Getting close or making difficult shots?

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 6,656 Senior Member
Which do you find most satisfying?

And please, none of this BS about both, or it depends, or some weasel answer that really doesn't answer the question.

Do you find it more satisfying to take a game animal cleanly by making a difficult shot, whether it be due to the distance, tough wind conditions, a moving target, or do you feel better about getting close after making a difficult stalk/sneak, or selecting a stand that gets you close?

For me, I have to admit that I get more satisfaction from making a long shot, difficult shot than I do from getting close. This is almost surely due to the type of country I hunt as well as the country I grew up hunting. The hunts I remember most when I was a kid were in the canyon country of west Texas where 200 yards was pretty much the norm. Now, having lived in the west for 25 of the past 30 years, most of the country I hunt lends itself to making long shots. That's not to say I haven't made the occassional short shot, but when I have it's usually been by accident, and not by design.

So if you have to choose between getting close or making the tough shot, which of these two give you the most satisfaction, and why?
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I get more satisfaction getting as close as I can. Stalking and sneaking, as it were. That's what I love to do. I live the challenge of the stalk. Once the gig is up or I can get no closer, I'll take the shot presented if it is a good one. I don't mind shooting distance but the stalk is where the satisfaction comes for me. Kinda like at work. I like being sneaky.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I will add, I can shoot distance at targets whenever I want for the most part. Shooting at game presents the same challenge as a target in most aspects. It's not often one gets to pit their skill against another living creature and beat their defenses on their own grounds. This, is satisfaction for me. Be it human or animal.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,102 Senior Member
    If I am hunting with a revolver, or bow then I enjoy the sneak. Or if I am just in the mood to sneak-Yes.
    But at the moment, I enjoy the distance more.
    For both, I enjoy the challenge.
    I choose what I hunt with based on the way I want to hunt or the time I have to hunt.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    What BP said.

    The 'buzz' lasts longer........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ADRidgeADRidge Member Posts: 173 Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Shooting at game presents the same challenge as a target in most aspects. It's not often one gets to pit their skill against another living creature and beat their defenses on their own grounds. This, is satisfaction for me.


    This. Shooting at distance has its own set of challenges and requires abilities that I admire greatly. But nothing gets my heart going faster than sneaking up to within rock-throwing range of a wild animal, on his own turf. The first time I rattled a buck to within 20 yards, I thought my heart would jump out of my chest. I couldn't have taken that shot if I wanted to, the adrenaline just made me useless. Since then, I've really come to love getting up close and having a second or two to make a good clean shot and doing it well.
    In space no one can hear you scream... but if you put a helicopter up there, some jerk would complain about the noise!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,273 Senior Member
    I like spot and stalk over all other forms of hunting...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...I can have almost as much fun, & lots more of it shooting pdawgs or steel plates @ stoopid distances...

    ...I'd rather beat 'em @ their own game, figure out where they were, where they went, where they're gonna be, flank 'em, ambush 'em, using a whole 'nother set of skills above & beyond my ability to shoot. Always satisfying to "out-elk" the elk...
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Now don't get me wrong. I have no problem shooting distance at game animals. I just prefer not to step out of a truck and see an antelope at 1k, plop down and take a shot without trying a stalk. I like stalking. This also doesn't mean I won't set up a hide somewhere covering several ridges or drainages and have a range card plotted out that allows me to cover any animal that pops out. I do that at times as well. But like Jayhawker said, I prefer and get the most satisfaction from spot and stalk. If the end of that stalk puts me at 500+ yards with nowhere to go........I'll shoot. If the stalk puts me at 20 yards, cool. Just depends on terrain. I'll shoot what I have to shoot with no problem but I prefer the stalk.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    I love the spot and stalk and want to get as close as I can and not so much to ensure the shot is good (which I make sure of) but to see if I can get closer. Now that said, I will take a difficult long shot if I am convinced I can make the shot and conditions are right, because it would be in my estimation impossible for me to get closer. I keep in shape for when I go out west so I can spot and stalk. Love it, nothing like it. :)
  • wddodgewddodge Senior Member Posts: 1,014 Senior Member
    This may not be hunting the way most people think about it but I shoot groundhogs. I've went from sitting in the back window of the hayloft with a 12 ga waiting for the critter to stick his head out from under the foundation to 350 yd shots with my .220 Swift. It just depends on the location and where the neighboring houses are. By far the most satisfactory are the long shots with a nice breeze blowing. It's good to plink something that you can't see without glass.

    Denny
    Participating in a gun buy back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids.... Clint Eastwood
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,958 Senior Member
    Oh I would love to do the stalk thing and I do pride myself on taking most of what I have taken up close and personal. I really don't feel comfortable with ultra long shots. But I suppose there's a time and place for everything. For one thing, with whitetail deer, they are so weary and have such good sense of smell and hearing it is very difficult to sneak up on them. It can be done but it takes a lot of skill. So what we do is try to situate a deer blind within 200 yards of likely shots. As for hogs, forget it. Same thing as whitetail applies but even moreso. They can hear a nat fart at 200 yards and smell it. Most hog hunting around here gets done at night either with dogs or from a blind close to a strong smelling bated pile of corn or some other grain. Some people let their corn sour and others, like one friend of mine pour stuff like buttermilk and onions all over the pile. Some people will put Diesel oil on the pile to keep the coons out of it, but I think the smell isn't conducive to good results. The only time we ever get close to hogs in the daylight is when we surprise them and for the above reasons that is a rare occurence.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    AMEN!! on hunting hogs, tougher than hunting white tail if you are not using dogs.
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...iffn the dear are that weary, you should be able to walk up to 'em & nail 'em w/ a hammer...
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,102 Senior Member
    I enjoy distance, but I am not a stand hunter very often.
    Spot-n-stalk even when using bow or revolver.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    Talk about getting up close to the target species..............I was hunting last weekend in the 'gnarly' stuff again with Bloodhound.

    Although we were trying to be quiet, the terrain makes a silent stalk almost impossible. I was lead man as we were busting through a particularly heavy bush area with undergrowth damn near up to your waist, stepped over a log hidden in the undergrowth and stood on a 140+lb hog that was asleep!!!!!!!! Just had time to throw the rifle up and swing through it ( shotgun style) and hit the trigger. Range at the shot was less than 5 yds.........Managed to poke a hole in the tree it ran behind with the 7mm08. Killed the tree stone dead.........hog got away lol.

    Talk about an adrenaline Buzz!!!! Spent the next 15 mins dressing out the tree ( just kidding)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,121 Senior Member
    Since most hunting here is stand hunting, I take more pleasure from making a difficult shot.

    The one I am most proud of was on my second largest deer in both rack and body size.
    He skirted the edge of the greenfield I was watching and I couldn't get a shot. He got to the two trail (tractor road) 112 paces away from me and started making a rub. I had a roughly 11x17 "window" through the brush to make the shot.
    I threaded the bullet into the base of his neck and dropped him in his tracks
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,656 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Talk about an adrenaline Buzz!!!! Spent the next 15 mins dressing out the tree ( just kidding)

    Is that Kiwi speak for changing your underwear?
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • wolf049wolf049 Member Posts: 217 Member
    It's really hard to say. I enjoy dropping game a long ways out (300, 400 yds or more), it's even better with friends there to witness the whole thing. That's why I spend so much time at the range for. On the other hand, I have to agree with BP. There's a great satisfaction to sneak up on your querry.
    "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
    - Richard Henry Lee
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    I rather enjoy the ease of carefully popping a 300-400 yard shot without the game ever knowing what hit them. Its calm, quick, and easiest for both of us.

    But then again....Jerry, you and Mike witnessed my finest few hours of hunting ever, and I still get tickled thinking about it.

    Tough call.....tough call.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I have at times when shooting at 200- 300 yards been surprised to see folks walking around past the intended target, that is why I like to limit Myself to 150 yards or so.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,156 Senior Member
    "Getting close to deer" for me consists of walking around and suddenly saying, "Huh. . .there's a deer". I've surprised a few Illinois whitetails that I had no notion of them being there until they jumped up running, but typically, at anything resembling close distance, they're more aware of me than I am of them. When it comes to the California mulies I'm currently chasing, I've had a number of short to middle-range staring contests with does and non-legal bucks, but the legal boys seem to be smarter than I am. The notion of me stalking one of the buggers is almost laughable, and I regard my upcoming early season archery hunts as scouting trips rather than a venture that will actually result in a dead deer.

    I can certainly see the satisfaction that comes from feeling the life seep out of a deer through the handle of a Bowie knife, but it is FAR more likely that my deer will be taken from a place they will never see by a sound they will never hear. . . and that's OK. I'm a Highpower competitor and optics geek, so figuring out the range and doping it in correctly is kind of how I'm supposed to roll. There's still enough Illinois boy in me for my default setting to be "deer = vermin". I have no problem with omitting the sporting chance of a close shot in favor of cold-blooded murder.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I like to take another approach- - - - -being familiar enough with the trerritory and the travel patterns of the game that I can load up the flintlock smokepole, pick a spot, and let the deer come to me. There's very few situations more rewarding than to observe and pattern the movements of a big buck and manage to be in the right place at the right time to take a 50-yard shot or closer by being in his back yard without being discovered.

    I've got plenty of 300-yard-plus rifles that will take deer-sized game cleanly if I do my part, and varmint rifles that will nearly double that effective range, so I do a little Ma Bell shooting into the next area code, but up close and personal with a flintlock is my favorite type of hunting.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    As for hogs, forget it. Same thing as whitetail applies but even moreso. They can hear a nat fart at 200 yards and smell it. Most hog hunting around here gets done at night either with dogs or from a blind close to a strong smelling bated pile of corn or some other grain.......The only time we ever get close to hogs in the daylight is when we surprise them and for the above reasons that is a rare occurence.
    Your hogs must be smarter than mine. Or those around here are just plain dumb. Hogs are MuCH easier to stalk that whitetail! They don't see well, they hear OK, and as long as you watch the wind, I've stalked right up on them. Shot several with bow and handgun that way. They are a blast to hunt because they are so easy to stalk. Their nose is usually stuffed in the dirt and busy rooting around. I've even stalked up on a sow with pickets and grabbed two piglets from her brood. She just took off the other direction with the rest in tow. Stepped on a boar once in a steep valley. He was bedded under a grass tussock and I was looking ahead thinking I'd spot one. Stepped over the tussock and right on top of him. Guess it scared him more than me because as I was falling back trying to get my rifle around, he was hightailing it down the valley post haste. Nope, there pretty easy around her. I've killed them at night with a light and a knife. Keep the light in their eyes and run up on them. Stick'em ad your good. If they run off, just chase them flickerin the light in front of them. Kills their night vision an they will eventually run into something. Then you jump on them and stick'em. Must have a special breed down where you're at or mine are ****. :-)
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,958 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Your hogs must be smarter than mine. Or those around here are just plain dumb. Hogs are MuCH easier to stalk that whitetail! They don't see well, they hear OK, and as long as you watch the wind, I've stalked right up on them. Shot several with bow and handgun that way. They are a blast to hunt because they are so easy to stalk. Their nose is usually stuffed in the dirt and busy rooting around. I've even stalked up on a sow with pickets and grabbed two piglets from her brood. She just took off the other direction with the rest in tow. Stepped on a boar once in a steep valley. He was bedded under a grass tussock and I was looking ahead thinking I'd spot one. Stepped over the tussock and right on top of him. Guess it scared him more than me because as I was falling back trying to get my rifle around, he was hightailing it down the valley post haste. Nope, there pretty easy around her. I've killed them at night with a light and a knife. Keep the light in their eyes and run up on them. Stick'em ad your good. If they run off, just chase them flickerin the light in front of them. Kills their night vision an they will eventually run into something. Then you jump on them and stick'em. Must have a special breed down where you're at or mine are ****. :-)

    We do. It's called Russian Boar. And I don't think you're going to walk up on these.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Straight from Russia, huh? Interesting.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,958 Senior Member
    Yeah, about 80-90 years ago. Come down here if you don't believe me. Our coastal hogs are almost all Russian blooded.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    I highly doubt that. Considering their proliferation and breeding cycle. The inbreeding and spreading of feral hogs and the time span of 90 years. Pretty sure they are mixed about as much as any feral hog. Without the seclusion of high fencing (and even that doesn't stop hog travel), pure stock will inbreed in a heartbeat and become feral stock in only a few generational years.

    How about some pics? I'd like to see the characteristics if you don't mind. From some you've taken or friends possibly?
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,739 Senior Member
    Where I've hunted for several years now there is an abundance of game and sitting in a shooting house with a scoped rifle doesn't present much of a challenge. I feel much more accomplished from having gotten close to an animal. The woods are pretty dense around here making stalking extremely difficult and my prefered method is to try and learn the animals patterns and routes and then pick a spot to wait in ambush. Guessing correctly and having an animal come to me gives me a warm fuzzy and game in the freezer.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,810 Senior Member
    Well if you ever got your butt up here I'll send you stalking a bear in the cornfield.
    I'll even supply the knife
    This guy here was within a minutes walk of the house

    MDGC0013.jpg


    I guess I like to get close.I really like tracking especially a big deer.
    This guy here is and always will be my best ever.
    The tricks he used to use and what he taught me about what a whitetail will do.
    He had some stones for sure.
    We a friend of mine Matt and I tracked him for 6 hours before getting the opportunity for a shot.The only reason that we ever even got the opportunity was he was doe CRAZY

    IMG_0237.jpg
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,958 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    I highly doubt that. Considering their proliferation and breeding cycle. The inbreeding and spreading of feral hogs and the time span of 90 years. Pretty sure they are mixed about as much as any feral hog. Without the seclusion of high fencing (and even that doesn't stop hog travel), pure stock will inbreed in a heartbeat and become feral stock in only a few generational years.

    How about some pics? I'd like to see the characteristics if you don't mind. From some you've taken or friends possibly?

    I stand by what I said and if you don't believe it that's your prerogative. My son hunts hogs with a knife but they do it at night with dogs. Everybody else I know that hunts hogs seriously around here hunts them at night because they are hard to get close to. Maybe you have your own land and have them fed out and half tame. But these down here are wild. Even the hogs up from the coast that have little Russian blood are very wild here. I was on a lease for 10 years that was full of them. I killed a few but all were at night or after dark. And also I was up in the air in a blind where they couldn't get my scent. There were 10 of us on that lease and we had a lot of land. Only two people ever came up on hogs at close range and that was driving to a blind and when they came around a tree line or something that blocked the view and noise. You say they have poor eyesight, well so do whitetail and whitetail are very weiry as deer go. But whitetail can see movement. I think it's the same with hogs.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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