What to do after spotting an animal?

yobuck

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Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
1,524
Location
east central fl. /n.c. pa.
Chuckle --- I could ask what some guy in NC/PA knows.

"do, do ,do, looking out my (June-Dec) front door."

Hint: not the Appalachians.

View attachment 188941
And the answer would be (not much.)lol
We could no doubt exchange pictures, fact is ive never fired a shot in Fl either.
Im guessing maybe Great Smokeys, and you could easily use up that pop gun there also. Lol
 

HRM Johnny

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Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Virginia
Californian state cop went to Oregon on mule deer hunt....killed the nicest bull elk you could imagine....
Nothing happened to him......thats an idiot.....
another state cop had a late season crop damage cow elk tag...shot three cows in a dairy farmers field....borrowed tags from two other guys he knew.....nothing happened to him.....
There's a guy on here knows all about those two issues......
And this,isn't the lady that shot my horse..can i get my saddle off kind of story.....
Excellent job sir. I thank you for your contribution.
 

BlakeGipson

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Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
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Location
Wyoming
1) find critter
2) decide if the pack out is worth the caliber of animal you are looking at (very subjective decision)
3) determine if the shot is within your capacity
4) assuming you have completed steps 1-3, find a shooting position
5) depending on distance, take as much time as necessary to get everything right (wind, range, animal position, etc.)
6) dry fire a couple times
7) send the shot when 100% certain of result
8) let the "real" fun begin
 

DJ Fergus

Formerly 'djfergus'
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Dec 25, 2015
Messages
2,118
First thoughts through my head on long range hunting encounter

1.) WIND!can I make a 100% vital hit with the conditions? If not I pass on the shot.
2.) what lies beyond the animal if I miss?
3.) will I be in a stable position to spot hits (I hunt alone)
4.) when hit, what terrain will I encounter retrieving the animal
Shooting in wind is not always talked about alot. Not many people seem to acknowledge that. We always want to talk about our groups at distance under low wind & ideal conditions. Ive looked down range thru my scope plenty of times and could tell I had wind from multiple and/or opposing directions. It's a must to know what you can & can't hit depending on what the wind is doing. No wind, no problems.
 

BlakeGipson

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Apr 17, 2020
Messages
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Location
Wyoming
Shooting in wind is not always talked about alot. Not many people seem to acknowledge that. We always want to talk about our groups at distance under low wind & ideal conditions. Ive looked down range thru my scope plenty of times and could tell I had wind from multiple and/or opposing directions. It's a must to know what you can & can't hit depending on what the wind is doing. No wind, no problems.
We like to intentionally shoot on windy days and in places with ridges in between us and the target to practice for updrafts along with crossing winds. Things really get odd when you add those factors
 

DJ Fergus

Formerly 'djfergus'
Joined
Dec 25, 2015
Messages
2,118
Yeah, once I've got a rifle & load dialed in real good under fair conditions, I like to do what you guys do. Shoot it while I've got some windy conditions. It's been very enlightening for me. I can guarantee it will make a few folks rethink their cartridge & bullet combo.
 

BlakeGipson

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Apr 17, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Wyoming
Yeah, once I've got a rifle & load dialed in real good under fair conditions, I like to do what you guys do. Shoot it while I've got some windy conditions. It's been very enlightening for me. I can guarantee it will make a few folks rethink their cartridge & bullet combo.
We've continued to go for the heaviest bullets possible to minimize drift. My .270 Sherman pushes a 170 Berger, my 7RM pushes the 180 Berger, and my wife's 6.5-284 is running the 156 Berger. Our other rifles follow a similar trend.
 

bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
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Location
SW Montana
I generally have a set pattern, first discovery mode, I just check the situation if were on a fight or flight or just rolling out like normal, then Kestrel and Leica get pulled a decision is made to shoot or not, don't have any care what the range is or if I can get closer, the only question is if the conditions support the shot, if they do game on, I'm there to kill animals and put them on the table not engage in some supernatural dance!!

Then spotter mode kicks in and picking the best animal and position to take them, still watching and monitoring wind while setting up the gun, checking turrets for zero, leveling the gun getting the bipod and bag set up close and a couple rounds beside the gun, rough dial on the gun.

Kill mode, settled in on the gun, dialed, leveled, round in chamber tracking on gun checked watching the pace of the animal and watching for the shot.

After shot, watch hit and track as it goes down, if it drops rack a second round and watch for so much as an ear twitch and a second one is in the air, I hate animals just dropping I want to know they go down because of low blood pressure cause that's permanent!
Pack it up, strap on the packs and do what it takes to get them out preferably whole but some days the pack gets the work out. We take time with each kill to learn as much about the shot we can, bullet performance all that, it's part of the hunt for us.
 

Guy M

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Jun 4, 2007
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791
Location
Chelan Co, Washington
Determine how far you have to drag that sucker. How many people you have to help drag it. Can you get the quad to it to drag it. With being disabled that is one of my biggest concerns. Other than that your list is good.
Shep
Almost never drag an animal. If I can't get the truck to the animal, and I usually can't. Then it's cut it up, and pack it out. Waaaay easier than dragging if there's much distance or rough terrain involved.

I do like the original question:

"A friend just started LR hunting and was wanting a checklist of what to do after seeing an animal. Got me thinking.
1. find a good spot to shoot from
2. range target
3. find solution
4. set turrets and parallax
What would you add or change?"


Ask myself - can I make a good shot from here? If so, great. If not, can I move, or is the animal moving someplace where I might be able to take a good shot?

Have I got a good shooting position? Meaning: Am I stable and comfortable enough to make a good shot? That's not always a given out in the hills. Am I on my bipod, shooting sticks, pack or some other rest? Do I have to rely on sling-stabilized position shooting? Just because I can see an animal, doesn't mean I'm set for a shot.

Ranging the target is a good idea. Often I'll range other prominent features in the area, so perhaps I don't have to try to range the animal if it shows up. That big rock 2/3 the way up the ridge. The infamous "lone pine" across the canyon. Something. Then if the game animal shows up, I may be able to reference right off those features. Tagged a nice bear doing that one time - I ranged a clearing he was headed for. He was in the brush, and I could follow his progress, but I couldn't get a shot at the bear. I ranged the clearing at 325 yards. As soon as he walked out of the brush, into the clearing, I shot. One shot, one bear with the good ol' 30-06 rifle.

Wind! A couple of guys have mentioned wind. It is so much harder than range...

That question about if I can get to the animal after the shot is a good one. Does no good to drop a big buck or bull across some canyon that can't be crossed. I was ready to do a mile-long packout of a good size mule deer I dropped in 2018, when my buddy managed to get the 4wd truck surprisingly close... Private land, so his off-road driving was fine. Also - how much of a start do you want to give an injured animal? 400 yards? 800 yards? A thousand yards? It's something to think about.

Great question by the OP I thought. A good "What now?" that makes us think a bit.

Thanks for the original question and all the subsequent thoughts. Good stuff guys.

Guy
 

sourdough44

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Mar 2, 2009
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280
Location
Wisconsin
A lot of times I do NOTHING, no movement, anything. I already have a handle on wind direction. Is the animal totally at ease, or driven by some event, other Hunter?
 

FEENIX

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Dec 20, 2008
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Location
Great Falls, MT
A friend just started LR hunting and was wanting a checklist of what to do after seeing an animal. Got me thinking.
1. find a good spot to shoot from
2. range target
3. find solution
4. set turrets and parallax
What would you add or change?
A checklist can be simple or complex a person makes it be. For me, LR shooting and hunting "does not" happen overnight and all of these should be part of the pre-season preparation. Work on LR shooting (targets) first before transitioning to LR hunting (wild game). Take your friend afield and practice with his LR shooting for starters. My hunting buddy has been hunting all his life but took him many years to feel confident to shoot pass 200 yards. Two years ago, he harvested a nice 6x6 bull elk at 450 yards, his longest to date. Practice, practice, practice ...
 

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