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Shooting Long Range: The Generational Theory

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February 24, 2014

Shooting Long Range: The Generational Theory

By David E. Petzal

The other day while pondering whether major scandals would erupt on a hourly, daily, or weekly basis during the presidency of Hillary Clinton, I was smitten by a moment of blinding insight into the reasons behind the overwhelming interest in taking big game at long range. As it turns out, they’re only partly related to either shooting or hunting — they are, instead,  generational.

Bringing down critters at long range is nothing new. Long shots have long held a fascination for us. Outdoor magazines once specialized in hunting tales where the nimrod nailed a Dall ram at 1,217 yards with an iron-sighted lever-action. But this was regarded as more of a stunt than anything else; something that you did maybe once or twice in a hunting lifetime and only in situations of high drama. The rest of the time, your shots averaged around 125 yards—or a lot closer—and so did everyone else’s.

But what we have emerging now are hunters who expect to take their game far beyond the limits of what was considered long range only a short time ago. How come?

Part of the reason has to do with the way the generations process information. If you’re young enough to know what an app is, and care, you spend a major number of your waking hours getting information from a very small screen, instantly, and on a constant basis. That information comes as either photographs or text, and requires no effort to interpret. A big game hunter, on the other hand, learns to look everywhere, all the time, and to pick up very small, subtle bits of information that come  slowly, erratically, and infrequently.

Consider the stand hunter who has to constantly scan a 180-degree arc, hour after hour, looking for the twitch of an ear or the flash of an antler. Or the whitetail hunter, tracking a buck in snow, who must watch the track and interpret it, look at what lies ahead of him and, if he’s smart, look to his sides and behind him as well.

This is not what those who are addicted to hand-held devices are used to, nor, I believe, can they become any good at it without a long and dedicated effort. It’s much more to their liking to travel until you find something right out in the open and start shooting.

Our attitude toward shooting at long distance has also changed. In the cloistered world of riflery, the shooter who could hit at long range has always been an object of veneration. But to the general public, and to a great many hunters, they guy who crept up close was the hero, and the  hunter who shot from afar something far less. The very word “sniper” was  an insult. It described a soldier who killed from concealment; someone who lacked the guts to fix his bayonet and charge. Watch any World War II combat movie and hear how “sniper” is spoken.

Now there’s been a complete 180, probably beginning with the biography of Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, which depicted snipers as not only super riflemen, but as individuals with far more than their share of guts. Because of the cross-pollination of the tactical and hunting worlds, the nimrod who shoots from far away is seen increasingly not as less of a hunter, but as more of a marksman. If you got your elk at 819 yards, measured by laser and recorded on your cell phone, cool. You’re a hell of a shot. End of story.

And then of course there’s the technology of sporting rifles, which has probably progressed more between 2000 and 2014 than it did between 1900 and 2000.  Much of this comes from the military, which has steadily extended the effective range of its sniper rifles to a point that was pretty much unimaginable a generation ago. The new XM-2010 sniper rifle exceeds the effective range of the M24, which it will replace, by 400 meters--from 800 meters to 1,200 meters. This is what you call a quantum leap.

Do you expect hunters to pass up this kind of technology? No more than they passed up the ’03 Springfield when they saw what it would do nearly a century ago. Younger hunters take to new technology like Congressmen take to bribes, or campaign contributions, as they’re called.

As my generation dodders off into oblivion, we’re going to be replaced by a new generation of hunters who will be almost unrecognizable, not only for the guns and equipment they use, but for their attitude toward the sport. Whether that’s good or bad is open to debate. What is not open to discussion is whether it will happen. It’s happening right now.

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from NHshtr wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Very interesting article Dave. I think you're correct. I guess it won't take much time to make my rifles curios.

But until then, I'll just keep hunting the way I have been until I dodder off!

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from fordman155 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I agree with everything you wrote. You nailed it.
As one who practices what I consider long shots, it isn't because they're easier but because that is what the terrain dictates. Ever hunted deer in southwest Kansas in December? However, this year I put myself into a good position on an exposed hillside, scope setting on 4x, and before I finished scanning the area I had three white tails headed right at me. Bang and down at 135 yards.
Bullets are much better than what they were in 1980. Imagine how many big game wouldn't have gotten away if they were hit in a good place by a hunting bullet made in the last 3-5 years rather than a bullet of questionable performance. Bullets are a generational item as well, in my opinion.

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from fordman155 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I agree with everything you wrote. You nailed it.
As one who practices what I consider long shots, it isn't because they're easier but because that is what the terrain dictates. Ever hunted deer in southwest Kansas in December? However, this year I put myself into a good position on an exposed hillside, scope setting on 4x, and before I finished scanning the area I had three white tails headed right at me. Bang and down at 135 yards.
Bullets are much better than what they were in 1980. Imagine how many big game wouldn't have gotten away if they were hit in a good place by a hunting bullet made in the last 3-5 years rather than a bullet of questionable performance. Bullets are a generational item as well, in my opinion.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mr.P
This is an excellent article. Definitely food for thought.Although I can't often remember where I put my car keys or where I last placed my reading glasses, I can remember things from long ago. This article reminded me of one written by Corey Ford from his "The Lower Forty" column that was featured in the November,1955 issue of F&S.(I still have my old dog eared copy of this mag) The phrase I remember from Mr. Ford is: "Huntin' aint what it used to be.....it never was."

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Ok. This was a good article. And sort of makes the case. But not 100% to me. Sorry Dave for having to be the contrarian all the time..

I have been in pursuit of a long range (MOA to 100 yards) .22 LR squirrel gun for years, (lots of new scopes and fooled around with .17HMR and a 22MAG or a while), more as a hobby than serious hunting tool. And I may continue that pursuit again.

But I would like to point out that there are 2 caveats to Dave's theory. The first is when you remove the stalk, you remove the fun. I would rather spook a doe on a flintlock still hunt and not get the shot, (and laugh my butt off for being fooled again) then standoff and shoot at a gosh awful range and have no idea if I hit, missed or wounded the game. If you want proof of how much fun the youngsters will have. Go to your favorite sporting goods store and look at the bullets on the shelf. Loads and Loads of 5.56MM/.223 for AR shooters, loads of .40 and 45 for auto shooters. Ammo companies responded to the perceived demand based on sales of AR and auto-hand guns. But that wave of young people buying and shooting has passed. Many simply tried and got bored. Leaving lots of ammo on the shelf, (and soon guns in the resale market) Try and find practice ammo in 44Rem Mag or .357, rounds that are actually used in hunting. They are scarce. Many but not all of next generation will get bored rather quickly with long range shooting too. My pointer is Many (most) of the iPod generation have the attention span of a sand flea.

The second caveat is ROOM for long range hunting. As has been pointed out WE ARE FAST RUNNING OUT OF HUNTING LAND and the animals are running out of habitat. Soon bow hunting will be the norm and Long range shooting will be confined to a set target range. Not a bad hobby (see above about my search for a .22), but not hunting. When I was a kid before becoming the dottering old fool (thanks for that image), I hunted small game on MY LOCAL AIRPORT GROUNDS. Just off the runway, with along gun, in plain view of the tower, in orange. No SWAT team showed up. No one had an issue with it, no one frankly cared. as we continue with urban and suburban sprawl. I suspect that there will be very very few future opportunities for long range big game.

My prediction is just the opposite Dave's. Black powder will make a BIG comeback n most of the country and bow hunting will become much more popular and land available to hunt continues to disappear,

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

BTW: I agree whole heartedly on the congressmen comment.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

One of our neighbors when I was growing up was something of a crazy fella. He worked in the woods logging ... sometimes ... when he had to. Though he was never a pile of ambition and his family never had much, Leonard saw to it that they never went hungry either (in or out of hunting season). He could bring home the meat and as often as not the hide had powder burns! Sometimes it was only shot with a pistol too. I didn't care for the guy or the way he treated his family but I had to admire HIS skill in the field. His ability to kill game at close range had nothing to do with the technocrap sold at SHOT shows. Turns out I wasn't the only one who admired it. Len was dropped behind Japanese lines in the South Pacific during WWII and spent the duration living in the jungle spying on the enemy. And taking many of them at VERY close range ... without a sound. When I started hunting big game, I made up my mind I was going to do it the way Len did. Anyone can get lucky with a Hale Mary shot across a canyon (except the poor suffering critter that gets hit!). Tracking down and shooting a sleeping bull moose through the heart in doghair tag alders at less than twenty yards IS NOT luck! Getting so close to a browsing cow that I could determine the color of the LETTERS in her ear tag with naked eye WAS NOT luck. Getting up close enough to a HERD of elk grazing in the moonlight that I could see eyelashes had nothing to do with anything sold by Cabela's or Gander Mountain.

I don't see how "apps" or any of that other electronic crap is responsible for this current long range stupidity. The outdoors media is responsible. Except for the bow and arrow crowd (which has turned into the ultimate technocrap assisted sport), no one writes about close encounter hunting anymore. Why? It wouldn't sell. Probably because today's average American hunting-gear-consumer's body fat ratio cannot be expressed in anything less than double digit scientific notation. Childhood obesity is the up and coming major health threat to Americans and Canadians. It's too bad there aren't more Leonard's out there today to inspire the next generation ... instead of the lazy lard-ass long-distance-shooting windbags. Everyone's looking in the wrong direction ... because that's where we're being pointed. Too bad we can't resurrect some of those old white-hunter writers from days gone by. But I think it would be a tough sell even for them. They lived in an era when people actually physically worked hard for a living. It was natural for hunting consumers back then to admire someone who actually physically worked hard to get the game.

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from Drew McClure wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Our snipers are "heroes" while their snipers are "cowardly villains." Growing up in the freehand shooting South I can honestly say I have never taken a prone shot, ever. The ground is where the chiggers and ants are. As I pondered the evolution of guns I did some preliminary research on J.M. Browning, and disagree that the current era of advancements are more important than those in that occurred in 1890's through the 1930's. What was difficult was not putting a functional gun together, it was doing it without infringing on J.M.B's patents. Pederson's Rem 51 big brother the 53 seemed to excel against the 1911 in the Navy's test, and the testing itself is eyeopening in terms of the criteria including 5k rounds for reliability, then accuracy test. Just getting kids off ipads and into the range/woods is a battle. If you take a kid hunting and let them play games on a phone while you scan the woods for a target so they can have reason to pause the game and shoot before they are bored, or cold then you know what we are up against. I would like to see some more articles on the early guns and Browning's impact. The 1,200 meter guns and the 13 year olds that kill elk with them across 3 valleys because "the elk would see them if the tried to get closer," are not as intriguing as the art of stealth, which is the real reason why Arkansan Carlos Hathcock lived to tell about it. Cheers to American hunting not becoming like the European model where the upper classes get most of the shooting in. Plinking freehand with the Win. Model 1892 that's 'Merica.

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from fox4 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Admittedly not a sniper but having had some orientation in my specialty, I distinctly remember being taught that the average “sniper” shot was about 40 yards. This was an iron sighted M-16 era. Only very few used scopes and never on an M-16.
From an article I found:
The American Sniper Assn. (ASA) recently released it's long awaited Police Sniper Utilization Report. The data was gathered from 219 sniper shootings over a twenty year period. The myth that the "average distance" for a sniper engagement is 78 yards is unfounded. According to the report the national average is 51 yards !! Other points of interest is that 60% of snipers took the shot within 50 yards. 97% of the engagements took place under 100 yards.

Think about training required versus the average real world length of shot.
It took significant trigger time to be a knuckle dragger competent for the under 40 yard average category – less than sniper range. The over 40 yard average folks required highly specialized training. Yes, they could reach out and touch you at 1000 meters. 1000 yard training = 40 yard average real world situation. Imagine the training necessary to be competent at a 200 yard, real world average, particularly when you can barely piss and hit your own shoe as it is now. Applied to hunting, any yahoo who thinks they can walk into the field and take a 400 yard shot trusting alone in technology is at best a fool and culpable of idiotic negligence. A box or three of rounds at the range is not even a good start. Maybe you should stick with a video hunting game.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

May I add, us Old Farts come from a generation where even JC Penny in North Little Rock Arkansas sold reloading components including Osco Drug Store and military surplus and other ammunition was plenty and dirt cheap whereby shooting was an all year event. But for those of today where you’re lucky to find one box of 22LR for the past 4 or so months, trigger time is as less as it gets. So for those of yesterday knowing the holdover was 2nd nature as today’s scopes with built in ballistic marvels making that one shot possible for even the least experienced, times have really did a 180!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Yeah, fox, I got a kick out of the "Captain Phillips" movie. Made it look like those SEAL snipers plinked the pirates off at more than 200 yards when in fact the vessel had been cranked in to less than seventy. Notwithstanding Hollywood's poetic license, the real deal was indeed an incredible feat hitting all three pirates simultaneously from a moving platform shooting at a moving target.

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from Mark-1 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Excellent article, DP. It certainly does seem modern, Eastern deer hunter perch after arriving at their tree stand from a 200-yd ATV ride.

I also wonder how practical long range shooting, as you describe, be in Eastern USA. I can’t think of many open fields around my area that have a shot longer than 325-yds. Most are under 250-yds.

I’ve been reading how Northern Europeans hunt and what’s required for them to have a hunting license. I may be wrong but until American hunters are required to pass minimum rifle shooting skills and well as *hunting* skills; we’ll continue to see the gimmicks and attitudes you have just described.

Money can buy the technology, but it can’t buy skill.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Amen. I just hope some of the extreme, cutting edge technical side just isn't accepted and bought into, by who I consider the more sporting and responsible hunters.

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from wittsec wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

While long range shooting will inveritably take over the sport, I find it sad the amount of hunting knowledge that will be lost in regards to tracking and stalking.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

One more comment: Just like snail mail and E-mail, now we'll live with both traditional and long-range shooting/hunting. Hopefully, the new generation that is born into the new technical evolutions (guns/bullets, techno shooting platforms, etc.) will have the wisdom to use the new tools in an ethical and sporting way.
RockySquirrel: The ballistic coefficients on 22 caliber bullets are very low, and the velocity of 22 caliber rimfire is low as well. All my experience with the ammunition at 100 yards ends up with a grouping the size of a grapefruit or softball, at 100 yards, because of it, and I do not think a higher quality target rifle or ammunition would help much, either. With the 17 HMR, the grouping is reduced to the size of a baseball, and the new 17 Winchester Super Magnum (WSM)reduces it even further. So, I suggest you go with the .17 WSM as a rimfire, instead of the hopeless .22 Long Rifle.
And Mark-1: As an example, German licensing and restrictions imposed on today's German hunters is not only very time consuming and expensive, but is much more restrictive, and may be too restrictive, compared to what we would prefer in the United States and North America, as well as where we Americans would like to go hunting, globally. We live in a duel world, as Dave's article addresses, and if we want the sport to grow from its current numbers, European/German restrictions and licensing models may be/probably are too severe and impractical, to allow for growth and participation in the sport, and will probably have no effect on the long range option, at least in North America.

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from Happy Myles wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Like Ontario I find the thrill and challenge of a difficult thoughtful stalk the most rewarding part of a successful hunt. Perhaps it should be a concomitant obligation for the ultra long range hunter to frighten the animal off to the satisfactory range, then fire an obligatory warning round into the air before proceeding with the hunts consummation.

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from hermit crab wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mark-1: The majority of the people I see riding ATVs a few hundred yards to their stands ARE of Petzal's generation!

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from elkslayer wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I can tell you why I watch long range hunting shows, because they are some of the only shows featuring rifle hunting. I've grown tired of the tree-stand and ground blind hunts where after a kill the host brags about his skill in killing the deer with a bow. I've got news for you, if you want ot kill a deer at 20 yards, you can just as easily sit in your stand with a rifle and let deer get that close. Having a bow in your hand does not make you more skilled.

As for why long range shooting has become popular. I believe it is due to the laziness of my generation (30 years old)and younger and the need for instant gratification. Why stalk for and hour for the chance at killing that elk if I can just shoot it from here and then post my accomplishment on facbook before I have even set hands on the animal.

I find long range shooting to be impressive and long range hunting to be lazy. I hope that long range remains outside the mainstream of hunting because the result will be higher kill success and reduced season length and opportunity.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

We live in a duel hunting world now, because of all of the evolution and change we have experienced fairly recently in the various technical areas of the shooting world. Metallurgy has gotten better, resulting in more accurate and stronger barrels, allowing for higher pressures and resulting velocities. Bullets are more aerodynamic. Powders are better. We can hair-split manufacturing tolerances with computer-driven cutting tools/lathes. We can carry a computer in our pocket, and laser sight our target, now. And "here we are", better or not, in the present, because of all of this 'advancement', at least, in the hunting world...

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

We live in a duel hunting world now, because of all of the evolution and change we have experienced fairly recently in the various technical areas of the shooting world. Metallurgy has gotten better, resulting in more accurate and stronger barrels, allowing for higher pressures and resulting velocities. Bullets are more aerodynamic. Powders are better. We can hair-split manufacturing tolerances with computer-driven cutting tools/lathes. We can carry a computer in our pocket, and laser sight our target, now. And "here we are", better or not, in the present, because of all of this 'advancement', at least, in the hunting world...

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from fox4 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Old farts won back Europe with iron sighted garands. Now we "need" game controllers and drones. Sure the rules changed. Run out of drones and we may be in it deep. Run out of twinkies and somebody's going to starve.

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from hermit crab wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mr. Petzal: "How come?"

It's simple, and it has less to do with the younger generation and more to do with you and your fellow outdoor writers.

How often do you discuss lever actions vs. bolt guns? Muzzleloaders vs AR's? Open sights vs scopes? Longbows vs. compounds? Bamboo vs graphite?

You yourself write adoringly of nightforce scopes, the .338 win mag, reloading for maximum accuracy, extreme-range shooting matches, etc. Comparatively, how often do you discuss stalking strategies, tracking skills, traditional woodsmanship?

Would you also give a 16 year old boy a 350hp musclecar and expect him to drive sensibly?

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from davidpetzal wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

To Hermit Crab: Checking to see if I can post.

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from hermit crab wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

And it's not necessarily a bad thing that you all write what you write - I get why you do it and hold no ill will to you for it. I mean, what can you write about the winchester 94 or marlin 336 that hasn't been written 40 years ago?

That said, I do take exception to you bashing my generation for certain traits, while enabling and encouraging said traits.

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from davidpetzal wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

To Hermit Crab: OK, I can. First off, nothing is simple. Second, you give gun writers way too much credit in shaping public opinion. We can do it a little, but mostly we give people what they're interested in or else we do something else, like run a hedge fund. The vast majority of this particular audience is not interested in longbows, or bamboo rods, or woodcraft, all of which I love dearly. They want what's new, and that's what I have to write about.

As for the way 16-year-old boys drive, I would not give one of them a Lada and expect him to act as if he had any sense.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

If It weren't for technological improvements we'd all still be hunting with homemade spears.(firehardened tips on those spears was another technological improvement) If any of you would like to try killing a bull Bison as our distant ancestors did, please give me some advance notice so I can be there and watch. I haven't had a good belly laugh lately.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I think you are right, 1uglymutha, that is the other side of the issue! (Now, we have to live with the situation, because it ain't going away...)

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from Safado wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I love to shoot at long distances but have zero desire to hunt at long distance. I love the advances in in-expensive rifle accuracy, bullets, powder and scopes and hope market forces drives down the pricing of these objects (especially scopes). But I have no desire to take a long shot at anything other than a prarie dog or coyote. I like to get close, the closer the better. I've never hunted dangerous game but cannot fathom why anyone would shoot dangerous game especially but really any big game animal at distance.

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from Happy Myles wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I am fortunate enough to hunt a lot in a wide variety of places around our world. During these adventures I run into many of the newer generation. Bright, well educated, good physical shape, and well dieted. They bring along a vast amount of new technology, special,new caliber rifles, fantastic optics, all topped off with other new gear, and they have read all the books. Yet at the end of the trip we old timers seem to have held our own. Perhaps gray hair and experience, tempered by the school of hard knocks along with a lot of miles traveled and many trophies taken and mistakes made gets rid of buck fever and trumps all that new stuff that clutter the trip. Enjoy the adventure the results will take care of themselves.

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from labrador12 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Honkster, why is a shot at a big game animal at close range to be admired, while a shot at a duck or goose at close range not to be admired? Don't both require skill?

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from Safado wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

While I enjoy shooting targets and varmints at long distance I have zero desire to hunt big game animals at long distance. I like to get close, the closer the better. Take dangerous game for example (I have no experience with this by the way), I can't conceive of taking a long distance shot on something dangerous that I would then have to track and follow up on, mainly because he would be trying his best to kill me. I wouldn't do that to a non dangerous animal out of respect for it.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Lobster, if you don't understand the answer to your question, you really don't have any business being in the field. There is no difference. It's about wasting game: blowing a bird to feathers at ten yards is just as wasteful as whacking a deer in the arse with a five hundred yard Hale Mary shot.

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from Safado wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Sorry for the double post.

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from buckhunter wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I do not believe there was ever a time in the history of man when skill was preferred over technology. Let's face it, man invented the bow because running down a deer with a club took some doing. While it's not a matter of life or death today, it is natural for a hunter to seek new technology.

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from Drew McClure wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I must admit, while driving I find myself looking down power lines at interesting brown clumps. I must admit that I long to be viewing these dots through a Swarovski 5x30x56 and pulling the trigger of a Sako 85 Hunter Stainless in 25-06 at them, then reality hits and I am tailgating a Prius with a "Elect Hillary" bumper sticker. And I am happy that one individual is only allowed 2 terms in office, and that is still deer season for T minus 4 days in the state of Arkansas. But shooters....it is BOW season, and I don't have a Sako...yet.

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from O Garcia wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

DP,

the "sniper" might be venerated now within the shooting community, as you said, but among civilians, he is often still considered a murderer (according to his biography, "Murder, Inc." was what some Marines called Hathcock in 'Nam as he walked by, back when he wasn't cool yet; many years later they would campaign for him to be awarded the MoH).

There is an article on another magazine (TRIGGER) written by Tom Beckstrand where he relates the story of British Cavalry sniper Craig Harrison. The article is titled "Forsaken Warrior."

Corporal of Horse/CoH (cavaly, remember) Harrison currently holds the longest confirmed sniper shot (or rather, shots) in combat, 2,475 meters (2,707 yards), taking out two Taliban machinegunners and disabling their gun. The L115A3 rifle(Accuracy Internation, .338 Lapua, Schmidt & Bender PM II) helped, but at that distance, it wasn't one-shot, one-kill. In his own words, he walked his shots, he took about 9 ranging shots before his 3 killing shots (it goes without saying he was able to reload). He said he only did what any other British cavalvyman would have done (mirroring what Carlos Hathcock had always maintained, that he only did what any other Marine would have done), and that someone else in the Army with his training, skills and equipment could have done it, too. You couldn't find a more regular guy.

As usual, the media botched the story. While the entire squad was interviewed, only his interview was publicized, none of the efforts of his teammates, or the patrol they were covering , was mentioned (the Taliban were targeting that patrol, prompting Harrison to engage them). Some of the details leading to the shots were omitted. He was, in effect, caricatured. Worse, his full name, and that of his wife and children, as well as his home address, were broadcast.

His family started receiving death threats and verbal abuse. He was called a murderer, and his children were shamed for having a murderer father. You would think the threats would come from jihadis abroad thru the internet, or from British Muslims. Nope. They came from perfectly native British neighbors, townmates (whatever they call a town in Britain), schoolmates of his kids.

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from O Garcia wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Accuracy *International (the asterisk is my concession to modernity, that's how kids correct their spelling on Twitter, among other things)

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from 9foot5weight wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Confused. What about Hillary Clinton as President makes you think about long range sniping?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I believe some shooters are just long range junkies, and some are not. My go to big game rifle is a .45/70 marlin with a 4X scope. It's simple, and gets the job done nicely. I do have longer shooting rifles, of course, and use them, but I keep my shots to the 250/300 yard range on the very far side of the spectrum. If I can't get any closer to the animal, I pass up the shot.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Fox4, iron sighted Garands are hell on the 1000 yard line even against the 300 Mags topped with Extraterrestrial Telescopes. Note, Palma Match shooters use 308's with a 1-11 twist and 155 grain match on the 1000 yard line, go figure !

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from shane wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Today's trends range on a continuum that include the words annoying, lazy, and pathetic, if you ask me. Good point linking smartphones and long range sniper fantasies. Why do work or gain skills when technology can for you? Who needs to serve one's country like some grunt when you can pretend to be an "elite operator" with unarmed game animals as your target? Luckily, there will always be bowhunters, single shot guys, blackpowder nuts and other forms of "traditionalists" (read that as real hunters) around to show up the nerds with their gadgets.

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from shane wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I like the journey. The destination is just the final step. Not in a rush, don't need shortcuts.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

O Garcia: Just as a hunter's tactics and equipment have changed over time, so has warfare, in the same way. From my exposure to Carlos Hathcock and in my opinion, he truly was a hero, playing a very high risk game against the enemy, at the time. He could do with a Remington bolt action or an M-14 fitted with the day's night vision scope what no one else could do. There was no 'murder' involved, for it was warfare, and the enemy was using the exact same sniper tactics and types of weapons against him and other U.S. soldiers, as well. It's just that Gunnery Sergeant Hathcock was much better at it, and gave our forces the advantage and secured our line against enemy reconnaissance, in the process.
And, if memory serves me well enough with what I watched at the time (which I am not going to do the research to verify) Corporal Harrison is Canadian, and used a .50 caliber McMillan rifle, equivalent to our Barrett system, to make those historic confirmed kills. If these are two different men that both made 1 1/2 mile shots, my apologies, yet regardless of who is right, I don't know why the sniper elaboration is even on topic. And, in the spirit of honoring men in the field of battle doing their duties and doing it well, it is disrespectful to both men, in their respective times and theatres, for anyone to refer to them as 'murderers'.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

My bad: Canadian Corporal Furlong's record was outdone by British CoH Harrison's record, by 45 meters. And, WhiteFeather used a Winchester Model 70, instead of a Remington. Regardless of the details, I respect all of them as heroes, fighting the just cause.

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from Mike1984 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Are you getting old? What mentally ill synapse did you use to link Hillary Clinton to a long range rifle. Do we need to have the SECRET SERVICE Interview your rear.

And as for scandal, take an Econ course at your local community college, you lunatic Republicans attempted to elect a a candidate that promised to improve the Economy of CHINA. Republicans right now have proposed NO JOBS Program, No Infrastructure Program to help the unemployed Americans out here WAITING to Work. You've voted to Stop all oversight if a criminal and corrupt Wall Street, where they allow hedge funds to see your order in the queue and jump ahead. Republican coal policies have polluted every Lake and Stream in America.

And with a Global Glacier Melt, and a Global Drought right in front of your faces and with the risk of losing US Agriculture your party is doing nothing about Global Warming, while kissing the oil industry's bottom. The Republican party today is a 10 dollar red dress hooker at your local corner bar.

Just look at the evidence of Republican policies. The worst states are the Republican Southern States Dragging down US GDP with stupid job killing economic, tax and school policies. The Republican party has been a TOTAL Economic Failure for America for 40 Years.

Stick with Guns, you know excrement about politics.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mike1984,
Pissing on our shoes and telling us it's raining won't cut it, boy.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

mike1984:
Come up out of the basement or down from the attic and try to find gainful employment. Trolling is not a real job.While you're at it you might try to get a clue. You know not of what you speak.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

While I do not take issue with the historical sniper factoids presented above, most of the other sniper comments above obviously come from those who a) don't know jack about snipers, and/or b) wouldn't make a pimple on an infantry or Marine rifleman's posterior.

McClure, you missed an opportunity in a target rich environment.....

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

And as an interesting note, yesterday marked the fifteenth anniversary of Carlos Norman Hathcock's death. (May he rest in peace.)

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from kudukid wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

When those in power start behaving like dictators it is not surprising that so many are taking to long range shooting. It just might come in handy before too long.

The rifle shown above doesn't bear much resemblance to a hunting rifle unless you are hunting the most dangerous game.

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from Dcast wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Dave, I know you fancy yourself as a curmudgeon but, I think you're way off along with most who have posted here. Remember you attend the Shot Show and other venues like the such that average people don't attend nor could afford to. Your surrounded by a very small group of people who can afford $2000 plus guns with scopes costing as much or more. Not to mention the eastern half of the US not having the luxury of open vast landscapes allowing 1000yd shots or even half that. Long range shooting is very limited and will not take hold in most of the US for two simple reasons economics and landscape. I can see it out west where trees and head height brush aren't the norm but not so much the eastern half where trees fence lines and homes are virtually everywhere. On the tech side I really don't see any technical device that improves hunters odds other than a range finder. I will argue your generation or slightly before your generation saw the greatest technological advancement in all of hunting and that being the scope. So remember when you go full blown curmudgeon, you to are the equivalent of todays range finder-long range shooting generation of those before you. Gun makers will always market their long range ability but that ability is rarely ever used in most parts of the country, and there are far more bow and close range shooters than you care to realize. I'd suggest you forgo all these national venues holding so-called hunting expos held for those you loath and come back to your roots where the majority of America hang out. You have to much of the Hillary types on the brain and not enough of us lesser mortals!

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from nehunter92 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Dave,

I agree with you for the most part (myself not being in much a position to determine what attitudes were like before I was around) I can’t say that I agree with you 100%. While it is true that many of my generation have become accustomed to a more instant satisfaction, I am not quite sure that long range shooting grants such satisfaction. As I’m sure you know far better than I ever will, long range shooting is an art-form unto itself. A separate art from that of the stalk to be sure, but marksmanship nevertheless does not come easily for most. Simply put, you can’t waltz down to the range and expect to be a sniper by day one, and such a relationship is not conducive to instant satisfaction. The prospect of instant satisfaction through hyper long range accuracy may draw some in, but I find it unlikely that those types will stick around for long.

I will concede that my generation does lack patience, and the extension of effective shooting range would fit that impatience well. It takes a great deal of patience and restraint to say, wait for that turkey to close in another ten yards. Why wait when you can reach out and touch him at 70? Still, I believe this type of situation would only dissuade a few outdoorsmen, as in my experience the mere prospect of success is enough to keep someone going.

It’s funny that you mention the attention span issue, because it sounds like you are describing the “ADHD generation.” As a young, overweight, impatient, outdoorsman with ADD who has never taken any game any farther than 30 yards away, I can tell you that it’s not always a burden. When you have ADHD (or whatever the hell they call it these days, personally I don’t think it’s much of a “disorder,” but I digress…) you respond to a variety of external stimuli. This can be a bother in the classroom, as instead of listening to some teacher drone on about prime factorization, the appearance of a bug on the window catches your attention. This can be rather helpful in the field at times, as your brain is wired to be drawn to sudden noises, movements, or anything else out of the ordinary. There is a credible theory called the “Hunter vs. Farmer Hypothesis” about the cause and nature of ADHD. Simply put, it states that the “Hyper focus” aspect of ADHD actually provided advantages to hunter gatherer individuals rather than farmers. I would like to know your opinion on it Dave as I believe it would be an interesting discussion as to whether or not the theory is credible in the eyes of actual hunters.

Lastly a final (offbeat, ADD induced) note about the average British native and sharpshooters…

As I live in the Boston area, any Brit questioning the use of snipers can take a good look around. I have simply to point to the monument on Bunker Hill, and the Stars and Stripes on Beacon Hill and say…

“It sure worked on you poor bastards didn’t it?”

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from Patrick-H wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I don't know that I buy it. I see a lot of the "I want to shoot at X,XXX yards at big game" on a forum, but not much in the woods. I'm 27 so likely part of the demographic this is written to, and I just bought a recurve bow to put some challenge into hunting (max-25 yards); and traditional archery is growing like crazy! Yes, there is a lot of forum talk, but I think woodsmen are still cut from the same cloth as always. We just get to hear the inner monologue of the idiotic few more often and more publicly than we used to.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 23 hours ago

All of this technology now reminds me of a fella who went on a vacation to go scuba diving. Long story short, prior to departure he got his open water certification and just when he got suited up at his destination, his dive computer went on the blitz. Upon his return to stateside, he tried to get the manufacturer to pay for his vacation. Their reply, you a certified diver and by the certification must know how to manually figure out you dive times etc.

Now imagine your Burris Eliminator III and it goes Tango Uniform, NOW WHAT!

I sure love my Leupold Vari-X II

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 23 hours ago

WAM DITTO's !

Looking back at all those shooting clinics I put on for the Marines, Army and Air Force troops and a few other Civilian groups that needed what they truly believed was specialized training, was nothing more than GOOD OL'FASHION BASIC MARKSMANSHIP 101, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS!

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from davidpetzal wrote 7 weeks 23 hours ago

To 9foot5wt: I have absolutely no clue, and am as baffled as you are.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 22 hours ago

We are not AGAINST technology. We all used it. But technology carried to the extreme is no longer hunting. It is farming. If all you want to do is kill, get a job in a slaughter house.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

One of my first jobs ever,when I was just a high school age lad,was for the Hormel meat packing company. My job was to herd the cows from the holding area to the killing room,then dispatch them with a .22 long rifle bullet to the cowlick area at the back of the head. The animals would fall dead immediately with hardly a quiver. This was a horrible job and I couldn't wait for fall. I killed more large animals that summer than most people could dream about killing in a lifetime. Even Happy Myles. Add to that experience a lifetime of hunting both large animals and small animals of all kinds (including thousands upon thousands of winged creatures). After two different experiences in combat I feel like William Munny (Clint Eastwood from the movie) "I've killed just about everything that walks,crawls or flies at one time or another.' I am neither proud or ashamed of this. It's just the way it is. There is more to the hunt than killing. But,after all, killing is the point isn't it? Without killing we might as well be hiking and camping. We can do that all year.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

One of my first jobs ever,when I was just a high school age lad,was for the Hormel meat packing company. My job was to herd the cows from the holding area to the killing room,then dispatch them with a .22 long rifle bullet to the cowlick area at the back of the head. The animals would fall dead immediately with hardly a quiver. This was a horrible job and I couldn't wait for fall. I killed more large animals that summer than most people could dream about killing in a lifetime. Even Happy Myles. Add to that experience a lifetime of hunting both large animals and small animals of all kinds (including thousands upon thousands of winged creatures). After two different experiences in combat I feel like William Munny (Clint Eastwood from the movie) "I've killed just about everything that walks,crawls or flies at one time or another.' I am neither proud or ashamed of this. It's just the way it is. There is more to the hunt than killing. But,after all, killing is the point isn't it? Without killing we might as well be hiking and camping. We can do that all year.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

One of my first jobs ever,when I was just a high school age lad,was for the Hormel meat packing company. My job was to herd the cows from the holding area to the killing room,then dispatch them with a .22 long rifle bullet to the cowlick area at the back of the head. The animals would fall dead immediately with hardly a quiver. This was a horrible job and I couldn't wait for fall. I killed more large animals that summer than most people could dream about killing in a lifetime. Even Happy Myles. Add to that experience a lifetime of hunting both large animals and small animals of all kinds (including thousands upon thousands of winged creatures). After two different experiences in combat I feel like William Munny (Clint Eastwood from the movie) "I've killed just about everything that walks,crawls or flies at one time or another.' I am neither proud or ashamed of this. It's just the way it is. There is more to the hunt than killing. But,after all, killing is the point isn't it? Without killing we might as well be hiking and camping. We can do that all year.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

Sorry for the triple post. This website is a pain sometimes.

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from timvance8 wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

Interesting that the concept of a "beanfield rifle" has yet to be discussed. I daydreamed about Kenny Jarrett rifles when I should have been learning long division nearly 20 years ago. I see no difference in ethics between taking a long shot from a box stand using a superbly accurate hunting rifle, or using a newer tacti-cool rifle with bells and whistles to take a similarly long poke. I can't recall much pushback when Mr. Jarrett broke onto the scene, only amazement that such a rifle existed.

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from The_UTP wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

I'm 29 so I'm right on the edge of the younger generation that Dave is talking about.

I think the generational difference isn't about shooting as much as the ratio of time spent in the woods to dead animals. To be honest, people my age are geared toward instant gratification. The idea of putting in hours, weeks, days, months or years of work toward a specific goal is inherently foreign. We need our endorphin-reward rush now now now.

Personally, I have to engage with technology for a living. (I write about it.) So I specifically go hunting BECAUSE my phone doesn't work when I'm in the mountains. If I do a two-day backpack hunt, there is no way I can lose -- even if I don't see a darn thing, I got a two-day break from email, phone and the Internet. Two days of silence are worth their weight in gold.

So is hunting a refuge of tradition, a way for me to pull out of the crazy bustle of the modern world? For me, yes. Aside from a GPS to make sure I don't get too lost and better cold-weather gear and clearer optics, I very much WANT my hunting experience to be like my grandpa back in the 1940s.

But some folks my age want hunting to be like a video game or a TV show. That's fine -- they're entitled to it. Not me though.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 19 hours ago

1 ugly; Anyone who is willing to recognize and do our societies dirty work when required deserves my respect. Sir +1 for all your 4 last posts. That takes the C word (you know Character).

That is what angers me most about may of our society. Some people are wiling to eat that burger, but not willing to do what it takes to make it. And that is what separates hunters. Willing to do the dirty deed themselves.

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from MReeder wrote 7 weeks 19 hours ago

Dave did hit the nail on the head when it comes to the initial appeal of long range gadgetry to younger hunters, and I'm philosophically simpatico with any view that holds we're all going to Hades in a handbag; as a general principle.
However I'm not convinced that the current fixation with long-range hunting is irreversible. Eventually those with little desire to complete a 400 or 500 yard stalk will decide they don't want to drag up before dawn and do any walking period; so they will either become target shooters or move on to something else. Other younger hunters originally seduced by the siren song of technology will discover, as others did before them, that there is more satisfaction in completing a great stalk than in pulling off a long shot; that there are fewer headaches involved in simply memorizing the ballistic charts of your particular load than in trying to decipher an overloaded screen display inside a scope that costs more than your rifle or your hunting trip; that no matter how theoretically precise your sighting and shooting equipment may be, there is still a wobbly, excited, nerve-twitching human being seated behind it; that it doesn't matter much what your scope or gun is doing under perfect and controllable conditions if the wind between you and your target puffs unpredictably or your chosen target takes a step forward just as you shoot; and that while an errant shot on paper from 800 yards away is a minor and passing disappointment, an errant shot from that same distance that merely blows the leg off of a game animal or smacks into its guts is something far, far, far more regrettable and difficult to forget. The natural progression for most big game hunters over their lifetime is to limit the number of their kills, become more selective with their harvests and to choose options that make their hunts more difficult, rather than less so. That is human nature and it doesn't yield much to technology or anything else, as any number of Utopian social engineers have learned to their chagrin.

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from MReeder wrote 7 weeks 19 hours ago

Dave did hit the nail on the head when it comes to the initial appeal of complicated, long range gadgetry to younger hunters, and as a general principle I'm philosophically simpatico with any view that holds we're all going to Hades in a handbag.
However I'm not convinced that the current fixation with long-range hunting is irreversible. Eventually those with little desire to complete a 400 or 500 yard stalk will decide they don't want to drag up before dawn and do any walking period; so they will either become target shooters or move on to something else. Other younger hunters originally seduced by the siren song of technology will discover, as others did before them, that there is more satisfaction in completing a great stalk than in pulling off a long shot; that there are fewer headaches involved in simply memorizing the ballistic charts of your particular load than in trying to decipher an overloaded screen display inside a scope that costs more than your rifle or your hunting trip; that no matter how theoretically precise your sighting and shooting equipment may be, there is still a wobbly, excited, nerve-twitching human being seated behind it; that it doesn't matter much what your scope or gun is doing under perfect and controllable conditions if the wind between you and your target puffs unpredictably or your chosen target takes a step forward just as you shoot; and that while an errant shot on paper from 800 yards away is a minor and passing disappointment, an errant shot from that same distance that merely blows the leg off of a game animal or smacks into its guts is something far, far, far more regrettable and difficult to forget. The natural progression for most big game hunters over their lifetime is to limit the number of their kills, become more selective with their harvests and to choose options that make their hunts more difficult, rather than less so. That is human nature and it doesn't yield much to technology or anything else, as any number of Utopian social engineers have learned to their chagrin.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 7 weeks 18 hours ago

The "Industry" likes selling gadgets, but the trend toward long range killing is bad for hunting, overall. Longer shots = more external variables. more variables = more wounding loss. more wounding loss = lost hunting opportunity overall.
Besides, kids will get bored with technology. Get them hooked on the thrill of getting close and the challenge of the backcountry, and they're hooked for life. I've been privileged to see it, many times.

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from Drover1 wrote 7 weeks 17 hours ago

Personally I think taking ultra-long shots at animals is irresponsible and unethical. Even if you can consistently hit a static target at 800 yards or whatever, animals move. When you shoot an animal at 100 or 200 yards with a typical big-game round, the bullet reaches the target almost instantaneously, so if your aim is on, the outcome is good. At ultra-long ranges, there is plenty of time between the trigger pull and impact for the animal to turn, take a step, etc. Not because it hears the shot—the bullet obviously gets there well ahead of the report – animals just move. The shot might go right where the shooter aimed, but the animal’s vitals might no longer be there. Then you have the issues of wind, etc. For target shooting – go as long-range as you want. For hunting, be a hunter and get within reasonable range to minimize the risk of wounding an animal.

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from Drew McClure wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

@OH I am not sure if I would call this effective.
@WAM- I am not sure what "talking about running into the Hillary supporting prius driver, or what, but I enjoy all attention positive , or negative,)
@David Petzal- I watched a youtube documentary about a future military shooting sighting system under the "the gun that aims itself" as they develop the tracking point they are building a video game to train users on the system. Was this at SHOT 2014?
@all-y'all know writing about new gear and guns is what this blog is about, and so if you don't like it(this piece, or others) Dave is offering a 100% refund using 24carat golden NRA coins for your subscription to the web site.Until the bass start running, I'll just wear my waders here;)Cheers

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from Tim Platt wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

First of all in Tennessee a 100 yard shot is an extremely long one. There are lots of trees and hills, and not too many open fields. Besides around here the deer only come out in them at night anyway. I read not long ago according to the TWRA the average deer is killed at 27 yards. I believe it.

I know a lot of 20 something year old hunters because of my kids, and they are just about all into crossbows. It is much more the "in" thing than long range hunting, I can tell you that. There are more houses, less open fields, and more urban people moving out of Nashville because they don't speak Spanish that have been trained to call the police whenever they hear a gun go off, and the reaction has been to hunt silently and at very close range. Now that crossbows are legal and people can bow hunt with a trigger and a scope everybody is jumping on the bandwagon.

Rockey Squirrel I have a minute of angle 100 yard .22LR. After about 20 years of experimenting with a 10/22 I finally met a man who worked at Barrett Firearms who had a half minute of angle one. He turned me on to F.J. Fedderson a barrelmaker... go to his website and check it out. Get the shortest barrel with no flutes. It is heavy, it is no fun to carry around, and to me is worthless for hunting, but it is hell on wheels at the range.

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from O Garcia wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

One reason for the XM2010's greater range over the M24 is the chambering: .300 Winchester Magnum. Of course, there are other improvements, too.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

As I reach a point in life where there are fewer days ahead than those behind, I find myself less interested in long range shooting and high technology, and far more interested in a simpler, more basic--and, to me, much better--form and method of shooting and hunting.

I've got a Savage Model 99 on its way to a gunsmith who is going to put a new 24" barrel on it chambered in .250 Savage Ackley Improved. The gunsmith is going to install a first class peep sight on the rear and, as my one concession to technology, a fiber optic light-gathering bead sight on the front. There will never be a scope on this rifle. It will, however, always carry a leather sling.

I grew up shooting a single-shot Remington bolt action .22 with a peep sight. It was a great little rifle, accurate, light, easy to carry. I fired it--thousands of rounds--for years before my father and step-father ever permitted me to shoot a "real" rifle--a .222 Remington for a year or two before I received a .257 Roberts as a Christmas and Birthday Present all in one.

The discipline and form required to accurately shoot a single shot rifle with a peep sight made me a good shot before I moved up to anything bigger. True, these days I have rifles that are first-class long range shooters, and true, I have developed loads for these rifles that are accurate and hard-hitting out to any sane range, and maybe a little further. Yet more and more I long for the simplicity--and the elegant beauty--of the little Savage 99 with a good peep sight, a new barrel, and a nifty and versatile front sight.

When that old-new little rifle makes its way into my hands again, I have a feeling I'll be done with rifles . . . or at least with acquiring any more of them. And I suspect that probably 80% of my shooting from that point forward in time will just be with the 99, assuming it performs and shoots the way I think it will.

I look forward to simpler ways. I look forward to that 99.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 7 weeks 9 hours ago

@AJ,
I only said you missed an opportunity (A twofer at least). I never advocated running into a LGBT Prius.

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from MReeder wrote 7 weeks 9 hours ago

Excuse the previous double post. Just another reason not to put too much faith in technology...

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 7 hours ago

I have just a couple more thoughts concerning this blog then I promise I'll shut up.
I have an acquaintance who lives about 60 miles or so down the road from me on 25 acres of land that backs up to a National Forest. Every hunting season this fellow finds dead Elk that have been shot and have wandered onto his property to die. In some years he has found less than 10 dead animals. In the worst years he has had to dispose of as many as 25. Not once in all the years has he had a hunter ask to cross his property to claim the animal. I have hunted the land surrounding this man's land many times. The national forest has steep mountains that are heavily forested with conifers and undergrowth. A shot much longer than 100 yards is impossible there. Yes, longer range shots have a certain risk factor when it comes to missing or worse, wounding animals. Apparently shorter range shots have that same risk factor. We all know both the law and the ethics involved in following up on wounded animals. Not every hunter does this to the detriment of us all. I'll bet not one hunter in a hundred hunters knows or even cares about marksmanship and what it takes to make even a short range shot on a live animal. Very sad.
I practice with my rifle at longer ranges regularly, in terrain closely resembling the terrain in which I plan to hunt. I've noticed that wind is the main factor in misses. Here in the mountains, wind can blow your shots not only left and right but down and even up at times depending on the lay of the land and the time of day. I never take longer range shots at animals when these conditions are present.
Slob hunters have no place in our sport but I do not know how to prevent this.
Catch you on the flip-flop.

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from Sten wrote 7 weeks 2 hours ago

As direct evidence against what the OP is saying, I think we should consider the rapidly growing sport of archery hunting. At least where I live in Atlantic Canada, it has gone from basically being unheard of a few years ago to having several businesses in town selling bows.

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

RockySquirrel: Tim Platt may have found the solution to accuracy with a .22LR, yet the barrel sounds impractical, for field/squirrel hunting. I still highly suggest the .17 Winchester Super Magnum, if you want a rimfire and want to tighten-up your groups to at least 1MOA (@100 yards). Either the 20 grain V-MAX or the 20 grain hollow point offerings Winchester manufactures @3000 fps at the muzzle would be perfect choices, for the purpose.

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

And, Savage makes the B-MAG, bolt action, .17WSM rifle, that you can pick-up for around $300.00.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

I kid my friends out west. " In New England where most shots are under a hundred yards because of cover, you have to be a hunter." "Out west, you needn't be a hunter if you can kill at 300 plus. " :)

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

The Fedderson barrel on a 10/22, though I am sure is much more accurate than the standard barrel, is not only heavier for field use, but you will still have problems with .22LR rounds in significant wind within 100 yards, and for shots that may exceed 100 yards, even without significant wind.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

i think all this long range mumbo jumbo, though it may be a generational thing, is very much so a regional thing. you arent gonna find a kid who grew up hunting deer in the woods of MI or PA wielding one of these things (at least i highly doubt it) because it is of no value. i would venture to say that very few guys on this forum have ever taken a deer over 150 yards. not because they cant but because of the circumstances they hunt in. the longest whitetail kill i have is 90 yards and that was a long shot where i was at in PA. this is a western hunter thing.

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from BHicks wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

Being a 24 year old, I find this to be a very interesting discussion.
I think that the longer shots people see are not how my generation prefers to hunt. This is just another case of generalization. Keep in mind, we have grown up in the time when there is no escape from the city unless we get outside in those precious few months of the year we call hunting season. The most hard-core hunter I know, which I hunt with just about every other weekend of deer season, did not pick up a rifle but once all year. We see the skill involved in getting a deer close, but we also respect the fact that some people's skill is taking game, ethically, at a distance. Do I feel confidant that I could take a deer with my gun at 300? Yes, without a doubt. Do I feel guilty any time I take a deer at any distance with a rifle? Once again, yes. I feel that it is too easy and there is little thrill. The point is, I am not bashing people for the way they enjoy to use their time outdoors, as long as it is ethical. A hunter is a hunter. If you put a deer on the ground from 5 or 500 yards, either way you put forth an honest effort in developing your skill and knowing your limits.

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 5 days ago

Scratchgolf72: Yep, you're right. It's a wide open space, greater Western thing, by in large, in North America. I think Bhicks is right, too, about his own generation. (What a great way to summarize this discussion!)

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from arturo1113 wrote 6 weeks 4 days ago

I hunt in wide open prairie in the Dakotas. There isnt an animal at 400 yards that you cannot get closer to. The condoning of long range shooting at game animals is unethical in my opinion. I have heard the 5 or 6 shots in the distance only to watch the wounded animal hobbling away with no one in pursuit. Spray and pray is not ethical. Shooting beyond the distance you are sure you can make a clean kill is unethical. I know there are people out there that can make these shots but they are a very, very small percentage of the average hunters in America. Sneaking through coulees and stalking game is where its at in my book. I challenge Mr Petzal to do a long range hunting test. Pick 5 random hunters from any state in the US. Using their own weapon and their own ammunition have them take one 500 yard shot at a target. One shot and only one shot. Then see how many of these guys hit the target the size of a deers vitals. My bet is one in 5 if that. That would be an interesting experiment.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 weeks 4 days ago

I like shooting my venison under 200 yards because I am too old and cranky to track and chase to the next zip code after a potential poor hit. But that doesn't mean that I can't shoot from downtown when required. Cheers!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

This whole generational blame is a chicken-and-egg thing. Has the younger generation gone astray or did we just forget to bring them along? I'm guilty too. Talk about out of the loop, until the other day I thought Pokémon was a Jamaican proctologist. However, I have to say my 22 year-old daughter is happy enough to tag along goose hunting in my old coat and fly fishing with my dad's old Wonderod. That's because she's going with me and really doesn't care what gear she's using (and also because she loved my dad dearly!). I see so many young folks coming onto this forum wanting to get started in hunting and fishing who have no mentors like she does. Where are they getting their ethics? From the media who "write what sells" as David so aptly put it. Consequently, from the onset these babes-in-the-woods are smothered with the concept that buying stuff is what hunting and fishing is all about. The media must always be responding/creating something new to sell ... because the younger generation has been taught to demand it. Because we didn't teach them anything different. Just so happens the newest thing to sell them is long range hunting. I hope it fades as fast as the AR fad.

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from Tim Platt wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

I'm afraid AR's are more than a fad. They are here to stay Honker. I really think most long range shooters are not hunting that way, just as I feel most AR users are not hunting with them. Hunting will always be about getting close enough to the animal to make a certain humane kill, and using a suitable cartridge. Hunters will always be hunters.

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from Drew McClure wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Our snipers are "heroes" while their snipers are "cowardly villains." Growing up in the freehand shooting South I can honestly say I have never taken a prone shot, ever. The ground is where the chiggers and ants are. As I pondered the evolution of guns I did some preliminary research on J.M. Browning, and disagree that the current era of advancements are more important than those in that occurred in 1890's through the 1930's. What was difficult was not putting a functional gun together, it was doing it without infringing on J.M.B's patents. Pederson's Rem 51 big brother the 53 seemed to excel against the 1911 in the Navy's test, and the testing itself is eyeopening in terms of the criteria including 5k rounds for reliability, then accuracy test. Just getting kids off ipads and into the range/woods is a battle. If you take a kid hunting and let them play games on a phone while you scan the woods for a target so they can have reason to pause the game and shoot before they are bored, or cold then you know what we are up against. I would like to see some more articles on the early guns and Browning's impact. The 1,200 meter guns and the 13 year olds that kill elk with them across 3 valleys because "the elk would see them if the tried to get closer," are not as intriguing as the art of stealth, which is the real reason why Arkansan Carlos Hathcock lived to tell about it. Cheers to American hunting not becoming like the European model where the upper classes get most of the shooting in. Plinking freehand with the Win. Model 1892 that's 'Merica.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mike1984,
Pissing on our shoes and telling us it's raining won't cut it, boy.

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from Happy Myles wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Like Ontario I find the thrill and challenge of a difficult thoughtful stalk the most rewarding part of a successful hunt. Perhaps it should be a concomitant obligation for the ultra long range hunter to frighten the animal off to the satisfactory range, then fire an obligatory warning round into the air before proceeding with the hunts consummation.

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from NHshtr wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Very interesting article Dave. I think you're correct. I guess it won't take much time to make my rifles curios.

But until then, I'll just keep hunting the way I have been until I dodder off!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Ok. This was a good article. And sort of makes the case. But not 100% to me. Sorry Dave for having to be the contrarian all the time..

I have been in pursuit of a long range (MOA to 100 yards) .22 LR squirrel gun for years, (lots of new scopes and fooled around with .17HMR and a 22MAG or a while), more as a hobby than serious hunting tool. And I may continue that pursuit again.

But I would like to point out that there are 2 caveats to Dave's theory. The first is when you remove the stalk, you remove the fun. I would rather spook a doe on a flintlock still hunt and not get the shot, (and laugh my butt off for being fooled again) then standoff and shoot at a gosh awful range and have no idea if I hit, missed or wounded the game. If you want proof of how much fun the youngsters will have. Go to your favorite sporting goods store and look at the bullets on the shelf. Loads and Loads of 5.56MM/.223 for AR shooters, loads of .40 and 45 for auto shooters. Ammo companies responded to the perceived demand based on sales of AR and auto-hand guns. But that wave of young people buying and shooting has passed. Many simply tried and got bored. Leaving lots of ammo on the shelf, (and soon guns in the resale market) Try and find practice ammo in 44Rem Mag or .357, rounds that are actually used in hunting. They are scarce. Many but not all of next generation will get bored rather quickly with long range shooting too. My pointer is Many (most) of the iPod generation have the attention span of a sand flea.

The second caveat is ROOM for long range hunting. As has been pointed out WE ARE FAST RUNNING OUT OF HUNTING LAND and the animals are running out of habitat. Soon bow hunting will be the norm and Long range shooting will be confined to a set target range. Not a bad hobby (see above about my search for a .22), but not hunting. When I was a kid before becoming the dottering old fool (thanks for that image), I hunted small game on MY LOCAL AIRPORT GROUNDS. Just off the runway, with along gun, in plain view of the tower, in orange. No SWAT team showed up. No one had an issue with it, no one frankly cared. as we continue with urban and suburban sprawl. I suspect that there will be very very few future opportunities for long range big game.

My prediction is just the opposite Dave's. Black powder will make a BIG comeback n most of the country and bow hunting will become much more popular and land available to hunt continues to disappear,

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from fox4 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Old farts won back Europe with iron sighted garands. Now we "need" game controllers and drones. Sure the rules changed. Run out of drones and we may be in it deep. Run out of twinkies and somebody's going to starve.

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from hermit crab wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mr. Petzal: "How come?"

It's simple, and it has less to do with the younger generation and more to do with you and your fellow outdoor writers.

How often do you discuss lever actions vs. bolt guns? Muzzleloaders vs AR's? Open sights vs scopes? Longbows vs. compounds? Bamboo vs graphite?

You yourself write adoringly of nightforce scopes, the .338 win mag, reloading for maximum accuracy, extreme-range shooting matches, etc. Comparatively, how often do you discuss stalking strategies, tracking skills, traditional woodsmanship?

Would you also give a 16 year old boy a 350hp musclecar and expect him to drive sensibly?

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from Happy Myles wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I am fortunate enough to hunt a lot in a wide variety of places around our world. During these adventures I run into many of the newer generation. Bright, well educated, good physical shape, and well dieted. They bring along a vast amount of new technology, special,new caliber rifles, fantastic optics, all topped off with other new gear, and they have read all the books. Yet at the end of the trip we old timers seem to have held our own. Perhaps gray hair and experience, tempered by the school of hard knocks along with a lot of miles traveled and many trophies taken and mistakes made gets rid of buck fever and trumps all that new stuff that clutter the trip. Enjoy the adventure the results will take care of themselves.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

And as an interesting note, yesterday marked the fifteenth anniversary of Carlos Norman Hathcock's death. (May he rest in peace.)

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

One of my first jobs ever,when I was just a high school age lad,was for the Hormel meat packing company. My job was to herd the cows from the holding area to the killing room,then dispatch them with a .22 long rifle bullet to the cowlick area at the back of the head. The animals would fall dead immediately with hardly a quiver. This was a horrible job and I couldn't wait for fall. I killed more large animals that summer than most people could dream about killing in a lifetime. Even Happy Myles. Add to that experience a lifetime of hunting both large animals and small animals of all kinds (including thousands upon thousands of winged creatures). After two different experiences in combat I feel like William Munny (Clint Eastwood from the movie) "I've killed just about everything that walks,crawls or flies at one time or another.' I am neither proud or ashamed of this. It's just the way it is. There is more to the hunt than killing. But,after all, killing is the point isn't it? Without killing we might as well be hiking and camping. We can do that all year.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mr.P
This is an excellent article. Definitely food for thought.Although I can't often remember where I put my car keys or where I last placed my reading glasses, I can remember things from long ago. This article reminded me of one written by Corey Ford from his "The Lower Forty" column that was featured in the November,1955 issue of F&S.(I still have my old dog eared copy of this mag) The phrase I remember from Mr. Ford is: "Huntin' aint what it used to be.....it never was."

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from fox4 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Admittedly not a sniper but having had some orientation in my specialty, I distinctly remember being taught that the average “sniper” shot was about 40 yards. This was an iron sighted M-16 era. Only very few used scopes and never on an M-16.
From an article I found:
The American Sniper Assn. (ASA) recently released it's long awaited Police Sniper Utilization Report. The data was gathered from 219 sniper shootings over a twenty year period. The myth that the "average distance" for a sniper engagement is 78 yards is unfounded. According to the report the national average is 51 yards !! Other points of interest is that 60% of snipers took the shot within 50 yards. 97% of the engagements took place under 100 yards.

Think about training required versus the average real world length of shot.
It took significant trigger time to be a knuckle dragger competent for the under 40 yard average category – less than sniper range. The over 40 yard average folks required highly specialized training. Yes, they could reach out and touch you at 1000 meters. 1000 yard training = 40 yard average real world situation. Imagine the training necessary to be competent at a 200 yard, real world average, particularly when you can barely piss and hit your own shoe as it is now. Applied to hunting, any yahoo who thinks they can walk into the field and take a 400 yard shot trusting alone in technology is at best a fool and culpable of idiotic negligence. A box or three of rounds at the range is not even a good start. Maybe you should stick with a video hunting game.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

May I add, us Old Farts come from a generation where even JC Penny in North Little Rock Arkansas sold reloading components including Osco Drug Store and military surplus and other ammunition was plenty and dirt cheap whereby shooting was an all year event. But for those of today where you’re lucky to find one box of 22LR for the past 4 or so months, trigger time is as less as it gets. So for those of yesterday knowing the holdover was 2nd nature as today’s scopes with built in ballistic marvels making that one shot possible for even the least experienced, times have really did a 180!

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from Mark-1 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Excellent article, DP. It certainly does seem modern, Eastern deer hunter perch after arriving at their tree stand from a 200-yd ATV ride.

I also wonder how practical long range shooting, as you describe, be in Eastern USA. I can’t think of many open fields around my area that have a shot longer than 325-yds. Most are under 250-yds.

I’ve been reading how Northern Europeans hunt and what’s required for them to have a hunting license. I may be wrong but until American hunters are required to pass minimum rifle shooting skills and well as *hunting* skills; we’ll continue to see the gimmicks and attitudes you have just described.

Money can buy the technology, but it can’t buy skill.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Amen. I just hope some of the extreme, cutting edge technical side just isn't accepted and bought into, by who I consider the more sporting and responsible hunters.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

One more comment: Just like snail mail and E-mail, now we'll live with both traditional and long-range shooting/hunting. Hopefully, the new generation that is born into the new technical evolutions (guns/bullets, techno shooting platforms, etc.) will have the wisdom to use the new tools in an ethical and sporting way.
RockySquirrel: The ballistic coefficients on 22 caliber bullets are very low, and the velocity of 22 caliber rimfire is low as well. All my experience with the ammunition at 100 yards ends up with a grouping the size of a grapefruit or softball, at 100 yards, because of it, and I do not think a higher quality target rifle or ammunition would help much, either. With the 17 HMR, the grouping is reduced to the size of a baseball, and the new 17 Winchester Super Magnum (WSM)reduces it even further. So, I suggest you go with the .17 WSM as a rimfire, instead of the hopeless .22 Long Rifle.
And Mark-1: As an example, German licensing and restrictions imposed on today's German hunters is not only very time consuming and expensive, but is much more restrictive, and may be too restrictive, compared to what we would prefer in the United States and North America, as well as where we Americans would like to go hunting, globally. We live in a duel world, as Dave's article addresses, and if we want the sport to grow from its current numbers, European/German restrictions and licensing models may be/probably are too severe and impractical, to allow for growth and participation in the sport, and will probably have no effect on the long range option, at least in North America.

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from hermit crab wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Mark-1: The majority of the people I see riding ATVs a few hundred yards to their stands ARE of Petzal's generation!

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from elkslayer wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I can tell you why I watch long range hunting shows, because they are some of the only shows featuring rifle hunting. I've grown tired of the tree-stand and ground blind hunts where after a kill the host brags about his skill in killing the deer with a bow. I've got news for you, if you want ot kill a deer at 20 yards, you can just as easily sit in your stand with a rifle and let deer get that close. Having a bow in your hand does not make you more skilled.

As for why long range shooting has become popular. I believe it is due to the laziness of my generation (30 years old)and younger and the need for instant gratification. Why stalk for and hour for the chance at killing that elk if I can just shoot it from here and then post my accomplishment on facbook before I have even set hands on the animal.

I find long range shooting to be impressive and long range hunting to be lazy. I hope that long range remains outside the mainstream of hunting because the result will be higher kill success and reduced season length and opportunity.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

We live in a duel hunting world now, because of all of the evolution and change we have experienced fairly recently in the various technical areas of the shooting world. Metallurgy has gotten better, resulting in more accurate and stronger barrels, allowing for higher pressures and resulting velocities. Bullets are more aerodynamic. Powders are better. We can hair-split manufacturing tolerances with computer-driven cutting tools/lathes. We can carry a computer in our pocket, and laser sight our target, now. And "here we are", better or not, in the present, because of all of this 'advancement', at least, in the hunting world...

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from buckhunter wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I do not believe there was ever a time in the history of man when skill was preferred over technology. Let's face it, man invented the bow because running down a deer with a club took some doing. While it's not a matter of life or death today, it is natural for a hunter to seek new technology.

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from 9foot5weight wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Confused. What about Hillary Clinton as President makes you think about long range sniping?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Fox4, iron sighted Garands are hell on the 1000 yard line even against the 300 Mags topped with Extraterrestrial Telescopes. Note, Palma Match shooters use 308's with a 1-11 twist and 155 grain match on the 1000 yard line, go figure !

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

O Garcia: Just as a hunter's tactics and equipment have changed over time, so has warfare, in the same way. From my exposure to Carlos Hathcock and in my opinion, he truly was a hero, playing a very high risk game against the enemy, at the time. He could do with a Remington bolt action or an M-14 fitted with the day's night vision scope what no one else could do. There was no 'murder' involved, for it was warfare, and the enemy was using the exact same sniper tactics and types of weapons against him and other U.S. soldiers, as well. It's just that Gunnery Sergeant Hathcock was much better at it, and gave our forces the advantage and secured our line against enemy reconnaissance, in the process.
And, if memory serves me well enough with what I watched at the time (which I am not going to do the research to verify) Corporal Harrison is Canadian, and used a .50 caliber McMillan rifle, equivalent to our Barrett system, to make those historic confirmed kills. If these are two different men that both made 1 1/2 mile shots, my apologies, yet regardless of who is right, I don't know why the sniper elaboration is even on topic. And, in the spirit of honoring men in the field of battle doing their duties and doing it well, it is disrespectful to both men, in their respective times and theatres, for anyone to refer to them as 'murderers'.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

While I do not take issue with the historical sniper factoids presented above, most of the other sniper comments above obviously come from those who a) don't know jack about snipers, and/or b) wouldn't make a pimple on an infantry or Marine rifleman's posterior.

McClure, you missed an opportunity in a target rich environment.....

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from kudukid wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

When those in power start behaving like dictators it is not surprising that so many are taking to long range shooting. It just might come in handy before too long.

The rifle shown above doesn't bear much resemblance to a hunting rifle unless you are hunting the most dangerous game.

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from davidpetzal wrote 7 weeks 23 hours ago

To 9foot5wt: I have absolutely no clue, and am as baffled as you are.

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from The_UTP wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

I'm 29 so I'm right on the edge of the younger generation that Dave is talking about.

I think the generational difference isn't about shooting as much as the ratio of time spent in the woods to dead animals. To be honest, people my age are geared toward instant gratification. The idea of putting in hours, weeks, days, months or years of work toward a specific goal is inherently foreign. We need our endorphin-reward rush now now now.

Personally, I have to engage with technology for a living. (I write about it.) So I specifically go hunting BECAUSE my phone doesn't work when I'm in the mountains. If I do a two-day backpack hunt, there is no way I can lose -- even if I don't see a darn thing, I got a two-day break from email, phone and the Internet. Two days of silence are worth their weight in gold.

So is hunting a refuge of tradition, a way for me to pull out of the crazy bustle of the modern world? For me, yes. Aside from a GPS to make sure I don't get too lost and better cold-weather gear and clearer optics, I very much WANT my hunting experience to be like my grandpa back in the 1940s.

But some folks my age want hunting to be like a video game or a TV show. That's fine -- they're entitled to it. Not me though.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 19 hours ago

1 ugly; Anyone who is willing to recognize and do our societies dirty work when required deserves my respect. Sir +1 for all your 4 last posts. That takes the C word (you know Character).

That is what angers me most about may of our society. Some people are wiling to eat that burger, but not willing to do what it takes to make it. And that is what separates hunters. Willing to do the dirty deed themselves.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 7 hours ago

I have just a couple more thoughts concerning this blog then I promise I'll shut up.
I have an acquaintance who lives about 60 miles or so down the road from me on 25 acres of land that backs up to a National Forest. Every hunting season this fellow finds dead Elk that have been shot and have wandered onto his property to die. In some years he has found less than 10 dead animals. In the worst years he has had to dispose of as many as 25. Not once in all the years has he had a hunter ask to cross his property to claim the animal. I have hunted the land surrounding this man's land many times. The national forest has steep mountains that are heavily forested with conifers and undergrowth. A shot much longer than 100 yards is impossible there. Yes, longer range shots have a certain risk factor when it comes to missing or worse, wounding animals. Apparently shorter range shots have that same risk factor. We all know both the law and the ethics involved in following up on wounded animals. Not every hunter does this to the detriment of us all. I'll bet not one hunter in a hundred hunters knows or even cares about marksmanship and what it takes to make even a short range shot on a live animal. Very sad.
I practice with my rifle at longer ranges regularly, in terrain closely resembling the terrain in which I plan to hunt. I've noticed that wind is the main factor in misses. Here in the mountains, wind can blow your shots not only left and right but down and even up at times depending on the lay of the land and the time of day. I never take longer range shots at animals when these conditions are present.
Slob hunters have no place in our sport but I do not know how to prevent this.
Catch you on the flip-flop.

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 5 days ago

Scratchgolf72: Yep, you're right. It's a wide open space, greater Western thing, by in large, in North America. I think Bhicks is right, too, about his own generation. (What a great way to summarize this discussion!)

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from arturo1113 wrote 6 weeks 4 days ago

I hunt in wide open prairie in the Dakotas. There isnt an animal at 400 yards that you cannot get closer to. The condoning of long range shooting at game animals is unethical in my opinion. I have heard the 5 or 6 shots in the distance only to watch the wounded animal hobbling away with no one in pursuit. Spray and pray is not ethical. Shooting beyond the distance you are sure you can make a clean kill is unethical. I know there are people out there that can make these shots but they are a very, very small percentage of the average hunters in America. Sneaking through coulees and stalking game is where its at in my book. I challenge Mr Petzal to do a long range hunting test. Pick 5 random hunters from any state in the US. Using their own weapon and their own ammunition have them take one 500 yard shot at a target. One shot and only one shot. Then see how many of these guys hit the target the size of a deers vitals. My bet is one in 5 if that. That would be an interesting experiment.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

BTW: I agree whole heartedly on the congressmen comment.

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from wittsec wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

While long range shooting will inveritably take over the sport, I find it sad the amount of hunting knowledge that will be lost in regards to tracking and stalking.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

We live in a duel hunting world now, because of all of the evolution and change we have experienced fairly recently in the various technical areas of the shooting world. Metallurgy has gotten better, resulting in more accurate and stronger barrels, allowing for higher pressures and resulting velocities. Bullets are more aerodynamic. Powders are better. We can hair-split manufacturing tolerances with computer-driven cutting tools/lathes. We can carry a computer in our pocket, and laser sight our target, now. And "here we are", better or not, in the present, because of all of this 'advancement', at least, in the hunting world...

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from davidpetzal wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

To Hermit Crab: Checking to see if I can post.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I think you are right, 1uglymutha, that is the other side of the issue! (Now, we have to live with the situation, because it ain't going away...)

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from Drew McClure wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I must admit, while driving I find myself looking down power lines at interesting brown clumps. I must admit that I long to be viewing these dots through a Swarovski 5x30x56 and pulling the trigger of a Sako 85 Hunter Stainless in 25-06 at them, then reality hits and I am tailgating a Prius with a "Elect Hillary" bumper sticker. And I am happy that one individual is only allowed 2 terms in office, and that is still deer season for T minus 4 days in the state of Arkansas. But shooters....it is BOW season, and I don't have a Sako...yet.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I believe some shooters are just long range junkies, and some are not. My go to big game rifle is a .45/70 marlin with a 4X scope. It's simple, and gets the job done nicely. I do have longer shooting rifles, of course, and use them, but I keep my shots to the 250/300 yard range on the very far side of the spectrum. If I can't get any closer to the animal, I pass up the shot.

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from jcmesq wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

My bad: Canadian Corporal Furlong's record was outdone by British CoH Harrison's record, by 45 meters. And, WhiteFeather used a Winchester Model 70, instead of a Remington. Regardless of the details, I respect all of them as heroes, fighting the just cause.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

mike1984:
Come up out of the basement or down from the attic and try to find gainful employment. Trolling is not a real job.While you're at it you might try to get a clue. You know not of what you speak.

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from Patrick-H wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I don't know that I buy it. I see a lot of the "I want to shoot at X,XXX yards at big game" on a forum, but not much in the woods. I'm 27 so likely part of the demographic this is written to, and I just bought a recurve bow to put some challenge into hunting (max-25 yards); and traditional archery is growing like crazy! Yes, there is a lot of forum talk, but I think woodsmen are still cut from the same cloth as always. We just get to hear the inner monologue of the idiotic few more often and more publicly than we used to.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 23 hours ago

All of this technology now reminds me of a fella who went on a vacation to go scuba diving. Long story short, prior to departure he got his open water certification and just when he got suited up at his destination, his dive computer went on the blitz. Upon his return to stateside, he tried to get the manufacturer to pay for his vacation. Their reply, you a certified diver and by the certification must know how to manually figure out you dive times etc.

Now imagine your Burris Eliminator III and it goes Tango Uniform, NOW WHAT!

I sure love my Leupold Vari-X II

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

One of my first jobs ever,when I was just a high school age lad,was for the Hormel meat packing company. My job was to herd the cows from the holding area to the killing room,then dispatch them with a .22 long rifle bullet to the cowlick area at the back of the head. The animals would fall dead immediately with hardly a quiver. This was a horrible job and I couldn't wait for fall. I killed more large animals that summer than most people could dream about killing in a lifetime. Even Happy Myles. Add to that experience a lifetime of hunting both large animals and small animals of all kinds (including thousands upon thousands of winged creatures). After two different experiences in combat I feel like William Munny (Clint Eastwood from the movie) "I've killed just about everything that walks,crawls or flies at one time or another.' I am neither proud or ashamed of this. It's just the way it is. There is more to the hunt than killing. But,after all, killing is the point isn't it? Without killing we might as well be hiking and camping. We can do that all year.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

One of my first jobs ever,when I was just a high school age lad,was for the Hormel meat packing company. My job was to herd the cows from the holding area to the killing room,then dispatch them with a .22 long rifle bullet to the cowlick area at the back of the head. The animals would fall dead immediately with hardly a quiver. This was a horrible job and I couldn't wait for fall. I killed more large animals that summer than most people could dream about killing in a lifetime. Even Happy Myles. Add to that experience a lifetime of hunting both large animals and small animals of all kinds (including thousands upon thousands of winged creatures). After two different experiences in combat I feel like William Munny (Clint Eastwood from the movie) "I've killed just about everything that walks,crawls or flies at one time or another.' I am neither proud or ashamed of this. It's just the way it is. There is more to the hunt than killing. But,after all, killing is the point isn't it? Without killing we might as well be hiking and camping. We can do that all year.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

Sorry for the triple post. This website is a pain sometimes.

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from MReeder wrote 7 weeks 19 hours ago

Dave did hit the nail on the head when it comes to the initial appeal of long range gadgetry to younger hunters, and I'm philosophically simpatico with any view that holds we're all going to Hades in a handbag; as a general principle.
However I'm not convinced that the current fixation with long-range hunting is irreversible. Eventually those with little desire to complete a 400 or 500 yard stalk will decide they don't want to drag up before dawn and do any walking period; so they will either become target shooters or move on to something else. Other younger hunters originally seduced by the siren song of technology will discover, as others did before them, that there is more satisfaction in completing a great stalk than in pulling off a long shot; that there are fewer headaches involved in simply memorizing the ballistic charts of your particular load than in trying to decipher an overloaded screen display inside a scope that costs more than your rifle or your hunting trip; that no matter how theoretically precise your sighting and shooting equipment may be, there is still a wobbly, excited, nerve-twitching human being seated behind it; that it doesn't matter much what your scope or gun is doing under perfect and controllable conditions if the wind between you and your target puffs unpredictably or your chosen target takes a step forward just as you shoot; and that while an errant shot on paper from 800 yards away is a minor and passing disappointment, an errant shot from that same distance that merely blows the leg off of a game animal or smacks into its guts is something far, far, far more regrettable and difficult to forget. The natural progression for most big game hunters over their lifetime is to limit the number of their kills, become more selective with their harvests and to choose options that make their hunts more difficult, rather than less so. That is human nature and it doesn't yield much to technology or anything else, as any number of Utopian social engineers have learned to their chagrin.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 7 weeks 18 hours ago

The "Industry" likes selling gadgets, but the trend toward long range killing is bad for hunting, overall. Longer shots = more external variables. more variables = more wounding loss. more wounding loss = lost hunting opportunity overall.
Besides, kids will get bored with technology. Get them hooked on the thrill of getting close and the challenge of the backcountry, and they're hooked for life. I've been privileged to see it, many times.

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from Drew McClure wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

@OH I am not sure if I would call this effective.
@WAM- I am not sure what "talking about running into the Hillary supporting prius driver, or what, but I enjoy all attention positive , or negative,)
@David Petzal- I watched a youtube documentary about a future military shooting sighting system under the "the gun that aims itself" as they develop the tracking point they are building a video game to train users on the system. Was this at SHOT 2014?
@all-y'all know writing about new gear and guns is what this blog is about, and so if you don't like it(this piece, or others) Dave is offering a 100% refund using 24carat golden NRA coins for your subscription to the web site.Until the bass start running, I'll just wear my waders here;)Cheers

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from Tim Platt wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

First of all in Tennessee a 100 yard shot is an extremely long one. There are lots of trees and hills, and not too many open fields. Besides around here the deer only come out in them at night anyway. I read not long ago according to the TWRA the average deer is killed at 27 yards. I believe it.

I know a lot of 20 something year old hunters because of my kids, and they are just about all into crossbows. It is much more the "in" thing than long range hunting, I can tell you that. There are more houses, less open fields, and more urban people moving out of Nashville because they don't speak Spanish that have been trained to call the police whenever they hear a gun go off, and the reaction has been to hunt silently and at very close range. Now that crossbows are legal and people can bow hunt with a trigger and a scope everybody is jumping on the bandwagon.

Rockey Squirrel I have a minute of angle 100 yard .22LR. After about 20 years of experimenting with a 10/22 I finally met a man who worked at Barrett Firearms who had a half minute of angle one. He turned me on to F.J. Fedderson a barrelmaker... go to his website and check it out. Get the shortest barrel with no flutes. It is heavy, it is no fun to carry around, and to me is worthless for hunting, but it is hell on wheels at the range.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 7 weeks 9 hours ago

@AJ,
I only said you missed an opportunity (A twofer at least). I never advocated running into a LGBT Prius.

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from MReeder wrote 7 weeks 9 hours ago

Excuse the previous double post. Just another reason not to put too much faith in technology...

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from Sten wrote 7 weeks 2 hours ago

As direct evidence against what the OP is saying, I think we should consider the rapidly growing sport of archery hunting. At least where I live in Atlantic Canada, it has gone from basically being unheard of a few years ago to having several businesses in town selling bows.

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

RockySquirrel: Tim Platt may have found the solution to accuracy with a .22LR, yet the barrel sounds impractical, for field/squirrel hunting. I still highly suggest the .17 Winchester Super Magnum, if you want a rimfire and want to tighten-up your groups to at least 1MOA (@100 yards). Either the 20 grain V-MAX or the 20 grain hollow point offerings Winchester manufactures @3000 fps at the muzzle would be perfect choices, for the purpose.

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

And, Savage makes the B-MAG, bolt action, .17WSM rifle, that you can pick-up for around $300.00.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

I kid my friends out west. " In New England where most shots are under a hundred yards because of cover, you have to be a hunter." "Out west, you needn't be a hunter if you can kill at 300 plus. " :)

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from jcmesq wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

The Fedderson barrel on a 10/22, though I am sure is much more accurate than the standard barrel, is not only heavier for field use, but you will still have problems with .22LR rounds in significant wind within 100 yards, and for shots that may exceed 100 yards, even without significant wind.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

i think all this long range mumbo jumbo, though it may be a generational thing, is very much so a regional thing. you arent gonna find a kid who grew up hunting deer in the woods of MI or PA wielding one of these things (at least i highly doubt it) because it is of no value. i would venture to say that very few guys on this forum have ever taken a deer over 150 yards. not because they cant but because of the circumstances they hunt in. the longest whitetail kill i have is 90 yards and that was a long shot where i was at in PA. this is a western hunter thing.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 weeks 4 days ago

I like shooting my venison under 200 yards because I am too old and cranky to track and chase to the next zip code after a potential poor hit. But that doesn't mean that I can't shoot from downtown when required. Cheers!

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from fordman155 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I agree with everything you wrote. You nailed it.
As one who practices what I consider long shots, it isn't because they're easier but because that is what the terrain dictates. Ever hunted deer in southwest Kansas in December? However, this year I put myself into a good position on an exposed hillside, scope setting on 4x, and before I finished scanning the area I had three white tails headed right at me. Bang and down at 135 yards.
Bullets are much better than what they were in 1980. Imagine how many big game wouldn't have gotten away if they were hit in a good place by a hunting bullet made in the last 3-5 years rather than a bullet of questionable performance. Bullets are a generational item as well, in my opinion.

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from fordman155 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I agree with everything you wrote. You nailed it.
As one who practices what I consider long shots, it isn't because they're easier but because that is what the terrain dictates. Ever hunted deer in southwest Kansas in December? However, this year I put myself into a good position on an exposed hillside, scope setting on 4x, and before I finished scanning the area I had three white tails headed right at me. Bang and down at 135 yards.
Bullets are much better than what they were in 1980. Imagine how many big game wouldn't have gotten away if they were hit in a good place by a hunting bullet made in the last 3-5 years rather than a bullet of questionable performance. Bullets are a generational item as well, in my opinion.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

One of our neighbors when I was growing up was something of a crazy fella. He worked in the woods logging ... sometimes ... when he had to. Though he was never a pile of ambition and his family never had much, Leonard saw to it that they never went hungry either (in or out of hunting season). He could bring home the meat and as often as not the hide had powder burns! Sometimes it was only shot with a pistol too. I didn't care for the guy or the way he treated his family but I had to admire HIS skill in the field. His ability to kill game at close range had nothing to do with the technocrap sold at SHOT shows. Turns out I wasn't the only one who admired it. Len was dropped behind Japanese lines in the South Pacific during WWII and spent the duration living in the jungle spying on the enemy. And taking many of them at VERY close range ... without a sound. When I started hunting big game, I made up my mind I was going to do it the way Len did. Anyone can get lucky with a Hale Mary shot across a canyon (except the poor suffering critter that gets hit!). Tracking down and shooting a sleeping bull moose through the heart in doghair tag alders at less than twenty yards IS NOT luck! Getting so close to a browsing cow that I could determine the color of the LETTERS in her ear tag with naked eye WAS NOT luck. Getting up close enough to a HERD of elk grazing in the moonlight that I could see eyelashes had nothing to do with anything sold by Cabela's or Gander Mountain.

I don't see how "apps" or any of that other electronic crap is responsible for this current long range stupidity. The outdoors media is responsible. Except for the bow and arrow crowd (which has turned into the ultimate technocrap assisted sport), no one writes about close encounter hunting anymore. Why? It wouldn't sell. Probably because today's average American hunting-gear-consumer's body fat ratio cannot be expressed in anything less than double digit scientific notation. Childhood obesity is the up and coming major health threat to Americans and Canadians. It's too bad there aren't more Leonard's out there today to inspire the next generation ... instead of the lazy lard-ass long-distance-shooting windbags. Everyone's looking in the wrong direction ... because that's where we're being pointed. Too bad we can't resurrect some of those old white-hunter writers from days gone by. But I think it would be a tough sell even for them. They lived in an era when people actually physically worked hard for a living. It was natural for hunting consumers back then to admire someone who actually physically worked hard to get the game.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Yeah, fox, I got a kick out of the "Captain Phillips" movie. Made it look like those SEAL snipers plinked the pirates off at more than 200 yards when in fact the vessel had been cranked in to less than seventy. Notwithstanding Hollywood's poetic license, the real deal was indeed an incredible feat hitting all three pirates simultaneously from a moving platform shooting at a moving target.

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from hermit crab wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

And it's not necessarily a bad thing that you all write what you write - I get why you do it and hold no ill will to you for it. I mean, what can you write about the winchester 94 or marlin 336 that hasn't been written 40 years ago?

That said, I do take exception to you bashing my generation for certain traits, while enabling and encouraging said traits.

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from davidpetzal wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

To Hermit Crab: OK, I can. First off, nothing is simple. Second, you give gun writers way too much credit in shaping public opinion. We can do it a little, but mostly we give people what they're interested in or else we do something else, like run a hedge fund. The vast majority of this particular audience is not interested in longbows, or bamboo rods, or woodcraft, all of which I love dearly. They want what's new, and that's what I have to write about.

As for the way 16-year-old boys drive, I would not give one of them a Lada and expect him to act as if he had any sense.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

If It weren't for technological improvements we'd all still be hunting with homemade spears.(firehardened tips on those spears was another technological improvement) If any of you would like to try killing a bull Bison as our distant ancestors did, please give me some advance notice so I can be there and watch. I haven't had a good belly laugh lately.

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from Safado wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I love to shoot at long distances but have zero desire to hunt at long distance. I love the advances in in-expensive rifle accuracy, bullets, powder and scopes and hope market forces drives down the pricing of these objects (especially scopes). But I have no desire to take a long shot at anything other than a prarie dog or coyote. I like to get close, the closer the better. I've never hunted dangerous game but cannot fathom why anyone would shoot dangerous game especially but really any big game animal at distance.

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from labrador12 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Honkster, why is a shot at a big game animal at close range to be admired, while a shot at a duck or goose at close range not to be admired? Don't both require skill?

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from Safado wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

While I enjoy shooting targets and varmints at long distance I have zero desire to hunt big game animals at long distance. I like to get close, the closer the better. Take dangerous game for example (I have no experience with this by the way), I can't conceive of taking a long distance shot on something dangerous that I would then have to track and follow up on, mainly because he would be trying his best to kill me. I wouldn't do that to a non dangerous animal out of respect for it.

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from Safado wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Sorry for the double post.

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from O Garcia wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

DP,

the "sniper" might be venerated now within the shooting community, as you said, but among civilians, he is often still considered a murderer (according to his biography, "Murder, Inc." was what some Marines called Hathcock in 'Nam as he walked by, back when he wasn't cool yet; many years later they would campaign for him to be awarded the MoH).

There is an article on another magazine (TRIGGER) written by Tom Beckstrand where he relates the story of British Cavalry sniper Craig Harrison. The article is titled "Forsaken Warrior."

Corporal of Horse/CoH (cavaly, remember) Harrison currently holds the longest confirmed sniper shot (or rather, shots) in combat, 2,475 meters (2,707 yards), taking out two Taliban machinegunners and disabling their gun. The L115A3 rifle(Accuracy Internation, .338 Lapua, Schmidt & Bender PM II) helped, but at that distance, it wasn't one-shot, one-kill. In his own words, he walked his shots, he took about 9 ranging shots before his 3 killing shots (it goes without saying he was able to reload). He said he only did what any other British cavalvyman would have done (mirroring what Carlos Hathcock had always maintained, that he only did what any other Marine would have done), and that someone else in the Army with his training, skills and equipment could have done it, too. You couldn't find a more regular guy.

As usual, the media botched the story. While the entire squad was interviewed, only his interview was publicized, none of the efforts of his teammates, or the patrol they were covering , was mentioned (the Taliban were targeting that patrol, prompting Harrison to engage them). Some of the details leading to the shots were omitted. He was, in effect, caricatured. Worse, his full name, and that of his wife and children, as well as his home address, were broadcast.

His family started receiving death threats and verbal abuse. He was called a murderer, and his children were shamed for having a murderer father. You would think the threats would come from jihadis abroad thru the internet, or from British Muslims. Nope. They came from perfectly native British neighbors, townmates (whatever they call a town in Britain), schoolmates of his kids.

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from O Garcia wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Accuracy *International (the asterisk is my concession to modernity, that's how kids correct their spelling on Twitter, among other things)

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from shane wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Today's trends range on a continuum that include the words annoying, lazy, and pathetic, if you ask me. Good point linking smartphones and long range sniper fantasies. Why do work or gain skills when technology can for you? Who needs to serve one's country like some grunt when you can pretend to be an "elite operator" with unarmed game animals as your target? Luckily, there will always be bowhunters, single shot guys, blackpowder nuts and other forms of "traditionalists" (read that as real hunters) around to show up the nerds with their gadgets.

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from shane wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

I like the journey. The destination is just the final step. Not in a rush, don't need shortcuts.

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from Dcast wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Dave, I know you fancy yourself as a curmudgeon but, I think you're way off along with most who have posted here. Remember you attend the Shot Show and other venues like the such that average people don't attend nor could afford to. Your surrounded by a very small group of people who can afford $2000 plus guns with scopes costing as much or more. Not to mention the eastern half of the US not having the luxury of open vast landscapes allowing 1000yd shots or even half that. Long range shooting is very limited and will not take hold in most of the US for two simple reasons economics and landscape. I can see it out west where trees and head height brush aren't the norm but not so much the eastern half where trees fence lines and homes are virtually everywhere. On the tech side I really don't see any technical device that improves hunters odds other than a range finder. I will argue your generation or slightly before your generation saw the greatest technological advancement in all of hunting and that being the scope. So remember when you go full blown curmudgeon, you to are the equivalent of todays range finder-long range shooting generation of those before you. Gun makers will always market their long range ability but that ability is rarely ever used in most parts of the country, and there are far more bow and close range shooters than you care to realize. I'd suggest you forgo all these national venues holding so-called hunting expos held for those you loath and come back to your roots where the majority of America hang out. You have to much of the Hillary types on the brain and not enough of us lesser mortals!

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from nehunter92 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Dave,

I agree with you for the most part (myself not being in much a position to determine what attitudes were like before I was around) I can’t say that I agree with you 100%. While it is true that many of my generation have become accustomed to a more instant satisfaction, I am not quite sure that long range shooting grants such satisfaction. As I’m sure you know far better than I ever will, long range shooting is an art-form unto itself. A separate art from that of the stalk to be sure, but marksmanship nevertheless does not come easily for most. Simply put, you can’t waltz down to the range and expect to be a sniper by day one, and such a relationship is not conducive to instant satisfaction. The prospect of instant satisfaction through hyper long range accuracy may draw some in, but I find it unlikely that those types will stick around for long.

I will concede that my generation does lack patience, and the extension of effective shooting range would fit that impatience well. It takes a great deal of patience and restraint to say, wait for that turkey to close in another ten yards. Why wait when you can reach out and touch him at 70? Still, I believe this type of situation would only dissuade a few outdoorsmen, as in my experience the mere prospect of success is enough to keep someone going.

It’s funny that you mention the attention span issue, because it sounds like you are describing the “ADHD generation.” As a young, overweight, impatient, outdoorsman with ADD who has never taken any game any farther than 30 yards away, I can tell you that it’s not always a burden. When you have ADHD (or whatever the hell they call it these days, personally I don’t think it’s much of a “disorder,” but I digress…) you respond to a variety of external stimuli. This can be a bother in the classroom, as instead of listening to some teacher drone on about prime factorization, the appearance of a bug on the window catches your attention. This can be rather helpful in the field at times, as your brain is wired to be drawn to sudden noises, movements, or anything else out of the ordinary. There is a credible theory called the “Hunter vs. Farmer Hypothesis” about the cause and nature of ADHD. Simply put, it states that the “Hyper focus” aspect of ADHD actually provided advantages to hunter gatherer individuals rather than farmers. I would like to know your opinion on it Dave as I believe it would be an interesting discussion as to whether or not the theory is credible in the eyes of actual hunters.

Lastly a final (offbeat, ADD induced) note about the average British native and sharpshooters…

As I live in the Boston area, any Brit questioning the use of snipers can take a good look around. I have simply to point to the monument on Bunker Hill, and the Stars and Stripes on Beacon Hill and say…

“It sure worked on you poor bastards didn’t it?”

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from Clay Cooper wrote 7 weeks 23 hours ago

WAM DITTO's !

Looking back at all those shooting clinics I put on for the Marines, Army and Air Force troops and a few other Civilian groups that needed what they truly believed was specialized training, was nothing more than GOOD OL'FASHION BASIC MARKSMANSHIP 101, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 7 weeks 22 hours ago

We are not AGAINST technology. We all used it. But technology carried to the extreme is no longer hunting. It is farming. If all you want to do is kill, get a job in a slaughter house.

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from timvance8 wrote 7 weeks 21 hours ago

Interesting that the concept of a "beanfield rifle" has yet to be discussed. I daydreamed about Kenny Jarrett rifles when I should have been learning long division nearly 20 years ago. I see no difference in ethics between taking a long shot from a box stand using a superbly accurate hunting rifle, or using a newer tacti-cool rifle with bells and whistles to take a similarly long poke. I can't recall much pushback when Mr. Jarrett broke onto the scene, only amazement that such a rifle existed.

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from MReeder wrote 7 weeks 19 hours ago

Dave did hit the nail on the head when it comes to the initial appeal of complicated, long range gadgetry to younger hunters, and as a general principle I'm philosophically simpatico with any view that holds we're all going to Hades in a handbag.
However I'm not convinced that the current fixation with long-range hunting is irreversible. Eventually those with little desire to complete a 400 or 500 yard stalk will decide they don't want to drag up before dawn and do any walking period; so they will either become target shooters or move on to something else. Other younger hunters originally seduced by the siren song of technology will discover, as others did before them, that there is more satisfaction in completing a great stalk than in pulling off a long shot; that there are fewer headaches involved in simply memorizing the ballistic charts of your particular load than in trying to decipher an overloaded screen display inside a scope that costs more than your rifle or your hunting trip; that no matter how theoretically precise your sighting and shooting equipment may be, there is still a wobbly, excited, nerve-twitching human being seated behind it; that it doesn't matter much what your scope or gun is doing under perfect and controllable conditions if the wind between you and your target puffs unpredictably or your chosen target takes a step forward just as you shoot; and that while an errant shot on paper from 800 yards away is a minor and passing disappointment, an errant shot from that same distance that merely blows the leg off of a game animal or smacks into its guts is something far, far, far more regrettable and difficult to forget. The natural progression for most big game hunters over their lifetime is to limit the number of their kills, become more selective with their harvests and to choose options that make their hunts more difficult, rather than less so. That is human nature and it doesn't yield much to technology or anything else, as any number of Utopian social engineers have learned to their chagrin.

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from Drover1 wrote 7 weeks 17 hours ago

Personally I think taking ultra-long shots at animals is irresponsible and unethical. Even if you can consistently hit a static target at 800 yards or whatever, animals move. When you shoot an animal at 100 or 200 yards with a typical big-game round, the bullet reaches the target almost instantaneously, so if your aim is on, the outcome is good. At ultra-long ranges, there is plenty of time between the trigger pull and impact for the animal to turn, take a step, etc. Not because it hears the shot—the bullet obviously gets there well ahead of the report – animals just move. The shot might go right where the shooter aimed, but the animal’s vitals might no longer be there. Then you have the issues of wind, etc. For target shooting – go as long-range as you want. For hunting, be a hunter and get within reasonable range to minimize the risk of wounding an animal.

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from O Garcia wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

One reason for the XM2010's greater range over the M24 is the chambering: .300 Winchester Magnum. Of course, there are other improvements, too.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 7 weeks 11 hours ago

As I reach a point in life where there are fewer days ahead than those behind, I find myself less interested in long range shooting and high technology, and far more interested in a simpler, more basic--and, to me, much better--form and method of shooting and hunting.

I've got a Savage Model 99 on its way to a gunsmith who is going to put a new 24" barrel on it chambered in .250 Savage Ackley Improved. The gunsmith is going to install a first class peep sight on the rear and, as my one concession to technology, a fiber optic light-gathering bead sight on the front. There will never be a scope on this rifle. It will, however, always carry a leather sling.

I grew up shooting a single-shot Remington bolt action .22 with a peep sight. It was a great little rifle, accurate, light, easy to carry. I fired it--thousands of rounds--for years before my father and step-father ever permitted me to shoot a "real" rifle--a .222 Remington for a year or two before I received a .257 Roberts as a Christmas and Birthday Present all in one.

The discipline and form required to accurately shoot a single shot rifle with a peep sight made me a good shot before I moved up to anything bigger. True, these days I have rifles that are first-class long range shooters, and true, I have developed loads for these rifles that are accurate and hard-hitting out to any sane range, and maybe a little further. Yet more and more I long for the simplicity--and the elegant beauty--of the little Savage 99 with a good peep sight, a new barrel, and a nifty and versatile front sight.

When that old-new little rifle makes its way into my hands again, I have a feeling I'll be done with rifles . . . or at least with acquiring any more of them. And I suspect that probably 80% of my shooting from that point forward in time will just be with the 99, assuming it performs and shoots the way I think it will.

I look forward to simpler ways. I look forward to that 99.

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from BHicks wrote 6 weeks 6 days ago

Being a 24 year old, I find this to be a very interesting discussion.
I think that the longer shots people see are not how my generation prefers to hunt. This is just another case of generalization. Keep in mind, we have grown up in the time when there is no escape from the city unless we get outside in those precious few months of the year we call hunting season. The most hard-core hunter I know, which I hunt with just about every other weekend of deer season, did not pick up a rifle but once all year. We see the skill involved in getting a deer close, but we also respect the fact that some people's skill is taking game, ethically, at a distance. Do I feel confidant that I could take a deer with my gun at 300? Yes, without a doubt. Do I feel guilty any time I take a deer at any distance with a rifle? Once again, yes. I feel that it is too easy and there is little thrill. The point is, I am not bashing people for the way they enjoy to use their time outdoors, as long as it is ethical. A hunter is a hunter. If you put a deer on the ground from 5 or 500 yards, either way you put forth an honest effort in developing your skill and knowing your limits.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 6 weeks 3 days ago

This whole generational blame is a chicken-and-egg thing. Has the younger generation gone astray or did we just forget to bring them along? I'm guilty too. Talk about out of the loop, until the other day I thought Pokémon was a Jamaican proctologist. However, I have to say my 22 year-old daughter is happy enough to tag along goose hunting in my old coat and fly fishing with my dad's old Wonderod. That's because she's going with me and really doesn't care what gear she's using (and also because she loved my dad dearly!). I see so many young folks coming onto this forum wanting to get started in hunting and fishing who have no mentors like she does. Where are they getting their ethics? From the media who "write what sells" as David so aptly put it. Consequently, from the onset these babes-in-the-woods are smothered with the concept that buying stuff is what hunting and fishing is all about. The media must always be responding/creating something new to sell ... because the younger generation has been taught to demand it. Because we didn't teach them anything different. Just so happens the newest thing to sell them is long range hunting. I hope it fades as fast as the AR fad.

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from Tim Platt wrote 6 weeks 2 days ago

I'm afraid AR's are more than a fad. They are here to stay Honker. I really think most long range shooters are not hunting that way, just as I feel most AR users are not hunting with them. Hunting will always be about getting close enough to the animal to make a certain humane kill, and using a suitable cartridge. Hunters will always be hunters.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Lobster, if you don't understand the answer to your question, you really don't have any business being in the field. There is no difference. It's about wasting game: blowing a bird to feathers at ten yards is just as wasteful as whacking a deer in the arse with a five hundred yard Hale Mary shot.

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from Mike1984 wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Are you getting old? What mentally ill synapse did you use to link Hillary Clinton to a long range rifle. Do we need to have the SECRET SERVICE Interview your rear.

And as for scandal, take an Econ course at your local community college, you lunatic Republicans attempted to elect a a candidate that promised to improve the Economy of CHINA. Republicans right now have proposed NO JOBS Program, No Infrastructure Program to help the unemployed Americans out here WAITING to Work. You've voted to Stop all oversight if a criminal and corrupt Wall Street, where they allow hedge funds to see your order in the queue and jump ahead. Republican coal policies have polluted every Lake and Stream in America.

And with a Global Glacier Melt, and a Global Drought right in front of your faces and with the risk of losing US Agriculture your party is doing nothing about Global Warming, while kissing the oil industry's bottom. The Republican party today is a 10 dollar red dress hooker at your local corner bar.

Just look at the evidence of Republican policies. The worst states are the Republican Southern States Dragging down US GDP with stupid job killing economic, tax and school policies. The Republican party has been a TOTAL Economic Failure for America for 40 Years.

Stick with Guns, you know excrement about politics.

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