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I got into a spirited debate with a friend about ethical hunting distances. I was wondering what you guys thought? I will weight

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  • I got into a spirited debate with a friend about ethical hunting distances. I was wondering what you guys thought? I will weight

    I got into a spirited debate with a friend about ethical hunting distances. I was wondering what you guys thought? I will weight in on the end. Please keep it pg and friendly. thx mike

  • #2
    There's all sort of hunting distances. Your 30-06 will kill a deer at a thousand yards. But that's not an ethical shot. For most east coast hunters, a 300 yard shot isn't ethical. They haven't practiced at that range and don't understand how their rifle performs. There's too great a chance of crippling a deer.

    But if you've practiced and are confident in your shooting at ranges of 300-400 yards, those aren't unethical shots.

    Archery is the same. I could kill a deer at a 100 yards or more. But to me, a 50 or even 40 yard shot isn't ethical. I don't practice at those ranges. I am confident in my abilities and with my setup at distances inside 30 yards. For me, ethical shot is inside 30 yards.

    Turkeys are a different ethical issue. I could take a 50 yard shot at a gobbler and hit it but it's not ethical. There's too great of a chance that I won't put shot into the birds head. But, I will probably put a good number of shot into the bird's body and there's a good chance it will run off and die.

    Hunters owe it to the animal not to take unethical shots. There's lots of variables involved. For example, a few years ago I passed up a shot at what was I'm sure one of the largest bucks I've seen in the woods. It's jumped up from a bed and ran by me at 40 yards but I passed on the shot. It was raining very, very hard and the deer was about 20 yards from running into a large, swampy, brushy area with visibility of only a few yards. In the 3-4 seconds I saw the deer and contemplated a shot, I knew in my heart that if I didn't drop that deer in its tracks, I would never find it. I have no regrets about not taking the shot.

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    • #3
      It depends on the skill level of the hunter and the capability of his rifle.
      It could be from 100yds to well over 300yds.
      For the few who practice at extended ranges like military snipers, they could realistically double that.
      I am comfortable to 300yds but most of my shots in the Eastern woods have been around 100yds.

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      • #4
        Not to get Hollywood BUT it's the Man and the Machine. Unfortunately what you have to keep in mind is pride does go before the fall and time does pass quickly.

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        • #5
          "Ethical" is open to interpretation and as jhjimbo said, depends on the individual hunter, and the scenario he or she is presented.

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          • #6
            The average Deer Kill in the U.S.A. is 100Yd or less...let your Skills and Conscience be your Guide. From my T-stand a 40 to 60Yd shot is Max in the woods, and 108Yd to the end of my food plot is Max.

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            • #7
              Archery shot from a tree stand, I wouldn't shoot over thirty yards. Other guys can shoot an arrow at a greater distance.

              Rifles some guys can thread a needle at 300 yards and other couldn't hit the side of a barn.
              Every individual should know their limitations with their own shooting.

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              • #8
                250 yards for my 30-06. Period. I can hit an animal at a greater distance. And I did once (over 300 yards). But in the end I sure wished I hadn't!

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                • #9
                  You are too ambiguous in your question. To what specifically are you referring? Ethical for deer can vary from archery, to muzzle loader to rifles, and etc. for other game. Ethical for an experienced shooter and a less experienced shooter can be several hundred yards. You should be more specific.

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                  • #10
                    My ethics in this matter are guided by my skill, so a better shooter than I would have a greater distance that would fall within his skill set. If I can't hit a vital area in the standing offhand position at a given distance, then a shot that presents at a greater distance requires my fire discipline (or a steadier position).
                    Some of my rifles are capable of greater accuracy than my ability to place the shot, and the only way to find out is to practice, to experiment. Shooting from the bench may give us an idea of the firearm's accuracy potential, but these ideal conditions are not "real life". Set your targets up in the field and blaze away. Get to know your rifle and what you can do with it while practicing to improve, and that will shape your hunting ethic.
                    My .30-'06 and .280 were capable of admirable accuracy at extended range, but I passed up a shot at 300+ because I didn't seem to hold steadily enough. A companion took the shot (standing) with his .270 and nailed the deer. It was within his skill to take the shot, so it was ethical for him. I was breathing like a racehorse and my crosshairs were all over the game; it was not an ethical shot for me. Let your skill or proficiency shape your hunting ethic.

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                    • #11
                      Take in consideration, shooter,rifle,conditions.
                      Just like driving, to make it simple.

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                      • #12
                        Ambiguous question. Are you talking goose or moose?

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                        • #13
                          As has been pointed out it depends on the game and the skill level/ability of the individual. In squirrel hunting I try for head shots with a .22 and even with a scope I pass on any shot past 25/30 yards. Past that the target area is just too small to guarantee a clean kill, at least for me.

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                          • #14
                            Like so many above have said, it depends on the game, the shooter, and the gun. I guess a rule of thumb is the distance you are sure you can make a clean kill at. For doves, it might be 25 yards, for moose, it might be 300.

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                            • #15
                              I should have just said big game with bow or gun. I agree with you guys how it is about the skill of the hunter not the distance. we where flipping through the channels and saw a bow hunter shoot a hog at 52 yards and he got super pissed about the distance. He has not grown up shooting and was visiting from PA. I made the argument that it is all about your skill and equipment. I grew up shooting competitively in both archery and rifle shooting. When I was competing, I was shooting a 44lbs recurve at 90 meters. So a 52 yard shot even now with a modern high weight compound is relatively easy. (heck I shot my bull two years ago at 56 and nicked the heart). For the rifle thing eastern and western hunting differ a bunch so he did not really argue that point but like I said the argument got quite spirited. sorry if i sound a little ticked but was still disagree.

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