Have you always considered dabbling in the long-range hunting scenario?
Long-range hunting is starting to gain its due popularity as young and novice hunters like the idea of shooting with precision.
As newer technology starts raiding the markets, overall hunting has turned into a technical sport, and long-range hunting is one such type that heavily relies on technology.
However, old-school hunters do not consider this a perfect sport; keep reading to find out why!
Long-Range Hunting Explained
Long-range hunting is a practice where both seasoned and novice hunters do with a large caliber rifle and a precise hand-loaded cartridge from several hundred yards away. Because of the long-distance and countless other factors involved, long-range hunting usually consists of shooting big game.
The distance to cover is so significant that the shooter needs to calculate various ballistic factors, including wind, gravity, and much more. When a shooter is shooting at point-blank ranges, they do not need to worry about wind accuracy and the target as there are higher chances of the bullet hitting if a perfect shot is aimed.
When it comes to long-range shooting, one needs to calculate and think of various factors before firing up. Some hunters feel that long-distance hunting is an equivalent combination of skills and calculation; they say that an expert shooter can easily miss a shot even if they have aimed correctly.
A bit of miscalculation in the smallest measurement can easily result in a missed shot. The main issue is the lack of demarcation in the length of shooting that makes long-range hunting challenging to explain.
Few organizations and hunting associations feel that any shot after 200 m should be considered long-range hunting, while few hunters think it is anywhere related to 600 m to 1000 m. A 500 m shot might seem very easy, but to carry that shot with precision, one needs immense practice.
As mentioned earlier, you need to carry out proper calculations to find out the precise bullet drop and to shoot an animal in a long-range hunt successfully.
To help you get the most precise results, you can use the ballistics app to do the math. Ballistic math is usually calculated in either minute of angle (MOA) or milliradians (Mils).
One of the best apps to calculate is the ZEISS Hunting. This Android and iOS compatible app has many features that mend well with your hunting process.
Some other things to keep in mind before taking your shot:
- Bullet weight and shape
- Wind – both along the whole flight path to the target and by the shooter
- Temperature- air temperature, barrel temperature, and ammunition temperature
- Air pressure
- Humidity – in few cases
- Coriolis effect
- Spin drift
- The angle of the target – uphill or downhill
Is Long-Range Hunting Difficult?
Well, yes and no. It depends on several factors.
Your skills and gun control come first. After that, a perfect calculation and finally the right equipment. If you keep practicing, then long-range hunting won’t be as tricky as it sounds. The key is to learn how all these big and little things work in cohesion to help you shoot your game.
The more practice you do, the easier it becomes, and after a while, these steps and hard-to-follow rules become second nature when you get ready to shoot.
List Of Required Equipment
One thing that sets this hunting method apart from the rest is the price of long-range hunting.
You cannot consider long-range hunting an inexpensive pastime as you require some serious equipment, even as a beginner. These gadgets come in a heavy price range, so we recommend that you think of this too if you decide to start.
Some of the primary things that you might need are:
Although some hunters use handguns, crossbows, bows, and muzzleloaders, a hunting rifle is the most efficient for long-range hunting. It would be best if you had a gun that shoots like butter, but you cannot find good rifles cheap.
As this is the main feature of your shooting, we recommend that you don’t skimp out and buy a cheaper one. Try to shell out good money for a robust and efficient gun with a good reticle. With a gun, you need to focus on buying good quality premium ammo. Splurge on these items a little to get the best out of your long-range rifle.
Bipod is another tool you need to stabilize the front end of the gun. An ideal bipod needs to have great adjustability and a locking system to help stabilize the weapon. Make sure to purchase a stand with spiked feet or a broad base to cover more ground for ample support.
You cannot go with just one stand; you will need another frame to support the butt of your rifle. We recommend purchasing a back metal weapon support to have the maximum strength and support. Still, apart from that, you can invest in a poly bead-filled bag for more comfortable positioning.
Wind meters are your saviors when it comes to long-range hunting. You get to know what exact direction the wind is coming from and the precise value of current in MPH; this will help you get accurate results while calculating.
These instruments work perfectly to find the exact range and distance your target is standing at. You can understand the highs and lows of the target’s body with a little trying and testing.
Long-Range Hunting Ethics
Let’s face it. Most old-school traditional hunters do not condone long-range shooting; they feel it is against their ethics.
Let us find more about the cons of long-range hunting as per these hunters and associations:
- Many hunters do not participate in long-range hunting as they chose to follow Fair Chase ethics. Fair Chase clearly states that a hunter or shooter shouldn’t have an extremely unfair advantage over the game he/she is hunting. The technology used during the hunting is opposite to the ethics and strongly suggests having an unfair advantage over the animals.
- Most hunters and shooters always aim for a clean and quick kill, which requires hitting the animal precisely on a specific area. When one wishes to do this from several hundred yards, their chances of giving the animal a slow and painful death increase; these animals might not even die in several cases. If one is shooting at short-range, they can track down, run and finish the job, but with this type, the animal will continue living an impaired life.
- All hunters who oppose this method say that long-range hunting is a departure from old traditional hunting values. The opportunity for the game to know that it’s being pursued adds the thrill and gives them a second chance while they are at it.
Long-Range Shooting Techniques
There are several things that a long-range shooter must know and practice before taking on the hobby:
It is fundamental that you keep a solid stance and ensure that the rifle you are shooting with remains steady. Almost all long-range shootings are conducted in a prone position for maximum accuracy.
As you need to be in a horizontal position, your body needs to be well-grounded, supporting your forearms and both elbows on the ground. You should always aim to keep your weaker hand to support the butt of your rifle, as it will protect your shoulder from the recoil of the gun.
The straight view through your rifle scope needs to be highly perfect with an utterly crisp picture and no prominent shadow.
Any tunnel effect or shadow will bring out parallax error which will undoubtedly result in an off-target shot. A hunter needs to be extremely careful about this when planning long-range shots. You are encouraged to use all adjustments for a proper shot.
To obtain a straight back motion, you need to hold and squeeze the center of your index’s pad and fingernail parallel to the trigger guard. It would help if you pressed your rifle’s trigger while maintaining a sharp and fixed gaze through the scope while shooting.
Study effects of winds and bullets
You need to spend a considerable amount of time playing and recording the ammunition combination to get the best results. The process will indeed teach you to be a better hunter.
Time is not everything when it comes to learning. You do not need to worry about the speed of your practice. Slow practice is guaranteed quality practice. If you are unsure about long-range shooting, we recommend that you start with a short-range and gradually learn the trades of the sport to jump onto long distances.
Even if there are few heated arguments about this sport, it is in no way an easy sport.
Given you have the reliability of the gadgets, one needs to fully immerse themselves into the process to be the best long-range hunter.
Always try to finish off the animal if the shot goes through them but do not lose your calm and composure while doing so, as it will only make your aim more erroneous.