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On 3/7/2020 at 2:32 PM, Chukarman said:

Double the range to 800 yards and it is problematic. Residual energy drops off pretty rapidly and recovery of an wounded animal at half a mile is chancy. 

 

Just for arguments sake, when I talk about long range hunting I'm not talking about shooting at animals beyond the limits of what the equipment is capable of.  And with today's equipment, there's equipment capable of killing game about as far away as you are able to see it.   A 50 BMG has three times the energy at 1,000 yards than a .308 does at the muzzle.   Again, the issue with killing things at long range is a question of SKILL.  Just as it takes skill to kill a deer close up, it takes skill to kill it far away.  What's lost in these discussions is that one side doesn't recognize the skill of another because they don't understand it.    I'd guess most people who argue against long range hunting don't even know what MOA stands for or have the slightest clue what wind drift numbers are for their own hunting rifle.  

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I find there is more accomplishment with a 15 yard shot then a 400 yard every day of the year.  At 400 yards, an animal is just a living target.  

To me the "sporting" element of the hunt lies within the range of an animal's senses. There's always an acceptable distance that an aware animal could/should have recognized danger. Shooting within th

Ethics (as opposed to legality) are a personal thing. I find as I get older, that ethics have become more of a factor in the way that I hunt - indeed, in the way I live my life.    I try try

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On 3/5/2020 at 5:38 PM, MAArcher said:

 

Not odd, same experience here.  Many deer (Between one and five deer a year for the last 20 years) all under 100 yards, probably a third to half with the bow under 20 yards, the rest with a 12 gauge or muzzle-loader.  I've never even killed a deer with a rifle.  Most of the deer I shoot are in barely legal zones with houses or paved roads just over 100 yards in every direction.

 

I was playing musical scopes with my guns and was just at the range today sighting in my Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .308 with a Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x40 on it.  I'd love the opportunity to shoot a deer at long range with it, but the only place I can think of where it would be feasible is on power lines in Maine and I just don't have the time to deer hunt up there.  I've only shot at targets over 100 yards a few times, 600 yards being the furthest.  I don't think I'd shoot at a deer over 300 yards.  With the .308, after 300 yards you really have to know what you're doing with wind drift and drop and have a rock solid rest (for me anyway).  People poo-poo long range shooting as if there's no challenge but I'd say its a fact that its much, much harder to kill a deer at 1,000 yards than it is at 10.  I've had deer under 10 a bunch of times.  I've even had a deer step over my legs as I sat against a tree.  I've spit my dip on a deer under my stand (rude, but I just wanted to be able to say I was that close).  But just because it might be easy to get a nice big dear standing calmly over a bait pile 1,000 yards away, I couldn't hold steady enough to make that shot, even if I had a spotter doing all the math for me and I had $4k glass.  Maybe if I was 10 years younger and without a coffee and Red Bull habit, but not these days.  Today I struggled (20+ rounds) to finally make a 1" three shot group at a 100 yards with a gun I know can go 1/2".

 

It takes skill to get close to a deer.  But it also takes skill to kill one from afar, just a different type of skill.

 

So you don’t personally have any experience shooting deer at even modest ranges (200 yards or so)... and are talking about long range shooting in the field? 

 

My personal belief is that MOST of the people on this forum do know what MOA is and that they have a modicum of practical experience. 

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To me the "sporting" element of the hunt lies within the range of an animal's senses. There's always an acceptable distance that an aware animal could/should have recognized danger. Shooting within that range is accepted as having hunted. .Anything beyond the range of an animal's senses has deprived that animal of the opportunity to evade the hunter. Without the opportunity to evade, there's no longer a hunter quarry relationship.  

 

i can understand the argument that not eveyone can hit an animal at extreme range. But that doesn't make the practice sporting. It's just difficult.

 

   

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24 minutes ago, Chukarman said:

 

So you don’t personally have any experience shooting deer at even modest ranges (200 yards or so)... and are talking about long range shooting in the field? 

 

My personal belief is that MOST of the people on this forum do know what MOA is and that they have a modicum of practical experience. 

 

Sounds like it would be a good poll.  I don't think most of the guys on here do the multi-sport thing, but that's just my impression.  If there was a fair way to find out, I'd bet good money that its certainly less than 50% of folks on here who know what MOA is.  

 

I don't think you have to be skilled enough to shoot deer at 1,000 yards to understand it takes skill to do it, so yes, I'm talking about taking long shots.  And 200 yards isn't modest, its a long shot for a large part of the country.   I belong to a large gun club, and grew up the son of a president of a large gun club, and have introduce a number of people to shooting.  My experience is that a lot of people shouldn't even be shooting at a live animal 100 yards away, never mid 200 and beyond.    In my book any shot where you have to account for bullet drop and wind drift is a long shot.  In New England the 30-30's still pretty popular, and at 200 yards drift and drop can take the shot out of the kill zone at 200 if you don't know how account for it.

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45 minutes ago, Randy S said:

To me the "sporting" element of the hunt lies within the range of an animal's senses. There's always an acceptable distance that an aware animal could/should have recognized danger. Shooting within that range is accepted as having hunted. .Anything beyond the range of an animal's senses has deprived that animal of the opportunity to evade the hunter. Without the opportunity to evade, there's no longer a hunter quarry relationship.  

 

i can understand the argument that not eveyone can hit an animal at extreme range. But that doesn't make the practice sporting. It's just difficult.

 

   


This is an excellent post best one in fact I’ve read in a long time.

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2 hours ago, Randy S said:

To me the "sporting" element of the hunt lies within the range of an animal's senses. There's always an acceptable distance that an aware animal could/should have recognized danger. Shooting within that range is accepted as having hunted. .Anything beyond the range of an animal's senses has deprived that animal of the opportunity to evade the hunter. Without the opportunity to evade, there's no longer a hunter quarry relationship.  

 

i can understand the argument that not eveyone can hit an animal at extreme range. But that doesn't make the practice sporting. It's just difficult.   

 

I don't fully buy it.   What's the difference between using tree stands, scent block, calls, blinds, trail cams,d and all the other stuff we use to gain an edge, and using some distance to gain an edge?  It doesn't take any talent to set up a blind or tree stand and shower and wash you cloths before you hunt.  You don't have to practice that.  It doesn't take much practice to make a 20 yard bow shot either.  I'd argue you have to practice more to make a 400 yard rifle shot.  I think its a misnomer to link "sporting" with some sense of where and when an animal should have sensed you.   Does that mean the only really sporting way to kill a deer is with a spear when its five yards down wind, and you're wearing blue (the color deer see the best) and you haven't showered in three days?      

 

This is the rabbit hole questions of "ethical" and "fair chase" takes you down.

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21 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

 

I don't fully buy it.   What's the difference between using tree stands, scent block, calls, blinds, trail cams,d and all the other stuff we use to gain an edge, and using some distance to gain an edge?  It doesn't take any talent to set up a blind or tree stand and shower and wash you cloths before you hunt.  You don't have to practice that.  It doesn't take much practice to make a 20 yard bow shot either.  I'd argue you have to practice more to make a 400 yard rifle shot.  I think its a misnomer to link "sporting" with some sense of where and when an animal should have sensed you.   Does that mean the only really sporting way to kill a deer is with a spear when its five yards down wind, and you're wearing blue (the color deer see the best) and you haven't showered in three days?      

 

This is the rabbit hole questions of "ethical" and "fair chase" takes you down.

 

Ethics (as opposed to legality) are a personal thing. I find as I get older, that ethics have become more of a factor in the way that I hunt - indeed, in the way I live my life. 

 

I try try to hunt with the knowledge and equipment that seems suitable to the situation. I have not found a situation yet that makes me approach hunting in the way that a sniper might prepare for warfare. I consider hunting a serious sport that is only legitimized by employing a strict set of ethics. Thus, we can agree to disagree about methods and approach within the bounds of legality. 

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Tim Frazier
10 hours ago, MAArcher said:

 

I don't fully buy it.   What's the difference between using tree stands, scent block, calls, blinds, trail cams,d and all the other stuff we use to gain an edge, and using some distance to gain an edge?  It doesn't take any talent to set up a blind or tree stand and shower and wash you cloths before you hunt.  You don't have to practice that.  It doesn't take much practice to make a 20 yard bow shot either.  I'd argue you have to practice more to make a 400 yard rifle shot.  I think its a misnomer to link "sporting" with some sense of where and when an animal should have sensed you.   Does that mean the only really sporting way to kill a deer is with a spear when its five yards down wind, and you're wearing blue (the color deer see the best) and you haven't showered in three days?      

 

This is the rabbit hole questions of "ethical" and "fair chase" takes you down.

I do believe that it can be argued that there is nothing more "un-sporting" than a tree stand.  Especially when they are 20-30 feet up.  That said I would guess 1/2 the deer I've shot have been out of 10-12 foot stands so maybe height doesn't mean much.

 

Of course with deer it's all about the wind, so maybe hunting with the wind in your face is unsporting?  Deer don't care what they see and sound just puts their nose into gear.

 

Just thoughts.

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A running Fair Chase Topic is applicable to this Topic. I could cut and paste a couple of my Posts there to here:

 

 

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MPBR  for a 3 inch rise and 3 inch fall for .30-30 Win/150 grain is 225 yards...considering that most if not all Winnie and Marlin levers are not 1 inch MOA rifles anyway...I'd say a 30/30 is realistically a 100 to maybe a 125 yard round.... at least they are in my hands...

 

I get pretty jazzed when hunting and I would not want to compute hold over or windage.

 

FWIW, If I zero at 200 and I'm 2 inches high at 100 with my cartridge of choice and I shoot around an moa or even two then I am good to go and I don't think about it.

 

Most other common deer rounds are all somewhere under 300 yards at MPBR...and at 400 yards a 1 MOA rifle is 4 inches and you would have to calculate drop...That just ain't my game...I'd rather creep and crawl and get closer...

 

BTW I'm not knocking long range shooters, I just don't participate at a range ...but I'm not a sniper and I don't shoot across canyons or from mountaintop to mountaintop... 200 yards is helluva long way for me..

 

"A man has got to know his limitations" says Dirty Harry, I'm content with knowing mine..... 

 

 

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12 hours ago, MAArcher said:

This is the rabbit hole questions of "ethical" and "fair chase" takes you down.

I think the Feds would argue with your logic. Why only three shells for migratory birds and no electronic calls in the fall? Why is baiting waterfowl illegal? Why are all suspended during the spring white goose season?

 

Then by state, why is it illegal to take quail on the ground? or turkey off a roost or with electronics? Why do most states limit baiting deer? I could go on. I supose it's possible that fair chase didn't figure into the formation of these regulations, but I seriously doubt it. 

 

i think a more fair question is how many states would ban extreme range shooting at game animals if they could figure out a way to enforce it. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Randy S said:

I think the Feds would argue with your logic. Why only three shells for migratory birds and no electronic calls in the fall? Why is baiting waterfowl illegal? Why are all suspended during the spring white goose season?

 

Then by state, why is it illegal to take quail on the ground? or turkey off a roost or with electronics? Why do most states limit baiting deer? I could go on. I supose it's possible that fair chase didn't figure into the formation of these regulations, but I seriously doubt it. 

 

i think a more fair question is how many states would ban extreme range shooting at game animals if they could figure out a way to enforce it. 

 

Ha, ha, ha, you referred to Feds and logic in the same sentence like there's any connection between the two.  That's a good one, I needed a laugh.  And legislatures not instituting laws just because they can't enforce it?   Holey crap you're killing me.  

 

And seriously, are you trying to say that there's any connection between fair chase/ethics and logic?  There isn't any.   Fair chase is just an imaginary made up doctrine with no ties to reality.  Rather; it was born from emotional confusion that resulted from man no longer having to hunt for himself to stay alive but still wanting to hunt.  Fair chase is less than 150 years old.  Man has been hunting for millions of years and doing all in our power to gain advantage over our quarry.  

 

Older fish and game laws that are on the books to make hunting more difficult are more about conserving a resource while at the same time allowing high levels of hunter participation; not any ethical considerations born from some imaginary debt to the quarry or desire to legally mandate "fair chase".   Newer laws, like no trapping, are due to fanaticism and have nothing to do with conservation or reality.   Over a relatively short period of time (less than two hundred years), people have now confused conservation, tradition, the law and ethics when they are four different things.     

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3 hours ago, Tim Frazier said:

I do believe that it can be argued that there is nothing more "un-sporting" than a tree stand.  Especially when they are 20-30 feet up.  That said I would guess 1/2 the deer I've shot have been out of 10-12 foot stands so maybe height doesn't mean much.

 

Of course with deer it's all about the wind, so maybe hunting with the wind in your face is unsporting?  Deer don't care what they see and sound just puts their nose into gear.

 

Just thoughts.

 

Archers were the only ones in tree stands when I started out, rifle hunters sat around trees or rock formations.  The first two deer I shot were running, very lucky shots on my part and I haven't done/won't do that again.  I guess those were my sporting days, a stand whether in a tree or not is my preference and I like for the deer to be unaware.  My tree stands have been of the 10-12 foot variety and I rarely look downwind, figuring no matter how clean I was to start off the hike they certainly smell me by daylight.  One very pretty morning a downwind deer stuck its head out of some brush, seem to catch something it didn't like and withdraw the way it'd come.  Good for that one!  

 

In Germany I took a pig and a roe deer from stands--the forester on the latter hunt told me we wouldn't hunt if there was an east wind as all the blinds were set up wrong for it.  The chamois was a spot-and-stalk and that one knew we were around by the time to shoot.  Their view of game as a resource and responsibility had great appeal, flavoring my views on big game ever since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These Topics always make it crystal clear to me that different states have vastly different deer populations, traditions, shot distances, habitat etc., and the way to hunt in one state isn’t the way to hunt in another. Good luck finding a 300-400 or longer shot on anything in Maine.

 

I don’t know any people who sit in tree stands 20-30 feet up. That goes for climbers, hang-ons or ladder. 12-16 feet is typical, but I don’t think 12 feet or 25 really makes much if any difference. My archery deer have been taken from a tree stand, either a hang or or ladder stand, except my first that was taken from a stool on the ground watching a field. The vast majority of my rifle and one ML deer (And all the really big bucks) were taken from the ground; sitting on ridges, sitting on and under ledges, sitting on 5 gallon buckets at crossings, Powerlines etc. A small percentage were taken from a tree stand and an even smaller amount while still hunting or snow tracking.

 

I often hear how wrong it is to shoot at a moving or running deer, or when you don’t have the perfect shot. It’s boreal forest up here and you usually only see a piece of a deer. If you insist on seeing a whole deer broadside and standing, dont bother to still hunt or especially track in the snow. Putting holes in the buck is the goal, the more the better. There is a reason successful trackers can really work a pump rifle and eyes permitting, use open sights. 

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Samuel Hoggson
2 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

These Topics always make it crystal clear to me that different states have vastly different deer populations, traditions, shot distances, habitat etc., and the way to hunt in one state isn’t the way to hunt in another......I often hear how bad bad bad it is to shoot at a moving or running deer or when you don’t have the perfect shot. In the northeast if you insist on seeing a whole deer broadside and standing, dont bother to still hunt or especially track in the snow. Putting holes in the buck is the goal, the more the better. There is a reason successful trackers can really work a pump rifle and eyes permitting, use open sights. 

 

Three of my last four were in motion at the shot.  Worse, motion was irregular.  Like shooting clays in gusting gale-force wind.  At 20 yds the resulting error is trivial.  The 150 yd shot resulted in liver placement.  From 800 yds, I would not have fired at three of those four, no matter how good my equipment and skill.  

 

You've spelled out "Maine deer season uniqueness" well in other threads:  To reiterate:  a) small deer pop/sq mile = rare opportunities, maybe one/season, maybe not even that, b) narrow time windows in thick cover, on very active animals in full rut and, c) that nasty surrounding cover also complicates retrieval.       

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