Today there are more and more articles on how guys are shooting game from 1000 metres away; what is this teaching our youngsters?
Modern technology has given us the ability to create amazing things, a 829.8 metre tall building; a bridge 12.9 kilometres long connecting PEI to New Brunswick, and machinery that can turn out guns with precision to a hundredth-of-a-thousandth of an inch in mass quantities.
My father passed down a shotgun to me that he bought when he was a young man. Built by hand with some of the best materials of its time, it still functions as well or better than a newer one I have. Older rifles cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in gunsmithing to achieve pinpoint accuracy; today you can walk into any sporting goods reseller and pick up a rifle for less than $500.
These lower-priced rifles will send groups down range within an inch at 100 yards, guaranteed. This, and better scopes, have made it so every hunter can take one of these rifles and shoot an animal from 800-1000 metres.
Or can they?
Long-range shooting is the big thing these days. Hunters will exaggerate a 250-metre shot and claim it was 500 or more. While a 500-yard shot isn’t unfathomable, without practice it becomes unethical.
A 180 grain 300 win mag bullet traveling towards a target goes 500 yards in just over a second.
On a live target a few things can happen in this time; the animal may move, the bullet may glance off a twig, or a wind gust may move the bullet a few inches, causing it to wound the animal instead of killing it. In which case, you have to look for the animal for the rest of the day, and maybe the next.
In a 1000-metre shot there are many more variables at play during the nearly three second flight time.
Boone and Crockett Club, a hunting organization, released a statement saying they do not support long-range hunting. The question raised by long range shooting is, “Could you get closer?”
In my opinion hunting is not shooting from1000 yards, or even 600.
I prefer to hunt by getting close to the animal.
“The honour and lasting memories in hunting have always been in our ability to get close to game animals. And every hunter has better odds of a quick, clean kill at closer distances. That’s one of our most imperative responsibilities as a hunter, and that’s the legacy of sportsmanship that we believe is important to uphold,” said Bill Demmer, the president of Boone and Crockett Club.
I agree with Demmer, who he says a hunter should try to get within a reasonable range for his or her skill level, but some skill levels allow for longer shots.
Currently in Whitehorse there isn’t a range where you can practice shooting more than 600 metres.
When you go out this year think about what might be between you and that caribou 1126 meters away on the Dempster Highway; like perhaps a hunter who is lined up for the same shot, but at a distance of 280 meters and in the willows, on the same line you are shooting.
Hope you are all having a great hunting season, and remember to send in your wildlife pictures to What’s Up Yukon.