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Old April 15, 2006, 04:09 PM   #1
itgoesboom
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Long Range Hunt....uh-oh.

I know this is opening a whole can of worms, but I have some questions here, being a novice hunter.

First, the reason:

I just got back from a hunt where we were told by locals, and other hunters that long range shots were what it would likely take to bring home the bacon. Our guides also encouraged us to be prepared for long range. What is their definition of long range? 400-500 yards or more. The rain forest is so dense that it is tough to see anything inside, so shots are made at clearcuts, often from landings to draws. This ain't east coast hunting.

Now, being a new hunter (but experienced shooter), and not wanting to put myself in a situation where an animal might suffer, or where I could screw up a shot, I have given myself a mental limit on what distance I would shoot. That distance is 350 yards. I never wanted to overestimate my abilities, and have that cause suffering to an animal.

For that, I want to be able to have a rest (bipod, backpack or stump), time, and little to no wind.

So to be told that 500+ yards might be as close as we get to the animal, that was a little disconcerting.

In the end, we ended up not taking any animals this hunt (turned down a Sow Bear with 1+ y/o cubs @ 50-75 yards ). Mainly because this was just the first hunt of the season, not many bears out (mainly a scouting trip for us), and we are waiting for the "right" animal.

At the end of the hunt, the guide gave us a demonstration of long range shooting. Distance was incredible, almost unbelievable, so much so that I am not going to mention it. Lets just say that it was way past 500 yards. Obviously to pull off a shot like that, they had a rifle that was set up for it, one of the hot magnums, bipod, target turrets on a premium scope, and a laser range finder.

After they hit the target, which was very small, they gave a few of us a shot at it. My shot was about 3" off the target, which I don't consider bad. Put it this way, considering the size of the target, even with the 3" miss, had it been an animal, it still would have been in the vitals.

It made me reconsider my maximum distance.

Now that you know the reason, here are the questions.

1. I don't have a large magnum rifle, my rifle is a .30-06. Obviously it has enough power given realistic shooting conditions.

What would your maximum range be with a .30-06 if you were hunting in areas that provide very long shots?

2. Do you consider long range hunting to be ethical, with the assumption that the hunter is a qualified shot?

3. If you were hunting, and knew that shots at 400-500 yards were possible, and might be your only shot, what would you do to prepare yourself, and your rifle, for that kind of hunting.

Thanks in advance.

I.G.B.

Last edited by itgoesboom; April 17, 2006 at 05:07 PM.
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Old April 15, 2006, 06:24 PM   #2
mete
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The longest shot I saw taking a deer was 500 yds [his second shot].340Wthby ,200 gr, 9x scope ,accurate rifle, excellent shooter, lots of long range shooting experience . A deer is considered to have about a 10" dia vital area. YOUR max range is the farthest you can consistantly hit a 10" target under field conditions .As long as it's withing your range it's ethical.A 30-06 is good to 350 yds but a magnum would be a better choice beyond that. "mental limit", funny thing about that I've seen bullseye pistol shooters who do well at 50 yds refuse to shoot at 60 or 70 .Obviously a mental limit. If a reasonable range was 500 then practicing at 700 would make it easier to hit at 500 yds.The longer range you want to shoot the more you should practice !!
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Old April 15, 2006, 08:34 PM   #3
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mete
"mental limit", funny thing about that I've seen bullseye pistol shooters who do well at 50 yds refuse to shoot at 60 or 70 .Obviously a mental limit.
Makes sense. My mental limit was really there so that I wouldn't push the envelope past what I felt was ethical during the heat of the moment.

Now, after seeing that it is possible to hit the vitals at extremely long range, and actually being able to do it myself (even though I missed by 3", my shot would still be in the vitals), I feel more comfortable about shooting at a longer range than I would previously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mete
If a reasonable range was 500 then practicing at 700 would make it easier to hit at 500 yds.The longer range you want to shoot the more you should practice !!
I have considered that as well. The range I just joined has a 600 yard line I can practice on. I don't think 600 is realistic for my -06, but I figure once I am able to hit there consistantly, it should make it much easier to hit at 375, 450, or even 500 yards, depending on how my rifle does at those distances, and how I am able to do. I think the rifle will be able to do it, but it's going to take some testing. I am still able to get 1,500 ft-lbs at 500, so I think it might be do-able. That is better than a .30-30 @ 100 yards, and people still take elk with that.

My next goal, besides practice, is to set up my rifle in such a way as to make it a practical rifle for the close up, medium, and longer shots that might be available to me.

I was already about to put a new scope on, and a new stock. Now I am keeping the long range possibility in mind as I add those items.

I.G.B.
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Old April 15, 2006, 09:23 PM   #4
Jseime
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before you go out and start popping deer at 700 yards lets take a look at energy. you have to have enough torque left, even if you place that bullet carefully, to push through and cause that animal to die a quick and humane death.
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Old April 15, 2006, 10:36 PM   #5
444
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Let's start off with your definition of "adequate".
What does that word mean to you ?

I can tell you what it means to me: It has the ability to fire an expanding type "hunting" bullet that will be supersonic at the maximum distance I intend to shoot.
I can assure you that the .30-06 will be MORE than up to that task. IMO you are seriously underestimating the rifle you already have. You don't need any kind of "magnum" and you don't need any brand new, latest thing out cartridge. You already have enough rifle.

Ok, point number 2. Most shooters including the vast majority of people who frequent internet gun forums have never attempted to make any kind of "precision" shots with a rifle past spitting distance. I have talked to many shooters and hunters (from "back east") that consider 100 yards to be a long shot. However, like anything else, perfect practice makes perfect. If you get out there and start shooting at long range, your definition of long range will quickly expand. BUT, you have to actually get out there and practice. Talking about it on the internet won't do anything for you dispite the thousands of people who think otherwise. Once you get your sight dope out to your max range, stop all benchrest shooting. Shooting off sandbags from a bench is great practice for shooting off a bench with sandbags and not much else. It is nessessary to zero your rifle. It might be nessessary to get good solid dope for your rifle (might). After that, it is a waste of our time and ammuntion unless the place you intend to hunt has a bench with sandbags.

Just a side note on the subject.
I went out today and shot our local club's vintage semi-auto military rifle match. The match uses AS ISSUED surplus military rifles. No national match parts are allowed on the rifle. No aftermarket barrels, no trigger jobs, no bedding. And of course, no optics. Just the standard issue iron sights just like the soldier of yesteryear carried into battle. Today's match shot out to 500 meters (547 yards). I try to attend a similar match which is held three times a year in Utah where we shoot these same rifles out to 800 yards. I also attend another local match where we shoot these same rifles (or military bolt actions) on a rifle silhouette range, again out to 500 meters with the first stage at 200 meters from offhand at the chickens.
Surely using a modern bolt action rifle with optics, you should be able to do better than us ?
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Old April 15, 2006, 10:53 PM   #6
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jseime
before you go out and start popping deer at 700 yards lets take a look at energy. you have to have enough torque left, even if you place that bullet carefully, to push through and cause that animal to die a quick and humane death.
Thats kinda what this is all about to me, why I posted this. I know that the .30-06 round has enough energy to get to the target. That's the easy part.

Does it have enough energy to hit the target, expand, penetrate shoulder/lungs and put that animal down.

My biggest concern is finding the range at which the .30-06 can effectively do that, and that is one of the questions I asked.

What would the maximum range be?

I.G.B.
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Old April 15, 2006, 11:10 PM   #7
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 444
Let's start off with your definition of "adequate".
What does that word mean to you ?
Adequate would mean enough energy to not only hit, but penetrate and expand to provide a wound that would lead to quick expiration of the animal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 444
I can tell you what it means to me: It has the ability to fire an expanding type "hunting" bullet that will be supersonic at the maximum distance I intend to shoot.
But does being supersonic give it enough energy to put down a large animal effectively and humanely? I know that our soldiers use .308 out to the maximum that it stays supersonic, but I know they aren't too concerned about how humanely it kills the insurgent on the other end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 444
I can assure you that the .30-06 will be MORE than up to that task. IMO you are seriously underestimating the rifle you already have. You don't need any kind of "magnum" and you don't need any brand new, latest thing out cartridge. You already have enough rifle.
You are probably right. I think that the .30-06 will have enough energy @ 500 yards to be effective as a hunting round. But I don't know that. I am hoping to find evidence of that before I attempt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 444
Ok, point number 2. Most shooters including the vast majority of people who frequent internet gun forums have never attempted to make any kind of "precision" shots with a rifle past spitting distance. I have talked to many shooters and hunters (from "back east") that consider 100 yards to be a long shot.
Ain't that the truth. My stepfather, who I used to shoot with often, considers 100 yards a long way. The media kept proclaiming how accurate the DC "snipers" were when most of their shots were under 100 yards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 444
However, like anything else, perfect practice makes perfect. If you get out there and start shooting at long range, your definition of long range will quickly expand. BUT, you have to actually get out there and practice. Talking about it on the internet won't do anything for you dispite the thousands of people who think otherwise. Once you get your sight dope out to your max range, stop all benchrest shooting. Shooting off sandbags from a bench is great practice for shooting off a bench with sandbags and not much else. It is nessessary to zero your rifle. It might be nessessary to get good solid dope for your rifle (might). After that, it is a waste of our time and ammuntion unless the place you intend to hunt has a bench with sandbags.
That is the plan. Right now I am on the research phase of this little project.

Step one is to find out if it is realistic to put an animal down humanely at extended distances, with my current rifle. Finding out what the maximum "theoretical" distance is. No matter what the accuracy I can achieve, that is the distance I can't go past.

Step two is to set up my rifle in such a manner to allow me to make the precise shots up to whatever distance I find is realistic. This means the right scope, right stock that doesn't flex or warp, etc.

Step three is to practice at ranges beyond my maximum effective range, so that I achieve the skills necessary, and the confidence.

Step four is to accurately evaluate my skills and decide what ranges I can hit at in various positions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 444
Just a side note on the subject.
I went out today and shot our local club's vintage semi-auto military rifle match. The match uses AS ISSUED surplus military rifles. No national match parts are allowed on the rifle. No aftermarket barrels, no trigger jobs, no bedding. And of course, no optics. Just the standard issue iron sights just like the soldier of yesteryear carried into battle. Today's match shot out to 500 meters (547 yards). I try to attend a similar match which is held three times a year in Utah where we shoot these same rifles out to 800 yards. I also attend another local match where we shoot these same rifles (or military bolt actions) on a rifle silhouette range, again out to 500 meters with the first stage at 200 meters from offhand at the chickens.
Surely using a modern bolt action rifle with optics, you should be able to do better than us ?
I would hope so. But I also know it isn't soley about the accuracy, that is only part of the equation. And that is the reason why I asked this question on here.

Part of me wants validation (I hate to admit that. ), and I also want to make sure that the .30-06 has the required energy to expand and penetrate and put down a large animal humanely at the extended ranges that we are talking about.

Thank you for your insight.

I.G.B.
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Old April 15, 2006, 11:27 PM   #8
444
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Well, I don't know the answer to your question. I have taken a number of North American big game animals up to and including elk but have never done so at an extended range. It just turned out that the shots that presented themselves were at relatively close range. However, I would feel completely confident in taking most of the animals on earth using an '06. I feel quite certain that IF I could make the shot (not just hit the animal but place the shot in the "vitals") that the .30-06 is more than up to the task.
Something you might want to try is to somehow find out what you are going to consider your max range. Then find out what your chosen load does at that range in terms of velocity. Then, attempt to compare that number to the number of another cartridge: for example, how would a 180 grain .30-06 bullet at 700 yards compare to a .357 revolver with a 180 grain bullet at the muzzle ?

FWIW, I shot two elk using an '06. The 180 grain Nosler Partition went right through both sides of it. One went through the center of the spine and right out it's chest. Many people would have you believe that you need at least a .338 Win Mag for elk as a minimum.

Another interesting study you could make is what people said about hunting cartridges in years gone by. For example, before the .357 revovler was introduced to the public, Col. Wesson took all manner of big game with it including elk and brown bear. It was considered so powerful that it was only initally offered as a custom revolver because the general public had no need for such a powerful handgun. Elephants have been taken with .44 mag HANDGUNS. When the .30-30 came out, Teddy Rosevelt raved about how flat it shot and how fast it was. Note that today, the hunting magazines and local gun gurus have convinced us that nothing short of an artillary barrage is adequate for chipmunks. This is BS. 100 years ago, when the "06 came out, it was a cannon. The animals havent changed at all. The only thing that has changed is our attitude that bigger is better. Nothing old could possibly work today. The latest, greatest cartridge touted by the gun magazines is the only thing that works today.......................................
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How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old April 15, 2006, 11:38 PM   #9
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You don't need a magnum. .30-06 will stay supersonic out to about 1100 yards depending on load. I would say 900 yards in the hands of a qualified shooter is not too unreasonable. You will definitely need a bipod, some GOOD long range optics (nightforce, long range Leupold, or others), maybe a target type stock, definitely bedded and free-floated also.

This is now no longer a hunting rifle. It is a target rifle. It'll probably end up being around 13 or so pounds, so you won't want to carry it around much.
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Old April 15, 2006, 11:38 PM   #10
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Your .30-06 has some pretty good long range capabilities, more than enough to drop an animal at 500 yds + with the right bullet and a well places shot. I'd suggest either a 165 or a 180 Nosler Partition--should get plenty of expansion and still retain enough bullet mass to penetrate vitals. Then try to find an area with ranges and conditions similar to what you'll be hunting. Practice, practice, and more practice. When you can consistantly put 'em where you want 'em, go get your animal.
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Old April 15, 2006, 11:55 PM   #11
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If you are skilled and disciplined...

You have already satisfied the ethical end of it...

If you use a rifle/caliber/bullet that has the accuracy/penetration and terminal performance... you have satisfied the equipment end of it...

If you can pass on an "iffy" shot on a really "juicy" trophy...
you have satisfied...

...me that you're a better man than I am...
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30-06 FOREVER
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Old April 16, 2006, 12:19 AM   #12
itgoesboom
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Thanks everyone, you have all answered my questions. And I expected to get skewerd for even asking.

My hope was that 500 yards would be realistic. Looking at a couple of loads, I am finding that at 500 yards I should still be at about 1,500ft-lbs of energy, and I think that should be plenty.

I am deciding on the optics next, probably get a Leupold Mark 4 PR scope, or I might go for the Nikon Monarch.

Stock is going to be a Boyds Ross Thumbhole Laminate (will order that on monday). I will do most of the stock work myself, but will probably bring it to a 'smith to do the bedding (nervous about screwing it up).

Already have a bipod that can go with it.

The Federal 180gr Sierra Gamekings shoot real well out of my rifle, and at the increased distance, I won't have to worry about them "blowing up" . I will check with Sierra to see what the velocity range is where they will reliably expand.

I will check a few other loads to see how they shoot in my rifle as well.

After that, I will practice my butt off, and hope that my wife gets me a range finder for Christmas (be about the time the rest of the rifle is fully ready).

Rifle is pretty heavy already, but I don't think the weight will go up too much. Bipod adds some weight, and the laminate stock will weigh more too, but I think <10# is realistic, maybe as little as 9lbs. Rifle is currently about 8.5lbs in it's current configuration.

Looking forward to seeing if this project works out, and achieves what I want.

I.G.B.
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Old April 16, 2006, 03:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
The Federal 180gr Sierra Gamekings shoot real well out of my rifle, and at the increased distance, I won't have to worry about them "blowing up" .
I think you should look very seriously at Barnes Bullets

The MRX would greatly increase your chances of good clean kills, especially at long ranges...

Get free video disc from them at;

www.barnesbullets.com

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Old April 16, 2006, 10:32 AM   #14
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Stipulating the proper shot placement, I'd have no doubts about my '06 to 500 yards with a 180-grain bullet.

My personal "mental limit" has always been around 400 yards. 350 on in? No problem. However, with a laser range finder, I might be comfortable to 500. I'd go to worrying a lot more about wind and a good field rest on a pack or some such than either distance or killing power.

I know from experience that a center hit in the chest at 450 and at 350 will kill a deer, although those two were the exceptions to the majority of shots.

One factor in judging whether or not to move up to some magnum: I've been shooting my pet '06 for some 35 years. I'm sorta "married up" with it. The trajectory table is well-memorized; I don't really have to think, if I know the range. 99% odds I'd stay with what I have.

Art
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Old April 16, 2006, 10:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
What would your maximum range be with a .30-06 if you were hunting in areas that provide very long shots?
Well, I've never taken a shot like that and don't expect I ever will. But as to the maximum effective range, it's capable of taking humans at 1000 yards and was what the US used as a sniper round in WWII.
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Old April 16, 2006, 11:35 AM   #16
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I think your self-imposed limit of 350 yards is sound judgement, regardless of what everybody else is doing with specialized equipment.

Shooting at targets from a fixed position and taking shots from field positions are as different as night & day. As you mentioned, it takes perfect conditions to make long shots from field positions.

I'm just trying to recall the last time I had 'perfect conditions' for a field shot. The nearest I can remember was killing a nice forkhorn at 238 paces, rested over a muddy terrace just as it was starting to rain- again. The shot centered the shoulder and knocked a chunk of bone about as big as a quarter out on the ground upon exit, and the deer was down in one stride. The rifle was a 94 Winchester .30-30, loaded with 150 grain Silvertips. It had a good set of Williams peeps on it and a fine blade front sight, and it had been carefully zeroed at 200 yards. I had shot it a lot to that distance and had lots of confidence in the rig. All I had to do was be careful to hold a perfect sight picture and break the trigger clean. The results were guaranteed if I could do those two things.

I have played with the '06 out to 880 yards (measured) and you get one hell of a lot of drop at a half mile- even if you're zeroed for 500. My test for determining my max field range with any rig is pretty simple, and best done on a calm day. After carefully zeroing the rifle at 200 yards, I'll fill about 10, 100 oz. laundry detergent jugs with water and set them out randomly anywhere from 50 to 500 yards. They make a great rifle target because they are brightly-colored, and the white cap makes a nice long-range holding point. Good hits are rewarded with a loud WHOMP and watershow. I'll shoot at them from prone, sitting etc.

When I start missing the jugs, I'll unload the rifle and pace out to the one I just missed. You can usually see where your misses are going, and determine whether it's wind drift or your just at your field shooting limit. With an '06 using 150 Ballistic Tips, this is often between 350 and 400 yards. I'm pretty happy with that for deer-sized targets. I could probably stretch that a bit, for something the size of an elk. Potentially-dangerous game would need to be closer for me to take a shot at it.

When I need a dose of humility, I repeat the exercise on a windy day. It's a great way to learn how much the wind actually effects your shot- charts be damned. I usually leave those events convinced that 350 is far enough.
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Old April 16, 2006, 12:31 PM   #17
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pointer
I think you should look very seriously at Barnes Bullets

The MRX would greatly increase your chances of good clean kills, especially at long ranges...
The MRX is on the short list of loads that I am going to be testing for accuracy as this little project moves forward. Federal makes a load using that, and since I am not reloading (yet), I will give it, and a few others a try.

Right now the 180gr Gameking load is a known load in my rifle, I know it is capable of very good accuracy, although I really need to do some more testing on it.

I know some people have had problems with it, but that has almost always been when they have loaded it hot, and shot it at short range, and the bullet just isn't designed for that. I need to contact Sierra to find out at what velocities it will still expand at though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman
My personal "mental limit" has always been around 400 yards. 350 on in? No problem. However, with a laser range finder, I might be comfortable to 500. I'd go to worrying a lot more about wind and a good field rest on a pack or some such than either distance or killing power.
Thanks for chiming in Art! Wind is the real variable in the equation, and I am probably going to have to pass up shots because of that at some point. Field rest won't be too much of a problem, either using a bipod, backpack, or a stump, I should be able to get a good rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by invssgt
I have played with the '06 out to 880 yards (measured) and you get one hell of a lot of drop at a half mile- even if you're zeroed for 500. My test for determining my max field range with any rig is pretty simple, and best done on a calm day.
There is quite a bit of drop out there, yeah. I don't plan on playing out that far. Target practice will be out to 600, and if my accuracy holds, and everything comes together, my shots on game will be <500.

As for zeroing, I am going to get a scope with target turrets, set my zero @ 100 or 200, and then figure the correct amount of clicks for the longer ranges. That way I can pick my shot more precisely.

Wind is ofcourse going to be a major factor, and I am going to have to be disciplined to not take shots in windy conditions at the longer ranges.

I should mention here though, I am not going to be out looking for long range shots. My intent right now is only to set up my rifle in such a way that if the only shot that is presented to me is a longer range shot, and the conditions are right for it, that I can ethically take the shot.

If I am presented a shot at 100yards, I will take that instead, and if I see an animal at 500 yards, even if I am comfortable with that range, if there is a way I can stalk in closer, I intend to do that as well.

I.G.B.
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Old April 17, 2006, 10:44 AM   #18
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Isn't hunting more than long range sniping?

I think that the people that have the time, equipment, and ability to make 500 yard shots comfortably are talented and devoted riflemen ( and ladies ). I admire and respect their abilites and love to watch ( and try myself ) them hit small targets from far away.

That being said, hunting is much more long long range sniping at warm blooded targets. It is far more exciting to have a great hunt, a long and difficult stalk to get close undetected, and then make a clean shot at an appropriate range. THAT is hunting. ( Prarie dog hunting being an exception ).

IMO: If you live to make long range shots then you should stick to the range and paper targets.
If you live to hunt then get out there and get close, that's why it is called hunting, not shooting.....
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Old April 17, 2006, 11:25 AM   #19
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+1
Quote:
Isn't hunting more than long range sniping?
I subscribed to this post when it first opened just to see what kind of responses were given.
In his first post, itgoesboom mentioned something about bears. I would hope that he is not considering taking bears at 500+ yards. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that I wouldn't do a bear like that. I wouldn't like to follow up a bear that someone wounded at 500+ yards with a 30/06 either. As far as deer go, I gave up beanfield shooting years ago. Not because I was unsuccessful but because it was too easy.
If your guide can't get you any closer than 500 yards, maybe you ought to see what other guides around the area you are hunting are doing.
I love my 30/06 and I have made some impressively long shots. Laser range finders and range cards are nice. I just choose not to hunt like that, anymore.
Just my 2 cents, not a flame by any means. It's just that the older I get, the more I seem to "hunt" more and shoot less.
Have fun whatever you do, that's the important thing. If you can drop them in their tracks at 500+, more power to you.
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Old April 17, 2006, 04:35 PM   #20
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejonestkd
Isn't hunting more than long range sniping?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejonestkd
That being said, hunting is much more long long range sniping at warm blooded targets. It is far more exciting to have a great hunt, a long and difficult stalk to get close undetected, and then make a clean shot at an appropriate range. THAT is hunting. ( Prarie dog hunting being an exception ).
I was wondering when the East Coasters would chime in! Where ya guys been?

I am actually glad that you guys chimed in, because the whole point of this thread is to find out if this is possible/ethical. Dissenting opinions are very welcome here.

Obviously, there are regional differences in hunting. East Coast hunters hunt different than midwest hunters, who hunt differently than Texas hunters, who hunt different than Colorado hunters, who hunt differently than Northwest hunters. That is something I have noticed just from reading TFL, THR, and other places.

In many areas of the country, it is legal to hunt over bait (neither NY or NC allow this), but people in areas where this is legal, place treestands near bait piles, and hunt the bears that way. Is that hunting or shooting?

That isn't an option in Oregon. It's not legal here.

In many places, including NC, people hunt using dogs to track and tree the bears before shooting them.

That isn't an option in Oregon. It's not legal here.

Regional differences aren't only based on legal issues though, it is also the terrain that can come into play, and that is one of the biggest issues in this discussion.

I can't speak for hunting in the rest of the country, since I have only hunted in Oregon, and a limited amount at that. But I have spent a fair amount of time in other forests in other states. With the exception of Washington and parts of Canada, I have found that Oregon's forests are some of the most dense out there. True rainforests, very limited visibility, and the steep unforgiving landscape make this a tough area to hunt.

Hunters adapt though, just as they have throughout history. So hunters out here hunt the replanted clearcuts, the reprod. This can mean hunting from the edge or a draw, or even the landings above the draws, across to the other side of the draw. These distance can be quite large, but there is often times no other choice.

It all depends on the terrain, and where in that terrain the animals are eating, sleeping, or hiding.

You might find an area where you can stalk to within very close range to an animal here, depending on the terrain you are hunting, and where the animals are. Or, in the same day, you might be hunting an area where if there are any animals out, you can't stalk to under 350 yards, or even more than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampdog
If your guide can't get you any closer than 500 yards, maybe you ought to see what other guides around the area you are hunting are doing.
It was never said that they couldn't get us withing 500 yards, the locals pointed out that some times, the only available shot on a particular animal might be 400-500 yards. The guides never said that, but did mention that it is good to have the ability to hit at longer ranges, as it sometimes might be needed. I can see that they way that I posted it made it look a little different than that. And most of those comments reallly revolved around deer hunting, not the bear hunt that we were on. The guides showed us the long range shooting only in an effort to show us that it can be done, and to make us think.

Actually, as mentioned earlier, our guides got us to within 50-75 yards of a bear (if she didn't have cubs......), about 300 yards to another bear (got up on a landing and out of sight, in order to get across those 300 or so yards, we had to hike 3+ miles to get up over the area, and that bear was already gone), and probably 250-300 yards from another bear (never saw it, only heard it, down in a ravine, and opposite draw. This one we put a little stalk on, but had no way to fully stalk to where the animal was, especially since it was in an old growth area, next to a reprod area)

And they are one of the most respected guide services in the area. So I place a little more faith in them, and outfit that has hunted the area for many years, than I do people that have never hunted our forests before. That's not an attack on you or your opinions, only a statement that regional differences account for different hunting styles.

If you disagree with the stated goal of being able to take an animal at longer ranges (400-500 yards), if there is no ability to stalk closer, give me some evidence that it isn't an ethical thing to do.

Tell me that the round isn't capable of penetrating deep enough to put down a 250-350# black bear, or a blacktail deer, or even an Elk.

Show me energy figures that show that it isn't possible.

Because where I am sitting, looking at the fact that the .30-30 has killed bears, deer, and elk across the continent for over 100 years, and many of those over 100 yards, I have to acknowledge that the .30-06 with a 180gr projectile has more energy @ 500 yards than the .30-30 does @ 100 yards.

I.G.B.

Last edited by itgoesboom; April 17, 2006 at 05:06 PM.
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Old April 17, 2006, 05:20 PM   #21
Fremmer
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I think your .30-06 will have enough velocity and energy to kill at 500 yards.
If you make a killing shot. Thing is, at that distance, if I misjudge the drop (or wind) even a little, I might end up watching a wounded animal trot into the bush. So I won't take that long shot. But if I had better shooting skills.....

You might want to try a scope with a reticle (like the Leupold BC reticle) that could help with that kind of shot. And I think I recently read an article in the American Rifleman about a new Kahles scope that had separate settings for various ranges, and it was supposedly much faster and easier to adjust than a regular scope.

Practice those long range shots. Good luck!
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Old April 17, 2006, 08:57 PM   #22
swampdog
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Seems like you had a well thought out answer ready. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I didn't say I couldn't do a bear like that, I said I wouldn't. We do run them with dogs around here, through some of the thickest swamps imaginable. When you crawl through a thicket to the sound of dogs howling and the bear going crazy and take him at 20 or 30 yards, it really gets the blood pumping. I have never shot one out of a tree, either. Not to sound corny, but I guess I have too much "respect" for bears to snipe one at long range or bust one out of a tree. That's just me. I have friends that have taken bears out of stands. They are just as proud of their's as I am of mine. To each their own.

As far as the rifle you've chosen, I'm sure it will do the job. We also hunt clear cuts and beanfields here. Some of the fields go from horizon to horizon. I said "I just choose not to hunt like that anymore", although I used to. Looking out my back window, I have a treeline to the left that starts at 300 yards and angles away. The treeline to the right runs off at an angle and finally makes a 90 degree turn at 1200 yards. On any given evening, during season, I can sit on my back deck and shoot a deer (and have). That's not hunting in my book. If it was the "only" way to get a deer around here, I probably wouldn't deer hunt. Boring.

It's not a regional or ethical difference, it's a matter of mindset. As I said, I've changed with age. I just find it to be more of a challenge to still hunt, spot and stalk and take my game up close.
You said in your first post that you were new to hunting but not to shooting. Maybe after you've hunted a few years, you'll understand what I'm talking about.
I'm not putting you down and I wish you the best of luck. I bet that after you've dropped your umpteenth bear, deer or elk at long range, you'll start looking for another, more challenging, way. That's usually how bow and handgun hunters get started.
For me, it's not about the shot or the kill anymore, it's about the hunt.

Have fun and good luck.
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Old April 18, 2006, 07:37 AM   #23
mikejonestkd
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Swampdog: For me, it's not about the shot or the kill anymore, it's about the hunt.

Exactly!!!!!

Geographical differences can put you in a postion where you are forced to take longer shots at game than you may be used to, and that's fine if you have no way to get closer.
If you are comfortable making 400 and 500 yard shots and can hit a 10" circle almost all of the time at that range then have fun and have a great hunt.

I prefer to hunt where I can enjoy the stalk, or to sit on stand till they come within a few feet of the stand. That's hunting!!!
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Old April 18, 2006, 02:00 PM   #24
itgoesboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampdog
Geographical differences can put you in a postion where you are forced to take longer shots at game than you may be used to, and that's fine if you have no way to get closer.
If you are comfortable making 400 and 500 yard shots and can hit a 10" circle almost all of the time at that range then have fun and have a great hunt.

I prefer to hunt where I can enjoy the stalk, or to sit on stand till they come within a few feet of the stand. That's hunting!!!
That is exactly it. I would much prefer to stalk my prey, and get close. And considering my experience level, it isn't about the shot to me either.

I honestly hope that I never have to a shot beyond 300 yards. If I went my entire hunting life, and never have a situation where I can't stalk within any closer and take a closer shot, I will be a happy man.

But I know that realistically, at some point, I am either going to have to pass up a shot, or take a shot, at an extended range.

If I am eventually going to be in that position, I want to have the capability to do it, and to do it ethically.

Just another tool in the toolbox, that's all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampdog
Seems like you had a well thought out answer ready.
I hope so, I have put quite a bit of thought into this situation, and that is the reason for the questions on here.

BTW, I didn't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with hunting with hounds, just pointing out a difference between hunting styles in different areas.

I.G.B.
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Old April 18, 2006, 03:37 PM   #25
Art Eatman
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I guess I'm sorta philosophical about how the hunting is done in different places. I've hunted the "jungles" of the Appalachicola River bottoms near Blountstown, Florida. Most shots are pretty much Up Close And Personal.

I used to hunt a ranch just north of Uvalde, Texas, as well as my own place outside of Austin. Ranges varied from danged little to way over yonder.

I've hunted country where you either sat in a blind or did without. Not my favored style, but there ya go...

Terlingua? An awful lot of way over yonder. 200 and more is common. (Except when you almost step on one.) The Davis Mountain area was mostly sorta close; 50 yards, average, in the trees and small clearings.

So if folks told me that most shots were likely to be out at 400, and I really wanted to go hunting, well, I'd just fall in with the program.

Huntin's huntin'. Some ways I like better than other ways, but it's still "Mostly Huntin'". If I gotta work on extra skill to do it right, fine by me.

, Art
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