Taking something useful from something controversial.

Dave881

Well-Known Member
In light of the recent video and subsequent discussion on this forum about shooting driven deer I have been looking at how the skills required to shoot a moving animal could be of benefit to me as a stalker. This discussion has raised many issues about animal welfare and ability to place a humane shot. The point was quite correctly made that poor shot placement still happens on standing animal, not just running ones. It was this point that made think it would be a good idea to learn how to shoot running deer, not as a management technique or as a sporting endeavour but purely as a backup skill should the initial shot go wrong. I have openly said that I have had it go wrong and it's a horrible thing to have happen, thankfully a rare thing but unfortunately it can still happen to any of us. I am now I'm a position where I am mentoring a new stalker and would like to help more people learn in the future, but with doing this I am aware that there is a higher chance that something could go wrong, I am not knocking new stalkers at all but I can remember the nerves and my mind moving at 1000mph when I was preparing to take my first deer and I know how daunting it felt. Having looked back at my own experiences and looking to the future I feel that having the skills to shoot a running deer in an emergency situation would be of great benefit to me in humanely culling deer. I would like to hear other people's opinions on what I have taken from this video, please like the relevant box below and discuss any opinions. Thanks for reading this and I look forward to hearing what people think.
Dave.
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
Of course it is a useful skill, but it is often not practical due to the differences in the equipment we choose to use. Those that choose to shoot running animals out of choice will use relatively low power magnification scopes with simple reticule and a wide field of view. Those of us that choose to shoot stationary deer generally use a relatively high power scope zoomed in as much as possible to aid accuracy and shot placement. This makes it difficult to carry out a swift follow-up shot on a moving animal as it is difficult to keep sight of it. You also loose situation awareness of the surrounding area from being too 'zoomed in' which could pose safety issues. Keeping your other eye open helps, but there is always a blind side. Much easier with my original 6x42 scope than it would be with my last one bought which is 6-24 x 56!
Most wounded deer will only go to the nearest cover and then stop. As a mentor of a new stalker, you'd be much better off teaching them shot site analysis and wait times for follow-up regarding what evidence you have found at the shot site.
Firing more rounds at an already wounded beast could just drive it on and make an already bad situation much worse. I'd be a bit concerned if any trainee stalker wounded a deer and then emptied his mag as it ran off? Most deer are missed or wounded due to individuals exceeding their own limitations. To expect them to then hit the same target when moving would not be very realistic in most situations?
MS
 

Dave881

Well-Known Member
Of course it is a useful skill, but it is often not practical due to the differences in the equipment we choose to use. Those that choose to shoot running animals out of choice will use relatively low power magnification scopes with simple reticule and a wide field of view. Those of us that choose to shoot stationary deer generally use a relatively high power scope zoomed in as much as possible to aid accuracy and shot placement. This makes it difficult to carry out a swift follow-up shot on a moving animal as it is difficult to keep sight of it. You also loose situation awareness of the surrounding area from being too 'zoomed in' which could pose safety issues. Keeping your other eye open helps, but there is always a blind side. Much easier with my original 6x42 scope than it would be with my last one bought which is 6-24 x 56!
Most wounded deer will only go to the nearest cover and then stop. As a mentor of a new stalker, you'd be much better off teaching them shot site analysis and wait times for follow-up regarding what evidence you have found at the shot site.
Firing more rounds at an already wounded beast could just drive it on and make an already bad situation much worse. I'd be a bit concerned if any trainee stalker wounded a deer and then emptied his mag as it ran off? Most deer are missed or wounded due to individuals exceeding their own limitations. To expect them to then hit the same target when moving would not be very realistic in most situations?
MS
I can understand everything you have said and yes it wouldn't always be safe to make a follow up shot before the deer gets to cover. I have just reread my original post and should have said that I am in NO WAY suggesting that a novice stalker should even consider taking pot shots at a wounded deer. I always carry my rifle while I am teaching as I am aware how easily things can go south and I feel it is appropriate for me to carry it should it ever go wrong. I appreciate that not everyone has equipment suitable for doing this but both of my stalking scopes go down to 2.5x which should be plenty to spot a shot for a newbie at shorter ranges. I hope this clears up my mistake in my original post and safety is absolute priority.
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
I can understand everything you have said and yes it wouldn't always be safe to make a follow up shot before the deer gets to cover. I have just reread my original post and should have said that I am in NO WAY suggesting that a novice stalker should even consider taking pot shots at a wounded deer. I always carry my rifle while I am teaching as I am aware how easily things can go south and I feel it is appropriate for me to carry it should it ever go wrong. I appreciate that not everyone has equipment suitable for doing this but both of my stalking scopes go down to 2.5x which should be plenty to spot a shot for a newbie at shorter ranges. I hope this clears up my mistake in my original post and safety is absolute priority.
That's fair enough Dave. I have also ALWAYS carried a rifle when mentoring novice stalkers. However, I invariably stalk with my vari-scopes set at x 7 or 8 mag. I'm not sure I'd have the time or forthought to be able to reduce it in an emergency? What mag do you have yours set to when mentoring?
MS
 

Dave881

Well-Known Member
That's fair enough Dave. I have also ALWAYS carried a rifle when mentoring novice stalkers. However, I invariably stalk with my vari-scopes set at x 7 or 8 mag. I'm not sure I'd have the time or forthought to be able to reduce it in an emergency? What mag do you have yours set to when mentoring?
MS
I too have always had my scope set at around 7 while teaching but have been reconsidering my approach since thinking about the issue we are now discussing. For now I shall continue to do it the same as I always have but will evaluate how I do things once I have undergone suitable training for shooting running deer. Shot site analysis and proper follow up on any shot animal will always be an important skill to teach and not all situations would it be useful but one day it might end any suffering faster if I can take that shot safely and quickly, hopefully I will never have to do it but I want the ability should I have to.
Dave
 

stubear

Well-Known Member
In my view any time spent on the range getting familiar with your kit is time well spent. Shoot at different ranges, standing up, sitting down, lying down etc etc. Too many of us (and I am guilty of this) go to the range and shoot at 100y off a bench. Useful for checking zero but thats about the extent of it, because you're not going to be shooting deer off a bench when you're stalking.

Unless you happen to be lucky enough to own a huge house with a large back porch, an even larger plot of land and no neighbours nearby, and then you can set up a bench on your porch and shoot deer from there I guess.

One great bit of related advice I got when I first went out with Paul a few years back was wind your scope right down when you're approaching a fallen animal. That way if it does get up and run you're in with a chance of getting a shot at it which is simply not going to happen if your scope is still wound up to 10x.

I would certainly be keen to get a group together and go to the driven boar cinema at H&H or something. I've done driven shooting and fortunately many decades of clay shooting meant that the shot I did make connected, but you can never practice enough IMO.
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
Im waiting for the people who actually track deer with mortal wounding to chip in and provide some perspective.
I think most of the serious trackers have been swayed by our Euro friends and operate the same. ie, short un-moderated barrel in a large calibre with Aimpoint style sights. Once again, the difference being that they are pretty much expecting to have to shoot either a very close or possibly mobile animal. Most UK stalkers are not.
MS
 

mchughcb

Well-Known Member
Head shooting a deer. Blowing its jaw off watching it run off. Grazing a deer and finding it in its bed.

Both these type of occasions i have seen as a stalker and both have required a fast second shot on a running deer to put it down before it dissapears into a million acres of even denser forest. Begining able to shoot a fast second shot on running game offhand is a skill worth having in my opinion.
 

Ray7756

Well-Known Member
I think most of the serious trackers have been swayed by our Euro friends and operate the same. ie, short un-moderated barrel in a large calibre with Aimpoint style sights. Once again, the difference being that they are pretty much expecting to have to shoot either a very close or possibly mobile animal. Most UK stalkers are not.
MS
I agree with MS stalkers in uk are trying to get 1 shot and drop, and 99% of training and advice, is aiming for this result, so we are set up for relatively high mag with faster smaller bullets, and the wisdom is take the shot observe the amimals reaction and wait 10 mins before approaching, not to get set for a shot on a running animal, with the quality of "stalkers" nowadays I would not like to encourage second shots on the move,,,,, if this is modern thinking I can only say I am glad we no longer have large bore semi auto rifles any more,
Ray
 

johngryphon

Well-Known Member
One of the problems of the modern day is that the average 'new chum' of today simply lacks the years of growing up with and using rifles and shotguns in the formative shooting years on a daily/weekly basis. I include air rifles in this as the average Aussie kid would shoot off hundreds of slugs a week which is thus a lead into graduating with the usual starter rifle .22 etc etc.

New chum walks into gunshop gets sold too big a calibre,develops a flinch shooting paper with poor accuracy and that accuracy translates to **** on moving game when he shoot`s at a deer.
Running/flying shots with a shotgun is par for the learning course and this translates back into moving target shots with the chosen rifle for the next stage of taking running deer.
Just about every kid has had multiple shots at rabbits on the run from an age where rabbits were thick as fleas.
Most decent gun shots can replicate that accuracy by using a rifle with practice and time on larger animals. Many Aussies shot 100`s of wild pigs that were on the run and still do. Its not a difficult task with said practice. More than a few went down to using slugs in a .12G. I was introed to them and personally favoured the plastic Sellier + Bellot jobs,they were awesome in accuracy and power. These were basically a length of threaded rod shrouded in high density plastic.
Aimed and shot like a rifle on running boar they certainly provided much 'training' that helps out when using a rifle.
Flushed rabbits/hares or whatevers,even rats in the rafters with rat shot provide enormous insight into the ways to lead,trigger squeeze etc. In fact a great day can be had shooting scurrying rats...more practice.
However there is no substitute for field practice and no matter how many shots are fired at the range the experience of real life hunting practice is simply unbeatable.
Get out and do it!
 

mchughcb

Well-Known Member
I agree with MS stalkers in uk are trying to get 1 shot and drop, and 99% of training and advice, is aiming for this result, so we are set up for relatively high mag with faster smaller bullets, and the wisdom is take the shot observe the amimals reaction and wait 10 mins before approaching, not to get set for a shot on a running animal, with the quality of "stalkers" nowadays I would not like to encourage second shots on the move,,,,, if this is modern thinking I can only say I am glad we no longer have large bore semi auto rifles any more,
Ray
Okay Dokey then whats the next logical step? Everyone should have a single shot because nobody needs a follow up shot and if they do they can do it at their leisure. I hunt with a Stutzen, double and repeater. If I could have my semi-auto back without a bunch of legal rigmarole I'd have one of them as well.
 

Ray7756

Well-Known Member
Okay Dokey then whats the next logical step? Everyone should have a single shot because nobody needs a follow up shot and if they do they can do it at their leisure. I hunt with a Stutzen, double and repeater. If I could have my semi-auto back without a bunch of legal rigmarole I'd have one of them as well.
pretty sure you know the OP is uk based, and its stated that "stalkers in uk" in my post that you quote therfore its safe to assume any comments are made regarding UK shooting, for you to make the above assumption is stupid to say the least, the rules and laws are totally different "down under" but if you want to get " all offended" by my comments go ahead I dont give a crap
Ray
 

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