There have been a lot of thoughtful posts on this thread and I appreciate that.
My thought is this: what is unethical is to shoot farther than you can consistently hit the vitals on the animal you are aiming for under prevailing field conditions.
And yes, there is right and wrong in hunting, not just personal preference. It's not cave man days where your life depends on killing, however you can get it done.
A real hunter loves and appreciates the wilderness and its game, pays to develop their habitat and manage their numbers, and turns in a poacher in a New York minute. He is a conservationist and a naturalist who enjoys scouting as much as hunting.
He loves the privilege of being in God's amazing creation, loves to breathe it in, smell it, even taste it somewhat in a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly morning or drinking from a stream right out of the snowmelt. He listens to birds and admires wildflowers and sunsets. He'll stop to watch a hawk circle endlessly on a thermal. He would be out there even if for some reason he couldn't hunt, maybe to take pictures or spend time with his family. He takes time to learn everything he can about the game he chases because he is fascinated with them, not simply to be a more effective killer. He honors them when he ends their life, maybe just a little like the Europeans do with their ceremony.
With that kind of appreciation for his prey, to wound something makes him physically sick. He will do everything in his power to make a clean, one-shot kill and will follow up wounded game beyond what many people think reasonable.
If that ethic is compatible with long-distance shooting, then so be it, but I am skeptical. While there is an innate manly desire to push and test yourself, especially when you're young, and long shots make for effective marketing of guns and scopes and TV shows, the animal comes first.
Don't shoot unless you have put in enough quality practice time at that distance under realistic field conditions to be able to quickly and consistently kill that valuable living creature. Then, when you're telling stories, talk about that majestic animal and the experience of the hunt, not your shot.
Last edited by hoshour; 06-14-2013 at 05:42 AM.
i think its is safe for almost all of us that gre up hunting the west, as young hunters im sure aot of us has taken take way out there shot, just cuz we thought we were that bad @$$. we soon learn that we are not, without out the proper gun and set up those shots will not happen. some of us have been trained and can make those long shots, those who have have earned thier right to take those shots because they are educated enough and ethical enough not to take the shot unless they know they have it in the bag. im ok with that, i however am not that type of hunter. its those goof balls that are using a 30/30 with a cheap wallmart scope that think they can drop an elk at 600 plus yards that are missing by 10 yards or worse yet, wounding. a few more weeks and draws will be out, good luck everyone!
Arise... Kill, Eat! - Acts 10:13
big gulps huh? allrighty, well, see ya later
Everything was going so swell yesterday. Then this. Oh well its getting better each time this subject is brought up. Baby steps
second: I have always been impressed with their spotting and setups, and that is why I wanted to touch on it. I wanted to express my opinion on how important that was for the solo hunters and the general public that want to go out and shoot long range.
I have really taken to heart some of the comments on here about everyone's personal choices. I think we are all just expressing our thoughts to help keep our sport ethical and respectable.
I shouldn't comment any more, but here goes anyway:
It seems some people took my comment to mean that ethics were only a personal choice. This is not true. My comment about choice was your choice of weapon or the distance you shoot with that weapon. Shooting recklessly is unethical. This goes for all weapon types and ranges. Personal competency DOES come into determining what is reckless. That is where the rub is.
It seems that anti-long range arguments propose alternative arguments at once. It seems these folks want to say long range hunting is both 1)Too easy and 2) Too hard. The First argument is that hunting is about the challenge, and shooting long removes that challenge. the Second argument is that shooting long is TOO challenging, and so introduces too much risk to the shot.
Every shot has some risk, and every shot has some degree of challenge to it. It is up to the individual to know where their own limits are. The unethical part is in exceeding your limits.
For instance, bowhunting at 50 yards introduces more risk and challenge than rifle hunting at the same distance. The stalk requires the same amount of skill. My contention is that I shouldn't get down on the bowhunter because he is taking a riskier method than the rifle hunter.
So then by extension of the argument there are bowhunting shows that show great archers making great archery shots. They are not responsible for every viewer then seeing that shot and taking irresponsible shots.
We as hunters are personally responsible to become proficient with our weapons and not exceed our own limitations.
The kid punched his tag on a nice bull. End of story. Doesn't matter how he did it as long as it was legal... which it was.
There are a lot more important things to worry about. No need to get worked up about how someone else hunts.
Arise... Kill, Eat! - Acts 10:13
I'm waiting for smartphone guided drone strikes to be legalized