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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I heard a story yesterday about an Elk hunt that ended with two nice bulls. One shot at 470 yds and one at 730 yds! Now these were both, more or less, clean kills. (A number of rounds were fired, but the bulls didn’t get too far). Obviously, the shooters were some very talented gents who knew how to shoot and had the gear and spent the practice time to do it. That said, I’m both appalled and amazed at shots like that. Appalled, because it seems like that kind of hunting exalts equipment over “sneaky skills” and because I would think that anyone practicing that kind of hunting is going to wound and loose a lot of animals over time (I personally would have a heck of a time hitting fur anywhere on the animal at that range). On the other hand, that’s amazing shooting!

That 700-yard shot seems wrong somehow. Am I just suffering from sour grapes? Or is there a point where even if you CAN shoot a certain distance, you just SHOULDN’T? If so, what distance and why?

Also, don’t just say “the distance you can shoot to is the distance you can reliably hit at.” If I can put 5/5 on a pie plate at 300 yds, what does that mean when shooting at a bull at 600? Anything? Does anyone out there actually practice at more than a quarter mile?
 

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For me, I will not shoot over 300 yards. I shoot a 30-06, and in my hands, it is reliable to that point. All the ballistic models I've seen show interesting things. Things like at 600 yards, even a 4 mph wind can push the bullet as far to the side as 100 inches, or not. And at 600 yards, the bullet will drop around 8 feet on the level. Put in any slope, and its anybody's guess. I won't say its wrong, but a guy bragging about an 800 yard shot, even a 600 yard shot, with standard hunting equipment (30-06, 7mm, 300 mag, 270 family, etc... with 3x-9x scopes) will not be invited to my hunting camp.
 

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That is too far for me. In my opinion, that partially defeats the point of hunting. Even if I could shoot a buck or bull from that far, I would still want to close in on it.
 

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Supposedly a 1000 yard kill:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssh8Vsbv ... re=related

Where I sight-in my guns I can and do shoot up to 385 yards. My range finder goes to 425 yards. So if my rifle is capable of making long range kills I try to limit my shots on big game to no more than 400 yards.
 

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Well I guess I will be the different one on here. This year alone with 7 guys hunting not one took a shot that was under 600 yards. The farthest being 927 yards. The aravage being around 650. We have the rifles and the scopes to do it. We also practice at shooting long ranges. Sure it is not as fun as getting close (that is why I bow hunt) but there is something to be said about finding a deer bedding down at a long range and killing him where he lays. By the way they where all one shot kills. The 927 yard shot was a little far back but would have done the job just fine. He did fallow it up with a second shot that was perfect. Ok I am ready for the beating.
 

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weatherby25 said:
Ok I am ready for the beating.
Are you kidding me?? Those shots are ridiculous!!

Just kidding!!!

I guess its a good thing hunting is an idividual sport... that leaves it up to each individual taking a shot to decide just how far is "too far". I wouldn't take a shot that far because so far, the extreme thrill for me has been getting so close to an animal I could smell them and hear them tearing vegetation to eat. 8)
 

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the extreme thrill for me has been getting so close to an animal I could smell them
That's an interesting twist on that one R-Rat. If there is a too far, is there a too close scenario?

Back in the day, I was archery hunting with my old recurve. We put the sneak on some does and pulled up on them less than five yards away. I drew my bow but found that was too close for me to shoot. Those big brown eyes and hearing the breathing - I was too much of a wuss to shoot.
 

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GaryFish said:
the extreme thrill for me has been getting so close to an animal I could smell them
That's an interesting twist on that one R-Rat. If there is a too far, is there a too close scenario?

Back in the day, I was archery hunting with my old recurve. We put the sneak on some does and pulled up on them less than five yards away. I drew my bow but found that was too close for me to shoot. Those big brown eyes and hearing the breathing - I was too much of a wuss to shoot.
My honest take on that.... I am worried about it. Never thought I'd have reason to admit it... but I am worried about it. I do truly love and respect the animals I chase.... and there is a little something inside me that cringes when I think about having to cut a wounded deer or elks throat, or picking up a duck, looking right in its eyes (it has no clue whats about to happen) and then popping its neck..... I much prefer the sterilized, DOA encounters I have with most of the game I harvest as opposed to sitting, watching something flop around and bleed out on me. Granted I've killed a good number of birds, rabbits, and other small game but it definitely makes me aware of the responsibility I now carry because of that act. It brings home the understanding that I now have to utilize that animal for my benefit in a manner befitting my place as a conscientious hunter of wild game. Man, that really makes a person come back to reality thinking about just how serious we have to be about taking a life.... I would hope nobody we know takes that lightly. I figure that a thought like this will earn me huge amounts of ridicule so fire away.... but I am kind of a wuss as well about stuff like that when it gets right down to it..... :?
 

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It's hard to judge an individual case or the skills (or lack thereof) that a person may have with a rifle. Lots of rifle hunters talk about the long shots they have taken. Sometimes it's not measured distance and tends to be exaggerated, other times it's true.

The bottom line is that to be consitently accurate with a rifle beyond 300 yards takes some dedication and practice. To be consistently accurate beyond 500 yards is almost a full time job. Military snipers use high tech gear, a dedicated spotter, very accurate calculations, and also spend a long time preparing for specific shots and considering everything from altitude, temperature, wind, thermals, bullet weight, and the list goes on. These skills become an actual full time job to practice and hone to the point where something like a 700 yard shot can be taken with reasonable possibility of a clean hit.

My personal opinion is that 300(ish) yards is the average person's responsible limit, with 500 being possible for someone who puts several hundred rounds of ammo through their rifle every year at all ranges, has a laser range finder, shoots from a dead rest, and uses ballistics tables for their choice of load. Beyond 500, if it's not your full time job, you can't be consistent enough for what the animal deserves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This year alone with 7 guys hunting not one took a shot that was under 600 yards. The farthest being 927 yards. The average being around 650…. By the way they where all one shot kills.
I'll say it- What the hell are you guys shooting off of when you are hunting? Not your backpacks. (Never mind, I suppose you have tri-pods.) But still, looking real quick on the internet (and with no idea what you guys are shooting) a reasonable .300 UM round drops 29.4 feet at 1,000 yards, plus who knows how much for the uphill/downhill variance. The wind drift has got to be double-digit feet over that distance, no matter how little wind. Do you guys actually input distances into your scopes, like a military sniper? If what you're saying is true, you must have some incredible rifles. MOA accuracy at 1,000 yds is just about the vital area of a deer, and that presumes a perfect shot, with no wind and some way to calculate hold-over.
 

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weatherby25 said:
Well I guess I will be the different one on here. This year alone with 7 guys hunting not one took a shot that was under 600 yards. The farthest being 927 yards. The aravage being around 650. We have the rifles and the scopes to do it. We also practice at shooting long ranges. Sure it is not as fun as getting close (that is why I bow hunt) but there is something to be said about finding a deer bedding down at a long range and killing him where he lays. By the way they where all one shot kills. The 927 yard shot was a little far back but would have done the job just fine. He did fallow it up with a second shot that was perfect. Ok I am ready for the beating.[/quote

Hey I've heard this story before, I work with the guy who made the long shot (justin) wright?
 

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I'm not going to call anyone out because you meet some people with remarkable skills here and there, but I will say this:

A 927 yard 1-shot kill is a difficult task for a full time sniper with a .416 Barrett and a dedicated spotter with 30 minutes to set up the shot. If your buddy shoots full time and has that kind of hardware, more power to him. If not, it's an irresponsible and foolish decision. I would venture to guess that that shot would be missed 99 times out of 100 from a cold bore using a standard chambering and conventional ammunition by anyone but the top talent in the country.
 

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threshershark said:
I'm not going to call anyone out because you meet some people with remarkable skills here and there, but I will say this:

A 927 yard 1-shot kill is a difficult task for a full time sniper with a .416 Barrett and a dedicated spotter with 30 minutes to set up the shot. If your buddy shoots full time and has that kind of hardware, more power to him. If not, it's an irresponsible and foolish decision. I would venture to guess that that shot would be missed 99 times out of 100 from a cold bore using a standard chambering and conventional ammunition by anyone but the top talent in the country.
+1
 

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No video no pics. The deer was a tiny 2 point was not worth taking a picture of. If you want more proof bring your spotting scopes and range finders and I will take you to the spot. One thing you got to keep in mind about my story. They are not trying to make sniper type shots. They are just trying to make hits on DEER. Right on wrong. Call me out all you want. Believe me or not. The point is still the same long shots can be made. :shock:

Hey I've heard this story before, I work with the guy who made the long shot (Justin) wright?
It very well could be. Then again I heard that a friend of Justin took 20 bullets to bring down his deer. :oops:
 

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So does all this mean that no shot is too far, if you "hold a little high?"

I'll keep my shots under 300 or I won't shoot. That is MY limitation for ME.
 

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This post reminds me of a show I've seen on the Outdoor Channel, which they also have in a DVD form at Sportsmans. I forgot the exact name, but it's a DVD designed to teach you how to take ridiculously long shots and shows all the guys doing just that on deer and elk. I think it's totally retarded, because it puts this false sense of bravado into the hearts of average shooters.

And to be very frank, why in the hell would you attempt a 927 yard shot on a two point? It's a friggin' two point and you can't sneak up another 300 yards on him? Even 700 yards for that matter. The potential for wounding and losing an animal is just to great and if we really value the resource as much as we claim to, we wouldn't be so cavalier about popping off 500+ yard shots. 300 is my limit, and I would be hesitant to even take that shot. I like under 200 to be honest.

Hey rat, I think we all kind of have a bit of reluctance about the actual kill. I know I sure do. It's the most anticlimactic part of the whole thing. I love the search, the stalk, seeing the animal down, but knowing I just took a life never feels good and I don't think it ever should. Birds don't bother me so much, and insects not at all, but mammals seem a bit tougher to snuff out.
 

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fatbass said:
No problem, here. I killed a doe at 12 feet with my .357 and all I was thinking was BACKSTRAPS!
Yow.... how big was that hole?? :shock: I'm surprised you didn't blow the backstraps right off into a game bag. :wink: If I make a good shot, walk up and find a dead animal, thats one thing... my boss at HD and I were talking about this last night. He's had to cut the throat twice and he felt the same way... it sucked, once because he only had a dull pocket knife with him to do it and his dad had to finish the job. Thats what worries me... I don't mind doing the sneak, taking the shot and everything else but I want it to be a one and done deal. I honestly guess thats really my responsibility as a hunter.... make it as quick and easy as I can for the animal. For me carrying a bow...that means close the distance as much as I can. I guess in bowhunting, that is kinda the point all the time... get as close as you can to ensure good shot placement. With a rifle.... I wouldn't dare take a super long shot and would figure it honestly wouldn't be that hard to stalk within a few hundred yards of any deer on the mountain... but I couldn't really say for sure, since I've not yet done it. Sneaking within forty yards of an elk, on my first bow hunt though, makes me think if I can do that... then most folks should be able to get pretty darn close as well....at least a couple hundred yards or so.
 

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This is an interesting post.

For years living in the Midwest I limited my shooting distance, even for varmits, at about 250 yards. That was only because you couldn't find a place to target shoot over 150 yards! After being out west in Wyoming for over 25 years and filling many big game tags, especially antelope, 400 yards is a comfortable limit and I practice for it.

Todays modern firearms, optics, and projectiles allow clean kills at long distances. With a rangefinder, a ballistic ranging scope and one of todays new magnums, 600 yards may not be a "gamble". I have some Burris and Leupold scopes on some magnums. The Burris has a crosshair for 600 yards and the Leupolds have crosshairs for 500 yards. I don't have the scopes tuned-in for over 450 yards yet, but let me tell ya up to 400 yds it's amazing. The downside is I need a solid rest and a little time to use the range finder, then dial the scope in to a certain mark (power) to match the distance.

The new Utra Mags are astonishing. The ballistics (and recoil) are incredible. I witnessed an elk kill at 550 yds last year with one! They are very capable of one-shot kills at 600 yards maybe beyond. I look forward to gettting one some day and taking some game at 600 or more yards. I have mixed emotions about the short mags. My 300 WSM is just a 300 Win Mag but I can use it in a short action short-barreled rifle. I'd like to try a 243 WSSM or 25 WSM "way out there" on some antelope.

I find shooting at a long distance a challenge, one of the reasons I hunt, to test my skill with a weapon, be it bow, shotgun, handgun, or rifle. In the past I held back on long shots because I was a poor judge of distance. Now rangefinders allow me to take animals at longer distances. What's really cool is the newest rangefinders instantly give you the "real" distance when shooting up or down slopes. If I don't have time to use a range finder I won't take a long shot. If a cross-wind is blowing hard I won't shoot.

Equally challenging is sneaking up on an animal or taking a stand for an ambush. It's up to the individual and I respect those that solely take that approach. Personally I like antelope and mule deer "way out there". But most of the whitetails I killed were less than 30 yards away. I take most of my rifle-elk out of ground blinds in dark timber at less than 80 yards.

I look forward to finding the time to sight-in my rifles with the ballistic ranging scopes at 500 to 600 yards and then use what I learned on antelope next season. There's a 600 yard shooting range between Evanston and Kemmerer built on an abandoned road. (at 600 yards you have to have a million dollar spotting scope or just drive up to the target after every shot). The Kemmerer gun club guys built the target range years ago and you would be suprised how many people use it. Maybe just for fun if nothing else.

For now I will hold it down to around 400 yards, a distance I have taken quite a few antelope and deer at, a distance I pratice at.
 

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I am actually surprised there aren't any bench rest shooters on this thread, I know guys who go to Wyoming and shoot prairie dogs out to a 1000 yds and beyond. They have some serious hardware, but I have shot squirrels with my 300 WSM at 800 yds. It takes practice and more practice but the challenges of adjusting for all the variables makes it worthwhile. I have a few buddies that have earned the President's 100 in the military and love to share there knowledge. Shooting varmints is one thing but a deer or elk need respect and taking shots without practice is unethical.
 
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