# How to Determine Your Effective Range for a Hunting Shot

#### thebigcheese

##### Member
j3cub I liked the quote from Richard Lee. It made me laugh and is also very true! I definitely agree with everyone that there is no final answer to the question though.

#### jrock

##### Well-Known Member
Personally I like to establish accuracy for hunting based on error. If I shoot a system (gun, bipod, wind meter, drop charts. etc) 1 MOA, then if that 1 MOA circle exceeds the circle of a vital area then that is my limit for range.

For example.
I have verified my shooting ability at 1000 yards to 1 MOA (bullet can hit anywhere within a 10" circle) in a real world hunting scenario.

If its a deer sized target, assume that an 8" circle represents the vital area

Result: A 10" circle overlaps the 8" circle by 2" all the way around. THerefore, you have a chance of missing that 8" circle even if you hold the reticle in the same spot on the animal every time. For you math wizz's, thats a 57% chance of a miss based on area. Not a lot of confidence there in my book.

#### jrock

##### Well-Known Member
Feel free to comment on my idea, as I would like to know if anyone else thinks the same way.
I realized that the standard deviation of the shot pattern plays an effect on that 57% miss number I gave. It would actually be smaller. Haven't put numbers to that yet.....for all you statisticians out there.

#### Elk868

##### Well-Known Member
Hello all
i agree with all this Posts before . For myself i think you can extend your personal effective range if you are able to practice a lot . As well your physical and mental Situation effects it .
we all know we have good and bad days .
the most hunters here say 200 m is enough for them and i think thats correct for them .
20 rounds ammo fired (20 rounds/year ) doesn t make ability to shoot Long distances .
so i think the question is also what you are willing or able to spent in time and Money .
good gear helps but at least it s what you do with it .
*Rule 1 Violation*al question ? i think everybody should know his own Limits and decide for his own .

Elk868

#### Clark

##### Well-Known Member
I was happy to hear today that my 65 year old hunting buddy has been practicing at 350 yards.
In the last 50 years of deer hunting, he has just practiced at 100 yards.
He has been stalking deer, even in the sage brush.
Next I have to push boat tail bullets.

#### j3cub

##### Member
Jrock, question gets to the heart of the issue based on one parameter, the basic accuracy of the rifle/ammo combo. As everyone on this site probably agrees, there are a lot more factors involved in LR shooting. When I got into the competitive shooting game in the Navy, I was amazed at how far one could accurately place shots with a standard issue M-1 Grand. Later, when working for the Forest Service, we would take our guns to a box canyon and shoot at rocks at the far end. In competitive shooting we have the advantage of being able to fire 'sighters' before we shoot for score. If we miss, no big deal, it is just a sporting competing against other shooters. I have always hated "hunting" being referred to as "sport". Hunting is not a sport, hunting is hunting! We kill animals when we hunt. Ideally we want to kill game humanly, not wounded, to be lost and wasted. My limit, when using aperture sights is the width of my front sight covering the vital area of the animal. Considering what many LR hunters consider long range, I am proud to say I am a short range hunter.

#### gusd

##### Well-Known Member
Feel free to comment on my idea, as I would like to know if anyone else thinks the same way.
I realized that the standard deviation of the shot pattern plays an effect on that 57% miss number I gave. It would actually be smaller. Haven't put numbers to that yet.....for all you statisticians out there.
I agree with you and you are basing your stats on knowing that the shot is exactly 1000 yards . What if the animal walks to 980yards or 1050yards after you range them while you are getting ready to shoot? I'm not a statistician but I bet it would change the stats. With an elk that is only a couple steps up or down a hill.

#### dsculley

##### Well-Known Member
Range/distance is much less a factor than the users ability with the tool! As Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry said "A man should know his limitations!" I have taken deer at 500 yds. All of these shots had very mild winds. I would not have taken these shots if conditions had not been favorable. I have shot steel plates out to 1100 yds, many times making first round hits in what I would call normal conditions - windy but not terribly so. If I miss on a steel plate, it is easy to adjust and make a second round hit. When the target is an animal, I first assess the situation to determine my chance of making a first round hit. I then determine whether to take the shot based on my assessment. I have passes on some, but so far have not been wrong on the shots I did take.

A man in a club that I used to hunt in shot a deer at 100 - 125 yds. The deer went down on the first shot. He had seen deer run off after being knocked down on the first shot, so he chambered another round. The deer got up, then went back down when he shot. He chambered another round, same result. He shot 5 times, the deer went down each time, and finally stayed down the last shot. When he got to the buck, he found his first shot had hit him in the hip and fractured it, which is why he kept falling down. The last shot hit the deer in the shoulder and kept him down. There were 3 misses. This was at a range that most people would call acceptable, but in my opinion was not for him. When he told the story at the camp, I think I hurt his feeling when I told him he needed more trigger time at the range! The rifle was a Remington 700 chambered in 7mm RM.

If you don't take the time to learn to be proficient with your tool then the range you are shooting simply doesn't matter, you will not be successful. I did go to a long range shooting school (Bangsteel.com) where I learned a lot and became proficient very quickly. I continue to practice shooting a far as possible locally. I go to F-Class matches primarily for the practice of reading wind and shooting long range. If you can put 80% of your shots in the 10 ring you are doing pretty well as a hunter. You learn about reading wind from the 20% outside the 10 ring.

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