Hunting Ethics... How many shots does it take you?

Mountin Livin'

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Sep 26, 2019
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I take big game hunting very serious and have always strived for one shot kills. I have killed 9 big game animals with 10 shots and never lost an animal. I'm very surprised how few people I talk to have this mind set. I actually had someone yesterday give me grief for having my ballistics table taped to the side of my big game rifle and hinted it was cheating. It really pissed me off. Is guessing distance and hold over real hunting or BS? I understand 20 years ago before laser range finders and ballistics software were readily available was different but they are now. I can't be the only one that feels like this and figured this was a good place to get some good feedback.

Please post:
How many big game animals you have killed
How many total shots it took to get those kills
How many animals where hit any never recovered

This is my first post... thank you in advance for your input.
 

athanasios23

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You should not be ashamed of having your ballistic table taped to your rifle. More people should be doing the same if they are long range hunting. With many people having so many rifles, it's impossible to remeber all your rifles dope charts. It's a great way to quickly be able to dial your rifle and take your shot.

Anyone who hunts should have a one shot kill mentality. If they dont they shouldn't be hunting. With that being said if you hunt long enough you will learn it dosent always work out that way. Most of the animals I have taken were one shot. But a few took 2 shots.
 

Secant

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I've been big game hunting (elk, deer, and antelope) for a couple decades, and honestly couldn't count how many animals I've taken. Best guess would be 40 - 60. I can only think of a couple animals that required a second shot. Those animals would've died with the one, but I put a second one in them to expedite the process.

After about 20 years, I lost my first animal last year, and man did that ever suck! I've always heard fellas say "if you hunt long enough, you'll lose an animal", and I would always think "not me, I'm better than that". I still think about it a lot, and it honestly still makes me sick. When I got back home, I tossed my tag in the garbage and called it a season. It was an extremely humbling experience, and to this day I can't even explain what happened.

As to keeping a dope card on your gun, I've got 2 hard copies at all time: 1) one in a stock pack, and 2) one in a bino harness, my LRF bino's provide a firing solution (that's been trued and confirmed to 1,000 yards), and I decided to take my kestrel this year just for giggle's.....so I guess I'm really cheating. I have the utmost respect for the life I take when hunting and I'll use any means available to help me make better decisions in the field.

Sorry for the long winded reply....
 

clark33

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I've been thinking about this too lately. I can only remember one animal out of my 20 years of hunting that I hit and did not recover. I was 11 and I made a bad shot on a mule deer in howling wind, but it taught me a valuable lesson. I felt sick to my stomach and at 11, yes tears were shed. Since that day I have missed 2 antelope, but they were clean and I was also younger and unable to control my nerves. Other than that it's been one shot to kill, a couple were shot twice even though first shot was fatal my philosophy is if they are still standing or moving get another one in them.

What really bothers me is watching the YouTube and Instagram hunters like HUSHIN. Go back and watch their colorado mule deer hunts from years past. Its sickening. The need for "content" is clouding their judgement and pushing them to take unethical shots or shots outside their skill set. It might sound petty but I went back and watched 4 years of their CO deer hunts. They took 10 animals in those 4 years and took a total of I believe it was 24 or 26 shots with rifles. That is terrible in my opinion. They chalk it up to "well thats hunting" but it shouldn't become the "norm"

Young kids who look up to them are watching this and thinking that it is normal to sling lead at 600 yards without any real practice or skill in doing so. Don't get me started on the company's that sponsor them and continue to do so....
 
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Ankeny

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I have shot 40+ elk and I have lost two. Both went down like a wet sack of crap, then got back up and ran off into the steep and deep. Pisses me off to this day. I was walking up on one of them that I thought was stone cold dead with no rifle in my hands. Dumb, dumb, and dumb. Deer and antelope kills are well over 100 and I have lost zero. Usually one shot and done, but I have shot large bull elk more than once just for insurance.
 

Anb618

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Don’t keep stats on myself, but I’ll say I do my very best to make good decisions in the woods and make ethical one-shot kills. I’m primarily a bowhunter, so follow up shots are ridiculously rare. Unfortunately, I lost my first injured whitetail, which happened to be the first deer I’ve shot on my personally owned property, last year.

First sit of the rut I got into a hasty ground blind (literally sitting on a cinder block in a mulberry bush cutout 15yds from a known travel hub). I had prepped the location for the rare hunt in a weird wind direction that was no good for any of my treestands. Legal shooting light came, I hit a quick grunt call, and a nice 2-3yr old 8pt stood up in the grass less than 20 yards away. Having heard exactly where the grunt came from, he turned and walked right at me. Technically, he walked into the cutout PAST me, stopping and sniffing the air from close enough I could have stabbed him with my arrow without extending more than my right arm. I held my breathe and stayed as motionless as I could for what seemed like a lifetime, and eventually he turned around and walked back towards where he came from.
I took a quartering away shot I’ve made easily at that distance in the past, but I was so shaky from oxygen deprivation, adrenaline, and rushing myself that I pulled the shot, despite only being at 20 yards. Looking back, I should have chalked it up as a cool story and called that good enough, but I’m honest enough to say I got greedy. I hit high of vitals, low of spine. He bolted hard and I knew I was in trouble the moment the arrow hit. I walked back to the house and let him settle all morning and got on the blood trail that afternoon. Tracked him for 2.5 miles with sporadic light blood trail until well after dark. Never did find him or any location that indicated he laid up at any point. It snowed that night and to top it off the next morning a farmer was harvesting the corn field where I found the final drop of blood nearly dead center in the field before the trail went cold. I’ve never been so upset with myself. I hate knowing that he was suffering and it was my fault. I didn’t take another shot last year, and had to buy 1/2 side of beef over the winter for the first time since reaching adulthood.

Of course, I’m beginning to think my property is cursed and I should give up bow hunting this year...

I took a shot on a 3-4yo 9pt last week at 28yds. Perfect shot release/placement, but he was the most alert whitetail I’ve ever seen. At THAT distance, he heard/jumped the string. Never seen a reactionary ability like it before. All I ended up with was two clumps of white belly hair shaved off laying on the ground in my food plot.
 

sea2summit

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I've been killing big game animals for almost 30 years now, I can't tell you how many I've killed. I've come up on a handful that were not yet done and put a second shot to the knoggen. I have failed to recover exactly one fox and one racoon (early in my night hunting, I ditched 300 BO and haven't lost an animal since).

I did hunt Africa and those animals are different. I lost a Kudu the guide found about two weeks after I left. I had a Black Hartebeest (not a huge animal) take a double lung from a 45-70 and run for almost three hours, we caught up to it several times and I put one more 45-70 and two or three .338 WM in it in addition to the guide putting a round it before it finally went down for good. None were "grazing" shots.

But to the question of ethics, you're not even allowed to discuss "ethical" shots on another forum I'm on because people have such varied and heated opinions on it and try to force those on others. I tend to agree it's not a good discussion to air out in public forums because the random tree hugger is going to google into something and get way too much ammo from us to use on us. What's an ethical shot for me in certain conditions for me may not be for someone else, and what is ethical for someone else may not be for me. Know YOUR limits, understand how changing conditions may reduce YOUR limits, operate within YOUR limits, treat the animal with respect and you're good in my book.
 
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roostercogburn98

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Killed an impressive 1 Caribou on the Alaskan Tundra. Fired 2 rounds, first was low due to bad distance call and second went right where I placed it at 225-230 yards. Rem700 Sendero SF in 300 win mag, Leupold vx3 scope. Never really cared for being sloppy in the woods. Dad always told me it made the meat taste different if it wasn’t a clean kill. Maybe just some old Arkansas folklore but I still like to kill quickly if at all possible.
 

natdscott

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Tens and tens of animals. More than I am proud of at this point.

One shot each, on an average, over 27 seasons.

A ton (double digits) of cleanup shots and tracking jobs late in the seasons from asshole fellow “hunters” that don’t get it done (mostly by taking shots beyond their skill level) then followup with lack of commitment to tracking.

I am much prouder, in hindsight, of a few of the shots I did NOT take. The ones I did take were high in success rate because I was raised to only take the shots I could hit. It’s not a fucking experiment, and with my old man, it was NOT negotiable. He is why we tracked a single quail around the back pasture until 9pm, or a deer we didn’t even shoot through sleet for 9 hours to get a shot.

The losses we’ve taken, I think you may note, show a trend in weapon type...

Dad lost a doe, only animal I ever saw him not recover, in about 1994 with a 2413 and Muzzy 125 3 blade in the lower chest. I don’t remember enough to tell the whole story, I just know he was pretty pissed.

I lost one doe c. 2008, with an arrow behind the ribs to the offside shoulder, traversing the chest...unclear what happened, and we never did find her, even in the spring.

One young buck not found in time, 8” of arrow in chest, but hit a rib to get there, no downslope blood from lack of exit wound. Shot Saturday, found Monday. c. 1997. Probably a 45 lb bow and 2114s had something to do with the lack of power.

One extremely nearly lost doe at about 3 arrow lengths c. 2010. Complete pass through of a 4 blade Muzzy, in the chest, and no idea why that shot wasn’t immediately lethal. 65 lb Hoyt and GoldTip. Found in about 22 hours, still alive, but not able to stand.


...and that was the last time I’ll ever release an arrow at an animal. No stomach for that Fred Bear bullshit.

Never lost a deer to a gun that I ever carried, my shot being the first, or not.
 
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Longshot85

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I believe in one shot one kill when hunting, as others have stated above....that should be your mind set or you need to stop hunting, train more and work on your mindset until you implement the one shot-one kill.

Are their cases where I might send a second round.....for sure: if I was hunting dangerous game at a dangerous distance, if it's a trophy and I want it down worried about meat second, or on the off chance (yet to happen) a less than ideal shot is made

Reasons to prioritize and execute proper shot placement:
-#1= it's the right thing to do
-i want to be successful and recover animal
-it's more humane vs terrible shot and animal suffers
-maximizes meat recovery (I gut,skin,pack and prepare all my meat)

I go as far as painting a "deer shoulder/heart/lung" on a full size IPSC and shoot positions out of the rear of my truck with tailgate UP to somewhat simulate a tree stand

Know your rifle,know your ammo,know your weather and most importantly I truly know my own capabilities and operate within those confines.

I don't even try for any shot I know I can't make.

As far as whitetail deer, all are cold bore one shot one kill:

Circa high school: open sight 8mm Mauser x 2 ....both DRT

2015: 6.5 CM using factory hornady 129SST
225 yards = DRT

2016: 6.5CM once again 129SST
404 yards = DRT

2017: 6.5 CM using hand loaded 147 ELD 2858fps
632 yards in a tree stand in a 65 foot sycamore tree with wind = DRT, lung/heart and exited opposite shoulder with baseball size exit

If you are being honest with yourself and you don't 100% KNOW you can make shot.....you don't have any business pulling the trigger

I have a video of 225 yard shot and I need to get off my bum and finishing editing the 632 yard shot which was also self filmed with video though range finder and then over to spotter
 

BoilerUP

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I gut-shot a doe one time with a percussion cap muzzleloader that hang-fired...followed the blood trail until it stopped but never recovered that deer and it made me sick.

Two days later I had a new 209-lit rifle.

I also lost a doe two years ago on a headshot went bad...yeah. I’ll own that; didn’t take clean cold bore *through the suppressor* into account. Pretty ashamed at that poor deer suffering on account of my dumbass and it has changed both my shooting regimen and shot placement while hunting.

My first buck at 11 years old took four shots, but the first three were misses with the last round taking out the heart...not proud of that either but who gives an 11 year old a 270?!? ?
 

Longshot85

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Also wanted to add.....all of my deer have been DRT but I fully realize this wont happen everytime and some animals run crazy distances even with a double lung or double lung and heart

While I haven't personally hunted antelope (yet) I have watched many videos of perfect shots and them running insane distances before going down.

I live in KY and enter our Elk draw every year (we have largest population this side of Mississippi River) and if ever drawn I will be prepared for that. If I don't have my .338NM setup going and get luckily selected I'll take my 6.5CM but ONLY hunt within my limitations and the caliber's limitations
 

natdscott

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I gut-shot a doe one time with a percussion cap muzzleloader that hang-fired...followed the blood trail until it stopped but never recovered that deer and it made me sick.

Two days later I had a new 209-lit rifle.

I also lost a doe two years ago on a headshot went bad...yeah. I’ll own that; didn’t take clean cold bore *through the suppressor* into account. Pretty ashamed at that poor deer suffering on account of my dumbass and it has changed both my shooting regimen and shot placement while hunting.

My first buck at 11 years old took four shots, but the first three were misses with the last round taking out the heart...not proud of that either but who gives an 11 year old a 270?!? ?
lmao! Same type that handed a 9 yo a 12 ga Mossberg I guess.

It was that, or don’t hunt. Reckon you can guess what I chose. Same s’you with that .270 :)

Super X for the win. To this day, one of the most solid shots I ever made.
 

Stooxie

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I'll reiterate the fact that hunting has lots of variables and it is absolutely a matter of time before losing an animal. It also doesn't necessarily mean you did a single thing wrong. I bought a thermal camera for the sole purpose of helping me find downed game. Let me tell you, I don't care what kind of whispering wind Native American expert tracker you might be, that camera has helped me find some deer that 1) had perfectly placed shots and 2) I would never have found in a million years otherwise.

I could go on and on about the tiniest crevices under thick tree cover they can get into in the three seconds of a desperate sprint, before a single drop of blood has emerged from their fatal wounds. It happens. We've all got the stories. Shoot enough deer and you'll have DRTs from deer you barely thought you hit and you'll have deer go 150 yards with their insides turned to soup. Some of them have a will to live that humbles a man like nothing else.

The commitment to one shot one kill is definitely a mountain that has no top.

-Stooxie
 

Longshot85

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I'll reiterate the fact that hunting has lots of variables and it is absolutely a matter of time before losing an animal. It also doesn't necessarily mean you did a single thing wrong. I bought a thermal camera for the sole purpose of helping me find downed game. Let me tell you, I don't care what kind of whispering wind Native American expert tracker you might be, that camera has helped me find some deer that 1) had perfectly placed shots and 2) I would never have found in a million years otherwise.

I could go on and on about the tiniest crevices under thick tree cover they can get into in the three seconds of a desperate sprint, before a single drop of blood has emerged from their fatal wounds. It happens. We've all got the stories. Shoot enough deer and you'll have DRTs from deer you barely thought you hit and you'll have deer go 150 yards with their insides turned to soup. Some of them have a will to live that humbles a man like nothing else.

The commitment to one shot one kill is definitely a mountain that has no top.

-Stooxie
Thanks for adding that because I do feel like there is great wisdom in your statement.

I have had many men I respect make very similar statements. I prolly sounded like a pompous a$$hole but that wasn't my intent. I do believe that some times things simply don't add up and stack in your favor and an animal is lost.

Are you using the Leupold LTO tracker?
 
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Stooxie

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Thanks for adding that because I do feel like there is great wisdom in your statement.

I have had many men I respect make very similar statements. I prolly sounded like a pompous a$$hole but that wasn't my intent. I do believe that some times things simply don't add up and stack in your favor and an animal is lost.

Are you using the Leupold LTO tracker?
I am using a Pulsar Helion XP38, which is probably overkill, but this is just part of my commitment to recovering an animal as quickly as possible. To be perfectly frank I don't have a huge amount of patience for tracking. Some people love tracking, When it's late, I'm half frozen to death, the butcher is tapping his foot waiting for me so he can close early, and I've got three deer to dress out (I know, I know, we should all be so burdened) I really just want to find the animal(s) and go home.

FWIW, if there's good daylight I will take some time to track in the traditional manner so I don't become solely reliant on technology. If it's pretty dark out, I'm going straight to the thermal. They aren't magic, if the deer is over a ridge it ain't gonna help, but it's the closest thing to magic I can imagine. Being able to scan acres of field at a time and see that yellow spec in a sea of dark blue is awesome. More often than not I see other deer standing in the woods watching me dress out the others. Sometimes deer seem really smart. Sometimes they are really dumb. At least in the 'burbs, they never seem to clue in.

-Stooxie
 
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kurt

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A whole bunch of deer lost one then i found this web site learned how to shoot. Since i had a rifle built never shot more than one time ranges from 680 to 15 yds. At one point was shooting 7 or so deer a year. Shit happens if you hunt long enough though and loosing animals is a bad deal but some times it doesnt matter how good you are.
 

ToddM

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Been hunting for 30+ years, taken lots of game, but nothing over about 400 yards. Always picked my shots, happy to let game go if it's the wrong shot, never lost an animal but again turned down plenty of bad shots I see guys take. I'm 100% spot and stalk, won't do stand/blind hunting, won't do game farm etc. hunts, just not my thing. I've wondered about this a lot with the new trend of long range animal shooting (it's not hunting, sorry). We see all these posts about guys talking about shooting antelope and deer sized animals at 1000+ yards, but it just seems unlikely to me that it's happening 1st shot ethically or without a spotter shot(s).

Here's my logic, on a deer IMO you are looking at a 7-8" ethical kill zone depending on the deer, probably smaller out east. From what I understand PRS targets are much larger than that, typically 1.5-2MOA, under much more controlled conditions, with 20+ pound gamer rifles, and again I may be mistaken but I've heard even the best shooters in the country are not cleaning these events with 1st shot hits on every target and getting perfect scores.

So if the best shooters in the country with gaming setups can't get 1st round hits on every stage of a PRS event with 2 MOA targets from 200-1200 yards, what chance do animal shooters have in less controlled conditions at 1000 yards on a 0.7 MOA target to get first round hits.
 

GotCox

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I was born and raised hunting and fishing in rural Oregon. The way i see it there are two types of hunters. Trophy hunters who brag about the shots, brag about the horns and dont care much about the meat it is all just to show off. Then there are those who hunt to fill the freezer, those who want the best meats for thier familys and dinner table. The trophy guy always brags about his expertise and how he always kills in one shot and is super ethical. The meat eatter shoots to fill a freezer and if that means doing what man has always done to get it done, following a blood trail of wounded animals, he will.

Bow and arrow hunters know this better than rifle only hunters. Shooting to get a good enough shot that a blood trail and dealth will occur is the only concern. Meat in the freezer. Trophy guys care about ethical 1 shot , no pain for the animal crap. I have dropped deer and elk with 1 shot, i have also shot a bull elk 7 times before he fell over. I am a meat hunter and meat in the freezer is what i hunt for, not to brag and show off my horns and let my ego over my butt about my super ethical hunting. LoL
 

Alabusa

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After more than 40 years of hunting, I cannot remember when it took more than 1 shot for any game animal with the exception of quail and dove.
 

Va_Gentleman

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I have been hunting for 42 years. I learned from my dad and family about proper hunting. There were times you have to choose to shoot or not shoot. Decision was always driven by if you can get a shot that will be humane. Distance is relevant, but you don't take it unless you have proven your system can do it.

Two years ago, I hit a buck at 90 yards with a 300 WM 208. Now, where I hunt is National Forest that I know every inch of for over 12 square miles. That buck flipped 180 degrees and tilted 180 more and got up and ran/hobbled back the way he came. My daughter said you smoked him.. can't believe he got up. I figured the bullet was going so fast it just blew through him and he would go about 100 yards. I didn't shoot again as I knew he was a goner, and I didn't want to take a quartering shot and ruin meat.

My daughter and I tracked for 3 hours. Then my 2 Cousins came over the ridge and we tracked for another 5 hours... never found him. We could see where he would lay down and the blood would pool at his chest and out his nose... then he would get up and go another 200 yards. You can't use motorized vehicles and my GPS logged over 4000 ft of altitude change over several ridges and fingers. Three days later my cousin was on top of the ridge a mile back and saw a flock of ravens about 2 miles away....

I was sick to my stomach for a whole year. Only animal I never recovered.
 

ToddM

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i have also shot a bull elk 7 times before he fell over. I am a meat hunter and meat in the freezer is what i hunt for, not to brag and show off my horns and let my ego over my butt about my super ethical hunting. LoL
I've never tried it, but I'd think shooting an elk 7 times would probably ruin a lot of that meat. Be like eating pheasant and being mindful of birdshot.
 

GotCox

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I've never tried it, but I'd think shooting an elk 7 times would probably ruin a lot of that meat. Be like eating pheasant and being mindful of birdshot.
Ya i was upset cause the heart ended up destroyed by 3 rounds and we couldnt salvage any of it. No other meat was lost on that bull, well except rib meat, but elk ribs and jerky at best. LoL
 

ToddM

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Two years ago, I hit a buck at 90 yards with a 300 WM 208. Now, where I hunt is National Forest that I know every inch of for over 12 square miles. That buck flipped 180 degrees and tilted 180 more and got up and ran/hobbled back the way he came. My daughter said you smoked him.. can't believe he got up. I figured the bullet was going so fast it just blew through him and he would go about 100 yards. I didn't shoot again as I knew he was a goner, and I didn't want to take a quartering shot and ruin meat.

I was sick to my stomach for a whole year. Only animal I never recovered.
I've seen this happen with heavier/faster bullets at closer ranges especially if you hit a deer broadside behind the shoulders and don't connect with a rib to really get the expansion going.
 
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HMRamateur

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The first deer I killed, it took me two shots. One to the spine, and one to the head after I made it to the spot I hit it. It was using its front legs to pull itself away into the bush. When I saw what happened it made me so sick I almost didn't get the second shot off. I now carry a drop chart on my stock, as well as my kestrel to be 100% sure I don't do that again.

I don't want to gamble with a living creatures life like that, so I don't care if it's cheating or what others think of it. My last deer face planted where it was standing. That's my goal for every shot.
 
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slomo

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I’ve taken lots and lots of animals. Fingers crossed I’ve never lost one or had to take more than one shot. I do carry a range finder on every hunt, and have my drop chart taped to my stock on each hunting rifle. It’s fast easy and most importantly ethical.
 

Creekrat

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OP, was the person that gave you grief even a hunter?

The way I look at it is no matter what I do I want to give myself the best possible chance at a desired outcome. You were just doing your best to be ready for that “lucky” shot. You know, the one where preparation meets opportunity. Whether you’re subsistence hunting or looking for that wall hanger it’s all the same.

Iwould hate to hear what the critic would say if they went on a LR hunt with a couple guy when they pulled out their ballistic apps, weather stations, laser range finders, spotting scopes, etc and had the spotter calling the shot
 

Stooxie

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I actually had someone yesterday give me grief for having my ballistics table taped to the side of my big game rifle and hinted it was cheating. It really pissed me off.
Cheating would be going to the grocery store.

-Stooxie
 

CMP70306

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I’m up to 27 deer and a bear in 16 years of hunting and I can think of only a handful that were hit but took a second shot, all of which were fatal but they weren’t yet dead when I got to them and I don’t like to see the animals suffer.

I had two where I missed first but the follow up shot killed them with one hit. My first buck at 15 where I missed twice on the run but killed him with a heart shot when he stopped. The second one was my buck two years ago, 30 yard neck shot through the brush but I clipped a twig 10 yards from the muzzle with a 143gr Eld-X and I have no idea where it went after that. At the suppressed shot the buck ran 30 yards away into a clearing and stopped so I hit him behind the shoulder and he dropped.

The only animal I ever shot more than once that required it was my 475# black bear that I shot with a 6.5 PRC. He was running towards me at a downhill angle but when I tried to shoot him in the chest he dipped his head and I hit him in the snout, that knocked him down and turned him broadside where I shot him in the boiler room 3 times. I wasn’t sure how effective the PRC would be as that was the first bear I’d ever seen in the woods but after skinning him the second one would have killed him and the next two were just insurance since I’ve heard bears are hard to track.
 

ToddM

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Cheating would be going to the grocery store.

-Stooxie
Someone always thinks someone hunting is "cheating".

The spear hunters think long bow hunters are cheating
The long bow archers think the recurve archers are cheating
The recurve archers think the compound bow hunters are cheating
The compound bow hunters think crossbow hunters are cheating
The crossbow hunters think muzzle loading hunters are cheating
The muzzle loading hunters think "normal" rifle hunters are cheating
"Normal" rifle hunters think long range animal shooters aren't even hunters.
Spot and Stalk hunters think treestand/blind hunters are cheating
Hunters that don't bait think those that do are cheating.

Somewhere there's probably someone killing lions with a spork that thinks everyone else is cheating.

The funny part is they are all right, it's just that guys egos won't let them admit it.

I can't count the number of gun hunters I hear bitch every year because archery season opens earlier so they get first shot at the big animals, heck they even bitch that the youth season opens earlier so those damn kids get all the big ones.

As you go up in technology and cost, you increase your effective range of course it's easier and the odds of harvesting game go up, and the stalking/hunting skill required go down. It takes exactly zero hunting skill / stealth skill to get within 1000 yards of an animal, but it takes a lot more to get within 20 yards. The flip side is also true if the weapon platform is held constant, it takes much more shooting skill to ethically hit a deer with a rifle at 600 yards than it does at 60 yards.
 

Stooxie

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 11, 2018
434
275
69
True, it's all a matter of perspective! I do know this: no matter how much technology I use, how convenient my hiding spot or how capable my rifle, I still go home empty handed plenty of times! Sometimes I wish I had a deer radar, though... :ROFLMAO:

-Stooxie
 
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NateVA

Basement Dweller
Belligerents
Feb 10, 2017
998
322
69
Not sure how many big game animals I've killed, probably somewhere around 10 including whitetails, mule deer, and hogs. They were all 1 shot each and I've never failed to recover an animal.
 

Skookum

Jack Booted Thug...Crushing the American Dream
Belligerents
May 6, 2017
2,345
2,999
219
Lots of weeping over these lost suffering animals. If you care so much for them, why are you trying to blast pieces of metal through their vital organs?

I've killed big game animals from deer to elk and kudu. I've lost a warthog and a deer. I paid for the warthog, and marked the deer off my tag. Never got weepy about it.

Neither of those lost animals went to waste. They were consumed by other creatures as would be inevitable even if I had never shot them.

As far as suffering goes, animals don't die nice easy deaths in the wild. They starve, they die of disease, they are pulled apart by predators. Any death I deal it is kinder than nature.

The real question about losing an animal isn't one of suffering, it one of integrity. Are you gonna count that animal you lost when no one was there watching?
 

HeavyAssault

(Insert Title Here)
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 14, 2011
562
593
99
Alabama/Georgia/Virginia
I'd suggest you watch how many "professionals" on their high paying TV shows make clean kill zone shots, and recover the animal the same day. JEEZZZ.....how they get a TV show I never understand. I saw one shot so high on the back it was horrible.....yea they didn't show anything other than the "rack" they got.
 

Dyholcom

Private
Minuteman
Mar 21, 2020
18
16
6
Only big game animal I hunt is deer. I have no idea how many I have taken over the years (figure 1-3 a year for the past 20 years), but the only ones I have lost (2) have been with a bow. Atleast in the state where I live (Indiana), things have changed dramatically as far as deer hunting goes in the last 5-7 years. We transitioned from a state that only allowed bows, shotguns and muzzleloaders, to a state that also allows high powered rifles and crossbows. This set up an environment where everyone thought the other was cheating.

I do not believe the use of a ballistics table is cheating at all. It shows you have done your homework with your rifle and are prepared to have a succesful harvest if the opportunity arises.
 

psinclair

Gunny Sergeant
Commercial Supporter
Belligerents
Jul 11, 2008
3,346
257
189
62
Glasgow, Montana





I try everything, and master what I can....The elk was taken with a trad bow at 8 yards, the antelope taken with a 338LM at a fair distance.

My personal policy is never take any shot unless you're 100% sure you can make it, and kill the animal cleanly with one shot.

If there's any lack of certainty, raise the bolt, or let up on the string.
 

Where's Bruce?

Private
Minuteman
May 12, 2019
75
99
24
Most of my single shot kills were done with a bow. I have shot plenty of big animals with rifles, usually hit the sweet spot on the first shot however my "ethics" require to me to continue sending rounds downrange until the animals drops. I've pumped two and three rounds in bison and elk without any remorse. The first round busted both lungs, the second round blew a 3" section of neckbone completely outta the bull. He was DRT. That seemed more humane than waiting for him to bleed out. He weighed 2,009lbs and was shot in 2009. Not every day your a one ton critter cartwheel. Video was shot in Utah by my buddy with a crappy phone. Second shot is repeated in slow mo a couple of times.

(best viewed in full screen)
 
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Jmcmath

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 9, 2018
763
672
99
East
I have no idea.... but in the last 2 years
8 deer
11 shots (big buck took 3)

1elk
3 shots (middle was a ricochet shooting through oak brush)
 

Snipe260

Captain
Belligerents
Feb 11, 2017
3,243
4,028
219
I’ve killed upwards of around a hundred I figure. Prob lost 5 or six out of that number. All were within 500 yds and closer. I’ve killed them with many different calibers. It’s about shot placement
 

Double Naught Spy

Private
Belligerents
Aug 3, 2013
24
15
6
One shot kills really are not a problem. Instant DRT are another matter. I have no problem putting a second or third shot into a mortally wounded hog or coyote in order to kill it faster, even if it is already down.
 

FjallJager

Old Buzzard VPU-1
Hessian
Belligerents
Dec 8, 2010
461
131
49
Southern Rockies
I have hunted all over the world, both in the 20 years on active duty and since. I have lost animals and it sucks. Anyone that has never lost one has not killed many animals.

I was on a safari in Namibia about 15 years ago and another guy in camp lost a zebra in the mountains, and at that point I had never lost one. I didn't run my mouth, but I was shocked, he had probably been on 30 African safaris and had killed hundreds of animals on his ranch in Spain. He said it happens.

He was right, I went on to lose the next two. One crossed into a national park, and the other crossed into private land we didn't have access to. I lost a pronghorn antelope doe about 3 or 4 years later. I still don't know what happened.

I have killed about 300-350 big game animals. Most of those have been red or grey kangaroos, but I have also killed 24 animals in Africa, another 15 in North America and Europe.

Everyone loses animals.
 

THLR

Private
Belligerents
Nov 19, 2012
95
105
39
43
Hundreds and hundreds. It's anything from 2 to 20 per day.
I strive to make the kill as quick and painless as possible, but the ratio isn't 1:1. The overwhelming majority is 1 shot kills.
I have missed game. I have made poor shots that needed a followup. I have made poor shots that killed the animal but ruined the carcass. I have had deer walk away to be recovered with a tracking dog. I have wounded deer that needed a tracking dog to be found and killed.

Eventually you will make a mistake. Hunters that don't are either lying or they haven't hunted enough.


Occasionally, you will make mistakes. Fix that.

I occsionally shoot matches with my hunting equipment as-is. And I stick to my hunting routines, no gaming for points...

Most of my practice is focused on setting up for the shot and shooting at 100m.

Sometimes everything goes wrong...
 

Cjt1983

Private
Minuteman
Jul 2, 2019
5
3
6
Tulsa oklahoma
I'm a firm believer in doing what it takes to give the animal the quickest death. But I recon the average hunter is ok with hitting a 10 inch group at a couple hundred yards. I wanna hit the exact hair I'm aiming at what ever the yardage