Long range hunting Vs. Up close and personal

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Jason_W, Aug 26, 2011.

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  1. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    Which one appeals to you more while big game hunting?

    It seems like the current trend is long range deer sniping, sitting in box blinds or tree stands while looking over pastures, clear cuts, and crop fields. While I have no problem with this method (after all, venison is venison) it just doesn't appeal to me.

    Does anyone else prefer methods such as tracking/stalking (where practical) or ambush in hunting heavy brush where ranges are very short and you have to make a real effort to cover your scent and conceal your movements?

    Admittedly, such methods won't have as high a success rate as hunting over a big field of deer food, but I find it to be a pretty intense way to hunt when you finally do catch up with a deer.
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I hunt where the deer are. If I have to make a long shot I will. If I have to go into the brush I will.
     
  3. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I should probably change the track of the thread to head off vitriol. As I posted earlier, I have no problem with the box blind and bean field crowd, I just know I'd get bored with it fairly quickly.

    So, are there any game trackers and brush hunters here? Or, are there any wannabe trackers like myself?
     
  4. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I hunt by staliking as close as the animals will allow. I look them over and shoot when Im sure, though I am sure of 300 yard shots, I MUST look at the "Meat" before I pull the trigger.
    I MUST get close enough to decide if they are "Food grade" or I just dont shoot.

    In Summer I use a boat (I dont even own a 4 wheeler) and the Tundra is where I find Caribou, and shooting them as close as possible to the river or ocean side is a major goal. I pack either whole Caribou carcasses, or I bone out the spine/hips and fill my Rucksack and walk it all to the boat across Tundra. If I have a partner, I use a small blue tarp and drag the meats to the boat.

    In Winter I use a snowmachine, and most certainly the Caribou and Fur can see/hear me, so I get off a mile sometimes away and stalk on foot, either wearing "whiteouts" or more often in a trapesing hesitating way, and imatate a Caribou in plain sight, while getting close enough to pick out what I want and my shooting plan. After shooting, I walk back and get the ride/sled and fill the sled.
    Only true Idiots would run animals and try to shoot a running animals from a moving snowmachine, its isnt exactly smooth and shooting yourself is just as likely as crashing.

    In Fall , when huge groups of Caribou cross the rivers I use a .22lr from the front of my boat and pick out Prime Bulls from the herds while they swim the wide rivers. No ricochets or pass throughs to wound other Caribou in the bunches, or other people, no meats destroyed, none get away when they make the rivers willow packed edge and we specificly pick and choose the meat that will get us through the freezeup's thin ice, the 24 hour darkness and such. Like slaughtering Prime Beef in the fall, its a "harvest' for us, and Im only a few feet away , so the choice is unmistakeable.

    In the 'tracking ' I have to do is to locate the animals, my country is wide open, and so is the Ocean Pack Ice, where my inlaws spend alotta time, lucky enough we dont lose animals to the brush, unless its along a River bank and 50 yards thick belts of dense. Theres few places to hide or ambush animals here, so the 'Stalk' is the primary means, and once the 'Jig' is up, they only get further and further away......

    I advocate that while hunting, keep the range within your abilitys. Look over any potential food BEFORE shooting.
    I dont mind a long range shot, especcially on animals that I have looked over well and decided on, they often stop or slow down to make a better shot on than one thats spooked and moving, but I save my "Shoot first, look at later" specificly for 'Fur', such as Wolves, Fox and such.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  5. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    That's some pretty serious hunting. I wish it were an option for me.

    I failed to consider that long range hunting is the only option some places due to the terrain.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    On my place, I can only see 150 yards or so. I often hunt with my handguns or, lately, a CVA Wolf with scope (black powder, cool rifle, I like it). I have hunted a lot in the open country of the trans pecos in Texas and the mountains of New Mexico. My personal range limit on a windless day where there is no down or up hill is 400 yards. I prefer to close that if at all possible. I just don't have any way to practice my shooting at more'n 300 yards and am not going to risk a wounded animal if I can help it. Now days, rangefinders take a lot of the pain out of the range estimation and I know my ballistic charts, but wind and other factors willl make me either close the distance or pass the shot at over 300 yards. I used to badmouth folks for duing such, but I guess if you're good enough and well practiced, to each his own. But, I'm more of a hunter than a shooter. The stalk is exciting to me. It's what hunting out in open country is all about. Next trip to New Mexico, I WILL be using a traditional muzzleloader in BP season. Then, I'll be trying to get inside 100 yards. The BP season has advantages out there for time of year (pre-snows) and length of season as well as preceding the rifle season. I'm a BP nut, but haven't hunted much 'til recently with mine. I've owned a Hawken for 20 years and never shot anything, but paper with it. Bows are the ultimate challenge, I suppose, but I like the spot and stalk thing out there and getting inside 100 yards is danged tough enough. :D
     
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    BTW, I've never figured out this "tracking" thing. Walk to any area with deer or hogs in Texas and there'll be tracks upon tracks, many fresh. But, try to sneek up on a whitetail in the brush. Oh, I've done that, but they bolt and run and don't leave much of a shot. I hunt from stands or blinds in brushy south Texas and do my spot and stalking out west of here in the trans pecos and the mountains. I LOVE spot and stalk, just that you have to have the terrain to do it. I'm convinced, other than wounded game which I've tracked the blood trail, tracking is a myth for the most part. Hell, I'm 1/8 Cherokee so don't tell me you have to be native American. ROFL! I'm sure tracking works where there's not a bazillion tracks or you're going after Elephants or something big that is not highly populated in its habitat, but hogs and deer in south Texas? Best to ambush the boogers. Hogs stay to very dense rose hedge and scrub oak thickets where I'm from and don't come out until near dark. You can't go in one of those thickets unless you're crawling through a tunnel the hogs have made and then what do you do if you find one point blank? I've seen 'em in there, taken a few while just still hunting, but "trackin'" ain't on my menu. I'd rather sit and observe on a sendero or something, thanks.
     
  8. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    The quality of the hunt for me is not the weapon used or the distance, It's the effort that was put in to the hunt by myself. No help from others just, I did this on my own kinda feeling. I like the TV shows where the host gets skunked because thats more like hunting for me.
     
  9. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    I usually prefer to hunt over lush foodplots with a barrel of food in the middle (its for the bears), looking down from a heated and plumbed elevated house-stand. I usually use a 300 Marlington ULTRA MAG and a Swarovski rangefinder for those tough-to-tell 50 to 100 yard shots. If I don't see at least 5 tines on each side though, it's not a SHOOTER BUCK to me and I pass, waiting until the last day of the season and then complaining that I came away empty handed. But, I have found that spraying on copious amounts of SCENT LOK increase my chances, even in a 25 foot high stand.

    If the wind is still, I usually can shoot out to about 800 yards with my other gun, the .338 LAPUA MAGANUM. I have gotten to the point where every shot is a "HEART SHOT", but even still, those deer seem to live or run a long ways. I am still learning how to hunt better....and btw, if I can't pull my F-450 Super Duty up to the kill site, I don't shoot. Simple as that.
     
  10. BK

    BK Member

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    I haven't had the chance at long range. The stalk gets my spirits up anyway. I like that a lot.
     
  11. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I think actual tracking may be more practical up here where we sometimes get a few inches of fresh snow during our November rifle season, and almost always by the Dec. muzzle loader season.

    Snow not only makes finding and following tracks possible, but it often muffles the sounds of the hunter, and if there is enough of it on the trees, it will limit how far your noises travel.

    I've never tracked a legal to shoot deer, but I have snuck up on a few does and spikes. Even though they weren't fair game, the whole experience was pretty intense.

    I'd love to try spot and stalk hunting, but the woods around here don't make it a viable method.
     
  12. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    I ambush hunt up close and personal. I see deer at less than 30y all the time. I'm ground hunting, but I'm not moving and I'm not using a blind. That deer has a lot of opportunity to scent me, see my movement, etc...Hell, I've had deer walk up behind me and I never even had a shot... two bounces and he was invisible.
     
  13. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    Terrain and vegetation determine how I hunt. I prefer to do the sneaky-snake thing where feasible. Ease along quietly and slowly, generally beginning an hour or so after sunuip. I'll stop and sit from time to time. Maybe eat a bite, mid-day; even nap a bit. Late afternoon and evening, sitting on a hillside is restful and often productive.

    I like working ridges into the wind or cross-wind. Kick Bambi out of bed and if I like him, bust him.

    Then again, sometimes I'm happy to just sit on a hillside and if a Ma Bell buck shows up, okay, fine. But that's when a good field rest is important.

    I walked up on one sleepy mule deer and broke his neck at maybe 25 or 30 yards. Going the other way, I held just over the horns of a proudly posing buck and punched his heart. About 450, I figure.
     
  14. buckshoteer

    buckshoteer Member

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    Howdy Jason, great topic you got going in my eyes. To start off from age 14 my father got me a high priced bolt action .270 at this time. and for 20 years give or take I used this rifle to take well over a hundred deer(whitetails female or male). Generally I sat 14-16 feet in a old texas-style treestand with curtains around four sides. My shots into the winter rye plots would range anywhere from right under(0) yards to 250 plus yards, it was fairly easy resting for a well placed shot. I never shot at a running deer ever until several years back I bought me shotgun. Now I hunt exclusively with two singleshot 12 gauges that I switch out from time to time. Usually I setup in a blind in thick brush with just enough cutdown brush to have 50 yard lanes. I have to take my hat off to those fellars(*) out there that can take a well place running shot with either a rifle or shotgun it takes alot of practice I dont have. Anyways forgive me for rambling on its just a good post guy.
     
  15. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Different strokes for different folks.....
     
  16. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    Ambush hunting of some sort seems to be the only practical way to hunt in a lot of areas. Otherwise, you'll just be pushing deer to someone else.

    Still, out in the more remote areas, I love to roam. I've yet to get the still hunting thing to work. I usually end up "tracking" if there is snow, or I park it on an obvious deer trail in a swamp or other uncomfortable section of woods where I can't see more than 30 yards in any direction, if I'm lucky.

    Part of the reason I pick the nasty stuff in which to hunt is because I don't own land and I'm relegated to hunting WMAs and State forests. If you hunt an open area on public land, you're going to have a lot of company.

    I've seen a lot of deer hunting this way, but not a single one of them was legal. My last season hunting in Vermont, I was hunkered down in a swamp on a deer trail when a big bodied spikehorn nearly stepped on me. Spikes are a no go in Vermont.
     
  17. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Ive got 3 different properties to hunt all with different land configs none of which are sizeable so I know its a shooting exercise more than a hunt and tracking isnt always an option due to other close properties. I can and do take long shots (for the east coast) but the shots are very well setup.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Still hunting is possible even in heavy cover, but in heavy cover, the deer bounds, couple of leaps and he's home free. Hard to be that quick even with a shotgun. I can connect to 50 yards off hand just fine on a running deer, have done it and will do it. Takes some marksmanship, but being a wing shooter, I have the reflexs. :D

    One doe permit I filled I combined spot and stalk with still hunting. this was out near Pumpville, Texas in the trans pecos region, rugged desert with draws and canyons. The rut was on. I had followed a nice buck off a ridge and down into a heavy cover in a dry wash, gave up on him, and was walking back to my truck. When I got there, I saw two big doe run down into the head of a draw and lay down and disappear in the sparse vegetation. I drove on back to camp, ate lunch, went right back there and started my slow walk toward that draw. When I got to the edge of it where they'd laid down, a nice doe got up and ran. I took her at 50 yards on a dead run. I was prouder of that doe than any buck I might shoot at 400. LOL!

    That sorta thing is what makes memories, I guess. She dressed over 110 lbs and helped me fill the freezer that year. I got a decent 8 pt and a javelina on that trip, too. The javelina was via still hunting. I was walking up on another brushy draw and heard 'em over the lip. Stalked, then crawled up to the edge and there, 50 yards aaway, was a BIG boar and his harum. I shot him with my .357 magnum just because I could. :D

    Like I say, though, around here, it's too brushy for anything, but sitting a stand. So, that's what I do. It's all in where you're hunting.

    I've always wondered about hunting in snow. I mule deer hunted in a 3" snowfall one year, but didn't try to follow any tracks. I can count on two hands the times I've actually SEEN snow, LOL! Corpus ain't much for snowfall, though we got a Christmas snow in 2004. That was neat. I didn't drive down to my place, though, 8" all over the roads and there ain't a snow plow inside a 600 miles of Port Lavaca, Texas. :rolleyes: Besides, it was Christmas Day.
     
  19. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    I PRAY for snow during hunting season. Makes the deer stick out like they are wearin hunters orange :neener:
     
  20. buckshoteer

    buckshoteer Member

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    +1 on the post MC, I have been around stalk hunting back in my early teens but my dad insisted for me to take the rifle so long story short I had no confidence in my shots with a rifle much offhand so withheld on the shooting. Even with 20 doe tags to fill and plenty of chances, plenty. Maybe I outta wingshoot abit to help my draw since a running deer in my hunting setup is within 50 yards max.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  21. buckshoteer

    buckshoteer Member

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    627pcfan, I have looked at stalks in snow and the deer hide right off in the hardwoods. But this is only in articles I read. Would like to head either north or west for a muledeer or blacktail hunt.
     
  22. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    Yeah, there's just something other worldly about being in the woods right after a fresh snow of 5" or more. I prefer a non-optical sight of some kind for snowy woods though. On more than one occasion snow dropping off a tree has filled the eyepiece.

    I don't expect as many snowy days now that I've moved from northern vermont to coastal Maine.
     
  23. Savage99

    Savage99 Member

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    Long range hunting is 'new' these days. Cabelas has many scopes with 'turrets'.

    Years ago the only such scopes were on Supertargetspots for target competition.

    Most of my deer hunting has been in the forests of northern new england. However I hunt more now on a farm where a deer might be seen at a distance.

    I have enough venison in the freezer now. I won't take a shot at a deer much over 250 yards although I have had magnums for a long time.

    I will take a longer shot at a coyote however and I have a laser rf.

    We used to take longer shots at woodchucks but they are gone.
     
  24. klutchless

    klutchless Member

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    Come to Ohio shotgun with slug or blackpowder only so there goes your long rang snipers.Don't get me wrong people will still try to make that 12gauge shoot 300 yards most of the time the deer doesn't even know it's being shot at but hay the money they waste on shells goes to maintain and support our public lands so have at it.
     
  25. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    My ranch is in SE Kansas, the "Flint Hills".
    Terrain is big open pasture (I have an area to shoot 800 yds.), or heavy timber/brush at the creeks/valley bottoms. Shots can be 15 to 500 yds., depending on where you're hunting.
    I carry a .40 something, 4" "N" frame with FO front sight and a bolt gun when deer hunting. I have made shots from 20 to 465 yds. All were challenging, none were boring.
     
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