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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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  • #16
    If you get a chance google up, Boone & Crokett Club Position Statement Long Range Shooting. A major issue today is intent. Is the shooter trying to get a closer shot by stalk or outwitting his quarry or just bragging rights on the longest shot possible? This year I ran into two, unrelated examples where the shooters only had interest in long range, indeed shots over 600 yards, no interest in hunting what so ever. This is not hunting and is unsporting. Just target practice at live targets.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
      If you get a chance google up, Boone & Crokett Club Position Statement Long Range Shooting. A major issue today is intent. Is the shooter trying to get a closer shot by stalk or outwitting his quarry or just bragging rights on the longest shot possible? This year I ran into two, unrelated examples where the shooters only had interest in long range, indeed shots over 600 yards, no interest in hunting what so ever. This is not hunting and is unsporting. Just target practice at live targets.
      I agree with their position. If the animal has no chance of threat detection, it's not fair chase and thereby not hunting, just shooting. B&C should go a step further and not allow these animals into the book.

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      • #18
        Something has disturbed me for a long time are the number of hunters who believe if it's legal it's fair. The concept of fair chase has been disappearing for a long time now. When is the last time you've heard it talked about in a group of hunters?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
          Something has disturbed me for a long time are the number of hunters who believe if it's legal it's fair. The concept of fair chase has been disappearing for a long time now. When is the last time you've heard it talked about in a group of hunters?
          I think that's because just about everyone has a different idea of what constitutes fair chase. Legality is easy to define, what is "fair"...not so much. I agree that more debate would be a good thing though.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
            If you get a chance google up, Boone & Crokett Club Position Statement Long Range Shooting. A major issue today is intent. Is the shooter trying to get a closer shot by stalk or outwitting his quarry or just bragging rights on the longest shot possible? This year I ran into two, unrelated examples where the shooters only had interest in long range, indeed shots over 600 yards, no interest in hunting what so ever. This is not hunting and is unsporting. Just target practice at live targets.
            I'm not, and never have been, a big fan of the Clubs (B&C, P&Y, etc), but I totally agree with B&C's stance on this issue. I couldn't have put it better myself.

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            • #21
              Europeans are more honest when it comes to issues like this. They refer to those who receive a drive as shooters not hunters. When using drives whether for game birds or fur animals they refer to it as a shoot not a hunt. To them a hunt is when a hunter and possibly a guide are on foot seeking prey by stalking into close range. Perhaps we should start referring to these nearly half a mile marksmen as shooters and not hunters?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
                Europeans are more honest when it comes to issues like this. They refer to those who receive a drive as shooters not hunters. When using drives whether for game birds or fur animals they refer to it as a shoot not a hunt. To them a hunt is when a hunter and possibly a guide are on foot seeking prey by stalking into close range. Perhaps we should start referring to these nearly half a mile marksmen as shooters and not hunters?
                Although I hate to give the Europeans any credit, I can't disagree with that.

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                • #23
                  I have heard from many hunters who tell me how far away they shot their animal. I always ask them how much they gave it for wind. If they look at me like I'm crazy, I know their shot was nothing but luck.
                  I was shooting from the 1000 yd line at Camp Perry Ohio. I had 7 minutes right on my gun. The wind changed. I had to put 7 minutes left to correct. That is a difference in my point of aim by 14 meters.
                  No shots should be taken at game at those distances.

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                  • #24
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                    • #25
                      I’m comfortable to 400 on a deer sized target, on human silhouette targets I’m fine at 500. But for hunting purposes I won’t go past 300 unless I’ve already wounded the animal. I rarely get the chance to shoot that far under hunting conditions anyways and it’s been several years since I’ve even had to go past 150. To me, 300 is far enough to offer myself good chances at success, while still being close enough to ensure good shots and that I’m not out there “sniping”. If I were a better shot, I think it would be reasonable to call longer shots ethical, but there is still a range out there somewhere at which point it’s hard to argue that you’re being ethical giving the game a fair chance.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Bo View Post
                        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.
                        The Winchester .270 at 400 yards only has a drop of 12 inches and has over 1,680 foot pounds of kinetic energy, while still traveling at over 2,200 fps... They make 3 other .270 rounds that are even faster and more powerful than that. That's WAY more than enough energy to kill any animal at any size! The ballistic cavity that bullet would create at 400 yards would be absolutely massive. You'd have to be daft to think that couldn't kill an elk at 400 yards!

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