Disturbing trend...


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H&Hhunter
August 24, 2013, 12:34 PM
I picked up a hunting magazine the other day at the grocery store. I thumbed through it and it seems that the emphasis in the ads are these new long range "hunting" systems. One advertises "Range Point Shoot" and sells pre scoped and doped Weatherby rifles for $3,900 for big game animals out to 1,000 yards or 700 yards (depending on caliber).

Then we have one which touts a system in which all you need to do is drop $7500 and take their big buck$$ long range shooting school and start doing the "white feather" on unsuspecting critters at one kilometer and in.

Another takes the long out of long shots..

Hey, I love to bang steel at long range. I've got a custom M-70 barreled with A PAC NOR in a .270 Weatherby that I've got solid dope on out to 850 yards and on a good day I can absolutely slaughter an 8" steel plate almost every pull of the trigger all the way out to 850 yards. But you add just a bit of gusty wind or heavy mirage and my hit percentage goes out the window.

The problem that I have with all of this long range system stuff isn't that it can not deliver. It can, these are some pretty cool tools. My issues is that unless the man behind the machine is dedicated and willing to put in the trigger time under field conditions in all kinds of wind and weather it doesn't matter how cool your tool is. Just because you have a new and improved hammer it doesn't mean that you are a better carpenter! The most accurate rifle and scope set up money can but does not eliminate the shooter or environmental conditions. As Dirty Harry said, a man has got to know his limitations! The only way to know your limitations is go out and push the envelope on targets in all kinds of weather in all kinds of terrain and find out for yourself. Doing it off a solid rest at the range is a base point but that is all it is, it tells you very little about real world shooting in hunting conditions.

Fortunately the price point of these systems will keep the average and even the above average income hunter from running out and buying one of these systems thinking that they've just become the next Carlos Hathcock of the hunting world. But my guess is that the vast majority of guys who do buy these systems are throwing their money away and are giving themselves a serious case of false confidence. Unfortunately the wounded critters are the ones that are going to pay the price.

A 7 Rem Mag at 1,000 yards starting a 168 gr Berger VLD is producing about 1,100 ftLbs energy at about 1700 FPS remaining velocity(not much of a deer round at that distance and much less of an elk round). Time of Flight is pushing one second. Now add in an animal that decided to take a big step forward just as you touch off the trigger or a bit of wind, up and down drafts due to normal orographic and thermal deviations, by the way you don't get to know velocity and direction over mixed terrain because there are no wind flags in the wild, and you've got a wounded animal. And you've hit him with a minimal round which is not going to exit and you'll have a scant or non existent blood trail, good luck following that one up! There are a whole bunch of variations and deviations from the norm which occur in the wild that don't occur in a controlled environment. When you start shooting past 400 yards you get into a bunch of issues that are non linear and non predictable.

I'm of the school of thought that rifleman/hunter should always take an opportunity to get closer and if able to get more steady. Why wouldn't you given the opportunity? Closing the final distance to solid shooting range is the most exciting part of a hunt. Military snipers are forced to shoot at long range because they are in combat and need to stay concealed or somebody will kill them. Hunting is a whole other deal and we are hunters not snipers.

That's my take on it anyway.

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WYOMan
August 24, 2013, 12:50 PM
Although I don't begrudge others what they chose to do, I agree that there is a difference. Frankly, to me, hunting is me being in their environment, trying to use stealth and skill to get close to them, without being outed by their superior senses. I really feel that "sniping" them from distance, removes alot of the challenge, and tends to put the animal at a disadvantage. I have done my share of long range shooting over the years, whether in competition, or alone just for my own enjoyment. But when I hunt I like to be closer. Not only does it make me feel better about the possibilty of making a better shot, but frankly the feeling of being close, and just being there is a redeeming feeling all it's own.

powell&hyde
August 24, 2013, 12:53 PM
Well said H&Hhunter.

My3Sons1
August 24, 2013, 01:09 PM
I agree 100% with your take on long range hunting. I live in Florida and your odds of taking a shot past 50 Yards are slim. I have always dreamt of taking a trip out west to hunt antelope or mule deer and getting the chance to shoot "out there". The years are going by faster and i'm starting to know my limitations. Great Post

MCgunner
August 24, 2013, 01:19 PM
Amen, H&H. I've noticed this, too, and can't help but wonder if it's the kids and sniper video games pushing it. I'm sure that's what pushes the AR15 craze, or did in the beginning. So many people getting ARs, now, it's gone beyond the kids and it has a lot to do with politics.

Me, I've retroed. I don't hunt out west in the open country anymore, or haven't, ain't sayin' I won't in the future. But, where I'm hunting, I've gone black powder or handgun and here, my new place, I'm going archery and handgun, but will use black powder during the gun season, too. I doubt I'll break out one of my cartridge rifles just hunting the woods here. I'd have TOTALLY no use for one of those Weatherbys. Good thing since I ain't gonna dump that kind of cash on a Hathcock wannabe rifle/scope. :rolleyes: For me, it's about the software, not the hardware. I mean, I take some pride in my marksmanship, but HUNTING is about HUNTING. Bow, or rifle, or handgun is just the tool. Different strokes for different folks, though, I suppose.

Patocazador
August 24, 2013, 01:32 PM
I have talked to people who told me that they "almost got the big one today." They go on to say something like: "he was out there at about 600 yds. and when I saw he wasn't going to come my way, I slung one at 'im but saw the dirt kick up way short."

Obviously these guys have never shot a target that far much less an animal. I usually just shake my head and walk away.

Everyone now wants to be an instant Afghan sniper ... in their minds.

X-Rap
August 24, 2013, 02:17 PM
I think limitations is really the key word. A bad shot can be made by someone with a Stevens combo package and a 200yd chip shot if they are incompetent. The same flight time of that 1000yd shot equals what distance with a bow, muzzle loader or large bore handgun? The relatively new sport of distance hunting is really no different than the others since shooters have been pushing the distance envelopes with their chosen weapon for years. I hear often and also see on the TV shows hunters of the various disiplines taking shots that are marginal for their respective capabilities.
There are probably few archers that have any business taking a shot at game over 30-40 yds and ML or handgunners over 100 or less but it happens all the time not to mention shotgunners with shot or slug.
In the end, given good equipment and commited effort to master the task I don't see it as worse than what any other who has mastered their chosen weapon/tool. Bad shooting and ethics is bad no matter the distance. There is nothing wrong with speaking up about the need to be proficient but that should also go with all hunting.
As to what to do with the bad ones? It's much like the debate on training to have a gun permit or requiring background checks. I sure don't want some agency telling me at what distance I can shoot or having some test that qualifies me to carry a gun or other devise with certain capabilities, we have to much of that already.

snakeman
August 24, 2013, 02:52 PM
I consider my best shot on a game animal the closest shot I have ever taken. 12 yards 8 point buck 22-250.

oneounceload
August 24, 2013, 08:02 PM
Well said - it is called HUNTING, not SHOOTING

When I lived out West where shots taken are typically at longer ranges than here in the East, it always amazed me to see folks coming to the range the day before opening day, firing three shots at 100 yards, and calling it good while you are hearing them talk about 3-400 yard shots.............made me cringe

Robert
August 24, 2013, 08:28 PM
Hey I hit a rock at 535y, does that count?

I agree, while my rifle and caliber may be more than able to take an Elk at 500y, I am not. Well I am, but not on a game animal.

bainter1212
August 24, 2013, 09:17 PM
I have to completely agree with the OP. While I can be confident out to 400 yds from a bench under known, measured conditions, I do NOT attempt that far of a shot on live game.

My limit is 200 yds and closer if at all possible. That is a personally imposed limit that has nothing to do with my gear and everything to do with my abilities and the limits I am comfortable with setting.

Mall ninjas can talk all day about long distance shooting, but to me, a real kill shot on a deer sized animal requires a certain level of certainty.

Art Eatman
August 24, 2013, 09:25 PM
It might be that with all the talk about sniping in the sandbox in various websites and magazines, and with more people reading about long-range match competition, there's a "slop-over" into the world of hunting for game animals.

oneounceload
August 24, 2013, 10:35 PM
Except they aren't qualified and their targets are not mere paper but living creatures that deserve our respect

H&Hhunter
August 24, 2013, 10:35 PM
Hey I hit a rock at 535y, does that count?

I haven't told you this because I didn't want o hurt your feelings. But......

You hit the wrong rock.:D;)

Texan Scott
August 25, 2013, 01:06 AM
Ah, the Texas Hill Country ... where 1,000 yards is on the other side of the ridge somewhere...

Andrew Leigh
August 25, 2013, 03:21 AM
Spot on H&H,

this side of the pond we have the same but our boys want to shoot a grain of rice at the speed of light and they want headshots on Springbok at 300m plus, many quoting 500m (550yds).

I call it a pi$$ing competition.

Apart from all the other ethical standards most of us employ. The primary responsibility of a hunter is too ethically kill an animal, in the quickest time frame possible and with the greatest probability of success. Headshots at 550yds and Deer at 1000yds do not, in my opinion, meet the above criteria.

Records are terrible things, they lead people to cheat. In business and sport is has become overly apparent. Hunting is no different.

Most commercial farms here, as you well know have penalties. A missed shot will cost you US10 / 20, if you wound the animal and it is not recovered you will pay the full price for it. Impala US110, Wildebeest bull US350 (oh you will have noted these are South African prices and not prices for the unfortunate tourist hunter).

Much of your game is on open goverment land? And I suppose it would be difficult to police, here we mostly go with a guide who "police's" the hunt.

Fremmer
August 25, 2013, 11:52 AM
If you've got the skill, then do what you do. Some hunters are in terrain that requires long distance shooting. If you practice and are competent, not a concern.

Of course, you have to pack it out, so that 600 yard walk across a deep ravine will be an experience...

H&Hhunter
August 25, 2013, 01:08 PM
Impala US110, Wildebeest bull US350 (oh you will have noted these are South African prices and not prices for the unfortunate tourist hunter).

I have good friends in South Africa and have always been able to hunt at "biltong" prices. I am also a member of the South African Hunters Association. That usually takes all the questions away when I can show my South African address on my membership card, and can speak just enough Africaans to make it legit.:)

Much of your game is on open goverment land?

Yes especially in the Western USA there is much hunting done on huge tracts of public land. There is also a good amount of hunting both guided and non guided on large tracts of private land. But you won't find any penalty fee's for missed shots as you do in South Africa. Usually there is a flat fee for a guided hunt with no trophy fee's however some private places do charge a daily fee and trophy fee's just like the African model.

Non guided hunting on Public land is free of charge except that you need to purchase the proper hunting license many of which may be draw or lottery only for the better areas. However there is much fantastic hunting in the USA available with an over the counter (no draw or lottery) license which you can purchase anytime.

Most states in the USA have some requirement for a hunter safety card which can be obtained after attending a class of between a day and three days. Your South African Hunters Association membership qualifies for most hunter safety requirements in the USA. My hunters safety card and guiding license combined qualified me for my hunting card in South Africa.

Rembrandt
August 25, 2013, 03:03 PM
Reminded of the saying...."you can't legislate morality". The same can be said of ethics, good judgement, and common sense. The same inexperience making a bad long distance rifle shot is present in bow hunting. In my area, the increase of inexperienced bow hunters has magnified the number of wounded & crippled deer.

Hunting magazines survive on advertising from equipment manufacturers. More magazines get sold when there is some new gadget, concept, or item offers buyers an edge in the field. No magazine ever increased circulation by extolling the virtues of ethics, good judgement, or common sense. This is the world in which we live...

oneounceload
August 25, 2013, 04:37 PM
......extolling the virtues of ethics, good judgement, or common sense....

That was what your parents and grandparents did

gbran
August 25, 2013, 05:12 PM
Geez, this is a relief. All this time I felt inadequate because I knew I wasn't good enough to hunt at a 1,000 yds. BTW, I've been hunting successfully over 45 years, but nearly all my kills were short range (<300yds).

TRX
August 25, 2013, 07:07 PM
Where I live, 50 yards is probably more representative of maximum range. Too many freakin' trees to justify a long range shootin' iron.

Art Eatman
August 25, 2013, 09:25 PM
Stick with the topic of Post #1, as best you can. :)

jmr40
August 25, 2013, 09:45 PM
While it is a trend, I don't find it disturbing. Actually a bit refreshing. Too many folks in my neck of the woods take their deer rifles out the evening before opening day, fire 1 shot at a 5 gallon bucket at 25 yards. If they hit it they considered it zeroed.

People are actually getting out and shooting at small targets now at ranges past 100 yards. They are learning how to shoot. Hunters have been taking 500+ yard shots ever since smokeless powder came out. Jack O'Connor, Elmer Keith and many writers wrote often of slinging lead at insane ranges just hopeing one would connect. As good as they were, even they rarely practiced at those ranges. And they certainly didn't have the modern equipment we have today.

If hunters are buying the equipment, spending time at a range shooting they will know what they can, and cannot do. Hunters one or 2 generations ago were attempting the same shots with less practice, no idea of exactly where the bullets would hit and equipment that is very poor by modern standards. Standard procedure years ago was for a spotter to note where bullets were impacting and adjust fire until you got a hit.

rcmodel
August 25, 2013, 10:10 PM
The thing is not whether or not you can hit a game animal in the boiler room at 1,000 yards.

The thing is, there are very few bullets that will expand a lick coasting along at 1,000 yards. Thus, an ice-pick wound that doesn't bleed out much.

A clean human kill with a big blood trail you can track is going to mighty hard to find by the time you hike over there.

Over there Somewhere?
You can't quite identify where when you finally get there..

Officers'Wife
August 25, 2013, 10:22 PM
The man that taught me to hunt loves long range shooting, even out to 1000 yards. But if you take a shot at a deer further than 100 yards you are going to get stern parental glare #5. His theory on the subject is that hunting is solely to bring home table meat. The longer the range the more likely it will be the animal can go to ground and not be located.

I'm out there for dinner not just to kill something.

Texan Scott
August 25, 2013, 11:33 PM
YZ, down here it's just pest control.

Anything over 50 yds is an uncommon long shot for me. Too many trees and bumps here.

BigBore44
August 26, 2013, 01:29 AM
There is a difference between hunting and just killing. IMO hunting is about being in nature and PURSUING game. The harvest is just a bonus. So for me, bow hunting is the only way to go for big game, hogs excluded, sometimes. Even then it's a 45/70 and 44 mag SBH. I am not knocking those who hunt with a rifle. But taking a 5k-10k custom long range rifle, ballistics calculator and windage meter into the woods? That's just not hunting.

Art Eatman
August 26, 2013, 08:45 AM
Seems to me that the issue is the perception that buying a bunch of gear for the long-range shooting is all that's needed for long-range killing--without working up the learning curve of skill needed for clean kills.

To some extent, this was a problem with Texas hunters buying a 7mmRemMag in its early years and heading out to Colorado with the idea of killing elk at 500 or 600 yards. They didn't practice at those sorts of distances. That led to sad stories of, "I hit him, but he got away." (Wasn't just Texans, of course, but that's where I lived and heard the stories. 7Maggies were purchased all around the country.)

MCgunner
August 26, 2013, 02:22 PM
There is a difference between hunting and just killing. IMO hunting is about being in nature and PURSUING game. The harvest is just a bonus. So for me, bow hunting is the only way to go for big game, hogs excluded, sometimes. Even then it's a 45/70 and 44 mag SBH. I am not knocking those who hunt with a rifle. But taking a 5k-10k custom long range rifle, ballistics calculator and windage meter into the woods? That's just not hunting.

My personal limit is 400 yards level shot, no wind to speak of. I prefer 300 or less. Now, you speak of taking stuff "to the woods". Have you ever hunted the trans pecos? Ranges can be extended there. I have a range finder and prefer a rifle out there, personally, even to my .30-30 Contender. One could go 30 years out there and never get into bow range, well, not MY bow range, inside 40 yards. It's quite easy to get 25 yard shots in the woods here. This will be my first year bow hunting, though I've been shooting a bow (or trying) for nearly 50 years. If it weren't for the early bow only season, I'd stick to my .45 Colt, cleaner, more humane kills and less possibility of lost meat.

yzguy87
August 26, 2013, 04:51 PM
It's not only kids playing sniper games. I just watched a show on the pursuit channel where a guy was hunting antelope. His rifle of choice was a sniperish 338 lm savage with a muzzle break and huge scope. The man looked to be in his early 60's.
After that a guy shot a whitetail with a sniperish 300 wm and another big scope. Dude looked to be in his early mid 40's.

I have no problem with people that want to play sniper as long as they're safe and effective.
If they're lacking in either of those departments they have no business being in the field to begin with.

BigBore44
August 28, 2013, 04:54 PM
MC,
I don't mean a rangefinder. I mean a ballistics calculator similiar to a PDA that has been loaded for a specific rifle, caliber, bullet, powder charge, and scope. Take your distance, wind speed, elevation, temp, blah blah blah, and it will tell you how many "clicks" windage and elevation to adjust your scope. Saw some people on TV using this method to shoot a black bear at 1,300 yards. Sorry, that's not hunting. Thats killing an animal to sell a product from a company that sponsers you. Hunting out west, if you want to use a rifle, go for it. I already said I take no issue with it. But if the closest you can get is 800-1,300 yards, you've done something wrong or you aren't willing to make a hike to a better intercept point.

yzguy,
That show was Western Extreme with Jim Burnsworth and I can't think of the name of his cohost. His cohost iirc was a military sniper. Jim, is not.

taliv
August 28, 2013, 05:13 PM
H&H, i totally agree with your OP

i shoot practical/sniper style competitions monthly with pretty much the best shooters in the world. I know some of them like hunting long range, but i've seen all of them miss large targets at distance. a lot.

it gets a lot more complicated than the wind and angles and terrain mentioned so far, because your MV is probably not what you think it is. and you BC is probably not what you think it is (esp if you are using what the mfg published). and the distance to target is likely not what you think it is.

shooting comps, you get to see a wide variety of laser range finders and it's remarkable how often people come up with different ranges.

add in the physical exertion, excitement, buck fever etc and I think it's pretty immature and I have no respect for the people that do that.

(unless you're talking coyotes, pdogs, hogs or other legit pests)

1858
August 28, 2013, 05:39 PM
Excellent post H&Hhunter.

MCgunner
August 28, 2013, 06:18 PM
MC,
I don't mean a rangefinder. I mean a ballistics calculator similiar to a PDA that has been loaded for a specific rifle, caliber, bullet, powder charge, and scope. Take your distance, wind speed, elevation, temp, blah blah blah, and it will tell you how many "clicks" windage and elevation to adjust your scope. Saw some people on TV using this method to shoot a black bear at 1,300 yards. Sorry, that's not hunting. Thats killing an animal to sell a product from a company that sponsers you. Hunting out west, if you want to use a rifle, go for it. I already said I take no issue with it. But if the closest you can get is 800-1,300 yards, you've done something wrong or you aren't willing to make a hike to a better intercept point.

Yes, I agree that sort of thing is over the top and then some. Just too many variables. One problem I perceive when hunting the mountains of New Mexico is that it's much thinner air than down here near the gulf coast. That means your BC will be off, thus your drop tables will be off. Also, as mentioned, velocities in the cold November air up there ain't gonna be what they were when you were shooting over your chrony in the August Texas sun. That's one reason I prefer, when I'm out there, to keep ranges to 300, 400 max in perfect conditions. Those ballistic calculators, well, in computer science there is an old saying that was around when I was taking programming classes in the early 70s, garbage in, garbage out. If you can't rely on your BC or your velocities due to atmospheric and weather conditions, it's garbage out there at 800 to 1000 yards. There's room for some error at 300. We want to make a clean kill, or I do anyway. The way to do that is get close enough that you KNOW you can make the shot. For me, that's under 400 yards and preferably under 300. My rifles are shooting PBR about 275 yards, no hold over necessary to that point.

yzguy,
That show was Western Extreme with Jim Burnsworth and I can't think of the name of his cohost. His cohost iirc was a military sniper. Jim, is not.

I think I've seen that show if it's on the outdoor channel. I no longer get the outdoor channel, but there were some shows I liked on it. This one wasn't one of 'em. They shot a black bear out near 900 yards in one episode. They hit it, but then, who knows what actually happened? Heck, you can do a lot in the cutting room. Promoting this sort of activity is real close to unethical IMHO, but that's just MHO I guess. I consider myself a danged good rifle shot, but there are limits and we all must know ours and I'm kinda a KISS kinda guy when it comes to hunting. No, I don't do ballistics computers except for my own education in the comfort of my living room on the PC, certainly not in the field. I do have my drop tables to 500 yards taped to my scope on my .308. :D

witchhunter
August 28, 2013, 07:47 PM
I'm glad it's not just me. Those long shots are impressive, but they should be required to show the misses and bad hits on TV too. That would sober em up some. Just got back from my Nevada antelope hunt where I passed up several goats over 400 yards. I am a good shot, and I have 600 yard dope on my rifle. I have shot over 300 rounds through it this year alone working up loads, as I had it rebarreled in .257 Weatherby last fall. I just didin't feel confident enough, either the wind or bad rest, or bad angle. Shot my goat at 300 yards. Dropped him.

Fremmer
August 28, 2013, 09:40 PM
The problem isn't the range, it is the lack of shooting skill.

Hunters miss or wound at 100 yards, too, namely because they suck at shooting and don't have sufficient skills at most ranges.

Or if its the long range that you specifically object to, the bow hunters will tell you how much more sporting it is to kill an animal with an arrow at a max range of 35 yards, right? Real hunters don't take 150 yard shots? ????

H&Hhunter
August 29, 2013, 12:09 AM
The problem isn't the range, it is the lack of shooting skill.

Actually it's both.

Officers'Wife
August 29, 2013, 05:50 AM
The problem isn't the range, it is the lack of shooting skill.

Hunters miss or wound at 100 yards, too, namely because they suck at shooting and don't have sufficient skills at most ranges.

Or if its the long range that you specifically object to, the bow hunters will tell you how much more sporting it is to kill an animal with an arrow at a max range of 35 yards, right? Real hunters don't take 150 yard shots? ????
But if you wound at 100 yards you have a far better chance of finding the animal than a wound at 500 yards.

Loyalist Dave
August 29, 2013, 07:58 AM
I find this idea rather dismaying. (iirc) The X-ring on a 1000 yard target is what..., 9"-10" in diameter, and the 10-ring is what..., twice that size? Would not an 18" spread on a target mean that a hunter has a good chance, better than 50/50, of missing the vitals on a deer with a broadside shot with a rifle having such a spread? Yet the people winning the Wimbledon Cup are making scores of 198-9X, 200-11X, 198-10X, 199-6X, and 200-10X from 2007 to 2011. So the very BEST are averaging 50% hits in the X ring...., and the folks doing this hunting at 1000 yards are not on par with the very best 1000 yard marksmen, right?

Oh well, where I am the vast majority of the state is shotgun only, or Muzzleloader. I get my deer at under 100 yards, with a .54 caliber flintlock rifle and open, iron sights.

I know there is huge marksmanship skill hitting a target at 1000 yards, but where is the hunting skill at that range? As previously posted, there is a difference between shooting and hunting.

Sincerely asking..., is there fair chase when one harvests a deer that had zero chance of detecting the shooter?

LD

PonyKiller
August 29, 2013, 09:23 AM
Good read. I find it a bit disheartening, this trend. It's exemplary of the young generation though. Intstant gratification, why put the time and effort to close the distance with knowledge skill and stealth, when you can use some electronics devices punch in some calculations, mount your rifle to a hunting equivalent to a shooting bench, so that you have only to pull the trigger, and let fly. In one outcome marveling at how accurate your rifle and how impressive the technology, if it's merely close marveling at how an old timey hunter would have never even thought of taking the shot. Either way wallowing in self gratification.

Most hunters would be served well with a 200yd gun and less than 4x fixed scope to prevent them from nonsense shots, and learn a little gamesmanship

Ankeny
August 29, 2013, 09:41 AM
That's my take on it anyway. Mine too. I shoot a lot at long range. Countless p-dogs (in the hundreds) at 500 yards and change. Dozens upon dozens at 600-800, and the numbers decrease exponentially as the distance increases.

I am guilty as charged of shooting game (antelope) at distances out to 900 yards just to see if I could make the shot. All of those animals were killed cleanly, and all were recovered. But those were all shot with as near a zero wind value as possible. I quit playing that game several years ago because it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong.

However, I have shot several elk around 400-500 yards in wide open country because I just couldn't close the distance. In every case the environmental variables were conducive to a quick humane kill. This season I am drawing the line at 500 yards and that is assuming a rock solid rest, no wind, and an animal that is not moving around.

Edited to add, I am an old timey hunter (well kind of at 58 years old). Before folks who haven't walked a mile in my mocassins get too preachy, you need to realize where I hunt elk the terrain is wide open for miles upon miles. On more than one occasion, I have spent hours walking, crawling, and waiting, to close the distance to 400 yards on a herd of elk (numbering from a dozen to hundreds of animals) that are bedded down for the day. As far as shooting skills, there are some of us that think of a 400 yard shot on a jack rabbit as a "chip shot" under the right conditions.

jrdolall
August 29, 2013, 09:42 AM
I hunt out west every year and I am always amazed at some of the shots I see taken by people just hoping they hit the animal much less hit it in a vital area. I live in Alabama where my longest ever shot was a tad over 300 yards with a Remington 700 in 30-06 and that was over 20 years ago. In the last 10-15 years I think my longest has been right at 175 yards on a power line. I have NEVER shot a deer and failed to recover it. I have missed. I have made poor shots and had to wait until the next day to retrieve what the coyotes didn't get but the animal didn't travel that far. I have helped track deer that went over a mile after being gut shot and looked for deer that were shot in the leg.

I am not capable of shooting beyond 300 yards anymore and I don't practice for it. My eyesight is not as good and my hands are not as steady. If I was 25 again and had the equipment then I might be willing to do some of this long distance hunting. I imagine it's a challenge and I don't have a real problem with someone that has trained for it and that has the proper tools. As someone mentioned earlier there are plenty of people, myself included, that have no business shooting a bow at more than 30 yards.

MCgunner
August 29, 2013, 10:30 AM
Shot my goat at 300 yards. Dropped him.

Congrats!

Jason_W
August 29, 2013, 06:12 PM
ood read. I find it a bit disheartening, this trend. It's exemplary of the young generation though. Intstant gratification, why put the time and effort to close the distance with knowledge skill and stealth, when you can use some electronics devices punch in some calculations, mount your rifle to a hunting equivalent to a shooting bench, so that you have only to pull the trigger, and let fly.

That's not universally true. I'm technically of the Millennial generation and I take issue with hunters who pride themselves on extremely long shots. I also feel that the hunting woods are a place to (for the most part) leave gadgetry and high-tech stuff behind for a while.

I'm far more impressed by a hunter who closes to within 50 yards of animal than one who snipes from 500. Mastery over machine just takes practice. Mastery over nature takes something almost other worldly.

oneounceload
August 29, 2013, 10:24 PM
I'm far more impressed by a hunter who closes to within 50 yards of animal than one who snipes from 500. Mastery over machine just takes practice. Mastery over nature takes something almost other worldly.

Exactly, why it is called HUNTING and not KILLING......

Amazing how folks think they need more gadgets than the CIA needs to go after and get an animal with a brain the size of a walnut

3212
August 29, 2013, 11:43 PM
My favorite memory is finding deer beds in 3 inches of snow on opening morning.I backed off 60 yards to a log and sat and waited.They returned about 8 o'clock and I took a 4 point buck with a 30-30.I've taken more than 60 since then.The longest kill was 270 yards with a .243.But that first one is the ideal in my mind.

Art Eatman
August 30, 2013, 09:03 AM
I've always liked sneaky-snaking around in the brush, getting up close and personal with Bambi. Doesn't mean I won't take a longish shot, but I have my "druthers". :)

The closest I ever got was when I eased up on a buck. Wet day, drizzle, wet leaves, quiet walking. Hit him in the butt with a pebble from maybe ten feet. My raucous laughter was probably quite upsetting to him. :D

3212
August 30, 2013, 10:12 AM
One fall while turkey hunting,a buck came up the hill at sunrise.I was in camo and he was walking along a small brook.He looked tired,like he had a big night.The brook was noisy and he wasn't alert.I hid behind a large tree and when he passed on the other side I jumped out and yelled "boo".He went vertical (white belly up in the air).What a hoot!

jrdolall
August 30, 2013, 11:00 AM
My closest kill was on a whitetail doe at 8 steps so probably 6-7 yards during archery season. I was on the ground using a low hanging branch as my blind expecting the deer to walk along the edge of the field so naturally she walked up from behind me and stopped at the edge to survey the field. I think the shock of the arrow killed her as she was DRT.

The closest encounter ever with a wild whitetail was in turkey season when a yearling actually sniffed my boot while I was sitting stretched out against the base of an oak. That was cool!
Both of these encounters with doe were more exciting than any buck encounter I have ever had including the ones on the wall.

MCgunner
August 30, 2013, 11:10 AM
I really don't think this long range stuff will catch on with whitetail hunters. It, I'm sure, is more of a western thing out where mulies can be seen WAY out there on the other side of a canyon and the fun part, stalking them, is tough because they have ears like radar dishes. If I ever make it out to New Mexico again, however, it'll be with my .50 caliber Hawken. The stalk is what makes the hunting fun IMHO and black powder season is longer out there and earlier in the year before the snows. Temps are comfy and the deer are less spooky.

I guess there are places like Montana where whitetail can be spotted WAY out over open ground, but most whitetail habitat in the country is pretty thick with either woods or brush. There's always the bean field or sendero hunters, though. Still, I think the trend with whitetail is more toward archery at danger close than it is long range rifles.

Deer_Freak
August 30, 2013, 11:21 AM
I have heard of people making long shots in difficult terrain for many years. The issue I have with these shots is how do they find an animal 1000 yards away unless it is laying in a plowed or mowed field. When I shoot a deer in the woods 75 yards away I keep my eye on the spot where I last saw the animal. If it runs off I have a good chance of finding a blood trail and recovering the animal. Exactly what are these people doing to recover the deer? Do they employ a helicopter to mark the spot?

Ankeny
August 30, 2013, 01:18 PM
The issue I have with these shots is how do they find an animal 1000 yards away unless it is laying in a plowed or mowed field. If I can find dead p-dogs at 800-1200 yards, finding an elk shouldn't be much of a problem. It's pretty obvious a bunch of you folks have never hunted in the west where the terrain is like a pool table with an occasional wrinkle and the tallest piece of vegetation only comes to the top af an 8 inch boot. :D

jrdolall
August 30, 2013, 01:53 PM
I know of at least two clubs in Alabama that have shooting lanes of close to 1,000 yards designed specifically to make those long shots. I have been in one stand sitting on a slight ridge looking down over a very narrow food plot that was several hundred yards long and have a female friend that shot a doe at 700+ yards out of that stand.
The difference with these guys is that they have measurable distances and the money and equipment to do the job right. The field is marked so they can narrow down the distance and they do not hunt it if conditions are windy at all. I would say that this is about as safe as you can get with these long shots here since you can tell exactly where the deer was standing when you took the shot.

It's pretty obvious a bunch of you folks have never hunted in the west where the terrain is like a pool table with an occasional wrinkle and the tallest piece of vegetation only comes to the top af an 8 inch boot.

I have definitely hunted this terrain. When the guide tells you to look at the deer standing by "the tree" and you know exactly which tree because it's the only one in sight then you know you are on the prairie. Judging exactly where an animal was standing when you took the shot is a definite challenge in that terrain.

3212
August 30, 2013, 02:41 PM
Yeah,this seems to be basically a debate between open country and woodland/brush hunters.

Jason_W
August 30, 2013, 03:46 PM
Yeah,this seems to be basically a debate between open country and woodland/brush hunters.

Admittedly, I've never been lucky enough to hunt out west. I'm still inclined to wonder, though, if the ability to make 500+ yard shots is really necessary. Is it that difficult to close to within a more reasonable distance, say 300 yards? Also, didn't the early settlers of the west manage to bring in game with close range rounds such as the .44-40?

I'm sure there are some people out there who can regularly make 1000 yard shots on big game, but it seems like at that distance, there are just a ton of variables that could mess up even the best long distance marksman.

MCgunner
August 30, 2013, 04:29 PM
Admittedly, I've never been lucky enough to hunt out west. I'm still inclined to wonder, though, if the ability to make 500+ yard shots is really necessary. Is it that difficult to close to within a more reasonable distance, say 300 yards? Also, didn't the early settlers of the west manage to bring in game with close range rounds such as the .44-40?

Early settlers and mountain men took game with .50 caliber or more front stuffers. No, it's not necessary at all. I think it's tempting to some, but not necessary. The fun part is trying to get close, was for me, anyway, when I hunted New Mexico. It's tough and you don't get the job done quite often, but it's all the more satisfying when you DO. :D

People hunt whitetail on the Montana grasslands. I ain't sayin' they have a 100 percent success rate, but they do kill deer with bows out there. It's a lot easier with a rifle, of course.

mnhntr
August 30, 2013, 04:30 PM
To each his own. I guess everyone should hunt the way you see fit? Some guys can and if its legal then why should the ethics police be trying to stop another guys way of hunting. I shoot long range toys and like to do so. A 168gr VLD at 1700fps and 1100ft lbs is still more killing power than a handgun hunter with a 357 mag at point blank so should we not be hunting with a very capable pistol round that has taken deer and bear? Quit pounding your chest and let people do what is legal and what they want its none of your buisness.

Cosmoline
August 30, 2013, 04:39 PM
At 1,000 yards, I don't think the animals are in any real danger of being wounded by all but a tiny elite of marksmen.

Officers'Wife
August 30, 2013, 05:01 PM
At 1,000 yards, I don't think the animals are in any real danger of being wounded by all but a tiny elite of marksmen.
Murphy would say otherwise.

taliv
August 30, 2013, 05:48 PM
Early settlers and mountain men took game with .50 caliber or more front stuffers.

if your family is hungry and you have the ammo, take whatever shot you get. shoot at it from a mile and maybe you'll get lucky and get some protein for dinner.

but if you're doing it for sport and bragging rights, and if you think I'll be impressed that you shot a deer in the ass from the magic "1000 yards", it would really only cause me to call your education and upbringing into question.

oneounceload
August 30, 2013, 08:09 PM
it would really only cause me to call your education and upbringing into question.

Or the lack thereof of both

Ankeny
August 30, 2013, 08:24 PM
I'm still inclined to wonder, though, if the ability to make 500+ yard shots is really necessary. Not if you don't mindgoing home empty handed or watch a trophy of a lifetime walk away. FWIW, I have spent hours stalking elk by walking crouched down, then crawling on my hands and knees, only to prone out on the top of the "rise" to discover the distance is still 400 yards with no hope of closing the distance. If the conditions are good, I'll take a 400 yard shot with absolute confidence of a quick, humane kill. If I even suspect there is an off chance of crippling an animal, I won't take the shot, period.

I guess there are a lot of definitions of "long range" hunting. A 1000 yd shot is nuts with the gear I own. A 700 yard shot is a long poke and "iffy". A 600 yard shot is something not to take lightly, but I have made hundreds of them on p-dogs and steel. A 500 yard shot under perfect conditions isn't an issue, and 400 yards is just so simple I can not even fathom messing up.

ZeroJunk
August 30, 2013, 11:35 PM
I had an opportunity at an elk at 500 yards this year. It was 16 below zero. I had just climbed down several hundred yards at 7000 feet or so in two feet of snow. I put my coat on a tree limb which was the best I could come up with at the time. Hard to make much of a rest on a 45 degree angle. I couldn't even keep the cross hairs on the elk much less make a precise shot. Somebody with more talent than me needs to buy these super rifles. Not much use to me.

Art Eatman
August 31, 2013, 11:40 AM
We all have our druthers and we vary in our skill levels and our "want to". The problem seems to be the influence of TV and gunzines on people who don't really know what they're doing.

Too much of the attitude, "If he can, I can." But "he can" because of years of training and practice.

Ownership does not create expertise, in and of itself. A guy may buy a top-end Corvette, but that doesn't make him a winning racer.

3212
August 31, 2013, 04:38 PM
Art,I agree.I see this in other areas of life.The idea that money substitutes for actual experience.

jim in Anchorage
September 1, 2013, 10:58 AM
It completely depends on your hunting area. Where I hunt moose[wooded but with some open swamps] I call them and look for a 50 yard shot. Now I have seen legal bulls on the other side of a swamp 300 yards away. do I shoot? No. Sure I can hit him but unless it's a instant kill he's going to run into that swamp. A moose in 8 ft of muck is no fun.

buck460XVR
September 1, 2013, 11:09 AM
It completely depends on your hunting area.


It also completely depends on your capabilities and skill level. There are folks out there that are better @ 600 yards than many hunters are @ 100. There's a big difference between seriously practicing at a extended range and knowing where your shots are landing and just throwin' lead at something a long ways away by guessing distance and trajectory.

Unfortunately, with the newer, faster compound bows, I see more and more folks throwin' arrows at distances many of us never thought possible, even 20 years ago. Same principle applies tho. Comes down to your skill level, self imposed limitations and your respect for your quarry.

tahoe2
September 7, 2013, 11:25 PM
I hunt as far out west as you can get, Washington Coastal Blacktails,
shots less than a 100 yards is the norm, I did hunt a 100 x 500 yard
clear-cut last fall, but my shot was only 60 yards, however the "drag"
was over 350 yards, mostly downhill but around tree fall-downs and hips & valleys.
That was so exhausting, it took over an hour to get to the truck, I couldn't imagine
a 1000 yards (shooting or dragging):what:

Davek1977
September 8, 2013, 04:49 AM
The difference with these guys is that they have measurable distances and the money and equipment to do the job right. Measured lanes and good equipment are still no substitute for rounds put downrange. I don't care what kind of equipment you have, if you are planning on shooting deer at 400 yards or more, you need hours of rangetime and hundreds of rounds downrange, IMO. The best equipment will never be a substitute for skills earned from practicing. Combined, they can be EXTREMELY effective...but on their own, are but part of the equation.

two gun charlie
September 8, 2013, 05:31 AM
I am a stalker personally , and in Africa we usually boast about how close we could get .
One old teller of tall tales once mentioned that he crept so close to the Kudu he was stalking that when he wanted to take aim he realized that he would have to move back slightly because the barrel would touch the Kudu before he could get a shot off :D

two gun charlie
September 8, 2013, 05:44 AM
now this got me thinking , another tall tale tells of a guy who stalked a buck and came to within 20 paces :D yeah it's a pretty tall tale and just as he was about to take the shot a lion that happened to be stalking the same animal jumped out of the grass just a few paces from the hunter and made the kill :D
I just thought of a new topic

ZeroJunk
September 8, 2013, 02:20 PM
I have heard stories about guys being able to make off hand 500 yard shots. But, I'm like the blind man. I had rather see it than hear tell of it.

If somebody sets up a good rest over an area, measure the yardage, and waits I can see long shots.

But, if you are a mobile hunter and have a limited time window to make a shot a suitable rest being available is just luck. Being cold, winded, and heart rate sky high from exertion is just icing on the cake.

Atom Smasher
September 9, 2013, 12:43 AM
My $0.02 is that anyone taking shots at ranges 500y and beyond really need to consider if the shot is an ethical one. Taking shots where you think "it could be" or "it probably is" going to be a kill shot is absolutely disrespecting the fact that you're trying to kill a living being and you should be attempting to do it humanely. I never take a shot, even at short range, if I don't have a good kill window. I know I've seen videos online of guys taking 1000+y shots at a deer or elk quartered away, and that's a shot only a few people could make reliably.

In fact, a lot of those "long range hunt shots" videos are dudes plugging a deer in the stomach and then high-fiving each other afterwards about their "super long range" hit. I'm fine with the move towards more people shooting long distance, and anyone can tell you that hitting steel at 500-1000y is a blast, but I think until people with rifles capable of shooting accurately to 1000y get practice on paper, and I mean LOTS of practice, that taking a shot at a deer and any long distance is irresponsible hunting.

boogieman
September 11, 2013, 10:48 AM
I feel that I need to add my $0.02 (which I found out is worth $37 and some change,:D) to the conversation.
Because of the areas that I hunt I rarely hear of people trying to shoot beyond 150yds. Having said that I think that its critical to know the limitations of your equipment. As the OP said a 7mm mag will make it to 1000yds but doesnt have the power to drop an animal unless shot placement is ideal. Much more than the equipment limitation is the hunters limitation. I am a big advocate for ethical kills. I have taught my children the same. If your going to harvest an animal than it should be done humanely as possible. I often hear of people taking risky shots, shooting the hams. I have seen a deer running with an arrow in its side, a leg blown off, etc.. Its wrong. If you cant make a clean kill then let them walk no matter how nice the horns are.
This is a great topic and im glad it was brought up.

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