Long range misses

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ven, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. ven

    ven Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2006
    I love to hear great success storys but would also be very intrested to hear about some misses and why they happened .I missed a nice buck last year due to a ranging error .I rushed my shot preperation because i didnt have much time and only did one ping with my rangefinder put i my scope clicks and luckily clean missed .
    I couldnt understand it untill i ranged it again and had been 78 yards out on my initial range.Now i always range 4 times and never rush anymore .I learnt the hard way but was lucky not to wound an animal.
  2. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    I've never missed a long range shot. I think it's because I put way more thought and preparation into them than close ones. I've missed some close ones for stupid reasons that. If I would have treated them like long range shots they would have been cake. I also am not out there to set any records. I have the long range capability in my bag if I need it, but if I get them close so much the better. Pushing the limits is for the range, living game animals deserve better. If I'm "pretty" comfortable with my gun to 1000 yards, I limit myself to 800 on game -- where I'm "very" comfortable.

  3. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

    Mar 9, 2004
    I've never missed a long range shot either:rolleyes: I've killed hundreds if not thousands of game animals from 10 feet to 5 miles. :cool:

    Believe that line of shit and I'll sell you some heat seeking, around the corner shooting, explode on impact, salt filled for preservation, solid stainless steel bullets. Hurry, I only have 1 box left, ATH is cornering the market!!

    If you've never missed a long range shot you've either never shot long range there for you can say you never missed a long range shot, or your so full of shit your eyes are turning brown. Get out for boots its getting deep in here:)
  4. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    I will be the first to admit i have missed deer at 50 yards. Why i don't know, but i have killed a lot of game over the years that i wont discuss. My range is 350 yards, i have some nice guns but never got the fine line skills of shooting 500 and so on. I really have the interest now and kicking around a nice scope such as night force. Just purchaesd a Leica 1200 range finder and hoping to get in to some longer rande shooting over the summer. Most of my hunting is in sw Pa. where there isnt even many fields 500+.
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    As per my post "Longest shots ever", I missed alot of groundhogs at 200 to 300 yards all last year. Mine was a lack of confidence in my doping and one was due to turning my turret the wrong way.:rolleyes: Shot underneath the little booger. :D Not to mention I kept playing with load development and not settling on one bullet and one powder.

  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Damn Kevin !!!

    Why don't you just say what you think, instead of beating around the bush.

    And I want some of those bullets. ( Maybe they will help )

    I never rush a long shot and don't take it unless I feel good about the chances of a one shot
    kill but some times it still happens ( A clean miss ).

  7. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

    Mar 9, 2004
    I don't mean to be too cruel, just poking some fun at ATH. If you have read many of his previous posts you'll know exactly what I mean. Please don't take it to heart.:D

    But we all miss...
  8. steve smith

    steve smith Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2001
    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.
  9. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    As best I can determine the animals are always happy with a miss! :D 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.


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


    Now just ask yourself which deer looks happier with its current situation.
  10. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    Been doing this LR stuff since 1992, am getting closer to hitting one every year!
  11. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    That's awesome!:D
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    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.
  13. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005
    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.:)
  14. NONYA

    NONYA Banned

    Sep 12, 2007
    If you havnt missed a long range shot (500+) then you havnt done much lR hunting,THAT is a fact.gun)