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Joined: 02/25/2007
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Marksmanship vs Hunting

When does hunting become less hunting and more marksmanship? I think of hunting as pursuing an animal on it's own turf and rules, and then overcoming all of it's highly developed senses in order to put food on the table. Don't get me wrong I hunted with rifles for a good portion of my life before I picked up a bow. I do not mean to say that all rifle hunters have no skill, but shooting an animal at 400 yards or whatever is more marksmanship than hunting skill in my opinion. What do you guys think?

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Marksmanship vs Hunting

We got into this pretty good a couple of months ago, can't remember the exact Topic Heading, but I well remember I was pinned down by gunfire at about the 350 yard mark by heavy rifle fire on both sides of me, and no immediate back-up available. I don't know to this day how I managed to escape uninjured.
I'll see if I can find it...............

CVC
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Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
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Marksmanship vs Hunting

I think hunting has many definitions and is as varied as the people who hunt. I bow hunt, but last fall I hunted antelope with a rifle. My first rifle hunt ever. I shot an antelope at 300 yards.

Yes, I practiced my shooting skills to be comfortable with that shot so marksmanship played a role, but when I spotted the buck he was a 1/4 mile away high on a hill.

I had to plan my stalk using a draw and then crawled on my hands and knees for the last 300 yards. I got into position behind a little sage bush and waited for the shot. I think this qualifies as hunting.

Was this more challenging and more of a hunt than someone who sits in a tree with a bow and waits for a deer to come by at 20 yards?

Nah, each is different, but each is hunting. I plan to hunt antelope with my rifle next year and whitetail with my bow. I like both so I'll do both. That is what is great about this country - we can hunt in a manner that we chose. And, regardless of our weapon of choice we can make any hunt a hunt and as difficult as we want.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
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Marksmanship vs Hunting

As long as it's a good kill and the meat is used.

There are times that I like leaving my bow at home. What I would like to see is the option to hunt both rifle and archery in the same year. If I don't see a keeper during archery. I can use the same tag later in the year for rifle and then back to late bow if I'm still looking.

CVC
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Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
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Marksmanship vs Hunting

If I am following the proposed changes in KS, then that is exactly what we will be able to do. Fill a tag using the legally appropriate weapon for the season.

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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Marksmanship vs Hunting

I've gotton bogged down in this discussion myself at different time's. I believe that hunting and shootin are two entirely different thing's. Trigger control will not help you get closer to an animal and scent blocker will not help you shoot better group's.

If your hunting I think you should get within the range of your rifle, not your own capabilities. Without a doubt many cartridges will deliver a killing blow much much farther than the vast majority of people can shoot accurately. But for some, calling shooting hunting by saying they're shooting within their capibility's justify's very very long shooting. They take a position that just because you can't shoot well at say 500yds does not mean they can't or shouldn't. There is every excuse in the world why they should, but they never seem to find one not to. Then they fall back on those that couldn't hit a bucket if they were sitting in it, and how do you argue against that? They are right to a point. Those people can't shoot and if your going to hunt with the intention of killing something you should be able to shoot well enough to do so cleanly and qiuckly reguardless of the range. I don't think the range at which you attempt to kill something should be determined by how far you believe you can but rather the range your cartridge can without you having to compensate for it's lack of abitily. We are back to trajectory here. A 300 magnum, or whatever bad mag you want, zero'd in at say 300 yds will not maintain it's abitily to kill at 500yds unless the shooter takes a corrective action. And at 500yds, the proper bullet from a 223 Rem properly placed is just as lethel as a 200 gr 300 mag bullet, but the target get's smaller.

I believe that once you've got as close as you can or want to say you can, you have two choices. Shoot or walk away; you are done hunting. In the end there is only one good reason I can find for my belief's. Shooting an animal is about ending a life, it should not be taken lightly nor should it be used to display the abilities, real or imagined, of the guy shooting.

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Location: Wa.
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Marksmanship vs Hunting

If I'm in an area that will produce shots of 50 yds or less. My preference is to use a bow but this is not always the case. Even during the same hunt.
Why shouldn't I be able to purchase a tag and have the opportunity to use either a bow or a rifle, dependent on circumstance and terrain or whatever.....I like getting out for the hunt.
As Don said. The hunt stops when it's time to pull the trigger, release the arrow, throw the stone....... I've gotten as close as I can and hopefully within range of the tool I have in hand. If I can't get close enough for the bow. I would like to have the opportunity to go back for a different tool and try for the same quarry.
When I started hunting we had these options. These laws and restrictions they keep putting upon the hunters. May be at reason for the ranges that some are attempting shots that could be well beyond what some of us may call reasonable.
Scenario.... It's the last few hours of the 3 day season for the area I'm in and I can't get any closer to the quarry I've been chasing for 3 days. It's a long shot. If I don't try, I eat tag stew this year.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Marksmanship vs Hunting

Well, I might as well say it! I don't know who wounds and loses more game, the guy flailing away at 350 -400 yds with his 7mm RM or the guy with a bow at 15 yds. I can't remember ever taking a moose at over 75 yds and if I can't kill it clean, it gets to walk away. I've always felt that if you want to add a degree of difficulty or challenge to your sport, don't take it out on an animal. Go skydiving or bungy jumping.

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Location: South-central Montana
Joined: 08/10/2006
Posts: 83
Marksmanship vs Hunting

It wasn't too long ago that 30 yards was stretching it for a bow shot, now 30 yards to some people is a chip shot. The whole marksmanship vs hunting argument applies to bowhunting as well. I think most hunters try to get as close as they can to feel comfortable with the shot, whether its 40 yards with your bow or 400 yards with your rifle. Here in the west long shots are sometimes all you get, it only makes sense to practice and be prepared for them. Personally I don't shoot that far, but I know guys that do and they are deadly at that range.

Carl

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