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Shooting distance on foot #7982011 09/21/20 08:09 AM
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Dimitri Offline OP
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The distance at which you take a shot at an animal obviously depends on a number of factors e.g. type of weapon, calibre, ammunition, type of equipment, region and type of terrain, species, degree of hunting pressure, whether the animal is wounded or not, your skill as a marksman, your ability to get close to the animals, and your personal hunting philosophy. For some people this may be to take the shot as soon as it presents itself within the distance at which they are competent to take the shot. For other people, even if they are competent enough to take the shot at a certain distance, they may restrict themselves to taking shots at a shorter distance because they enjoy the challenge of getting closer to the animals.

In the US and South Africa (not sure about other parts of the world) long range shooting has become very popular. The amount of time and money some of these guys spend on practising and getting the right equipment is amazing and they can shoot! I regularly read about, or see videos, of long shots taken out to unbelievable distances - 400-800 yard shots seem quite common while 1000 yard shots are not unheard of.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the guys that like to get as close as possible to the animals they hunt. They reach the distance at which they are competent to take the shot and make a clean kill, and then they go closer still. For the thrill and the challenge.

In between, there is the group of hunters who are competent to take shots out to say 300 yards with their rifle and, when an opportunity presents itself, that is exactly what they do. (The shooting distance will obviously be shorter if they are hunting with iron sights, bow or blackpowder).

Do you hunt on foot and, if so, how do you prefer to do it? What's your longest shot ever taken and what is the shortest distance at which you have taken an animal while hunting on foot?

The aim is not to debate the merits of how everyone prefers to hunt or to argue about my way being fair chase or better or more ethical than your way. It would simply be interesting to see how people do it and at what distances they have taken their game.

I'll go first:

I enjoy stalking as close as is reasonably possible. I don't have the interest or the equipment or the skill to take shots out further than about 300 yards. I don't practice beyond that distance either. I have taken the odd long shot - more so when I was younger. Average distance at which I have killed my game is 73 yards. I have killed 34 head of game at under 35 yards. The closest were 2 animals taken at 9 yards. Both were warthogs and both were taken with my bow. I have shot only 6 animals further than 200 yards out. The longest distance at which I have taken an animal was a zebra at 306 yards with my 30-06 and then a fallow deer at 240 yards with my .243. For me, the satisfaction I get out of a hunt is generally inversely proportional to the distance at which I kill the animal.

Looking forward to reading about how everyone else does it and your long and short range shots.

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982013 09/21/20 09:30 AM
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I am on board with you, unless the place and targets are something akin to being at an amusement park. I love getting improvising a plan, getting down from the stand or truck and going after a quarry. My longest DRT shot (with a witness) was 600 yards was on an aoudad. across a canyon. I was fortunate and probably not able to repeat it.

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982016 09/21/20 10:12 AM
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I hunt from a blind, or stand, or still hunt, depending on the situation. The vast majority of shots have been within 80 yards, scoped or Irons. Bow, always less than 40 yards. In the last few years, I have stretched out a bit, and shot a spike at 516 yards.


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And make Kamila president

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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982056 09/21/20 11:40 AM
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The closest shot I DIDN'T get to take was on a massive kudu bull. I spotted the herd - which included 3 trophy bulls, 2 younger bulls and 7 cows - a few hundred metres away as they crossed the road to a waterhole. I figured they would go back to where they came from once they had finished drinking so I ran in a big loop to get the wind right and to start on a course to intersect their return from the waterhole. 150m or so from the waterhole I was lucky to spot one of the cows. She was slightly to the left about 40m away and browsing in my general direction. I crouched down to take stock and see where the other kudu were. Another cow emerged directly ahead of me about 30m away. Then I spotted the horns of one of the younger bulls through the brush on my right barely 25m away. I had kudu almost all around me and I made myself as small as possible behind the bush I was was hiding behind. My heart almost stopped when I saw 2 ivory-tipped horns spaced widely apart 15m ahead of me and heading straight toward me. I dared not move a muscle and I squinted my eyes a little because I thought the kudu would otherwise see two large shiny orbs shining in the bush. I, in any case, thought that the bull was going to hear my heart beating. The butt of the 30-06 was on the ground and I was hugging the rifle against my chest. The bull came closer and closer while, in my peripheral vision, I noticed a kudu passing about 10m on my right. If that kudu kept going it would soon walk into my scent. The big ivory tipped bull came ever closer until it stopped to browse on a bush 5m from me!! Through my squinted eyes I could see it's large brown eyes, it's long black eyelashes, and shiny wet nose. I was entranced by the beauty and majesty of that bull. I almost jumped out of my skin when a kudu barked loudly behind me as it caught my scent. Branches cracked and hooves thundered as the herd dashed off. Oddly, instead of feeling disappointed I somehow felt happy and fulfilled. I remembered the rifle leaning against me and was completely at peace that I had not got to use it. That kudu experience remains one of the most wonderful experiences I have had while hunting.

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982104 09/21/20 12:38 PM
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I hunt every way you can I guess, on foot, spot and stalk, from ground blind, from an elevated blind, farthest shot was over 300 yards, closest was 20 yards.

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982110 09/21/20 12:46 PM
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I took up air rifles and came to realize there are a lot of similarities to long range shooting. 4” drop at 100 yards 9” at 150. It is a challenge and a better fit for me as I get older. Fortunately for me maybe not so much for our rancher we have an abundance of feral hogs to shoot at. With the shrouds on modern airguns I can get 2 or 3 shots off before they bolt. I like pig hunting with my airgun more than deer these days. My longest shot to date is 128 yard shot on a 170 lb sow with a .257 cal shooting a 80 gr hollow point. I guess you can call it poor mans long range shooting.


They make ammo specifically for hunting for a reason! nidea
Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982152 09/21/20 01:30 PM
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I don't have any interest in true "long range" shooting on game animals. I try and get as close as im comfortable with. With a rifle Ive killed animals at 15 yards and i've killed several at 200 yards plus. Longest i've every taken on a game animal was an Aoudad at 370. Shot over his back. Ended up killing him at a bit closer distance 3 days later.


I've shot a coyote at 410 yards before, that 's my longest "confirmed" kill.


With a bow i prefer to be in the 17-22 yard range but i've killed animals at 53 and 84 yards respectivley.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982171 09/21/20 01:40 PM
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"On foot"

Do you mean strickly offhand shots, or are you talking about being in the field and using your body, your pack, and/or anything nearby to help support the rifle?


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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982191 09/21/20 01:48 PM
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I like to shoot and long range stuff is just for play for me at this time. I have shot deer/hogs to close to 300 yards from blinds.

Furthest shot on a deer while hunting outside of a blind(spot/stalk) was a doe at 160 yards off a bipod. Closest was a hog with a bow at 27 yards.

If your competent and know your limits then i think your fine to do what you do. Every persons limits are different and the fight usually starts when someone puts their limits on anothers ability.

Last edited by redchevy; 09/21/20 01:50 PM.

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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: FiremanJG] #7982200 09/21/20 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG
"On foot"

Do you mean strickly offhand shots, or are you talking about being in the field and using your body, your pack, and/or anything nearby to help support the rifle?


Hi Fireman,

By "On foot" I meant going out on foot, finding and stalking the animal. I guess I could have said "walk & stalk"

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982202 09/21/20 02:01 PM
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I stalked up to 18 yards on 2 hogs night before last and killed them it’s a rush but I also like the challenge of shooting animals at some intermediate ranges 150-300.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: SapperTitan] #7982232 09/21/20 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SapperTitan
I stalked up to 18 yards on 2 hogs night before last and killed them it’s a rush but I also like the challenge of shooting animals at some intermediate ranges 150-300.

That's something I still need to do - stalk bushpigs by moonlight and shoot one (or two).

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982241 09/21/20 02:34 PM
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On foot with me means I have a bi-pod with me. Can you use it kneeling or standing. I don't leave home without it.

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: SapperTitan] #7982244 09/21/20 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SapperTitan
I stalked up to 18 yards on 2 hogs night before last and killed them it’s a rush but I also like the challenge of shooting animals at some intermediate ranges 150-300.



you can get really close to hogs if they are feeding.

my favorite way to hunt those is to grab my .22 lever action and sneak down a creek and catch them rooting alongside the bank. I've killed quite a few doing that from 10-40 yards.


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Hudbone] #7982254 09/21/20 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
On foot with me means I have a bi-pod with me. Can you use it kneeling or standing. I don't leave home without it.


I'm with you. I carry my (tripod) shooting sticks with me on every hunt and shoot 90% of my game off the sticks even at close range.

Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982273 09/21/20 02:53 PM
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The shortest distance I have taken game (not counting Turkey) is about 50yrs, whitetail deer from a stand. Turkey are 20yrs or less... I love to call them in because the process is almost more fun than the shot. The longest distance is about 320yrs on a Mule Deer buck. I got to hunt the top of Elephant Mountain (Draw Hunt) this past January. We glassed for deer and then stalked in closer. We positioned for wind first and then worked out an approach choosing large rocks, scrub or trees to conceal movement. Scoot from one to the next, belly crawl. .get the pack settled in front with the rifle, then wait for the shot to present itself. In West Texas moving from cover to cover can be a challenge. The closest shot that day was about 210yrs on a doe. Tagged two bucks and two doe.. most fun hunt I've ever had and I'm spoiled because that is the way I want to do it from now on. My next goal is a West Texas Aoudad.

Top of Elephant Mountain, Typical Mule Deer...
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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: StraitShot] #7982502 09/21/20 05:09 PM
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Interesting thread. I guess being a detail oriented person I try to answer the way you intend it to be answered so the "on foot" confuses me. Most people in Texas hunt from a stand so I guess you dont want any of that considered?? I also think what Fireman was getting at is can you shoot prone or sitting or kneeling and can you use "props" like shooting sticks or some improvised rest. Personally I hunted on the ground for many years and would spot and stalk often. I would get to whatever distance I thought I had a very high percentage chance and shoot. I have never tried to get extra close just as a challenge. I guess if the animal was a non Trophy type animal then i might do that for fun but I usually hunt Trophy type animals so the kill is more important than the distance. Now days i usually hunt from a permanent stand over a feeder although I have never in my life killed a deer at a feeder. We usually set up where you can see long distance and I end up stalking the deer even though I start out in a stand. I guess to answer your question, I have killed deer out to 290 yards but not really any closer than 40 yards. Im never without my shooting sticks.
I just thought back and its been over 20 years since I killed a deer anywhere except when i was on the ground("on foot"). At least the last 6 bucks I have stalked, and they ranged from 50 to 175 yards.

Last edited by freerange; 09/21/20 05:14 PM.

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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: freerange] #7982533 09/21/20 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Interesting thread. I guess being a detail oriented person I try to answer the way you intend it to be answered so the "on foot" confuses me. Most people in Texas hunt from a stand so I guess you dont want any of that considered?? I also think what Fireman was getting at is can you shoot prone or sitting or kneeling and can you use "props" like shooting sticks or some improvised rest. Personally I hunted on the ground for many years and would spot and stalk often. I would get to whatever distance I thought I had a very high percentage chance and shoot. I have never tried to get extra close just as a challenge. I guess if the animal was a non Trophy type animal then i might do that for fun but I usually hunt Trophy type animals so the kill is more important than the distance. Now days i usually hunt from a permanent stand over a feeder although I have never in my life killed a deer at a feeder. We usually set up where you can see long distance and I end up stalking the deer even though I start out in a stand. I guess to answer your question, I have killed deer out to 290 yards but not really any closer than 40 yards. Im never without my shooting sticks.
I just thought back and its been over 20 years since I killed a deer anywhere except when i was on the ground("on foot"). At least the last 6 bucks I have stalked, and they ranged from 50 to 175 yards.



OP is from south africa, where most rifle shooting is done off of shooting sticks.


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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982548 09/21/20 05:35 PM
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As a hunting guide I've spent too many day's in the field tracking wounded deer by hunters who overestimated their ability to shoot long distance. I work very hard to get my hunters within 200 yds (preferably 100) to help ensure a quick clean kill. We owe that much to the game we pursue. Just my .02 cents 2cents Hunters that "thought" they could make that 400+ yard shot and missed or wounded a buck don't get a 2nd chance to hunt our place.


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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982568 09/21/20 05:47 PM
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Closest that I have taken would be Turkey at less than 10 feet, deer about 5 yards and several including some of y biggest bucks inside 10 yards. One very memorable doe I watched bed down in a cutover and eased in and shot her in her bed at 7 yards with a recurve. bow. i have killed quite a few deer inside 20 yards with rifle, handgun and bow. Really enjoyed an 8pt whitetail that I saw going to a feeder 600 yards away and got in on him and shot him at 18 yards.

Long shots which i am so out of practice on now that I would not take that shot today was a pronghorn doe at 509 yards from sitting using shooting sticks. There have been several others just above or below the 500 yard range. I was shooting out to 600 yards a lot in those days though. Now I am not as mobile as I was and where I hunt 100 yards is a long shot.

The closest I have been to deer while hunting is close enough to touch their tracks with my hand after they left and one button buck I tapped with a backhand on the nose one morning. Yes getting close is fun but so is shooting longer ranges.


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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7982576 09/21/20 05:51 PM
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This year, the closest would be about 10 yards and the farthest would be 355, open pasture, off of shooting sticks.


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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: txtrophy85] #7983057 09/21/20 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85
Originally Posted by SapperTitan
I stalked up to 18 yards on 2 hogs night before last and killed them it’s a rush but I also like the challenge of shooting animals at some intermediate ranges 150-300.



you can get really close to hogs if they are feeding.

my favorite way to hunt those is to grab my .22 lever action and sneak down a creek and catch them rooting alongside the bank. I've killed quite a few doing that from 10-40 yards.
With good wind and pigs making lots of noise while eating it is very easy and fun when all hell breaks loose.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7983141 09/22/20 12:39 AM
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Longest attempted as well as successful shot “on foot” (not in a static stand of any sort) was 317yds on an Aoudad. Shortest was 20 yds on a pig. Both with rifles.

Furthest I have repeatedly practiced is 1360 yds and anything out to 500yds I would not think twice about taking even if getting closer wasn’t an option. Furthest I would consider would be 1,000yds but there are a lot of requirements/stipulations I have placed on myself if and when that time comes. As my shots/success has shown above so far I have always been able to close the distance. Hogs and coyotes would be the only two resident species in Texas that I would ignore those self imposed restrictions and let lead fly if conditions allowed for such a shot.

For me, getting super close inside of 80 yds is why I have picked up bow hunting. Doing so with a rifle, for me, has no purpose.

Obviously the above criteria only pertains to me. I have zero issues with guys that are capable with long range rifle, muzzle loader or bow shots and take them. As long as it’s legal to each their own. KNOWING AND SELF IMPOSING YOUR LIMITS is the issue and one often has a clouded judgment of what their limits are in the heat of the moment.


Last edited by Theringworm; 09/22/20 12:43 AM.
Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Dimitri] #7983283 09/22/20 02:08 AM
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Most of the deer taken on the farm I hunt (East Texas, heavy cover) are taken at under 70 yards. Not much hunting on foot except for the walk to and from the blind sometimes results in one being jumped up.

The farm I hunt is made to order for bow, shotgun with buckshot or slugs, and muzzleloaders. Currently my favorite way to hunt deer and hogs is with a shotgun loaded with buckshot, from blinds. The terrain is so thick that most of the hunting we do could be called deer waiting instead of deer hunting lol.

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Re: Shooting distance on foot [Re: Theringworm] #7983396 09/22/20 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Theringworm


For me, getting super close inside of 80 yds is why I have picked up bow hunting.



It was exactly the same for me. Although I always liked to get close, bowhunting required that I stalk closer still. And it taught me to be more patient .... waiting for a broadside shot and waiting for an opportunity to draw the bow without being busted. Sadly, I have had rotator cuff surgery to both shoulders in the last 6 years and the long recovery affected my ability to practise and also affected my confidence. I would shoot 4 arrows into a 3'" bull at 30 yards and then have a flyer that was way off. So I haven't hunted with my bow for the last 2 years. Had the awesome experience of guiding my son to his first antelope earlier this year. Walk and stalk with the .243. He took the shot at 15m.

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