View Full Version : if a hunter says...

January 1, 2009, 09:50 PM
very politely, "i dont shoot an animal past X distance, because i prefer to hunt, not shoot", and he leaves it at that, dosnt try to press his ideas on you, and is a good hunter and a good shot under his self imposed range, what is the first thing you think? he cant shoot? hes trying to hide his lack of marksmen skills by appearing ethical? you dont care, and enjoy hunting with him because hes a good hunter and is good to be around? what do you think?

January 1, 2009, 09:58 PM
He would have my respect. There are certainly areas of the world with wide open spaces where long-range shots are the most effective way to get meat, but I have more respect for hunters who chose to stalk within a close range and take their animal. Bow hunters and pistol hunters are better "hunters" in my opinion than the guys that use the latest whiz-bang .30 cal magnum cartridge to kill a stationary deer with a broadside shot at 500 yards.

January 1, 2009, 10:24 PM
That he's an experienced and ethical hunter, that knows the difference in his and his weapons capabilities on the range vs in a hunting situation; he's obviously practiced with them and is proficient with them. Otherwise, he wouldn't have established a maximum range that he feels is within his effective limits.

Oh, and I'd be honored to hunt with him.

January 1, 2009, 10:27 PM
sounds like a level headed and experienced hunter.

January 2, 2009, 12:08 AM
I appreciate that he's even given it a thought and made a choice for himself. I wouldn't surmise that he doesn't have the ability to shoot longer ranges, anymore than I would suppose a bowhunter uses a bow because he couldn't shoot a firearm.

At the same time, I respect the longer range shooter who has committed to develop the proficiency required to ethically take game at extended distances. This is a substantial skill in itself, and doesn't mean this hunter couldn't stalk game.

The question could easily be reversed: What would you think of a hunter who imposes a minimum range of 500 yards on himself? He hasn't said that he thinks stalking is easy, but personally derives the satisfaction achieved from mastering the long shot, something he's worked on week after week, over a period of years.

As a practical matter, the vast majority of us should avoid taking shots beyond our level of competence, whatever that range is. And if someone wants to impose personal limits on themselves to improve the challenge or as a matter of ethics, more power to them. That is admirable.

You didn't say if this guy brought enough chips and sodas for both of us. I can be bought. :rolleyes:

Brian Pfleuger
January 2, 2009, 12:12 AM
I don't give it much thought. If they're safe and ethical I really couldn't care what their reasonings are.

January 2, 2009, 12:22 AM
As Clint Eastwood put it in the movie, Jossie Wells, "A man must know his limitations."

Sounds like your partner either knows his limitations or has an idea of where he feels comfortable with his skills. Since he doesn't impose his constraints on you, enjoy the hunting experience. You may actually learn something from him.

I had an old boy I hunted with when I was young. He never could understand why I had a full clip. He said, with his old bolt action 308 Savage, "I can't get more than one round off. So why carry more?" I thought it was because he was slow and old.

Wrong, he only needed one shot. I learned from him to choose my shots wisely. And make them count. Today, I still carry a full clip, but I only use one round.:rolleyes:

January 2, 2009, 01:03 AM
At the same time, I respect the longer range shooter who has committed to develop the proficiency required to ethically take game at extended distances. This is a substantial skill in itself, and doesn't mean this hunter couldn't stalk game.

Fair enough. While it doesn't change my position, I certainly can't argue with you when you frame it in those words.

January 2, 2009, 01:18 AM
Sounds like he's out to do the job at hand. Without just wounding an animal.

I would not want him hunting me.

January 2, 2009, 01:42 AM
Sounds like hes good enough at hunting that he doesnt feel the need to take risks

January 2, 2009, 03:18 AM
Why should I be concerned or offended by it? It's his (or her) self imposed limitation, for whatever his reasons are. It doesn't mean he's any better of a hunter, or that he's a poor shot, either. It's his own self imposed limitation, and he's welcome to it.

Personally, I won't make such a statement. How far I'll shoot will depend a lot on the circumstances of the shot. If I'm hunting in poor light, such as under a canopy of trees or in brushy areas, and can't see as well as I could out in the open, then I won't shoot as far. If I'm hunting with a bow or handgun, or even an open sighted rifle, I won't shoot as far as I would with a scope sighted rifle. OTOH, in open country where the light is good, and with a decent rest and an accurate rifle, I'll shoot a whole lot farther, and do it successfully, too.

How each of us hunts is our own business, and we do it for our own reasons. It's all good.


January 2, 2009, 06:50 AM
I think you have stated it very well Daryl. Could not add anything to that from my perspective view.

January 2, 2009, 07:49 AM
Sounds like an ethical hunter to me.

Even worse case, lets say the guy is a terrible shot, it sounds like he knows the distance he's accurate to and won't go beyond that. That again is an ethical hunter.

I'd rather hunt with an ethical hunter than a slob any day.

Double Naught Spy
January 2, 2009, 08:41 AM
very politely, "i dont shoot an animal past X distance, because i prefer to hunt, not shoot",

Without the interpretation of what the statement might mean as posted in the OP, the statement seems rather nonsensical without the hunter who makes the statement actually defining the meanings of hunting and shooting.

Personally, I have never heard hunting defined by the distance of the shot.

Where I come from, you have hunting, finding, and shooting. Hunting is the activity of attempting to find game. Finding is just that, when you spot your game - at which time you may opt to shoot or not. Then you have shooting when you attempt to dispatch the game you have found and decided to shoot.

January 2, 2009, 09:09 AM
I understand the "hunting vs shooting" comment. After 30 odd years of deerhunting, and 20 some deer kills, I've had to admit to myself and others that I've been a better deer shooter than deer hunter.

I have usually killed small bucks, often at far ranges, and often on the run. I've never lost one to my knowledge, but have had to look hard for a few.

I have taken up bowhunting for deer and elk in the last few years, and have had to re-evaluate my hunting skills and improve my technique; simple as that.

Hunting and shooting can be two very different things. I have friends who I can shoot circles around, yet their record proves them to be a much better hunter than me. jd

January 2, 2009, 09:40 AM
Compare that guy with the one who says things like:

"My 7mm magnum shoots so much farther and hits so much harder than your .308, why don't you get a real gun?"

"Why did you shoot such a small deer?"

and my favorite, that someone actually said to me:

"Why did you sight your rifle in so it hits an inch an a half above the point of aim? Why didn't you sight it in so it hits where you are aiming?"

My first thought is that the guy you mention is NOT a jerk and is NOT completely ignorant.

Art Eatman
January 2, 2009, 09:42 AM
Odds are it's a self-challenge, seems to me. My father and my uncle both had the attitude that a man should be able to judge distance, wind and trajectory so that anything inside of 500 yards belonged to them. My father was a pretty good stalker, though, having killed German sentries by hand after sneaking up on them.

I like sneaky-snaking; I've tossed a rock onto a deer's butt from five or so yards, and my last mule deer was neck-shot at maybe thirty yards at most. But I've shot a couple out at 350 and 450 yards, pretty much taking those shots for granted at the time.

I guess that as long as folks don't try to impose their notions on how I hunt, I'm happy with how they hunt...


January 2, 2009, 10:08 AM
I am with Art... Don't criticize me and my hunting and I won't nit pick yours...
I am a fairly close in shooter preferring the deer stumble to within 70 yards. I may be able to seal the deal beyond 150 but I am after a sure thing so I prefer to remove most of the variables with reduced distance. Also unless the deer is 'tween me and my truck, it is just that much further to drag out.

January 2, 2009, 11:27 AM
Sounds like a guy that could hang out in my camp anytime!

A couple of things that struck me as good:

he leaves it at that, dosnt try to press his ideas on you

Quite a concept

good hunter and a good shot under his self imposed range


enjoy hunting with him because hes a good hunter and is good to be around

Pretty much the definition of who I want around camp.

No one else can define your abilities for you. Way nicer to have someone who is conservative in thier opinion of thier abilities than to have to do a track job on something hit poorly because the shooter thought they were a better shot than they are.

January 2, 2009, 02:45 PM
Personally I wouldn't mind hunting with that individual a bit. The people I do mind are the ones who take shots that they KNOW are beyond their limit and often the effective range of their gun. Only three things come from that scenario: 1. They miss (best option) 2. They are so off that they hit a person (worst scenario) 3. They get lucky and wound the animal (unethical and wasteful). Personally I fall in with what Daryl said. I evaluate the situation and how far I KNOW I'm good for in that particular situation.

January 2, 2009, 08:37 PM
As most have said, this guy would be a respectable,ethical hunter. The terrain usually dictates(most of the time) the hunting techiques and distance we shoot. I like to bow hunt but would probably have alot less success bowhunting in the Sahara Desert. As long as hunter knows his( her) capability limits and abides by them, kills their prey as humanely as possible and hunts legal why wouldn`t we want to hunt with them.

January 2, 2009, 10:59 PM
+ for all. Remember too that some of us 'old fellers' just can't do what we used to do in terms of recoil and offhand steadiness. We also shoot within our range in respect for our quarry.

In my case I concentrate on getting closer and am getting better at it. Ever been within 30 ft. of a turkey and it never seemed to have a clue that you were there? Maybe she knew that she was a hen and thus safe but I like to think that I've become a better hunter.

January 7, 2009, 09:59 PM
I would be honored to hunt with such an individual. And i think a lot of noble sentiments have been expressed in this post. However on the practical side, who wants to track a poorly hit, wounded deer? I believe every hunter loses(and learns from the experience) at least one deer to a poorly placed shot, beyond the hunters capabilities,( or circumstances at the time) whether that be 500 yards or 5. It takes a big man to know and express his limitations. Who here has not known a hunter who insists on slinging lead whatever the range, sometimes even after the first shot mortally wounded the animal. Dern waste of meat!

January 7, 2009, 10:19 PM
He sounds like the kind of feller that says howdy and that's about it on the drive to the lease. Heck, a guy like that is welcome to share my tent if he doesn't snore, have athlete's foot or a bad case of flatulence and keeps on his cot. My kinda guy. I might even spot him a small case of flatulence as long as I'm up wind.

January 8, 2009, 04:58 AM
I would not confuse "I prefer not to" with"I don't think I can"

I have access to a 4 section piece of private land .I have many different spots on it to shoot.I have killed many pronghorn and prairie dogs on it.
There is an old bone pile that lasers 1090 yds from a fallen down old homestead.On one occasion I put 3 rounds through an old bleached cow shoulder blade at 1090 yds.A hand would cover all three shots.I have taken two over 400 yd pronghorns there ,lasered,using a .257 AI.It is not that I lack confidence in my ability to hit at long range.

It is just that I have taken the laser rangefinder ballistic software altitude BC over .500wind meter BDc reticle target knob , .75 MOA over 3000 fps etc,etc,far enough it is ridiculous.Everything about my 30-338 is geared to a 600 yd tool.I went to great pains to gather data for the 1400 yd Kenton knob on my Laredo.
How many folks actually dial zero at a measured 300 and then check elevations at 400,500,600? I do. I have also found at very long ranges,mirage and fickle winds can fool me.
I've shot enough,I can choose to not shoot.It don't matter!.Seeing a critter and moving 100 yds closer is more fun than seeing and shooting.

There is something to a modest rifle and a 4 X scope and 300 yds.
Not saying that is what you must live by,but I think it is a good place for most folks who only practice at a rifle range with a 200 yd max range.
And,it is not a bad limit for me,most of the time.A line from another thread,someone said "Don't tel me how far you can shoot,tell me how close you got!

January 8, 2009, 10:32 AM
He would have my respect. Here in Indiana we are limited to shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun, and in the last couple of years rifles chambered for legal handgun cartriges. Very rarely to we have an area where you have a shot much over 100 yrds. At the range I know I can hit the center of a bowling pin at 100 yrds with my iron sighted 44 blackhawk. When huntig though I try to get as close as possible, preferably within 30 yrds. That just my choice. I enjoy the challenge of getting as close as possible, its one of the reasons I hunt with a handgun. I have friends who routinely shoot deer out to 100 yrds with teir scoped muzzleloaders, thats their choice and I don't hold it against them. The main thing is to treat the animal with the respect it deserves and to dispatch it as quickly and humanely as possible.

January 8, 2009, 02:01 PM
Wanting to challenge himself may or may not be commendable. I don't know him or his motives.

But the second he opens his mouth and makes the statement quoted indicates that he is an elitist ass that thinks he's better than those who take longer shots.

Big difference between wanting to challenge yourself and someone who openly refers to HUNTERS that take longer shots as "shooters". It speaks volumes about his state of mind.

January 8, 2009, 02:04 PM
Makes me wish we had more hunters like him than the ones who buy a big magnum cannon and glass that looks like it came from the Hubble space telescope, fire 10 shots at the range to sight in, and think they're good to go for 400 yard shots on game. He may be an elitist ass, but at least he's not leaving deer to starve to death with their jaw blown off.

January 8, 2009, 02:14 PM
I would give him my respect.

Anyone with a good rifle can shoot 400 yards and kill what you want.
However, its unlikely for people to stalk their prey and kill it. I prefer stalking myself.

January 8, 2009, 02:49 PM
Anyone with a good rifle can shoot 400 yards and kill what you want.

Actually, probably a lot fewer than THINK they can...

I admit 400 yds is beyond my range:p

January 8, 2009, 04:07 PM
I would mostly agree with him. While one may be capable of a clean, ethical kill at that range, can it really be considered 'hunting' in the literal sense of the term? I understand there is a large amount of skill needed to accurately shoot at 500 yards, but to just spot an animal at that distance, set up and shoot it, how much of a chance did that animal really have? Just because it is difficult doesn't make it sporting. I don't think anyone can argue it is a hell of a lot more sporting to sneak up on your animal, get within 100 yards and take it, than just set up the bipod and rattle off a shot at 500 yards, and hope it doesn't drift a little bit and gut shot it.

January 8, 2009, 04:15 PM
I admit 400 yds is beyond my range

Mine too. If it's much over 100 yards I start looking for some kind of rest. I might try at 300 if I can get settled on something, that's about it.

You can tell pretty quick when you get the scope on the animal whether or not you have the control to make a good shot.

Every situation is unique. If somebody is saying they are going to do this or that they are probably just talking.

January 8, 2009, 04:30 PM
At beyond 100-150 I need a dedicated game spotter to point to the critter:o

January 8, 2009, 06:20 PM
Brent, you probably need a heat seeking sidewinder too.:p

January 8, 2009, 06:23 PM
Fisherman, My luck says it would go "broken arrow" and circle back for me or my fart signature!:o

January 9, 2009, 10:44 AM
As Clint Eastwood put it in the movie, Jossie Wells, "A man must know his limitations."

Actually, that was from Magnum Force.

January 14, 2009, 01:40 PM
I would respect him for knowing his limitations and staying within them. This is one mark of a good hunter.
I am a lot like that myself. I don't like long shots when I can take a shorter shot with a little perserverance.

James R. Burke
February 23, 2009, 02:48 PM
No doubt Daryl stated it right. Each hunter has his or hers limits for alot of differnt reasons. I think if a hunter passes on a shot you got to give them credit for knowing there limits or safety reasons. To many hunters making bad shots. If you dont have placaement there is no way you have a shot.

February 23, 2009, 09:03 PM
I'll admit I'm a crappy shot when hunting because I always hurry up the shot. If I don't take the time to slow myself down I'll miss every time. I know if I were to say such a thing it would be because of my minds limitations not my rifle. Someone else wants to shoot 400 yards with a 30-30 go for it.

February 23, 2009, 09:21 PM
The only problem I have w/that statement is the inference that people who do take shots past his self-imposed limit is less of a hunter. I have killed very few animals over 150yds. but I have a friend who is a very good shot that routinely kills deer at 300-400yds. He is no less a hunter than I.

February 24, 2009, 07:03 AM
HUNTER vs shooter. Do you spend more time in the woods or on the range?

February 25, 2009, 12:52 PM
I'd say that he/she was an ethical hunter who has put some thought into not only that statement, but how they enjoy hunting as well. There are a LOT more rifles capable of 400-500yd lethal performance on deer(big game) than there are hunters, I can guarantee that. In my opinion too many "hunters" buy a rifle after reading the ballistics for the caliber, sighting in at 100yds, and then guessing the range to a deer/elk/antelope/add animal, way yonder.

As a matter of fact, most of the 300-500yd shots reported are likely truly much closer to 150-250yds. I've had hunters tell me about 400yd shots they made and then point to some trees 175-200yds away and say that's what the range was. I suppose it's easier for fisherman, especially the one "that got away" to be able to exaggerate on it's size, so all the typical hunter can do is add a hundred or so yards to the distance his/her trophy was shot at (and hopefully collected).

I've asked enough hunters a few simple questions about either trajectories or ballistics(or both) to realize that the typical weekend hunter knows little to nothing about either. This is in no way meant to insult anyone, but simply to state my experiences over more than 3 decades of hunting in numerous states and with a bunch of different rifles.

I'm sorry, but when I meet a hunter and he's(she's) extolling the long range virtues of their rifle and shooting within the first 10 mins, I'm simply unimpressed, and likely unbelieving, as well.
Simply my opinion, of course.

March 2, 2009, 09:44 AM
The last part of that statement strikes me as being a little snobbish. I've hunted deer for 25 years or so and I've done it with a bow, muzzleloader and rifle. I've camped, hiked, climbed trees, still-hunted and driven. I've hunted thickets where a rabbit dared to go and I've glassed wide-open spaces from the comfort of a heated blind. And I've killed deer under all of the circumstances above. Like an earlier poster stated, just because I do it the easy way doesn't mean I don't have the skills to do it the hard way.

I won't take a shot over 300 yds. because I don't need to. The max distance on my farm is 411 yds (laser ranged). I'm 100% confident that I can take a deer out to 300 yds based on my practice at those ranges. If the deer are farther out, I can wait. I'll be back tomorrow and the deer will likely wander closer. If not, I'll take up a stand closer to them. I'll also take advantage of any rest I can find, even if the shot is 50 yds. The only time I've taken off-hand shots is when I've topped a hill and found deer standing broadside less than 30 yds away.

It bugs me when a hunter thinks themselves superior because they're trophy hunters or spot-and-stalk only hunters. It's like dry-fly-only-catch-and-release effete snobs who think they're the only trout fishermen with a conscience.

The place I hunt doesn't require all that much effort and I've hunted it for so long that I know where to find deer on any given day. This year was a great example. Toward the end of September, a bachelor group got into the habit of coming out into the edge of a pasture just before dusk. I found a convenient tree and set up a ladder stand. On opening day of ML season, just like clockwork, they popped out of the trees. One was a cull-buck and that's the one I shot. I didn't get another chance to hunt again due to family obligations, illnesses and work. Toward the end of the season, a group of does started showing up in the same spot, same time. I shot one from my shooting bench with a scoped 30-06 from a sand-bagged rest. Total time hunting this season: 2 hours. I could get up at zero-dark-thirty and hike into the woods to sit in a tree all day, and some days I still do. But the bottom line is that I don't have to. That doesn't make me less of a hunter, especially since I'm a meat hunter.

March 2, 2009, 09:53 AM
It bugs me when a hunter thinks themselves superior because they're trophy hunters or spot-and-stalk only hunters. It's like dry-fly-only-catch-and-release effete snobs who think they're the only trout fishermen with a conscience.

Don't bother me none. I enjoy a close encounter and I think that makes me a better hunter than the yahoo's (who may very well be better shots) that use a range finder and turrets. I drop plastic lures into a lake, I think that makes me a better fisherman than the live bait crew. I think the vest/hat/dry fly wearers are prissy snobs. But...at the end of the day hopefully we will have venison and fried fish together (even if I have to share my fish with the catch and release prisses). There's a learning curve for every hobby/passion. Where we are on that curve doesn't matter as long as we are exercising our right to pursue those passions in a responsible manner.

Art Eatman
March 2, 2009, 10:23 AM
Ol' Bambi spends 365 days a year practicing being Bambi. Me, I have other things to do. So, if I can get up close and personal with him, I sorta pat myself on the back.

Howsomever, I've worked on being able to play Ma Bell, also. I guess my deal is that I don't want to have to get somewhere close. I don't want to be forced into some style because I didn't make myself able to do better.

Some of it comes from intra-family competition. Witnesses have described how my father killed deer out at 400 and 500 yards. Okay, if he could, I can, is the way I've looked at it. I've not all had that many occasions, of course, but that's beside the point. I wanted to have the ability, so I've worked at it.

The one time I killed a buck at 450 yards is a fond memory. But another equally fond memory is the time I sneaked up behind a fat little buck and hit him in the butt with a pebble from ten feet away.

I'm mostly interested in campfire tales, anyway. I guess I do stuff so I have good yarns to tell. :D:D:D

March 2, 2009, 01:23 PM
Very respectful, glad to hear storys of responsible hunters.

March 6, 2009, 10:54 PM
nothin beats gettin up close and personal with a wild animal... I always feel like I really did something when I take an animal at close range.

March 7, 2009, 11:06 AM
While I may not agree with all of his ideas, I have the utmost respect for hunters who know their limitations and stick to them. I'll be the first to admit I have taken some shots that were a little too long, they resulted in a clean miss or a good hit but probably shouldn't have taken them. Live and learn, at least thats the idea.;)

Art Eatman
March 7, 2009, 11:15 AM
timinkc, up close and personal is fun. I was sitting on the ground, leaned up against a tree in wait for Bambi. I noticed motion some twenty feet away in the brush; a fox. I lip-squeaked like unto Little Mousie, and he came closer and closer.

Did you know that a fox can instantly turn into a bottle brush when you boink his nose with your boot toe?

Raucous laughter does sorta mess up the deer hunting, though.

March 8, 2009, 09:22 AM
I say to each there own and what they find enjoyment in. I personally find it getting myself within reasonable range of the animal. To me it's all about the hunt and the animal. I have a rule it has to be bigger then my "last one". It not about trophies to me it's about the animals. I love looking at my mounts and reminising the hunt.

March 8, 2009, 09:30 AM
I wouldn't give it a second thought. Maybe the guy actually does prefer to work on stalking skills than hunting skills. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to make a head shot at 3000 yards.

I know enough bow hunters who have to get close to make a shot to know that the "getting close" part is a lot freaking harder than just getting good at shooting a rifle.

Art Eatman
March 8, 2009, 11:28 AM
Well, a heckuva lot of bow-hunters have gotten into it purely because of the challenges inherent in that style of hunting. At one time I was danged good with a bow--but my shoulder dislocates too easily for any serious-pull bow. For whatever reason, recoil doesn't bother my arthritis.

I know one guy who's gone even farther with it. He spent a winter in the Rockies, going in with elk/deer permits, his 60-pound recurve bow, hunting knife, salt and the clothes on his back. Later, he did a canoe trip on the Rio Grande's Lower Canyons, with the same gear. In August, for two weeks. But walking a pasture with him was intriguing: He'd find something to eat, on, under or around just about every bush. Unending nibbling on some sort of "veggie".

James R. Burke
March 11, 2009, 06:38 PM
Sounds like a good sportsperson. We all have are limits, and I respect the ones that know them. No doubt some are better at long range shooting, and knowing there limits on shot placement, and a one shot kill. Some people think they can shoot great at anything they see, and those are the ones that probalbly can't hit squat.