Originally Posted by ATH
You misunderstand, I know there was no sighter. I was correcting a previous poster who labeled it that.
Let me clarify the events I'm referring to:
949? yd cow elk - 2 shots in the rear hip before walking forward to land a vital shot
1203 yd cow elk - shot in the head -- the aiming point was NOT the head, this was simply a lucky miss that could just have easily been in the gut if the animal had been facing the opposite way, just dumb luck.
1400 yd cow elk - Fired two misses at previous animal at same range, missed once on this animal before connecting.
You are correct, I am not perfect. However, I am capable of passing on shots where I do not feel I am 90%+ likely to make a heart/lung shot. I am actually 100% successful to date on shots that would be considered by most long range with the weapon used (400+ yds with a rifle of any caliber or 250+ yds with a muzzleloader); my history with a rifle is relatively shot but check the ballistics on a 400yd muzzleloader shot and you will see I am no stranger to large drop and wind compensations. This is not luck, but the willingness to be ethical in passing shots that are beyond my ability to accurately predict. Too much wind, not a good enough rest....no shot. You make excuses for your rest, but that is something YOU control and you are free to pass a shot. I passed what would have been my largest ever buck this year as the wind was outside my comfort zone on a 400yd muzzleloader shot.
No one is perfect and things happen, I of course understand this happens to every hunter occasionally. The reason I single you out is this is the third elk hunt in 3-4 years that you have reported a similar outcome. Unless you hunt 20 elk a year, this is not an occasional mistake but a regular occurrence in the way you hunt. In fact when you reported that you were going out to try 1400+ yards this year, I must admit I have been checking back just to confirm my bet that you would not come back with a first round kill this year either...and it was on two animals in a row this year not just one, so can you understand why I do not treat this as an occasional error?
You said "If you don't have confidence in your abilities to make perfect hits in perfect conditions AND confidence to correct mistakes when things don't go as planned, then you need to find another sport." The problem I see here is that unless you're shooting a ton of big game animals at this range that I have not seen the reports on, you have confidence in skill that does not exist at this range. Skill would be I don't see these reports of bad shots and misses year after year.
Would I let a miss stop me from trying again? That depends. At that range, heck yes. When my elk this year at half that distance did not react to the shots, my stomach sunk because that would have been the last long shot I tried until I got back to a range and figured out why the heck I was missing shots I should have been making. I respect the animals too much to keep slinging lead downrange with no idea why I am not connecting where intended.
If I saw some regret in the outcome, I'd give you more leeway. But the vibe I get is that since there's deep snow and you're willing to track, and you think you'll get more shots anyways as they won't run (but on the 1203 yd elk you reported they DID run after the first shot so that assumption is hardly foolproof), you are not concerned with making the first shot count. I was raised that any non-heart/lung shot is a miss and something to be corrected and NOT treated as a success. I will not put assumptions in your mouth as I am reading between the lines, but if you feel simply hitting the animal the first time and going from there is acceptable I am not apologetic about disagreeing.
This is NOT about the range of the shot. It is about the repeated poor result annually at whatever the range be it 2 yards or 2000 yards.
Whatever range I shoot is immaterial. This is the "you are just jealous" defense, and not only is it weak it is untrue and beside the point, simply a diversionary tactic. As you would know if you knew my handle on other forums, I spend quite a bit of time STRONGLY defending the right of any hunter to shoot as far as they can reliably make that first kill shot. Lord knows I get hit a lot for 300-400yd muzzleloader kills. My point here is that GG blows that first shot on a frequent basis yet sees nothing wrong with that and the only reason I go here is I have been watching this go on several years now. Other people read this site -- some who do not like what goes on or are new and forming an opinion. If we do not address questionable behavior among our own what credibility is there?
If you think the elk will just stand there, perhaps it IS time for that first shot to be a sighter on some nearby rock, then your ability to shoot nice small groups once you make that correction will put the first shot at the animal where it belongs more frequently?
It is examples like this, when brought up (and that 940 yd elk shot in the hip has on other forums), that make it harder to defend.
Now if I am incorrect and you do shoot some large number of big game at 900+ yards each year and these examples you post represent only a small fraction of the animals you have taken at those ranges and you have a long record of first shot vital zone hits I am not aware of, please share as I would be false in much of what I say. As you pointed out, I may not have all the facts.
I'm not going to drag the board down in a pages-long brawl here, I know GG is not going to change his behavior as he is so confident in his ability, though I think the results show it to be exaggerated somewhat at the ranges he is attempting. I'm sure most of it would just be a few of you who have no idea who I am or what my skills or background are attacking me because I dared to criticize your friend, which is worthless pages to add here. I'll just leave this thread with the comment that the reason I felt compelled to approach this was out of respect for the integrity of our sport and what this site is about (developing the skills and equipment to reliably and ethically deliver lethal shots on game at long range), and the people who do it right and make those first shots count. I'm not some newbie troll here, I have been here for years and respect many of the guys here.
Not that I give a tinker's damn about what you think, or about what you think I should do when it comes to MY HUNTING (I emphasize MY HUNTING because it's MINE) but your post does require corrections.
The 946 elk died from a kill shot. It matters NOT that there were previous shots. The elk was harvested.
The 1203 yard elk was a called head shot and the video proves it. Even if it wasn't, you are AGAIN worrying about the "what if's" instead of the "what are's". The "what are's" are fact. The fact is the elk was dead before it hit the ground and it was one shot one kill yet you still bitch about it. This is, by the way, you're holy grail of hunting isn't it? One shot one kill. Good for you but it doesn't always work like that. In this case it did and you still bitch.
The first elk of my hunt WAS NOT the same distance as the one I took. If you didn't have selective reading problems, then you would have seen it was almost 200 yards farther.
My rest problem was not something I could control. Again, if you didn't have selective reading problems, you would have read that the problem was not known UNTIL the actual firing process occured.
Actually, I said I wanted to make a 1500 yard plus shot this year, not 1400. But I took the 1400 yard shot because it was doable and the 1500 wasn't. Again, selective reading problems.
You say: " The problem I see here is that unless you're shooting a ton of big game animals at this range that I have not seen the reports on, you have confidence in skill that does not exist at this range. Skill would be I don't see these reports of bad shots and misses year after year."
TO which I say: You have not seen all the reports and all the misses are learning experiences. ANd I will also point out AGAIN, I HAVE NEVER LOST A BIG GAME ANIMAL. I don't take shots I feel I can't make and if takes two shots then it takes two shots. It's worked and my record shows it. If its luck rather than skill, could have fooled me.
THis is not a correction, this is an observation.
You said: Would I let a miss stop me from trying again? That depends. At that range, heck yes. When my elk this year at half that distance did not react to the shots, my stomach sunk because that would have been the last long shot I tried until I got back to a range and figured out why the heck I was missing shots I should have been making. I respect the animals too much to keep slinging lead downrange with no idea why I am not connecting where intended.
I noticed you said "shots"". So you did break your one shot rule. You couldn't tell if the elk was hit yet you kept shooting? Hmmmmmmm.... how's that again?
Back to corrections:
On the 1203 yard elk, the other elk did run but not from fear of what was going on with being shot at. They ran because the cow's head exploded in such a loud "whop" that it scared them off. They probably never even heard the gunshot.
I wasn't aiming for the heart or lungs. I always aim for the shoulder--especially on elk. It's the only way to break them down. Heart punched elk can run 1/2 mile before dying. I know because I've seen it happen--twice! So hitting the shoulder on the first shot is my goal, but hitting the heart is also every bowhunters goal, breaking the wings is every pheasant hunter's goal, a headshot is every elephant hunters goal, and so on and so forth.
Oh, and by the way, I did make those first shots count. They helped me kill the elk.
The poor result you speak of is interesting. Dead animals, every year, at ranges I know and practice at. And not one loss. HMMMMM.........not sure what's so poor about that??
ANd I find it funny that you think you have to defend what long range hunting is on other sites but turn around and make more of stink than anyone else has here. If you had followed anything I have done lately, you would know that I gave up trying to be P.C. to the anti-hunters AND the anti-long range hunters. So I report the facts in honesty and I don't leave out the things that get guys like you all stirred up. Frankly, I just don't give a damn anymore. I don't give up because the first shot might not hit and I don't make any apologies for it. I follow through and get the job done MY WAY and that means to stick with it until the animal falls. And I'm not going to let naysayers win by obeying the way THEY think it should be. Quite frankly, I think quitting the hunt because the first shot missed is just that---quitting. And you are being terribly dishonest to act like anyone in their right mind is going to stop the hunt because the first shot missed. Especially on a trophy animal.
I just hope you have the balls to come on here and tell everyone that you gut shot an elk at 800 yards and let it go because you forgot to adjust your parallax or your shooting sticks popped just as you pulled the trigger, or when your gloves set off your trigger, or something like that happened that you couldn't control and you didn't want to follow up on the elk because it would break your one shot rule. But then again, if you did have the kahoonies to do so, you would be doing it on a prison computer because you are required by law to finish off and retrieve any mortally wounded animal you shoot at and any fishcop in the world isn't going to go nice on you just because "you only fired one shot".
Tell you what, if you can publicly agree (or admit) that you will only take one cartridge with you on every hunt you go on from now until you die, I will forget about the above paragraph and we'll just brush it under the rug. That's fair isn't it? You shouldn't have any problem with that.