Is 450 yards Long Range? - Bear Down!

ktgoodman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
49
Location
Idaho
I shot this bear at 450 yards this week and when I only have to dial 5.5 MOA on the scope, it feels like an awfully close shot. I'm not sure if it is confidence in the gun, my shooting, or the fact that I practice at 800 to 1,000 yards, but 450 feels like a chip shot right now. The conditions were perfect as well, wind under 3 mph, calm animal, I'm Prone, etc. I love living in Idaho.

I have friends who do not shoot long range and 450 yards would be a hold over the animal and hope for the best kinda shot. I can't do that and won't risk it on animals. I had a great day out seeing tons of elk and deer, grouse. The bear was on the hillside just above the center of my scope. The 180 gr. berger went through the shoulder and destroyed the heart and out the other side, it only went 30 yards. Shooting Kelbly Custom, 7 mm WSM 180 Berger, norma brass. March scope, I know, I should have taken off the scope cover for the picture, it sure protects my March.

As I drove home from the hunt, I wondered what "regular" people do on their days off.

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dsculley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
310
Location
Orange Beach, AL
It is just like anything else, good practice breeds confidence. I have had the chance to shoot 300 - 1,000 yds. I feel confident behind my rifle when winds are tolerable. When I shoot my bow, I will extend my target range to 60 yds or so. After that, 30 yds is a chip shot, 40 is easy.

I shot a deer at 500 yds this winter. As with you, winds were favorable and I had every confidence in the shot. Drilled the heart just I intended. It went less than 10 yds. Now, if winds had been different I would have thought twice about the shot. Not to say I would not have taken it, maybe/maybe not. Would depend on the actual wind condition/how badly it was gusting ,etc.

Nothing replaces good practice. The more you successfully extend your range in practice, or hit smaller targets at your current ranges the more confidence you will feel in all your shots.

Congrats on the bear. Keep shooting and have fun!
 

Frog4aday

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
1,015
Location
Texas Hill Country
Nice post and great looking bear (and rifle.) I think 450 yards ON GAME is a long shot, but you had very good conditions (virtually no wind) and have been practicing on TARGETS at much longer distances, so I'm sure it did feel a bit 'easy'...but that's a GREAT thing. Anytime we take a shot at game we need to be ultra ethical and only take shots where we can guarantee precise shot placement so a quick death ensues. You did that.
 

YZ-80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
970
Location
Maryland
I think 450 yards is a heluva long way but everything is relative. I max out at 400 where I hunt (deer) and can only practice out to 300 in controlled conditions. You did the right thing and practiced out well beyond that so you had plenty of insurance and confidence. I’d rather take an animal like that than have 1/2 the level of confidence at longer distances and I’d be just as satisfied with the hunt, given a clean kill. Congrats!
 

hunter67wa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
1,325
Location
Wyoming
Great bear! congrats. I shot today at 400 2 inches with my 6.5x55 and thought well thats easy hoh hum. I shoot out to 1000 also it makes close shots easy.
Well done.
 

WeiserBucks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
1,674
Great bear in the Gem State! I took an Idaho deer this last fall under almost the same circumstances, good equipment and practice pays off .
 

Wedgy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
1,964
Very nice ! And people say Bergers explode when you hit the shoulder....looks like it did a great job.
 

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