Long range capability = shooting oppurtunities and success?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by RangerBrad, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. RangerBrad

    RangerBrad Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Folks, Just getting very interested in long range hunting.
    The thought of hunting public lands in the west for mule deer and elk really appeal to me.
    For those of you who hunt in open country, have you found that having the equipment and ability to shoot out to 800-1000yds has greatly increased your shot oppurtunities and have led to sucess that you would not of had if you only had the ability to shoot to 250-300 yds? Thank's Brad
     
  2. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I can't answer your question specifically to hunting out west, but anytime you can survey more ground and reach your intended target, the greater your chance for success. With that said, you have to be efficient in your ability to confidently shoot accurately to those distances. I know for me, ground hog are easier to find when I can scan several fields, verses one or two fields with shorter distances. This past deer season I was able to find a few more deer, but finding shooters in PA can be a challenge recently. More importantly have a good place with good open views of the mountain are essential in successfully hunting wooded areas. My brother-in-law has been very successful hunting with his brothers being able to reach out and not being limited. They have shot elk as far as 1550yds. Matter of fact my brother-in-law dropped a muley in his bed at 1400yds.

    Tank
     

  3. RangerBrad

    RangerBrad Well-Known Member

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    Thank's Liltank, Here in Arkansas with few exceptions ( open fields, large late winter open hardwoods) you'll rarely see a deer at more than 200yds usually much less but, I was thinking that huting public lands in the west with long range equipment and shooting abilty would allow me to hunt in a way that suites me ( I don't care for sitting in a tree stand all day waiting for something to wander by) and give me better odds for success and oppurtunity for bagging real trophy animals. Brad
     
  4. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    RangerBrad,

    The short simple answer to your question is YES, being able to shoot long distances can and will increase your shot opportunities.

    I have done a fair amount of western hunting and have taken many animals in the 500 to 1000 yard range. I could have gotten closer to probably less than half, although that is difficult to say for sure. Some were across canyons that by the time I could have hiked around to get closer, who knows where the elk or deer would have been.

    After having hunted "long range" for several years now, I would feel very "handicapped" if I had to carry set up capable of only 200 yards out west.

    All that said..... it is not a short nor inexpensive journey. The proper equipment is an absolute necessity, and learning to read the conditions in western "canyon" country takes time and experience.
     
  5. RMulhern

    RMulhern Well-Known Member

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    Would you like to run the Indianapolis 500 on a John Deere lawn mower??
     
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Hunting all my life in the west I would say that learning to take game at extended ranges has left me with less shot opportunities and I've passed on way more shots than ever before!! Reason, I now know my limits now and I'm looking for that 100% long range cold bore kill and I've become stupid picky about my shots, if the shot I want doesn't present it's a no go.
    The potential is there for more and easier shots but for me the reality is long range hunting is way more work with less shots, but nothing beats the perfectly executed LR cold bore shot!!! :D
    And I can now shoot elk in places that are harder to get them out of than before :rolleyes:
     
  7. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    Bigngreen has had the same experiences I have. The better I get at long range shots the more picky I become in the game I will shoot.
    Some people take the shot just because it's 500 or 800 or whatever your magic number of yards is. I personally will only shoot if the animal is of the quality I am after and the shot is good.
    I sat and watched a really nice Blacktail that was a real good 3x3 for almost an hour bedded under a manzanita bush. He was pretty incredible to watch but I was after a 4x4.
    Antelope hunting will definitely improve once you can shoot over 400 yards. They can spot you really easy.
    When you see that buck or whatever of a lifetime it won't matter how far away he is, you will be able to calculate everything you need to make the shot. The confidence to make the shot will help you out a lot.
     
  8. RMulhern

    RMulhern Well-Known Member

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    squirrelduster

    "I personally will only shoot if the animal is of the quality I am after and the shot is good."

    Makes damn good sense! I've been hunting whitetails/mulie now going on 61 years and my selection of game has grown quite considerably over these many years. If I'm slim on meat....we let the youngsters shoot a legal doe!lightbulb:D
     
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Most of my Western big game success has been from being able to reach out past 350 yards. Some successes I know I could have gotton closer I was just lazy and I like to shoot. Some other trophies of mine I would have never collected without the ability to reach out.
     
  10. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    have no idea about the west, but this I've found to be true here in the east, and makes sense that it would hold true anywhere
    The more real estate you can see, will mean more game spotted, however, there is alot more chance of not getting a shot off the farther the distance it is.
    I've not documented it but it seems to me that 6 out of 10 animals you see that you would like to harvest never present the shot for various reasons
    you lose them somewhere between the binocs, rf, and the rifle, in cover its like the ground just swallows them, some just walk out of sight before you get set up for the shot, and nothing is more frustrating than trying to set up on rutting whitetails.
    Now at normal ranges the percentage of game that doesn't offer a shot is much lower, the shot is almost instaneous with locating/judgeing the game.
    This is whitetail hunting here in the east, nothing harder than staying on a buck in the timber at 700 yards long enough to shoot. I once spent 4.5 hours trying to get a shot at the best 8 point out of a group of 5 running a doe at 500.
    took the slack out of the trigger on the wrong buck 3 different times, to say the least it was a mite unraveling.
    RR
     
  11. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I agree with several of the answers. Long range hunting for the sake of long range hunting means less shots taken and less animals killed. If you just want to kill an animal get a iron sight 30-30 and get in the brush. :D if you do not know enough about hunting to successfully kill deer at close range in Arkansas then you do not know enough to kill elk at long range. Reading habitat, water availability and likely routes at long range through binoculars and knowing where to look for the animals is a skill developed at close range and honed at long range. So if you don't know animal behavior and habitat, long range equipment is going to be of no help.

    Moderate range skill, at say 300-500 yard, is a great asset and you can execute fairly rapidly. At those ranges your optics can be average cost and quality.

    Once you go to 800 yards and beyond your optical equipment will begin to cost about $3000 - $5000. You can't hit what you can't see and as was express by RR you have to track the legal or desired animal with your optics.
     
  12. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Ihave grown up in NWMT. So my typical terrain is timbered mountains,but you have smaller canyons, and finger ridges. The big country I hunt is to far to canyon hunt, hard to even get to game same day. But there are slide chutes and above timberline, that with shooting form fingers has helped me harvest the game. But in same token I have had luck in the thick stuff on way off mountain, I have jumped some nice bucks in thick and never shot because I was not sure if it was trophy I wanted.With the terrain LRH IS another tool for the hunter to use, just as is archery. You have to take the time to learn how to use the tools.LRH has helped me have more success.
     
  13. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    I'm still waiting for that great long range shot but so far have only killed one bull at 543 yds. Long range shooting did help in that shot since I was busted and it was all I had.

    Most if not all of my hunting is on public land and I haven't found the animals as cooperative as I would like. Hunting pressure and other conditions have seemed to keep the animals brushed up most of the time and haven't presented that type of shot. This year I shot a buck at 123, a bull at 75, and a cow at 130. All of these hunts required getting off the beaten path and all were brushed up. One thing though is that all of the practice makes these types of shots easy one shot kills.
     
  14. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Becoming a competent shot at long range will definately boost your proficiency at medium and closer range. Then when the long range opportunity presents itself, you'll be much better able to assess whether it's a shot you're comfortable with.

    As others have stated, long range hunting for the sake of long range may limit the number of shots you actually take.

    That's been my experience anyways.