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Old June 27, 2000, 10:20 PM   #1
Art Eatman
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In a case of wandering around open country, what's the longest offhand-shot kill you've made? No rest, no help, just you, the rifle, and ol' Wiley Kyote or Bambi--whatever?

Part Deux of this question is, what's the longest shot where you just leaned against a tree or truck-hood, or sat down and "had at it"?

For me, the offhand was on a running buck at maybe 175 yards; broke his neck just in front of the shoulders. The other was from leaning on the jeep seat, "half off-hand", at around 350.

In other longish shots, I was all scrunched up against some brace. On average, most of my deer have been shot offhand, but from 30 to maybe 125 yards at most.

Art
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Old June 27, 2000, 11:00 PM   #2
REDMISTMD
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This will kill ya ART. Shot a 4 point mulie in the kneeling position at around 650 yds thats just an estimate, give or take a little.I had my dad and my nephew witness the shot they said I should try from right here since I had the only rifle with enough power. I was shooting a 7mm STW thats a 8mm Rem mag. necked down to 7mm. I was shooting 140 noslers at between 3600 and 3700 fps quite the canyon shooter. Still it took 3 shots hit him all 3 times in a 5 inch group on his vitals.That bad boy had the will to live.
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Old June 27, 2000, 11:11 PM   #3
Ron Ankeny
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Art:

The longest off hand shot I have ever taken (and I made it) was about 200 yards on a fox. I have never shot at big game offhand beyond 200 yards. The longest big game shot I have made was on an elk at just over 400 yards from prone with my 30-338 topped off with a Swarovski scope. I normally don't shoot at any game animal that far but it was an unusual circumstance.

Redmistmd:

LOL, that's a good one...
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Old June 27, 2000, 11:19 PM   #4
REDMISTMD
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Its really amazing how many people there are out there who cant expand their minds.Military snipers tag targets at well over a thousnd yards all the time with a 308 or 7 mag.The rifles I use are a supercharged version of a sniperrifle besides Thats my Bag Baby. I dig long range 200, yds been there don that too many times 300 yds well whatever, besides some of you live in places where long shots are the norm. When you have the tool and the confidence to use it youo can do amazing things ,and lots of practice thats for sure.I love practicing
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Old June 28, 2000, 07:04 AM   #5
Dave McC
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Art, the 20-30 deer I've shot in the East were all within 60 yards. I hunt the thick stuff. However...

In 1971 I was living in the madness of Southern Cal when a friend asked me if I wanted to go deer hunting. I had no rifle at the time, but he lent me his Dad's Winchester 270 with a 6X Weaver and some handloads they had made up. A family member of his had some land east of LA and a hunting we did go.

After getting to the top of a ridge and glassing for a while through cheap, shoddy Binos, I noticed a 6 point Mule deer easing along a wash some distance away. We figured the distance at about 3 football fields and I eased into the sling,set my elbow on a chest high rock,put the crosshairs high on the shoulder(Sighted 2 inches high @ 100 yards)and took the shot. Instant turn off.
We tried pacing it off afterwards, but the ground was rough, and the distance was between 275 and 325 yards,as best we could estimate.

I had been on a base rifle team in the service as an alternate, and had some idea of shooting long range. I do not recommend it for most folks, as the chances of wounding are greater than they should be. Besides, part of the challenge is seeing how close I can get, not how far off I can be and still hit.
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Old June 28, 2000, 09:08 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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REDMISTMD: I'm a bit dubious about snipers shooting 1,000 yards, OFFHAND. Sure, if you do everything reasonable to make a rifle a 1000-yard critter, it's quite possible from a rest. Plenty of books on the subject. But you're not going to stand erect, take your sight, and touch it off at that distance and expect a one-shot kill.

Harry Pope was known as "The Human Bench Rest", and shot incredible groups at 200 yards. He used a Ballard single-shot. He'd reprime the case, and then load powder and bullet from the muzzle.

I've watched my father "call the white spot" on a deer's neck, offhand, at 250 yards; there are witnesses to the same call at 450.

People like these are the exception, not the rule, in my experience.

I used to hunt one 2,000-acre gently-rolling pasture which was mostly 4' to 8' mesquite brush. You walked and walked, trying to get somewhere; when you got there, you weren't anywhere! If you saw a deer, the only shot you had was offhand. Period, end of story.

Out in my home country, typically you walk and hope to jump Ol' Biggie out of bed and hit him on the run. He'll be somewhere between 50 feet and 500 yards, full throttle in overdrive. Ya gotta figure distance, angle, lead and holdover and do it all in about one second--or go hungry.

Later, Art
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Old June 28, 2000, 10:23 AM   #7
DorGunR
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WOW......you guys amaze me. Those were teriffic shots.
Now I know why I prefer shotguns.

But I also prefer shotguns because I love to watch the dogs work up a covey and freeze into a perfect point and watch the other dogs honor the point.


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Old June 28, 2000, 01:36 PM   #8
Paul B.
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My hunting buddies jumped a nice 4 point Mule deer, and wounded him in the process. He was running full tilt and about to disappear over a ridge when I took a shot offhand. Broke his neck. Rifle was a Remington 660 in .308 Win. Bullet, a 150 gr. Sierra SPFB under a stiff load of H-335. Distance was 427 paces over a shallow saucer shaped basin. Allowing for the terrain, maybe 350 yards, give or take. I'll also be the first to admit, it was luck. I much prefer my shot to be less than 200 yards, and preferably much less.
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Old June 28, 2000, 10:27 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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DorGunR: Yeah, the "package" of dogs and quail is really neat. And then there is the other side of quail hunting: Blues. They run like greyhounds, fly up the mountains, and won't hold a point at all.

When you shoot one, he metamorphasizes into a rock. If you watch the bird come down, you usually can find him. If you shoot a double, you'll be stumbling around for a long time, trying to find "your rocks". To use a pointer, out here, would mean a dog in dire need of a psychiatrist. Retrievers are Good Things, of course.

, Art
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Old June 29, 2000, 06:41 PM   #10
Ron Ankeny
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Redmistmd:

I am from Wyoming, home of the long range game shot. As you know, some of the finest long range rifle shooters in the world congregate in Gillette, Wyoming every year for international long range competition using "sniper rifles". I really do encourage you to attend, sounds like you could easily walk away with all the marbles.

---Ron
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Old June 29, 2000, 06:59 PM   #11
REDMISTMD
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Ive been looking for something like that the longest range weve got here is 800 yarder at the dugway proving grounds.I've hears that we might be getting a 1000 yard range.The closest thing I've found to that is down in Arizona.Anybody hear about the long shots made by Bruce D Artus from CO> He shot a prairie do at 2052 yards with a 308. and 2500 yards with a 308. improved I think it was a 308 improved.I belong to The Varmint hunters Association. They have a contest every year for the longest shot. Bruce was the first to hit at 2000 and 2500 now thats amazing he didnt even use as beefed up weapon as I do. Where can I get more info on the Gillete thing
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Old July 1, 2000, 12:06 PM   #12
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Since the question was asked as the Longest Shot. I'd like to pose this question.

I wonder how many wounded game animals have wondered off and died due to long range shots?

If you want a 1000 yard match. Try Nationals at Camp Perry, Port Clinton, Ohio. Its where the finest shooters in the US play.


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Old July 1, 2000, 02:58 PM   #13
Art Eatman
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Turk: Way too many, probably. However, I've looked at deer in the cold-storage lockers around Texas, through the years. A lot of them were hit two or three times. Often, I gather that the first hit on that sort of "victim" was a gut shot.

I've lost two deer. One was shot in the heart with a .270 at 80 yards, from the side. I saw the hit, saw blood. He fell on his "elbows"; jumped up and ran. My father and I hunted for him for over two hours...Heavy dew, hard ground, thick brush. No joy.

The other, I pulled low and broke the right front leg. About 80 yards, mas o menos. He went down as though pole-axed. I thought he was "ruint", slung my rifle and walked toward him. He jumped up and ran; I unslung my rifle and cut down on him--and got 4X sunset in my eye. Needless to say...

Those two losses will never be forgotten, but that's all there have been, out of some 30 years of very active hunting.

I'm just glad that I've needed a second shot on only three deer--and they were all down and paralyzed. My three really-long kills were all one-shotters.

I've been lucky in the folks I've hunted with. Mostly really good shots, or very careful about what shots they took.

Regards, Art
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Old July 1, 2000, 10:18 PM   #14
Turk
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Art,

I salute you for your hunting record. The fact that there is regret in two un-recovered deer tells me a lot about you as a hunter. I know some guys (I wouldn’t hunt with them) that if they wound a deer and if it can’t be found quickly they stop the search and continue the hunt. They figure they can jump another deer quicker than they can search the wounded one.

I don’t think your lucky with the people you hunt with I think you pick your partners wisely.

You mentioned checking deer in the storage lockers over the years with a lot of 2-3 hits. There is not doubt in my mind that a lot of those deer were taken at shorter distances. I’m not a fan of long range shooting for game but I also know there are a lot of lose cannons that’ll bust caps (even at shorter range) and are not sure of their shot.

I stated deer hunting about 8 years ago. Since the early 60’s I’ve been a die-hard waterfowl hunter and deer hunting interrupted my duck hunting. I knew it was time to change species when I’d stop off at McDonalds first to get a couple egg Mc Muffins to take to the blind. Or when I’d call in a flock of mallards into the decoy spread and throw a rock at them after they landed.

When my state opened up handgun hunting for white tail I decided I wanted to take a deer with every legal caliber. I made vow to myself that I’d never take an off hand shot over 50 yards and up to 100 yards only if the handgun could be supported and only if I was sure of the shot.

In the last eight years I’ve taken two deer. A big buck with a 54 cal. Round Ball during the late muzzle loading season and one with a S&W M-57 41 mag. Every year I’ve hunted I know I could of hit a deer and probalby put them down and then finish it off. But probably isn’t good enough. I never liked cripples when waterfowl hunting and sure don'tlike to see crippled deer, elk etc.

Something for you guys that consider taking the long shot PLEASE be sure of your shot.

Art, made the comment that his three longest kills were one shot. It looks to me he was sure of his target.

You all have a good day.

Turk

PS: Please guys before you flame me with my rifle will shoot that far and I know my skills. I’ve got a Springfield Armory M1A, Super Match. It’ll shoot X’s all day slow fire at 600 yards and I have a custom 1000 yard 30-338 build on a 03 action that shoots better than I can aim.

Most off the self, scoped hunting rifles will let you shoot 600 yards. BUT be sure of your shot. A deer running at full bore at a range of 600 yards to me doesn’t give you much of sure shot.


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Old July 2, 2000, 02:39 AM   #15
Bud Helms
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Well, looks like I'm in fast company here. The best I've ever done off-hand is 186 steps. I bested that once from the kneel at 209 steps. But I don't think I could run with you guys. Most of the deer I've taken here in GA have been within 60-70 yds.

[This message has been edited by sensop (edited July 02, 2000).]
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Old July 2, 2000, 10:47 AM   #16
Art Eatman
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Well, opportunity has a lot to do with it. The western states just have a lot more open country.

I've hunted around the swamps near Blountstown, Florida; and a little bit in thick stuff near Thomasville, GA. You really have to find a trail and set up close by. I haven't been fortunate to have a deer come by that excited me, but what deer I've seen have been in the 25- to 75-yard ranges.

If I have the chance, I'll sure take a rest or lean on a tree. Offhand is for when there's no real alternative.

I do think folks spend too much time on the benchrest, and not enough time trying to hit a beercan, offhand, at 100 yards. Getting the eye-hand coordination together is a lot more important than ultra-tight groups. The idea is to shoot just once, on ol' Bambi.

, Art
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Old July 2, 2000, 08:54 PM   #17
Ron Ankeny
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This whole issue of long range shooting on big game has been discussed before. I might add that I posted about a year ago regarding lost game and in Wyoming the majority of game is lost to failed neck and head shots or shooting at extended ranges.

There is a huge difference between one's markmanship abilities on paper and non-game animals and what one should attempt in the field. For instance, I shoot a bow very well. I have no trouble shooting five arrows into a three inch circle at 40 yards all day long and a pie plate at fifty yards is no problem. Still, I consider my effective range on big game to max out at 30 yards and everything has to be perfect for me to even consider shooting at 40. I don't even have a sight pin beyond 40 yards and I won't take the shot, period.

Really what we are talking about is ethics and ethics are born of wisdom and maturity.
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Old July 3, 2000, 07:26 AM   #18
Turk
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Art,

You're right. Too much time is spent on the bench zeroing in. A couple weeks before whitetail seasons starts the local range is full of shooters zeroing in. But you see very few shooting off hand?

Ron,

You hit the nail on the head.

hunting ethics.

You all have a good day.

Turk


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Old July 5, 2000, 12:51 AM   #19
Bud Helms
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Absolutely. I personally view with some disbelief, claims of "I only take head shots. That way I don't mess up any meat." Yeah. It's a pet peeve of mine.

Short story. I hunted with a guy in the FL panhandle, in the early '80s (a little west of Blountstown, Art, over in north Okaloosa County) that always took a head or neck shot. In the three years I hunted with him, he took six or seven head shots at broadside Whitetails. Took home one. ONE. Wounded three. Missed the rest. Big campfire hunter. 'Had no concept of a hunter's obligation to the game he's after. I never have figured it out. You have this big 10 inch circle that'a a sure kill zone, but some guys have to shoot for the eye. Go figure. His mission was obviously to see how many hurt animals he could leave to die or live crippled.

Grrrr! ...

[This message has been edited by sensop (edited July 05, 2000).]
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Old July 5, 2000, 01:30 AM   #20
Art Eatman
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I know what you mean, sensop. I've done a bit of tracking on "Optimist's deer". But God invented practicing so I could hit what I was aiming at, I guess. I freely admit that I'll go for a "front of the big brown part" if I don't have a reasonable rest for my preferred neck shot. And I've never, ever had a neck-cripple.

On the other side of that coin, we had a couple of short-term guys on our lease who never, ever, missed a deer. Trouble was, they usually found a broadside deer, and hit somewhere close to the hindmost rib. Yuck! Funny--they never were enthusiastic about field-dressing their deer...

Deer on ground, good! Two miles of little red spots, bad!

Later, Art
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Old July 5, 2000, 01:48 AM   #21
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Art,

"and not enough time trying to hit a beercan"

Are you saying there is some sort of open season on beer down there in the Souteastern US of A. D@**, what kind of godless communists you got running around down there. Shooting unsuspecting beer!

I tell you what - for every case of beer you send up here to Colorado, we'll send you a genuine (non-endangered) prairie dog! It'll give you some more sporting target to shoot at, and keep us Rocky Mountain boys "Laid Back!"

Have Fun - JohnDog
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Old July 5, 2000, 12:18 PM   #22
Art Eatman
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JohnDog, I have it on good authority that a fella oughta bring a bunch of Shiner Bock up there--to keep the campfire session lubricated--along with, say, a .223 and enough ammo to avoid boredom, and discuss this matter further.

, Art
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Old July 5, 2000, 05:04 PM   #23
JohnDog
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Art,

Well - if we empty them cans out first - then I guess it would be OK! As for campfires, right now in most of Colorado they are ferbotten, due to extremely dry conditions. As for .223 shooting - got plenty of ammo for low boredom factor.

For the original thread question, my longest off-hand kill shot was in hind-sight about 175 yards. I say in hind-sight because it was hunting season my first year in college, my first season hunting by myself without my dad, uncles or cousins. My 19 year old mind convinced me that because the shot hit the mulie at the very bottom of the kill zone, it was at least 375 to 425 yards away. It was that far away because that's how far the .270 would drop with my great marksmanship skills. It couldn't have been a bad shot that I got lucky on. It was a great shot and I was a great hunter!

Needless to say it took exactly one year, and one shot to puncture this ego bubble. Egged on by 2 college buddies I was hunting with, I took an off-hand shot at a mulie that was bouncing his way up a sage covered hillside at least 300 yards away. Well, we found blood were we saw him stumble, but after searching the rest of that day, and by myself the next day I never found him.

Since then I always make sure that I can call my shot. I practice getting down to a seated position without making noise, or slinging off my rifle and pack and getting in a prone position. In the last ten years almost all my deer, elk and antelope shots have been taken from a seated position, except for a 50 yard shot of an elk off-hand in black timber and a prone shot of an antelope.

Have Fun - John Dog
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Old July 14, 2000, 05:08 PM   #24
m_d_atwood
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i never have made that long of a shot, but i ahve heard that my grandfather made some kill shots at 250+ yard with a 30.06 hunting elk and deer in colorado.

the best longest shot i ahve ever amde was a kill shot to a coyote with a 9mm pistol at about 30 yards. lucky i guess. i dont know what i was shooting but it was one of my dads home loads i think.

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you might get my gun, but you can have my books when you pry them from my cold dead fingers.

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Old July 14, 2000, 07:00 PM   #25
BadMedicine
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Speaking or head shots and not waisting any meat, the Hunter safety class in Washington told the whole class to shoot the game through both shoulders!!!! What a waist. You shoot a deer or elk through the shoulder you ruin many a roast!!! Instead of shooting behind the shoulder for a double lung shot, that only damages a fist size of meat off the ribs, their reasoning was "if you miss the heart and lung, atleast the wounded animal would be down for you to get in there and get a killing shot" what a waist!
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