Okay, so I read the first two pages of this thread and this one, so I apologize if this has been covered or beat to death.
We, as hunters should NOT impress our views, limitations on others. We must each have our own set of ethics and limitations we live and hunt by, and we cannot make them inflexible nor can we impress our limits and ethics on others as long as they are using good judgement and working within the laws.
I personally have dabbled in long range, and while I learned a lot from it, I ultimately moved on to archery for a different kind of challenge. I do see that those who do it, are doing so for the "trophy shot". Is this any less admirable than working toward a "trophy animal" by whatever your definition is of each? Each is a form of hunting. Those who do the long range hunting typically spend as much time planning and practicing to make these shots as I do to make a 60 yard shot on elk with my bow.
I don't do the long range thing, but do not fault anyone who does.
I do spend most of my time practicing and in the woods with a bow in my hand and my rifle shooting skills have seriously been neglected. I now limit myselft to point blank range with a rifle (I define point blank as that distance where I am still holding on fur using the center cross hairs based on ballistics and critter size).
As an archer, I am also targeted by those who feel I am not "killing ethically" (can one truly call killing ethical?). The elk I have killed with my bow died anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes from being shot with an arrow. I have had a mule deer that required a follow-up shot and therefore lived for an hour after the initial shot - which was a good one.
My one shot using long range equipment at 506 yards was essentially an instant kill on an antelope.
I am not a slob hunter lobbing arrows indiscrimanately, and these guys are not slob hunters lobbing bullets with no consideration.
Please, lets stop bashing others who fundamentally are as ethical as any other good hunter.
I saw this thread and I couldn't help but to read a few and chime in. With it at eleven pages I have not read all of the prior posts so I apologize in advance if I repeat anything that has already been stated. Here's my thing, I think when people dislike long range "shooting" for the reason of; too many variables, you could wound the animal.... its crazy. Any kind of hunting can result with a wounded animal and that is just the name of the game. I believe that experience and knowing your personal limitations, and making ethical shots are the bottom line to making ethical kills. I think someone who practices shooting at long ranges over and over has a lot less chance of wounding an animal than a newbee hunter who picks up a gun without practice and takes a shot at an animal 100 yards away. That's just the way it is. Bowhunting has a lot of variables and can end up wounding an animal very easy. We as hunters need to make sure that we are taking shots we are comfortable and experienced at taking to prevent wounding animals. And every now and again something happens and they get wounded anyway. Thats hunting.
I also think that long range "shooting" takes a lot of hunting away from the sport. Use to be, and still is for some of us, finding the animal 1000 yards away is when the hunting starts. That's when we start thinking about the wind and what the best way is to close the distance on the animal. When you are long range "shooting" you don't have to play the wind or pursue the animal for a better shot, its seems to be; see the animal take the shot. When are they going to actually hunt the animal? I have never done any hunting of this sort because I actually enjoy the "hunt" playing the wind, sneaking in close to the animal, calling the animal in, fooling them into thinking I'm a cow in heat. It seems to me the long range "shooters" enjoy the marksmanship of hunting more than they do the actual hunt. It's more of a thrill for them to shoot and hit a target at 700 hards than it is to sneak up on an animal, fool them, or anticipate where they are feeding to, head them off and wait for them to walk into range. Lastly, with the technology and optics in our day n age it seems the skills for long range hunting are not extremely difficult to learn. I have heard of people with next to no shooting experience pick up a long range rifle practice with it a little and be shooting 600 yards consistently. I think that anyone that is an experienced shooter can learn to shoot long range with the optics and rifles that are being used, (I have never done or tried this first hand though so I can't talk from experience). Which leaves the only real challenge of filling a tag, locating the animals.
Now here is my last point, I'm not against long range shooting, hunting or anything else. I think it is very impressive that people can shoot that far and consistently. I am not against going along with people who go long range hunting. Like I said before, depending on which you do it is completely a difference in interests. I truly believe long range shooters enjoy that marksmanship more and the traditional hunter enjoys the hunt, challenge and thrill of out smarting and pursing a wild animal. I do believe that there should be a different record book for long range hunting. Bow hunting is more of a challenge and therefore got its own record book with lower standards because of the difficulty of the sport. I believe that because long range hunting is less of a challenge there should also be a record book for it alone, where the standards are much higher than normal B&C scores.
I just realized this post has taken way too much time from my evening. All in all, to each his own. It really comes down to what your passion and interests are. But I do believe a separate record book for long range hunting should be constructed.
I think if one has the skills and proper set up to do so, more power to you. Long range shooting has alot of different challanges and if one can pull it off that's great. For me the hunt starts when I get out of the truck,gear up, and head into the back country to pursue game, no matter what the distance of the shot.
-NRA Life Member
Why do most bow hunters use a compound bow. So they can shoot farther? To each his own
I don't have a problem with people doing it in a controlled environment, for example private property. But when I have snuck into 400 yards of a herd of elk just to have someone 350 yards behind me waiting for me to shoot so they can start blazing away at running elk 750 yrds away and over my head. I have a problem with it.
So much for my experience with long range shooting. I like it less than 400 yards.
Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
"My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
In my opinion, having the ability to shoot accuratly at extended ranges is just another hunting tool. You should always try to get as close to your animal as possible, but if there is no way to close the distance and you feel comfortable with the shot you should take it. Just this last season I killed my Nv. bull at 635 yds +/-, No way to get any closer. I had plenty of time and a good solid rest across my day pack. If there was any way possible for me to close the gap I would have.
I think what turns most people off about long range shots is the crap on TV, It's not so much about the hunting experience...........Just bragging about how far the shot was.....