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Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR) Over 1,000 Yds.


Developing a ELR hunting area.

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Unread 07-01-2012, 09:15 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 5,803
Developing a ELR hunting area.

Part of the reason I got into LR hunting was that I wanted to take elk at one particular location during rifle season, since then I've found other elk honey holes that are unusable except by long range capability and some are only going to work with 1200+ yards shots. My buddy and I have been walking, scouting and shooting a particular basin the past year in preparation to take elk in it. We've patterned and watched elk feed out of the timber and use a particular trail to go to water, we've ranged along this trail with GPS and range finders out to about 1600 yards and have taken and shot target rocks along it and noted down the conditions and shots. Naturally it's boiling down to wind which has been fun to get nailed down due to the natural air flow in the basin moving up and to the south but the prevailing wind over the basin moves to the north and the bullet will travel both air flows. So we've put a lot of time, effort, observation and bullets in the actual hunting area from our actual shooting position and with the gear we will be hunting with and we've gotten to the point that confidence is very high to the limit of our laser ranging ability of 1300 yards.

So how are you guys developing hunting opportunities or areas past a 1000 yards, tips or tricks to share?
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Unread 07-01-2012, 10:45 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Developing a ELR hunting area.

You seem on to the system.

I've selected three shooting spots for development. One is years old and I have about every land mark memorized for range. I shoot there every summer at different ranges out to 1200 yards as that was as far as I could consistently range. (The ranging problem is about to change)

The other two hides are new this year. One is moderate range and is a bedding spot 'whenever they are pushed through'. The area is large with certain pockets hunted very hard. This spot may well be a "safe spot" for them. I see a lot of unproductive time being spent there.

The third spot is pretty poor except for seeing elk coming from a very long ways then selecting another spot to attempt to get a shot. Pretty low percentage here.

I have no location where I can pattern their habits within this particular elk management unit. That is, except for the portion of the unit that includes my backyard.

I develop detailed range charts for each location, using camera images with notes all over them.

I'll spend the summer and early fall doing wind studies. Did I mention my dislike for the wind?
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 07-01-2012, 12:43 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 3,042
Re: Developing a ELR hunting area.

Doing the same as mentioned.I hunt alone at least 50%.But have been shooting with a bench guy some,he is real fast and accurate on follow up.He also has top end 80mm Ziess.I can see 6mm bullet hole in right conditions at 1000.If you have a spotter friend with great glass to help, that would be a great benefit.With years in field I have missed at distance and had the game move towards me more than once.I also hunt some long range where I hope other hunters push toward me threw saddles up high.
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Unread 07-02-2012, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,891
Re: Developing a ELR hunting area.

There is no substitue for shooting in the loaction and getting the wind down. I do this as much as possible in the early summer. I pick locations like you talk about that are to difficult to be hunted or at least hunted with any positive effects (this usually means STEEP). I also like areas that suck so bad in terms of terrain that you have to ride a motorcycle then walk to get there because there is no way a quad will make it, then exploit the long range abilities. The true honey holes are the ones that cannot be hunted because of terrain by any means except LRH, but with easier access to the shooting location. These are few and far between but are out there. In canyon country a canyon that only allows a realistic shot of 800 yards as the closest is a good palce to start (provided your a 4 digit shooter). In my area there are brush jungles that are practically unhuntable on steep hillsides, these same jungles are relatively easy to shoot into from across the canyon as long as your abilities allow. These are the key points for me. Oh yea, and use a 338 Edge.
Shawn Carlock

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Unread 07-04-2012, 09:04 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 8,652
Re: Developing a ELR hunting area.

There are a few places the elk hang out where I hunt that you simply can not get to them. You can watch them all day from across the canyon but coming in from above is not doable. If you come in from below they will be gone when you get there. It seems the wind currents are always in their favor. I took one bull a few years ago past 1100 yards there. The impact was off by about 1/2 moa due to my wind call but the bull fell dead and never took a step. But since then I have sent several bullet to that hillside in the off season to practice out to 1500. Thye dust balls off rocks are good indicators to what the wind is doing over there. My condidence is mush better today to take elk there. I feel I have a petty good grip on the wind that is in the huge canyon you shot across. I frequent a few of these places in the summer and send a few bullets. It is the best thing I know of to let you know if you are ready to take game there, or not. The close shots at most of these locations start at 1200. There are a few that go past a mile.

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Unread 07-04-2012, 10:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sweet, Idaho
Posts: 1,135
Re: Developing a ELR hunting area.

I've got several areas here in central Idaho that are perfect for long range hunting---both for elk and deer (and a few wolves). You can see forever and have all the time in the world to set up. My issue is "mental." Now, let me explain that.
I had a bull tag last year and went to one of my favorite and proven areas. Sure enough, here they come. About 80 head came through this draw and I waited and waited for the big one figuring he was in the herd somewhere. Lots of bulls but no shooters. All the elk went through this funnel and then a couple of minutes later, here comes the shooter and you could see his antlers in the sunlight and right off the bat, you knew he was a shooter. I knew roughly the range and ranged him again and he was at 900 yards. My brother was with me so I had a spotter and he kept ranging him as he was feeding. There was some wind and I kept worrying about it and just kept watching him feed---he was in no hurry and I had multiple times when he was broadside. The longest shot I have had up to this point on a game animal (bull elk) was 515 yards. I was shooting a 300 win mag and I had practiced all summer and I am capable of long range shooting.
BUT, I just couldn't pull the trigger. I knew I could get closer and we just watched him feed down into a draw and he never came out the other side so I knew he was there somewhere. I ended up shooting him at 140 yards as I jumped him out of his bed. Go figure. So, it is still "mental" for me. After the hunt was over, I kept telling myself that I should have shot him at the 900 yards. It was a perfect setup but I just couldn't do it for whatever reason. One of these days, I'll engage......

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"Every man has a purpose---------mine is to be behind a rifle.........."

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Unread 07-23-2012, 06:21 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Alpine, Calif.
Posts: 153
Re: Developing a ELR hunting area.

You made the right choice. Shooting at distance will develop your confidence in time. Nice bull.
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