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jgcoastie
August 17, 2009, 12:39 AM
I was talking with my uncle the other day and something just kept sticking in my head... Maybe I'm crazy, decide for yourselves, the following is a paraphrase of how the conversation went. it's kinda long, but I need to vent.

-What are ya'll up to?

Not much, just got back from helping Terry sight in his new elk rifle.

-Oh yeah, what did he get?

A Rem 700, .338 Ultra Mag

-What in the hell does he need that thing for?

For elk huntin of course!

-What's wrong with a .30/06?

It ain't got enough a** left in it at 600yds to drop an elk.

-Why in the hell is he plannin on shootin an elk at 600yds

B/c sometimes you just can't get closer.

-And? Ain't no sense in trying to shoot something that d**n far away...

Well if it comes down to taking the shot and letting the elk of a lifetime walk, you take the shot.

-Like hell you do! You let him walk, just like ya'll raised me to do since I was a little kid. Respect the game, respect your limitations, and only take ethical shots. Since when did a 600yd shot become ethical?

Well I don't know, that's just they way it is. Last year, Ronny had to take a 775yd shot on a bull elk and made it with his .338 Ultra Mag, that's why Terry got him one.

-I don't understand... You're telling me that he had to take a shot from nearly a half mile away? He couldn't walk his a** over a little closer? If I can't kill it with my .30/06 within 350yds, I won't shoot. And I've been huntin with that gun for ten years now. Ya'll are gonna be taking these ultra mags out to Colorado next month thinkin you know them good enough to take 1/2 mile, ethical shots on elk? Ya'll are crazy. Call me back when ya'll get your heads out of your hind-ends. We used to be real hunters, now ya'll are trying to be 1/2 mile hillbilly elk snipers... If ya'll want to shoot stuff at 700 yards, go to the dad-gum range and put holes in paper, at least you won't be wounding animals that you're likely to never find again. *Click*

Am I completely wrong for thinking this way? I can't see an ethical hunter that I've hunted with all my life trying to call this hunting.. It just seems kind of wrong...

Thanks for the venting session.

Crankylove
August 17, 2009, 01:04 AM
I agree with ya. Too many hunters I see are betting on a larger/faster cartridge to make up for poor shot placement or thier inability or unwillingness to stalk the game a little and close the range. I want clean, ethical kills, and shooting an elk with any cartridge at that distance just dosen't seem right to me. And, yes, I know their are cartridges and shooters out there who can make those shots on targets. But, when the result of a muffed shot is a wound animal that will take to an hour just to get to the point where you wounded before you can start tracking it, just goes against what I feel is right, and gives hunters a black eye.

HiBC
August 17, 2009, 02:35 AM
A lot of folks don't like to be told they aren't hunting or shooting right,and I can understand that.He was probably excited/impressed by the rifle,and you rained on his parade.Human nature.
Having said that,I agree with you.There is far more to long range shooting than buying equiptment.Not many folks would get the time in shooting to become proficient at 700 plus yard shooting with a new rifle.
There are folks that get the practice and experience to do exceptional shooting,but IMO,there is a stage of long range shooting where we understand the limitations.
I have access to a 4 section ranch in Co,and I can st up and shoot at 700,or 1000,or 1200 yds.On one hand,its not that big of a deal to hit an inanimate target at 1000 yds,if you have a few rounds to correct for mirage and wind.

But,it is a bit different to get a first round hit.

What range did they sight in for? 100? 200? Or did they shoot at 700?Charts are helpful,but ....

Did they shoot bagged on a bench,or prone or sitting?

I watched a DVD of folks hunting CO ,and the "outfitter" had his clients shooting across canyons at 500-700 yds and these folks were poor shots.These elk were being hit in the legs,guts,hindquarters,and our "hero" hunters were shooting 6 0r 8 times to ruin one to death,and somehow,they were strange enough to be proud of what they did.It was sickening.

I would think they would be embarrassed and ashamed.

If a man tells me he can whack prairie dogs at 500 yds,I have no problem.
But,OP,I'm with you.Treat game with respect.An 06 and 350 yds is the words of a mature,experienced hunter who knows.You have my respect for what you say.
An elk deserves better tha "poke and hope"

hogdogs
August 17, 2009, 03:59 AM
I also factor in meat freshness. 700 yards across a colorado mountain valley will take a long time to...
1) walk to
2) find
3) field dress
4) haul back to camp
5) butcher
I like em' still pliable when I reach them, not in full rigor...:D
Brent

Art Eatman
August 17, 2009, 06:44 AM
Seems to me that there are two groups of these long-distance deer/elk shooters.

The first group gets some high-power wonder gun. And a laser range finder. And, maybe a wind gauge. They study the charts on trajectory and wind drift. They practice on paper at Ma Bell distances. They get pretty good at it. Dunno if it's the first try, but finally they have photos or video of a hunt where a one-shot kill is made way, way, way Out There. Makes a great magazine article, or even something for a TV hunting show.

Then we have the second group. They see what these guys can do or have done, but don't realize that there may well have been some chopped-up elk before everything looked good in the pictures. They buy the gun a week or two before the season opens. They sail off to play Mighty Nimrod. Odds are, they wind up with spooked elk, educated elk, or chopped-up elk.

What we gripe about here, I think, is this second group. About all we can do is not be like them. Getting all upset over it is a waste of psychic energy. Just teach your kid the right way--"right" having to do with gun and skill level. Learn/teach the limits; stay within them.

jrothWA
August 17, 2009, 07:34 AM
you just sit down with the wonder gun and wait.
A still hunter will slowly work his way around the woods and will KNOW more of the "lay of the land" and where game trails run.

I'm in Washington from Michigan and use a .308 but have nagging doubt about using my handloads on Elk. I did get a 7mmMag and I going to take a 400+ shot?
NO!

Have a laser renger-finder, but I use it for telling me what my limits are.

Sighting in is @ 200yds for both .308 & 7mm.

use to do sight-in @ club in Michigan, everyone wanted 100yds, I placed an 2nd target @200, once I got the shooters on @100 (off bags). Had them try the 200 target and they couldn't believe the drop! Some actually resight (few) the rest didn't care.

hardluk1
August 17, 2009, 08:57 AM
I to shoot a 7mm mag and also make my limit at 400 yards . I use a 300 yard zero and that keeps the bullet 6 low at 400. Beyound that it's fall'n to the ground. Don't want bad bullet placement to screw up a good hunt. To hard to tell if something beyound 400yards is worth kill'n or not. A big elk or deer 200 yards down hill means along night of backpack'n so keep them close or easy for sure. Never did understand hunters leave'n good meat behind.

LanceOregon
August 17, 2009, 09:01 AM
Here is a video of some hunters who set up their rifles on the top of a ridge overlooking a couple of canyons, and then managed to use their calling skills to call in an Elk to within 834 yards.

Checkout the shot here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCyTRzL5AAQ&feature=PlayList&p=DE0864DCBAB4AED0&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=19


Here is another shorter Elk shot at 752 yards, also taken from the rim of a canyon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAdPY39Ja1c


Finally, here is the longest Elk shot of them all, at 925 yards!!! Check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4o6n6rRlQs



-

rantingredneck
August 17, 2009, 09:06 AM
I own two hunting rifles. Remington 700 ADL's in .243 Win and .30-06. I figure there isn't anything in North America I couldn't kill with one or the other, properly loaded, if I have any skill in the woods at all.

I've seen more deer wounded and lost to "magnum" calibers wielded by sub-standard hunters. "That's all I have to say about that........."

ThomasPaine
August 17, 2009, 09:15 AM
I actually work with someone who prefers to go bow hunting, even though he also goes during gun season. He says the challenge is greater and feels like he can be more proud of getting a buck with a good rack with a bow than a rifle.

I do not hunt, I am not a nature person. I would not hunt with such high powered weapons if I did. The thrill of the hunt does not involve just the kill, it is the entire process. I believe hunters, like the one I work with, actually get more pleasure from the ones that get away than someone with a high powered rifle gets from the kill.

Brian Pfleuger
August 17, 2009, 09:24 AM
It's the modern "I want it now" attitude.

No discipline, no effort, no pain, no failure, no work, no knowledge.


Get a super wonder extra magnum, go sit where you can see a mile, shoot until you kill one, call it a successful hunt and then tell everyone that the only reason they don't do it is because they're not good enough to shoot that far.... then make and sell a video showing how "everyone" can do it, all whilst paying no never mind to the fact that "everyone" does not WANT to do it.



However, so far as the actual conversation.... it went that way because you crapped on his sidewalk. No sense in busting someone's balloon when you know it's not going to do any good. I mean, what's he going to say? "Yeah, I guess your right, I'll take this rifle back to the store and trade it for an -06..."
Not likely.

wyobohunter
August 17, 2009, 10:17 AM
What has happened to us???

Near as I can figure, people have been pushing the limits of contemporary ballistic technology since man learned that tasty critters can be killed with flying objects. I'm not saying that there aren't unethical long range flock shooters and gut blasters out there because we all know that there are plenty of em.
However, if a hunter dedicates himself to the art of long range shooting I see no problem. This means that he spends lots of time working up the perfect load for his highly accurate rifle/scope combination. He then spends even more time shooting that load/rifle combination under field conditions so that he has a supreme understanding of his personal limits and stays within those limits.
I limit myself to 350 yds with my 30-06 because it is a lightweight job with a relatively low power scope. The 350 yard drop is 15" using 180 gr. Swift Scirocco II bullets (BC of .52) driven at a modest velocity of 2694 fps (average) by 52 grains of H4350 touched off by a CCI BR-2 primer. The forementioned components are held together with a case that is fire formed to that particular rifle and prepared very carefully etc. etc.
My .338 RUM is a work in progress; once I have it dialed in just right I'll prolly end up with a personal limit of about 500 yds, but it will be my personal limit and nobody else will have any say in the matter.
I limit myself to 20 yards or so with my longbow because any farther would be unethical for me, I think I could forgive Howard Hill for shooting a bit farther with his.

Fremmer
August 17, 2009, 10:32 AM
So let him have fun with the gun he wants. If the guy practices with his mag and shoots it well, I have no problem with it. To each his own. He may be hunting in an area where you have to take long shots, and if he wants more power, well, more power to him. I wouldn't worry so much about what some guy uses to hunt elk.

What has happened to us? Maybe we worry to much about what other people are doing. ;)

HiBC
August 17, 2009, 02:46 PM
I do agree that higher BC good hunting bullets and high performance cartridges,better scopes and laser rangefinders,etc make many things possible.I have a Leica rangefinder,and a wind guage,and Sierra's ballistic computer program,and a chronograph.

I actually built a longish range elk rifle (600yd)starting with the 200 gr 30 cal accubond bullet.In the computer,allowing for altitude,I matched the bullet @2900 fps to the Leupold B+C reticle.300 yd zero,and it hits the reticle marks to 600 yds.At 700 yds,it still hits like a 30-40 krag@100 yds.
It's a 30-338,I blueprinted a comercial HVA action and put a 26 in Lilja bbl on it.I put it in a Hitec Specialties 20 oz stock,but used stee-bed and pillars to bed it,free floated.It has a Canjar trigger and a Leupold 3.5-10 .40mm obj with the B=C reticle.My calculations worked out,and actually shooting at targets at 400,500,and 600 yds,it is on.The wind ladder is good for a 12 mph crosswind

My other long range rifle is a Win M-70 laredo,like a sendero rem.
HS precision stock,aluminum bedding,Nightforce 20 minute angle mounts,and a 30mm tube 4.5 -14 Leupold long range side focus M-whatever with a mil-dot

I chronographed it at the muzzle,then again at a lasered 300m.I zeroed it perfectly at 300m,then backed up to 760 meters and zeroed again,and recorded the clicks.I sent all my data to Kenton industries,and they made me a custom knob.I just dial the range to 1400 meters.

I'm not in the same league with the guys who shoot F-class,etc,

but,I do have some understanding about shooting a ways off.

I suppose it comes down to hustling an 8 inch pumpkin out as far as you think you ought to shoot,and if that is 700 yds,fine.hustle back to the firing line,put 3 rounds in your rifle.Use whatever you will have with you in the field hunting,and shoot 3 rounds.If you hit the pumpkin twice,I'm convinced.

For fun,at daybreak,when all is cool,sandbag a riflescope to crosshairs on target at 600 yds.Wait till the sun is higher,and the air is warm.Now,look through the scope.What happened to the elevation? 2 or 3 feet? interesting.

Speaking of elevation,if you sight in at 3000 feet and elk hunt at 8000 feetand shoot at 700 yds,unless you know the effect,you'll hit backstrap or?

We have increased ou ability to hit at longer ranges,and maybe 350 yds is conservative.

I hope you verify your ability.

Old Grump
August 17, 2009, 03:01 PM
Old dinosaur here and I grew up when most had a 30-30, 30-06 or 270 and the thutty thutty was the most seen in the woods back home. I love shooting long distance and have the guns for it but that's on paper or heaven forbid self defense. If I can't kill something within 200 yards with my 308 I don't need to be shooting at it and that includes moose and elk. Would I like a 338, you betcha, and a 416 Remington and a 450 Lott and a........well I want egg in my beer to but I don't need them.

Huntergirl
August 17, 2009, 03:12 PM
Agree here.

flyguyskt
August 17, 2009, 03:21 PM
okay i can see both sides here.

i do believe in "hunting" and have been doing so for 30 years. not that long but long enuff and have taken more animals i would guess than the average person my age...we used to do deprevation "shoot" 20 to 30 animals a day. and i think hunting is an evolution of sorts for an individual.

after alot of game under my belt i decided i wanted to really hunt and get close to an animal...so i put down the rifles and picked up a bow...been throwing feathers for about 12 years now and this year decided that i was going to hunt again...but now for different reasons...dad and i used to hunt together and hes been gone for about 7 years now...so its time for me to remember all the things he taught me....

so now after all these years i decided i am going to hunt alot and hunt hard... built a couple of guns capable of 6-800yrd shots... i want to take an antelope past 6oo. its just a challenge thing for me...

isnt THAT what hunting is...a CHALLENGE... it is certainly not for the need to eat anymore.

just an observation. and i agree too many guys go buy a kimber rifle that has a cute little certified sub moa target with it and think "i can do that" RIIIIGHT sur ya can big guy...

i would put money on the fact that 9 out of 10 shooters are not capable of sub MOA no matter the wepon they choose. real world conditions of coarse.

i shoot quite a bit and even i struggle with the wind and staying MOA or better with hand built weapons.

IF you are capable of consistently ringing an 8 inch gong at 4-800yrds after climbing up to 7k feet of elevation while your heart beats from the lack of oxygen and your hands are shaking because your brain is deprived of same oxygen...then by all means take the shot...IF NOT don't pull that trigger!

emcon5
August 17, 2009, 04:47 PM
so now after all these years i decided i am going to hunt alot and hunt hard... built a couple of guns capable of 6-800yrd shots... i want to take an antelope past 6oo. its just a challenge thing for me...The problem is that having a gun capable of 6-800yrd shots is the easy part. Anyone with a bank account can buy such a rifle. The skill and discipline to make accurate real world shots at unknown ranges that far out can't be bought. It doesn't matter how capable the rifle is, if you are off by 50 yards on the range call, you will be off by a couple feet. If you get the wind wrong, you could be off by another couple feet.

To quote Inspector Callahan, "A man's got to know his limitations"

IF you are capable of consistently ringing an 8 inch gong at 4-800yrds after climbing up to 7k feet of elevation while your heart beats from the lack of oxygen and your hands are shaking because your brain is deprived of same oxygen...then by all means take the shot...IF NOT don't pull that trigger!Exactly.

ZeroJunk
August 17, 2009, 05:42 PM
If a man wants to try and kill an Elk or whatever at 800 yards it's none of my business.

I have spent several years trying and succeeding a few times in getting within 40 yards of a bull for a bow shot. I'll bet you that no matter who you are it would be a bigger rush.

GeauxTide
August 18, 2009, 07:45 AM
A 140gr Berger in a 6.5-284 @3100fps, zeroed for 500 yds will be travelling 1836 at 900 yds. At 5000 ft elevation with a 5mph cross wind, the bullet will move 29 inches! Oh, and 110 inches elevation needed. Not for me. Ballistics from Barnes Ballistic Calculator.

publius
August 18, 2009, 11:48 AM
I have nothing against big guns but I do have a problem with most people shooting at those ranges. You have to be really, really, good to consistently make shots that far. You need to be a really good benchrest shooter and most of those guys I know wouldn't atempt such a shot b/c they know the uncontrollable variables. Those guys use wind flags to adjust for the slightest bit of wind and change their loads with the smallest change in temp., humidity. It matters a great deal. You may get good at your shooting range where wind conditions are usually close to the same and you have done your load development and sighting and practice in sept. oct. Now what happens when you have that 700 yd. shot with a log for a rest, in Dec. with a switching 10mph. wind, at a 5degree angle? Too much risk for me.

BLS700
August 18, 2009, 11:53 AM
I just had this same argument with someone. I'm with you. If you can't take a shot that YOU are comfortable with making it shouldn't be taken. That's disrespectful to the animal, to the hunting community and to the gun owning community. Personally I feel if you're no longer capable of stalking to a reasonable distance maybe you shouldn't be out there. Take shots you know from experience are in your range. Good for you on calling him on it.

ojibweindian
August 18, 2009, 11:53 AM
The way I look at it, killing a deer/elk/whatever at 700 yards just means that I've got that much farther to drag it back to the truck :p

BLS700
August 18, 2009, 11:56 AM
nice post Geauxtide. How many people can do that calculation in the heat of an elk hunt. Oh yeah then they still have to have the shooting skills to make that happen on God knows whatever terrain and rest their shooting off. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that's a small percentage of hunters.

NWPilgrim
August 18, 2009, 12:16 PM
Hunting means something different to each hunter, and hunting occurs under a wide variety of circumstances.

Personally, I think hunting is about the challenge of knowing your animal's habitats and habits, tracking sign, moving with stealth, and the physical fitness to go after your game. That usually means getting within 200 yds.

But someone else may just want to add meat to the freezer and he only get one week out of the year to go on an extended hunt. If he hasn't seen much all week and then sights a head of game at long range it may mean taking the long shot or no game meat for the year.

Yet another hunter may be out for the challenge of a trophy head or to test their shooting skills in a natural environment.

Being from the West coast I don't understand the style of hunting for white tail from a tree stand or blind over a feed lot. Easy way for overweight guys to bring home a trophy buck, but I fail to see the satisfaction of that form of hunting. But, maybe whitetail are that much different from blacktail or mule deer. I don't know.

Out here when you say you are an elk hunter other hunters immediately appreciate the fact you hump ridges and valleys that are 2,000-4,000 ft elevation gain, and that you have to carry that sucker out on your back in heavy timber over those same ridges. And elk always seem to fall waaaay down the ridge when they are shot.

I don't understand the thrill of the safari hunts you see on TV in which the PH and tracker carry shooting sticks for the guest hunter, set them up just right and tell the guest when to pull the trigger. The guest knew little about tracking, sighting or judging the game; just pulled the trigger on command. But for them that may have been the hunt of a lifetime in an exotic location, or the introduction to that area and future hunts will be more independent.

These are great discussions to have around the campfire, but I believe every hunter is entitled to hunt however they want, even if I don't see much "hunt" to their style of hunting.

Brian Pfleuger
August 18, 2009, 12:27 PM
Being from the West coast I don't understand the style of hunting for white tail from a tree stand or blind over a feed lot. Easy way for overweight guys to bring home a trophy buck, but I fail to see the satisfaction of that form of hunting. But, maybe whitetail are that much different from blacktail or mule deer. I don't know.

Well, I can answer that question.... the single biggest factor is access to sufficient land for other types of hunting. Don't think that the way you see it on TV is the way most people hunt whitetail but the largest factor to sitting in a tree and not moving is that many of us do not have enough land to move around on.

My hunting group, as an example, owns fourteen (yes, 14) acres to hunt on. We have limited access to about 100 more aces.... this for 6 or 8 guys to hunt on. Not much walking....

We do have many 10's of thousand of acres of state land on which to hunt, but there are at least two or three major problems...

1)Much of it is filled with nut jobs from major urban areas that don't know a cow from a deer (literally).

2)Some of it is hours away and we often only have an hour or two available.

3)A whole lot of it doesn't have any deer on it to speak of.

roy reali
August 18, 2009, 01:08 PM
I have on several occasions seen guys with the latest super-mag at the range. I suppose they might hit something once they get over their flinching.;)

Several years ago I went to sportsman show. They had guides and outfitters from most of the western states there. I chatted with some of them about the "proper" elk cartridge. They feel better when a client shows up with a .30-06 type cartridge. The gee-whiz mag guys make them nervous.

hogdogs
August 18, 2009, 01:15 PM
Load the mag for a guy shooting one of them "uber thumper" magnums but slip a dud round with just a bullet seated over empty bass and dud primer...
Watch most of them jump out of their skin upon the innocent harmless "click" and then they blush... I consider the .30-06 my long range max round and I admit 200 yards if the outer fringe of my vision ability thus little practice so I consider 100 plenty and 150 max yards so the little light short lever gun in soft shooting .30-30 to be plenty.
Brent

Art Eatman
August 18, 2009, 05:42 PM
3% of the US workforce lives on the farm or ranch. 3%. That means that 97% does not.

I don't care if you're a trucker or a stevadore, a UAW guy or a Wall Streeter: Unless you're nearly fanatical, you're not gonna have the time and opportunity to learn all about the outdoors and guns'n'critters. That in no way means you don't want to hunt or don't ever go hunting. But it means you're limited in time or money or skill or all of the above.

All that is why I don't go running my mouth against the way other people do their hunting--so long as they stay somewhere near ethical in their behavior.

How many of y'all have made dry runs of 12 to 15 miles, several days in a row, looking for a buck? All the while knowing that you have a total of sixteen days. And in country where it might well be that the only buck you'll see will maybe start running at 300 or more yards...But I'd rather do that than sit and wait--which I have also done.

When the leaves and grass are a bit wet, it's not difficult to sneak up on a buck and from ten feet, hit him in the butt with a rock. Call it "Comedy Hour". Okay, a few seconds, anyway. :D

But as long as folks are content with their ways, and as I said, stay ethical, the best deal for all of us is to do our thing our way and not go to bum-rapping others...

hogdogs
August 18, 2009, 06:01 PM
Art, I admit I have never suffered super long hikes in search of game, especially "trophy" specimens. Legal was all I was taught to worry about and my grand dad who taught me to deer hunt would already have spots scouted but he did go several seasons with no buck. I got lucky to get 3 in my first 3 seasons... all very low average small body 4-8 pointers.

Now I have zero desire to put forth any money in search of special game. I simply cannot afford it. I am not physically able to tote a deer too many hundred yards alone.

I admire those who are truly skilled in repeatable long range shooting. I also admire those who are willing to hike in a day for a trophy animal so long as they haul out the meat and not just the head. I don't understand the affection of spending tens of thousands to accomplish it though:o
Brent

davlandrum
August 18, 2009, 06:31 PM
Brent,

I don't know about "tens of thousands" but my hunting partner and I are saving and hoarding our "pop" can refunds to go on a wilderness elk hunt in the next few years - before we get way too old to do it (argument can certainly be made we are already too old :p...). Even switched brands of snoose to save a little more.

We have the opportunity to hunt elk here every year, but to do a once in a lifetime (for us) pack-in bow hunt where the elk are big and not afraid to bugle....Priceless - even if we get skunked.

But I understand fully what you are saying. I would have to put our deer hunting in the "fill-the-freezer" category.

ZeroJunk
August 18, 2009, 07:09 PM
I am not sure exacly how much money I have spent over the years hunting here and there, but it's well over $100,000. I would happily do it again.

The hardest part is finding people crazy enough to go with me.:)

hogdogs
August 18, 2009, 07:11 PM
finding people crazy enough
Zero, If we ever meet you will agree that I am crazy enough but wealthy enuff is another story.
Brent

jgcoastie
August 18, 2009, 07:55 PM
All that is why I don't go running my mouth against the way other people do their hunting--so long as they stay somewhere near ethical in their behavior.

Art, I'm all for people doing their own thing when it comes to hunting, however I've seen the transition these guys have made... They've gone from a hardline of "300yd max for hunting" and ".30/06 or .308 is all you need. To falling into the uber-magnum, "look, mine is bigger than yours", acting like a 13 year-old thinking the only way to kill an elk is with a .338 ultra-mag or .338-378. It just seems like the very people who instilled "old school" hunting ethics in me are now turning around and doing the same things that they criticized others for years ago...

I guess I just miss the good ol days...

Fremmer
August 18, 2009, 08:04 PM
The good old days? No worries. You can still shoot your .308 or .30-06 (I do). But some guys can take the long shots, and can shoot the big rounds without flinching. As long as they can do it right, it's cool with me.

wyobohunter
August 18, 2009, 08:07 PM
Load the mag for a guy shooting one of them "uber thumper" magnums but slip a dud round with just a bullet seated over empty bass and dud primer...
Watch most of them jump out of their skin upon the innocent harmless "click" and then they blush...

This is how my dad tought me to shoot his "ought-six" when I was about 8 years old... I occasionally do this with my friends who are... less balistically inclined:D

sc928porsche
August 18, 2009, 09:34 PM
Seems like this is always a touchy subject. Some people are simply much better at shooting than others and that is usually due to practice, practice, practice. I fire 1000's of rounds each year at the range, hunt varmits (marmots, p dogs etc.) and of course the yearly deer season. Occasionally I get in an elk hunt, moose, or bear. But those are rare occasions. I truely enjoy shooting sports and reloading.

Personally I limit my shots within 400yds for deer and elk. Even with the 300WM I would feel uncomfortable making a longer shot. I also know that there are those who are better than I am and since I do not know their limitations I refrain from making any judgement. The point being is that you must know what your limitations are and what your equipment is capable of doing comfortably. To stretch the capability of either is a mistake. You may be successful or lucky or whatever you want to call it, nonetheless it is still a mistake.

jgcoastie
August 19, 2009, 12:43 AM
Seems like this is always a touchy subject. Some people are simply much better at shooting than others and that is usually due to practice, practice, practice.

Which usually isn't defined by sighting in and shooting a couple times the month before your hunting trip...

I know it's a touchy subject, but I can't see the reason behind taking 700yd shots on elk, or any game for that matter. (With the possible exception of them prairie dogs, coyote too.)

Stumper
August 19, 2009, 01:06 AM
It has been years since I hunted big game with a firearm. I find almost getting a shot with a bow more thrilling than killing yet another animal with a centerfire rifle.......but I'm NOT anti-gun hunting nor am I totally against long range sniping for the few that can responsibly do it..........but it isn't really hunting IMO and , despite the fact that other people comment on my being a "good shot" and "way better than average" I do not consider myself able to responsibly shoot at game at ranges much beyond 300yards.......and Just about all of the truckloads of anmnals I've bagged with a rifle were taken inside 225 yards.

WAPITI_ASSASSIN
August 19, 2009, 01:44 AM
+1 for nwpilgrim you said it.
everyone does have a style they like best or fits the situation they are in best. I to live on the west coast "oregon". And i don't see the point in having to aim ten feet above an animal iether. But if thats what they got to do back there to enjoy what they love more power to them.
i personaly hunt with open sights :D

Art Eatman
August 19, 2009, 09:52 AM
I guess that if I have a point (and if I part my hair right, it won't show) it's that we need to use the word "some" when we go to denigrating what we see as idiotic hunting/shooting styles.

"Some" long-range shooters hadn't oughta. "Some" magnum rifle shooters shoulda stayed with medium power critters. But, "some" do quite well with Big Bertha and Ma Bell shots.

I just don't get into the "One size fits all" stuff. Bits and pieces: "Oh, never take a neck shot. The deer might move." Lordy! I was middle-aged before I knew there was any other place on a deer to shoot! Hey, that's what my uncle and my father told me to do, back when I was a teeny-bopper.

In my stomping ground here, ya gotta go to the deer. These lazy mule deer (bleeps) generally don't get up and come to you. So, you walk a lot, and try to have worked into the ability to take long shots. Back around Uvalde and at the old family place near Austin, I often just parked the jeep, sat back and snoozed--and roused and shot Bambi.

But, like a lot of y'all, I've seen some idiots who really ought to have taken up a new line of work. Some.

:), Art

wyobohunter
August 19, 2009, 10:19 AM
Couldn't of been said better.

4406v
August 19, 2009, 12:08 PM
I spend alot of time archery hunting with a recurve bow in the fall where my shots are 20 yds or less.If I have tags left by rifle season then it's "fill the freezer" time.It is almost unfair for me to hunt with a gun after having my hunting skills honed razor sharp during archery season.I still would not shoot an animal over 300 yds with the rifle.For me an animal at 600 yds is just the hunt about to begin.If I couldn't get closer the animal walks untouched!!!

ZeroJunk
August 19, 2009, 12:30 PM
Personally, I can get within 50 yards of a deer a heck of a lot easier than I can hit him at 800.:)

hogdogs
August 19, 2009, 12:37 PM
For me an animal at 600 yds is just the hunt about to begin.If I couldn't get closer the animal walks untouched!!!
For me... If I took a shot at 600 he would still walk "untouched" I bet!:o
Brent

Brian Pfleuger
August 19, 2009, 12:42 PM
For me... If I took a shot at 600 he would still walk "untouched" I bet!

That made me laugh.... it'd probably be true for me too.:D

Never tried.... how does a woodchuck at 300 compare to an elk at 600? 300 on a chuck is relatively easy, IMHO.

davlandrum
August 19, 2009, 01:15 PM
Peetza - how big is a woodchuck? I would swag the kill zone on an elk at 12-18"

Adrian
August 20, 2009, 03:36 PM
Peetza - how big is a woodchuck? I would swag the kill zone on an elk at 12-18"

The groundhog (woodchuck) is the largest sciurid in its geographical range, typically measuring 40 to 65 cm (17 to 26 in) long (including a 15 cm tail) and weighing 2 to 4 kg (4.5 to 9 pounds).

So, taking off 5-6" for the woodchuck's tail, the kill zone on an elk is roughly woodchuck-sized. Convenient, isn't it? If you can hit a woodchuck, you can probably kill an elk at the same distance, under the same circumstances.

Brian Pfleuger
August 20, 2009, 03:45 PM
Peetza - how big is a woodchuck? I would swag the kill zone on an elk at 12-18"


When they're sitting up I'd say they might be 12 inches tall, on average, and maybe 6-8 inches wide, depending on age and how fat they are. They can get a whole lot bigger than 9 pounds though, I guarantee that.

I made a shot on one that was 184 yards that I consider to be the best shot I ever made, only because it was a baby.... probably the size of a 20oz soda bottle.

davlandrum
August 20, 2009, 03:48 PM
So the answer to Peetza' question

how does a woodchuck at 300 compare to an elk at 600? 300 on a chuck is relatively easy, IMHO.

Would be "approximately the same as a woodchuck at 600".

Brian Pfleuger
August 20, 2009, 03:49 PM
That's pretty hard then.... cuz a woodchuck at 600 is pretty friggin' darn hard to hit. I would guess that the "average" shooter would not hit a woodchuck at that distance more than 1 in 20 chances, and that might be generous, especially without trying a couple and correcting, which is not something most living things are prone to allow.

langenc
August 20, 2009, 10:35 PM
Most 600-700 yd shots are really 150-175 yards.

emcon5
August 21, 2009, 02:00 AM
So, taking off 5-6" for the woodchuck's tail, the kill zone on an elk is roughly woodchuck-sized. Convenient, isn't it? If you can hit a woodchuck, you can probably kill an elk at the same distance, under the same circumstances.The difference of course is that if you miss the woodchuck, you miss.

If you miss the woodchuck-sized-vitals of the elk, you may miss, you may have a cripple. Some people are evidently OK with that. I am not.

BillJunior
August 21, 2009, 04:41 AM
Fremmer said:

"So let him have fun with the gun he wants. If the guy practices with his mag and shoots it well, I have no problem with it. To each his own. He may be hunting in an area where you have to take long shots, and if he wants more power, well, more power to him. I wouldn't worry so much about what some guy uses to hunt elk.

What has happened to us? Maybe we worry to much about what other people are doing. "

I agree. However, personally I have been downsizing my deer rifle the last few years from 7mm Rem Mag to .270 and now I'm using a 7mm-08 this year. Even with the 7mm Rem Mag I limited my range to 300 yds maximum.

davlandrum
August 21, 2009, 10:19 AM
+1 emcon5. see my sig. line.

Peetza - agree, dang hard shot. Add in to that all the variables: wind blowing, freezing to death, fingers numb, heart pumping, etc.

Not something I could or would try.

Art Eatman
August 21, 2009, 11:36 AM
Making a long story short: I learned that at about 550 yards, a "breeze" if misjudged a tad can carry a .30-'06 bullet from a deer's nose to his hind foot. I'd figured on drift to around the heart area. (I'd also figured the distance at around 400, but that's not pertinent.)

At my 500-yard range here at the house, I've held two feet upwind of the target plate, to hit dead center--and it truly was just a gentle breeze at the shooting table.

IOW, if you know the distance, trajectory is the easy part.

lt dan
August 21, 2009, 11:56 AM
less than 7% of hunts that take place in Namibia and s-Africa are hunts with foreigners of which the most are British and German hunters and the rest n-Americans and some Russians and so on. according to the s-African hunters and wild life conservation's research. so amongst the odd 93 % of hunts are done by local hunters and of them the 338 was voted as one of the top 10 worst calibers to own in Africa with the 30-06 as the best.

so i agree with your uncle.

farmall
August 21, 2009, 12:12 PM
Other than prairie dogs, I don't hunt so I probably shouldn't comment but I will.

I honestly havent met that many "hunters" who were "shooters". I have tried to help alot of guys sight in deer rifles around here. The 1" high at 100 seems to be the gold standard in these parts, yet I've seen guys take the 4-500yd shots they have no business taking. There's also alot of 3 legged deer around!
Most of the "hunter" group will complain about the cost of ammo, fire 3-5 shots, and declare "thats good enough for me"!

You never hear stories about the guy who missed, or miserably wounded the deer at extreme range.

Damn few people have the time and resoursces to develop the skills needed to shoot effectively at these ranges. And all the range time in the world wont compensate for field skills.

I dont know.........but to me it just ain't ethical!

Andy

4406v
August 21, 2009, 01:06 PM
I consider myself an ethical hunter,I know my rifle and what it's capable of.I have been shooting the same model 700 7mm Rem mag for 21 years and I've killed alot of game with it.I was taught at an early age that you OWE it to the animal if you're going to shoot it to make its death as quick and humane as possible.Unless you are able to pin point a shot into the animals vitals it's UNETHICAL to take the shot.The only excuse for taking a 600 yd shot would be at a wounded animal you are trying to finish.

LanceOregon
August 22, 2009, 07:01 PM
Peetza - how big is a woodchuck? I would swag the kill zone on an elk at 12-18"


This is my biggest ever chuck. Easily the fattest and widest one I've ever seen too. He had really thick layers of fat on him.

For perspective, the shoe size in the photo is 10 1/2:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2542/3846278841_a3b0daca9a_o.jpg

Most of the chucks we shot that day were bloodied badly, and had good sized holes in them. Some were even ripped apart pretty good.

But the 50 gr VAX bullet from a .223 went into this fella, and it never came out.

--

Fremmer
August 23, 2009, 08:51 AM
Holy Smoke! That is one FAT chuck, Lance!!!! :eek:

Huntergirl
August 27, 2009, 08:23 AM
I remember talking to a Game and Fish officer a couple years ago, who said that alot of elk found dead by F&G and not harvested, were from poorly placed shots. He said he watched hunters in the field taking ridiculously long and difficult shots, knowing from experience, that those hunters would never bother to track down a wounded elk. Most were not in good enough shape to even be hunting. I think that's a big point right there why some hunters go to a big boomer. They think a big magnum will compensate for poor placement. And we know that's not true.

longranger
August 27, 2009, 05:49 PM
Huntergirl,

You are spot on as well you have must have been talking to the same Fand G guy I did.Except he was talking about all of the the 3 legged Antelope that were going to die because of hunters not knowing ranges and expected trajectories for their rifles.

wyobohunter
August 27, 2009, 10:29 PM
This should make most of you happy. I went out Moose hunting w/my 30-06 because the boomer isn't all dialed in just right yet. I've got the 06' set up for 350 yds (max) and carry a rangefinder that compensates for shot angle. Only legal Moose we found was ranged at 504 yds (after angle compensation). Long story short, she was in grass so tall it looked like she was laying down and we were at the edge of that grass. Stalking in closer was impossible because once you drop down in you can't see a durn thing but grass (unless you are an NBA player). Had to let her go, but if I had the .338 all dialed in, nother story:D

Old Grump
August 28, 2009, 11:33 AM
It was a good hunt, you saw a moose and it was good sportsmanship. My hat off to you.

HiBC
August 28, 2009, 11:58 AM
You have no regret.Good for you.

Its funny,that 600yd elk rifle I built has taken a deer and an antelope,both inside 300 yds.

I haven't taken it elk hunting.

The rifle I have been using has a 1.5-5 scope on it,a 21 in bbl,and a 308 like trajectory.OK it is a 260 gr .375 bullet,but I always have liked Elmer Keith.

Sportdog
August 30, 2009, 12:08 AM
The funny thing about this thread is that it reminds me so much of the late, great, Jack O'Conner and his thoughts about distance shooting and the cartridges to avoid. The thoughts that he put down in his books and Outdoor Life articles were just as many feel here, don't take long shots UNLESS you have plenty of practice and skill behind that trigger finger and try to lessen the distance as much as is reasonalble. One of his big pet peeves he had was with what Joe Hunter was trying to do with his "rainbow trajectory" 30-30 "leg breaker". But he always blamed the Joe Hunter, not the 30-30. The reality is that no matter what rifle/cartridge combination you select, you need to know what YOUR limitations are. I won't be critical of someone taking a shot at "X" distance if he honestly believes that he can make the shot. I will be critical of someone who just blazes away. I will close with a quote from Mr. O'Conner, "The man who "hopes" he can hit almost never does. The man who "thinks" he can hit often makes a good quick kill, but sometimes wounds. The man who "knows" he can hit almost always does a neat job and almost never wounds." Whether you choose to hunt with a 243 or a 375, know your rifle and your limitations.

Legionnaire
August 31, 2009, 10:47 AM
What has happened to us? Too much saturation by marketing-driven media from companies that make their money selling "stuff," especially new guns and new cartridges. Heck, look at all the new stuff at Cabela's every year! One doesn't need the latest "leafy camoed gore-tex scent-blocking 3-D polar fleece" outfit every season. But we've become easily-influenced consumers. Too few of us left that really enjoy the out-of-door experience; "the hunt" has, for many, become an endless search through catalogs, magazines, and stores for the gratification that comes from a new purchase. Sigh.

I used to be a hunter safety instructor before my last move (unfortunately, PA wouldn't recognize my NY credentials and I don't have time to get recertified). I miss the interaction with the kids who really wanted to learn about hunting. Some of the best conversations started with the question, "What do I need to hunt (insert favorite game)?" "No, you don't need a six-inch-tanto-blade-combat/survival knife for deer ... a folder with a three-inch blade is plenty for field dressing." You get the point.

Can't really blame the companies who keep coming up with more stuff; we're suckers for it, and it keeps them in business. But we're losing the connection to the outdoors and are spending too much time on the "virtual" hunt, which takes us through pages of new "stuff." Too bad that time isn't spent honing field skills, or just getting and staying in shape!

ZeroJunk
August 31, 2009, 10:59 AM
What has happened to us? Too much saturation by marketing-driven media from companies that make their money selling "stuff," especially new guns and new cartridges. Heck, look at all the new stuff at Cabela's every year! One doesn't need the latest "leafy camoed gore-tex scent-blocking 3-D polar fleece" outfit every season.


Ninety percent of the time I wear blue jeans unless I'm bow hunting and sometimes even then.
It's kind of nutty to have on a bunch of camo and then put a full size orange vest on top of it.

But, try and buy a good hunting jacket with good pockets and compartments that is not camo. They don't make them.

darkgael
August 31, 2009, 12:21 PM
I very much agree with the OP.
I can't see an ethical hunter that I've hunted with all my life trying to call this hunting.. It just seems kind of wrong...
Don't know about ethics and long shots but...
600 yards....775 yards....400 yards.
That's finding an Elk.
Taking the shot....that's shooting the Elk.
Getting close....stalking it.....crawling up if need be....THAT is hunting the Elk.

A quick story: I know a fellow, a friend of my son, who travels every year to Alaska to hunt caribou up North. He is a bow hunter. There are no trees on the tundra. He will glass an animal at those long distances and then make a decision....then he gets down and crawls toward the animal until he gets close enough to take a bow shot. He may have to crawl nearly as long a distance as those Magnum shooters shoot. He takes a caribou each year. THAT is hunting.
Pete

PS - a woodchuck at 600 is pretty friggin' darn hard to hit.

Very true. It ain't hunting though.

oneounceload
August 31, 2009, 12:22 PM
But, try and buy a good hunting jacket with good pockets and compartments that is not camo. They don't make them.

http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?categoryId=50617&storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&from=SR&feat=sr

I've always liked this one - have used one similar to it for years

wyobohunter
August 31, 2009, 10:42 PM
Don't know about ethics and long shots but...
600 yards....775 yards....400 yards.
That's finding an Elk.
Taking the shot....that's shooting the Elk.
Getting close....stalking it.....crawling up if need be....THAT is hunting the Elk.
... By your definition only. The guy who uses a compound with all the goodies may not consider going out with a rifle "hunting", the trad bowhunter may think that the guy with training wheels is cheating a little, the fella with a self bow could think the same thing of the guy with a bow that is laminated, the hunter with atlatl in hand etc etc... It's pretty easy to find fault in somebody elses way of doing things and say "this aint that & that aint this", it's nonsense IMO. Do what you do so long as you do it well, call it whatever you want and "judge not".

darkgael
September 1, 2009, 08:20 AM
The guy who uses a compound with all the goodies may not consider going out with a rifle "hunting", the trad bowhunter may think that the guy with training wheels is cheating a little, the fella with a self bow could think the same thing of the guy with a bow that is laminated, the hunter with atlatl in hand etc etc... It's pretty easy to find fault in somebody elses way of doing things and say "this aint that & that aint this", it's nonsense IMO. Do what you do so long as you do it well, call it whatever you want and "judge not".

Yeah, OK. I can go with that. The bow, however, was just a fact of the story, not its point. It isn't the weapon that makes the hunt; it's the weapon that ends the hunt. What I was thinking about primarily was not the instrument but the whole act of getting close, of hunting an animal close enough that, in the case of that anecdote, a bowshot was practical - or an atlatl throw if you wish. Maybe a close, accurate shot with a pistol or a flintlock.
Or...as the late Peter Capstick once tried after stalking a water buffalo, a spear thrust.
Pete

PS: In a way, the answer to the OP's question is in here. The human condition and the search for an easier, softer, way. The progression from old to new - the spear, the atlatl, the bow, the rifle. Each more efficient, more accurate, easier on the operator.

wyobohunter
September 2, 2009, 08:08 AM
PS: In a way, the answer to the OP's question is in here. The human condition and the search for an easier, softer, way. The progression from old to new - the spear, the atlatl, the bow, the rifle. Each more efficient, more accurate, easier on the operator.

Agreed...Great observation.

DiscoRacing
September 2, 2009, 08:14 AM
Ive always had a 30.06.. probably always will.... I wouldnt hesitate to shoot any animal with one of my reloads.... if a 200grain 30 caliber bullet wont kill it..give it up...... but I dont hunt out west... there are NO places here to shoot 300 yds.... let alone 700.... the only 300yard shots made here..... are the ones that you hear of in the local bar after the hunt....knowing full well of the 50%gain in distance after the first beer.

skydiver3346
September 2, 2009, 08:43 AM
Nothing wrong with making long distance shots (600-1,000 yards) on paper!

Sure, lots of us out there can make long to extremely long range shots in a hunting situation. Some of us can't... Bottom line is that no matter how good a shot you are, the longer the distance (and larger the animal) the more varibles enter the equation in hunting situations. Even slight movements by the animal and/or shooter (at the time of the shot) can result in poor shot placement (by anybody, period). I know because it has happened to me and I have been told I am a pretty good long range hunter.

So, I decided if it is longer than 400 yards (with rangefinder) then I won't make the shot. That is my personal decision. I belive it is fair to the game and to the art of hunting. I feel we must be able to make a sure clean kill of the animal being hunted. Nobody can guarantee that at extremely long distances in these type hunting situation. The temp, wind, movements and distance all play major factors in making the perfect kill shot. Think about it..

CK_32
September 2, 2009, 12:02 PM
Yea and i know of a lot of people who
go out hunting at far distances to feel like a sniper
and dropping deal like they are in iraq in the middle of a war
and get the concept of it all wrong and just wanna feel tough bragging
about the range they put one down at.. and dont enjoy the stalk as
much as we all use to.. it comes down to the i see.. i shoot.. oh i hope
i hit it......:confused:

FrontSight
September 3, 2009, 12:27 PM
If you are capable of making a good killing shot, then it is a good shot & is hunting, no matter the distance.

Same can be said for any firearm compared to a bow, compared to an atl (spelling?), compared to spear, compared to a club, compared to a rock, compared to scaring them off a cliff to their doom. Somewhere in there you compare it to traps and snares.

Each is just a more refined tool that allows you to harvest the animals from a greater distance, and none of them are unethical or make you less of a hunter.

That's just my 2 cents...

ZeroJunk
September 3, 2009, 01:15 PM
If you are capable of making a good killing shot, then it is a good shot & is hunting, no matter the distance.

Same can be said for any firearm compared to a bow, compared to an atl (spelling?), compared to spear, compared to a club, compared to a rock, compared to scaring them off a cliff to their doom. Somewhere in there you compare it to traps and snares.

Each is just a more refined tool that allows you to harvest the animals from a greater distance, and none of them are unethical or make you less of a hunter.

That's just my 2 cents...
Makes cents to me.

darkgael
September 3, 2009, 08:05 PM
and none of them................ make you less of a hunter.

As you can tell from my earlier post, I disagree with that. Mind you, I'm not advocating that we all try to run down a deer and club it to death or fall on it out of a tree with a knife in our teeth. Nor do I denigrate the skill that it takes to judge and successfully make a long shot kill.
But....the progress of time has moved many of us (Most? All?) away from the hunt. The shot is the very last part of the hunt. In many ways it's the easy part. The hard part has been bypassed. The availability of almost laser like weapons and advanced optics allows us to take those 300, 400, 500, 600 yard shots. The focus is there in virtually every post and inquiry about firearms.
The hunt - what used to happen in those intervening yards between sighting and shooting - has been diminished. It has been relegated for many to the act of seeing the game through binoculars and then shooting it. Is that bad? No. Is it "hunting"?
Compared to "What gun should I buy? What is the effective range of...? Is such and such caliber the best for "----" game?, how often do we read about the best techniques for crossing the last two hundred yards on a treeless plain, or moving from tree to tree quietly so as to get the best handgun shot. Even in this wonderful set of fora here at TFL, how many are devoted to firearms and how many to the hunt. Even at fora supposedly devoted to Hunting (Hunting.net/Nodak Outdoors to name two) the majority of the posts are not about the techniques of hunting.
Why? Because in many cases people aren't interested in or capable of hunting; they are interested in harvesting and that's just what a 600 yard shot allows - for all the shooting skill it takes. The harvest is the end; the middle - where the hunt is - is missing for many who go afield.
The definition of hunting has changed as we have developed better instruments, field craft has become less important for many who go seeking game. Makes sense, though, doesn't it? Who would want to crawl those last two hundred yards if they didn't have to or cross that deep ravine and make the climb on the other side (even though they will have to do it if they make that long shot across.)

Pete

jgcoastie
September 4, 2009, 02:22 AM
The hunt - what used to happen in those intervening yards between sighting and shooting - has been diminished.

Exactly.

ZeroJunk
September 4, 2009, 06:26 AM
Mostly a bunch of my way is better than your way because it's my way.

I know how I like to hunt. But, I'm not sanctimonious enough to say it is the only way, or even the best way.

darkgael
September 4, 2009, 08:50 AM
Mostly a bunch of my way is better than your way because it's my way.
Nope. If you are referring to my post, then you missed the point or I was not clear enough. It's not my way. I don't do the crawling thing or the stalking thing myself. Mostly, I hunt grouse with a dog - or the dog hunts the grouse and I get to shoot at them occasionally. (Actually, that kind of summarizes the idea. Look at what the dog does. Look at what I do. And I tell my wife "I'm goin' hunting.")
My point was and is that the passing of time and the search for an easier, softer, way has led to a change in what folk consider hunting and what they need to do to be successful. There is a considerable difference in the skills needed to hunt down and harvest a deer (or an elk) with a flintlock in 1809 as opposed to a modern .30 cal firearm with Swarovski optics and a 180 grain bullet at 3100 fps in 2009. They both require shooting skill. Which requires more "hunting" skill? What is hunting anyway? Is it merely harvesting game or is it something more? Does the fact that we are shooting at something living make it hunting? I shoot at paper targets at 350 yards to zero my .223. If then take it and shoot at ground hogs at 350 yards, am I now hunting? All I've changed is the target. If I move to a heavier rifle and shoot a deer at 350 yards, how much has changed? Suppose that I wake up one morning early and step out on the deck and see, there...through the trees.... a buck step out of the hemlocks. I grab my rifle, and (where it's legal of course) shoot the animal, filling my tag.
Have I just been hunting?
Pete

the only way, or even the best way. Don't know. Never said that.

HiBC
September 4, 2009, 02:39 PM
Dark,you just mentioned birdhunting over a dog.
Now,I certainly enjoy hunting over a good bird dog.I like Brittanies,myself.

Most folks without a dog who have blown all the feathers off of a pheasant,and seen him tumble,think about getting a dog when that pheasant has disappeared .They just cannot find that dead bird.

It feels bad.It is so wonderful that a good dog will find and fetch the bird.

Now,that can be compared to technological advantages.That dog is better than a laser rangefinder.

I have a special appreciation for the technology of the 4 wheeler.Spot a nice antelope,crawl a couple hundred yards through sage and prickly pear making a stalk on private land have a couple of morons on ATV's come racing up to the fenceline on ATV's and see how it seems.

I don't push the "how hard you have to work" side .

Fantasy world about what should maybe work and I think I can do not necessarily deliver the one component I hope we agree on.

We owe the critter a quick,clean kill.

Poke and hope does not make it.
I cannot join theguy who shrugs and says"Coyotes gotta eat,too."

If you only have a 200 yd range to practice,ballistic charts and tech gear do not make 600 yd kills.

If you have a place to shoot 600 yds,and can assume a hunting position,and place most all your shots on a 8 in paper plate,go for it.

But,I'm thinking a fair percentage of folks who actually shoot a target that shows them what they did at these ranges will not remain so optimistic.

Or,maybe they are way better than I am.

ZeroJunk
September 7, 2009, 11:16 AM
Nope. If you are referring to my post,


Not in particular.

I like to bow hunt myself. I don't see so much difference between taking a shot at an Elk at 70 yards with a bow and 500 yards with a rifle. I can shoot about the same group. You can be a much better hunter to get to 70 yards , but if you make a bad shot the result is the same.

22-rimfire
September 7, 2009, 11:28 AM
I have never taken a shot at 500 yds except on varmints. Wouldn't even consider it. But I have never hunted elk or moutain goats either.

Stillhunter
September 7, 2009, 01:20 PM
Greedy and Lazy!!! To me, hunting in America the past 15or 20 yrs. is just about how our economy was run,all about the money with no integrity.Hunting all about the kill, no matter what distance. Take the Spider elk for example,Tag auctioned off to the highest bidder,just happened to be a multi-millionaire,then was allowed any weapon of choice in a bow only area.I hope some day the mount falls off the wall and hits him in the head.Also you never hear about the 500+yards misses or hit but never found him,just the great 500+yards so &so made. So go ahead and make your 500+yard shots,it just tells me what type of a person you are.

ZeroJunk
September 7, 2009, 01:57 PM
I have never taken a shot at 500 yds


Me either. Or, a 70 yard shot with a bow. I have been drawn back on two good 6X6 herd bulls at 60 yards broadside and let off. But, I know guys who can effectively make that shot and if they can I have no problem with it. Same with long rifle shots. Just because I can't do it, doesn't bother me if somebody else can.

Fremmer
September 8, 2009, 09:00 AM
Follow up: I drove through Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado this weekend, and I was thinking about this thread. Why? Because there were miles and miles of flat plains. Really flat. As in no trees, no bushes, no cover at all, flat as far as the eye can see. You'd never be able to stalk/sneak up on an animal out there; you'd have to make a long shot -- maybe longer than 300 yards -- if you want to get one. And in that case, I'd want to shoot a magnum round that has great trajectory and range. My .308 drops 12" at 300 yards. I'd prefer the .257 Weatherby magnum (or something similar) for that type of long-range plains hunting.

mnshortdraw
September 8, 2009, 05:01 PM
As a previous poster stated in his reply, many, many caribou have been taken with a bow on the Alaskan tundra with no trees, bushes or any kind of cover. There is absolutely no reason to have to take a shot at those super long distances. It all boils down to wanting, not needing to take those ultra long range shots. I don't even think you could spook an animal at 700 yards by jumping up and down and waving your hands. Besides, one puff of wind at that kind of distance will turn your kill shot into a gut shot or miss. If you have a shooting bench at your hunting spot, years of experiance with your particular rifle, and wind flags every 25 yards, take that 500 yard shot, if not you are fooling yourself if you think you can make a kill shot 100% of the time.

Fremmer
September 8, 2009, 05:28 PM
As a previous poster stated in his reply, many, many caribou have been taken with a bow on the Alaskan tundra with no trees, bushes or any kind of cover.

That may work with caribou in Alaska. But deer won't hang out when they see, hear, or smell you trying to stalk them in an area with absolutely no cover, even if they are 200 or 300 yards (or farther) away, especially when the terrain is flatter than a pancake. And they get really wary when all of the guys in orange show up all of the sudden. So sometimes some hunters have no other alternative than to take a long-distance shot.

And the supposition that long distance hunting somehow requires less skill than stalking or "normal" hunting is incorrect. Perhaps a different set of skills, but hunting is hunting.

wyobohunter
September 8, 2009, 05:44 PM
I don't even think you could spook an animal at 700 yards by jumping up and down and waving your hands. Apparently this gentleman has never hunted Pronghorn. Caribou are much less wary than Pronghorn or Muledeer. I actually had two decent sized Bou bulls follow me around within easy compound bow range during a Tok Sheep hunt.

Stillhunter
September 12, 2009, 09:33 AM
WOW! Thanks for the hunting tips for pronghorn& mule deer in western Kansas
& eastern Colorado,Fremmer& wyobohunter.If I ever make it out that way,I just drive to where it is flat as a pancake,with absolutely no cover at all and I,ll find plenty of pronghorn&mule deer. Smart boogers,forcing hunters to make a long distance shot.

Fremmer
September 12, 2009, 11:43 AM
You have to be smarter than the prong or deer. Good luck.

wyobohunter
September 12, 2009, 07:10 PM
Smart boogers,forcing hunters to make a long distance shot. Actually, yes. While ignoring the sarcasm I'll mention that many animals stay clear of covered areas because their defense is excellent eyesight. This includes Pronghorn and Mountain Sheep of various kinds. And not all open areas that are void of much cover are "flat as a pancake" try Dall Sheep sometime. They can and have been taken with a bow, but that requires just the right situation. 300+ yard shots are not uncommon.

Stillhunter
September 13, 2009, 10:41 AM
OK! I apologize for the sarcasm.But let me kindly remind you that this thread was started about 600yard shots at elk and sometimes you just can,t get any closer.No where in this thread does anybody mention that a 300+yard shot on pronghorn,sheep,or goats is not ethical.Yes they have excellent eyesight. But please don,t try to tell me that deer species,which includes elk, have excellent eyesight,because they don,t.They don,t have poor eyesight by no means.They just use smell& hearing much more efficient,than there eyesight.They see a world of white,black and grays. They do however detect movement very well,but most of the time if the movement stops at a good distance away, they don,t have a clue as to what the threat is. I know this because several times whitetails have detected me,but they just kept on coming in,stomping and snorting trying to get me to move so they can identify what the threat is.I have taken one nice buck this way,even though it wasn,t planned that way. So if you see a beautiful mule deer buck standing 600+yards away,on a flat sea of prairie grass and he hasn,t detected you yet,it is in my opinion and with a few simple rules of stalking,you can greatly increase your odds of bagging this buck by getting closer, even with just prairie grass as cover.If you can,t get any closer,and you want to take a 500+yard shot on a wind swept flat prairie,at any animal, tells me you know a lot more about your rifle,than you do the animal.So kindly putting it in my opinion,that,s just a great marksman,trying to be hunter.

Once again,I apologize for the sarcasm

wyobohunter
September 14, 2009, 12:58 AM
But let me kindly remind you that this thread was started about 600yard shots at elk and sometimes you just can,t get any closer.No where in this thread does anybody mention that a 300+yard shot on pronghorn,sheep,or goats is not ethical. Some may include 300 yard shots as unethical or make the claim that a guy who takes a Dall sheep from 300 yards away is just a mountain climbing marksman trying to be a hunter. You define what hunting is and what ethical is for you and you alone or face and welcome the same type of snubbing from people who hunt in a more challenging way than you choose to.

Rangefinder
September 14, 2009, 02:16 AM
I've scanned through the posts, and I can say with honesty that I've been on both sides of the fence. My longest shot on game is in excess of 950 yds. I took a doe one year a while back that was WELL out of range. It was the last day of my tag, hadn't seen game for a week, and needed meat in the freezer. So in failing sun-set, I risked a wild shot on my doe in the last minutes of failing light and came out clean with a 7mm mag.

That being said, normally I won't fire on the most amazing of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity trophy game beyond 400 yards. I target shoot at ranges up to a mile. I know my rifles intimately. I have developed my loads with nothing short of OCD. And I still regard the "HUNT" as just that---the hunt.

If you can't "hunt" it, don't bother.

On a side note, I took a white-tail buck ten years ago at literal point-blank range (3-feet) out of pure hunting tactic and technique with a pistol because my rifle was TOO unfair. Don't tell me you can't get close enough to do it the right way.

rbb50
September 14, 2009, 04:44 AM
Look at it this way

If you cannot stalk a game animal up to 100 yards away do not even call yourself a hunter at all.

I can get them so close I can reach out and touch them and scare the hell out of them and I consider that hunting myself

If I need some meat I'll pull out my 357 and shoot them :D

If it's big game I'll knock them down at 25-30 yards as they are walking right up to me with a 7mm-08 that could easily make a 600 yard shot.

Guess what? I never have to walk 600 yards to retrieve them and 600 yards back again either with all that weight on my back.

Of course I have a little more common sense than some that think they are hunters I would surmise :D

biohazurd
September 16, 2009, 01:36 AM
Honestly i wouldnt take a shot at any animal at that distance with anything short of a .50 BMG, just my opinion...

Huntergirl
September 16, 2009, 11:11 AM
My shot yesterday at a muley was 25yds. I just finished cutting and wrapping.
Tenderloins for supper tonight, yum.
I will take what fish and Game guy told me- too many folks taking long shots and wounding game, and say The devil is in the details. I can't dispute a fact.
There are too many hunters who are taking long shots with poor results. Couple that with the fact that ammo has spiked in price, I'm guessing there are too many hunters not practicing shots with their rifles. That is unethical.

koolminx
September 16, 2009, 12:07 PM
I only read page one, but If I can't get closer than 300 Yards to an Elk or a Black tail or a Mulie, then I ain't a hunter at all.

I'm a Bow guy for a lot of my hunting, and I think it's retarded to think that you must make a 700-900 yard shot because there's no way to get closer... :( Just plain unskilled I call it.

rbb50
September 16, 2009, 06:23 PM
biohazurd
Honestly i wouldnt take a shot at any animal at that distance with anything short of a .50 BMG, just my opinion...

Yeah that .50 BMG would sure do it alright.

I picked one up at a gun show once ( They actually let me touch it :D )

At first it looked really neat then when I picked it up I think it weighed about 40 pounds with the giant scope and everything it had on it.

Get one of those on a bench rest and I bet I could match that record that I think was 3/4 inch at 1000 yards a while back.

Still walking 1000 yards to get that meat then all the way back with it plus lugging that 40 pound thing around to where ever I had to set up a blind would wear me out pretty fast I think.

Still I have to always wonder what one of those things would do to a fox coming at me head on out at 100-200 yards with a hollow point round in it LOL

Probably skin them instantly and all that would be left is a pelt LOL, That is if it didn't just pick them up and throw them another 500 yards away LOL

Huntergirl
September 17, 2009, 09:52 AM
Just another fine example of what hunting has come to....

Willie Lowman
September 17, 2009, 10:08 AM
Get one of those on a bench rest and I bet I could match that record that I think was 3/4 inch at 1000 yards a while back....The record with a .50 BMG is 1.9 inches.

You are saying you can shoot better than .2 MOA with a gun you have never fired? I think I smell something.

Huntergirl
September 17, 2009, 10:12 AM
But Honey, you forget. He's an internet expert....

rbb50
September 17, 2009, 02:28 PM
As far as I know it was 3/4 inch and I had read that some where a long time ago

And yes if I had that gun I saw at that gun show I could do that

No brag just fact

Buy me the gun and I will prove it :D

Ok back from HEB

I was trying to find that story on line and have not yet as there are thousands of 50 BMG stories

Found this one: Rasmussen Shoots 1.9557′′ group at 1000 yards, and sets Four 50-Caliber World Records

Now I am thinking the story I saw was an unsanctioned match and had many witnesses but of course unsanctioned means it never happened in the record books

Kind of how I bowled a 300 in a moonlight madness bowling tour which was unsanctioned so of course in the record books it never happened

My friends know I bowled it because it was a joke for years if I bowled under a 200 they would be yelling “Turn the lights out turn the lights out”!!!! LOL

The only reason I was allowed to pick up that one I saw at the gun show was because I was selling a 1903a Springfield I had customized of which the guy buying it and everyone else that saw it said it was the most beautiful thing they have ever seen and belonged in a museum.

The sign on the 50 BMG he had said “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING THIS !!!!!!!!! You are allowed to look but if you even touch it your buying it

But he let me come behind the bench and shoulder it once and that thing was like a bar bell set and only because I was selling him my piece of art the 1903A Springfield 30-06 I had customized and just one time only

The price was $25,000 if I remember straight so if anyone wants to buy me one like that along with the die sets for the 50 BMG I will go to work on it and have some good rounds ready to shoot that group I’m talking about in about 3-4 months of many mathematical calculations for the reloads.

Will it be sanctioned?

No because sanctioned means a certain day and time at a sanctioned match without regard to weather or wind conditions.

Just as Rasmussen shot the group he did I can almost bet conditions were ripe that day to make it happen at that sanctioned match and that would be the only way I could beat his record by having those perfect conditions to make it happen and of course it would have to be sanctioned or it would never make the books no matter how many witnesses I had.

I sure cannot afford to go to a bunch of matches and pay for that while I wait for that one day out of years where all of a sudden the conditions are perfect to make that score

If old Rasmussen wants to bring me along with him and let me use some of his equipment I will be glad to show him some new tricks and also how he would be just as surprised as a lot of my friends are when they see me shoot some bench rest for the first time.

As it is he sure would not want to sponsor a guy that could out shoot him as that would sure not be good for his business there LOL

Remember this is bench rest shooting we are talking about now and has nothing at all to do with hunting in my book

I will still call them critters into a range of 50-100 yards or closer because when I hunt I do not use any kind of bench rest at all and the name of that game is a clean kill on the first shot

Huntergirl
September 17, 2009, 03:14 PM
Everthin's bigger in Texas....even the BS.:rolleyes:

rbb50
September 17, 2009, 06:07 PM
That's funny you should mention that because people tell me that when they do meet me for the first time how it must be true everything is bigger in Texas.

I have to tell them No nothing is bigger in Texas than any other places I have been all over the world.

However there are a lot of people that are full of BS but I'm glad to say I'm not one of them :D

http://raybb.com/me1.jpg

wyobohunter
September 22, 2009, 02:12 AM
It Texans don't learn to hush up about size Alaska may just split in two, making Texas the third biggest state.

.300 Weatherby Mag
September 22, 2009, 02:30 AM
Everthin's bigger in Texas....even the BS.

Truer words have never been spoken!!!!:p:D:)

I'm gonna break out the chest waders pretty quick... LMAO!!!

infntryblu
December 11, 2009, 02:42 AM
In the infantry if we had a shot like that, we called in artillery. As I've said in other forums, this ain't hunting, and they're NOT hunters. I think they play to many video games. I know of a few,very few people that make that shot under ideal conditions. Take their guns away , and take there hunting privledges AWAY, they give hunters a BAAAAAAD NAME.

Todd1700
December 11, 2009, 06:42 AM
Personally, I can get within 50 yards of a deer a heck of a lot easier than I can hit him at 800.

And I'd be more impressed of you getting within 50 yards than hitting him at 800. Cause one would require skill, the other luck.

IOW, if you know the distance, trajectory is the easy part.

If you know how much your bullet drops at that distance it is. Sadly many people who take these long shots don't even know that. And as you mentioned windage is the tough thing. It's amazing how much a slight breeze will move a bullet at 700 yards. And heck, in swirling wind canyon country the wind might be moving in three different directions over the length of a 700 yard distance. Who could properly gauge that even if you had a way to detect it?

You never hear stories about the guy who missed, or miserably wounded the deer at extreme range.

Or see the blown off legs on the TV shows that pimp this long range sniping with their "You can do this too if you buy our video" BS. But you can bet your bippy it happens.


The hunt - what used to happen in those intervening yards between sighting and shooting - has been diminished.

Well said. If you can't get within 600 yards without spooking an animal, then I'm sorry for being so judgemental, but as a hunter, you suck! At 600 yards you couldn't spook most game animals if you were sitting in your truck flashing the head lights and honking the horn. Most just don't consider anything that far away a threat yet. And somebody is gonna tell me that they can't stalk any closer than that on foot wearing camo and trying to be quiet? Please. If African plains animals ran every time they spotted a potential predator 600 or 700 yards away they would never stop running.


To me if you want to play "Lets see if I can hit it that far off" get on a range and play that game with paper targets. The goal of hunting should be to get as close as possible. I practice out to 300 yards with my rifles but I don't want to have to take a shot at even that modestly longe range. I'd be tickled to death to never have to take a shot farther than 50 yards. But then I'm a hunter. Not a target shooter just using animals as live longe range pop up targets.

Art Eatman
December 11, 2009, 10:46 AM
My problem--if it's indeed a problem--is that I was raised to believe that I was supposed to be able to hit a deer on out to 500 yards with my '06. Tell me: What 16-year-old kid is gonna argue with an uncle and a father who could indeed do that very thing? So guess what I learned to do...

But I can sneaky-snake pretty good. On a day with wet leaves and grass I managed to get within ten feet of a fat little eight-pointer and hit him in the butt with a rock. I can sit still, too: While sitting against a tree, I saw a fox. I lip-squeaked him in close enough to boink him in the nose with my boot toe.

Sure, I prefer to be sorta up close and personal when I break Bambi's neck for him. But I spent a bunch of time, thought, ammo and practice to be able to say, "If it's inside of 500 yards, I own it."

cubesmoothie
December 11, 2009, 12:20 PM
More power too him! I'd love to do some long range deer sniping with a bolt rifle, and i'd also like to do some bow hunting up close. They're both really fun and challenging. Heck, i want to deer hunt with a pistol too.

Shorthair
December 11, 2009, 02:33 PM
My longest kill ever came this year, a 300 yard shot on a grazing spike. I knew the distance because I had gps'd it from my rifle blind, he was on an old food plot that I had set up the year before. The rifle was rested, custom built, with handloads that shoot into one hole at 100 yards. The bullet hit exactly where I aimed and the buck dropped dead on the spot.
I shot expert every time I went for qual in the USMC, and at the 500 yard range I could not miss. That's iron sights on an M16. And I am confident that I can hit out to those ranges with my deer rifle, but I'd much rather get closer. Most of the deer I've killed over the past 20 years have been around the 100 yard range, unless using my bow. And as Art said, I have no problem with people doing what turns them on, as long as they're good at it and go about it ethically. Some people have no business shooting at 50 yards, let alone 800.

Christchild
December 11, 2009, 02:53 PM
I see both sides of the posts on this Thread, although I DO lean more towards NOT taking Crazy-Long shots, unless one is extremely proficient. I'm not entirely sure of what I'm capable of, because the ranges available are not that long, for most of us to be able to shoot outside of 400-500 yards.

Between 200 and 400 I'd be comfortable from a decent rest (treestand or shooting house) or position, say, sitting, prone or propped nice and solid (variables in my favor), but I'd rather not EVER shoot passed 200 yards... I'm not that hungry yet.

riggins_83
December 11, 2009, 03:19 PM
If a person is proficient in taking a shot like that then ok. There are people in the world who are probably more accurate at 400 yards than I am at 100.

Most of the time distances are eyeballed which is rarely even close to a good guess. Know your limitations and don't take extra risks in a wounding versus kill shot.

bowtekhunter
December 14, 2009, 11:04 PM
i say we go back to long bows and spears..lets see those 700yd marksmen hunt then:D:D

A_Gamehog
December 15, 2009, 12:20 AM
"I've always followed my father's advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be [sic] sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble"

You insulted the record holder of the 1,000 yard by minimizing his accomplishment.

Art Eatman
December 15, 2009, 11:08 AM
Serious hunters, as opposed to lead-flingers, don't "practice on elk at 900 yards". There are many, many rounds of practice on paper at even longer ranges before ever trying such a shot at any game animal.

We're always going to have that percentage of lead-flingers, whatever that percentage may be. But the serious long-range shooters are few and far between--whether in hunting or in target competition.

IOW, don't let the Internet exaggerate the imagined problem.

hogdogs
December 15, 2009, 11:16 AM
you don't need the skill of 1000 yard killing
And some will say we don't need to hunt meat as we have cows to eat and others will say we do not need the right to shoot guns at all
Brent

DRice.72
December 15, 2009, 12:08 PM
I dunno, I guess I could stalk that animal for 600 yards as he was walking away from me, or I could walk 600 to a dead one. Any way you go its going to take some skill. Different kind of skill, but skill just the same.

langenc
December 15, 2009, 09:54 PM
If it wasnt for laser range finders Id say many of thosr 600, 500, 400, 300 yd and shorter shots are more in the 135 to 165 yard shots.

Phoneguy
December 21, 2009, 07:23 PM
A group of us take hunting trips out of state to Wyoming or Colorado depending on the year. We were proud of our selves for our "long range shooting ability". We knew antelope would sometimes require long shots so we practiced until we were proficient out to about 500 yards. I have killed antelope (Ranged with my Leica) out to 475yds.

Then we met the Pen. State guys when we were hunting in Colorado. They killed a Buck at 850 yds and a Cow at 1200. We were amazed. We sat with them on more than one occasion talking about their tactics. Long range hunting requires it's own set of skills. If you are like these guys you knew exactly where you were shooting at that range. Not everyone who takes long shots posses the skills or knowledge like these guys.

I think its kind of funny to hear someone comment that you don't need a .338, that a 30/06 is big enough. Well why do you need a 30/06 or even a bow? Use a spear or better yet a rock. Technology has progressed passed the stone ages. In 30 years I'll bet someone will ask 'why do you need .339 eclectic super short sub mag? a .338 is big enough. Things change and along with that, Rifles, scopes, range finders, binocs, powder, bullets it only gets better. We have more deer now than ever before and maybe more Elk.
If someone wants to take a leagal weapon to hunt with then go for it.
If they posses the skills to shoot out to 900 yards then go for it. Some people are not physically able to crawl or walk for hours after a deer but want to shoot one. Some rifle hunters think archery hunting is not ethical (My Dad).

It's fairly easy to get close to Elk during Archery season, no so in the high country during Rifle season.

Todd1700
December 24, 2009, 08:22 AM
If they posses the skills to shoot out to 900 yards then go for it

The problem with that is that I simply do not believe that "any" hunter can consistently hit a deer or even elk in the vitals, first shot, every time at 900 yards under highly variable field conditions. And you are not talking to someone here that is unskilled in the field of shooting rifles.

At 900 yards it's not just a matter of being a "good shot". A steady aim and a good trigger finger are just the start of making shots that far. So much for just "possessing the skills" as you put it. A gentle breeze can drift a bullet an amazing distance at 900 yards. How exactly can you tell what the wind is doing 700 yards out from your position? How can you tell if it's blowing consistently across the entire 900 yard stretch in order to properly calculate windage adjustments? Hell at 900 yards atmospheric conditions like humidity come into play.

Since these things can't be known exactly under field conditions what these people end up doing is "guessing". Granted with some people it's a sort of educated guess but a guess just the same. And if they guess right or the animal stands there until they finally walk a lethal round into them then great. They make sure the whole world hears about it so they can get the rep of being "Johnny Rambo" "Sniper Dude" whoooaaaaa!!! Course when they guess wrong and hit him in the @$$; or blow a leg off; or blow the tip of his nose off; or blow his lower jaw off; well, they don't ever mention that. That would hurt the rep of "Johnny Rambo" "Sniper Dude"!!!! Think about it. Have you ever heard anyone come online and admit to a 800 or 900 yard shot that went bad? If online reports are any indication the kill ratio at that distance is 100%. LOL! But don't you believe it.

And before you say it yes our military snipers do occasionally make shots that far. However the average shot made by miltary snipers in modern war is 400 yards or less. They also miss those real long shots sometimes too. And the past accomplishments of many snipers have gotten better and better with each retelling of their story if you know what I mean.

Besides, the goal of a military sniper is to neutralize an enemy target. If his bullet hits and enemy soldier in the leg at 1000 yards, then great. If he blows his arm off, great. A lethal torso hit, so much the better. But our goal when shooting at game animals is not to just render them combat ineffective. It's to hit the vitals (a much smaller target) with a clean ethical shot causing a rapid death. Never confuse the two.

hogdogs
December 24, 2009, 09:23 AM
The problem with that is that I simply do not believe that "any" hunter can consistently hit a deer or even elk in the vitals, first shot, every time at 900 yards under highly variable field conditions. And you are not talking to someone here that is unskilled in the field of shooting rifles.
So America should scrap the more risky sniper program?

I think that since risk of capture or injury to the hunter is far less than that of a sniper, GO FOR IT!!! It is the hunters responsibility to make a clean kill or track the wounded...

To each his own... If many of ya'll knew how many shots I passed on as I wasn't 100% I could drop the deer with severe vitals damage, many would look back on some of their shots with a tinge of guilt I bet.

Do I care? NOPE!!! My opinion on hunting is my own.

If the same of ya'll knew how many shots I passed on because the deer was further from the truck than I care to drag/carry, You may call me LAZY. Again, Do I care? Not in the least as I am the one who has to tote the bugger...

And then there is all the shots I passed on as the game was alongside the edge of a swamp or thicket and I was sure if I wounded the animal it would surely seek the harsher protection and that also makes for a sucky search/tote...

But if I could have a great LD shooter coach me thru my 1,500 yard shot at a deer across a plains grass covered meadow... I would do it in a heart beat and let the sherpas go get the thing for me.

Brent

Bud Helms
December 24, 2009, 09:47 AM
So America should scrap the more risky sniper program?

Well, that doesn't fit well with the rest of your post. In fact it implies you did not read all of Todd1700's post. Todd1700 gave reasons why a sniper wounding a target might be acceptable in the larger scheme of things, i.e., within his mission objectives, while it is never acceptable for a game hunter.

hogdogs
December 24, 2009, 09:58 AM
Todd1700 gave reasons why a sniper wounding a target might be acceptable in the larger scheme of things, i.e., within his mission objectives, while it is never acceptable for a game hunter
A hunter who shoots and leaves the wounded to die a slow death or one who kills one dead and doesn't do so to haul it out are both sorry excuses for oxygen loss.

But a wounded animal is fully acceptable to me so long as I was trying to kill it and quickly tracking it down to kill it off.

brent

Todd1700
December 24, 2009, 02:58 PM
So America should scrap the more risky sniper program?

How you got that from my post is a mystery to me but to answer your question, no, that's not what I was saying at all.

My point was that every time a debate comes up about shooting deer or elk at these extreme ranges someone will pop up and mention how our military snipers sometimes kill enemy soldiers at those ranges. As if that somehow makes shooting at deer that far off a good idea. I merely tried to point out that wounding an enemy soldier with a slightly errant shot (as is highly possible at such ranges) is not a negative outcome like wounding and losing a game animal would be.

I don't think anyone taking 900 plus yard shots has any respect for the game animal they are hunting. Too great a risk of a wounded and lost animal for an ethical hunter. Course there are plenty out there that don't give a rip how many they wound and lose as long as they get to play sniper. Selfish and unethical.

Wanna play Rambo? Get on a range and shoot at paper. Wanna be a hunter? Work on getting closer before you shoot.

I also don't buy the claim that people "have" to take shots from these ranges either. If other people kill elk, deer and antelope with a bow at ranges under 70 yards, I'd be pretty ashamed as a hunter to admit that I couldn't get within 900 yards of one.

ZeroJunk
December 24, 2009, 03:34 PM
I see. Since I can't imagine how anybody could be a better shot with better equipment, or understand why they would want to make such a shot rather than get closer, anybody who does must be a Rambo.

azklmsr
December 24, 2009, 05:30 PM
I've never made a truly long range rifle shot, though I've made a couple of pistol shots that would cause folks to question my honesty.

My father though is the best at preparation. He drew a cow elk tag in Nevada and really took his time to get ready. He had been a handgun hunter, but decided the range might be difficult and wanted a rifle. He's cheap, so I recommended a good savage or ruger in 7mm rem mag from Walmart. After much deliberation and input from his buddies on the range moving ever further and closer to 800yds being the norm (his buddies can exagerate with the best), he purchased a Rem 700 300 Ultra, a target barrel, laminated stock, target trigger. Worked up his own loads for 4 months and was set for the hunt.

Opening morning, he came out of his camper and shot his cow at 50 feet. Hit it in the neck just below the head, and it fell in a deep ditch. Rope around the head to drag it out resulted in loss of said head and several interesting photos.

He did have his 9mm in his back pocket, just in case. I'm glad he was able to make this record long shot (ok, the only Elk he's ever taken) and was fully prepared to double the range if needed.

As for me, a scoped pistol is good for up to 200yds on a small deer (TC in 30 herret) but that sure feels like a long one to this kid. Beyond that, I'm looking for a different shot

HiBC
December 25, 2009, 02:11 AM
I actually have a place to go shoot at those ranges.One spot I shoot lasers 1090 yds.I have another nice 700 yd spot.

With a few sighters,a good spotter ,once on the target,shooting a smaller than paper plate group is usually not that big of a big deal.

That first round hit,cold,way out yonder is a whole nother challenge.

Within an arbitrary maybe 600 yds,with a laser,good rifle,etc things are a bit more predictable with technology,maybe,depending on what kind of air you are looking through.But just plain mirage can affect point of impact 3 feet @ 600 yds.(See "Position Rifle Shooting",the book)

I'm guessing "who has to pay the price"
?" matters a lot.When we hunt pheasants,sometimes there is an agreed upon penalty for anyone who shoots a hen by mistake.Maybe $20.

Using the same idea,suppose just for fun,it was agreed upon,in your group,if you miss clean,it is $1 a yard in range,and if you hit,wound and recover,it is $2 a yard,and if you hit and wound and lose an animal,it is $5 a yard.

So,wound and lose an animal at 900 yds,pay $4500 to the DOW or a charity.

Then,it is not just the animal that pays for the stunt.

I'll take the bet on a 300 yd shot,but I'll slow down on the longer ones.

I'm just using this as an example for a way to think about it.

Now,one day,way out there,I saw a herd of antelope.The 4.5-16 Bushnell Elite 4000 I had on the Laredo that day had a 5 MOA duplex it fit a buck antelope ,lenghth of body,which I guessed@42 inches.So,range approx 850 yds.There was a small round rock near this antelope.The antelope moved on.I was not hunting antelope.Just to show my buddy something,I dialed in the correction on the turrets,and fired one round at the rock.Smack.Hit.My buddy was amazed.This was roughly a 10 inch rock.The rock does not suffer if I miss.Its all fun.I do have confidence,ability,experience,equiptment,etc.

But I limit my shots to pretty much sure things.Certainly keeping the crosshairs still enough on the target is one part of it.But there is much more.

Seldom will you see no wind and no mirage in antelope country.

Todd1700
December 25, 2009, 06:43 AM
That first round hit,cold,way out yonder is a whole nother challenge.


Exactly.

Phoneguy
December 30, 2009, 04:17 PM
Just because you lack the skill for a long range shot doesn't mean no one has it. Give me a break. I know people that miss a 100 yard shot, that doesn't mean thay can't shoot. If you are saying that you shouldn't shoot at something unless you are 100% sure you are going to kill it then you must not have much experience. Also the comment about better equipment not being a factor is also mistaken. I can guarantee I can shoot more acurately at 100 yrds with a scoped rifle than with iron sights or a bow. I guess you have some sort of standard as to how far you think I can shoot?

Too many people have the mentality of "If I can't do it then nobody should"

HiBC
December 30, 2009, 07:10 PM
Phoneguy:
You do whatever makes you happy.

I have a hangun I can shoot sitting down,resting over my knee and consistently hit stationary clay pigeons at 200 yds,and I have been shooting antelope for 43 years.I am not talking about 100 yds.

I suggest if you think the shooting that takes place over 600 yds is all about spending money at Sportsmans,it is you that lack experience.

No,I am not world class,and yes,many people can outshoot me.

I will stand by the statement that at over 600 yd ranges trajectories begin to drop very fast and the efects of wind and mirage are less predictable,and while extreme skill will produce impressive results,
all this is in addition to a perfect hold and squeeze.The other thing is,real animals,insead of imaginary ones,move every few seconds,unexpectedly.A 1.5 second flight time is enough time for a step or turn after the trigger breaks.

To get a first round,cold hit at 700,800,900 yds with confidence,not poke and hope,is a limited club.

Now,you suggest that if I am uncomfortable making poke and hope shots that wound it makes me inexperienced???

When I was an inexperienced teen ager with a 7 mag and a 3-9 scope,I thought I could hit anything,as a result,I blew a leg in half on an antelope that got away,45 years ago.That is the last,the one,the only that got away.I do remember how unacceptable it felt.It was bad,but I GREW UP SOME.

If you want to shoot ballons at 1000 yds,count me in.But when I pop cap on a big game animal,I have a very high degree of confidence,or I do not shoot.

Art Eatman
December 31, 2009, 08:54 AM
"But when I pop cap on a big game animal,I have a very high degree of confidence,or I do not shoot."

Excellent summation.