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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Long Range Hunting

Back to the question. I use a 300 weatherby for long shooting, and I use a 338 win mag most often for long hunting. Long shooting for me can be shooting at an old oil drum at 600 yards (amazing that a 180 grain bullet 300 weatherby will still go through the tin drum at that range), or it can be a beer bottle at 300 yards.

By long shooting, I mean anything generally within 250, depending on the game. I grew up on the llano estocado (high plains of the texas panhandle), so I know the temptation to shoot at deer 400 yards away. In fact, it's why I bought the weatherby to begin with, so I could spot and stock on flat terrain. However, I wisened up and learned that trying to stalk to ranges within 200 yards and using an open sighted 45/70 for example was more fun and challenging. It's also too easy to lose an animal at such long ranges.

Now, I can shoot my 45/70, 35 whelen, 350 remington mag, or my 416 remington on a hunt knowing that I can shoot them all accurately and competently at a range of ~250 or less. It's often a question of energy. For example, I won't shoot an elk with a 7-08 at really any further than 150 yards, and I generally use my range finder.

All that said, if I'm shooting vermin, such as coyotes, pigs, armadillos, raccoons, ground hogs, or badgers, I have no qualms with posting up at 350 yards for target practice.

And Don, I know you hate this, but long distance shooting can be just as challenging as stalking, requiring lots of mental calculation. Especially chalenging when you live in an area as windy as I do, All in all, it's an eithical decision, If you can kill a water buff a 400 yards, just use enough gun (more like a 460 weatherby), and always, always follow up on your screw ups.

One last point, I do think that some people, not pointing fingers, are full of shart when they talk of their 500 yard shooting exploits... these idiots, along with those that wound animals and don't follow up, are what give long distance shoting a bad wrap. I'll believe it when I see it!

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
Long Range Hunting

maddenwh,

I suspect that more than some of them talking about it are full of it. As for longer ranges being challenging, shooting at a target is challenging, shooting at something living is a responsibility. I always discourage that type "hunting".It's not hunting, it's shooting. I would for no other reason than, as you said, most shooters are full of it. I see no reason to put the challenge of shooting at any animal at those ranges above a clean kill, vermin or otherwise. I should probably not admit this, but I place little value on life, but, I place more than that on it. I really don't want to hear about all the crippling shots at close range either, I find them just as appalling.

Those that shoot that far for the challenge could just as easy shoot at inanimate target's, no chance of a misplaced shot crippling that way. If you say you just want the challenge, then I strongly suspect that what you really mean is you just want to see if you can kill something at that range. If you hit it properly, of course you can. Something goes wrong, for any reason, and maybe you just wound it. That is not sporting. And I think the challenge of getting within 200 or even 300 yds is much more challenge and the animal is usually in range of a proper cartridge.

Somewhere along the way the kill became the sport and the hunt a necessary evil. 50 yrs ago it was the opposite

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Location: Mobile County, Alabama
Joined: 09/09/2007
Posts: 310
Long Range Hunting

+1

Don sums it up perfectly!

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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Long Range Hunting

Don-

We agree on all points, as I did state that long range shooting, not hunting, is challenging. Thus the discussion regarding the oil drums.

However, I disagree when it comes to long hunting of coyotes and feral hogs. I have a biased opinion b/c I'm a part owner of a working ranch. Coyotes will regularly gut calves and leave then there to die with their entrails hanging out. They kill deer, destroy the quail crop, and are all around crap animals. They are essentailly large rats in my mind, and I don't guess too many people would hesitate to injure or harm a rat.

With pigs, they tear up farm land, fences, eat quail, and quail eggs. They also root everything up. Essentially, they are a menace.

I don't need to go into prairie dogs and how much land they tear up. I probably shouldn't have included badgers, as they kill prairie dogs and really don't do much damage.

Just as I have no problem injuring rattle snakes and rodents, I have no hesitation at shooting a coyote from 400 yards with a 300 weatherby. I like to use my 470 (have to be close with this one though) or 416 on the pigs, so they almost always die when I shoot them. Other than those pests, I agree on all accounts.

Yes Yes Yes

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
Long Range Hunting

Your right of course. There is a direct relationship between the value aaf an animals life and the damage they cause you. I know you'll take a good shot.

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 7
Long Range Hunting

My friend killed an antelope at 1005 yards. Fell flat on its face. I personally am a bow hunter so my max range is 40 yards neener!

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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
Long Range Hunting

This one time......at band camp......... Big smile Yes

CVC
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Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3587
Long Range Hunting

The comment about the type of animal you're hunting\shooting resonates with me. Last year I was in Wyoming antelope hunting. I shot mine at 300 yards. 300 yards as close as I could get. I closed the distance after spotting the goat from about a 1/4 mile away, but there was absolutely no way I could get any closer due to the terrain and where he and the two does were bedded.

I would have liked to have gotten closer, but I took the shot because I was confident I could make it. I consider that hunting.

On the other hand, no one that I know goes prarie dog hunting. They all go prairie dog shooting. The challenge is to exterminate as many of those pests as you can from long distance.

The same as when I went coyote hunting last year. I was disappointed because the yote I shot was only 70 yards away. I wanted to kill one at least 200 yards. She never gave me a shot until she closed the distance to 70.

So, for me, some game I want to get as close as possible, but will take the shot when it presents itself as long as I feel confident if that is as close as I can get. For varmints, part of the fun and challenge is making those long distance shots.

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Location: Antelope, Ore
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Long Range Hunting

300 yds at big game isn't what I'd call extreame. But it is a long shot. Actually I think with the righr cartridge, and theres a bunch of them, it's fairly easy. If you have a rifle and cartridge that will give you a MPBR out close to there or beyond, I don't see why the shot shouldn't be easy. Just aim where you want to hit and you drop three or four inches, the result will be the same. Of course I've known far to many guys coundn't hit the barn from inside too. They are the ones that bother me, especially when they think they have a rifle thet will fix their ills. That never works.

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Location: austin and amarillo texas
Joined: 07/21/2007
Posts: 195
Long Range Hunting

CVC- I don't claim that killing prairie dogs is any kind of real hunting. Neither is shooting rabbits, rats, or coyotes. Although, I have seen some hunting shows where folks take killing coyotes way too seriously.

I have shot coyotes from 300 yards plus. My ranch is in the Texas Panhandle... it's very flat, and you can often see them from a mile off if you've got a good scope or set of binocs. I don't have any sort of hesitation taking pot shots at varmits.

Shooting pronghorn, African plains game, goat, sheep, often deer and elk, and some other critters at 300 yards is pretty common. I don't mind that. It's just bothersome to me when some numb nuts tries to shoot a deer from 500 yards when he doesn't need to.

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