First to all who attended, thanks, a great group of guys to work with and it made my job much easier. I had a few notes to pass along and I am sure some others will have comments from the class as well.
Equipment everyone was pretty squared away, the 700 dominated of course with a lone Nesika Bay. Nightforce & Leupold had an even split of the class. There was a good varity of spotting scopes to look through and compare as well as range finders, but the Swarovski was the dominate LRF. Spotter / shooter comunications , most were getting tuned into calling corrections or dope in MOA as opposed to you were a foot and a half high. The class as a whole picked this right up. Spotting distant hits/misses with binoculars vs spotting scopes out to 500-600 yds most did pretty well with the binos but I watched the wrong dope called several times beyond those distances with binos if your going to go long you need a spotting scope. The importance of hig BC vs High velocity the up side to shooting in crappy conditions is that it makes people learn firsthand what really works. The high BC guys had a much easier time connecting in the wind even though they needed more elevation, their mechanical advantage was where it was important in windage. Where to stop shots out to 500 where high % shots for the group. The high BC guys were probably pushing 600 for high %. No one myself included was shooting high % at 800 and beyond. I am sure it was a real eye opener for some. Comments like, " When you said it was all about the wind you were not kidding" were pretty common. Hunting site selection when given a choise you can do yourself a big favor by picking a zone and direction that will allow you to work the wind. Shooting across multiple draws and ridges that run different directions gives you lifts, down drafts, left, right, and calm all at the same time. Some locations are better suited for LRH than others.
All in all, it was a great class and a very enjoyable way to work over the weekend. I look foreward to hearing how the guys do this fall.
Thanks for the recap. Could you comment on some of the equipment used. I'm especially interested in spotting scopes. What was used what worked and what didn't. I can't wait to take your class one day.
Swarovski, Leica, & Leupold were all represented. There is no doubt that the Swarovski & Leica were the best however they are big and not what I would coinsider a packing spotting scope. There is no doubt that you need a spotting scope for serious LRH and from what I have tried the Leupold gold ring 15-40x is hard to beat. It was reasonably priced, fairly compact, and a good piece of glass. Almost as important as the quality of glass is the system to hold it. The very best was a survey tripod, but way to big and way to heavy. The compact packing weight ones all shook just enough to make a good piece of glass seem fuzzy. I am looking at building something for myself I'll keep everyone updated of course. Back to the glass issue, if weight or size or $ were not an issue I think I would have to go with the Swarovski but the Leica was a very close second.
I always enjoy your posts. One of your comments has my interest.
Is there an easy way to start thinking & communicating in MOA versus, feet, inches, or half a PD to the right?
I know if the spotter would do that it would make life easier for the shooter.
A good spotter can make or break a long range hunt. Talking the same language starts at the range. The best thing for the spotter & shooter to do is to establish what they want to here. I recommend that the spotter say nothing other than the MOA correction that the shooter needs to dial. Some people start talking right after the shot and don't tell the shooter what they need to here. The only thing a shooter should here after the shot is something like,"hit high shoulder" or " correct 1.50 MOA down, 2.00 MOA left". The conversation should not go like this:
Dude you shot high.
Three feet high or 3 feet over his back?
Three feet over his back.
Should I dial or should I hold?
How many MOA?
Uh.......................6.00 or so.
There are a number of problems with this conversation. First the shooter has missed, now part of the spotters mission is to calm the shooter, this is accomplished my calmly telling the shooter, " correction down, 6 MOA". The shooter has remained behind the rifle instead of pulling from the stock to look at the spotter and engage in the above conversation. The shooter now simply dials in 6.00 MOA and engages the target.
So how does the spotter dope the shot for the shooter? The spotter starts by assuming that a second shot will be necessary and has figured in his head that for example at 600 yards every 6 inches is a MOA so when the shooter shoots about 1 foot over the back he calls almost instantly "down 3.5 MOA and fire" 3.5 MOA is of course, 1 foot over and 8-10" down to the center of the vitals. There are other things to help this process out if you are not much of a number cruncher. The easy way is to buy a Night force 12-42 NXS with a NPR2 reticle for a spotting scope. The scope reticle is caliberated for 22x when turned to 42x the verticle graduations are 1/2 or 1 MOA, now simply hold the crosshair in roughly the same place as the shooter and watch the impact and reference the line and MOA that the shot impacted. If you have a 5.5-22 NPR2 on your rifle ( alot of people do) and you are spotting simply use you rifle scope to call the dope for the shooter. I highly recommend using MOA for correction calls because it is common language for 95% of the shooters it is simply the whole numbers on the dial.
The process must start at the range, under stress people will revert back to what they have always done and trained. It is usually similar to the conversation earlier in the post. Take your hunting buddy, go rock shooting and never mention anything but MOA, no inches, feet , clicks, or random measurements like way high. It will serve you well during hunting season.
Shawn, I noticed that you did not mention shot placement in your previous notes. While it may be a no-brainer to the experienced long range hunter, I had never really considered taking a high shoulder shot before. I had always been taught to take the double lung/heart shot. Your presentation, including the animal photos with overlapping skeletal structure, made a believer out of me. With the ability to accurately call the elevation, and with wind being the limiting factor, a high shoulder shot actually allows for a greater margin of error than the lung/heart shot and has a greater probability of anchoring the animal for easier and better recovery.
Another nice thing about the class was getting to see all the really nice rifles that you built! I really think I need another one... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]