long range hunting help

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by rscott5028, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to set my 14yo son up for a successful long range kill (500+yds) on a whitetail doe. We've geared up and practiced shooting paper for almost 2 years. He shoots sub-moa out to about 940 yards with a Sendero 7mm Rem Mag and 180gr Bergers. Our trajectory matches almost exactly what the NF Bal program says it should. And, the turrets on the Leupold 6.5-20x56 Varmint Extreme are accurate and repeatable. ...although the 1/10 MOA clicks are a pain. (I definitely see why Huskemaw is popular.)

    We hunted this last week for the first time with the objective of taking a doe at 500+yds and I found it a little frustrating. There was very little wind which had been my biggest concern.

    But, this was also the first time we used our Leica 1200 CRF in the field. It's way better than our old Nikon. But, I really had difficulty getting readings in an open field on individual deer at 550-750 yards. I was even using a very solid rest to do so.

    It more or less reads 2-3 deer in a group at that distance. But, otherwise, I had to range nearby trees and shrubs. Unfortunately, that can be deceptive unless the deer is literally leaning on the tree. On several occassions and by the time I was confident in my readings, the deer wandered off. So, we never fired a shot.

    Are my expectations for the 1200 crf out of line? Or, do I simply need to practice more and/or keep waiting for the deer to stay put another 5 minutes while I sort them out?

    I would've bought the 1600 crf, but it seemed that the beam wouldn't be any better on the small targets.

    Any pointers are greatly appreciated.

    thanks in advance!
    Richard
     
  2. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    you rarely hear anyone talk about the split-imagine rangefinders any more and this is the scenario where they shine. of course the downsize is they weight 20+ lbs and are 3-5 ft long. people that hunt open flat ground use them, or at least used to use them. the lazors, like most everything else, just keeps getting better and nobody lugs a big ole rangefinder around any more.
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    In reading other posts, it sounds like ranging a single deer on flat land at over 500 yards is a little iffy even for the 1200 crf.

    So, we'll just have to remain patient until conditions are right.

    He's shot plenty of deer at 50-258 yards with all kinds of rifles. But, I think it'll be a great sense of accomplishment for us both when he takes one out at long range using skill and technology rather than luck and wrecklessness.

    When I was a young man, it was all about Kentucky windage. Once you got your Leupold M8 sighted in, you didn't mess with the turrets. My dad shot 2 deer at an estimated 500 yds. He was a great shot. But, that was a different kind of shooting.

    Music, politics, and technology all change. But, hunting is something that binds generations from the dawn of time.
     
  4. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    I was going to call "bunk" on your 1/10th min click statement...untill I did a little resurch. WOW!!!! That is a waste of clicks. I can't imagin 1/10 min clicks on my 1K comp scopes, much less a hunting scope.!!!

    I would sell it and get a NF.....that is just me!!

    It sounds to me like Jr. is ready!!!

    GOOD ON YOU BOTH!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The glass is great on this scope and the finer clicks are great if you have plenty of time to concentrate on all of that.

    However more than once while practicing, I turned them an extra rotation by accident and was deflated to see that he missed the target only to discover that one rotation (6 minutes) at 535 yds is ~33 inches and then right there in the tree trunk was a 3 inch group about 30 inches directly above the bull.

    The lesson I'm learning is that there are plenty of variables to worry with when hunting. So, you might as well eliminate the ones you can control.

    I'd love to trade up to NF. But, my budget is wearing thin. I've wasted lots of money on gimmicks and useless gadgets (especially reloading tools). I should probably sell one of my rifles and upgrade this scope. But, I have a personal attachment to each one. So, that'll have to wait for now.

    My advice to any newcomers would be to (1) commit to the quest early on, (2) research what it'll take, and (3) buy the right gear from the beginning.

    My problem is that our initial goal was to hit a 4x8 sheet of plywood at 1k. From there, the goals of grown loftier and we've had to re-purchase a lot of gear. e.g. upgrading from Nikon to Lieca range finder and from Lyman T-Mag to Forster Co-ax...
     
  6. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    That goes for EVERYTHING!!! You want expensive...try rock crawling(you know ..jeeping).....

    Yep...you start with a stock rig.....want traction....simple right...bigger tires.....but only one spins...simple right....Detroit locker......then you break an axle or two...simple right...just buy more...then you loose a locker and an axle...simple right....bigger axles and a new locker....then bam....broken axle joints.....pretty soon you have 1500 in lockers, 600 dollers in high end inner axles, 500 in high end outer axles, 575 in CTM U-Joints......ect...ect...ect....., not to mention the cost of all of those "cheap" stock axles...plus tax...plus frieght) and you still have a dana 44

    Then...you cant keep the hubs in it....tranny, engin, drive shafts..............

    And on. And on.....And on....

    Just buy the friggen beefed up dana 60 the first time out and save big $$$$ and time and frustration...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  7. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    put a new battery in the 1200, in decent conditions I can range a single deer to 900, in good conditions I've ranged them at 1210 with my 1200 LRF. doesn't do well in glaring sun in my face or at a right angle but for the most part to 750 is a chipshot with my LRF.
    RR
     
  8. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Good idea. I'll try a new battery.

    Do you suppose the LRF is actually better than the CRF?

    Perhaps I have a less than optimized unit that needs to go back for a tuneup?

    morning, evening, shadows, sunlight... didn't seem to be much of a factor

    no mist, rain, fog either

    thanks!!!
     
  9. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    IIRC,
    the crf is the same unit as the LRF just in a modernized, compact, more ergonomical case, at the start of my shooting season (late summer) I put in a fresh duracell, if I use it alot it starts failing to read at extended ranges so I replace it again, then always before hunting season.
    If my target box flashes when you press the button, it won't read squat.
    RR
     
  10. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The unit is brand new and under warranty with a new battery (suppossedly).

    The first thing I did was buy all new batteries for the rangefinder, wind meter, chrony, etc... just in case... and I have them in my pack. But since the unit wasn't flashing, I never tried swapping it out. That would've been easy enough to try.

    I also wondered if the beam might not be in exact alignment with the reticle. So, I tried slightly different aiming positions to no avail.

    In any case, I'm glad you're confident about your unit as this gives me hope. I thought I had read great reviews on the Leicas with people having succes with them on game out past 900yds.

    Perhaps I just wasn't steady enough, or perhaps the beam was deflecting off the rest?

    We're pheasant hunting this weekend. So, it'll have to wait another week.

    thanks!!
     
  11. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    change the battery, then try 700 yards approx just prone with your elbows on the ground, I seldom ever fail to get a reading, even on soft targets like deer.
    The solid rest really helps from 900 on out, then I'll normaly have the rifle set up and rest it on my rear rest standing on end, only twice in 6 years have I not got a reading at under 900 yards, those 2 instances were glare related, nothing more depressing when you see a great shot opprotunity than the "Three Dreaded Dashes"
    GL with it!
    RR
     
  12. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem with my new Leica 1600 until I discovered that the rest I was using while ranging was partially obscuring the laser. I felt pretty dumb, but also relieved that when I modified my rest I could range individual animals to 1000 yds consistently. The previous posters were correct about the batteries though. I change my batteries several times during the season.
     
  13. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Batteries are cheap. I'll get several extras and try it out on some speed goats this weekend.

    I'll also see what I can do about a good rest that doesn't obscure the laser.

    I'm just glad to hear that some folks get good readings on deer out past 500-700 yards.

    thanks!!
     
  14. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I swapped out the battery as recommended by Ridge Runner and others. It made a huge difference. I'm now ranging individual deer out to 750 yds with little effort.

    I'll be sure to carry along extra batteries and swap them out at the first sign of sluggishness rather than wait for the flashing reticle.

    I also saw a suggestion of using scan mode to pick up small targets better. I'll have to give that a try as well.

    thanks all for your help!!!
    Richard