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Old hunter Philosophy gets second opinion

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by daniel craig, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. daniel craig

    daniel craig New Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Western NY
    When I was a lad, learning to hunt my father always taught me that "a scope on a hunting rifle allows a hunter to attempt shots he ought not attempt". From many of the hunters I have seen, I am inclined to agree with him. What are your thoughts?

    My father would say that if you cant see the points on a deer without a scope it is not a shot you should take, scope or not.

    If you cant see clearly with your own eye, what is behind your target don't shoot. Take your time and get yourself into a good shot and then take it.

    However I do see the argument that as a person gets older the eyesight tends to diminish. I also think that by the time the sight diminishes that much a person has been hunting long enough to know the fundamentals and to know his limitations.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  2. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

    Oct 6, 2011
    completely individual in my mind. In my experience if someone is willing to take a shot they ought not with a scoped rifle then they are the type of person who would take an equally ill advised shot with open sites.
  3. ChopperKen

    ChopperKen Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Mid Michigan
    As a semi old hunter, I would say that a scope on a
    rifle alowes me to place shots where I want them.
    The longer ranges I can place them at is a bonus...
  4. T Bran

    T Bran Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Homestead FL
    I've often been tempted to take shots that were iffy at best but so far I have abstained.
    Knowing your personal limits is all one can ask and every ones limits are different. If you cant hit a clay pidgeon every time at that range it is too far. If you can go for it. Realise that I didnt specify offhand or from a rest. Every shot is different and I make my calls accordingly.
    Good hunting
  5. Sky

    Sky Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Probably a lot of truth in your Dad's thinking for those who still have good eyes. When the eye sight goes to the point of not being able to fine tune the front sight then it is either Red Dot, a scope, or hang them up IMO.
  6. sgtstryker

    sgtstryker Member

    Dec 24, 2011
    Southwest Georgia
    It seems my Father taught me alot about hunting that was great in his time. Times have definitely changed. Now days you have to have a truck full of gear and a trailer full of vehicles just to hunt. Or do you really? But, the rifle scope is a great accessory, IMO, for many reasons I'm sure you'll hear about. From a 4X Weaver on up to the variables in all powers, they provide a longer hunting day, a clear view of the target, possibly a ranging tool and what really matters is the accurate round down range. Open sights are still great, I don't have a scope on the .22 lr or 30-30 I hunted with, but I also use scopes on others, to match the cartridge I'm using.
  7. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Senior Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Wilmington, NC
    practice with the rests, positions, sights, and ranges you expect to encounter game. learn your round's trajectory. learn how far you can make an ethical shot and don't exceed that range in the field.

    it's as simple as that. doesn't matter what type of sight or optic you use, as long as you practice under the same conditions and know your capabilities.

    if folks do this, many will find that they can take longer, yet still ethical, shots when using magnifying optics.
  8. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Aug 4, 2008
    eastern Massachusetts
    We all know that guns are not "magical" objects that suddenly cause law-abiding citizens to become murderous. Similarly, scopes do not turn prudent hunters into slobs.

    A slob hunter with or without a scope will do things that pain me.
  9. Varmiter

    Varmiter New Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Interesting thread.

    It really doesn’t matter what you are hunting, if it’s for the table, there is no such thing as an ‘iffy’ shot. The best meat for the table is a clean kill. Disruption of the central nervous system is the only shot.

    When a shot that doesn’t instantly kill, adrenalin runs through the blood stream, an taints the meat. Even when the animal has fallen, but not yet dead.

    Scope or open sights, The best meat for the table is the instant kill. For a trophy, well, that’s another story.

  10. 68wj

    68wj Senior Member

    May 2, 2010
    Modern arms and ammo are capable of accuracy at ranges beyond what most shooters are capable of with irons and eyeballs. That means, not just shooting a deer, but shooting a deer right where you want. Optics will not compensate for a bad shooter though, and many a shooter has become sloppy with a magnified target.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  11. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    No, scopes do a few very important things:
    1. Allow better identification of the target at range. (Does that deer at 150 yards have antlers? I only have a buck tag... etc.)
    2. Single plane aiming. The reticle and the target are all on one single plane when viewed through the scope.
    3. Only two things to line up instead of three. Only crosshairs and target, instead of rear sight, front sight and target.
  12. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southeast Texas
    It also allows me to better identify what is beyond my target, which for me is more important than my target itself.

    I still understand my limitations and will not take a shot that I feel I might not be able to make.
  13. ms6852

    ms6852 Senior Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    There is a lot of truth to what you father said, which might have applied during his era when he received his advice from his father, your grandfather now. Rifles may not have been that accurate as they are now out of the box. But the beauty of the hunt is in the stalking and getting close to the game. Others may disagree and believe that taking a longer shot requires more skill and is just as much enjoyable taking game from those distances. I agree with that as well as long as you have the right tools to match your skill,and distances. I always hear how the 22lr is not accurate beyond 50 yds. but I consistantly break clays at 230 yds with a 10/22. It boils down to skill, whether it is stalking or taking long distance shots.
  14. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    A scope allows me to better see my target, even with my better than 20/20 vison, and thus allows me to put the bullet right where I want it.
  15. Kachok

    Kachok Senior Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Palestine TX
    I used to shoot really well with iron sights (perfect score at 300yds in my Army qualifacation), but over the years my vision has gotten much worse (20-280 and getting worse each year) even with my contacts in things get blurry past 100yd, I would not dream of hunting without my Nikons anywhere outside the dense brush. A good scope allows for a smaller aim point, aim small miss small.
  16. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2003
    Munising MI
    with good eyes in good light and at ranges under a 100 yards i agree. But if any of those 3 variables change a scope is a better sight hands down. A scope is a big advantage in about every situation and very seldom a hinderance.
  17. content

    content Senior Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    South Carolina, born in Valley Forge Pa.
    Hello friends and neighbors // To each their own.

    For me hunting with a scope over see thru rings is my choice.
    The Nikon 3X9X40 giving me an extra few minutes of light to hunt by, is a big plus to start with.

    I once shot a whitetail thru a basket ball size hole in the brush.
    I could see the whole deer but only one spot allowed me to be certain there were no deflecting limbs.
    Even at 75yards ,using the scope was the only way to make a clean kill shot in my mind.

    Basically I like the versatiity of a scope but still want the irons for close shots.
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Senior Member

    May 26, 2007
    Scopes are misunderstood even today. They help you see your target better at any range, especially in poor light. No more, no less. Out to at least 300 yards I can shoot iron sights almost as accurately as I can a scope, IF I can see the target. I find a scope more useful at 30 yards in thick brush right at dusk or dawn than at 200 yards in the middle of the day with a deer standing in the open.
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Scopes allow identification of a target in dim light--such as before sunrise and after sunset. Keeps a guy from shooting at a white tee-shirt at another hunter's open collar, at fifty yards just before the end of legal shooting light, thinking it's a deer's white tail.

    Like an uncle did to his nephew, years back.

    A scope allows for much greater precision at hitting a particular point on a target, as opposed to "somewhere in the brown".

    Even 62 years ago when I started in with centerfires, I was four-eyed. Scopes have always been very useful for me; far superior to iron sights.
  20. SimplyChad

    SimplyChad Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    Montgomery Co TX
    Scopes let you see more then before. They are still only as good as the person behind the rifle.

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