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Thread: Shot distance?

  1. #1

    Shot distance?

    Here in Texas, the average deer shot is between 50 and 150 yards, although shots up to around 300yds are not that uncommon. 300yd shots are pretty rare. I've deer hunted for 50yrs, killed 2-3 deer on average per year. I have never killed, or shot at a deer a deer over 300yds. About half my deer have been shot under 100yds and half over 100yds. I can probably count on both hands the number of deer that I have shot over 200yds. My fartherest shot was 280yds. FWIW I have never missed a shot over 200yds. There are places where shots can average shorter or longer, but state wide, my experiences pretty much mirror Texas averages. Let me add, most of our hunting is out of 'deer stands/blinds,' what you guys call 'doe boxes.' these allow a more solid rest, which allows a better 'hold,' which allows longer shots.
    It appears to me that the average shot in England, I'm not sure about Scotland, are somewhat shorter. It seems that 200yds is about max, with your average being about 100yds or so. I suspect that some of this is, while stalking, a solid rest is not assured, somewhat limiting longer shots. Am I correct in my generalities about shot length in England? Opinions/experiences? thanks, capt david

  2. #2
    As a general statement that seems pretty fair and accurate.

    Here in the UK many people either have to complete, or chose to complete, a deer stalking qualification and the emphasis during this is on shots taken at around 100 yards and this probably helps reinforce the mental position that most stalking shots are taken at this range. There are also a small and vocal minority of "thought police" who disapprove of longer shots even when they are reported to be successful, I'm sure this is the case everywhere but it may somewhat colour the impression given on forums such as this as those people taking longer shots may simply not want to put up with the hassle and so may not make any mention of them. For me personally deer start to look like they are "far away" at about 250 yards and so I usually aim to limit my shot to about 200 yards, I zero the rifle about 200 yards so I can pretty much hold dead on any deer I see and feel is at a shootable distance.

    I'm a hobby shooter and so am never under any pressure to take a shot to meet cull targets and the like. I've taken shots from 20 yards to about 230 yards. The one at 20 yards was the biggest cock-up of any shot I've ever made on a deer, though I did recover the beast. I would say that over 50% of my shots are taken off sticks with the rest usually off a bipod.

  3. #3
    Your hunting ideas sound a lot like mine. All my guns are zeroed for 200yds, for deer. Although I practice several times a year at 300yds, like I said I've never shot at a deer that far. I can consistantly hit an 8" gong at that distance. I'm 3 for 8 on small bunnies and 1 for three on coyotes, the only one standing still. I agree with you, deer are too tiny at that distance. Almost all my hunting is for sport/table, I would take a shot at a trophy at 300-350yds, if the conditions were right. capt david

  4. #4
    It has a lot to do with tradition, limit shots at deer to about 200yards less if you can get closer,
    the objective and the skill in stalking is to get as close as possible traditionally the shot is seen as a bit of an anti climax the sport being in the approach, will take shots at further than 200 yards on pest species, for example fox
    which is a much smaller target, so in truth its a bit hypocritical.

  5. #5

    I tend to take most of my shots at under 175m, with a handfull out to 250m, only if the conditions are right, with respect to wind, light & a bloody good steady support.

    I zero at 150m & hold over for any ajustment for range.

    Please also do consider that in my case that much of my hunting is on rolling cull agreements in the New Forest Area on private ground, very little of my stalking is recreational now & I will only take the 250m shots now knowing the rifle & ammunition performance inside out when conditions are correct.

    I am shooting now about 250 deer a year myself, however I know people that shoot twice that amount & they do take longer shots, however I just feel that beyond 250m the target gets pretty small to guarantee a kill.

    Regards Lee

  6. #6
    My experinces are similar to the other posters - the 25.06 is zeroed for 36/230 yards so anything in between I know is only maximum of 2.4 inches high (at 150 yards) and out at 300 yards 5.25 inches low - I have shot a red hind at 300 yards but that was a one-off from the prone position with a rock steady rest on a still dry day. My shots are usually taken in the 50 - 200 yard range for normal woodland/open hill conditions but the closer I can get the better - as bogtrotter says, the skill is usually in the stalking not the shooting.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    the objective and the skill in stalking is to get as close as possible traditionally the shot is seen as a bit of an anti climax the sport being in the approach

  8. #8
    Agree with prevous posts, we are a steep open grass hill so rifle zeroed at 200yrds with shots taken usually from150-250yrds.depending on ground and conditions.With a client I would usually say where to aim according to wind,distance ect so the shot goes home. Many guests over estimate range on bare ground as there's not much to gauge size/distance by. I t also depends if the deer are keyed up and closing in further would spook them . If conditions are good longer shots are possible and you should always take time to practice at long targets to become competent and confident. As said many of us on bigger ground take longer shots at smaller targets like foxes and hoodies succesfully. Not taking a long shot at deer has more to do with respect for the animal and not wounding it and having to follow up re-stalk and dispatch it.There's few things so heart sinking than seeing a wounded animal disappearing over a ridge and knowing that by the time you reach the ridge pulse hammering and tasting metal in your mouth, that the beast could be half a mile in any direction.

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