"Long Range Rifle Hunting Within YOUR Reach."

Speckmisser

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Dang, Jesse... haven't seen enough brawls and free-for-alls lately?


<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
He is now on the long awaited hunt. Long hikes, glassing and spotting animals, hunting hard, and enjoying every minute. Sometimes, (more often than not) you hunt hard until the last day. That trophy Elk or Mule Deer is now standing there. Only one thing stands between you and getting that animal anchored on the ground... The Distance. He's standing out at 700 yards and no timely way to close the distance.[/b]
You do what any ethical sportsman would do, and call it a day... the same thing you'd do if you were bowhunting and that trophy stood out there at 100 yards.

 

bpnclark

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If you can put all of your bullets in a pie plate at 700 yards – take the shot. I can’t so I pass.
 

BackCountryHNTR

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Very interesting read and lots of good info regardless the ethical questions of taking a long shot or not while hunting.
 

tmoniz

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Who would want to lug that big heavy rifle around in the first place.
You would have to put training wheels on it for me to drag it along.
350 is my limit and even then it depends on the time of day, the weather and what's between me and the critter.
You have fancy scopes these days where you can dial elevation up to suit the distance and so on.
What ever happened to just good ole fashioned hunting.
 

myfriendis410

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90% of the fun is getting close. If we really wanted to we could hunt elk via satellite. No thanks.
 

AZ Jim

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Good information as far as accurizing goes, but there is still the ethical question. I believe whether you are bow hunting or rifle hunting you should accurize your equipment as much as possible within your budget. Then practice at different ranges to know what your equipment and personal capabilities are. Then practice running up a hill, loading your rifle and then practicing your shot. Hunting presents different shot opportunities often in stressful situations. Take into account wind, temperature, buck fever, landscape, animal movement etc. and your "real" shooting skills reveal themselves.

For most average hunters the following statement is true. Just because you can perform the shot from a bench, does not mean you can make the shot in the field under true hunting conditions.

I would also agree with the comment that getting closer makes the hunt more memorable and exciting. The farthest shot I have taken at a game animal was an elk at 300+ yards. I killed the elk, but the deer I shot at 7 yards with my bow, or the javelina at 15 yards with my handgun were much more memorable and exciting.

I do believe their are exceptions to the "average hunter" though and shooters with the right skills, training, and equipment can make the shots.

AZ Jim
 

Speckmisser

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Good information as far as accurizing goes, but there is still the ethical question. I believe whether you are bow hunting or rifle hunting you should accurize your equipment as much as possible within your budget. Then practice at different ranges to know what your equipment and personal capabilities are. Then practice running up a hill, loading your rifle and then practicing your shot. Hunting presents different shot opportunities often in stressful situations. Take into account wind, temperature, buck fever, landscape, animal movement etc. and your "real" shooting skills reveal themselves.[/b]
There's another aspect to that too, and one that is far too often overlooked.

When you shoot at long range, it's often difficult to see a hit. My brother hit an elk at 340 yards with a 30-06, through the heart, and the animal barely reacted. It stepped down off the hill, out of my brother's sight, and fell over dead. Before it stepped down and fell, the guide, an experienced big game hunter, was yelling at him to keep shooting because, "you missed it! You didn't even touch it!"

Because I was standing at a different level, I was able to see the results of the shot when the elk went down. I think we probably would have gone to check for sign anyway, but that doesn't change the fact that the shooter and the guide both thought a killing shot was a clean miss.

Point being, it's hard to tell you even hit an animal at several hundred yards. If it doesn't go down, what do you do? Many "hunters" I've seen shoot from long range don't even go check for sign. "I missed. Oh well." I've seen it too many times.

But assuming you, an ethical and good hunter, wants to go check for sign...

Did you happen to make note of landmarks near the animal before you started shooting? Could you find the spot where the animal was standing when you shot? Where did you hit him? How do you find a single set of tracks from 300 yards away or more, especially across a canyon or through the chaparral and manzanita forest? Can you cross 500 yards of western terrain and locate a spatter of blood or a tuft of hair?

If you do find spoor, do you know how to follow it? What does it tell you?

For a hunter, there are skills more important than mere marksmanship. You still need to be a good shot, but what then?
 

jlostrander

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What he said above........

If you are not with another person for spotting perposes, then these long shots are very questionable. If you have a rifle with any recoil, which covers about 80% of all rifles that are used on mule deer and elk that are good out to 300 and beyond, then you better have a spotter with you.

Beyond 400, things tend to get very questionable for about 90% of rifle shooters.
 

AZ Jim

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Good points Speck !

Those have to be taken into consideration also.


AZ Jim
 

Speckmisser

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Absolutely, Coues.

It wasn't long ago I'm sure I wrote something along the lines of, "that (long-range shooting) isn't hunting... it's just marksmanship."

Since then, I've had time to give more thought to what I really meant and the implications of my words. True, to ME, shooting a critter so far away it doesn't even have a chance to smell you isn't what I'm looking for. It's not the predatory experience for me... but just a test of my skill with the rifle. I can get that on paper.

But I realized, somewhere along the line, that everyone else doesn't have the same set of values that I do. It doesn't mean theirs are lesser, or mine are higher... it doesn't necessarily mean I'm a better hunter than they are... only that we see things differently.

So if you get your kicks making those incredibly long shots on game animals, AND you can do it consistently, cleanly, and ethically... then go for it. It's still not for everyone, and there are an awful lot of people who want to do it without the proper skills, training, and practice... but for those who have the right stuff, then more power to ya.

But if you don't have the right tools, the practice, the skills, and the know-how... please do us all a favor and don't go there.
 

Buck-eye

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I liked the comment above that "getting close is 90% of the fun." Couldnt agree more. I believe( this is my personal opinion) that therein lies the difference between hunters and killers. A hunter, much like the Native Americans, absorbs in his surroundings and all its splendor. Killers are bottom line hunters, much like in sales. Not that Killers are bad people. Far from it. They just have a different perception on what they consider a hunt to be. Most of us are hunters, for we come home empty more than we come home with a filled cooler. But the experience and hard work make an everlasting impression on your soul, and that will satisfy most of us.
 

BackCountryHNTR

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Buck-eye @ May 2 2008, 08:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I liked the comment above that "getting close is 90% of the fun." Couldnt agree more. I believe( this is my personal opinion) that therein lies the difference between hunters and killers. A hunter, much like the Native Americans, absorbs in his surroundings and all its splendor. Killers are bottom line hunters, much like in sales. Not that Killers are bad people. Far from it. They just have a different perception on what they consider a hunt to be. Most of us are hunters, for we come home empty more than we come home with a filled cooler. But the experience and hard work make an everlasting impression on your soul, and that will satisfy most of us.[/b]
Buck-Eye, I mostly agree with you; however, also take into consideration that the Native Americans were not doing it for the sport or as recreation, they hunted to survive and feed their families...IMHO if they would have the same tools available to us today they would probably also take the longest shoots they could to not risk a blown stalk and secure meat for their families...just saying...

 

Cold1nhand

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I would say that less than 0.01% of hunters would ever be able to make that shot. There are other factors to consider that they left out... windage and mirage for example. It takes years to hone those skills. My father-in-law could make that shot as well as a few of his friends, but they fall into that earlier percentage. (see 600 yard Nationals winner under another post). I asked him if he would take a shot at 1000 yards at a trophy elk, knowing full well he can shoot that distance, I was supprised by his answer. He said no. That while he can shoot a 6 inch group while in a prone position, a target does not move. A lot can happen in the time it takes a bullet to cover that distance and it outweighs the risk of making a poor shot. But within 600 yards and he said that bull would be dead in its tracks. I plan on spending some time with him this summer to learn how to take my shooting to the next level. If he is good enough to train the seals, I guess I could let him give me a few pointers...
 

hatchet1

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i started hunting with a bow and arrow when i was 14, its made me a hell of a better
rifle hunter, if you can take all the skills you must have to be a sucessful
bowhunter, you will be a better rifleman
26 years later, i still
enjoy both as it lets me hunt more, but that is another topic
 

SCREWLOOSE

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (AZ Jim @ Apr 25 2008, 08:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Then practice running up a hill, loading your rifle and then practicing your shot. Hunting presents different shot opportunities often in stressful situations.
AZ Jim[/b]

Thats some of the best advice for accuracy given yet...If your breathing hard after running up a hill there is no way your going to be accurate...Even if your not breathing hard managing your inhale and exhale is critical for accuracy...
 

tmoniz

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You guys nailed it.
And it's what I've been preaching to young hunters over the years.
Now I'm a pretty good rifle shooter but there have been times I've held off of a shot on an animal.
Just too far and late in the day. The terrain.
There's a lot more to hunting than just shooting.
It's never ideal.

I once blew a 75 yard shot on a handsome buck in Colorado.
Went right over the top of him. I got the rock but not the buck.
That's what happens when you run like heck and are out of breath.

Next day I let one fly on a good buck from a dead rest off a backpack. It was a fairly long shot.
Took me 2 hours til I found him.

Too many variables.
 

oregoncritters

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Interesting topic..I have been purely archery hunting for many years..Killing many animals from ranges of 4-65 yds..Some might get after me for shooting more then 50 yds..Like someone said recently, "to each thier own." Rifles are just like bows in my opinion..you have to know them inside and out. Know their capabilities, but more importantly know your own capabilities. Many people simple dont have the vision to shoot that kind of distance, most surely don't practice at that distance, and even a higher percentage don't have the equiptment needed to shoot that kind of distance.

Recently i had a rifle built specifically to shoot spring bear at the distances mentioned above. Guns made to shoot that distance will do it. We could debate how ethical it is for years to come because everyone has their own opinion. What is ethical to me (KNOWING i can shoot that far) and ethical to someone else is completely different.. By know means am i saying i'm a great shot, just realize the equiptment out there now is incredible...
 

Speckmisser

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Recently i had a rifle built specifically to shoot spring bear at the distances mentioned above. Guns made to shoot that distance will do it. We could debate how ethical it is for years to come because everyone has their own opinion. What is ethical to me (KNOWING i can shoot that far) and ethical to someone else is completely different.. By know means am i saying i'm a great shot, just realize the equiptment out there now is incredible...[/b]
Equipment has no ethics, no judgement, and no accountability. It is up to the hunter.

A rifle does not miss... the hunter does. A rifle doesn't cripple game... the hunter does. It is not about the equipment, it is about the hunter.
 


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