Hit Probability and Hit Area

mmh

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Jan 12, 2014
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When taking a long range shot, what type of criteria is reasonable/ethical for a cold bore shot in field conditions? This will define for me how far I can try & take a shot. For instance, if hunting antelope, is a 90% probability of hitting a 8" plate reasonable?
 

Barrelnut

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Dec 16, 2013
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End of the Oregon Trail
This is sort of one of those "each to his own" type of judgements, but I would say you are definitely in the ballpark.

I think one of the more important things, sometimes overlooked, is plan B. What do you do if you miss or wound? Just make sure you are planning for the followup and you should be fine no matter what you decide. On really long shots, some folks decide to range, figure the dope, and then take a quick shot at a rock or something far enough away to not spook the animal to verify before the money shot. I have a lot of respect for that, but sometimes that is not practical.

If you got yourself an antelope tag, GOOD LUCK and bring some meat home. :)
 

FearNoWind

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Jul 10, 2012
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"Effective range" is, IMO, nothing less than 100% probability for every shot to be within an 8 inch circle - or I don't take the shot. I don't want to risk wounding 10 - 20% of the game I hunt. Distance is only one factor. Coupled with various wind conditions what might otherwise be an ethical shot for me at 800 yards, in windless conditions, can easily drop to 600 yards with full value 10mph winds.
 

Bbear

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Mar 13, 2007
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+1 on Fear no Wind's comments.

I've taken game at over 700 yards and wouldn't have taken the shot if I wasn't 100% confident in a clean kill.

Shooting paper or steel at that range is what gives me the confidence in my rifle and, more importantly, my own skills. Burn the powder and go through boxes of bullets to raise your confidence level and your effective range.
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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I think the answer lies in experience and practice. When I first started shooting I based my longest distance for shooting game on the conditions to hit a 9" paper plate consistently. I'm not sure that 100% certainty on a long range shot can ever be achieved, but with enough trigger time and experience your instincts with each opportunity at a game animal seems to take over, and be the best guidance. The greatest advantage of the long range hunter is that the distance capability provides you with far more options to change the variables to your advantage. If in doubt, I try to get closer, wait, change position, or pass. IMO
 

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