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WesternHunter's picture
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Long Range Hunting

I second that agreement. Don speaks with wisdom.

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Long Range Hunting

Just a thought, but sniper units around the world are discouraged from shooting at 500 yards and beyond because things become too unsure. If these professionals with specialized equipment (and a spotter to boot!) who shoot for a living are discouraged from passing the 500 yard mark, how does the average hunter have any business shooting anywhere close to that?

I know, your hear about the 1000 yard kill and on and on, but these seem to be the exception rather than the rule in the military units. Correct me if I'm wrong.

CVC
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Long Range Hunting

I think the average hunter is probably best at limiting themselves to 200 or less, but it really is an individual responsibility and limitation based on one's own capabilities.

I don't know if there is any validity to the statement that military snipers are discouraged from taking shots over 500 yards, but if true, I would assume that the same philosophy applies to sniping as it does hunting. Get as close as possible. The closer you are the higher probability of hitting your target.

I feel confident at 300 yards, but 500 Think On my one rifle I have the reticle that has dots for 200, 300, 400 and 500, but 500 yards with the wind blowing and other factors is an iffy shot.

Now with a rifle that just has the cross hairs there is no way I'd even think about it. The hold over is too much to accurately pin point to make the shot.

It is pretty simple for me with my 30.06 with just the cross hairs and zeroed at 200 yds. I can use the back of the animal for a reference point. Depending on the size of the animal I either put the cross hairs on the top of the back or just slightly above them.

I guess with all that said, I agree that most people should not be attempting long range shots unless they have the proper equipment and have practiced, practiced...

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Long Range Hunting

It's true to an extent that military snipers try to keep shots under 500 yards. Stalking is taught as much as shooting in sniper programs and the snipers generally try to get as close as possible to the targets but still allow themselves a suitable escape.

They train and practice the long shots for just in case purposes.

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It seems to me that on every discussion, on every site where long range hunting is brought up, the military sniper is always the standard of excellence. I strongly suspect that there are many civilians that shoot every bit as well.

JC brings up a good point that is always over looked in these discussions. That being that they are taught to get as close as possible and still have an escape route. They are taught to stalk their target! The sniper that lays off 1000+ yds and scores a miss does not accomplish his mission. He's not sent out to fail.

I just wonder if the people that condone long range hunting have the same stalking skills as the snipers they keep referring to? I doubt it. It seems to me that it's much more difficult to stalk within 200- yds of an animal that it is to learn to hit it at 500+ yds. Shooting is merely a learned skill that the animal has no play in. Stalking is a skill in which the animal definitely has a play in.

I think most of us like to see ourselves as fine shots, capable of making long shots to some range. I know I do. At the same time I think that may well be because we actually have such poor stalking skills. It's easier to learn to shoot than to stalk and cartridges are there that allow the good shot to shoot well beyond the MPBR of the cartridge and still deliver a lethal blow. In fact advancement's in bullet's are extending the range even farther as is the advancement in scopes and range finders. It appears that little is being marketed to improve stealth and yet in my opinion, that is the real difference between the military sniper and the long range hunter. You may in fact be able to out shoot the sniper at long range but, he'll crawl up your butt and take the sure shot! You lose!

CVC
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Don, as always, you make good points.

I'll admit I am a better shot than stalker. Frankly, stalking is not a skill that I practice; shooting is. Why? I guess I never really thought about it. But you are right, from what I read and the shows I've watched, stalking is a skill that military snipers hone.

As I reflect on it, whatever one's motivation is for hunting - the trophy or the hunt itself, stalking as close as possible to the animal is the key to success.

A question that I have is how close is close enough? Is it as I stated above stalking "as close as possible" or is it stalking "as close as needed?"

This past October I was in WY hunting antelope and tried a day at archery hunting. We got within 70 yards of the goats which was not close enough for a bow, but it suggested that we were capable of getting close to them.

However, when I had a rifle in my hands, I got within 253 yards of one and took the shot. Should I have stalked within 200 yards? 100 yards" or 75 yards?

I don't think in that case I could have because the goat saw me. I got to the point that I could make the shot and no farther because I didn't think it was possible with being spotted and no cover.

I believe it there was cover and the goat hadn't spotted me I would have tried to get as close as possible, but I like being able to have options.

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Long Range Hunting

Don, I have no doubts that there are many civilains that shoot just as well, it's just that the sniper is a good definable baseline for comparison. The simple fact of the matter is that most units require them to put at least 5 shots into a 1/2 inch at 100 yardsd plus some pretty tight longe range standards as well. I know people that can shoot well enough to qualify for any sniper unit in the world, but I don't know any that can shoot any better either. Like I said, it's something that is quantifiable. On top of defined standards, they practice A LOT - far more than any hunter out there. And that's my point, if you have these individuals who practice more than any civilian and are held to very high standards of markmanship and even they prefer to stay under the 500 hundred yard mark, then what business does the average hunter have taking excessively long shots?

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Long Range Hunting
Highflyer wrote:
Just a thought, but sniper units around the world are discouraged from shooting at 500 yards and beyond because things become too unsure. If these professionals with specialized equipment (and a spotter to boot!) who shoot for a living are discouraged from passing the 500 yard mark, how does the average hunter have any business shooting anywhere close to that?

I know, your hear about the 1000 yard kill and on and on, but these seem to be the exception rather than the rule in the military units. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You are correct flyer. Hence why we are taught the arts of concielment and evasion as well as long range calculations. I think the main concern on this subject is relitivly simple and easily answered. CAN you make this shot with guaranteed results on a clean kill? If you can HONESTLY answer yes to this question in your mind then, in my own opinion, gently squeeze the trigger. The MAIN word in that statement was HONESTLY!!! Some may talk all kinds of mess but the fact is they know in their hearts if they are being honest with themselves or are they just puffing up (machismo). There is most certainly cartridges and rifles out there that are perfectly capable of making 500+ yard shots with relitive ease. But the problems that a lot of people dont seem to be able to get through their thick sculls is this, THAT RIFLE IN YOUR HANDS IS A TOOL NOT A MAGIC WAND!! It does nothing to MAKE the shot for you. Its YOU that has to take into account all your velocity data, ballistic coefficiants, trajectory paths, wind velocity and direction, lord so many things id get hand cramps trying to type them. Fact is while these shots are indeed POSSIBLE they are not PROBABLE in the real world among your average or even above average hunters.

I was just sitting here last night watching an ad for a dvd out about long range shots on big game. All shots on the dvd are from 390 yards out to 1000. The dvd that was being advertised was an instructional dvd on how to set up your weapon and techniques on shooting form and such to teach the average hunter how to accomplish this. Im guessing from all the posts I see on many different forums on this subject that the producers of that video are gonna get pretty rich.

Anyway thats my opinion and this is an opinion from a former trained scout/sniper with training to take those long range shots but I limit myself to the ART of HUNTING not SHOOTING.. I rarely if ever take a shot past 200 yards anymore.. Granted in my youthfull more exuberant and STUPID past I took those increadibly long shots and 95% of the time they ended in game recovery. But I do sit back and ask myself sometimes, "I wonder if I really missed that 6x6 or did I hit him and it just didnt react". Im like Don on this one, MBPR or dont take the shot. Simple and easy and no wondering in my heart if I can make it or not!

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Long Range Hunting

Army or Corps?

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I believe that scout/snipers are marines.

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