View Full Version : A disturbing trend

January 29, 2006, 07:54 PM
Maybe I am off base here , I am sure someone will tell me if I am. Let me make a few observations before I get on my soap box.

-A few years ago I was at a Scheels hunting store and a salesman told me that the two days before deer season is one of the busiest for gunsales.

-This year I was at a different Scheels and was surprised at how busy it was. I asked the sales man and he told me it was the day before Iowa shotgun season and people were buying new scopes and shotguns for tommorows hunt.

-Another gunstore was advertising that for $70 they would bore sight and shoot your rifle so it was "ready for hunting season."

-I have read posts were people were arguing if a .243 is big enough to kill a whitetail.

I can not help but wonder how can people shoot acurately buying a gun or scope the day before season. The answer is they can't. People think they need a 7mm RUM in order to kill deer. I would argue the average hunter just does not shoot enough any more. They think they need big guns so that no matter were they hit the deer it will go down. If people just took the time for some "trigger time" they could hit were they wanted to and quickly kill there game. For those of us that do shoot alot let's help change this trend and invite some of our non-shooting hunters out to the range. Our sport would be safer and we would have alot less ruined meat and 3 legged deer running around. So that is my speech.

January 29, 2006, 08:16 PM
I tend to agree with your assesment. I have watched my brother and brother in-law both miss fairly easy deer in the last year. Neither of them have put in the range time. I have had the fortune of being brought under the wing of a Vietnam Marine Sniper who pushes me to shoot weekly. I don't shoot competively and maybe weekly is "over kill" excuse the pun, but I know the limitations of my guns and myself as a result. I usually take a guy or two with me, and this thread is a good reminder to keep doing so.

January 29, 2006, 08:37 PM
Yep a lot of the guys i've talked to buy from a pawn shop, and then hock them back after season.

Mike Irwin
January 29, 2006, 08:39 PM
I don't think it's ever been much different, actually.

January 29, 2006, 08:43 PM
You know there's just no way i'd go in to the wood to kill a deer, with out knowing just where my rifle is shooting. I worry about it all season no matter how many times i've shot it.

January 29, 2006, 08:49 PM
Even worse IMO is those folks who buy a SD firearm and never shoot it, just throw it in the closet or nightstand drawer.

I don't know how anybody can own a firearm they plan to use for hunting or SD that they don't become very familiar with.

January 29, 2006, 08:53 PM
my only center fire at the moment is a 223. Last seson i hunted with it, but didn't see any deer worth taking. The moral of the story is i had access to a half dozen different "deer guns" that my father owns, but i never shoot them. I am always shooting my 223 and am confident that i could take 200-250 yard head shots with a good rest. It doesn't matter if i'm hunting squirrels or deer, i can't stand hunting with a gun i haven't put a few dozen rounds through.

January 29, 2006, 08:58 PM
Then there's folks that keep thier hunting rifle in the safe, but go out to shoot a couple rounds just before season to "make sure the zero hasn't changed." Better, but still defficient IMO.

January 29, 2006, 09:41 PM
In Illinois there is no rifle deer season, though they are trying to get it changed - bow season, shotgun season, handguns season, blackpowder/muzzleloader season. Most deer hunters I know use shotgun and bow. Most, the bow hunters, handgun hunters, and muzzleloaders all seem to shoot and practice fairly frequently. A lot of the shotgun hunters if they are not also part of the above mentioned groups seem to get the shotgun out a week or two ahead of the season and shoot a few slugs at the range or at a friends farm. Most really aren't that bad. Probably the worst in general are the city bound urbanites who rarely shoot but only head out to hunt during deer season - seems most don't have the time, money, interest, or availability to go shoot between deer hunting seasons.

As far as people wanting bigger calibers - around here anyway - downstate Illinois - it seems like there are a lot of old rifles in 30-06 or 30-30 and most of the new ones I see are in .270 or .243 - coyotes and varmits ya know - flat shooting plus most don't like the heavy recoil of larger calibers.

January 29, 2006, 09:55 PM
Yeah, I don't think that has changed. Always been that way. Lots of hunters have a box of ammo that lasts two or three seasons if they don't see much to shoot. As we are talking 20 rounds, how can they be comfortable with their rifles?

As for encouraging them to go shoot at a range, plenty just won't. I have invited nearly a dozen such in the last couple of years. Only one took me up on it. Of all things, some look at 'blasting' ammo at the range as a waste of money. I find it hard to believe they cannot understand the connection that 'blasting' ammo done with a purpose is an investment in a good result in the future.

January 29, 2006, 09:57 PM
Boys, just like with everything else, you've got your weekend enthusiast who either knows too much to listen to anyone else, or they simply don't realize that they really don't know -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- they're doing and just go through life clueless and dangerous.

People always think that somehow they are all SWAT/Spec Ops guys whose skills will simply 'appear' during their moment of need. Hunting, SD, driving, skiing, backpacking, rock climbing, motorcycles, mountain bikes, CPR, .... you get the point. That list could go on forever.

The only thing you can do is try to spread the word wherever you feel inclined...

January 29, 2006, 10:04 PM
I work in a sporting goods shop. The two-three days before hunting season are the busiest for rifle sales, ammo sales, scope sales and license sales. It's kind of scary the guys who buy a new scope for their rifle "because I missed last year," have me bore sight it and then go on their way, the NIGHT BEFORE! :eek:

I take a lot of abuse for shooting a .260 Remington and a .44 Magnum (rifle and pistol for the .44 now). Lots of people tell me it's not enough gun. But when I tell them I typically fire 200-400 rounds through that .260 each summer, plus the time I spend shooting my AR-15 at matches, and now that .44 gets a minimum of 50 rounds a week (detrimental to shooting my bolt-gun actually), they usually stop harassing me. I've yet to find a big-magnum thunder shooter willing to go toe-to-toe on the range with money on the line for targets and groups.

Actually, when I tally up my round counts on the .44s and the AR-15, people's jaws tend to drop. Guess there aren't many other gun-owners in these parts who are actually shooters. :cool:

(FWIW, the AR is awaiting a new barrel after about 5000 rounds between the last two years.)

January 29, 2006, 10:06 PM
I think your right on track! Additionally, I think the word "hunter" is used very loosely. Just like when people call others "friends" when they are only "accquaintances". Many people I've seen would not know how to gut a deer if they shot one, much less find a deer trail, or know what a deer bed or droppings looked like, or could tell you what a buck rub was!
I remember picking up some dropings to see how hard or soft they were. One of the guys in the group asked me what I was doing. When I told him, he said " come on, that can't be deer crap, it's too small for such a large animal"
Surfice to say, he was one of those guys who buys a rifle, shoots it when its new, goes hunting, puts it back in his closet (uncleaned), and takes it out the next year to hunt. Maybe he might go to the range, but will mostly depend on it being zeroed from last year, and still not clean it before his next hunt.
Kindy scary if you ask me.

January 29, 2006, 10:08 PM
Along this same topic. I recently escorted my Father to get his carry license renewed. I believe it is every three years. 6 out of the 8 people there were renewals and 4 of them had not shot there weapon since thier last qualification 3 years ago.

Even if they are not hunters or strong gun enthusiasts, you would think if they own a gun, they would practice with it occassionaly. Not necessarily so.

January 29, 2006, 10:11 PM
You got 5,000 rds out of an AR-15 barrel? Was it chrome lined ? How was it shooting when you decided it was time to retire the barrel? Where are you going for the new tube ?

I have a Krieger stainless on a Colt AR-15 and have fired as many as 500 rds in a single on swamps in the south (Nutrea). It has about 2,200 rds thru it and groups are opening up some. Not sure if it's the barrel or not. When shooting paper I clean it every 20-30 rds. Doesn't foul at all.

ranger dave
January 29, 2006, 10:26 PM
Shooters And Hunters Are Very Different People I Have No Wish To Kill Anything Anymore. I Work Knights And Shoot Almost Everyday. For Me Theres Nothing Better Then That One Hole Group After Working On The Load For A Week

January 29, 2006, 10:35 PM
So if there are a large percentage of hunters buying rifles/scope combos at pawn shops prior to hunting season then pawning them back after the season it tends to reinforce the saying, "Beware of the man with only one rifle" I've seen it and hear it all the time. I heard of a hunter bragging about going out early on opening day to set up because he has not scouted. I asked him if he was confident with the area he'll be hunting in and told him, "Well sometimes scouting is not needed, but make sure your rifle is in order." He said yes the rifle is in order and it is coming with a scope ready for pick up the day prior opening season. :eek: :D josh

January 29, 2006, 10:54 PM
Talk about hunters. I'm not passing judgement, but I know a guy who gets his buck on opening day right from his kitchen window! :eek:

January 29, 2006, 11:02 PM
It's definitely disturbing and amazing that anyone relies on mere boresighting to try to hunt (let alone a LOT of people). But as others have indicated, I'm not so sure that it's a "trend". I'm a city slicker and I wouldn't dream of it. But then again, I'm a shooter first, hunter second, unlike the majority of hunters. Must be a lot of dipsticks killing deer but never finding them. :mad:

January 29, 2006, 11:16 PM
Yah I never thought of it before. But people that rely on a bore sighted gun are crazy to think it will shoot to the point of aim. I always thought people spend time at the range to get ready for season. If this bore sight and ready to shoot thing is going on I don't know what to think. Thats just plain crazy! What ever happened to spending time with your hunting equipment to get ready for season?

January 30, 2006, 04:10 AM
I think most people don't really know what bore-sighting is, or how far off it can be. True, some jobs are excellent: I had one bore-sighted gun that was only an inch or so from where I wanted it. But I also had one that wasn't even on paper at 100 yards. Most people just assume that the 'professionals' know what they are doing when they "sight it in," so they can now split hairs at 500 yards.
Additionally, I think the word "hunter" is used very loosely.
+1. There is a big difference between a 'hunter' and a 'doofus in the woods with a gun.'

January 30, 2006, 05:45 AM
Best case in point I know was a guy that had lost his key to the trigger lock and asked if I could get it off. He said he had the key last year. However, I try not to berate any of these people, they are a member of the hunting fraternity and as such are a minority in our society. This getting Ol' Betsy out of hock or the closet for the opener has been going on for generations, and it will go on for more. Most gun shops I know of will repeatedly recommend that the bore sighted firearm be taken to the range. The best we can do is to try to spread some common sense.

January 30, 2006, 08:28 AM
I live in Ohio and we only have a one week shotgun season for deer followed by a four day muzzleloader season. After the flood of city folk are gone, never to be seen again until next season, I usually spend my weekends rabbit and squirrel hunting. I have been doing this for 16 years now and almost every time I go out, I find the remains of a doe or buck that has been disrespected in it's death. I play the scenerio in my head every time I find one. Joe City and Bill City buy guns the day before opening day. They spend thousands on fancy new clothes at Cabelas the night before. They buy grunt calls and walk around the woods blowing as hard as they can into them. While smoking a cigarette and talking on their cell phone. Then, another "Joe City" drives a doe with her 2 yearlings right in front of him. He throws down his cigarette, tells his friend to "Hold on, there's 3 right in front of me!" BOOM! A 1 once slug right to the lower jaw of mother. Well, she runs off and since every hunting show he's ever watched, the deers drops because of a well placed centerfire rifle bullet, he thinks he has misseed and picks his phone back up and starts yacking. Not even going over to look for blood or anything. OK you get the point, just drives me crazy thinking about it.

January 30, 2006, 08:51 AM
You got 5,000 rds out of an AR-15 barrel? Was it chrome lined ? How was it shooting when you decided it was time to retire the barrel? Where are you going for the new tube ?


I'm estimating on that round count, it could be a little bit less honestly. It is a stainless steel Wilson match barrel. My X-counts are down on the 200 and 300 lines with it, though I can load 80gr Noslers out to the rifling and still get OK groups at the six. Fire lots of heavy-bullet target loads through a SS barrel and you too can eat one in a year or two. I made Master with it, so I know it shot really well at first. Last time I fired it at 300-yards I was getting a few mysterious flyers. The group would go X, X, X, 10 just out, X, X, 8 at 10 o'clock, X, 10 just left, X.... You get the picture.

The replacement is a 1-7" Wilson SS I got on a group buy for a very good price. Heck, at the price I paid, I don't care if it burns in 3000-4000 rounds! :D

January 31, 2006, 11:29 PM
I feel the same, guys. Was dialing in a load for a friends .270 last fall, 2 guys show up where I shoot and ask if they can zero rifles also. O.K., no problem, first guy proceeds to send 5 rounds downrange about 3' low and left of the 3x5 target stand at 100yds. He then proceeds to make scope adjustments based on his offhand shooting. He's shooting a mixed bag of brands & weights of bullets. After about 25 rounds, none of which hits the target board, even, he tosses a soda bottle about 25 yards out, and MIRACOUSLY drills it. GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME, he proclaims, and tosses the rifle in his truck. Other guy takes about 5 shots that tilled the soil about 75 yds out, blames it on "old ammo" and drives off with his amigo. People like this make me glad I don't deer hunt!!!!! Andy
P.S. From what I have seen of Scheels scope mounting and boresighting, you'd be better off having a 5 year old kid do it:barf:

January 31, 2006, 11:34 PM
This is a good conversation, but in the wrong place - can we please move this to hunting where it belongs, and carry on there? Thanks.

Art Eatman
February 1, 2006, 11:24 AM
FF, it's more about would-be hunters' rifle-shooting behavior than about finding game and the actual hunt...


Double Naught Spy
February 1, 2006, 12:04 PM
moellermd said, I can not help but wonder how can people shoot acurately buying a gun or scope the day before season. The answer is they can't.

Actually, this isn't true across the board. For shorter distance shots, say 100 yards and less, bore sighting can be pretty good if it is done right. The windage should be fine and then all that is in question is the elevation. Using a levelled barrel, the sights can be adjusted to meet the bore at 100 yards. If you then take the estimated velocity of the round relative to its drop over distance, you can then determine approximately how far the sights need to be adjusted to compensate for the differences between the bore's trajectory and the bullet's drop over distance.

So it can be done, but with that said, most of the folks getting gear just before the season starts and counting on something like bore sighting to "get them on paper" are not going to be the folks who take the time to workout proper bore sighting relative to the ammo and load they are using. The reason they had the gun bore sighted without then taking the gun out for testing is simply because they don't want to be bothered with the task. After all, isn't bore sighting for the purpose of alleviating shooters of the tedium of properly sighting in their own guns?

Twycross said, 1. There is a big difference between a 'hunter' and a 'doofus in the woods with a gun.'

Yes, but they all look alike to me.

February 1, 2006, 04:25 PM
I read a previous post that someone was hunting deer with a .223 cal rifle. I must speak up about this. Personally, I think using a .223 to kill a deer is not something a respectable or humane hunter would do, especially at 250yds. I believe any rifle caliber samller than a .243 should be reserved for varmint. If you are deer hunting, please use a caliber of atleast a .243. That's my $0.02.


Art Eatman
February 1, 2006, 11:28 PM
gunslinger, while I'd agree about the 250 yards, the new bullets for centerifre .22s make it much less chancy than in the past. Still, IMO, they'd be for smaller deer, and relatively close. I'd limit myself to no quartering shots; only neck or 90-degree heart/lung.

But, please, let's don't drift off further.


mtn. man
February 1, 2006, 11:38 PM
Lots of good info here that i agree with. But i also know several folks in my area who hunt their own land and usually fire one centerfire shot per year.
This shot almost always results in a very nice buck.
These old geezers know their guns have patience and dont take bad shots.

February 1, 2006, 11:55 PM
they're probably use iron sights. Even if not, they at least sighted in their scope at *some point* in the past!

February 2, 2006, 09:07 PM
Beware the man with one old rifle, he likely knows how to use it.

Jack O'Conner
February 2, 2006, 09:51 PM
It's sad that so many men are too busy to spend time at a rifle range. Mastering your rifle is at various distances is imperative for successful hunting year after year.

I work with a very pleasant man who is hard working, honest, and polite. He has hunted with a Marlin 30-30 equipped with a 4x scope for many years. He killed two mule deer with it. He had a 3 year streak of seeing no bucks. Then last year he missed an easy 75 yard broadside shot. This fellow told me he sold the Marlin and bought a .270 rifle. I asked if he shoots much. "Nope", he replied. Amazing to me that the rifle is at fault and not HIM!

Like my Dad (deceased 2004) always said, "Common sense ain't that common".
So it goes.

February 2, 2006, 10:54 PM
I'm not from IA, but last month was there. A local was expalining the shotgun only rule.(hahaa) No 00 buck, slugs only. He described it as due to the close location of residents? they do not allow rifles.
That place looks like kansas(wide open). You have to drive for 20 minutes to see a neighbor.(just kidding)
ANY way, lots of newbies wait til the day before to prepare for the hunt.
We call them procrastinators!
never do today what can be put off till the next day........

February 2, 2006, 11:08 PM
I know this sounds hard to believe, but if you've ever flown low over Iowa versus Nebraska or Kansas, you'd know why they have a shotgun only rule. The population density in rural IA is much higher than KS or NE. Simply more people in a given area. Look at population per square mile on a map. Andy

February 6, 2006, 02:42 PM
I live in Tennessee, and .223 is not legal for deer hunting (Must be .24 cal or larger) I personally do not agree that .223 does not have the power to bring down deer "Humanely". At 200 yds. or less a properly placed shot will do the job. It is un-common to take deer at longer ranges (at least in my area) because of terrain. If I expected to be hunting in open country then a larger round Would be in order.

Just my $.02

February 6, 2006, 05:18 PM
I live in Tennessee, and .223 is not legal for deer hunting (Must be .24 cal or larger) I personally do not agree that .223 does not have the power to bring down deer "Humanely". At 200 yds. or less a properly placed shot will do the job. It is un-common to take deer at longer ranges (at least in my area) because of terrain. If I expected to be hunting in open country then a larger round Would be in order.

Interesting note: Here in New Hampshire, any centerfire is legal for deer hunting. .22 Hornet and .223 are legal. Actually, as far as I can read in the law book, a .223 would be legal for black bear as well, and maybe moose, but I'm still looking at that. A .223 somebody practiced with is better than a .300 Super-Magnum they refuse to shoot, IMO. As always, YMMV.

As for me, I'm considering getting an NEF Youth Handi-Rifle in .223 for the g-f to plink with at the range. (She's bored of the .22LR.) Add a second barrel in .243 or 7mm-08, brew up some handloads, and I might even be able to talk her into deer hunting. Kind of shows what I think of the .223 though, eh? :o

February 6, 2006, 07:00 PM
good speach, and good points. However, you should be darn greatful that there are ANY folks still buying rifles, shotguns, and hunting licenses. The whole sport is on the brink of extinction.

February 7, 2006, 01:26 PM
Around here a lot of the local "good ole boys" keep their rifles/shotguns in a gun rack in the pickup, where it bounces around for a year, then when "Huntin' " season opens they don the realtree, grab some redman and trot off into the woods usually without even having cleaned, much less shot the rifle since last season. I have, on more than one occasion, cancelled my days' hunting because Goober-Ray Joe-Bob was in the woods. reminds me too much of "Deliverance":eek:

February 7, 2006, 01:35 PM
P-990 - You better Marry that girl!:D
Has she got any sisters?;)

February 7, 2006, 01:52 PM
So where have we lost it?

My Grandfather grew up in the central UP during the turn of the last century. The family deer gun was a 22 Savage Hi power. When they went hunting they only got one cartridge. There was no extra money for ammunition to practice with.

I will crawl out on a limb here, I would rather hunt with a mediocre marksman that was a good man in the woods than a true range marksman that was nervous when he was more than 100 yards from the truck. I also want you to know I hunt in the big woods. I am forunate to not be confined to one farm or small ranch.

If all hunting was from a box blind or a tree stand I would take the marksman. I mean there are GPS and blinking red lights and radio operated truck horns for him. A line fence if he really gets mixed up.

Wild Bill Bucks
February 7, 2006, 02:07 PM
Last year the night before Powder season, the manager of a local hunting store and I stood in his store laughing about four or five customers that had come in. One had purchased a rifle KIT and was going home to put it together so he could hunt the next day. another one was looking for a new rod for his rifle, as he had accidently shot his rod through his garage door because he forgot to unload his gun from last year. Several others had simular problems that we thought at the time was pretty funny, UNTIL it dawned on us, THESE GUYS ARE GOING TO BE IN THE SAME WOODS AS HE AND I IN THE MORNING.
Wasn't as funny then.

February 7, 2006, 03:26 PM

I just well might! And no, she's the only sister of the family.

As for more about hunters and shooters and the like: I don't know many hunters who go too far from their ATVs and the trails around here. Not sure why not. It's not like you can get terribly lost. Get turned around somewhere? Just pick a direction and follow it out. You'll come to something, though how long it takes to get there is always a question. One direction you can only go for an hour or less; directly opposite you could be in for a night or two in the woods on your way out!

Moral: Know thy escape vector and carry a compass. At this point which rifle, how much you shoot it and whether or not you can hit anything become moot points.

February 7, 2006, 05:59 PM
I've deer hunted with my .223 AR-15 with a 65 grain worked great for where i was at the time

February 7, 2006, 06:00 PM
hope ya'll don't consider that overkill