This hunter has the skills and equipment to nail this 1,250-yard shot on a blesbok in South Africa. However, was taking such a long range shot unethical?
Taking long range shots while hunting is all the rage these days and it seems like more and more hunters are intentionally trying to take extremely long range shots on game for nothing more than bragging rights.
The hunter in this video was clearly an extremely skilled shooter and was properly outfitted for taking such a long range shot (he was using a Gunwerks LR-1000 shooting system chambered in 7mm LRM). As you can see, he absolutely nails a shot in excess of 1,250 yards and the blesbok drops like a ton of bricks.
Results of the shot aside, was taking a 1,250-yard shot on an animal ethical?
Personally, I think that taking extremely long range shots while hunting is unsportsmanlike. Even though the hunter was using a custom rifle and cartridge specifically designed for long range shooting, a 1,250-yard shot is a really long poke at a living creature.
For one thing, even when shooting a high velocity, very high ballistic, coefficient bullet like the 7mm LRM, it still takes the bullet nearly two seconds to reach the animal. Even if the shooter does everything 100% correct, that is a lot of time for something to go wrong, such as the wind shifting or the animal moving, which could result in a wounded animal.
For another, I feel that taking such a long range shot at an animal takes most of the “hunt” out of the experience and transforms the event from “hunting” into “shooting.” Though taking a long range shot requires very finely-tuned shooting skills, it requires very few hunting skills.
While I have the utmost respect for the ability of this hunter to successfully make such a long range shot (a skill that I lack), I think that a clear distinction should be drawn between hunting and long range shooting. There is nothing wrong with shooting at long range, but I feel that should be practiced at the shooting range instead of on live animals.
What do you think? Was this 1,250-yard shot unethical?