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Ranges and yardage

Old 12-06-2004, 11:37 AM
  #1  
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Default Ranges and yardage

Okay, it must just be me and my fear of wounding a deer, but I have seen SOOOO many posts on here of people taking shots from 200 yards, 280 yards and even 300 yards!! Now, I KNOW my gun is capable of that, but *I* am not! I was reading about the young lady who took her first buck at 281 yards and I nearly dropped my drink! I guess this is normal for most hunters... as I hear people talking about it all of the time.

I have never attempted a shot at anything (even at the range) more than 100 yards, and unless I had a VERY clear shot at something I probably wouldn't shoot any further than 120 or so. I shot my deer this year at 40 yards with my muzzleloader, that was a chipshot, but I had a doe come in to about 80-100 yards and since I don't have a rangefinder, I didn't take the shot because I wasn't sure of how far it was! (she didn't present the shot for too long anyway...) I am an excellent shot at 50-80 yards or so, but when it gets to 100, I lose accuracy and I think it is due to my horrible vision! I can hardly see the target at 100 yards, even with contacts in I struggle with it, so I just don't feel comfortable with that shot.

Is there ANYONE else here that doesn't take 250 yd shots? Or am I the only one? I'm starting to feel rather pathetic!
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:56 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

It sounds like you hunt with open-sights muzzleloaders... in which case, of course you don't take shots at more than 100 yards. Guys on here are hunting with 10x scopes on top of .30-06's, which are capable of accuracy out to 500 yards. On top of that, they spend lots of time at the range at 200 yards and beyond. Just the difference in equipment is enough to explain that away. All that being said, I've never had the opportunity to shoot my .243, .270, or .300 past about 125-150 yards - that's not something to be ashamed of, that's just the type of hunting I do. If you ever go out west to hunt, though, you'd better spend some quality time at the range!

ETA: With open sights, even with my contacts in, I don't feel comfortable shooting open sights past about 75-80 yards - and it'll only get worse as we get older!
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:12 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

Nah, I have a scope on... I'm shooting with a CVA Hunterbolt w/Cabela's Pine Ridge 2-1/2 - 7 x 32 scope.

It's not the best scope, but I know it's capable of much longer shots than I take with it. Where I hunt doesn't allow shots much further than 150 yards anyway because it is a set aside field with tall grass and unless the deer are fairly close, it's hard to even SEE their shoulder, let alone get the crosshairs on it!

I plan on spending some time at the range this summer to improve accuracy and distance, it's just a matter of finding the time and energy to do it. Like I said, I know my accuracy under 100, and I have no qualms about that, I just am in awe at the folks takin' these long range shots. My boyfriend was telling me that when his cousin went to Africa, he shot at 400 yards and dropped it in it's tracks! We don't have the funds right now to pay for the high tech, highest caliber equipment, so we make due with what we have. My boyfriend is comfortable taking 200 yard shots with it... but he's been hunting since he was 12... this is only my 2nd year, and I have harvested two nice bucks, so I guess I shouldn't complain so much... I'm just in awe! lol
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

I am the dad to the girl who took her first deer at 281 yards. First if you look at the country we hunt it is wide open and shots out to 350 yards are not uncommon.

In my daughters case she was shooting a .243 with 100 grain bullets and we had spent many, many hours at the range shooting targets out to 300 yds. I put a 6x burris scope on her rifle so there was no guess work in dialing the scope up or down to a certain power. In addition her rifle is outfitted with a bipod so she can always have a solid rest

The shot was taken while the wind was calm, the light conditions were perfect, she had a solid rest, knew the range, was confident in her ability and she took her time. She passed on other shots during the season because she wasn't comfortable.

If she had been shooting a muzzle loader with open iron sights then it would have been a totally different story. Take the shots you are comfortable with and don't worry too much about what others are talking about because it may depend upon what part of the country you are hunting in.

Nemont
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:19 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

In the wide open as defined by Dad, sounds very doable and a safe shot to take. In hill country the longest shot I have had to take in the past few years was just over 200 yards, that was with a .270 130gr. and a 6x40 scope, dropped like a rock. I proactice at the range I hunt at. Know YOUR own limits.
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Old 12-06-2004, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

ORIGINAL: Buck Huntin Girl

Nah, I have a scope on... I'm shooting with a CVA Hunterbolt w/Cabela's Pine Ridge 2-1/2 - 7 x 32 scope.

Well, there ya go... even with the scope on, it's still just a muzzleloader, and that's a lot different weapon than a centerfire rifle. 200 yards is really pushing a muzzleloader, even with the best scope, so kudos to your boyfriend if he can do that. Muzzleloaders are inherently less accurate than a standard rifle, so when you move up to one of them, you'll see your accuracy improve, probably. Again, like you said yourself - you can't even see more than about 100 yards in the woods! There's nothing to be embarassed about there - if we lived in Wyoming and hunted the rolling hills, things would be different, but in the thick woods, you can only shoot as far as you can see! Sounds like you're doing great as a relative beginner, and when you move up to a flat-shooting rifle, spend plenty of time on the range with it.
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Old 12-06-2004, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

Girl, your well on your way to in terms of being a great hunter. To me a big key is knowing your limits (based on ability) and sticking to those limits when it comes to being in the field. Once you have assessed this area you then choose spots that will put you in the position to have opportunities to fill your tags. With time your ability may grow through practice, etc then you can change your set ups.

BTW not everybody can pull off 200 plus yard shots on a regular basis. When you stretch it out their is more than seeing the target that must be assessed and while some might consider it just shooting, it is a very definate skill that is not accomplished easily without considerable effort on a regular basis. Nemot, explained that many factors were considered before his daughter took the shot and they spent considerable time on the range to know her abilities or limits. He obviously knew that a long shot maybe required for the area they hunt and therefore put the effort in long before the hunt ever happened! These skill sets are often in stilled based on the area and game we each may hunt...it is not that your inadequate in any way, in fact your more than likely in the norm just not everyone freely admits it!

Keep up the good work and don't ever worry about what X,Y or Z is saying...just take care of "I" or in this case "U".
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:43 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

Under good conditions, I feel comfortable taking 200 yard shots and nervous taking 300 yard shots with scoped rifles well capable of greater ranges. I have taken a deer at 150 yards and a pronghorn at 240yards. I have also taken a deer at 30 yards and another deer at 50 yards. I preferred taking the deer at 30 and 50 yards. Where I hunt deer I seem to get two or three shooting opportunities during a 9 day hunting season, thus I can't turn down too many shots. I don't take a shot I don't think I can make, but as I say I'm happier with 50 yard shots than 200 yard shots. I do practice at the rifle range and trust my rifles, but shooting in the field on live game is different.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:07 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

To tell you the truth(IMO) a good amount of hunters can't estimate can't accurate judge the range of a target. Many will say 300 when it was really 175 maybe 200. Not knocking anybody here, but once you get a rangefinder, you'll start to find out that distances aren't what you thought they are.

I have a target rifle sighted in at a ranged 500 yards. For people to use a normal rifle at those ranges would be stupid, unless you have the right equipment. Even at a deer with the right equipment would be stupid. It scares me too when I hear that many people shoot out in the 400 yard range after deer, but then again, take the guessing into consideration and you'll probably get something else. But that's just a part of hunting.
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: Ranges and yardage

ORIGINAL: Buck Huntin Girl

Okay, it must just be me and my fear of wounding a deer, but I have seen SOOOO many posts on here of people taking shots from 200 yards, 280 yards and even 300 yards!! Now, I KNOW my gun is capable of that, but *I* am not! I was reading about the young lady who took her first buck at 281 yards and I nearly dropped my drink! I guess this is normal for most hunters... as I hear people talking about it all of the time.
You hear and read on a lot of these boards about a whole lot of wounded deer and lengthy blood trailing too.

Just a few minutes ago I finished reading a thread about a guy who thinks it's just fine to shoot across or in to anybody's ground he feels like so long as he has permission on enough ground to park his butt.
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