Long shots....

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting Forum' started by D3Smartie, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. muleyman

    muleyman Senior Refuge Member

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    D3, maybe sneaking in to 35 yards with your bow is hunting to you. just because i dont doesnt mean that im just out "shooting". the area where i hunt, if you get a 250-300 yard shot you better take it. hunting to me is the whole experience. from the moment i start leaving town til i get back. so dont put your definition of hunting as everyone elses. you say youve been into 10 trophy mulies and havent shot one yet? maybe you need to work on your "hunting" skills:rolleyes:

    muleyman
     
  2. Alamosa

    Alamosa Elite Refuge Member

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    ducksbucksnbulls is clearly an elk hunter. I will have trouble articulating as well as he did.

    After years of studying them, hunters give elk a respect different from other game animals. I owe it mostly to their intelligence that makes each shot so serious. Beyond that, there is also a serious (can't find the right word) technical/tactical difference.

    Consider this. One of the smartest animals in North America decides to stand in the open, in daylight, during rifle season. You decide this long shot is a good idea and the animal waits while you set up what is necessary for a shot at that range. After the shot, hit or miss, that elk is not going to fall. Even with perfect shot placement a shot elk will run. One of two things happens.

    1) It runs. How far? It depends, but guaranteed it is not far from heavy cover and an escape route because it is an elk. It has a huge head start on you because of your long shot. It walks faster than you run. How long does it suffer before you cover this long distance? How fast do you move in that terrain? Chances are that one reason a hunter will practice long shots is because he doesn't enjoy stalking and stealthy hunting, otherwise he would have practiced that. If you were lucky enough to be the only hunter in the valley to notice this bold elk that stood out in the open then you will not meet up with other hunters who were actually attempting to get within range of it. Now can you find it? Most likely you are now in a completely unfamiliar area. There will be no blood trail. There never is. Did you even hit it? Every year I find a shot elk dead somewhere. If you are lucky it isn't getting dark.

    2) It continues to stand. Now it becomes clear that you are no longer at the bench. Do you shoot again? It isn't just the shooting that is difficult at extreme ranges - identification can be difficult. Is there a hunter 400 yds ahead angry because you shot his decoy?

    It is going to be difficult to take a long shot on an elk that you will feel good about. I am not so opposed to long shots of other animals if one is confident of that shot. Elk are different, and for more reasons than I have pointed out here. How are you going to feel after taking that long shot? The best that you can hope for is to feel relief if you find it.
     
  3. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Elite Refuge Member

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    i am not sayin that you arent hunting if you get within 300 yards or even 400 in cases. I take exception when guys shoot animals from long ranges just because they can. I have rifle hunted too and hunt Hells Canyon in ID. I have shot deer at 300 yards. That can be as close as you are going to get. I dont have a problem with that.
    Its when guys shoot deer or elk at 400 plus yards that it starts to make an issue with me. I just find it hard to believe that a guy cant close down the distance.
    MM... if it is the whole experience for you then if you see a big deer right out of town at 500 yards and you have one shot, do you take it?

    also.... no doubt i need to work on my hunting skills. I am too impatient right now for my own good and have blown many a stalk by moving too fast. I also never stop working on my hunting and it takes a lot of blown opportunities to get better. I have been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to hunt some great pieces of land and go into some areas that have really big bucks. I havent made the most of those oppotunities in the sense that I havent got a big buck but its about being out there, hunting, learning and putting the knowledge you accumulate to use in the future.
     
  4. H20OTTER

    H20OTTER Elite Refuge Member

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    I'm gonna jump back in here.

    I've tried to stay out but just can't.

    I practice out to and beyond 400 yds, every time I go out. Where?
    In the mountains where I hunt that's where. I have taken long shots but only when I can't get closer, I don't take a long shot because I can. I don't play that way. Am I a bad hunter for that? I don't think so. Two years ago while in Mt hunting mulies, I and a buddy closed the distance on a 23" 4x4 muley we started over 2 miles form where we spotted him at. I made the shot at 172 yds. lasered, with a nasty cross wind. He never even got up from his bed. Stalk? why yes, whenever it's possible. I hunt some nasty NASTY ground as Mallard addict, or PJB3 can attest to they've been there and seen that. Do I prefer a shot with in 100yds? Why yes don't we ALL! But there is something to be said for being practiced enough to shoot long distance, it is an art and science all rolled up into one. I have only lost one creature that I shot at over 400yds. That was a black bear the I hit twice square in the front shoulder. Barnes X sucked back then and I will never shoot them at anything but paper again. I've never had the opportunity to shoot at an elk over 30yds. The brush is nasty round here and if they're farther out than that you usually don't see em.
     
  5. BRUNO

    BRUNO Senior Refuge Member

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    This topic was once covered when the Big Game forum first started up....I don't personally see anything wrong with taking a long shot.... Much of what most have already said...
    knowing your weapon and ammo.... using an appropriate calibre for the yardage you're about to cover.... knowing the effect of precipitation wind and temp on trajectory and being able to compensate for them.... practicing in realistic situations (like H20OTTER said) ..... knowing the actual yardage of your prey and most of all KNOWING YOUR OWN LIMITATIONS ....If you take the time to evaluate all conditions and are positive you can make the shot it's not irresponsible, if you're firing a hail mary and see if you can make the kill, that's irresponsible.
     
  6. MallardAddict

    MallardAddict Elite Refuge Member

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    very well said bruno
     
  7. ghostman

    ghostman Elite Refuge Member

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    I once shot a doe in the back of the head at 683 yds, across a bean field, with a 308 cal , tack scope , and a range finder.. a sniper rifle.. I also attended sniper school ,, and shoot on a regular basis.. long range shots are not easy to do for the better than average shooter , due to bullet drop, wind compensation, angles, temperature and knowing where your "cold bore" shot will hit, etc, alot of things to factor in ...I also aimed for the head so it would be a clean kill or a clear miss..... also it is near imposible to buy factory rounds ,, that strike consistantly in the same spot ,,,, I reload mine to be sure they are all exactly the same... Just my input..:yes
     
  8. dakndug

    dakndug Moderator Moderator

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    The key to long range shooting is practice, practice, practice and study, study, study. You must know your gun and load intimately and be capable of doping the wind. You need to have practiced this type of shooting first on the bench and then in the field. Practice I said, not going out, finding game at longrange and seeing if you can make the shot. You must practice field shooting at long range as well as off the bench.

    I shoot a .243 and a 30-06 and will be shooting a 300 RUM shortly also. I can shoot my 243 and my 06 well out to 600 yds. The longest shot which I have taken at game was 434 yds. But I have been in country where 600+ shots can be the norm. NW Montana is tough country, and I can guarantee you, you could shoot the 1200yd ranges easily. But not many hunters can do it.

    I also read where someone paints the Majestic Bull Elk as deserving the highest respect of the game we hunt. Poppycock! EVERY game animal, from a squirrel to the elk to bighorn sheep....etc they all deserve your utmost respect. It doesn't mean you shouldn't teach yourself to be capable of taking long shots. Luck is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity! and thats where practice comes in. If your on a hunt of a lifetime and you spend 5 days trying to find that buck/bull/ram whatever of a lifetime. If he's at 450yds 30 minutes before dark on the last day and you have prepared yourself and your gun for the opportunity, is it wrong to take that shot? Have ya not hunted hard?

    You want to claim its unethical to take long shots, well I say your right and your wrong. But it comes down to the hunter, that guy has to have the right ethics to honestly say to themselves that they are out of their league taking that shot and passing or trying to close the distance to where they are comfortable. But a hunter who has practiced and prepared for that moment will more than likely have themselves a trophy on the ground because they gave the game their utmost respect and prepared for the moment that God laid before them. And through that practice and preparation they will make that shot.

    Most hunters are not honest about their true abilities shooting and those are the ones that fester em up and leave em on the mountain. Bruno said "Knowing your own abilities". Thats the whole deal, like alot of moments in life it comes down to being honest and doing the right thing!

    Nough of my crap!
    Doug

    P.S. Sorry Hitman, been in the woods!
     
  9. ghostman

    ghostman Elite Refuge Member

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    Well said,,, Dakndug..:tu
     
  10. MT H2OFowl

    MT H2OFowl Senior Refuge Member

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    Yes, well said. And as usual I agree with you. Except the 1200 yard business.

    Even ghostman has an example of a kill at 683 yards, cool. Now double that. I don't care how much you paid for a hunt and now it is the last day 30 minutes before dark. I am sitting here visualizing how this would play out. There is a herd bull 3/4 of a mile away. After you pull the trigger, one of many things happens, he dumps, fliches, runs like heck, gets nervous and walks out of sight, or just stands there. Any one of which will help you decide what to do next. Your 1000 yd+ shot was either way up in a slide, way down in a slide, or across an entire drainage. If it is downhill in an avalanche chute, fine, you gotta walk down to get out anyway. If it is up a chute, you are looking at 30-60 minutes walk thru false huckleberry, alder, devils club, and if your really unlucky, yew brush, just to try to identify where in the good name of Jesus he was standing and if there is blood, hair, or churned up ground to follow for a while to see if he bleeds. If it is across the canyon, then add time and a half to get there again to even begin to decifer where he was standing. So if that elk did anything but dumps or stands there, you better be willing to do the right thing. I am just saying, you are going to be lucky to even find where he was standing without someone on a two way helping you.
     

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