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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
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Shooting Skills

NOOOOOO NOOOOOO Not the 6.5 with 140's !!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO neener!

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Location: North Louisiana
Joined: 12/08/2006
Posts: 120
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Don Fischer wrote:
Western Hunter,

The only reason I go along with shooting at pests at long range is that a near miss is usually fetal (did I spell that wrong or what?). One huge problem we have in the hunting sport is to many people that want everyone to know they can make those shot's and manufacturers that want everyone to think that by using the latest and greatest wiz-bang cartridge, rifle or scope, anyone can do it. There are few people that acutally can that don't condone it, our own Chester Golf is one. I have never heard him suggest blasting away at long range, indeed the opposite has been true.

Everywhere on the internet it is glorified and relatively few really understand what is truely involved. It goes far beyond practice. C.G. has the right answer's for it in his post. Don't understand why more long range shooter's refuse to say something. Thanks C.G. you are a rare duck! Thumbs up

Don Fischer

Quoting you: " Don't understand why more long range shooter's refuse to say something. "

Ok....I'll say this: There are too many people today that think their name is Carlos Hathcock concerning their ability toward marksmanship! And Carlos.....they ain't! I don't give a rip what kind of rifle one uses or the latest bullet out......there are no 'miracle bullets' out there that are laser guided and in the final analysis shooting game is no different from shooting LR Creedmoor from 1000 yds. in that RIFLE MARKSMANSHIP is required to put the bullet where it's desired and these days and times......90% of the people totin a firearm don't have a clue as to what is required to make a RIFLEMAN....nor the patience to learn how to do what's required! But.....the 'hotshots' whom claim to make 500-600 yd. shots are generally those that set up a 5 gal. bucket and if they can hit it from 50 yds. that's 'good enuff'!! My arse! Brick Wall,) Shame on You! I've stood some of these jokers up on my range on the 300 yd. line and have asked them to estimate the distance down to the target in the pits and I get usually an answer of "oh....that's around 550 yds. or so"!! There's where these fantastic shots are coming from!

All men/women ARE NOT EQUAL when it comes to accuracy with a rifle! Shooters are MADE....NOT BORN! Rifle marksmanship is a learned skill and it's not something learned in just a few short sessions on the range with a good instructor. Oft times it takes YEARS for one to develop into a really good rifle shooter and normally this usually comes from the clan of shooters that has spent a great deal of time shooting/competing in NRA High Power competition. There is an IRON-CLAD set of rules concerning rifle marksmanship that are non-yielding in nature and unless one is dedicated to the sport and obtains proper instruction.....the chances are that one will just be an 'average kinda Joe' concerning the ability to hit a target from whatever range!

As for shooting game....I've listened to these so-called 'ethical arguments' many times concerning shooting out to such and such range and if there's just one bit of info that you pick up on from my diatribe....it's the fact that I whole-heartedly agree with the assessment that 95% of the people hunting with rifles today should not shoot at ANY TYPE OF GAME over about 200-250 yds. because they don't have the ability to place shots beyond these ranges! In this same breath I'll also say that if I had limited myself to those distances....I would have possibly only taken about 1/3 of the game I've taken over a 56 period of time hunting elk, mulies, and whitetails! What one might call 'unethical' WILL NOT BE 'unethical' for me or someone else and I don't intend to subscribe to anyone's theory concerning this issue and limit myself to a theory that just doesn't hold true for everyone! lol Talk to the Hand

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Location: Wyoming
Joined: 08/04/2006
Posts: 38
Shooting Skills

Well, if anything, I'm encouraged that it doesn't appear that I'm out in the woods by myself.

Thanks for all the comments and discussion.

In 1985, I enjoyed what I still consider one of the best hunts of my life. I glassed a nice pronghorn buck in a herd probably 4-600 yards away (I was 19 then, my eyesight was probably better than my range estimation skills). But, rather than shoot at that range, the starving college student in me decided to try to get in a bit closer using a draw that ran inbetween the two of us. I wasn't concerned about a "miss" wounding an animal, but more that a "miss" would condemn me to a school year of ramen and Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. After what seemed like hours picking my way down that draw, checking the position of the herd every so often, I found myself less than 100 yards from that buck. I managed to watch him for a bit from behind some sage, but then settled down and dropped him in his tracks easily.

My shooting skills have improved considerably since then, but I still remember that hunt and how cool it was to get in close, the animal unaware of my presence, and put meat in the freezer (Ramen tastes much better when you have antelope venison to go along with it)

Then, to contrast that hunt with a couple where I've "bumped" into an animal and simply shot it. I didn't track it, I didn't learn anything about it on the way, I just bumbled upon it and pulled the trigger. Those hunts aren't as memorable for me.

I did that with a (barely) forkhorn this year, but instead of taking the first shot that I could, I decided to see if I could get in closer. I must have watched him pick across the hillside across from me chasing does for a half hour in the process, finally ending up less than 25 yards (my pace count) from him. I intentionally put a shot into a stump in front of him in the end, and I'll look for him again in a couple years. But, I'll remember how he moved across that hillside and looked for those does next year when I look for his older brother.

I noticed another post started up, seeming to ask the distinction between a shooter and a hunter and if there could be a combination?

To me, SHOOTING is how I learn the characteristics of a certain rifle and caliber in a controlled environment (known ranges, bipod or bench, etc.) and practice by making marks on paper targets.

HUNTING then becomes honing my shooting skill by practicing for a less controlled environment (standing, kneeling, out-of-breath, etc.) and combining that with other practiced skills (reading a map, reading the land, reading game sign, etc.).

So, can someone be both? I think that as a HUNTER, you must also be a SHOOTER. However, being a SHOOTER alone does not make you a HUNTER.

Thanks again

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Shooting Skills

Here's something I do all the time to fine tune my shooting. There are few homes near me andI have a street light about 80 yards away that I use.
I take my scoped Rem 700 BDL and hold the crosshairs on the light for 6-8 seconds, over and over again.The small sensor on the top is much smaller for daylight conditions. I do this all year long, whenver I'm bored, which now is quite often.
You'de be suprised how difficult it can be and you'de be more surprised how your steadiness increases with practice. And it doesn't cost you a cent.

Without saying everbody doesn't live in an area where you can do this.

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Location: North Louisiana
Joined: 12/08/2006
Posts: 120
Combination of both!

Doghouse

And THAT....was the INTENT of the post I made concerning the issue of a combination Shooter/Hunter; to get folks to understand that there is NO REASON why a 'hunter'....should not be both! Matter of fact.....IMO.....it's a requirement that if one wants to be a great 'hunter'.....then the individual should learn as much about MARKSMANSHIP SKILLS as possible and all the things that are related to being able to place a shot into the vital area of any animal being hunted!

From the early age of ten years old I can recall my Dad putting me on a stand (a stump about 2' high) with a M94 Winchester in .30/30 and telling me "You shoot the first buck that comes by you" and Dad knew that I wouldn't miss because he had spent HOURS/HOURS giving me instructions on marksmanship after introducing me to a M52 Heavy Barrel Winchester in .22 caliber. During the following ensuing 8 years....I thought I knew how to shoot a rifle but I didn't have a clue about the finer points of marksmanship; not until I went into the US Army and shot my way onto the US Army Rifle Team did I get exposed to true marksmanship skills! After being under the best marksmanship insturctors in the world over a 4 year period of time, I then knew that hitting a target from whatever distance involved a lot more than just looking through the sights and pulling the trigger!

The skills I learned and still apply today have been a huge asset in my quest afield for whitetails, mulies, and elk because the skills learned and apllied all fit very well into the wide realm of the hunting world and it's impossible for me to understand how anyone whom calls themselves a 'hunter' can avoid not learning all that they can about marksmanship and the application thereof!

Thanks for your reply! Yes

Here's my range....which goes all the way back to 1500 yds.:

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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Shooting Skills

RMulhern,

Your are of course right about what you say. One thing I believe tho is that there are hunting skills and there are shooting skills. The two should not be confused with one another. People with strong hunting skills tend to want to find a way to get closer. People with stronger shooting skill's generally will settle for a much longer shot and use whatever justification needed at the time to do so. I believe that the trash we read about this flat shooting cartridge or that simply encourages people to longer range shooting when in fact, as you say, most people lack the skill's to 200-250 yds.

People with great shooting skills, often rely on those skills instead of resorting to hunting skills which probally are not as well tuned. We shoot much more than we hunt. And yet if you are a student of balistics you will realize that even tho some rifles are flatter shooting than other's, none are so flat as to allow us to shoot at a max point blank range of somewhere just beyond 300yds. At that point, shooting skill's need to be far better than average.

It is generally not a tuff thing to get within 300yds of a big game animal and yet we hear all the time about the 400yd+ shot that had to be taken. Why is that? I have NEVER seen a shot I HAD to take. The answer is that some develope those shooting skill's and,,,,,,,,,,feel a need to use them rather than walk away or find a way to close the range. For those people, walking away never seem's to be a option.

You said that you would have only taken 1/3 the game you have taken, mule deer, whitetails and elk. Amazing! You live in No. Carolina I think it was. You have to travel to hunt mule deer and elk I assume. I have been thru No. Carolina many times, all over the country countless times. I live in the west and can shoot long range all I want, indeed I can shoot at big game at 500yds all I want. Seldom do I shoot beyond 200yds. If you have shoot 66% of all your game in excwss of 250yds, it was not out of need, it was because you wanted to. Archery hunting account's for many Antelope every year and out here a lot of people still hunt mule deer and elk with the 30-30 lever action, successfully! So while you may well be a excellent long range shot, you shoot at long range because you choose to rather than walk away or find another way to close the distence. There is a difference between shooting and hunting. I couldn't tell you where the line is that shouldn't be crossed, in fact if I chose one that you didn't think was long enough, you would argue the point. I also believe that there does reach a point where all long range shooter's claim it should not be done. But the same argument you make now could be used by someone who shoot's well beyond what you shoot! Who's right?

Long range is best defined to me by the max point blank range of a cartridge at an 8" target. To that point the ability to hit lies within the cartridge. Weather the shooter has the skills even for that is another question.

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Location: North Louisiana
Joined: 12/08/2006
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Shooting Skills
Don Fischer wrote:
RMulhern,

Your are of course right about what you say. One thing I believe tho is that there are hunting skills and there are shooting skills. The two should not be confused with one another. People with strong hunting skills tend to want to find a way to get closer. People with stronger shooting skill's generally will settle for a much longer shot and use whatever justification needed at the time to do so. I believe that the trash we read about this flat shooting cartridge or that simply encourages people to longer range shooting when in fact, as you say, most people lack the skill's to 200-250 yds.

People with great shooting skills, often rely on those skills instead of resorting to hunting skills which probally are not as well tuned. We shoot much more than we hunt. And yet if you are a student of balistics you will realize that even tho some rifles are flatter shooting than other's, none are so flat as to allow us to shoot at a max point blank range of somewhere just beyond 300yds. At that point, shooting skill's need to be far better than average.

It is generally not a tuff thing to get within 300yds of a big game animal and yet we hear all the time about the 400yd+ shot that had to be taken. Why is that? I have NEVER seen a shot I HAD to take. The answer is that some develope those shooting skill's and,,,,,,,,,,feel a need to use them rather than walk away or find a way to close the range. For those people, walking away never seem's to be a option.

You said that you would have only taken 1/3 the game you have taken, mule deer, whitetails and elk. Amazing! You live in No. Carolina I think it was. You have to travel to hunt mule deer and elk I assume. I have been thru No. Carolina many times, all over the country countless times. I live in the west and can shoot long range all I want, indeed I can shoot at big game at 500yds all I want. Seldom do I shoot beyond 200yds. If you have shoot 66% of all your game in excwss of 250yds, it was not out of need, it was because you wanted to. Archery hunting account's for many Antelope every year and out here a lot of people still hunt mule deer and elk with the 30-30 lever action, successfully! So while you may well be a excellent long range shot, you shoot at long range because you choose to rather than walk away or find another way to close the distence. There is a difference between shooting and hunting. I couldn't tell you where the line is that shouldn't be crossed, in fact if I chose one that you didn't think was long enough, you would argue the point. I also believe that there does reach a point where all long range shooter's claim it should not be done. But the same argument you make now could be used by someone who shoot's well beyond what you shoot! Who's right?

Long range is best defined to me by the max point blank range of a cartridge at an 8" target. To that point the ability to hit lies within the cartridge. Weather the shooter has the skills even for that is another question.

Don Fischer

No.....I do not live in N. Carolina; rather North Louisiana where the terrain is akin to West Texas! Bulldozers 'raped' this country 40 years ago and very little timber remains and it's not uncommon to be looking over thousands of acres of WRP or CRP land in conjunction with large tracts of agricultural land and if one doesn't have the skills necessary to make longer than average shots.....your freezer stays empty! You've MISSED the point of the entire scenario which I have laid down which is the guy/gal that has the COMBINATION of both hunter and shooter skills well in hand.....makes for a much more successful hunter! And no....I won't 'buy' your statemet regarding "the ability to hit lies within the cartridge"! The ability to make a successful shot lies within the ability of the shooter to operate above that level to the degree that the shooter/hunter has spent the time necessary to learn marksmanship skills or what their rifle is capable of doing!. And I remain by my statement that I would only have taken 1/3 of the game that I have taken had I been operating on a theory of "is this or is it not an ethical shot"? I have never thought it feasible for me to pass up a shot at a fine game animal just because someone else figured it was beyond THEIR ABILITY to do so. Whether or not I decide to make a shot depends on several factors aka time of day, light/weather conditions, location and position of the game animal, etc. I'm not worried about the capability of the cartridge because I'm not going afield with a cartridge/load that isn't capable of handling any shot I choose to make! In the final analysis regarding marksmanship/hunter skills.....noone should attempt a shot which THEY KNOW that THEY CANNOT MAKE! The rifle doesn't know whether it's shooting 50' or 800 yds. so the mental attitude and skills of the shooter are the main question regarding this issue! I had a guy tell me once upon a time...."You killed that deer from 600 yds. and that's totally unsportsmanlike; the deer didn't even know you were around!" What I replied was "You're absolutely right on the buck not knowing I was 'around' and that's just the way I wanted it!" You're absolutely right about one thing however; "there's a vast difference between shooters and hunters" but beware of the individual that has BOTH SKILLS! lol lol

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Location: Antelope, Ore
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I think we agree on quite a bit. But re-read my statement you quoted: "the ability to hit lies within the cartridge". Here's the statement I made: "To that point, The ability to hit lies within the cartridge. WEATHER THE SHOOTER HAS THE SKILLS FOR EVEN THAT IS ANOTHER QUESTION". I do not question the ability of some people to shoot at great range. I do question the belief that it is NECESSARY to shoot at animals at those ranges. On the Long Range Hunting site one man told of shooting an elk at 2890yds. He used a 338x416 Rigby improved in a bench mounted machine rest. The bullet was 300grs. That's a shade over 1.6 MILES. Time of flight was over 2.5 sec. I hope you agree with me that that has nothing to do with hunting. And that is why I said that even the long range shooter's have a line they won't cross. Was that hunting in your book?

Your abilities and training in the army are the exception, not the rule. In fact most people shoot below or under average in the military. This I gather from working on the rifle range at Sembach Air Base many years ago and from knowing that I out shoot the vast majority of my friends from ALL branches of the military. The military was great at teaching proper shooting technique but, a relative hand full of men really appreciated the training they were getting. Most wanted to be good enough only to quatify, which ain't hard to do. For the grunt, the military attitude is to put enough bullet's in the air and the enemy will run into them.

Very nice range set up you have. Very few have that opertunity and many that do don't avail themselves of it. I carry a bench in my truck and have portable target's and land to set up shot's measured in mile's rather than yards. The most I ever shoot at is 400yds. I also believe, and I think you'll agree, that shooting well at those extended ranges makes you a much better shot at lesser ranges. The 200yds or so I limit myself to are a chip shot.

I would like to see everyone practice at much farther ranges than they hunt. Many lack the place, many more lack the inclination and more don't feel the need. We have both seen these people out there. One thing is for certain tho. Those that do have the desire to shoot at long range will, reguardless of their skill's! And those that do it and do it well, have advanced far beyond the average shooter not only in skill's but also in understanding balistics and what happens when you fire a round. Far to many people shooting at those langer ranges do so because they feel they have "the gun" to do it with. They confuse the whole issue of what it takes to score those hit's with horse power from a cartridge, which they refer to as a "gun". They fail to realize that the finest long range rifle in the hands of a duffer is fairly useless and that the finest long range shooter's would not attempt those things with an off the shelf rifle and factory ammo. I know I wouldn't.

If you disagree with this, then you and I will just agree to disagree.

By the way, welcome to the site.

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Location: North Louisiana
Joined: 12/08/2006
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Shooting Skills
Don Fischer wrote:
I think we agree on quite a bit. But re-read my statement you quoted: "the ability to hit lies within the cartridge". Here's the statement I made: "To that point, The ability to hit lies within the cartridge. WEATHER THE SHOOTER HAS THE SKILLS FOR EVEN THAT IS ANOTHER QUESTION". I do not question the ability of some people to shoot at great range. I do question the belief that it is NECESSARY to shoot at animals at those ranges. On the Long Range Hunting site one man told of shooting an elk at 2890yds. He used a 338x416 Rigby improved in a bench mounted machine rest. The bullet was 300grs. That's a shade over 1.6 MILES. Time of flight was over 2.5 sec. I hope you agree with me that that has nothing to do with hunting. And that is why I said that even the long range shooter's have a line they won't cross. Was that hunting in your book?

Your abilities and training in the army are the exception, not the rule. In fact most people shoot below or under average in the military. This I gather from working on the rifle range at Sembach Air Base many years ago and from knowing that I out shoot the vast majority of my friends from ALL branches of the military. The military was great at teaching proper shooting technique but, a relative hand full of men really appreciated the training they were getting. Most wanted to be good enough only to quatify, which ain't hard to do. For the grunt, the military attitude is to put enough bullet's in the air and the enemy will run into them.

Very nice range set up you have. Very few have that opertunity and many that do don't avail themselves of it. I carry a bench in my truck and have portable target's and land to set up shot's measured in mile's rather than yards. The most I ever shoot at is 400yds. I also believe, and I think you'll agree, that shooting well at those extended ranges makes you a much better shot at lesser ranges. The 200yds or so I limit myself to are a chip shot.

I would like to see everyone practice at much farther ranges than they hunt. Many lack the place, many more lack the inclination and more don't feel the need. We have both seen these people out there. One thing is for certain tho. Those that do have the desire to shoot at long range will, reguardless of their skill's! And those that do it and do it well, have advanced far beyond the average shooter not only in skill's but also in understanding balistics and what happens when you fire a round. Far to many people shooting at those langer ranges do so because they feel they have "the gun" to do it with. They confuse the whole issue of what it takes to score those hit's with horse power from a cartridge, which they refer to as a "gun". They fail to realize that the finest long range rifle in the hands of a duffer is fairly useless and that the finest long range shooter's would not attempt those things with an off the shelf rifle and factory ammo. I know I wouldn't.

If you disagree with this, then you and I will just agree to disagree.

By the way, welcome to the site.

Don

Nope.....don't disagree with you at all! Basically the point I have been attempting to make is.....and this is based upon my experience....is that FOR ME.....I'd like all my shots at game to be at 200 yds. and UNDER.....but circumstances sometimes dictate otherwise and taking into consideration that many folks don't have a clue as to the capabilities of a rifle/load/cartridge as far as what can be done with it........through experimentation and shooting.....and learning what a rifle can accomplish......their abilities will be directly commensurate with the time that they put into learning! I'm not...one of those folks that elk hunts in Idaho from a roadside shooting table overlooking a mountain side and uses a 338x416 to launch a missle over to an elk at 1900 yds. But....I will not begrudge those that do! What I would really enjoy doing is to take that same rifle and setup.....and launch those 300 gr. Sierra HPBT over at a T1 steel plate painted white and then very quickly get into a good spotting scope and watch the round impact!! That would be a game I'd like to play! With that being said.......woe be onto a huge mulie or whitetail that stays still long enough to give me a shot at 'em out to 800 yds. because if I have time to get setup.....I'll drive their 'whacker' into the dirt!! Yes Thumbs up

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Location: Washington's Back Country
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Shooting Skills

Well guys,

I've been out of the running for a while in this topic....but I read a few of your posts on my 350 yd running shot......and I do realize that it is a No no...but last day of the season and last couple of hours it was a now or never and I made er count....I also put meat on the table....and that my friends is what matters to me...it's all about the viddles...this year I had to do it all over again....only ALOT closer yardage....35 yds running to be exact....and he is just as tasty......

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