Just a question here...I'm not passing judgement on anyone. I'm still putting together a rig and have not done any shooting past 500 yds myself and 400 at game.
Is this type of shooting (4 shots, 2 in a hip) considered normal among LR hunters? As I have been following this site for some time and looking forward to completing my equipment so I can participate, this causes me pause. If I don't put one through the chest on the first shot, and especially if I hit a leg, hip, or guts before delivering the kill shot, I would be very unhappy with my performance and seriously analyze what happened to make sure I didn't make such a shot again. If I felt range was the issue and I could not remove that variable through skill and planning, I'd avoid shooting that far again. An animal as big as an elk could just as easily take the bullet in the hip and get over a ridge and be lost.
I ask because it seems this is being given as a good example of how things should be done. I'm glad you have your elk (I wish I did!), but in my book a miss and 2 bad shots before the chest shot is not a good example of how things should be done. I've made a couple similar shots myself (at shorter range of course), but was not proud of them.
I'm not anti-LR hunting or trying to start a war and simply trying to find what I can expect if I put money, time, and energy into developing the ability to hunt at such extended ranges.
You ask a valid question here and I will try to answer it as best I can.
Hunting, no matter which weapon you choose or how far or close you shoot, is not in all reality an absolute. All we can do is prepare to the best of our abilities and then make an attempt. Sometimes things work out as planned, and sometimes they don't. Archers hope for a heart-lung shot and most train hard for it but even under the best intentions they might sink an arrow into the guts. Heavy cover hunters get good at running shots in close quarters but still might hit too far back once in awhile. Long range high powered rifle hunters train for a variety of shots (I like the shoulder shot) but still can goof. The point is that there are no guarantees. And that is universal for all predators. Lions make repeated attempts for their prey and are successful less than 20% of the time. Coyotes must live on a variety of insects and mice because they are not guaranteed to get a rabbit every time they stalk one.
We are in the same boat. We should make the best attempt we can and hope for the best. Then be prepared to correct any mistakes that we may make afterwards. Had our elk gone over the rigde with a hip wound, we would have pursued it until we could have finished it off. We had a better chance of it letting us get closer if it had actually gone over the ridge. As it were, where they bedded down made it impossible to get within I would say 700 yards at best. They bedded in this place for a reason. It was a totally defensive manuever.
We had prepared the best we could, and felt confident in what we were attempting and took the shot just like the archer, the muzzleloader, or the timber hunter.
Do I wish the first shot would have been in the shoulder? YOU BET! Did I like to see the hip shot? Actually, I knew from watching the bullet strike that it would not have been my first choice, but it did slow her down and it actually cut several large veins around the socket and that wound actually bled out worse than the shoulder shot did. She was visibly wobbly from the hip shot and it was evident to me that she had no intentions of going anywhere and neither did the rest of the herd.
NOw, if we had been only 600 yards away, the sound of the gun may have been loud enough that the whole herd would have bolted at the sound of the first shot or the thud of the hip shot and things wouldn't have worked out as nicely as they did.
Am I saying this is the model for all long range shooting attempts? NO. Definetly not. There can not be a perfect model because hunting is not perfect. Like I said before, there are no guarantees, so there can be no way to assure one. Remember, I was brought into this equation because Clint had been hunting this herd for quite some time and realized that there was probably no other way of filling his tag than to try a long range attempt. I agreed to help because this is my specialty but in no way could I guarantee any certain outcome. Many variables (like the weather conditions) must be all in order for a shot like this to work and we were lucky that day in that they all came together. If they had not, then we would not have made any attempt. THis is the best example I can give.
I might also add that I have never lost a long range big game animal. Does this mean that it will not happen? Of course not. It probably will happen in the future. Does this mean that I should give up on it? Of course not. At this point, the positive experiences of this form of hunting far outweigh the negatives. If we all gave up because we made a mistake, how would we get better?
The bottom line is that we got the animal and she felt pain for less than two minutes which is still a better way to go than starving to death, dying slowly at the claws of a cat, getting sick, or dying of old age.
I am glad we didn't have to pursue her over that ridge, but if needed be, then we would not have hesitated to track her down and finish it and that is the difference between a responsible hunter and a non-responsible hunter, not the distance of the shot.
Good shooting and happy hunting.
That's a fair response. Of course their are no absolutes, I've never had an animal hold still like a paper target. Your first post and the responses made it sound like this might be viewed as a standard experience. While an individual qualification, I'd hope you'd pass on a shot you felt you couldn't make 19 of 20 times. Sounds like this was not as standard for you as it first appeared.
It's tough to pass a shot that might be your only shot of the season or at a trophy, but we must all accept that passing is always an option if the shot is questionable. I passed a bow shot on the biggest buck I ever saw because of a branch that might or might not have deflected my arrow and resulted in a wounding. It was really a tough decision, but at age 15 I was proud I was able to accept it and let the bow down.
Range exponentially amplifies these concerns and variables. As long as we accept our personal limits (1000 yd offhand shooters, as you described, deserve a punch in the face) all is well.
I have to admit that ATH did ask a very valid question and I admire his valor and honesty to step forward and present it the way he did in a long range forum. I'm also admitting that I have never taken you for a dummy, but your answer does have a lot of wisdom in it! Congrats, well done! Simple but wise.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Our Lord Jesus said that as it was in the days of Noah and
also as it was in the days of Lot so it shall be in the days...
It's happening again!!! God sent to us His prophet, and His Word
to this generation and we once more are rejecting it as was prophesied!!! ---> As promised, God Sent His Prophet to us!
And that is universal for all predators. Lions make repeated attempts for their prey and are successful less than 20% of the time. Coyotes must live on a variety of insects and mice because they are not guaranteed to get a rabbit every time they stalk one.
We are in the same boat.
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Goodgrouper....this is NOT intended as a flame, and, please don't take it that way........but, the quote above is probably the poorest justification I have ever seen for long range shooting or hunting in general! Contrary to your statement, we, as hunters, are NOT in the same boat as wild predators! If a lion or coyote is unsuccessful......it doesn't eat! We, on the other hand, don't have to hunt to keep ourselves alive!
You can't justify what we do by comparing us to other predators......the reasons we hunt and the reasons they hunt are completely different, that comparison is simply foolish and WILL come back to bite you in the butt when you try to sell it to anyone with half a brain.....
We hunt because we WANT to......they must hunt to survive......and that is the honest truth!
I am glad that you seem to have enough money to eat wherever and whenever you want but believe it or not, there are actually some people that hunt for their subsistance because they have to.
I classified us as predators because we <font color="red">ARE </font> whether you do it for fun or we do it for food.
I'm glad too that you have your opinion on this matter, however, your idealogy of hunting seems to be more prone to coming back and biting you in the butt than mine. I say we hunt for food and fun, and you say we hunt for fun and don't really need to in the end. Now, which one of these ideas do you think would harm hunters more in the eyes of the general public??
There is a HUGE difference between eating the game that we take and actually killing in order to survive......a person, such as yourself, who can afford all the expensive equipment you use to actually acomplish the kill.....that person is a fool if he thinks he can convince ANYONE that he can't afford to buy food!
Add up what it actually costs you to hunt......then tell me you couldn't buy the same amount of food for less than that cost.......better yet, do the math than try to convince someone who isn't for or against hunting that you NEED to hunt in order to feed yourself.......your justification just won't pass the BS test......we all hunt because we want to, not because we need to.......that includes me!!!