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How far is too far to make an ethical kill shot? With advances in technology I see more and more outdoorsmen/women making long range kill shots. I recently watched a youtube video of a kill at 850+ yards. I give the shooter kudos but what if there is

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  • How far is too far to make an ethical kill shot? With advances in technology I see more and more outdoorsmen/women making long range kill shots. I recently watched a youtube video of a kill at 850+ yards. I give the shooter kudos but what if there is

    How far is too far to make an ethical kill shot? With advances in technology I see more and more outdoorsmen/women making long range kill shots. I recently watched a youtube video of a kill at 850+ yards. I give the shooter kudos but what if there is another hunter closer the long range shooter can't see? How much does that shooter actually practice at ranges of 800-1000 yards? A lot plays into this and I'd like to hear some thoughts! I'm neutral in my opinion I just hate to see wounded animals from people having TOO much confidence in their equipment when they haven't practiced at such distances. Here in Colorado I only know of one range that allows shooters out to 600 yards so where are these shooters practicing too?

  • #2
    To me a 600yd shot is shooting, not hunting. Practice on targets at extended range, not animals.

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    • #3
      Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
        Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.
        Do you think there should be laws against certain range shots or should you be allowed to sling lead as far as you possibly want?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
          Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.
          I hate to see any more laws, but there needs to be something done to curtail the trends that we are seeing. As technology goes up, our woodsmanship and appreciation for the intent of hunting seem to be going down. In my opinion, the problem is the fact that people see these shots being made so they think they can as well. I would say there is a very small handful of people who could make those shots consistently enough to attempt them in a hunting situation. Everybody else who would try it would be merely slinging lead as you appropriately put it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
            Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.
            I hate to legislate those kind of things, because where do you draw the line? To some people a 200 yard shot would be unacceptable. Unfortunately, I think you just have to let the idiots do what they want sometimes, as unfortunate as that sounds.

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            • #7
              Boy, you really know how to open a can of worms don't you? Lol That's one of those things that is really hard to put a number on, because what is ethical for one person might not be for another. I'm not afraid to take a 200 yard shot at a deer with a muzzleloader if I have to, but to some that might be pushing it too far. On the other hand, I would not take a 500 yard shot at a deer with a rifle, because I know it's beyond my capabilities, but for an elite shooter, that shot might be easy. See what I mean? It's about impossible to give an easy answer to that question. What I will say is that you should never take a shot at an animal that you haven't practiced on the range - period. And I also don't like it when people push the range limits on game when they could get an easier shot if they wanted. Long-range shots should be a last resort, not a first choice.

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              • #8
                I have held some firm objections to shooting game animals at extreme ranges for some time. I share some of the opinions expressed on this subject but it is rapidly becoming a complex issue which requires further examination. First of all, if we follow the lead of the gun manufacturers we will be enlisting as big game snipers and be recording kills. They are marketing rifles with the idea of selling the long range mania that seems to have captured the attention of hunters, riflemen and of those who neither hunt or own firearms. Lord help us if we allow salesmen to dictate our moral compasses. Odd as it may sound, the public in general is fascinated with the sniper long range shots popularized in movies and TV. Perhaps if their ideas were grounded with the real life experiences of the average big game hunter the entertainment value of shooting people, let alone animals, at long range would lose its appeal. Ethical hunters are compassionate individuals who respect the game animals they hunt. If a hunter feels compassion within those moments of excitement and elations that accompany the successful taking of a game animal then I would say he/she is the ethical hunter that should be the role model for the modern hunter. Interesting that the respect and reverance for the game animal that I speak of is grounded in traditional native people's beliefs. To continue with that line of thinking, I suggest that the individual who shoots a game animal at any range and can approach that animal with a clear conscience is an ethical hunter.

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                • #9
                  I know people who should not shoot more than 25 yards, and I know people who can shoot standing up at 300 yards and hit their target every time. With that said; I enjoy getting close to animals. I think long shots are unethical, but that is just my opinion. If you shoot and kill a deer at 600 yards congrats, but if you shoot and wound a deer at 600 yards than shame on you(that goes for every distance though).

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                  • #10
                    I think this question has to be answered on a personal basis. What distance are you comfortable and proficient enough to take shots from? Is your equipment up to the task and have you practiced enough with it to be confident? Unfortunately, there will always be those that will try any shot presented to them. What I do know is that as the distance to a wounded game animal increases so do the odds of not recovering that animal.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
                      Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.
                      I don't think you can legislate this type of thing, first of all. Then how would you possibly enforce it? I would not be in favor of it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
                        Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.
                        To clarify my thoughts, there in no way should be a law to control long range shooting. There are enough laws in place that can't be enforced as it is. The problem as I see it is the prevalence of youtube videos and television shows that ultimately dictate behavior. These acts are on display so everyone believes they can follow suit, no matter their skill set or the equipment they own.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 4everAutumn View Post
                          Long range hunting seems to be all the rage now. There is equipment available and people who are proficient enough to shoot at those distances. I think those who do that might very well tally a kill, but they miss the spirit and true objective of a hunt.
                          Good feedback everyone! My opinion is that there should be no laws but if you shoot over another hunter or within close proximity I think there needs to be some sort of reprimand of sorts. This happened to me last year, I was only 100 yards from a bull elk with my wife and she had the tag but we were in spot on the back side of a ridge someone couldn't see us. As my wife pulled up to shoot we heard a bang and the bull dropped. I met the fellow hunters at the animals and explained the situation. The gentlemen shooting shot the bull at 580 yards. I complimented his marksmanship but I did let him know we were within 100 yards and to try and be conscious of his surroundings in the most polite manner I could.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with what everyone has posted so far. With my military training I feel confident to make shots up to 600 yards and beyond. I'm a special case though. As far as hunting is concerned, I'd rather make a 15 yard shot with my bow rather than stretch the limits of any one of my rifles regardless of my capabilities or optics. I guess for some, long range shots make it the sport for them, for me it's the closer shots that make it a sport. Unfortunately I feel like more and more people are attempting shots that they shouldn't be, party due to technology/marketing but also due to the TV/youtube videos much like other people have discussed.

                            I do think that hunters need to be held more liable for scenarios where they shoot over another hunter making long range shots. I made a comment on 4everautumns post explaining what happened to my wife and I last year.

                            Personally I think the hunter safety class needs to go into more detail for rifle hunters and a rifle safety class similar to the conceal carry class should be required to rifle hunt. Just my opinion but with larger numbers of hunters on public land these days I'm getting worried for my safety and my families safety!

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                            • #15
                              I don’t believe that there is a hard and fast rule for what is too far. As JM stated, there are some people for whom 25 yards exceeds their limitations. And I have known people who would be comfortable and successful when reaching out and touching their intended target at many times that distance. But, I think there are two things required for any hunter to be able to make the correct decision when it comes to determining how far is too far. First the hunter needs to know his true capabilities when it comes to making long range shots. If his assessment of his abilities is not based in reality, he is not likely to do well and he should not be hunting. Second, he needs to understand the capabilities of the firearm that he is using. If he is the best shot in the world, it will not matter if the bullet has inadequate energy to provide a killing shot at any significant distance. I would never use a round that does not have enough energy to kill the animal I am hunting when it reaches the animal. I love the .270 and I have killed elk with it at close range. I would be completely remiss if I tried to use that rifle to kill an elk at 400 yds. Could I hit it? Probably, I have killed more than one deer at distances more than that, but there would not be enough energy to provide a humane kill at that distance and I would not be ethical to try making that shot, knowing the limitations of that cartridge.

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