Last season, 2012 I bought and set up a 6.5-284 specifically for the long range shot that "might" happen. I practiced and verified and practiced some more..............LSS, I ended up sneaking right into the bedroom of 5 bedded whitetail and took the buck I was after at under 100yds. My best whitetail yet, 20" wide 4X4. Could've shot him with grandpas' 30-30.
This season, 2013 I practiced again with the same rifle......"just in case"......and got my first elk at 575 yds. Which was as close as I could get without trudging through knee deep mud and water for the last few hundred yards.
We'd all like to think "all this money and time and practice will someday pay off".........most of the time the LR shot doesn't happen, but when it does it darn sure makes a guy glad that he prepared. I would've never got that elk at that distance with my trusty ole 25-06 sporter.
Good thread! I have found myself modifying my hunting style and strategy over the years as my long range proficiency has continued to improve. I think a lot more about vantage points and spend much more time watching than moving which has suited my 60+ age a little better. The technology component of LR hunting compliments the off season competition shooting which all seems to cme together much more so than in my previous years. I would say that overall the quality of the game harvested has been much improved by the ability to take advantage of longer shots.
I remember an article that I read 30+ years ago that categorized preferred hunting styles. The claim of the author was that each style would dominate each hunters personality. He equated the style to the animal kingdom, and labeled them canine, feline , and raptor. The canine style was dominated by continuos movement, searching, and prefering group activities, like drives, jump shooting, etc. These hunters have a hard time sitting still for long periods. The feline style was a stalker, preferring a catlike style that was a combination of close in hunting that would go undetected taking advantage of wind, cover, and undetected movements. This hunter ilikes still hunting. The last style, the raptor takes a vantage point far from it's prey and relies upon keen eyesight to spot and a silent quick attack to make the kill. These hunters prefer hunting vantage points, stands, blinds, and have the patience and attention span to sit long periods of time with high concentration. When it comes time for the kill, compared to the feline and canine the probability of success is very high. LR hunting well suits this hunter. I think most hunters use a combination of all three, but most do have a preference. It is definitely the case with me, and I can see this kind of classification apply to many of my hunting buddies. This is a little off topic but I thought of it when reading the threads in this post and thought it might be interesting.
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
Greyfox, very good points and I will say, as a hunter, I wear a lot of hats because I fit the mold of all three and it really depends on the weapon of choice on that hunt, that day.
I love archery more than anything and I can sit for hours, waiting. Same with glassing out west on a hill. I just set my own mood for whatever hunt is planned. Being a male, it's the only multi-tasking I'm capable of.
Man, glad to hear I am not the only one that thinks this way.
I think for the most part, we all probably try to get "as close as we can" but I think being able to shoot longer distances gives us the advantage of being able to go undectected at ranges that become very comfortable for us, that maybe we weren't comfortable with before we entered this adventure.
Greyfox, some good stuff in there. Seems like similar evaluation that Bernie Pellerite and others have done on the mental/personality side of archery. I like to shoot indoor targets so I have read a lot on this.
For me, about 4 years ago, I shot a deer at 450yds, not cause I wanted to, because I had to, it was as close as I could get. Didn't know enough about my gun, the wind, or long range shooting in general. Took me 4 shots. So then I start doing some reading, upgrade my gun to something more long range compatible and got a Sendero, got a high power scope, and just flat our read all the info I could get, mostly on here.
Two years later I shot an antelope at 550, not because I wanted, but same story, it was as close as I coudl get and it was going away. I was really enjoying that long range insurance policy there.
I haven't gotten to shoot out past 1000 yet, but a couple weeks ago, right after my long range epiphany while walking that ridge, I found a doe a long ways out there. I thought, "I wonder how well I can even hold on that thing out there." I put the bipods down, crank the scope up to 20x, put my target dot on her. Like a rock, talk about a confidence builder. Then I bust out my rangefinder, it said 1428. Reassuring to know that I can hold that well on something out there.
So my point is that I will continue to load, practice, load, practice, load, practice, and load, and practice. And next time I go out to shoot an animal, I will let them decide, do they want me to shoot them at 100yds, or 1000yds hahaha
It's enjoyable marching through the brush following tracks and getting exercise, but vantage point, long range hunting allows you to cover far more area in a more persistent manner. I like to set up camp near a vantage point and long range hunt dusk and dawn. The rest of the day is great for grabbing the rifles and tramping around...or just sitting by the campfire.
Good analogies Greyfox. My uncle was my hunting mentor and he was a PA deer hunter and he employed the still hunting method and was very successful at it. In fact by far the most successful PA deer hunter I knew. Rarely did he take a shot at over 50 yds and his year to year success rate was better than anyone I knew and bringing home very nice bucks including one that just missed B&C by a couple of points.... very rare in PA.
I was the opposite of him. I did not have the patience for still hunting. I could however, sit in a tree stand for hours on end. But if I was moving I had the urge to cover ground relatively quickly. In the West, covering ground quickly in open country is a more effective way of hunting unless of course you're in heavy timber. Probably my favorite way of hunting is to move from one location to anther seeking vantage points where I will sit and scan open country for extended periods of time. This is why I believe long range has such an appeal to me.
You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it.
~ John Quincy Adams
Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 10-20-2013 at 12:21 PM.