At What Range Have Most of Your Big Game Animals Been Shot At?

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old ugly

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i haven't hunted in 25years but back then i hunted vancouver island dear, they are small. i hunted with smooth bore for the most part.
25 yards was about the closest, aprox 70 yards furthest.
ou
 

Booneliane

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I’ve probably killed several hundred deer.

Most with archery gear. The farthest off the top of my head was 40 yards.

I did shoot an antelope with a bow in my “young and dumb” days at 74 yards. Long story short, got him, but it was an ordeal.

Shot my one and only deer with a centerfire rifle in 1994 at about 200 yards. I got nothing out of the experience.

I shot one deer with a .54 GPR at about 130 yards. Most have been between 40-80 yards though.

Coyotes are the only thing I shoot with a modern rifle, and I go very modern for that.
 

TCMonts

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Most of my shots are 14 o 18 yards. Don,t think I ever shot one farther than 50, and did shoot a few between the sholder blades from a climbing stand. I mean like climb down the tree and lay a hand on it while still sitting in the stand. South Carolina whitetails in swamps and heavy brush, visibility seldom more than 30 yards.
 

kemart17

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Since the advent of, and rise in popularity of, the inline muzzleloading rifle, if one listened to the gun writers, and their constant drivel; you would be hard-pressed to believe that anything but a modern inline m-l rifle shooting a light-for-caliber bullet out of a plastic sabot was capable of humanely harvesting North American big game animals.

It is my contention, as it was Jack O'Connor's, that the vast majority of all species of North American big game animals are killed within 150 yards. If you want to use the metric system, then 150 meters (165 yards).

If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that at least half of those 150 yard shots are under 100 yards.

This means that there is no reason that a muzzleloading firearm cannot be used to humanely kill any big game species in North America. And, as far as I am concerned, with a patched ball of at least .45 caliber. If you can own two rifles, then a .45 caliber, and a .58 caliber will humanely kill everything but the big bears.

Feral hogs
Javelina
Brocket deer
Whitetail deer
Mule deer
Coues deer
Blacktail deer
Sitka deer
Keys deer
Caribou
Moose
Sika deer
Elk
Bison
Musk ox
Coyote
Wolf
Black bear
Bobcat
Canadian lynx
Oceolot
Mountain lion
Dall sheep
Desert Bighorn sheep
Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep
Stone sheep
Mountain goat
Pronghorn antelope

The three exceptions that I might posit are the polar bear, the coastal grizzly bear (brown bear), and the inland grizzly bear. Not because a muzzleloading rifle is incapable of killing them in the hands of a very competent, fit, calm-minded hunter; but because there are better weapons choices to make for hunting animals that are apex predators with little fear of man. That will WILLINGLY, and EASILY kill you.

And, because most states won't allow a hunter to take a double-barrelled, muzzleloading rifle into the field during hunting season. And, if I was going to hunt a grizzly bear, then I would want the muzzleloading equivalent of an African, double-barrelled, big bore, cartridge rifle in my hands to do so.

So, in YOUR hunting lifetime, at what ranges have you generally shot your big game animals?

Thanks for your replies.
white tail deer, piles of them. with a ml, close, the closer the better, shot 1 at 10 ft. for me hunting with a ml is about being a hunter, not how far i can shoot. used 50 and 58 cal flinters
 

Art Caputo

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Here in the wooded area of the Northeast my typical shot on whitetail has been 25-50 yards with only two at 100-120 yards over 45 years. Most with a 45/50 cal PLRB.
 

Eric Krewson

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I don't think I have ever shot a deer at over 50 yards, most are around 20-30 yards because that is how I set up my ambushes in thick cover.
 
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sealgaire

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One black bear, numerous white tails all at 25yds or less. Hunt from a tree stand. Bear with an unmentionable, most deer with a .45 roundball.
 

deerstalkert

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longest shot was 300 yard luckiest hail mary at a WT doe with a unmentionable in 1981. next was a Moose at 140 yards in 2008 . of the other 100+/_ WT i have killed in the last 65 years almost all have been <100 yards. most in the 60-70 yard range. Elk have all been in the same range. coyotes 100 to 300 yards. all bird species 25-40 yard range. 2 black bear. 1-52 yards short gun. 1-18inches short gun
snakes 2 to 7 yards. only ground squirrels in the long range of 400 yards max and under. except 2 with one shot at 600. wont tell what they were doing when i ruined their day.
 
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Christophero

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Closest MZ whitetail about 15 steps. Furthest Whitetail 175 yards, TC Renegade with TC MaxiHunter Conical. Practiced all summer at 200 yards. Decided that was enough of pushing the envelope, but dropped the buck with a spine shot. A number of deer from 20 to 110 yards over the years. Most within 60 yards, I suspect. Most recent Deer, in the past 6 years, using PRB from 29 yards to 100 yards. 100 yards is as far as I really want to reach out there with a 50 cal PRB.

Groundhogs, the poor man's grizzly: from 10 to 50 steps with the TC Renegade. Tough buggers still would make it to at least to the edge of their dens with an half inch hole through and through.
 

Marshhawk

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I'm in the same boat as TCMonts. Thick South Carolina swamp and island forest means most shots well within 50 yds. If you want more than that, you have to carve it out yourself. My longest was 81 yds (but that was a logging road).
 

Sparkitoff

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I am a retired Professional Hunter. I shot 410 big game animals with the same rifle. Many hundred more with a variety of rifles, shotguns, handguns, archery equipment, etc. Have witnesses somewhere in the neighborhood of 8000 animals get shot. Before laser range-finders (about 2005 for me) I have a mere guess at the actual range. No way to say to what extent my guess is accurate. I want to know how the other posters know the shot distance to everything they've killed without that technology. With a rangefinder I have shot one animal at 735 yards and several so close the rangefinder didn't register (I'd say 2 or 3 yards). I have a booklet called "1000 Tags Filled". The author recorded every shot taken by clients over many years and 1000 shots. The shot distance was determined from either pacing off and back-tracking from place of shot to place of impact, or determined with a laser rangefinder. There were shots from a few yards to over 500-yards. What's the difference? (No disrespect, what are you trying to determine?) First, this is a traditional muzzleloader forum so information outside those parameters is supposed to be off-limits unless there is a direct correlation to ML info. Then, if you shoot further away are you less of a hunter, or more of a marksman? Not sure what the point of this thread is....
 

R.J.Bruce

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The purpose of the thread was to illustrate that a patched ball is a more than sufficient means to hunt with as far as muzzleloading arms are concerned. Within the ranges that most muzzleloading hunters here, and I suspect in the entire United States as well, shoot their big game, a conical bullet in a sabot is unnecessary for either the claimed range benefit, or the supposed higher foot pounds of energy delivered.

The patched ball has always been, in my opinion, sufficient for the task at hand. From my beginnings in 1971, I have never felt undergunned with a .45 caliber flintlock longrifle, as opposed to a modern bolt-action rifle.
 

PastorB

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80%+ within 40 yards, 95% within 100 yards. Even in open terrain, I strive to put myself where a close shot will present itself. I've seen so many fellas get the latest and greatest unmentionables that shoot a bullets at 3400fps, but they can't hit a deer sized target at 80 yards from a rest. Get close and put the ball/bullet where it needs to go.
 
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When I first started taking big game/making meat with a muzzleloader, my average shot distance was 80 yards to 100 yards. After hunting and using a muzzleloader for nearly 3.5 decades...I tend to take big game at 20 yards or less. Elk usually at 10 to 20 yards, deer at 20 yards to 30 yards.

It's been a fun ride....
 

Howie1968

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Since the advent of, and rise in popularity of, the inline muzzleloading rifle, if one listened to the gun writers, and their constant drivel; you would be hard-pressed to believe that anything but a modern inline m-l rifle shooting a light-for-caliber bullet out of a plastic sabot was capable of humanely harvesting North American big game animals.

It is my contention, as it was Jack O'Connor's, that the vast majority of all species of North American big game animals are killed within 150 yards. If you want to use the metric system, then 150 meters (165 yards).

If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that at least half of those 150 yard shots are under 100 yards.

This means that there is no reason that a muzzleloading firearm cannot be used to humanely kill any big game species in North America. And, as far as I am concerned, with a patched ball of at least .45 caliber. If you can own two rifles, then a .45 caliber, and a .58 caliber will humanely kill everything but the big bears.

Feral hogs
Javelina
Brocket deer
Whitetail deer
Mule deer
Coues deer
Blacktail deer
Sitka deer
Keys deer
Caribou
Moose
Sika deer
Elk
Bison
Musk ox
Coyote
Wolf
Black bear
Bobcat
Canadian lynx
Oceolot
Mountain lion
Dall sheep
Desert Bighorn sheep
Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep
Stone sheep
Mountain goat
Pronghorn antelope

The three exceptions that I might posit are the polar bear, the coastal grizzly bear (brown bear), and the inland grizzly bear. Not because a muzzleloading rifle is incapable of killing them in the hands of a very competent, fit, calm-minded hunter; but because there are better weapons choices to make for hunting animals that are apex predators with little fear of man. That will WILLINGLY, and EASILY kill you.

And, because most states won't allow a hunter to take a double-barrelled, muzzleloading rifle into the field during hunting season. And, if I was going to hunt a grizzly bear, then I would want the muzzleloading equivalent of an African, double-barrelled, big bore, cartridge rifle in my hands to do so.

So, in YOUR hunting lifetime, at what ranges have you generally shot your big game animals?

Thanks for your replies.
30 yards and under longest muzzleloader shot was 30 yards and ive killed a ton of pigs
 

Walkingeagle

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I am a retired Professional Hunter. I shot 410 big game animals with the same rifle. Many hundred more with a variety of rifles, shotguns, handguns, archery equipment, etc. Have witnesses somewhere in the neighborhood of 8000 animals get shot. Before laser range-finders (about 2005 for me) I have a mere guess at the actual range. No way to say to what extent my guess is accurate. I want to know how the other posters know the shot distance to everything they've killed without that technology. With a rangefinder I have shot one animal at 735 yards and several so close the rangefinder didn't register (I'd say 2 or 3 yards). I have a booklet called "1000 Tags Filled". The author recorded every shot taken by clients over many years and 1000 shots. The shot distance was determined from either pacing off and back-tracking from place of shot to place of impact, or determined with a laser rangefinder. There were shots from a few yards to over 500-yards. What's the difference? (No disrespect, what are you trying to determine?) First, this is a traditional muzzleloader forum so information outside those parameters is supposed to be off-limits unless there is a direct correlation to ML info. Then, if you shoot further away are you less of a hunter, or more of a marksman? Not sure what the point of this thread is....
In a big field you have the option of using a odometer in your truck to check what the distance was after the shot. Before the shot? Well that comes from lots of experience.
Walk
 

anthonycrocker25

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Canadian whitetail 350 yards, Maine whitetail 260 yards all others under 100 rifle handgun 25yards moose 50 yds or less, Bears 50 or less turkeys 65 yds longest alot less.
 
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