Why the yardage exaggeration

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Feb 14, 2015
Leavenworth KS
I have shot and hunted all over my home state of Arizona. Hunted UT, WY and KS. Either my 06 or 243 are the rifle I use. I've bagged most varmint critters that are able to be hunted. I've taken Whitetail, Mule deer. Pronghorn, Elk and Black bear. In my 40 years of hunting, my longest shot at game has been 360 yards. I'd say over 70% of all game I have taken is between 130 to 210 yards.
But I hear a vast majority of shooters and hunters declare they take this animal or that animal at 500 + yards all the time. Or they are bagging game while shooting off hand at running game 400 yards away and bowl em over with one shot. I find these stories quite unbelievable. Seems no one gets the deer at 100 yards, or shoots ole Wile unless there half mile away.
Am I wrong?
The two times Ive witnessed people shoot game over 400 yards ended in gutshot suffering animals, followed by bragging about what a nice shot. Im a firm believer in knowing your limits and not exceding them. My limit is around 200 yards. Getting closer is called “hunting” lol and its the main part of the game. Totally agree with you.
Farthest deer I've shot (not having deer hunted out west) was 178..
But that was with a sidehammer MZ.

I'm far more concerned with where the bullet hits, than how far it has to travel to connect.

We now have HP rifle legal here in Indiana.
Some say it not sporting.


I've shot two w HP rifle now, 50 and 40 yards (at least the 40 yarder was running, but not full out- and certainly not bounding). Was watching a buck come across the field and would have shot him had he hit the old property line, was 250 ish.

Yeah HP rifle would have given me some range, and ease of kill.........had that shot materialized. HP rifle allowance outside of that, so far, has given me nothing other than the option to use cool rifles.
My .35 rem is no long range rig. Do have .243 win and .30-06, I think (rightly or wrongly) that my .243 is a 300 yard rig.
Only one spot I hunt (hunted) offered a shot past 300.
One could go to 800 there.
But then one could also drop into the ditch and proly cut that D to half.
7 mag might be a good one for there.
Just not many deer and a long drive.
I'll take my close to home close range stuff thanks.
When I've harvested game it's easier for me to use feet instead of yards. Furthest I've taken a critter was maybe 150 when I was hunting coyote out west. Where I am now, I tend to hold on shots further than 50-60 feet because of the dense brush and how close houses are around here, even in the sticks.
I'd like to kill a chuck or yote at 500.
Never even taken a shot that far.
Saw my dad hit one w .22-250 at 550 once. Made it down the hole though.
The older my Dad got, the further away those deer he killed were.
My dad is getting up there, forgets a lot of things now.
Pretty disgusting the revisionist history of events/growing up.
He was a jerk in a lot of ways, seems to be telling stories to garner sainthood.
However, his shots on chucks, the yardage was legit.
Funny, he never deer hunted. Has problems w blood and dressing stuff. Can't even watch minor surgery on TV shows.
I know all to well about the internet liars. These are people I know, or co-workers and even relative's. I think it's a testosterone boost people get by saying these things.
I'm a proud hunter. I believe in ethical humane shots. But I will not shoot over 250-275 yards at game anymore. I see no need to. I'm a meat hunter 1st and foremost. Part of what I like doing is trying to stalk the game up close.
Pops did tell me of one guy that claimed to shoot chucks w cheap gear, at 4 and 5 hundred often.
Went along with pops one day and my ol man blasts one, close to 300 IIRC.
His witness jumped up and down and yelled "Holy Cow that was Five Hundred!!!!!"
So..........if I had to guess, the BS artists tend to run yardage by a 2X scale.
This before the internet. Web liars proly 3X.
When I was in college I had limited time to hunt and as such got pushed to closing day of season with an open tag. A buck came out in standing soybeans minutes before legal season ended. It was dark enough I couldn’t tell that the buck was on the FAR side of a low spot. I knew that the peak of the near side was about 300 yards and my rifle was sighted at 150. I aimed level with the top of his back and pulled the trigger. Deer lunged and ran forward a short way then fell. I looked all over the near side of the low spot until dad got there and went to my stand with a light as a landmark. I found blood, and then the deer after giving up and walking towards a gravel road since it was totally dark by that time and gravel is easier to walk than a rough field. He was hit through the front shoulder and it did not appear to have taken much time for him to expire. Estimated range was just over 600... again I estimated 300. There should have been another 18” or so of drop at 600. So since I aimed level with the back and there should have been a total about 24 inches of drop, and the deer is about 20” from backbone to ribcage, not only did I grossly underestimate the range, I also pulled the shot high. Worked out, but it was luck.

Everybody else is either lying or lucky... most fit into one of those categories. Most of the latter probably also fall a bit into the former.
What I learned not all that long ago, is that most of my coworker deer hunters.............
three of them with dozens of kills each, have not shot a deer past 50 yards.
They also can't shoot well offhand.
Two of them think cheap stuff is "good enough"......not understanding that buying whatever slugs on sale and shooting them through a Tasco 4X on a single side mount on an 870...........might be detrimental to accuracy.
I don't get the "I can do what you high dollar gun guys do".
Like I'm doing something wrong using better gear.
Hell I drive a Jeep that is old and cost me 2 grand.
My critics bought new fancy trucks over 40 K.

When I worked at an archery shop 30 yrs ago, same thing. Junker trucks w top end bow shooters, that shot good.
Fancy new car.............guy shooting cheap stuff not even set up right.

I don't get it.
I've shot some deer where the shot was way more impressive than the critter :)
Was not set out to be that way, but at least there was something cool about it LOL
I've made lots of clean kills past 500 yards, pushing 800. But hitting a praire rat with a .220 Swift, they're goners pretty much no matter where they're hit, even at well over 1/4 mile. And if you're off the mark by more than an inch or two, it's a clean miss, not a wounding shot.

Big game is another story, and though I carry around trajectory charts to 500 just in case and am competent to take a shot that far if I have a solid, rested shooting position, the extreme majority of animals I've harvested were well inside of 200.
With a properly set up rifle, I can shoot well enough to take big game at probably 800 yards. But why on earth would I need to? The longest shot on large game was about 185. The shortest was a deer at about 6'. Don't see a need to stretch it at all..

I switched to archery for a few years and really didn't have to change how I hunt much.
Well, I walked off my whitetail last fall at 50 yards. Hit her double lung/heart. She jumped once and fell over dead behind a bush 8 yards away.

Why would I lie? I’m with you...


Dunno why you had to shoot so far ;)
Mine was 20% less
I was hunting prairie dogs many years ago, in Africa, with a fifty cal when I noticed a 30 point whitetail buck sneaking up on me from behind. Since I was shooting in the opposite direction of the earths rotation, I took a well calculated shot to my front that made it around the world and hit the deer in the back of the head. This was done with open sights.:cool:
My hunting guide said that it was the most amazing shot he had ever seen.
I then fired a round at a young pup prairie dog. The round went right over it head and my guide could not believe that I had missed. I told him to just wait. The bullet made a full rotation around the earth and hit the prairie dog in the head. Yes, I like to show off.
I would have my hunting guide back up my story but he was killed in a stampede while on a cattle drive a few weeks ago.
If you think that this hunting story is to amazing to be true, I could make up another for you. :)
My closest gun kill, from the ground, was 12 yards.
Called him to me, smallish 8 pointer.
Snuck up on one trashing a pine tree, saw him 200 or so out in field.
Rain, already soaked, so crawling a bit would be no big deal.
20 yards I nailed him (just wanted to see how close I could get). 870 Wingmaster deer gun.

Did shoot a doe straight down from treestand, literally standing next to my tree once (Ruger Old Model SBH).
Just looking at the drop calculations at over 300 yards gives me a headache. Most practical shots in my neck of the woods are 150 yards or less. And I surely miss my fair share of them.
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