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Sniper Deer Hunt


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I hate it when guys take shots that close. Seems to take all of the skill right out of it.
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Seems this long range shooting is all the rage now. The show " Best of the West promotes it with Huskemaw scopes and Gunwerks rifles. Doesn't sit right with me shooting over 200 yards let alone out to 1000. But then again I hunt in Maine woods so most shots are within 100 even on Powerlines etc. Truly a head scratcher subject for me right now.
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Long shots are not common in WV either but some times hill top to hill top or power line shots are taken.

My cousin asassinated a nice 8 point at 340 yards this year.  He was using a new gun, a Thompson Center, single shot, break open gun with a laminated thumbhole stock and a SS fluted 300 Win mag barrel.  Don't know about the scope.

The shot was taken in a long bottom the owner slaves on year around to keep free of brush.  My cousin was on his way home and stopped along the road to glass the bottom and spotted the buck with some does 570 yards away.  He snuck down to an abandon house where he set up.  All of the distances were determined the next day when he returned with a range finder.  It will make a nice trophy for his wall.

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"Long range shooting" seems to get alot of bad press for some reason.

But it is an acquired deep skill, for those that study and practice it. And make no mistake about it, skillfull Long range shooting is an art no different than wingshooting.

I am a firm believer in approaching big game as close as possible before shooting. But the fact remains that in some types of hunting, especially out west, long shots are, sometimes the only shots you may get.

I suspect some will flame me for this but I think some seasoned western hunters have seen this too.

Sometimes, especially in open country, especially canyon country, the ONLY shot you will get is a long one with NO chance for a closer stalk or any chance at even seeing that animal again.

By long, I mean over 300 yards. And very often the best examples of the species is also the most difficult to kill.

As an example:

We tried for a week to get within 500 yards of this B&C goat.

It never happened. I finally dropped the hammer on him at 410yards.

270 Wtby  Pre' 64 Hill Country Rifle



This goat missed the "book" by 1" but it took a 450+ shot to put him on the ground.

257 Wthby Jarrett.


This Prairie Buck in Alberta was simply the king of his environs and not approachable within a quater of a mile.

Lead poisoning at 380 yards changed that.

7MM Rem McMillan


Even this Bull, clearly the herd bull in a harem of 30 cows was a long shot even though I could have taken a 200 yard shot at much smaller bulls.

340 Pre '64 Hill Country



Don't get me wrong, I love to be close and hear the THUD of a good shot. And I believe in alot of situations we can get closer to our intended target.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that long range shooting is a practiced art and not to be approached by just anyone. It requires a good MOA rifle and the requisite skills to use it. And it requires alot of practice. And I regularly practice at these distances.

But it is a useful tool in some cases if you are skilled in the art. It is not as simple as putting the crosshairs on the fur and hoping for the best.

It can and does work in some situations.

If you put your time in at the range and keep your cool in the field.


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Michael Stenstrom
I have seen the show Brad talks about and concur with PC.  I have not hunted the west but have traveled there and understand the challenges.  I have not had the opportunity to practice over 300, so would not risk further.  but I can appreciate the ability of those who can.
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But isn't the killing of an animal at 600-800-1000+ yards target practice not hunting?

I can understand an antelope taken at LONG range–maybe due to open conditions and an inability to get closer, but scoping an elk two ridges over in the timber and dropping it at 1000 yards--when with some planning and stalking you could get much closer? suspect.gif

Just sayin--I dont get it so much.

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But isn't the killing of an animal at 600-800-1000+ yards target practice not hunting?

I can understand an antelope taken at LONG range–maybe due to open conditions and an inability to get closer, but scoping an elk two ridges over in the timber and dropping it at 1000 yards--when with some planning and stalking you could get much closer? suspect.gif

Just sayin--I dont get it so much.

I also think its target practice and at those ranges a unanticipated step by the animal and you have a gut shot

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I admit I am provoking discussion here-because its an interesting subject since this long range shooting is getting more popular. But, one thing I have learned from this board is that many attitudes and situations are regional. I have never hunted out west-only in the northeast so have no direct experience with this other than sitting on my ass watching hunting TV shows. From what I am seeing on TV with hunters taking shots over 750 yards is a separation between the animal, the hunt and the shooter. That separation isnt just measured in yards but in the hunter prey dynamic itself. These shooters are jumping up and down and high-fiving not over the animal they shot but the long range shot itself. Target practice.


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I don't think anything under 400 yards is long range shooting, if practiced.  My rifle is sighted to be 3 inches high at 100 yards and 8 inches low at 400 yards.  At that range, I don't have to take the crosshairs off of hair.

I know one fellow who practices long range shooting and went as far as to design a rifle for 1 mile shots.  He tells me he can shoot pie plate groups at a mile on good days.  He shoots coyotes out beyond 750 yards and has killed several elk at that range.  He says elk at that range are stupidly easy after shooting smaller coyotes. I have no problem with his long range shooting.

I have other friends who are of the spray and pray crowd who think they can shoot 750 yards because some dude on BOTW did it.  They're idiots and I tell them so.

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A shot at 40 yards where a 4x scope is filled top to bottom and left to right with hair is not target practice?  I do not understand this target practice objection.  When we shoot at deer, elk, etc they are a target we are shooting at.  When we see a target and decide to try to kill it, we all do that, we are practicing our skill.  It does not matter the range?

I see the intrique and appeal of the super long distance shooting but do not have the interest to aquire the equipment and gain the experience.

We stalk game to get within range of our equipment and skill, not to get within X yards.

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I do agree that in most cases it is prudent to get as close as possible to take the shot. But I also view rifles in a very similar way to shotguns. They are simply tools.

I also believe most people should not shoot long range if they have no training or skills in this area. And then there are the spray and pray types...

Here is an example of situational:

You are glassing a canyon and see a shooter bull on the opposite rim at 475 yards. The terrain shoulders up the canyon walls in such a way that if you were to get within 200 yards you would not be able to see the herd. This is a very common scenario.

The sun is setting, you are on the last day of an expensive packstring hunt in remote country and this is the first shooter, not a raghorn or spindly 5X5, that you have seen in ten days of hard hunting.

Wouldn’t you want to be able to have the option to cleanly kill this animal, provided you have the proper training?

Here is another example:

See the tracks in the lower left corner? Notice a total lack of cover? Spot and stalk in this western scenario is gonna be a long range opportunity or none at all.



Is it really any different than being able to consistently pass shoot 50 yard crossers. Both endeavors represent utilizing a tool at its design limits

I have never shot a bigame animal past 500 yards. I have killed hundreds of woodchucks/PD’s etc at extreme distances, sometimes almost double that. Ironically in prairie dogs/ground squirrels/woodchucks, half the fun is shooting them as far as possible.

My personal limitations are set by my training and countless practice rounds at extreme distance. My limit is somewhere a little north of 500 yards. Modern centerfire rifles, properly built are extremely effective, consistent tools at ranges that make some uncomfortable.

FWIW, making consistent long range shots requires a significant amount of training, practice and an advanced understanding of internal/external ballistics, ranging, condition doping, trigger/breathing control and more practice. Not an easy task when you are at 9000ft, see a animal of your dreams or record quality, adrenalin, cranky toothless guide growling at you to shoot ,saddlsore, winded, ten days of beans, bacon and tortillas percolatin’ in your shorts, in driving snowstorm while you accidentally lay belly down on a cactus .

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I'm talking about extreme long rang shooting that has a following. I guess that would be out past 750 yards. I can understand shots up to 4 or 500 yards with the right equipment and experience. There is an organized effort and new sport including specially designed scopes and rifles for extreme ranges. The goal is to shoot at extreme ranges by design not by need. Still scratching my head.
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With the proper equipment and practice those super long over 600 yard shots can be made, the problem I have with it is the variable of the animal moving during the shot and a wounded animal resulting, no different than a 60 yard shot with a bow not that hard to do on a target but the time in flight makes it a bad idea.

Its just how I feel about it, I love long range shooting at non living targets and used to do a lot of it and was really good at it.

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