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What range do you stay in?

6697 Views 29 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Id0ntlikeyou
How far away are your deer when you kill them typically? This is my first year hunting and I just measured off my longest distance kill at around 135 yds. I thought it was a fairly good distance away but I've heard of hunters killing deer at 400 yds. That seems impossible but maybe with a really nice scope...or maybe I heard wrong or my memory is failing me. Is that possible?

On a related note I've got a Bushnell 3x-9x scope. Don't know the exact model # but it was around $70. What's the difference between mine and other scopes that cost several hundred dollars? And how high does the magnification go?
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It will heavily depend upon the terrain/location and rifle/bullet load/scope. Plus, people will usually overestimate.

In the southwest, they sometimes will take a shot at 400 or more yards (my hunting partner originally set up her rifle for being able to take a 1,000 yard shot for that area), because they have to. On the east coast, they're usually shooting well under 100 yards, so deer slugs are both the norm and the only legal round. Most standard sightings have a rifle at zero at 250 or 300 yards, and rapidly dropping off after.

A 400 yard shot, with a rest/prone and lots of practice is very possible on a still target with the right round. It's certainly a better shot than shooting at a deer running at full speed at most distances.

Edit: Oh, and my first year hunting too, since I was young. I went for a neck shot on a still target at 150 yards or so and got it. Much more and I would have certainly gone breadbasket. I don't think I would have been comfortable taking a shot at 400.
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Just curious Gromky, what's the scope on that 1000 yd rifle she's using? To answer the other question about difference in quality of scopes, maybe something like comparing a Kia vs a BMW in cars. Mostly relates to glass quality polishing/grinding. I do not own a $1300.00 scope but having looked through them several times outdoors they are amaizing. When you can see the veins of a leaf at 100 yds thats pretty cool. Most of my scopes are in the 250 to 400 range and suit me ok. My in-line muzzleloader has a Tasco 70.00 scope on it and works for that gun. As far as the magnifacation range others here may know that, I'm sure they go pretty high for long range shooting. Some here disagree with me but to build a new rifle I would put more money to the scope than the rifle.
Your post has lots of questions, so with almost 50 years of hunting behind me here's my best attempt to answer: The most important factor in determining how far out to shoot at game is YOUR own PROVEN ability. By that I mean how far out you have practiced before hunting season even begins. Regardless of what rifle (or bow) you shoot, it's the HUNTER"S potential that really matters. If you have a gun/scope combo that is capable of shooting accurately to 500 yards, but you've never shot it consitently accurately beyond 150 yards, then that (150 yds.) is your limit with that rifle.
You can never be too prepared when it comes to shooting practice. My typical shot for elk, deer and antelope probably averages between 150 and 200 yards, but I practice out to 430 yards. (That's as far as our club's target range goes.) Even so, I would only take a shot at that distance if everything is just right: good rest, little or no wind, broadside shot, animal not moving AND the confidence to know I can ethically take this shot.
So, how far away was the ten point whitetail that I shot this year - just about 50 yards and still coming toward me when I pulled the trigger.
One other thing that hunters overlook in long range shooting is range estimation. By that I mean even if you have practoced at, and can reasonably take a 200, 300 or 400 yard shot, but you have no idea of how far away your animal is, how in the heck would you know where to aim?
I have an article called "Long Range Shooting" that you might want to read which covers this subject in great detail on the home page of this web site under "Recently Added Tips".
Gromky, not to be critical, but I'd advise against those neck shots. I know just saying this can start a lot of debate because a well-placed neck shot will drop a deer like a sledgehammer. But at any extended range, it's really tricky. Unlike other aiming points, there is no margin for error with a neck shot which makes it a lot easier to wound an animal. I have the best luck with the high lung shot. If a little low, you can will hit the heart; a little high, you brake the back; a little forward, you brake a shoulder; a little back and your bullet hits the liver - ALL still very lethal hits. Good hunting.
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400 yds isn't impossible you just gotta know your gun and where it drops at that range. So sight it in properly. Longest shot I've made was 526 yds with my 300 wsm. I got a scope thats 6.5-24x50 works great :D
I forgot about your question on scopes. Here's my thinking on that: There was a time when inexpensive scopes just didn't do the job. That's not the case these days. Most are nitrogen-fille, so they don't fog up, and they all seem to be a lot more durable than they were 25 or 30 years ago. But you do get more, if you pay more. Better optics - clearity and light gathering - for instance. All the medium priced scopes, Leupold, Burris, Nikon, Pentax, Bushnell are really fine tools that are more than capable of getting the job done. On the other hand, if you can afford a Swarovski (I can't), a Ziess, etc., you won't think you spent too much.
Thanks for the replys. Lots of interesting information here. But I have a couple of more questions: What percentage of your kills are on the move? I had a deer moving at a slow gait in my sights a while back and was comfortable with the shot but my safety was on and by the know how the rest goes. Anyway I was comfortable with shot but only because it was within 100 yds, it was a broadside shot, and it wasn't exactly running. Anything else and I wouldn't have wanted to pull the trigger.

And how do you hold a gun when you fire it? I know having the barrel resting on a log or something else solid would be best but I haven't been in that situation yet. So I just rest my elbow on my knee in a kneeling position. Otherwise there's too much movement. Anyone steady enough to shoot accurately without support of any kind? How do you do that?
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a moving target isn't the best but hey critters have feet and legs. a walk i have no problem with but like the responses you got before its about you not everyone else. you should never rest the BARREL on something to shoot. rest the fore stock. make shooting sticks with 2 sticks about 36" long and wire. 3 points of contact is better than 2 and 4 points are better than 3 and so on. there are methods for holding on target off hand but thats not something you can learn on any forum. I use to shoot 200 yards off hand with open sights in competition years ago but thats targets. its all about learning the techniques and range time. then you will learn your capabilities and limitations.
what ronn is correct you can also wrap the sling around your arm to steady the rifle but you need to be shown how to do it and then practice it.
Just a question, with the rigs you currently own, how many here do/could take a 1000 yd quality shot at a deer sized animal. The best combo I have potentially, would be the 270 WM euiped with a 3X9X44 Weatherby Supreme scope. I've never shot it past 250 yds but the club has opened a 500 yd range which I will see what the gun will do just for kicks. I know I don't have enough scope for the 1000 yds. I will assume for the moment the 300 super mags will be the candidates?????
go to sheapard, hm. (spelling of shepard) i think a 12 power scope is enough for that range. i feel that my range is around 400 right now and with a little work could bring it back but i don't see me having to do that. the longest shot on a deer i have taken was 275. woodchucks is 510.
HM i've never really shot past the 100yrd targets at the range.I was always an open sight guy forever.Only recently have i moved up to scopes.I may start over the off season
To answer your question about shooting moving game. I believe that I am approaching 70 big game kills, and I think the number of moving shots that I have taken is less than 6. This year's deer was walking straight at me at about 50 yards or less when I shot it right through the heart, but shots at moving game are to be avoided in most cases.
well I'm in Kentucky so no great planes here. I sight all my guns in at 100 yards but most of my shots are 30 to 60 yards. I have had deer in as close as 5 feet from my tree or blind a few times but I dont use a gun that close. I realy dont like to shoot any thing under 30 yards with my gun I save those shots for my bow or cross bow unless I'm turkey bird hunting.
Just a question, with the rigs you currently own, how many here do/could take a 1000 yd quality shot at a deer sized animal. The best combo I have potentially, would be the 270 WM euiped with a 3X9X44 Weatherby Supreme scope. I've never shot it past 250 yds but the club has opened a 500 yd range which I will see what the gun will do just for kicks. I know I don't have enough scope for the 1000 yds. I will assume for the moment the 300 super mags will be the candidates?????
1000 yards???? I don't think so. How could you get an animal to stand still long enough for the bullet to get there.

I might go out 300 yards but it would have to be a perfect day even for that. Anything under 200 it's game on.
Buckshot, you have to go up to a previous post to see why the 1000yd question. :wink:HM
I saw that I was just answering your question. :)
marines snipers take 1000yrd shots all the time:whistling:
want to see a deer shot at a 1000 yards? look on did it with a savage 308 if i remember right. awesome scopes by the way.
I watched it again. there are 4 videos, the intro and 3 squares. the one with in "the field over it", the one on the right, is the 1000 yards shot. and it was a 300wsm not a 308.
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