds:D fairly thick woods without underbrush.

The reason for the post is that the highest percentage of my kills for big game have come within 100yds and in this insance I feel the optics were a detriment. I feel if I had my model 94 30-30 I would have taken one of the spikes.

Thanks for the input and I am still dreaming of Elk steaks :( .

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October 31, 2005, 02:05 PM
100 yds give or take for whitetails.
20 yds for squirrels.
30' for sparrows.
5' for rats.

I'll scare coyotes out to 400 yds.

October 31, 2005, 02:37 PM
Since I've only killed one big game animal so far, it was easy to calculate that average. :D

110-120 yards on a calm as could be cow elk as she sauntered down a fence line. She ran a paced off 38 yards before piling up and expireing.

Fired at but missed a spike mulie last year. That was only 30-40 yards.

I've only shot 2 rabbits and both were at ~7-10 yards.

Michael Courtney
October 31, 2005, 03:59 PM
I've killed deer out to 550 yards with a rifle, but my archery kills pull the average down considerably.

It would probably make more sense to ask for an average kill distance for a particular type of projectile launcher.

Archery: 25 yards
Shotgun: 75 Yards
Muzzleloader: 75 Yards
Centerfire Rifle: 200 yards

Michael Courtney

October 31, 2005, 04:47 PM
Texas whitetails 30-200 yards. I have popped one spike at 300, but made a bad shot. Western big game is a different deal. I was told by my elk guide this year that 300 yards is "considered a punt 'round here". He then said I should be preparde to shoot to 400! I missed a 6X6 at 454 yards and ended up killing a 5x5 at 250 the next day. I have killed caribou at 330 and 360, but keep in mind these are large animals. I think it is unethical to shoot at deer-sized game at more than 300 yards.

October 31, 2005, 04:59 PM
the poll doesn't work well for me. i hunt several distinct types of terrain, and each has its own averages...

in the black hills of s.d., my average deer has been dumped at about 35 yards.

on the buttes of the prairie, my average antelope is maybe 275 yards.

on the river breaks of the missouri, my average mule deer is around 300 yards, and average whitetail around 150.

on cropland (beanfields), my average deer is 75 yards.

on prairie, average deer is 150 yards.

to add a little perspective: i usually go after 2 antelope, and 6 deer per year, not including archery. i probably average killing 5 deer and very close to 2 antelope per year.

October 31, 2005, 06:32 PM
Most of my shots are less than 100yds. But then factoring in the antelope kills brings it up to 150yds.

October 31, 2005, 08:31 PM
Archery: 25 yards

Sums it up nicely for me.

October 31, 2005, 09:01 PM
My last three whitetail bucks were taken at ~8, ~12, and ~70 yards. Lifetime average for whitetails in PA and WV is probably 60 yards.


October 31, 2005, 09:07 PM
Less than 50 yards usually and if i was a better golfer could probley hit um with a ball and a sandwedge to do the job

October 31, 2005, 10:47 PM
Arizona = ~150 average

Georgia = ~75 average

At least that's what I've ran into.

1911 guy
November 1, 2005, 01:05 AM
I hunt Ohio and West Virginia most years. Oh., shotgun only, usually about 50 or 60 yds. W.Va. is time for the .308 and I usually go around 100 yds. Give or take a few.

November 1, 2005, 08:17 AM
I've taken a few around 200 yards, but the vast majority of my hunting is in eastern Virginia where you can't even see 70 yards, much less shoot that far.

Charles S
November 1, 2005, 08:48 AM
I averaged 176 yards for the first 5 years I hunted white tails, but my style has significantly changed. I now bow hunt, I spend a lot more time still hunting during rifle season and I tend to spend more time in the bottoms and thick ridges than I used to. I including my archery kills my average for the last 5 years is about 40 yards.

Hunting like this has really brought the excitement back to hunting.


November 2, 2005, 03:45 PM
I think your low range was way too high at 0-75 yards; I thought maybe 0 - 50 would have been a better choice but what the heck only because of personal experience. All the deer I have ever taken have been at less than 50 yards as far as I am aware. My best guestimate is all have been at about 20 - 40 yards, taken with a shotgun, pistol or rifle.

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