What your longest ethical range on whitetail deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by troy fairweather, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. caribou

    caribou Member

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    "Ethics" are in the eye of the beholder.

    I make shots out as far as I know I can hit them (Caribou for me) However, this is only after a good looking over and selecting exactly what I want or let pass.
    Hunting in the Wiide Open' rather than trees or closed up brush demands this.

    I was once listening to an old man from Wisconsen , who happened into our camp with a couple Kayakers, and tell us how he was hunting with his brothers for Snow geese as a young man, when he stopped to our nets and we were cooking some Geese, after a few days of fish.Mmmmm.

    He said he was in a blind with his brothers, maybe in the 30's or so, and his first couple shots connected. Then he went on that he felt so sad when he examined the two of them , that when the next gaggle was comming in, he layed his shotgun down and told his brothers, "They are just too beautiful to shoot..." and he would never hunt again......
    I'm sure he was very proud of himself the way he went about saying it and smiling afterwards

    My son, steaming chunk of greasy Goose on his fork, then asked him firmly, "What did you eat that night?" LOL!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  2. caribou

    caribou Member

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    Since I consitter Shooting a skill, and not in the relm of 'Ethics', I'll except that you, Sir, make a great statement.
    There are Ethics with shooting to ability, that ability of both the person AND the tool.
    I, for instance, wouldn't engage an animal at 200 yards with a .22LR, etc. etc.
     
  3. IALoder

    IALoder Member

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    Well for me here I'm kinda limited by the lay of the land where I hunt, and somewhat by the straight wall/shotgun caliber restrictions. I shoot a Marlin 45-70 to with a 1-6x scope for deer, and I'm comfortable to about 150 yds with it, and that's pretty much the longest shot I'll have. I used to shoot(sometimes still do!) a 20ga Ithaca Deer Slayer with peep sights on and pretty much kept myself to 100 yds or so with that. This shotgun is scary accurate to 100 with Brenneke KO slugs! Both have proven to be very effective inside those ranges!
     
  4. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    I'd feel safe at 350. Too many things have to go right even at that range. Wind is something that needs to be thought of before the shot.
     
  5. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    I would probably draw the line at 300 yds. I have more than one rifle that will shoot comfortably at 300+. But, truth is, all of the deer I've killed have been mostly 100yds or less except the one I shot last year at 200yds. In fact, all of the deer I've seen killed by me or by friends and family have been around a 100yds, give or take a few yards. That fact has to do, I think, with lots of planning and scouting before the season, and placing the blinds and tree stands in the vicinity of the game trails. Also happy to say that the 7 deer my buddy and I have killed in the last 4 years have dropped in their tracks.
     
  6. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    That’s a valid point. The max range you can expect to shoot has a lot to do with where you are hunting.

    Placing a tree stand or a blind is pretty much impossible in many of the areas and for the species I hunt. Much of the hunting I do is strictly a spot and stalk affair. The very nature of hunting the vast expanses of the west is by definition unpredictable in both where you see game and the distance you can close to on the game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  7. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Peeps can get clogged with rain/wet snow. Had it happen hunting with my Garand. It was one of my main reasons to get a bolt rifle with a scope. Never had a problem with rain or snow with my scope. I just keep the flip up caps closed until I need them if it is raining.
     
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  8. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    Do you really not understand the question or are you just trying to make a point? Most hunters i know would consider it unethical to take a shot that you knew had a good chance of wounding the deer and failing to recover it.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I think it’s a lot like asking “what would you do?” The simple definition indicates they are going to vary a lot person to person as well as within any given person depending on situation.

    eth·ics
    /ˈeTHiks/

    noun
    1.
    • moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.

    I could never say, _____yards is my limit and that’s it. History shows us people that have eaten other deceased humans to avoid starvation, the Holodomor being a fairly well documented period. I bet there wasn’t any animal within eyesight before that decision was made.

    There certainly are ethics in killing things though. In Judaism it’s “kosher” but again not with all living things, IIRC fish are exempted. Different folks, different strokes.


    Under normal circumstances, with the topic animal, I have only taken shots I was 100% confident in being able to make. Throw in all animals and that number will fall off drastically. I bet I could fill up a long bed pickup truck with hulls from missed dove alone, had I saved them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
  10. redneck

    redneck Member

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    The situation plays a big part in what is ethical. I shot a running doe at just over 200 yards once (I was sitting in a tree stand with no rest), and that was because she was already wounded and was 30 yards from leaving the property I had permission to hunt. Had it not been for trying to recover the deer I had already shot,I'd never have pulled the trigger in those circumstances.

    With a stationary deer and a good rest I am comfortable out to 150 yds with my .450 bushmaster as I generally practice at 100 to 150 and that is what I am sighted in for without having to do much holdover.

    With a 12 gauge sabot I have shot deer at 100 yards, but an average shot would be 50-75. With my great plains rifle and a .54 patch and ball I have done 80 yards, archery 35 yards.
     
  11. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    500 yards is my hard cut off point for deer and I’d much prefer to shoot them under 200 yards. That said, I only have three rifles at the moment that I would feel comfortable shooting a deer with at 500 yards. The rest of my rifles I’d keep to 300 yards or closer.

    Pigs, on the other hand, I’ll shoot a pig as far as I can see it. I don’t care one bit about recovering a pig.
     
  12. Caplock

    Caplock Member

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    Longest shot was about 60 yards with a T/C Hawken 50.

    My only other deer was with a Winchester 70 300 wm. Little doe at 25ish yards.

    Two deer and I realized I like beef and I'd rather hunt coyotes.
     
  13. osprey176

    osprey176 Member

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    My maximum,ethical distance will vary with conditions,my choice of weapon,and the situation I’m in. I’ve taken deer past 350 yards,and elk over 400,but would not attempt these shots every day. For longer shots,a good,sturdy rest,manageable wind,and a calm animal are what I’ll look for. I won’t take any shot unless I’m confident in a good hit. I reload,so I’m able to practice a lot in the off season,and it definitely extends my range. 500 yards will be my self imposed limit for deer,under good conditions with an accurate rifle that I’m confident in.
     
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  14. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I'm getting a little long in the tooth and have revisited my personal limitations. Assuming I'll be able to hunt next fall my limits are, vertical now 30 yards, X bow, 45. Savage 220 120, inline ml 120. Longest clear shot on my land is about 140.
     
  15. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    I can't shoot for shyte. 200 yards would be my max, for an ethical shot, on a deer.

    Generally, I'm hunting hit-or -miss type game - predators, coyotes, wild dogs, and the like. Range, and "ethical shots" aren't much of an issue,
    with pest species.
     
  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    One cold and nasty day back around 2002 I was sitting, on closing evening of rifle season, over a standing soybean field. I hate hunting over beans, but the corn crop on the neighboring field got cut early and there wasn’t much movement over there, so I moved to the beans. A buck trotted along at the very edge of comfortable range for my relatively new .270 rem 700. It was a slight rise and anything beyond that rise was too far away. Roughly 300 yards. He stopped to look for his buddies who were lagging behind. Being much more used to the 30-30 I aimed a bit high along the back and let a round fly. The deer simply dropped. Awesome... it’s right at closing light and Dad is a couple hundred yards the other direction and he quickly comes and sits where I had been with a flashlight to mark my spot. I wade out into the beans to get my deer, but he is nowhere to be seen. No blood, no hair, nothing, and he dropped in his tracks so where is he? Turns out he was on the next hill back, at almost 700 yards. Optical illusion where he was standing at the right spot to look like a smaller deer on the near ridge. He was a bit bigger than I expected, but wasn’t a monster. And he dropped because I blew out the tops of his shoulders and spine. I must have flinched up a bit, but the .270 did its job.
     
  17. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Just out of curiosity why does "predators, coyotes, wild dogs, and the like" not require the same level of "ethical shot"?
     
  18. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Y'all have heard my rambling about the restrictions that we have in Illinois....so I won't go there.
    My old .54 Hawken is good for 90yds(90grains-90yds)
    20161118_120159.jpg the .45 flintlock is sighted at 60yds
    20190413_182533.jpg
    The scoped h&r ultralight 12ga is good out to 150 or more.
    last


    20201203_144614.jpg
    Last, but not least, the 7½" blackhawk in .45colt is dessert plate accurate at 50yds.
    20160914_185037.jpg The only one that hasn't taken a deer us the flinter. I just haven't deer hunted with it yet. It has "made meat" on squirrel hunts and plenty of bacon and cheeses at club shoots
     
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  19. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    Because this is not true "hunting". It's pest eradication. It's more of an extermination, of unwanted, non-indigenous species. These are not game animals. There are deer, as well as turkey, ducks, and other game animals, on the property, of which I have little interest in shooting. These non-indigenous species (i.e. they don't belong here) are ruining habitat for game animals, and other indigenous animals.

    In the event I do hunt game animals, I am very concerned about an ethical kill, and taking a clean shot.
     
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  20. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Out West my ethical range is different than here in wooded country. Here it would be ~200 yards. Out there the animals present at longer ranges usually. I killed 2 elk at over 400 yards and an antelope at 500+.

    Of course this depends on the accuracy of the weapon I'm using and my familiarity with it.
     
  21. mcb

    mcb Member

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    This would probably be an interesting and good topic to spin off into its own thread. Who determines if a particular species is a pests or not? Why doesn't a pest species deserve an equally humane/ethical kill as species consider "game"? To a farmer a deer or elk could be (and has been) a pest worthy of eradication. What does being a non-indigenous species have to do with whether they deserve a humane/ethical kill or not? They are non-indigenous because we (humans) put them there, if they got there themselves then they are not non-indigenous. I have no problem killing pest and non-indigenous species but I do so with the same ethic as I would any animal that I choose to kill, independent of the reason I have chosen to kill them. I do that as much because they deserve it, as for what I expect of myself.

    I have always had equal or greater respect for the predators I hunt compared to other species I hunt. They must hunt, kill, and consume their pray using only the tools (tooth and claw etc) they were born with and in the process often risk their life daily just to eat. IMHO that existence deserves a healthy dose of respect, so when I go into the wood to ply my hand at their trade and must do so using the various crutches of technology and gadgets that give me a "fair" chance of success it seem only fitting to treat the real predators with some respect and give them a quick and humane death.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  22. Bacon buster

    Bacon buster Member

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    511 yards is the furthest I’ve shot a deer. I would probably get closer at ranges beyond 500. That’s a long ways to shoot. Can I hit further with confidence yes. Is it necessary not really. If you’re going to hunt keep it ethical and save yourself a hard tracking job that can come with a misplaced bullet
     
  23. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    Do you worry about ethical kills, on cockroaches, ants, lice, flies, mosquitoes, and fleas ? How about mice and rats ? The state clearly labels what is considered to be game animals, and what isn't. Under no circumstances do I allow any animal to suffer, needlessly, and make kills as quickly and efficiently as possible. OTOH, I'm far more willing to take
    chances on shots with pest species, which I would not normally take, hunting game animals.
     
  24. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    If I can see the bead and the shoulder and have confidence in the hit, I’ll take the shot.
     
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  25. Aletheia

    Aletheia Member

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    As my grandfather once told me, "If you have to, kill it. But don't hurt it." There are lots of times I kill pests for various reasons, but I cannot for the life of me see any reason why being labelled a "game animal" makes any difference to my desire to prevent it from suffering. My definition of unethical is to "take chances on shots". If I am not sure I can make a clean shot on anything living, I don't take it. If I'm positive a clean shot is possible (and even then I have managed to screw up a few over the years) I think it is ethical to take the shot. Range is often irrelevant to that decision actually, but there is no ethical difference that can be determined by the legal definition of "game animal".
     
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