How far is too far?

daawg1963

AH veteran
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
102
Reaction score
88
Location
washington state
Media
1
Member of
sci and boone and crockett
Hunted
mexico africa ak id nm co or ca mt wa
One of our hunting group has bought a 300 WM to take long shots. He is an excellent shot, but is it 'right' to take a long shot at an animal when you could have got closer? Is there a sensible upper limit that hunters should adhere to? Do, or even should powerful optics excuse fieldcraft?
Idk all this high tech shooting takes the hunt out of it. I know I have a tracking point 338 anyone could hit a elk or wildebeest at 1000. For me it's all about the hunt so I'd say get close and get hunting. I certainly can respect others who feel differently.
 

JimP

AH elite
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
1,922
Reaction score
2,269
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
43
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
So if those that like to stalk in close why do a lot of you have rifles capable of making clean kills at extended ranges with high power scopes on them that are not needed for anything over 100 yards?

I like using a pistol, now that is one way to limit your range. I also shoot rifles that are capable way beyond my maximum range.

So whose right?

How about the archery hunters that are taking those 100 yard shots with a bow and arrow?
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
22,813
Reaction score
16,555
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
I hope someone tells you to prove it so you have an excuse to post that Aardwolf picture here. :)

I don't think anyone is silly enough. I have witnesses for all the silliness I profess. :)

Just for you buddy.

To be out stalking Eland walking through the Kalahari sand we managed to be within a few yards of this sleeping Aardwolf. This was taken with an iPhone.

We left him sleeping. He never even knew we were there.

View attachment 44391
 

Von S.

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
821
Reaction score
1,163
There are many reasons why someone..... anyone..... can't hit their target and make a quick kill at a relatively long distance...... and with that people tend to make up a reason why some guy misses or wound at say 350 yards.

But what about those who miss, wound and no matter how many bullets they throw at the ani al at close range they just can't make the animal nose plant even though they have others help them with their cockeyed lead throwing extravaganza. Where is all the self righteous indignation then?

So if one fella shoots at an animal at 50 yards and produces a 24 inch group with numerous rounds along with friends just what would their group be at 300 yards?

Their group size should be "take up fishing and don't cast near trees.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

JLF

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
255
Reaction score
221
Media
12
I have read many on forums in my country that long shots are carried out because it is impossible to get close ... Well, if it is impossible to get close, how do you go looking for the downcast animal?
Juaaaaa.
 

Timbo

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
945
Reaction score
1,826
Media
44
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
BGRC PFRC & SSAA
Hunted
Australia (WA & NT), Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa
I agree the equipment alone won't garuantee taki g an animal efficiently at those outlying ranges, the skill of the shooter plays a big part of it too. Personally I don't like ranges further than 250yds because I enjoy the excitement of stalking in close to my intended quarry. Using cover, geography of the land, wind etc is all part of the fun and allure of hunting. Brickburn's experience in stalking to within 3 feet of a sleeping animal is a great effort. I once stalked to within 10 feet of a bushbuck and I'll forget that.

My brother, however is a long range shooter who likes nothing more than sending 140gr pills from his 7mm Weatherby Mag to drop game 7-800yds, but I always hate that delay between report and hit as the bullet travels in flight - but that's his thing, not mine.

So IMO I think it comes down to personal preference, either you like the stalk during a hunt, or that you're the type of guy that's satisfied in watching your quarry drop from a precise shot taken at long-range. I'm firmly of the former.
 

JimP

AH elite
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
1,922
Reaction score
2,269
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
43
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
My brother, however is a long range shooter who likes nothing more than sending 140gr pills from his 7mm Weatherby Mag to drop game 7-800yds, but I always hate that delay between report and hit as the bullet travels in flight - but that's his thing, not mine.
.

Just as a quick FYI, that 140 grain pill is traveling around 3300 fps so for a 700-800 yard shot it takes that bullet a little bit more than 0.8 of a second to hit the animal
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
22,813
Reaction score
16,555
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
............Their group size should be "take up fishing and don't cast near trees.

I know I've had a day like that. Wondering how I could't pull off a simple shot and perhaps I should just go fishing.
 

sierraone

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
3,715
Reaction score
3,457
Media
91
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Dallas Safari Club, Safari Club Int.
Hunted
USA, RSA, Northwest and Limpopo Provinces

Tra3

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
657
Reaction score
931
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Media
13
Member of
SCI
Hunted
Namibia
It is more fun to get closer! The terrain dictates the range. On hunts in western NA when you run out of cover at 400 yards, it is nice to know you have practiced that shot. If you haven’t really practiced that shot, don’t take it. Practice at a 100 yard range is not equal to actually shooting 400+ yards.
A few years ago a good buddy and I watched the most magnificent elk we have ever seen, at 600 yards. We didn’t shoot even though we would likely have hit it, but “likely” isn’t good enough.
 

Wyatt Smith

AH elite
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
1,270
Reaction score
1,785
Location
Pike county
Media
39
It’s all relative IMO. My standard deer hunting rig is a Browning BPS 12 gauge with a Hastings slug barrel. My personal limit with that gun is 70 to 80 yards, anything further and the front bead covers up to much deer to be precise.
This gun suits my hunting area well as the brush and briars are so thick you can’t see 30 yards from ground level, and about twice that from a tree stand.
With my inline muzzle loader. I can comfortably shoot to 150 yards, and never need to shoot further.
 

Timbo

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
945
Reaction score
1,826
Media
44
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
BGRC PFRC & SSAA
Hunted
Australia (WA & NT), Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa
Just as a quick FYI, that 140 grain pill is traveling around 3300 fps so for a 700-800 yard shot it takes that bullet a little bit more than 0.8 of a second to hit the animal
Don't know the exact velocities he uses Jim, but it's still enough time for the animal to move enough to be wounded.
 

mark-hunter

AH elite
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,448
Reaction score
1,630
Media
22
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
A bullet must give reliable penetration, reliable expansion, and have sufficient energy to drop the animal hunted.
In the same time, hunter must be able to deliver a shot in vital area of animal.
So, too much variables to give direct answer.

But to give meaningful answer, for 300 win mag, for plains game, I would say, not more then 300 meters, (with proper bullet selection, and skilled hunter) this will include a bit of extra punch on animal, when compared to smaller calibers like 308 win, or 30-06. (for those I would say, 200 meters)
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,325
Reaction score
3,333
Location
Eastern US
Media
82
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
A bullet must give reliable penetration, reliable expansion, and have sufficient energy to drop the animal hunted.
In the same time, hunter must be able to deliver a shot in vital area of animal.
So, too much variables to give direct answer.

But to give meaningful answer, for 300 win mag, for plains game, I would say, not more then 300 meters, (with proper bullet selection, and skilled hunter) this will include a bit of extra punch on animal, when compared to smaller calibers like 308 win, or 30-06. (for those I would say, 200 meters)
I took a look at the ballistics for the 308WIN, 30-06 and 300WM.
All data is from Barnes using Barnes 150 grain TTSX for all three calibers.

Energy levels in lb-ft at 100, 200 and 300 yards.
308WIN - 2409 / 2062 / 1755
30-06 - 2583 / 2216 / 1891
300WM - 3087 / 2643 / 2252

A trip over to Chuck Hawks shows recommended energy level for Moose at least 1500 lb-ft.
I'd consider Moose to be about the same as most PG animals.
Granted the numbers put up by Barnes are most likely optimistic on their part.
So the numbers should be confirmed by the hunter using a chrony.
But it does appear that even the 308WIN is good for Moose at 300 yards.
Is there a lot of margin, not in my opinion...but it's still considered enough.

Would I use a 308WIN on Moose at 300 yards?
I don't even own a 308WIN, but if I did...no I would not.
But if someone did, and had the proper skills and equipment...
You would not see me casting shade on them for taking that shot.

EDIT - Barnes recommends a velocity of ~1800 fps for reliable expansion of the TTSX.
All three bullets are above this level out past 500 yards according to their data.
 
Last edited:

mark-hunter

AH elite
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,448
Reaction score
1,630
Media
22
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
All three bullets are above this level out past 500 yards according to their data.

Last 2 components to consider:
- shooter (able to hit vial zone of animal at 500, or not?)
- what is point blank range of each caliber? If we are speaking of typical old fashion hunt, with crosshair on the animals shoulder?

I went to sellier bellot web pages as source because they have MRD distances on their web pages.
MRD - maximum recommended distance to zero the rifle

All three below cartridges have been zeroed at 3.7cm, 3.8 cm plus at 100 meters, same bullet, same weight:

308 win Nosler partition, 180 grain, MRD 154 mtr, drop at 200 - 8.6 cm / drop at 300 - 46.4 cm
30-06 - Nosler partition, 180 grain. MRD 162 mtr, drop at 200 - 6.4 cm / drop at 300 -39.4 cm
300 win mag Nosler partition, 180 grain, MRD 180 mtr, drop at 200 - 2.7 cm / drop at 300 - 27 cm

None of this trhee will hit a heart of average deer or antelope at 300, if not holding high.
It is also to be noted, almost 20 cm difference in bullet drop between 308 win and 300 win mag at 300 meters.

So, if making a classic point blank range shot, without holdover, hunting distance for 308 win and 30-06 would be safe at 200 meters.
For 300 win mag, possibly up to 270 cca..

And to get safe shot in PBR - at 300 or a bit more, safe zeroing would be cca 2 inces high (5cm) at 100 meters (for 300 wm). With same zero, a 30-06 will get PBR - up to 250 meters etc

Energy is not the only variable, because if game is wounded, possibly will be lost. As the chance of miss or wound increase with distance, the stakes are higher.

After 300 meters, bullet drop becomes more significant, and other factors more influential. Thus my earlier point. Personally, I do not prefer long range hunting. It is more like sniping. Not my cup of tea.
My longest shot at game was at 204 meters.
 
Last edited:

spike.t

Sponsor
Since 2013
AH ambassador
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
9,502
Reaction score
8,080
Website
www.takerireservezambia.com
Media
332
Articles
6
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
sci int, basc,wpaz
Hunted
zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe,Mozambique ,hungary, france, england
375Fox replied but I'll put in a little more.

At 350 yards for us hunters that hunt in the Rocky Mountain states here in the US is just getting warmed up. Mule deer, elk, pronghorn are routinely shot at that range and further. I used to go to Wyoming where we would shoot parrie dogs out to 400 yards for us beginners and more for the more experienced shooters.

It warms us up for African hunts where the distances are usually closer and the animals are a lot bigger.
But I presume these aren't running shots?
 

R.M.C.

Bronze supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
335
Reaction score
490
Location
Northeastern Pennsylvania
Media
6
Hunted
U.S. and Canada
Oh boy I figured this thread would be popular lol. I don't like the trend of "long range hunting" in recent years so I'm on the band wagon with the guys who wanna get closer. I don't see a lot of valid reasons to shoot much more than 300 yards or so in a real world hunting situation. And I've been "out west". I'd say the .300 win mag is an excellent long range cartridge with plenty of power for 300 yard shots. Bullet takes too long to get there in my humble opinion.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,325
Reaction score
3,333
Location
Eastern US
Media
82
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Last 2 components to consider:
- shooter (able to hit vial zone of animal at 500, or not?)
- what is point blank range of each caliber? If we are speaking of typical old fashion hunt, with crosshair on the animals shoulder?

I went to sellier bellot web pages as source because they have MRD distances on their web pages.
MRD - maximum recommended distance to zero the rifle

All three below cartridges have been zeroed at 3.7cm, 3.8 cm plus at 100 meters, same bullet, same weight:

308 win Nosler partition, 180 grain, MRD 154 mtr, drop at 200 - 8.6 cm / drop at 300 - 46.4 cm
30-06 - Nosler partition, 180 grain. MRD 162 mtr, drop at 200 - 6.4 cm / drop at 300 -39.4 cm
300 win mag Nosler partition, 180 grain, MRD 180 mtr, drop at 200 - 2.7 cm / drop at 300 - 27 cm

None of this trhee will hit a heart of average deer or antelope at 300, if not holding high.

So, if making a classic point blank range shot, without holdover, hunting distance for 308 win and 30-06 would be safe at 200 meters.
For 300 win mag, possibly up to 270 cca..

And to get safe shot in PBR - at 300 or a bit more, safe zeroing would be cca 2 inces high (5cm) at 100 meters. With same zero, a 30-06 will get PBR - up to 250 meters etc

Energy is not the only variable, because if game is wounded, possibly will be lost. As the chance of miss or wound increase with distance, the stakes are higher.

After 300 meters, bullet drop becomes more significant, and other factors more influential. Thus my earlier point. Personally, I do not prefer long range hunting. It is more like sniping. Not my cup of tea.
My longest shot at game was at 204 meters.
I think we are both arguing the same point...closer is better.
I was just showing that a 308WIN could be used on Moose at 300 yards.
And at that distance still have enough velocity for reliable expansion.
Is it ideal, certainly not...but it can be done.

I completely agree with your data and MPBR (Max Point Blank Range).
 

Sika98k

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
324
Reaction score
312
Location
Dublin,Ireland
Media
57
Hunting reports
Europe
1
Member of
Wild Deer Association of Ireland
Hunted
Kenya,Namibia, Croatia, Morocco Ireland,Scotland,Denmark, Romania, Sweden,Norway,Latvia,Germany,Hungary,
Late afternoon from a kopje in Namibia myself and PH spotted two oryx some 300 yds away in the bush. “Let’s go get them” he said.
the bush was quite thick and I don’t know how he got us into them but he did.
The breeze had dropped off and I could practically hear the sweat running down my face. We got into 30 yards from the old bull for the shot.
the memory of that particular hunt will live with me forever.
Yes, I’ve shot animals much further out. Do any of those hold any strong memories for me ? Not really. It’s hunting, that’s what it’s about.

B6A1BE66-431F-4BA4-ACD7-3A9090E2029F.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
5,631
Reaction score
11,765
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
74
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA, Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
How far is too far? For what? Cape buffalo? Springbok? Hippo? Crocodile? Eland? Leopard? Lion? Caracal? Duiker? Wildebeest? Pronghorn antelope? Whitetail? Moose? Elk? Groundhog? Prairie dog? Coyote? My 2¢ Every one is different. There is no one size fits all too far for all animals.
 
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Just came from a hunt and already longing for the bush
JPmbogo wrote on yhc's profile.
I have factory loaded Hornady 450 NE 3 1/4 DGS that I am selling for not much more than the brass itself at $75/box - see my listing for same.
Justbryan wrote on Rafter JK's profile.
Get Crazy Larry yet? Wishing I had shot Alpine Ibex too!
 
Top