Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Long Range Hunting & Shooting

Long Range Hunting & Shooting Nightforce Optics


Long range misses

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 04-25-2009, 10:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 244
Re: Long range misses

Gotta admitt that I've missed a few! Though out of 25 or so long range shots I've only missed 3.

The first (@500yds) was a totaly brain fart on my part, adjusting for about 10" of wind drift, I kinda turned the turret the opposite direction. My dad said that I was a good 12" out in front of the animal.

The second (@1015yds) was a ranging error, apparently the tree my dad ranged, that the deer was standing next to was, oh say 35yds behind her. Just my luck, at the shot, she ran right to the very spot that I needed her to be in, second shot center punched her, and broke her back. I credit my dad for some good spotting there, NOT!

The third (@1150yds), well I'm still not sure how it happened, but the elevation turret was misteriously left at +15". So when my dad reported that he couldn't see where the bullet strike was, I reajusted and lined up on my target boulder at 865yds and fired again. Now this rock is 6' tall and about 3' wide, and when I missed it I knew something was very wrong. Brought it back to 100yds, and for the life of me couldn't figure out why I was hitting 15" high. Till my dad say's "Is the turret at zero when set on the #2 horizontal mark". Well, there it was. Some dumbass, (namely ME) left the turret set for my target rock (which is right past one full revolution on the turret) the last time I was out shooting.

Those were all in my early days of longrange hunting, and I've long since learned to take my time and run though all the steps one by one. Carefully verifing the range and double checking the ajdustments before taking a shot.
Reply With Quote

Unread 04-26-2009, 06:30 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,070
Re: Long range misses

As best I can determine the animals are always happy with a miss! Shooting at an animal when you know you won't miss is not doing it any favor. To make my point here is an old story of mine about a miss.

Peeonit - Part 8

Here is a little story about a deer I did not miss.

Not Another Henson Al Tipped Bullet Test

Now just ask yourself which deer looks happier with its current situation.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Reply With Quote
Unread 04-26-2009, 08:51 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: mathias wv
Posts: 987
Re: Long range misses

Been doing this LR stuff since 1992, am getting closer to hitting one every year!
Born to Hunt, Forced to Work!
Reply With Quote
Unread 04-26-2009, 10:01 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 8,791
Re: Long range misses

Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post
As best I can determine the animals are always happy with a miss! Shooting at an animal when you know you won't miss is not doing it any favor. To make my point here is an old story of mine about a miss.

Peeonit - Part 8

Here is a little story about a deer I did not miss.

Not Another Henson Al Tipped Bullet Test

Now just ask yourself which deer looks happier with its current situation.
That's awesome!

I voted for my "FREEDOM", "GUNS", and "MONEY" - keep the change - UNK.

"I am always proud of my country!"

"Leadership Rule #2: Don't be an ***hole." - Maj Gen Burton Field.
Reply With Quote
Unread 04-26-2009, 10:23 AM
Official LRH Sponsor
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,841
Re: Long range misses

Here is an example of me personally. This is not an example of poor shooting, or using less then top end equipment or not using the equipment correctly or not setting up for the shot correctly.

Its a simple example of me not being prepared.

Lets go back to last summer. I got a pronghorn permit but also had booked several hunts, early moose hunt in Canada, Nebraska whitetail hunt and then Canadian whitetail and mule deer hunt. Along with that the usual Montana hunting season.

That spring Dad and I headed down to Oklahoma and Texas for a good exotic game hunt. I used my 300 AX Raptor on that hunt, performed perfectly. As such, I was going to use that same rifle on the pronghorn hunt as it was "Ready to go".

Worked hard all summer to get customer rifles out. Did a little shooting but mostly with customers rifles testing them. That was alright, keeping sharp and shooting so I would be ready, the 300 was already to go anyway.......

Went on my moose hunt and got back and there was only a few days before the pronghorn hunt. Decided to go out to shoot, it was windy those days so we just went out anyway to test. Rifle shot pretty darn well, it was ready to go, I thought......

A couple days into the season, one morning we came across a small herd of pronghorn. There were around a dozen of them, one slightly above average buck. We set up on him, he was at 920 yards slightly elevated to our position but not enough to worry about at that range, shallow angle but we could get a good accurate range on him.

Settled in on the Raptor and waited as there was a doe right behind the buck I wanted to take. A few seconds later, the doe moved forward. Here rump just on the chest line of the buck, plenty of clearance.

The 240 gr SMK ripped out of the Raptor and instantly the does hind end dropped out and she went down. I set there wondering how a bullet could go through the lungs of the buck and still hit the doe in the pelvis...... Simple answer, it could not.

The shot had landed roughly 1.5 moa to the left of my aiming point. Likely clipping the hair on the bucks chest in front of his front legs and landing solidly on the hip socket of the doe. As the herd ran off, all obviously happy and healthy, I felt sick to my stomach.

Luckily, by the time we walked up the 920 yards of prairie, the doe had long since passed as all the major arteries in her rear end were totally destroyed. That really did not make me feel any better about the shot. Dad wanted to tag the doe with his buck tag which simply was not an option. My response was I took the shot and I got my goat.

Later that day, Dad took a great 15" buck at around 300 yards on some of our family ground. After we got that buck loaded up, obviously the shot earlier that morning was still bothering me. The conditions were still almost grave yard dead. So I lined up on a small target rock at the exact 920 yards and very similiar angle to the buck that morning. Ran through my pre shot proceedure just like always and let a 240 gr bullet fly. The shot landed perfectly as far as drop goes but it landed 1.5 moa to the left. Took another shot and then another. All three were well under 5" ctc and exactly in the same spot the shot earlier that morning had gone.......

We all have bad shots from time to time, that is just part of the sport, we are human and never perfect. It may be rare that it happens but we will eventually take a shot that we pull off. That was not the case here. I had not pulled the shot, I had not made a mistake in set up, I made an even worse mistake, I was simply not prepared.

I had not proven the Raptor was "Ready to go" instead relying on its performance nearly 5 months before. Obviously, it had been bumped enough to be 1.5 moa to the left.......

When I had checked the rifle just before the season opener, it was windy, you guessed it, right to left wind and while I hit where I was aiming, my estimate of the wind conditions down range was obviously incorrect. I liked what I saw and expected the rifle to be right on so I went with it........

Simple matter of over confidence and not proving the rifle set up before you need to use it. Personally, I would say that accounts for probably 50% of the missed out there for long range hunting, I would say another 25% is equipment error or misuse and the other 25% is simply humans misjudging the range or flat out pulling the shot to miss.

The second mistake I made was that I took a shot at a big game animal without proper clearnance between that target animal and other herd animals. Had I waited for that doe to clear more, I would have simply put 240 gr of lead into the hillside and still had my take and there would have still been a mature doe running the prairie. Two lessons that I was reminded of instantly and clearly.

I will say, I have missed MUCH less on long range shots then at conventional ranges. Pretty simple to understand why, equipment is much better, more time for the set up before the shot, more time to take the actual shot and taking shots at animals that are totally undisturbed and not moving.

Misses happen, if you say you have never missed, either your fibbing or you have not taken all that many long range shots. If you have never missed a shot at long range, good for you, you are one of the VERY few and if you keep doing it, you will eventually miss.

In my experience talking with hundreds of like minded hunters, When we do miss at long range, generally, its a very high percentage that we miss clean. Much higher then conventional range hunters in fact. Not exactly sure why but it works out that way. Not saying a big game animal can not be wounded long range hunting, that is silly.

My theory is that at long range, any error in range estimate, condition doping or pulling of the shot will generally result in a pretty wide flier of the shot.

At close range, these things may only result in the shot going a foot or so off, in some cases, this can be a clean miss but in many others, it could be a wounded animal that is likely already aware of you being there and reved up by the noise and excitement.

I can say, every long range miss I have had has been because of pilot error in some way and not equipment failure.
Kirby Allen(50)

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.

Web Page:
Reply With Quote
Unread 04-26-2009, 12:18 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Yakima, Washington
Posts: 3,832
Re: Long range misses

Originally Posted by Ridge Runner View Post
Been doing this LR stuff since 1992, am getting closer to hitting one every year!
Yah right. If what you've been doing is getting closer, I'd hate to see the deer when you finally get it right.

Seems to me like I remember a few threads/posts about you and that old worn out 7mm AM thumping a few deer in the last couple of years.
Reply With Quote
Unread 04-26-2009, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Helena Montana
Posts: 655
Re: Long range misses

If you havnt missed a long range shot (500+) then you havnt done much lR hunting,THAT is a fact.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Long range misses
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spotters Calling Hits/Misses with MOA or MIL Scot E Long Range Hunting & Shooting 9 02-21-2011 12:34 AM
Hart Long Range Target Stocks Long & Short Actions In Stock Stocky Equipment Discussions 0 08-13-2010 01:08 PM
Heavy hitting/light recoil elk/moose/griz rifle for the misses metau Long Range Hunting & Shooting 30 10-09-2007 07:45 PM
UP-DATE on the PORTATARGET - 29 out of 30!... misses Ian M Equipment Discussions 4 01-03-2002 10:26 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC