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Define an ethical shot #7377189 12/14/18 09:50 PM
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The 1600 yard shot at a hog got my attention. Some were ok with it and others not so much. This can be any type of weapon used from a rifle, handgun, bow etc. I would like to say I have enough respect for an animal but I have made bad shots.

I have gut shot deer with a bow as well as a rifle. Nothing I am proud of and it happens. Do I have the confidence to take a 1,000 yard rifle shot at any animal? Nope not me. A 60 yard shot with a bow? nope not me.

I have had bad shots out to 200 yards with a rifle and bad shots with a bow at 20 yards. Not bragging just being honest. In the later part of my hunting experience I have head shot deer, axis, hogs with a 204 Ruger, at under 100 yards. I do have the confidence in that rifle and that shot. Most my shots have been 70- to 80 yards and DRT. Am I ethical? most would say no.

Which brings up the point what is ethical and does the animal being shot at have a role on a long or short range shot? I have heard of others on this forum of gut shooting hogs not as a miss but as part of the hunt. By no means am I calling anyone out and as you can see I have also confessed to what some may say is unethical. What's your take??


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377202 12/14/18 09:59 PM
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The definition of ethical is ambiguous enough that this topic should get interesting. My ethics may or may not match yours, but does that make either of us wrong?

Also, what is ethical for me may not be ethical for someone else. It would not be ethical for me personally to shoot at an animal at 1600 yards but I know people that hunt every day and don't believe that the shot from the other thread was any less ethical than the guy that has someone else sight in his gun every 3-5 years and shoots 3 times a year...only at an animal and then can't figure out why he misses at 100 yards.

As far as ethical shots being based on what animal they are shooting at, I would say yes, for me it makes a difference. I don't hold all animals to the same reverence.

That same shot would bother me if it was at a deer or certain other game animals. Not sure if that is right or wrong, but it is the way I feel about it grin


Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377219 12/14/18 10:12 PM
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To me this is a three part answer.

1. Technically - Are you taking a shot you know you can make and have made before in practice? Weather is be position, distance, off hand, etc. My favorite shot is a neck shot, but I know I can make the shot under the right conditions. When the conditions are right, I take it.
2. Animal - For anything other than a hog I take all of the above are taken into consideration before pulling the trigger. While I would not purposely injure a hog I would take a shot I would not consider on a deer.
3. Are you going to eat it if you kill it? I have a hard time killing anything I don't plan on recovering and eating/giving to someone who will eat it (this includes hogs).

I will say, when it comes to hogs, to each his own. They are a scourge on the environment and like someone said in another post: We should look at it as eradication not hunting. (paraphrased)

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377221 12/14/18 10:13 PM
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A shot in which you have reasonable confidence in making it successfully, and it resulting in the animals timely demise and allowing recovery. My archery, muzzleloader, and rifle shots are typically at ranges I have practiced and been successful at over and over. Hitting "once in a while" does not cut it.

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377231 12/14/18 10:27 PM
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A shot that with proper execution results in a timely death of the target and very high percentage of recovery of the game animal. This is accompanied by either a low amount of risk of the shot going wrong or a fair margin of error that will still result in the death and recovery of the animal. Additionally, the shot itself is taken in such a manner to reduce or eliminate possible damage to anyone or anything between or beyond the target.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377234 12/14/18 10:34 PM
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I couldn't find the thread from the last time we did this.

To quote someone else from that thread:
"The unethical shot, is the one you know you shouldn't take".

The limit is up to the individual. If he/she practices distances and positions, on targets, prior to hunting, then he or she should know their limitations. That is going to vary from person to person.

(Chad's miss was probably a range finder error more than anything. He probably hit something behind the hog, and shot that lasered distance, instead of the hog's lasered distance.)


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: txshntr] #7377259 12/14/18 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by txshntr
The definition of ethical is ambiguous enough that this topic should get interesting. My ethics may or may not match yours, but does that make either of us wrong?

Also, what is ethical for me may not be ethical for someone else. It would not be ethical for me personally to shoot at an animal at 1600 yards but I know people that hunt every day and don't believe that the shot from the other thread was any less ethical than the guy that has someone else sight in his gun every 3-5 years and shoots 3 times a year...only at an animal and then can't figure out why he misses at 100 yards.

As far as ethical shots being based on what animal they are shooting at, I would say yes, for me it makes a difference. I don't hold all animals to the same reverence.

That same shot would bother me if it was at a deer or certain other game animals. Not sure if that is right or wrong, but it is the way I feel about it grin


I agree completely.....the standard is different for different kinds of animals. I threat rats and hogs very differently than a game animal...even if I try to recover and eat most pigs, I still shoot on sight....too much damage is done by them not to.

I would have taken the shot using Kentucky windage at that hog....I've gotten lucky before. Dropped a big sow with my 1911 colt commander at about 90 yards.....one shot behind the ear. That is where I was aiming and I was still a little surprised I dropped her.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: FiremanJG] #7377276 12/14/18 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG


To quote someone else from that thread:
"The unethical shot, is the one you know you shouldn't take".


^^^^ THATS THE BEST SHORT ANSWER RIGHT THERE.

If you hunt long enough you will miss. If you hunt long enough you will lose an animal. Its just that simple.

If I miss or lose an animal I can probably tell you exactly what happened and you wont see me blame a gun or caliber very often. Just this past trip I rushed a shot on a large Boar with my 6.8. I took a neck shot at 250 yards because its all I had. I knew with the 6.8 I probably shouldn't do that at that distance because unless I hit bone I might not recover him. I took the shot and didn't hit bone and despite a huge blood trail I never recovered the hog after 4 hours of searching. It was a shot I shouldn't have taken plain and simple!

Some people never learn though. I know guys that take shots they know they shouldn't take and instead of owning it they blame their scope, their caliber choice, bullet choice, or their rifle. What they fail to see is the pattern of missing and wounding animals over and over again. I know one guy that took a shot on a deer and after the shot he only spent 5 minutes looking for the deer. That's someone that knows dang well they shouldn't have taken the shot because they obviously had no confidence it making it to begin with or they would have given an honest effort to recover a possibly wounded animal.

Im convinced that some people think if they can see it in their scope then they can hit it.

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: FiremanJG] #7377322 12/15/18 12:28 AM
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(Chad's miss was probably a range finder error more than anything. He probably hit something behind the hog, and shot that lasered distance, instead of the hog's lasered distance.)


I have no problem accepting that answer but what if he didn't miss and actually hit it. I understand it's just a hog but we have people all over YouTube taking shoots at extreme ranges on Dee, Elk and about every other species. One in particular you and I had a discussion about. Kid took a 1000 plus yard shot on a Bull Elk and I believe the first shot was a miss and the second shot hit but the bull run off and was found later. My question then was what if the first shot had made contact and missed the vitals.

I guess my answer to the OPs question would be knowing you can put the first shot in the vitals.

My biggest problem with the ultra long shot is the amount of variables that your allowing to come into play, variables that can turn your shot into a lost animal.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: JCB] #7377326 12/15/18 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JCB
Originally Posted by FiremanJG


To quote someone else from that thread:
"The unethical shot, is the one you know you shouldn't take".


^^^^ THATS THE BEST SHORT ANSWER RIGHT THERE.

If you hunt long enough you will miss. If you hunt long enough you will lose an animal. Its just that simple.

If I miss or lose an animal I can probably tell you exactly what happened and you wont see me blame a gun or caliber very often. Just this past trip I rushed a shot on a large Boar with my 6.8. I took a neck shot at 250 yards because its all I had. I knew with the 6.8 I probably shouldn't do that at that distance because unless I hit bone I might not recover him. I took the shot and didn't hit bone and despite a huge blood trail I never recovered the hog after 4 hours of searching. It was a shot I shouldn't have taken plain and simple!

Some people never learn though. I know guys that take shots they know they shouldn't take and instead of owning it they blame their scope, their caliber choice, bullet choice, or their rifle. What they fail to see is the pattern of missing and wounding animals over and over again. I know one guy that took a shot on a deer and after the shot he only spent 5 minutes looking for the deer. That's someone that knows dang well they shouldn't have taken the shot because they obviously had no confidence it making it to begin with or they would have given an honest effort to recover a possibly wounded animal.

Im convinced that some people think if they can see it in their scope then they can hit it.





There is the small percentage of us that spend hundreds of hours at the loading bench, and many hours on the range every year. I do both 52 weeks a year, but I too have limitations. Same as anyone. Sure 500 yards isn't really a concern for me, but I know what can go wrong at 700+, because I shoot it all the time.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: HWY_MAN] #7377333 12/15/18 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by HWY_MAN
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(Chad's miss was probably a range finder error more than anything. He probably hit something behind the hog, and shot that lasered distance, instead of the hog's lasered distance.)


I have no problem accepting that answer but what if he didn't miss and actually hit it. I understand it's just a hog but we have people all over YouTube taking shoots at extreme ranges on Dee, Elk and about every other species. One in particular you and I had a discussion about. Kid took a 1000 plus yard shot on a Bull Elk and I believe the first shot was a miss and the second shot hit but the bull run off and was found later. My question then was what if the first shot had made contact and missed the vitals.

I guess my answer to the OPs question would be knowing you can put the first shot in the vitals.

My biggest problem with the ultra long shot is the amount of variables that your allowing to come into play, variables that can turn your shot into a lost animal.



1k on a game animal is not something I would take lightly. Really, I don't own enough rifle for me to comfortably take down an elk at that distance. But I know that, so I wouldn't try it, certainly wouldn't have my youngest daughter try it either. My farthest hit on a game animal is 510, and it was a cow elk brainstem. Farthest on a varmint is 710 on a prairie dog. The cow elk shot was conditions that were just right, and I KNEW I could make it. Change the lighting, the wind, my position, and I may have passed on it.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377461 12/15/18 03:55 AM
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A shot with minimal risk to a an area of the animalís body that provides the greatest margin of error for ensuring a quick recovery.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377463 12/15/18 03:57 AM
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On one of the TV shows they shot an elk at extreme range (900ish), it took five shots including at least three that were into the body but not the vitals. They had to track it a ways and were all Ďwe got it done!í and were all high-fiving about it despite the fact they butchered the animal. It was disgusting, honestly.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #7377501 12/15/18 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
On one of the TV shows they shot an elk at extreme range (900ish), it took five shots including at least three that were into the body but not the vitals. They had to track it a ways and were all Ďwe got it done!í and were all high-fiving about it despite the fact they butchered the animal. It was disgusting, honestly.


Yeah, that's crap.

My mindset is get it done in one shot. If there is one follow-up shot, you all but failed. 5 shots means no one had any business shooting an animal that far away.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377572 12/15/18 01:16 PM
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A shot that ends in a quick death without unnecessary risk of wounding it. With pigs...i dont know anymore. We are overrun with them but I still find it hard to kill one without eating part of it. Even the game warden says he gut shoots them and lets them run off to die...

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: budward] #7377596 12/15/18 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by budward
A shot that ends in a quick death without unnecessary risk of wounding it. With pigs...i dont know anymore. We are overrun with them but I still find it hard to kill one without eating part of it. Even the game warden says he gut shoots them and lets them run off to die...


Just like a coyote gut shoot-emÖÖ..

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377649 12/15/18 02:44 PM
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Ethical shot for me is one in which I know I can make and will result in a quick death for the animal without regard as to what the animal is, deer, hog, coyote etc... For me my personal limit is 350-400 yards on an animal standing still and 200 yards if it is moving. I'm sure I could make longer shots but for me the sport is called hunting and not sniping. I have no desire to chase a gut shot deer all over the place. I want them down quick and clean and if I can't put the bullet where I want it to go I'll either wait for another shot or move to a better position.

If you are one of the guys that wants to fling lead at a deer over 1000 yards, have at it. I want no part in it. One time back in my native CO I found a nice 5x5 bull elk several weeks after the season ended that has his lower jaw shot off. I put him down to end his suffering despite it being illegal to do so without game warden permission but I did make a call to them and tell them where he lay, but he was in pretty sad shape. Seeing that elk in that condition made me become very careful of how I shot at animals after that. To each his/her own but that is how I decide what an ethical shot is. even a hog or coyote doesn't deserve treatment like that.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377666 12/15/18 03:01 PM
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A shot that does not exceed your limitations.

Last edited by TexasVine; 12/15/18 03:04 PM.

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Ethics are often based on values, which change from person to person among other things. Each person has their own. For me an ethical shot is within a range I am comfortable with, in conditions that are favorable and give me the highest degree of success in harvesting the animal with a quick demise. I am against gut shooting pigs, only because that violates my own personal code. I owe the animal the right to put it down, and give the effort to remove the animal. I am not against harvesting pigs for the purpose of eradication due to the fact they have been labeled by the state as a nuisance that is out of control. My last two cents is I don't favor head shots on game animals only because I see it as disgracing the animal. This is an interesting topic with some really good answers and feedback. Good luck all!

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377782 12/15/18 05:02 PM
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I take no shot that I know I cannot make. My limit is 200 yards. I hunt everything with a 6.8.

I have no problem shooting a coyote in the face. Sue me

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: Roll-Tide] #7377856 12/15/18 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Roll-Tide

. . . .I have no problem shooting a coyote in the face. Sue me

i won't sue. i'll thank you. shoot as many as you can

Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: 7mag] #7377866 12/15/18 08:08 PM
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^^^and thatís the same way most land owners feel about pigs. Not sure thereís many folks that would care about shooting long range at a pig, but I guess thereís always someone confused2

It is at as if this was a hunting video being made for tv, and he wasnít bragging about the shot, just giving the details of the shot. Of all the folks on here to question such a shot, he isnít one I would question about long range shooting. This is a hunting forum, and if he canít talk about such a shot here then we just need to go away.

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My max on hunting is about 150 yards. Where I hunt most of my shots are 50-80 yards.
My sub sonic loads are zeroed at 50 yards and are head shots only on hogs. I have several rifles that will shoot way out there, but need to go to FiremanJG's class to learn how to practice correctly! I would like to be able to ring a gong/punch paper way out there. rifle


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: Texas buckeye] #7377931 12/15/18 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
^^^and thatís the same way most land owners feel about pigs. Not sure thereís many folks that would care about shooting long range at a pig, but I guess thereís always someone confused2

It is at as if this was a hunting video being made for tv, and he wasnít bragging about the shot, just giving the details of the shot. Of all the folks on here to question such a shot, he isnít one I would question about long range shooting. This is a hunting forum, and if he canít talk about such a shot here then we just need to go away.


You know, you need to get your longer range experience with living animals somewhere, and I would rather see it on hogs than indigenous animals. With that said, there are shots I won't take, but that is me. The place where I have a true problem with ethics is when people intentionally shoot an animal NOT to kill it. There are those who will gut shoot a hog so it will run away and die on somebody else's property at a later time. That just shows laziness, poor hunting ethics (the animal will suffer unnecessarily) and being a bad neighbor.


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Re: Define an ethical shot [Re: Double Naught Spy] #7377938 12/15/18 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
^^^and thatís the same way most land owners feel about pigs. Not sure thereís many folks that would care about shooting long range at a pig, but I guess thereís always someone confused2

It is at as if this was a hunting video being made for tv, and he wasnít bragging about the shot, just giving the details of the shot. Of all the folks on here to question such a shot, he isnít one I would question about long range shooting. This is a hunting forum, and if he canít talk about such a shot here then we just need to go away.


You know, you need to get your longer range experience with living animals somewhere, and I would rather see it on hogs than indigenous animals. With that said, there are shots I won't take, but that is me. The place where I have a true problem with ethics is when people intentionally shoot an animal NOT to kill it. There are those who will gut shoot a hog so it will run away and die on somebody else's property at a later time. That just shows laziness, poor hunting ethics (the animal will suffer unnecessarily) and being a bad neighbor.


I aim for the front half of the hog. Where it falls, is where it stays. The garbage collectors will take care of it in no time. My farmer neighbors asked that I drag them off the cultivated land, because hog ribs can poke holes in tractor tires. I said, "Yes sir".


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