This hunter was able to successfully make a 1,315 yard shot on a mule deer. However, was taking such a long range shot ethical?
Recent advances in technology enable hunters to take shots at extreme ranges that, just a few years ago, no sane hunter would even consider shooting an animal at. This 1,315-yard shot on a mule deer is just one example.
In this video, the hunter was using a rifle chambered in .26 Nosler using 140gr Berger VLD bullets with a ballistic coefficient of .612 (that is an extremely aerodynamic bullet). In the right hands, the .26 Nosler is a great cartridge for making long range shots and the guys in this video looked like they really knew what they were doing.
However, the question remains: is taking a 1,315-yard shot on an animal, regardless of the rifle/cartridge combination used and the shooting abilities of the hunter, ethical? Watch the video and see what you think.
Personally, I think that taking such a long range shot is unsportsmanlike. Even though it appears as though they ended up killing the deer (it's a highly edited video, so it's tough to say for sure what exactly happened), I still say they took their shot at far too long of a range.
They were shooting a great long range cartridge, but it still took the bullet about two seconds to reach the animal. Even if the shooter does everything 100 percent correct (and he didn't initially), that is a lot of time for something to go wrong. For one thing, the animal could move far enough in two seconds that a perfectly placed shot could actually end up wounding the animal.
I also feel that taking such a long range shot at an animal takes most of the "hunt" out of the experience and turns the experience into target practice on live animals. Yes, taking a long range shot requires very refined shooting skills, but almost no skill as a hunter. Taking a shot at that range is far beyond my abilities as a shooter, so I have the utmost respect for his shooting abilities. However, 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.
Finally, I was not impressed with his decision to shoot at the deer while it was not offering a clear shot at the vitals. When taking a 1,315-yard shot, the margin for error is very small to begin with and these guys didn't do themselves any favors by taking a shot at a bedded deer with the first shot or trying to shoot it while it was quartering away at such a steep angle with the second shot. Truth be told, they are very lucky they didn't actually end up wounding the deer by hitting it in the antlers or in the face with the first and second shots respectively.
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