How far can You shoot ?

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There have been discussions on this forum about which load is needed to kill a deer at various distances . The real question should be " what is the maximum distance I can get a vital hit on a deer ?"
The Kill zone on a deer varies in size with species . sex and age ( body size ) of the deer .

A paper plate of about 10" is the same size +- of the vital area of a deer's chest . a 6" desert plate is about the size of a smaller bodied deer's vitals . If a bullet of the right weight and velocity goes any where in the plate target , that shot will kill a deer

The way to find out how far you can get a kill shot is to set up a plate or plates of the appropriate size and shoot at from increasing distances , starting at 25 yards shooting off hand , you go back every 10 yards ( or what ever ), shooting off hand at the plate until you miss it , then last distance you hit the plate is your maximum range for off hand shooting .
Then you kneel and shoot , if that gets a hit go back 10 yards and repeat the process , when you can't hit the plate kneeling , go to sitting and keep going , when you can't hit the plate standing , kneeling or sitting , it is time to go prone and keep moving backwards until you can't get a shot on the plate , that is past the maximum distance you can get a kill shot on a deer with your ability , firearm and load .

Shooting off a rest is a different story but you still must be able to hit that plate . So is shooting up or down at steep angles .
Shooting at a deer past your maximum range is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of the deer .

You may well be surprised at how short a distance that is .
 

Bushfire

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I find my Max range with any weapon on targets and scale it back for hunting.

At this stage I still wouldn't shoot past 100m on game with my 54 flintlock. I'm confident that will stretch out another 30-50m eventually.

Centrefire 400m on game, I can shoot further but that's my self imposed limit.

Won't use my fusil on deer until I know I can be more consistent.
 
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I couldn't agree more with the OP. If you can keep all your shots on a paper plate you can make a killing shot. No matter the distance or if it's moving or standing still. Hunting is a completely different business than benchrest shooting. A person might be able to shoot 1" groups off a bench at 100 yards all day long but if he can't keep his shots on a paper plate offhand at 25 yards he better get closer to the animal.
 

Stykbow

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I know my limits when it comes to offhand shooting. 50 yards and in is a dead deer, but beyond that I’m probably not taking the shot. Here’s the kicker though. I’m mostly a stand hunter, so I plan for using shooting sticks or bracing my elbows against my knees as a rest. Using that method I’m fully confident out to 100 yards. Offhand shooting is a good skill to have, but if I can get a good rest I’m doing it every time.
 

Coolhand

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Much past 100 yards and you won’t even see anymore of the deer from the sight covering it up. I remember trying to shoot at a huge Buck when I was a kid with iron sight. It was about 200 yards give or take. My dad said to aim at its backbone to compensate for the drop. I remember thinking hell the front sight is bigger than the deer! Who knows where I’m aiming on it😂.
 

new2bp

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Not past 100-125 yards with irons no matter what Im shooting - just dont have the fine distance vision anymore

Not past that either with my 54 due to bullet drop and range estimation

All but two of my cartridge rifles have scopes and only one of em has a min power less than 7x Golf balls at 150 with my bench 22 are almost easy if the wind is gentle
 

new2bp

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I know my limits when it comes to offhand shooting. 50 yards and in is a dead deer, but beyond that I’m probably not taking the shot. Here’s the kicker though. I’m mostly a stand hunter, so I plan for using shooting sticks or bracing my elbows against my knees as a rest. Using that method I’m fully confident out to 100 yards. Offhand shooting is a good skill to have, but if I can get a good rest I’m doing it every time.

Decent sights, a sling and knowing how to use it do wonders for field position shooting, as can learning to use available rests
 
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Decent sights, a sling and knowing how to use it do wonders for field position shooting, as can learning to use available rests
Using the most stable position or rest is the best way to go , why stand when you can go prone or sit , It is very difficult to shoot a moving target from any position other than off hand .
Iron sights can be used as far as the firearm is accurate to , look at all the military firearms of which , up to recently, the majority used iron sights .
 

Bushfire

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Using the most stable position or rest is the best way to go , why stand when you can go prone or sit , It is very difficult to shoot a moving target from any position other than off hand .
Iron sights can be used as far as the firearm is accurate to , look at all the military firearms of which , up to recently, the majority used iron sights .
Shooting from a sitting position off a rigid backpack or off your knees while sitting on your bum is great for accuracy.

Standing I use spear grass or sometimes a branch. If you rest the gun on your forward hand while lifting spear grass until it's taught I find to be incredibly steady.
 
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Shooting at a deer past your maximum range is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of the deer .

You may well be surprised at how short a distance that is .
You are so right!
What I might add from experience is all that shooting,, requires not just proving once that you can do it,, but practice and continued shooting.

We see it all the time, year after year.
Up here in the states, most of our hunting privilege is in our fall season, Sep/Oct through Jan/Feb,,
Guy's will get a new gun in May and shoot the heck out of it that month till they get a good group, then not touch it again till October when they load it for the "big hunting trip".
They think; "I don't have to shoot it at all, because in May it was shooting good, it hasn't been touched since then so it's still good."
Well, the gun is still good,, but the shooter isn't.
We see it all the time, year after year.
 
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deermanok

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I personally don't like to take standing off hand shots at deer unless they are very close. 20 to 30 yards max.
When I'm hunting, it's usually from a treestand or I'm setup on the ground with my hunting chair. With either method, I have the rail of the stand or my shooting sticks to steady up for the shot.
My rifles have simple iron sights. The longest shot I've made on a deer was about 90 yards.
 
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i'm a pretty good running game shot but much prefer to shoot a standing animal.

Shooting from a sitting position off a rigid backpack or off your knees while sitting on your bum is great for accuracy.

Yes!!

Was walking across a young wheat field when my partner yelled about hogs crossing to my front. Assumed a good sitting position and fired. Rifle was the other kind of scoped muzzleloader. The lasered distance was 214 yards. The lead was about ten feet.

At the shot the sow on the left in the photo bang flopped. Luck many have been a factor.

vjNiHWYm.jpg
 

Loyalist Dave

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There have been discussions on this forum about which load is needed to kill a deer at various distances . The real question should be " what is the maximum distance I can get a vital hit on a deer ?"
The Kill zone on a deer varies in size with species . sex and age ( body size ) of the deer .

Shooting off a rest is a different story but you still must be able to hit that plate . So is shooting up or down at steep angles .
Shooting at a deer past your maximum range is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of the deer .

You may well be surprised at how short a distance that is .
I can, with my load, hit the steel 8" plate at 200 yards, and scare the heck out of the same size plate at 300 yards....

For me...8" is just a tiny bit too much area for taking a deer, so I look to be able to put the ball into a 6" circle to then judge my load and my proficiency as correct for taking a deer. At 100 yards, I can hold even tighter, and the max distance shot that I will take is 150 yards (in my mind ; never done it), but my shots on deer are never that far. Never. My farthest shot ever was 110 yards and I took it after miscalculation, thinking it was 80 yards (it was a very big doe ; thought she was closer)

AND I always use a tree, or a bush or something, so I'm shooting from some sort of "rest". I hunt from the ground and plan my movement through the woods from location to location... a "location" must have a tree or brush to break up my outline AND be substantial enough for me to steady the rifle.

I have also taken one and only one deer using a "standing, unsupported" aka "offhand" stance. The doe was at 21 feet aka 7 yards. She walked up on me.

I read in The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles by Forsyth that he a) wanted his rifles to fire without sight adjustments out to 200 yards and be accurate enough to take game, but then b) he also writes that he and his hunting colleagues shoot game in the jungle/forests of India at 100 yards or less, and he at even closer distances. He also supposes that this is true for other hunters in other forests around the world. So his 200 yard limit is what he wants to be able to do, but in his actual experience..., he doesn't actually need to be able to shoot that far.

LD
 

RUDY MR

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There have been discussions on this forum about which load is needed to kill a deer at various distances . The real question should be " what is the maximum distance I can get a vital hit on a deer ?"
The Kill zone on a deer varies in size with species . sex and age ( body size ) of the deer .

A paper plate of about 10" is the same size +- of the vital area of a deer's chest . a 6" desert plate is about the size of a smaller bodied deer's vitals . If a bullet of the right weight and velocity goes any where in the plate target , that shot will kill a deer

The way to find out how far you can get a kill shot is to set up a plate or plates of the appropriate size and shoot at from increasing distances , starting at 25 yards shooting off hand , you go back every 10 yards ( or what ever ), shooting off hand at the plate until you miss it , then last distance you hit the plate is your maximum range for off hand shooting .
Then you kneel and shoot , if that gets a hit go back 10 yards and repeat the process , when you can't hit the plate kneeling , go to sitting and keep going , when you can't hit the plate standing , kneeling or sitting , it is time to go prone and keep moving backwards until you can't get a shot on the plate , that is past the maximum distance you can get a kill shot on a deer with your ability , firearm and load .

Shooting off a rest is a different story but you still must be able to hit that plate . So is shooting up or down at steep angles .
Shooting at a deer past your maximum range is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of the deer .

You may well be surprised at how short a distance that is .
With good scope or sights any hammer style can hit its target at 1000 yards with 80 gr of black powder and a maxie ball or miney ball
 
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And I’d add if you can hit that plate when it’s moving, first time every time, then you can shoot moving game. I can’t hit that plate moving at a running deer speed at any distance so I wait for it to stop.
Way too many people over estimate their skill level and shoot at running game! That is wrong! (IMHO) Too many things can go wrong when shooting at running game. All the naysayers are the same armchair experts that don't really have a clue. Lots of wounded game from people trying to hit running game. You do not need the animal that bad, and You know it. In addition, while your swinging at the running deer you have no idea what is behind it, like the other hunter that just walked into your area or is sitting by a tree you hadn't noticed earlier. It is too dangerous and serves no real purpose. Safety first in all things related to firearms of any kind! (IMHO)
 

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