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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am new to hunting, and by new I mean I have never been on a hunt and I do not know any hunters, I have just started watching hunting shows and videos online. I was a sniper in the Army, and the Army was the first time I had ever handled any type of wepon, so it is all I know when it comes to shooting. That said on most of the shows I have seen about hunting the guys say stuff like " I would like to get closer than this" or " this is going to be hard at 300 yards". Now as a marksman in the Army those were super easy shots for us< is there someting I am missing here? Is it just the caliber of ammo being used? I used what amounts to the .223 and the 308 most of the time. Any info would be appreciated?
 

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My thoughts on a 300 yard shot on Deer/Elk

Thank you for your service to the Country. Shooting a game animal is in my opinion a different world then hitting a siloette on the range. Combat is another story, and I am not qualified to compare hunting to Combat. I do know that as Rifleman/Hunters we owe it to the animals we are hunting to not wound them. We should only take a shot that we feel confident is a killing shot so the animal does not suffer. We are always taught to think of the kill zone on a Deer to be a pie plate. If you aren't able to hit a pie plate everytime at the range standing from 200 yards away, don't shoot at Deer 200 yards away standing. You find a rest or just get closer to the animal. Obviously it is harder to hit what you are shooting at if the range is 300 yards rather than 200 yards. That is why most Rifleman/Hunters really shouldn't be shooting at animals 300 yards away. Thank you again for your service to the Country.

Karl
 

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Karl says it all. Most hunters do not practice as rigorously and repeatedly as Army snipers or any other professional. We try to go to the range often, and mostly we shoot from bags on solid tabletop rests. Field conditions are a whole different matter. And for the average hunter, 300 yards is a long way away.
 

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I too wish to thank you for your service for all of us! For hunting, we like to think of groups, 1"@ 100 yds, 2"@200 yds. 300 yds should be fairly within most hunters ability to effectively kill a game animal using quality glass and sufficient caliber. 270, 30-06, 308, 280 and above will work and beyond with reasonable practice. You're use to 308 nso I'd start there.
 

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A note about Public Rifle ranges should be made..

I would bet that most of us don't have access to a Rifle range that provides us with over 200 yard shooting. The Military ranges are fantastic and I love shooting at them but they are not available to everyone. I have access to a great gunclub here in MN, we are fortunate to have a very nice separate 200 yard range. I think we are the only one around for probibly an hour drive that the public has access to. I would hope that hunters don't make a habbit of shooting at a distance that they haven't actually practiced at. I have hunted out west and it is very easy to be offered a long shot. The problem is that it better not be the first time a shooter is firing at that distance. The animal deserves better....

Karl
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replys and what you guys have said makes a lot of sense. I guess shooting thousands of rounds per month is hard for the average Joe. I hope to go hunting some day and I just want to make sure I know what I am doing. Again thaks.
 

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to shoot the number of rounds that you do would put us in the poor house"$43/box",and being already there enough said there. anyway after my rifle is sighted in a box of ammo "20rds" will last me 2-3 seasond depending on success. IMO most of us dont have access to the quality of scopes a military sniper would have. IMO a 3x9x40 after 200yds is not enough. I wish I had the optics yall get to use. also Thanks for your service to our great nation.
 

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IMO most of us dont have access to the quality of scopes a military sniper would have. IMO a 3x9x40 after 200yds is not enough.
I was consistently hitting crows the other day with my Leupold VX-II set at 9 power at 200+ yards on a 223. I'd want a bigger scope if I was going to shoot at 350+ yards.
 

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Thank You for your service also.I think your grouping your skills with a sportmans and there worlds apart.The average hunter sometimes takes his rifle out 2 wks before the season and checks to see if his gun is on.You are highly trained in how to execute the shot.They have no idea how you focus,breathe,hold,& set off the trigger.IMHO the average hunter has no business taking a 300 yard shot unless he has put in his range time.Once again your skills are like a PGA pro to a weekend golfer(big difference).Thanks again for your service.
 

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Shooting at Deer

I have hunted deer for 45 years.I have taken more than 60.I hunt woods and fields.Most of the deer were shot in the woods at less than 100 yards.My longest attempt and kill shot was 270 yards uphill in a meadow.My second longest kill shot was 180 yards downhill in the same meadow.They were both adult deer about 150 lbs taken with a .243.In my early years I took 16 with a 30-30 at ranges up to 150 yards.You should have no problem.
 

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With todays optics and rifles a 300 yd shot should be no problem. A 3x9x40 scope is more than enough glass even for us oldies.
 

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I too was in the Army (Missouri National Guard) and 300 yds was no easy task! Especially with an M-16 with open sights! Now, if I had a scope and I was comfortable with my rifle up to that yardage, I'd have no problem taking that shot. I can't say that I typically take that shot year in and year out,,, but I have before. I can also say I have missed from that distance as well.
I think it all comes down to what one person is comfortable with and to make sure that you are not just shooting to be shooting and hoping to kill the deer. KNOW you are going to make the shot before you shoot- then if you DO miss, then you know it was your breathing or flinching or something else....
 

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The Once a year Shooters/Hunters

I see every year at hunter sight in days, the once a year shooters. In some cases these shooters never learned how to shoot. Either they weren't in the Military, or never took the time to master the art of shooting. The majority of them are safe and polite. They just can't shoot worth a xxxx.
As safety Range Officers we are not there to be shooting coaches but we often find ourselvers compelled to offer some suggestions. We also often get to help with zeroing their rifle scopes.
On Friday the day before the Deer opener we get shooters walking up with brand new rifles. The store just mounted their rifle scopes and optically zeroed them. The shooter has 2 or 3 boxes of whatever ammo the clerk talked them into.
Variables
1. Untried rifle, it's new?
2. Untried scope, it's new?
3. Was it mounted correctly?
4. Store optically zeroed the scope, what a joke?
5. Shooter's ability, total unknown?
The crazy part is usally we manage to get this person dialed in where they are hitting around the center of the bull before they run out of ammo. But this is the person that really should not be shooting at over 100 yards at an animal.

Karl
 

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Karl you're right on that account. I was thinking for seasoned hunters with hunting rigs they know 300yds is not unethical. Having the right shot at any range is the most important part of shooting. When I was hunting Colorado my 270 WM was sighted in at 200 yds and getting 2" groups. 300 yds would have been well with-in my ethical range. I agree 100% that many hunters with little range time and rifles that were never intended to be long range shooters should limit their shots to a safe yardage with-in their capabilities. Heck with my eyes today I've had to limit all open sight shooting at deer to 50-75 yds. So the answer to the question... know your safe shooting yardage through proper range time, know your rifle's ethical kill range and ballistics and finally apply the above and you won't be chasing wounded game all over the countryside.
 

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And another thing I just thought of is for me it seems like no big deal to shoot long distance, but i am having trouble wrapping my head around getting 100 yards close to a deer. I always thought deer had hyper sensitive ears and nose.
 

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Most of my shots are under 25 yards with my muzzleloaders and not much farther with a cartridge rifle. Movement and wind are not your friend...something you should know about.
 

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In the Pennsylvania woods,the average deer kill with a rifle is about 60 yards.You must watch the wind and hunt into it to keep your scent away from the deer.On opening day of our rifle season with hunters disturbing the deer,they may suddenly appear anywhere.
 
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