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  • Long Range Hunting - Ethical?

    I've been sent quite a few videos lately of hunters, using specialty rigs and, usually, wildcat loads, engaging deer at distances in excess of 850 yards.

    I've attached 2 of the videos below.

    Do you believe that hunters should engage in such practices? Should it be videotaped and disseminated via the internet? What do you think this tells the world about hunters and long range shooters?
    Attached Files
    www.precision-applications.com

    It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

    Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

    "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

  • #2
    Depends on the round. Can the round penetrate far enough to hit a critical part? Do you posses the skill to make this shot and put the bullet in a critical shot area? Do you posses the equipment to make this shot and accurately deliver a killing round? If you answered no or doubted yourself on any of these questions then no, don't even consider that kind of shot. As for the distribution of videos pertaining to any kind of hunting I believe we shouldn't. This gives the Anti-guners a reason to come into our yard and annoy us. And it doesn't matter what the video trruly shows there is going to be someone, somewhere who will twist and turn the facets of hunting and long range marksmanship into a propaganda effort to further their ignorant, closed-minded crusade against our god and government given rights.
    "O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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    • #3
      IMHO, long range hunting of game animal is unethical. The risk of wounding an animal is too high, and the chance of finding a wounded animal too low. Again IMHO taking a long range shot as depicted in the videos is against all fair chase principles of ethical hunting.



      James
      "Ever since I was a kid I've had snakes as pets. They're clean and quiet. You give them rodents and they give you pure, unconditional indifference." Carl Hiaasen

      "The Constitution is NOT and instrument for the government to restrain the people, it IS an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." - Patrick Henry

      "War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner." ? Cormac McCarthy

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      • #4
        I'm torn. While I personally would never take a shot on an animal that I was not completely comfortable that I could kill cleanly. But if you have the rifle, the skill, and the conditions, then I think that it's up to the hunter.

        I think that ethics are not and should not be a societal imposed standard, but something that each individual sets for themself and holds themself too. I think that it is the truest measure of a hunter, or any person for that matter. When it comes down to it, the only person that really knows what was in your head when you pulled that trigger is you.

        I am more comfortable at longer ranges than my dad, I don't think that he would go much past 100 yards regardless. I would not advocate making shots past 100 yards illegal though, nor would he. Who is going to set a standard? Me, you, a politician, the brady bunch?

        The only rifle I have that I would consider hunting big game at range would be my .300 wm, but I wouldn't be comfortable trying an extreme long shot on an animal. As JasMck pointed out, tracking sucks, and I hate losing an animal. I lost a doe a couple of years ago in a creek bottom while hunting in New York. Even though I spent two days looking instead of hunting, it still bugs me.

        If it's an actual hunt, I don't see a problem taping it any more than the other hunting shows. The anti's will always find something to complain about. I thought that was a hell of a shot across that valley. That was a well placed single shot, he knew what he was doing and had the equipment to manage it.

        It was nothing like that video of those knuckle heads blasting away at the running deer down in Texas until they got lucky that was floating around. That was unethical beyond the shadow of a doubt.

        As to the other video, at first my reaction was that shooting deer from the table and chairs set up was way out of line and personally repugnant to me. Then I realized that I wouldn't have a problem if they were shooting prairie dogs, ground hogs, or chucks from a set up like that. I guess it depends on your perspective of varmint.

        To a farmer, a deer is as destructive a varmint as a prairie dog is to a rancher.

        "Do the right thing even if it means dying like a dog when no one's there to see you do it." Vice Admiral James Stockdale, NAVY PILOT

        "Honor, Integrity, Commitment to core values. When they become abstract concepts or "ideals", all is lost." Me.

        "Character is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking." J.C. Watts

        "I have never seen a projectile turn in flight and come back at the ship that fired it, I cannot however make that same statement regarding missiles." Me.

        Deus lo vult! = "God wills it!"

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        • #5
          [quote]
          IMHO, long range hunting of game animal is unethical. The risk of wounding an animal is too high, and the chance of finding a wounded animal too low. Again IMHO taking a long range shot as depicted in the videos is against all fair chase principles of ethical hunting.



          James[/b]
          +1
          personally i wont try a shot on a dear past 350-400 simply because i dont know if the round will have retained enough stopping power to kill a 650lb animal cleanly, feral goats not past 500 (only when i can not get any closer because of where they are like on the sides of bluffs)
          The future of man is unknowen, Unless you try to rob a gun store with a machete in which case your future is certin...Your gonna get your dumb a$$ shot!


          one weekend in the bush sorts out months of crap from the city.

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          • #6
            Hm there's a lot to discuss in this one and I doubt I'll be able to cover it all in one reply, but I'll start.

            I think there's a very small sub set of hunters who can ethically hunt at long ranges like these. Certainly<10% of hunters and possibliy<1% have the skill set and equipment do this. There have already been some good posts in this thread. I'll add that the hunter MUST consider wind in this type of shooting and have considerable range practice @ different ranges out to 1,000 yard. He must also be aware that in the bush there won't be any range flags to help him gauge the wind even for most practiced long range shooters if it's windy don't take the shot. Then there's the time of flight of the bullet and what the animal does while the bullet is inflight. Currently for myself I'll shoot out to 5 or 6 hundred yards if it's calm no wind, if it's windy just watch the animal. Here in BC the land is on edge, lots of mountains and valleys and I can set-up in a good spot with my range finder, binos, and spoting scope and use the spoting scope stand as a rest for my rifle. Because of the heavy bush here it's often not possible to stalk an animal seen across a valley so the cross valley shot is the only real option. We're all responsible for our actions and must come to grips with what's ethical for us to do in this situation.

            While I like to see successful hunting videos like these I fear there's no doubt but that the not so successful ones just arn't shown and I suppose that's a good thing. As other have said the antis will make hay with this. Part of the problem is everyone wants to be successful. As I mentioned above there's such a small % of hunters with the requiste skills that I think it's better these videos don't become common on the net, maybe already too late for that. I can envision a long hunting industry growing up around this: Buy my video and equipment and become an instant long hunter! While deep pockets help there's also the skill and discipline of learning to shoot well that one must master before attempting this and I think the market interests being what they are can lead to a very ugly situation with tens of thousands instant long range hunters unleashed into the wilds of North America. There's needs to be some balance here and I'm afraid it's woefully lacking in so many areas, but somehow I also think in todays world pressures being what they are, the shooting public needs to somehow self regulate this new growing phenomena before the antis torpedo us.

            It can send the mesage of winning at any cost which again the antis will will use as their ammo.

            Some will say long range hunting isn't fair chase, I've had some people say that to me. Where they will drive down a logging area park their truck walk maybe 1/2 mile into the logged over area shoot an animal and winch it out whole with the use of extra ropes and a winch then try to tell me. That my long range shot animal wasn't fair chase. When I backbacked 5 miles into the bush set up camp. Went hunting for 8 hours the next day and because I shot my animal across a canyon @ 550 yards, it wasn't fair chase. Two of us spent 3 days butchering the animal and packing out 480 lbs of elk meat...Not fair chase! Anyway more to come on this I'm sure as it's a looming problem.


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            • #7
              I personally will not shoot any squirrels beyond 300 yards.... with my .22LR. I find they mostly end up running away, only stopping to give me the finger from the edge of the trees....

              Truth is I don't have the skill to make a shot on anything alive past 500 yards so until I do I won't judge someone else who may or may not have that skill. As a civi you don't want me taking shots that far anyway... hell I didn't even get out past 680 at homecoming hahaha

              -Blue
              "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"

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              • #8
                I personally know some guys that take long range hunting to the edge of there weapon. They shoot cleanly and humanly when they hit. My brother inlaw and his brothers use a 32x416 with Leupy Tach scope. My brother inlaw shot an elk at 1300+yds and his brother shot one at 1550yds. Is it ethical? Well I believe these gentlemen have proven them selves to be excellent practitioners of the long range art. They work to get those shots. They just don't drive to a predetermined location and set up. I know for a fact that they will hike for up to 10+ miles to find an animal. They also then pack and carry out on their backs when they shoot. So... I don't see any problems with what they do.

                John 3:16
                "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

                Romans 12:1-2
                Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. [2] Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

                If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger

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                • #9
                  I believe that the answer is relative to the hunter and the game. You, as a responsible hunter, should only shoot in your realm of ability. I have read here, or somewhere else, that you need at least 1300 ft-lbs to humanly kill a deer. Anything beyond that is unethical. I also think it is unethical to shoot in conditions and distances that you have not made countless hits on paper/steel first. However, I agree with usngunner with respect to groundhogs. We have so many groundhogs on our farms that they are completely destroying our hay fields. If I see a groundhog at any distance I will shoot it, be it ethical or not. We have livestock that could easily break their legs in the groundhog's hole. I do feel bad about a botched shot on a groundhog, but I would rather the groundhogs suffer a little than have to put down livestock because of a broken leg. IMHO
                  Tanner
                  We're still toooo close. Lets move further away.

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                  • #10
                    This is one of those loaded questions. No matter what you do in life there a few individuals that rise to the top and are able to accomplish things that others can only dream of. Some of it is natural talent and sometimes it is hard work and the dedication to succeed at a given task. Then there are those individuals that don't have talent or dedication but wrongfully feel that they can do anything.
                    This is my problem with long range hunting. There are too few individuals that have put in the work to accomplish a clean kill. All these type of videos do is promp individuals to try something they haven't prepared for. Here Bubba, hold my beer and watch this.....
                    I can't knock the talented few that can take the shot. I just hope that they really are one of the talented. As I grow older its just enough to get out in the field anb look at the animal through the scope. Many times I enjoy the view, take a deep contented breath, and then go home.

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                    • #11
                      I don't believe that there is anything unethical about ELR hunting so long as an individual has the skill and confidence with their firearm. With that being said, I also don't believe that you should try because you THINK you have the skill and confidence. I met a guy who was trying to sell me a 338-50 that he used to hunt from mountain top to mountain top in PA and for the life of me I can't remember his name. I do know that he built the rifle and would mount it on his ATV and pan the side of a mountain and take shots in excess or 2000 yds. 500 yds is my comfort level. I guess what I'm trying to say is, train the way you fight. If you can't perform at the range consistently, don't take it out to the field.
                      "No sword? Use a stick. No stick? Use a rock. No rock? Use your fists and feet! Lose your life, but make the enemy pay!"

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                      • #12
                        Now I'll tak a shot at 500 or 600 under good circumstances but that's about it. But then I don't haul out the shooting bench, 65+ lb rifle, chairs, multiple spotting scopes, sandwiches, coolers and the like that I've seen in some posted videos. If you can't carry it into the woods or the hills with you, or if you don't have a physical disability that prevents you and must hunt sitting, it ain't hunting.

                        As to the varmint hunting simile. I grew up on a farm in farming country. If you had varmints that were a problem you got rid of them. Didn't want a woodchuck digging up the dairy pasture but on the other hand if it wasn't bothering anything and you weren't planning on eating it you left it alone. We never shot anything just for the sake of shooting something. As kids we'd get together and hunt neighbors pastures and fields with permission. But if it wasn't tilled or grazed land or the immediately adjacent land we left it alone.

                        I'm reminded that in one western state that no centerfire rifles of .50 caliber are allowed and the rifles can weigh no more than 16 lbs becasue of some pinheads going out with .50s, using whatever ammunition they could get including AP, and cross canyon gut shooting elk and not chasing down their cripples. Lots of cripples. And plenty of other foolish goings on in a similar vein. And of course when one watches the video of the successful shot at 1000+ yards, how many bad shots with bad results aren't shown?

                        So no, for me there is too much bad baggage that doesn't get discussed when it comes to the chest thumpers extolling their skill and justifying their actions. And anyone who brags a bit too loud or long, well....
                        ?Laws are like a spider web, in that it snares the poor and weak while the rich and powerful break them.
                        Solon, ancient Greece

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                        • #13
                          Not so much an ethical question for me but an education question.

                          I see the problems the same as when crossbows were non restricted for bow season. There were a record number of reports of deer found later with bolts in them, because people were trying to make 150+ yard shots with a crossbow. Sure they could hit the animal, but there sure were a lot of animals suffering for a long time (some of these reports came in months later.)

                          I think the same exists for a hunter with a rifle, changing the medium doesn't change the problem. When people see the videos like these, they often assume, hey I can do that. How many people have we all seen that come onto the board, "I just got my first pss, and I'll be engaging targets at 700-1000 yards... oh yeah how do I figure out how many times I need to turn the dial on my scope for that?"

                          Personally, I don't see a need for ELR hunting, but like USNGunner pointed out, I dont think it should be regulated, and left to the choice and ability of a well educated hunter.
                          CelticRaven

                          -- Poor is the country with no heroes and worse yet, is the country that forgets its heroes.

                          Plan for what CAN happen, not what HAS happened.
                          --CelticRaven

                          The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
                          --Thomas Jefferson

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                          • #14
                            Ethics are always situational.

                            If I had a hungry family to feed I would have no problem taking a shot that was at the ragged edge of my ability.

                            Trapping an animal is every bit as cruel as wounding an animal from a poor shot (at any range), but people don't normally trap big game, only for fur.

                            So is long range hunting ethical for an animal that you could ethically set traps for? Well that has to be a yes. Coyote, bobcat, fox, etc. We accept "long range varminting" without question. So if the need for food was the reason for taking the shot, I'm completely ok with that.

                            On the flip side if it was simply sport hunting then I have a different set of what is acceptable. Part of hunting is challenging yourself, and if you feel the need to challenge yourself with longer and longer shots then maybe you should consider longer and longer stalks. The enjoyment of sport hunting shouldn't be in just the shot or the kill, but in the entire experience from setting out to coming home. Tracking a wounded animal isn't fun, at least not for me.

                            So I don't have a problem with other people taking long shots, but I worry about the consequences of bleeding heart liberals who see it posted on the internet and feel a need to lobby for more restrictions on hunters. Because no matter how we see the ethics, it's just dumb to post some stuff on the internet.

                            Jimro

                            "How you train is EXACTLY how you fight" Col (Ret) Robert B. Nett, awarded Medal of Honor

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                            • #15
                              [quote]
                              Ethics are always situational.

                              If I had a hungry family to feed I would have no problem taking a shot that was at the ragged edge of my ability.

                              Trapping an animal is every bit as cruel as wounding an animal from a poor shot (at any range), but people don't normally trap big game, only for fur.

                              So is long range hunting ethical for an animal that you could ethically set traps for? Well that has to be a yes. Coyote, bobcat, fox, etc. We accept "long range varminting" without question. So if the need for food was the reason for taking the shot, I'm completely ok with that.

                              On the flip side if it was simply sport hunting then I have a different set of what is acceptable. Part of hunting is challenging yourself, and if you feel the need to challenge yourself with longer and longer shots then maybe you should consider longer and longer stalks. The enjoyment of sport hunting shouldn't be in just the shot or the kill, but in the entire experience from setting out to coming home. Tracking a wounded animal isn't fun, at least not for me.

                              So I don't have a problem with other people taking long shots, but I worry about the consequences of bleeding heart liberals who see it posted on the internet and feel a need to lobby for more restrictions on hunters. Because no matter how we see the ethics, it's just dumb to post some stuff on the internet.

                              Jimro[/b]
                              AMEN

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