Ethical long range shots?

Discussion in 'How To Hunt Big Game' started by dicktaylor, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. dicktaylor

    dicktaylor Member

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    Seems like there is a considerably better chance of making a good shot on an animal bedded down and much more risk if the animal is on its feet and can move as the trigger breaks. Is a shot ethical on a standing animal which is moving frequently? What about an animal on the edge of thick growth, where a followup shot would not be possible and the animal might not show immediate signs of being hit. Would that increase the risk? It seems to me the answer would be to pass up such opportunities but I am not experienced at long range shooting and would like to hear from those who are.
     
  2. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    Ethics are like religous and politcal beliefs. Everyone has ideas, and they're all different. Do you have the skills to make the shot and the judgement to know if / when there is a shot? Of course, experience is something you gain right after you need it.

    My point is, whatever ethics you have they aren't universal.
     

  3. shootinfool

    shootinfool Well-Known Member

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    grit,

    Couldn't have said it better myself!
     
  4. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    This is from the rules of this board.
    So, as far as the ethical part of your questions goes........no response.

    As to the part about taking the shot: All variables concerning the animal, weather and environmental conditions and my abilities to make the shot decide whether I take the shot or not. I agree, again, with what Shawn stated, and that is, I take the shot when and if I am of the mindset that I would be amazed if I missed the shot. If that condition and feeling doesn't exist.......I don't take the shot.
     
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Dick,
    You are somewhat new here so perhaps I could provide a bit of info that might be of interest. Your question raises valid considerations regarding taking or passing on a shot.

    Seems like every conversation about "ethics" creates dissension so Len has a rule that we do not get into that area. I totally agree and feel this makes our site work better. I also feel we all have or should have personal ethics while hunting, fishing and many other activities in life. I have no right to impose my ethics on others nor does anyone have the right to do so to me, simple as that. That is usually what evolves so why go there. There are other sites where endless time is wasted on issues and ethics, our objective is to share info about the practical aspects of long range hunting.

    Now having brought up the points, perhaps we can answer your question by suggesting as some other guys have already done - very simply do not shoot unless you are (pick a number...) 90%, 95% or virtually certain your bullet will hit where you aimed. Having said that we also must be realistic and understand that wounding happens, sometimes because of factors out of our control. What we should try to eliminate is the possibility of wounding happening because we launched a shot when we were less than confident in a lethal hit.

    There are a lot of fine sportsmen on this site, everyone respects the critters we hunt and wants to kill as quick and cleanly as possible. The strength of this site is the quality and ability of the participants who share realistic information. My goal is to utilize the full capability of my equipment - and I am fortunate to have equipment that is accurate to much longer distances than most factory gear.
     
  6. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Maybe another way to ask your question would be, "How long does it take a bullet to travel "x" distance and what would the likelyhood be of the animal moving in that time. The answer to the first part is very easy to detrmine with a balistic calc, the answer to the second is much more subjective and experience in observing and knowing your game goes a long way in making a judgemnet call.

    I read a post where a guy shot at a buck at a *normal* range and the buck flipped his head back to his side to shoo a fly at the exact moment he pulled the trigger and hit it in the antler.

    There are very few sure, 100% situations in hunting, if any. Bottomline for me is I have to feel comforatable and confident before I take the shot.

    There are a lot of guys in this forum who could confidently make a shot that I could not, so my personal limitations are different.
     
  7. Lightvarmint

    Lightvarmint Guest

    Dick,

    Practice at the longest range that you are comfortable with and then you will gain proficiency. Once that is achieved, you will then be able to push the envelope even further.

    I think you will find that most of us here practice at the ranges we expect to hunt/make shots. Once you get all your gear tuned and the pilot qualified to fly the rifle, you will be surprised as to how easy it is to get repeatable results.

    Good shooting.

    James
     
  8. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot is being missed here. It's not so much a matter of how good a shot you are thats up to you to know. It's more about knowing what you are doing and experience. If I am by myself I will take a longer shot on a bedded animal than a standing animal. For the reasonds you stated. I shoot a lot of deer and know their habits and take longer shot on feeding deer. When it comes time to go long on a standing deer all I am doing is shooting a target, It's the spotters call when to send it. he or she has to read the animal and let you know. Your concentration should be on shooting. Try doing it all by yourself and there's a better chance of problems.
     
  9. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    Would it be a safe assumption that most here do not shoot longer (or much longer) on game than they have practiced on paper? I don't want to go down the "ethics" road, I am just curious where folks stand for themselves.

    For example, I can and have practiced to where I am very comfortable out to about 500 yards prone and about 300 yards seated off of shooting sticks. My range only goes to 500 so as it stands thats the limit for me. I might take a shot a little further in good conditions but not much. The gun has accuracy to spare at 500 so thats not an issue.
     
  10. Lightvarmint

    Lightvarmint Guest

    When deciding to shoot or not, common sense should be applied to the situation. For me, I zero at 400 yards and hold for everything else.

    James
     
  11. RBrowning

    RBrowning Well-Known Member

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    I won't try to speak for others, but I practice further than I hunt, at least for big game. I don't mind hitting a piece of paper too far one way or another, nor missing the occasional woodchuck, but I REALLY don't want to wound a deer. I make every effort to practice further and under as bad or worse weather condition than what I plan to hunt. That gives me more confidence that I won't do something stupid when the pressure is on.
     
  12. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    Rimfire is spot on....
     
  13. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I practice significantly farther than ranges I intend to hunt at. I want my hunting shots to be very high percentage shots.
     
  14. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    I try to shoot every week at 1K, I'm not quite satisfied with those results but would take a 1K shot on a deer if conditions were right. I very seldom have a spotter, so it takes me at times 5-6 min to get the shot off, most of that time is spent watching the deer in the scope, just studying its body language to see if there is a 1/2-3/4 second window when the deer is not moving. if I think a shot is possible I range one last time, verify my scope settings and settle in for the shot. Yes I miss one now and then, but by nature of deer when shot at LR, they don't bolt from the report of the rifle, so with the one poor hit I made out of 23 deer from 400-822 yards just walked a few steps and lay down. 2 seconds later I sent another accubond through her head at just over 600 yards. If my first shot is a miss, no other shots are taken, I put the best effort into the first shot if I fail, the next shot would not be any better. Immediately recheck everything and try to find out what caused the miss, and try not to make the mistake again.
    RR
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008