Seeing the minor furore over a 'recently closed thread' I thought this impertinent new boy would chip in about the Hungarian bandit clip. Once upon a time I wore uniform and acquired a German jagdschein. I shot with German friends who had their own 'Revier' (territory) on the Teutowald (think opening shot of Gladiator and forget they used Hamsterley Forest!) I also shot the 70 odd square miles of Sennelager ranges which were stiff with wild pig. It is gently undulating in the South and rises to the Teutoberg ridge in the North with woods, open lanes and areas of scrub.
The thing I always found amongst the German hunting fraternity was the greatest respect in which they held British sporting (hunting) traditions. It seemed slightly at odds with their highly regulated sport much of it codified by Hermann Goering's legislation. (He destroyed their hunting with hounds and horses in favour of the firearm - no Stephen Fry on QI it was not Hitler!) There was a certain misty eyed view of the Monarch of the Glen stalking but a general feeling that we Brits behaved 'properly'. For my part I had shot with either a couple of Germans from high seats or in British only parties so I had not seen them 'in their natural environment'. That was until Boxing Day 19 hundred and frozen to death when I went out onto the ranges with the Forstmeister and his mates. This was respected officialdom and local worthies, I can tell you.
We had the safety brief, concept of hunt operations etc., donned wacky fluorescent tape to headgear and encircled about 6 sq miles of mixed vegetation then slowly closed in before the dogs were sent in. You could shoot into the ring until the whistle blew then had to shoot out (no swinging through the line - yeah right).
Now I had listened attentively. We we supposed to be shooting the larger Frischling i.e. about 1 yr old and best eating. There had been the odd distant pop when I had about 30 head of wild boar in all sizes burst out of the undergrowth less than 10 metres away. My Winchester 70 with one up the spout and 2 in the magazine suddenly seemed an encumbrance to climbing the nearest tree; especially given the way two enormous boars seemed to be eyeing me. It must have been the Lynx effect because they suddenly snorted and rushed back into cover followed by crackles of gunfire suddenly erupting (there were about 25-30 guns) and the odd bit of crack and thump (incoming!)
Now when we gathered an hour or so later in gathering gloom and snow to inspect the haul and see them all played their obligatory horn calls and have oak leaves or whatever draped on them I noted 2 things. First the complete equanimity with which all the Germans regarded the scene and secondly their apparent complete lack of appreciation that they had just taken part in a re-enactment of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Pigs only? Er, no. There were a couple of fallow and roe as I recall and the pigs were of every size, shape, sex and age with bullet holes in every limb, guts, throat etc.
I then understood why they held us, the Brits, in high regard. It is because we can (and generally do) control man's natural bloodlust to take only the more difficult shots with a shotgun and only humane ones with a rifle. Now we do ***** birds and will occasionally fluff the shot but the humane intent, given that we are hunting, is generally unimpeachable. The longest single shot I have ever taken was about 6.5km with a 105mm Light Gun and I actually hit the tank hulk at which I had it aimed (I used a radio and called for one round not 3 rounds fire for effect). The fact I hit it was a complete fluke because the gun is only accurate to about 30m at that range. I merely wanted to see how inaccurate!
The longest shot I personally have ever taken at live quarry was about 220m on a stag after a long day's pursuit and across an open bowl with the last 300 yds on my belly. Since I was an invitee on a well known Highland estate I would rather have desisted than mess up but the ghillie was keen so down it went. I have only ever put one bullet into every deer I have shot (an admittedly modest number) but that is a record I wish to keep as long as possible - however proud I am of knocking down all the 600m targets at Bisley with an iron sighted SLR on the Team Shoot before my side kicks found their mark.
My quick trawl is that the general consensus on here is to apply the precautionary principle. If you are not sure do not shoot - whether because of light, back stop, vegetation or range. I do not think we should be too pious but the variables increase exponentially with range and we should not let luck persuade us we have more skill or control over the target, trajectory etc., than we do. Even Clint needed a few shots to shoot through the rope and he was using fat bullets! It should not take a messy kill or an escaped injury to persuade us we have become a cowboy.
And after all that mouth I am still waiting for the FEO to see if they will give me an open FAC on a .270 in my own name.