My second story goes hand in hand with shifting peoples perception. When I turned 10 in december my Mom gave me a model 94 winchester trapper with saddle ring and all. I was stoked. My dad got a side mounted scope put on it and we went to sight it in. My dad got it dialed (well as dialed as a model 94 trapper could get at 100yds) He then told me that I was going to get to go hunting for deer and Elk next year.. IF..... By september of the next year I could show him that I could make a clean kill with my rifle..
Well as the year went on he kept me supplied in rounds and I shot every jack rabbit, ground squirrel, and rock chuck, that came within sight. I mean I shot 100's of rounds through that old gun. When school started that 11th year of my life I started to fall into the same trap im speaking of here. All of my friends dads were gonna let there sons shoot there 308 norma mags or 300 win mags or 30-06's.. I started to get a little jealous.
So I went to my dad and asked him if I could shoot my grandpas 308 instead. (At least it had a "normal" looking bullet) My dad said to me: (and I will never forget this) Dusty you know those trappers you love to read about? I said yeah. He said well, I can promise you that more deer and elk and critters have been killed by all those trappers and cowboys and setlers with there model 94 30-30's than there has been deer and elk killed with any other rifle.. I thought about that and kinda beamed with pride.
It wasnt long after that and dad said well son lets go out and do some shooting. He brought his 300 savage and I took my 30-30. He filled up 8 milk jugs with water. We got a picnic table set up and the sand bags out. We then both took 2 milk jugs and started walking. He counted off 100yds. Then I put my jugs down. I looked at him and he said lets take these a bit farther. So I figured sure. We walked another 50 paces. He put his down. We went back and I got set up to shoot. 2 shots and 2 blown jugs. (I was the happiest person in the world when I saw why we filled them with water) I just looked at dad with a huge smile. He then said well you gonna sit there with your teeth in your mouth or are you gonna shoot the other 2? What? Thats too far dad. He says, give it a try. (I was hard headed). 3 shots later and I had both splattered. He then proceded to tell me if I could hit a milk jug with consistancy I could hit vitals on a deer or Elk. Next came the paper target he made me put 3 right near the center or it was a no go for hunting this year. I made the shots.
That year I killed a 27" 4X3 right at daylight on opening day at probably 25 feet. Opening day of Elk season dad sat me in a canyon and said that clearing is as far as those milk jugs were. Well, right at daylight I look up and there is a 4 point bull standing in the meadow he showed me. I sat behind a log with my gun rested on it and let one fly. He stumbled and by the time I found the clearing again in my scope he was standing fine but pointing the other way. Well, I let him have another one. Down he goes. When we skinned him both shots were within 1" only coming and going.. My first year, I kill 2 respectable critters with a 30-30. (In later years I have lasered the spot the elk fell and its right at 185yds. When dad finally got to me I was so excited but dad being the dad he is walked up and said. Well I guess making you shoot up $100 and all the critters on the ranch paid off. Practice makes perfect son never forget that!!
My point to all this is he was right on so many levels. These days I am saving up to buy one of Kirby's master peices and I think big guns are the cats meow. But I also paid my dues and have spent a lifetime shooting over and over and learning how to read the wind and how to shoot. I know now that everything has its place. My 22-250 sucks after going through transonic speeds (which aint that far really) BC means everything in the wind and all of the lessons I am still learning everyday from all of you guys. I know that with how I shoot, a big rifle with a good brake wont bother me.. But I have shot these kinds of weapons so I know. So the moral of the story is whatever you hunt with you need to practice with. Only shoot as far as you know you can make 1 shot hits.. Take your time, come prepared and use the equipment for what its made for. We are all saying the same thing. People need to learn to hunt ethically within THEIR abilities, and we all need to leave our jugments at home as much as we can!!! Shoot straight and be safe!! Keep em tight guys!!
Last edited by happylilcuss; 07-18-2008 at 12:41 AM.
Reason: to clean up the longwindedness
I agree with all your observations and feel your frustrations. However, the attitude that you describe is alive and well in nearly every human endeavor. I've seen Softball/baseball coaches that didn't believe the statistics and had always went with their 'gut feel'. I've asked people at work, "why do you do it this way" their answer "because, thats the way we've always done it."
In my experience, the larger the ego a person has, the more closed minded and defensive they get if you don't do things the way they do it. I think this behavior is worse in the shooting sports, since many guys view guns as macho and any discussion that doesn't match their pre-conceived notions seems like a challenge to their manhood. I've taught kids and adults shooting from time to time. The woman/girls were almost always the best students.
I remember in one of Capsticks books (Death in a Lonely land, or Death in the Long Grass or Death .....) he talks about hunters not wanting to use riflescopes because they were new and it was different. I think the Rangefinder, bipods, drop charts etc. are just new and different and most people are too close minded to embrace new concepts.
Good post and topic Kirby.
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.
My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
well, my observations
The main thing is total lack of any kind of ballistic knowledge.
I'm pretty much an average shot, pull off a 100 yard group in the .2's on occasion, but I've studied ballistics alot, and once it all makes sense it seems simple. And with my mediocre skills I can just flat out amaze average hunters. I've had guys who considered themselves expert markman, stand in awe after watching me connect at less than 600 yards, and had guys almost pi$$ they're pants after letting them use my rifle and helping them adjust the scope and set up to connect on a deer at 700 yards and less, its like they have no clue as to how a rifles trajectory works.
And I agree with kirby, I don't care if a deer is 50 yards if I'm gonna shoot I'm eatin dirt if possible, and without a rangefinder, I may as well stay home.
Tell a guy you can take a deer at 500 yards and he says, ok, cool, show him and he'll be blown away.
While I understand the frustration, one needn't a 15lb rifle, 40x scope, handheld ballistic computer, and a bipod to make 600 yard shots. I say this as the former poster-child for that. Eventually I came to the realization (in large part due to being forced to use a 308win) that the 22lb 300Tomahawk didn't really offer me anything over the 12lb 300WinMag under 800yds, except the stupid weight, clumsiness, and 30lbs of gear I "thought" I needed, and then that the 12lb 300win didn't do much more then an 8lb one.
A normal rifle, normal scope w/turrets, good data, a rangfinder, backpack, and a good shooter can wreck havoc WAY past 600 yards, while being MUCH, MUCH more effective under 600...