Jim - you speak my words also. Good job writting it "as it is"! "I can't" never could do nothing. The judgemental ones should put their dresses down as their ignorance is showing.
My friend and I started LR shooting twenty years ago with a 6.5x20 Leupold target scope on my 300 Win. It took a few years and the advent of PC's for us to tie it all together and gain enough knowledge to understand. But we did. The knowledge gained from people on this board confirmed our experience, that LR hunting could be done.
Many thanks to everyone here at LRH for contributing their knowledge, thoughts and hard earned experiences without judgement.
Ignorance is a terrible thing to own.
Hey, Guy. Shoot me an email "long range" from Loveland. You live in one of my most favorite spots in the whole wide world! Is the Buffalo Bar still open in that little town before Loveland? What is that little mining town called? Jim R
I agree with all. I am tired of people telling me what I can't do.
I haven't made any really long shots. 318 yds is my max so far. Further, I really have no great desire to make a 400 or 600 yd shot on an animal. I'd just as soon shoot them at 50 or 100 yds. However, I don't like having to pass up on an animal because I am not capable of making the shot. I am silly enough to believe that if I practice enough with my highly accurate hunting rifles, I can take those long shots with confidence.
I too have personally expienced closed mindedness of others as to shooting distances. In short, the ranch manager didn't like the fact that I made a clean, one-shot 300+ yd kill. However, he didn't say a thing to the guy who missed at 60 yds because his scope was loose--so loose you could slide it back and forth in the rings.
Most guys also won't criticize someone who takes a 75 yd shot at a deer running full speed. Somehow that's okay, but a carefully measured and executed shot over 200 yds is somehow wrong.
I agree with all of you. My theory though on taking any shot at game is confidence. I believe you must have confidence in your equipment and ability to make any shot whether it be 50 or 500 yards. I think I practice enough to determine if the shot should be made or not. I would not take 50 yard shot with the animal obstructed but I would take a shot of 400 yards or more on a calm day with no obstructions. I think that is what all of the nay sayers fail to realize or have is confidence in their ability or equipment and they believe they are great shots, which they very well could be, but don't practice it enough to develop the confidence to make the shot. I am not a very good stalker so I practice long range shooting to make up for that deficiency. I don't know why they believe shooting at 400 yards or more is unethical. I test all of my loads at many different ranges to make sure I have that confidence. It's too bad their has to be a division among hunters though. I don't see anything wrong with either style and personnally I don't believe it is any of their business as to how I hunt and definatley not within their right to critisize me for it. I have done nothing illegal and in this day and age everyone should support all hunters, no matter what style they use. Again, I think it just all comes down to confidence in making the shot, if you are confident you can make the shot then take it.
[ 10-26-2001: Message edited by: 338Lapua ]
Learn from others mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all yourself
Several of the earlier posts echoed my feelings exactly. About 3 years ago,whenI lived in Montana,I made a 500+ yard shot on a good 4x5 mulie buck.I realize this isn't all that far compared to what you guys are doing,but it was for me at the time.When I(reluctantly) told anyone about it,they looked at me as if I were lying.
The thing is I had practiced all summer out to this range and was confident that my rifle(and I)could make the shot almost easily.(I also had a witness).
I find that at least 98% of the hunters I know don't reload,or even test different factory loads to see what works in their gun,much less practice at anything over 300 yards.So for them maybe its not such a bad idea to limit their yardages.I know that for myself even 300 yards was "way too fur" to be shooting when I was younger.
It wasn't until I started building my own rifles and shot in a few benchrest matches that I realized what a truly accurate rifle could do.But I am still amazed at the number of people who have no inkling. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
I find it highly interesting to read my fellow boardmember's comments on their experiences with the non-believers out there.
I have a part-time job in a rather large gunstore and I can tell you with absolute certaintity that the average hunter knows next to nothing about shooting and target rifles. They are completely ignorant of ballistics, range estimation and bullet performance on game.
Most hunters will drop $1000 on a rifle, $150 on a scope and $15 on a single box of the cheapest ammo they can find. This is typical of what we see at the store.
The questions and statements we hear in the store are, in many cases, just short of astounding in their ignorance.
Just to give you an idea, here are a couple of my favourites:
Guy comes in looking for a buttpad for a .308. When I asked him what kind of rifle he just looked at me like I was a complete idiot and said "Don't you have a buttpad for a .308?" This is kind of like trying to buy tires for a sportscar and having no clue what make or model.
The other one happened just this week. We had a guy purchase a Weatherby rifle in 30-378. While we were talking about reloading components, I became suspicious of his lack of knowledge of basic ballistics so I asked what he was planning to use the rifle for. (This is a common question we ask because most people have no idea what they need and are usually operating on the "Uncle Bob told me the .17-50BMG was the best so thats what I want for polar bear hunting." principle).
This guy admitted that he wanted the rifle for "long-range" hunting. OK, says I, then the piddly little 150 gr bullet you are buying is a waste of time for that purpose. Try the 220gr Matchking. He wasn't interested as someone had told him the 150gr was the way to go.
My next questions revealed that this guy figured 500yds was a long-range shot and that he didn't have target turrets on his scope so he had no way of adjusting for long shots. I suppose he figured he was just going to hold over a bit more for the really long shots.
We also see a lot of people who figure that the price of a rifle is directly connected to the inability of the rifle to miss. "Couldn't miss with that one." is one we hear a lot.
The guy wuth the 30-378 didn't seem to show any understanding when I told him holding over wouldn't get him past 300 yds and that the CANNON he had purchased was better suited to 1000+ yd shots. If he wanted to shoot at 500yds then a 30-06 would have been a better choice.
In the end I just shook my head and sold the guy a $130 box of factory 150gr Weatherby ammo cause he wanted to compare it to his loaded ammo. What comparisons he wanted to make he wasn't clear on. The box of 220gr bullets went back on the shelf.
How he was planning to estimate range or bullet drop at "long-range" I will never know.
Maybe it is this type of "long-range" hunter that is giving the rest of us a bad name but on the other hand we can't hold these guy's hands while they muddle through it, deterined to be ignorant, only to figure out it is impossible to make a shot past 400yds.
Part of it also is that I believe that we are going into previously un-charter territory. I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) but that there hasn't really been any well documented efforts at long-range hunting before; such as a book or the equivalent. Sure everyone has heard a tale of a long-range "luck" shot by someone somewhere, but not a really concentrated effort to look at long-range hunting. So whenever you're trying something new, there's always people to say "it can't be done, the world is flat".