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Coach

Realistic Field Shooting

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Hey guys, haven't posted here much lately. I want to start a topic about realistic, in-the-field shooting. 

Let me preface this with a couple real life examples. 

Last year I was helping some family and friends on a hunt up in the Kiabab. Not a strip hunt, just early 12a E. Lots of deer around. Anyway, these guys would get so deep into what their guns could do, going into charts, this drop, that, etc... You get them in the field, for starters they couldn't glass, couldn't hike one ridge without getting to camp and complaining.

Yet they all had faith in their gun setup. If they were in a certain position, and the deer was in a certain position, they could drop it at xxx yards. 

But countless times we had deer in very shootable situations, but it wasn't perfect. At one point, the group of bucks we were after trotted by at 75 yards, and neither hunter even took their gun off their shoulder. It was like it had to be exactly what they expected or nothing.

Contrast that with some situations where most everyone I've ever hunted with can make a shot at moving, even running deer. I've dropped one with a muzzle loader at 80 yards busting out of a bed. I can't count the times where the hunter has to make a quick shot, and does so naturally.

I'm not advocating for taking low-percentage shots. We all have to know our limitations. My point is, I think a lot of folks who are just getting into hunting have an unrealistic view of hunting based on what they see on videos and only practice for that image that they perceive as the way it's supposed to be. 

When it actually happens you have to be able to shoot off-hand, off a rock, off a tree-branch that's bending, you get the point. A lot of guys now are shooting guns that in perfect situations can ding a plate at 800 yards or more. But in real life conditions, they can't hit a pie plate at 100 yards offhand.

Anyway, just about to head off to elk camp, but this had me thinking. Love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

 

-Coach

 

 

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Guest oneshot

You are CORRECT Coach...

Go to any shooting range and it will be a rare sight to see someone shooting off-hand, from their knees,etc

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I completely agree. I am not the best at anything hunting related, but I think I have better calmness and awareness then many. 

I jumped 2 4x4's in 12ae last year on the early hunt. I had to make some adjustments to get a shot. I ranged them first thing at about 212 yards. I tried to use a dead tree as a shooting rest but it started to sway. I dropped down to use a downed tree as a rest, and my 40lb pack tried to suffocate me so I had to get it off. I got back on the deer who were moving away and they were trotting off. I wasn't going to take a moving shot, but I waited on them. I think disappearing behind the tree surprised them. And they would stop occasionally to try and see me. They stopped 1 time to many. I didn't have time to range again, but I knew they were probably about 250-275 so I held a touch high knowing my rifle was sighted in about 225. It only took 1 shot. 

 

20181026_081738.jpg

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Agreed. My wifes deer last year was glassed at daylight and 5 hours later of methodically closing the distance she made a clean tri clawps 300 yard shot when he climbed out of his tree. Turn the page to my hunt jumped my buck out of thick stuff and offhand 100 yard ish shot. No click click click stuff on my rifles. They serve a purpose for some(like kuiu and flat brimmed hats) and i apreciate the guys like Lance who do the work and know when NOT to shoot that long shot even though the gun can. This thread is gonna go south fast like all the others, but a good topic.

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It has a lot to do with how they were raised.  I can only speak for myself.  I was raised in a small town where it was easy to drive 15 minutes and be in rabbit country or 10 minutes and be in shooting country.  I can remember as a kid shooting at KDJI, that was a local radio station in my hometown and there were places to shoot near it.  I had a chipmunk and nothing to rest it on.  I had to take a knee or shoot offhand.  My dad let me shoot till I got bored.  With a chipmunk, that took about an hour and a half before my fingers were so sore I couldn’t hardly cock the gun anymore.  We would go hunting and had opportunity at running game weather it was coyotes, prairie dogs, or rabbits.  Occasionally we would go to the range and do some serious bench shooting, but we liked to move around more than what the range offered.

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Hey guys, thanks for the comments. I'm glad this thread is staying on a positive note, and I should re-iterate that I'm not bashing long range hunting and certainly not anyone who opts not to take a shot because they don't feel comfortable with it - that's a good thing. I think Saguaro really makes a good point though. There's a lot to be said about just being comfortable shooting by practicing in actual situations, not just at the range. 

BTW, awesome buck Hoss!

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So as a new hunter, based in Tucson, is BLM land the only none-range places you can shoot? There isn't a lot close by that I've found offering a 200yd back drop to practice in the dirt sitting or lying down.

I'm shooting a muzzleloader this fall for coues, and have been very aware that as I try to extend my range accuracy from 100-200yds, I'm really only improving my field accuracy from 50/75yds to 100 yds or so with nerves and all the other factors (if i'm lucky enough to pull the trigger during the hunt).

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i missed a coues buck from like 30 yards a couple years ago. i could hardly find him in my scope, the adrenaline got to me. i also live in the city

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10 minutes ago, trphyhntr said:

i missed a coues buck from like 30 yards a couple years ago. i could hardly find him in my scope, the adrenaline got to me. i also live in the city

Same here but mine was 28 yards. I ranged him with my sig2400 first. My scope was left at 32 power so all I saw was A hair. I jerked the heck out of my (insert favorite trigger here) on my 6.5 creedmore tactically tactical bolt drive and went to take my selfie with my prize. Once I finally made the track over to where I last saw my prize he was no where to be found. I was faced with the flack that I missed. I think it must be the water in cities that do it.

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Some of the realistic shooting we did would be practicing picking off golf ball or soft ball sized rocks on a hillside.  There were certain places we would go that had areas that were target rich and offered you uphill, downhill, and flat and level, near and far.  We would never vandalize any large rocks target shooting, the rocks would be blown to pieces if hit and would not disturb the hillside.  I still go to these areas as an adult and it brings memories back of when I was young and learned about holdover.  I thought it was the coolest thing, shooting a 22lr at 200 yards in the wind and had to aim high and to the right/left and have it hit what you’re aiming at.

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Oh and we usually had sandbags made out of old Levi’s in the truck.  These worked well when on a prairie dog town or on those longer shots on small rocks.

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If you get your rifle shooting off a bench where you want it, and then practice every shot that you might take in the field with a distance that your comfortable with, if nothing else it will up your chances IMHO. If you check out Big Browns story about his Antelope, he stated that he practiced for 4 months and had never shot better in his life, and Mr. Lance Kenyon has stated that he donates 7 bucks at Ben Avery every week. Maybe they were just lucky on their hunts, but I think not.

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3 hours ago, Saguaro said:

It has a lot to do with how they were raised.  I can only speak for myself.  I was raised in a small town where it was easy to drive 15 minutes and be in rabbit country or 10 minutes and be in shooting country.  I can remember as a kid shooting at KDJI, that was a local radio station in my hometown and there were places to shoot near it.  I had a chipmunk and nothing to rest it on.  I had to take a knee or shoot offhand.  My dad let me shoot till I got bored.  With a chipmunk, that took about an hour and a half before my fingers were so sore I couldn’t hardly cock the gun anymore.  We would go hunting and had opportunity at running game weather it was coyotes, prairie dogs, or rabbits.  Occasionally we would go to the range and do some serious bench shooting, but we liked to move around more than what the range offered.

This right here....................

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I can recall making a shot on a running buck at around 50/60 yards, it was like shooting flushing quail. All those years of skeet, dove and quail shooting went into that successful shot. Years of muzzleloader matches with mostly off hand shooting built up skills/confidence to make several successful offhand shots. Currently its PRS, NRL22 and small bore silhouette matches to keep my skills up. Years of shooting, hunting go into getting comfortable with what kind of shots present themselves in the field. Good post/point OP.

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