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Long distance hunting.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2007 at 20:12
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l know that I am going to evoke alot of emotional responses and create a tremendous contrevorsey, or maybe an all out free for all against me.  But, here in eastern NC, as I have said many times before, the county that I live and hunt in, requires that you be 8 feet above the ground, when hunting for deer.  Well after hunting for many years, shooting them, or as root would say, sniping them at distances of up to 250 yards without any difficulty taking them down, without movement, I got really tired of that.  Now, remember, I have seen many a deer shot around her at much less of a distance that ran for many yards, some found, some not found.  All suffered regardless.  Remember, these were all short shots, not long shots.  At any rate, I decided to take up the sport of long distance hunting.  Or as alot would say, long distance sniping.  I have a quad pod that was customized with a platform that would hold a rifle rest as well as mounts for a sighting scope and rangefinder.  I had Exbal ballistics program loaded on my handheld pc.  I have a Leupold RXIV rangefinder.  I have 3 Wby. rifles in the following calibers, all sighted in at around 400 yards, 30-378, 300 and a 7 mm STW.  Ballistically speaking, all have the power/energy at 900 yards of a 30-30 at 100 yards and therefore, was capable of taking a deer at that range.  I practiced frequently, mostly at short range, but not to infrequently with pie pans at the hunting site.  During the season, I took only one deer at 500 yards.  A 5 point cow horn, that was picked on purpose, in case of a wound.  I did not in this case have to adjust the target turrets for elevation, as it was withing PBR, for this caliber, sighted in at this range.

Now, my point.  I have to disagree with Mike McDonald.  You do not have to be a sniper in the military for that long or a benchrest shooter for that long to be granted the right to shoot at animals at this distance.  First, after getting set up, I probably would not have taken a longer shot based on ethics, due to my experience and what I was seeing at the time.  On the other hand, it is up to every hunter to decide what is ethical for him to shoot at or not.  These are animals, not humans.  They are game that are hunted and as I previously noted, abuse frequently at short ranges.  I do not like when they suffer, therefore, I personally do everything I can to make sure that does not happen.  But, after seeing many a deer tracked for hundreds of yards, after being shot a short distance, that is the reason I disagree with Mike and his strong post against long distance hunting.  I think we cause much less suffering than poor short distance shooters.  But, in their defense, you cannot make them attend shooting classes before hunting.  That is not the job of the government.  Animals suffer everyday, whether at the hands of hunters or not.  That is unavoidable.  But, you cannot regulate who can shoot at long or short distances, based on their expertise.  THAT IS A FORM OF GUN CONTROL.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 00:16
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It's interesting to see how things differs very much by the local tradition.

If a hunter here would shoot a deer at 5-600 yards he would be asked by the others to leave the ground and never come back.

But on the same time it's accepted to shoot on a running roe deer in full speed at 80 yards.

 

Ths sucess of each shoot is probably depends very much on what you are set up to do.

The running game requires a lot of practice, and the long shot requires practice, good equipment and the right equipment.

What scares me when I read about long range hunting from some people is that they shoot on 500 yards with low knowledge of the ballistics, really low knowledge about the distance and wind and the result from this must be more wounded animals than necesarry.

 

However with the rigth equipment, training and attitude I do well understand that it's possible with clean kills on longer ranges.

 

Regards Technika

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 06:06
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Good words from both of you and I couldn't agree more. Practicing in the field at moving targets and pie plates is just as beneficial as the bench. The bench shows you the accuracy potential of your gun. Shooting in the field shows how good you are with it.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 07:35
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technika's words,

"What scares me when I read about long range hunting from some people is that they shoot on 500 yards with low knowledge of the ballistics, really low knowledge about the distance and wind and the result from this must be more wounded animals than necesarry",

....is what causes me the most discomfort.  There are probably many young guys & gals who read these blogs about long range kills and attempt the same without the requisite skills that come with much practice & experience.  This also aplies to these same people who take close shots on running gane without honing the approprate skills.

 

These people should be encouraged to learn field craft skills of stalking, tracking & the thrill of the chase;  not just pulling a trigger.  For me personally, with the exception of varmints, I have no interest in long range shooting at big game.  Getting upclose & personal is what I love to do.  No bigger thrill than getting close to a deer, bear, moose when the animal doesn't know you're there. 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 08:03
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Here is a fun but very difficult way of practicing running game.

Those are very similar to a roedeer, as its going as much up and down sometimes as forward.

Rolling tires with a papertarget inside.

Let them roll down a hill and shoot at them, either one at a time or several so learing how to reload quickly.

Those pictures are from a shooting course I attended.

GREAT FUN

 

Regards Technika

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 08:25
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We use a running deer target strung on a cable that runs down hill through trees, works well but I'm going to try the tire thing too - looks like fun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 08:50
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Dolphin,

 

Glad you disagree, it;s what makes the world revolve and promotes ( hopefully) healthy debate.

 

You are, I think, referring to my agreement with RMS post, or the part of it that I highlighted in my reply.

I'll go on that premise until you correct me.

 

I don't agree with the entire quote, but do agree fully with the sentiment, which in my view is the inability of the average shooter to hit a target at distance, and further to hit and fatally wound with 1 shot a game animal.  The average hunter can't do it because the average hunter has no understanding of ballistics, conditions, or basic shooting fundamentals as applied to what is now, in long range hunting, a precison rifle event. 

What happens is that Joe Average buys a 338 whatever you'd like to call it and now has the supreme capability in his own mind to kill a rabbit at 2 miles.

I used to read another board dedicated to the "sport" as it were, but just became unable to comprehend the reasoning of a sporting hunt where the animal is shot a dozen times to drop it. 

 

Regarding ability.  It's an individual assesment but the shooting community lies to itself regularly.

Everyone has a 1/4 inch all day long rifle, everyone shot a deer on a lease at 750 yards with one shot.

Each range trip for a year, I did a cold bore target at 100 yards with by most accurate 308 rifle.  1 shot from a solid prone position.  My 1/4 inch rifle, when at the end of the year, 45 targets were stacks one on top of the other, was a 1 inch rifle.  Temps, humidity, wind, time of day, shooter condition all play a part.

 

You get the idea.

 

Long range shooting is about being honest.  A guy can lie to everyone all day long and that's ok.  If he lies to himself, he's done as a human, and certainly as a precision shooter.  You know what I'm talking about " yeah that group was four shots at 600 yards"  well the 5th is off the paper but it was a "called" flyer.  Nope, it was a miss.  BS the fans...don't BS the players, we know better.  That's just a single example.

 

At the range which I'm a member of an annual event is held in which targets are set at 400 measured yards.  The targets are 3 sized of sporting clays, mini's, middi's and the large traditional clay.

There are 8 targets, shooters may bring anything but a return to battery rail gun, any caliber.

Wind flags are up, shooters are given a 15 minute sight in period prior to the 1st relay.  After that, shooters have 10 minutes to fire 10 shots at those 8 targets.  With benchrest rifles, solid benches, custom ammunition, boosted scopes, non moving targets, not alot of those targets are hit. 

There's a HUGE gap between the ability to shoot a good group and shoot a good group at point of aim.

The large percentage of gun owners, in particular hunters, don't grasp this.  Just spend the money for a new rifle for this weeks trendy gunbuilder and it's a gauranteed shot, all the hunter does is press the trigger.

 

Now, to clarify, to make abosultely certain I'm understood;  I AM NOT  A SNIPER

                                                                                              I HAVE NEVER BEEN A SNIPER

                                                                                              I HAVE NO DESIRE TO BE A SNIPER

 

I have also never referred to myself as an expert in any field.  I never will.

 

What I am is a guy with over 4 decades of shooting practice, much of it at distance, and I don't lie to myself.

I have one rifle for hunting game animals.  It was built after careful consideration of my abilites, the game I would hunt, and the distances I would take them within my capabilities to place a singe first shot at point of aim 90% percent of the time.  That rifle has a 2x scope on it  and a self imposed worst case maximum distance of 400 yards on large animals, re: moose and elk.  That is the farthest distance at which I can hit, under  actual field conditions, an 8 inch circle and deliver 2000 pound feet of energy to my target.

The rifle, benched, will shoot about 2.25 inches for 3 shots at that same distance. 

 Big difference between Joe Average's range sight in trip and his actual hunting ability.

 

This is the Readers Digest version of why I cannot accept the trend of "Long Range Hunting" as an ethical sport. 

 

Others will disagree.  That's why Braums sells so many flavors 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 09:07
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MM I agree that there are a lot of 600 yard deer rifles in the hands of 100 yard riflemen (persons?).

I also see people show up for sighting in days at the club that have no business shooting at 100 yards. Most of these people know their limitations, though. I respect these folks more than the former.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 09:15
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In essence we actually agree to a large extent.  After studying ballistics and getting to know my rifles very well would I only attempt such a shot and then with only the proper equipment.  The custom platform in conjunction with the rifle rest is a very steady platform.  I was hoping to make longer shots, but realistically, after taking that deer at 500 yards, I quickly realized any further distance was not only going to be difficult, but lucky if it were a one shot kill and unethical.  With reference to the long distance/range hunting sites, I agree also.  My usual rule of thumb, is to divide by 4, the distance someone tell me they shot there deer at, especially at these site and depending on the person, where I live.  Most of the guys where I hunt have never fired rifles at a range and know nothing about ballistics, other than the MV and ME of the rifle they are using.  They all sight in 2 inches high at 200 yards, no matter what the caliber, which, realistically for around here is reasonable and take most of their shots between 50 to a max. of 200 yards.  Technika brings up a good point which I had not considered, that of a moving deer and the ethics of taking a shot at such a target.  Around here hunting deer with dogs is very popular.  Most clubs use shotguns, but there are quite a few that allow rifles.  This is where you see alot of wounded animals that run for long distances, many are found, many are not.  I have never hunted with dogs, but my future son in law belongs to a club that is only type of hunting for deer they do and I am told and have read it is quite exhilirating, especially when the deer appears and it is your time to shot. 

 

Overall, I agree, with the hunters around here, I would find it irresponsible for them to do long range hunting at their whim.  Unfortunately, it is a call they have to make.  Fortunately, most of these guys are satisfied shooting deer the same old way.  Tree stand, as the law dictates, at short distances.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2007 at 09:47
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Great post & discussion.  Sane, rational, articulate points on all sides.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/25/2007 at 11:30
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What distance you hunt at depends largely on how familiar you are with your equipment --that takes time & practice. Sometimes even the best hunters loose game.  Sometimes it takes experience to learn what is reasonable and experience is offen gained by trial and error.  I would be ralatively comfortable expecting a novice shooter to shoot a deer from a blind with a rest using  a 30-06 and a 3-9 scope out to about 125 yds and might let them try out to 200 but if it was a 12 ga shotgun with slugs 50 yards might be the max . When I was a kid in Texas I shot at one with a 30-06 at 600 and hit it in the right front knee then I walked up to it an put a 22 mag pistol to its head and it was meat for the freezer. Since then I have learned a lot about trajectory and wind. Yes people take shots that are past their ability that is part of the learning curve. Yes some animals are injured and get away. I see more wounded animals in shotgun season here than any other time, most of those are shot at less than 50 yds away on the run.  I arrowed a doe last season -  had a great blood trail and then it started raining so I never found it but I made a reasonable effort over two days to attempt to find it. On the up side - it is necessary to do something to control the deer population as auto vs deer accidents have increased significantly here over the past ten years as the herd has grown and hunting has stayed about the same or  declined. I plant food plots at 200 yds from my deer blind and sight my musket at 200 yds and I make my boys practice at that distance about once a week. I also have an archery range in the basement and they practice year around.

Year before last we had a 190+ class deer walk out at 385 yds according to the Nikon 600 rangefinder but we didn't take a shot with the musket because we had not practiced at that distance, even though it is quite likely that I could have hit it since the musket was sighted at 200 and the blaistics chart is taped in the scope cap. I have passed up shooting at some really nice  deer because I didn't think the shot was safe or in range and some of the ones I've passed up I look back and wonder if I shouldn't have attempted the shot because they were record book deer, but they are still out there and one of these days they will be in the wrong place at the wrong time ---BANG.

 

or



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2007 at 07:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2007 at 15:21
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MM pretty much summed up my feelings on this topic.  I think if you have the right skills and equipment, realize the limitations in your chosen equipment and shooting skills, and know how to accurately compensate for wind -- more power to ya.  Of course, even with a skilled long range shooter using the right equipment, the animal can still move right at the instant the trigger breaks.  The real problem arises where inexperienced shooters fall into the trap of believing that if they just buy the latest super magnum and top it with a huge, high powered scope, they're good to go for anything within a half mile.  There's just too many things working against the average person, with the average rifle, in the average field conditions to consistently make ethical shots at game beyond 350 - 400 yards or so.  Most of the time, I've found people's rifles are typically not as accurate as they think they are.  As Mike said, a shooter should never lie to him/herself.  The animal deserves better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2007 at 15:41
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that's crazy. seems like living targets NOT hunting.

 

i have seen a 450 yard shot before, and thought THAT was a bit irresponsible.

 

i will stick to my 200-250 yrd max shot hunts.

 

impressive skills, but how many have they wounded doing that?

varmints is one thing, but big game should have a bit more respect, IMO.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2007 at 15:58
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As the old saying goes, sometimes we get so caught up in trying to see if we CAN do something that we forget to ask if we SHOULD...

 

That video really bothers me.  One of the guys commended the shooter on a "good" shot because he "hit" the deer, implying that shot placement didn't really matter so long as you can say you hit a deer at 900 yards.  It seemed the novelty of the game trumped any concern for the deer.  These types of videos send a bad message to novice hunters. 

 

I've done enough super long distance shooting at prairie dogs to know that if I could use any rifle in my collection, a bench, and a spotter, I could make those shots.  BUT, that wouldn't make it right, and I wouldn't view it as a badge of honor to say I did it.  It's different with PDs, because if you hit a PD with highly frangible bullets anywhere on their body, the bullet scrapnel will cause them to basically explode.  Plus, PDs and varmints like them do a lot of damage to property and the landowner generally poisons them anyway.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2007 at 16:01
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yeah, that video bothers me.

 

i get crap from some of my buddies for sitting in a treestand instead of stalking game..........

 

oh well. hehehe. i still think it's ethical hunting.

 

J

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On that video, what was the first animal shot?  And to add a twist, what if you have a farm where deer are destroying your crop?  I am not advocating anything, just curious to get some responses.  I have had farmers tell me they applied for special permits for hunting out of season, for this reason.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/27/2007 at 08:40
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that's a good point - we have permits like that as well around here.

 

but those animals were in a grass field, it looked like to me. not crops.

and that still doesn't limit you to unethical means of dispatching these animals.

it's still wrong to me.

 

deer are destrucive to farms. but there are plenty of folks ready and willing to ethically remove them.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/27/2007 at 08:44
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Originally posted by jonbravado jonbravado wrote:

that's a good point - we have permits like that as well around here.

 

but those animals were in a grass field, it looked like to me. not crops.

and that still doesn't limit you to unethical means of dispatching these animals.

it's still wrong to me.

 

deer are destrucive to farms. but there are plenty of folks ready and willing to ethically remove them.

 

J

I agree.  But what was that first animal they shot?

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it looked like a whitetail to me. you:?

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/27/2007 at 09:02
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Not sure.  It appeared shaggy, with a shaggy tail that it was wagging, almost like a big dog.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 13:12
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Dolphin,

 Here's a hint for ya.When you said "when the deer appears and it's your time to shoot"

Unless you "are" in the middle of a field you'd better have a shotgun in your hands or there will be no ethical shot taken.hehehe

That deer will appear and be gone quicker than you can blink.

That phrase reminded me of a bunch of englishmen standing around waitin on the drive and sayin "hey dudley it's your turn to shoot"

Now I'm not sayin this to make ya mad just struck me as funny.But please,if you go hunting with the son-in-law take you a good ole 12ga auto and some buckshot or they may be givin you a hard time later.

Good Luck,

Rock

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 13:14
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Originally posted by ROCKMAN57 ROCKMAN57 wrote:

Dolphin,

 Here's a hint for ya.When you said "when the deer appears and it's your time to shoot"

Unless you "are" in the middle of a field you'd better have a shotgun in your hands or there will be no ethical shot taken.hehehe

That deer will appear and be gone quicker than you can blink.

That phrase reminded me of a bunch of englishmen standing around waitin on the drive and sayin "hey dudley it's your turn to shoot"

Now I'm not sayin this to make ya mad just struck me as funny.But please,if you go hunting with the son-in-law take you a good ole 12ga auto and some buckshot or they may be givin you a hard time later.

Good Luck,

Rock

No doubt about that.

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The secret to success - WALK CLOSER.  It takes more skill to get bow distance from a deer because scent is a factor, movement is a factor stand placement is a factor and you have to scout where the deer are moving and know why they move in certain ways. Terain is a major factor in why they go one place or another. I always like to go out and scout deer tracks after a fresh snow to see where they are moving. Knowing the deer's habits allows you to get close. It's a real rush to have a trophy buck within 15 yds of you. If you have not ever used deer calls you need to watch some of the Primos videos and learn how to make the deer hunt you. 

As for distance the only time we get to use high power rifles in Iowa is last week of late antlerless season and only for does. Muskets are legal for any of the gun seasons which makes it a 200 yd shot at the most. The DNR does issue a very few Depredation Permits for farmers with extensive crop damage but they are hard to get and the deer is not to be transported or used for any purpose. If you hunt all the seasons you are elidgible to hunt in Iowa as a resident and a landowner you can buy a lot of tags - I have thrown away unused tags every year and thats not because I didn't see deer. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 21:14
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Wow, it just goes to show you the diversity of hunting styles here at O.T. For the most part here in the Yooper of Michigan we stalk for our shots. Sometimes it's close and sometimes it's far. Still, my longest shot was at a Colorado mulie @ 300 yards+ with a 4x Burris and a 7mag.

172 pts and an SCI silver award. Great tasting, too, but a properly cared for cedar swamp buck doesn't taste much different......

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