Re: How far really?
WHen I started out building rifles, which not to long after that time I was fortunate to be able to meet you in person as well. My main goal was promoting my wildcats and rifles and durning that 4-5 year period, I REALLY focused on longer range kills simply from a business stand point, had to prove my rifles were up to it more then anything so they would sell.
I agree with you totally, with a properly set up rifle, accurate drop chart, acceptable conditions and a competent shooter, 1000 yard shooting became really routine. Combine that with chamberings like my 7mm Allen Magnum and 338 Allen Magnum with some of the super bullets we were playing with at that time and it really got alot easier. Regular shooting and testing at 2000 and even 3000 yards made 1000 yard shooting, well boring for lack of a better term.
Things peaked in 2006 when I focused on achieving the Varmint Hunters Grand slam where I made kills at 995, 1095, 2100 and 2370 yards to qualify for the required 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 yard kill ranges. This was accomplished in three months time with only 5 outings and less then 50 rounds sent down range.
The big game hunting seasons around that same time were focused on killing big game at past 1/2 mile and and several were cleanly taken at ranges past this and out to a bit over 1300 yards. Several animals were passed on to reach this goal in range. Good animals that normally would have been on my wall and instead I was focusing on the range of the kill and looking at smaller animals to do so.
Point being it became pretty easy, if an animal was within 1200 yards, if I wanted to kill it, it more then likely would hit the ground. As with you, I started to loose a bit of the drive to focus only on long range hunting. I did not pick up a bow or handgun but I did put away the 20 lb rifles and started taking out my lightweight 7mm AM which was fully up to 1/2 mile hunting but that was about it. Since then, 80% of the big game animals I have killed have been taken with that old rifle and the longest kills I have made since then have been taken by other members of my family using my Raptor rifles which I got the most kick out of.
Simply put, if you get a quality rifle(this does not mean a $6000 weapon either), good scope, and take the time to learn the rifle, its ballistics and your limitations, long range hunting is not as difficult as many would have you believe. With the technology we have and use today, the limiting factors are rangefinding equipment and most of all, our egos.
The very most important skill to learn for the long range hunter is your own limitations and to know when NOT to shoot more then anything else. Shooters skill wise, its just meaningful time behind the rifle. You do not need to put 1000 rounds down range a year to stay proficent with a quality rifle. Once its set up, you can put 20 rounds down range a year and still be fully capable of 1000 yard hunting proficency. Obviously more is better but if the time in the field is used correctly and your practicing hunting type shots, you can get alot of practice out of a relatively limited amount of shooting.
I personally will not shoot past 500 yards in a wind over 15 mph and will limit shots in a 10 mph wind to less then 800 yards. For 1000 yard shooting on big game, I will not shoot if there is much preceptable wind at all. That again is just me, to each their own but to me, its just not worth what COULD happen.
As with Bob, I have grown to the point that being in the field has become the enjoyment, not really the killing. That is why I often hold out for larger animals and really have no interest inkilling younger animals because I know that once I pull that trigger, my hunting season is pretty much over if I do my part and that is the goal!!!
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.
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