Swing and a miss

Share your tales (tall or otherwise) of hunting adventures.

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wislnwings
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Location: Gonzales, Louisiana

Swing and a miss

Post by wislnwings » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:21 am

Well I was able to slip away from work early today and figured I'd run by the lease on the way home. I wanted to check a couple game cameras and see what the deer and hogs have been up to. So I park my truck on a powerline and start changing out of my work clothes. As I'm standing there with my pants half pulled down I look down the powerline and out steps four deer. After rapidly finishing getting dressed I grabbed my 45-70 ( a Pedersoli 74 that stays under the back seat for times like this) and begin belly crawling down the treeline trying to cut the distance. They were 250 yards away when I first saw them and I crept up to what I thought was 130 yards. I got into a sitting position and laid the rifle on the sticks, got set, waited for a clear broadside shot on a monster Louisiana 2 pt, and shot a nice trench through the mud next to his front hoof! Suddenly I was alone again and covered in the mud I just crawled through. This was still the best hunt I've had this year. I need to do a better job of working out the distance though. I paced the shot off and it was actually closer to 170 yards. I'm a traditional bowhunter and used to shooting them at 15-20 yards so I need to work on the longer range estimation. Still fun and I'm happy for the clean miss and the fact that I'm off tomorrow and will be out there for round two.

mdeland
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Post by mdeland » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:42 am

Good attitude! You'll get em next time!
I've gotten so just seeing game is more than enough reason for the trip. I got such a kick our of watching those yearling wolves playing beside the wooded stream this fall while moose hunting.
We also saw two nice bulls neither of which were legal for our area. One was to small for brow tine count and the other to big for spike fork. :D MD

Brent
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Post by Brent » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:56 am

:) :)

Pretty familiar story there. When you are low to the ground, distances will seem closer. I think it is more or less the same illusion that makes a newly risen moon, just over the horizon look so close and so big, while the moon is the same distance and size when it is straight overhead, but looks much farther and smaller.

If there is a slight rise in the ground between you and the buck, the same thing can happen. If you are shooting across valleys, things may seem farther than they are.

I practice range estimation, walking around campus and the like with a laser range finder in my hand. But that doesn't help a lot with the issues involved with uneven land and unusual position - like being flat on your belly.

Better luck next time!

Brent
Just straddling the hard line between "the arrogance of dogmatism and the despair of skepticism"

mtnfisher12
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Post by mtnfisher12 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:19 am

Brent wrote::) :)

I think it is more or less the same illusion that makes a newly risen moon, just over the horizon look so close and so big, while the moon is the same distance and size when it is straight overhead, but looks much farther and smaller.

Brent
Actually, it is farther away on the horizon than it is overhead

Brent
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Post by Brent » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:21 am

Yes it is, but trivially so and not enough to overcome the illusion.
Just straddling the hard line between "the arrogance of dogmatism and the despair of skepticism"

pete
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Post by pete » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:58 pm

wslnwings;
I missed shots too this year. I guess it's just you and me. :roll: :)

KL
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Swing and a miss

Post by KL » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:17 am

A good trick for distance estimation with a blade or post is to visually peg what you have against a known sized object at a known distance. I tried this at 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 yards, against measured 1, 2, and 3 foot tall diameter targets. After you coordinate the size of your known target against your front sight, then set your ladder or tang accordingly to hit the target at the known distances. Then write down your sight settings.

For example, if at 200 yards a one foot diamater target takes up about 1/3 the height of your post, the next object you see that takes up 1/3 the height of your post will be at about 200 yards.

This works at longer ranges and/or larger targets since this is about the same theory as mildots. It can be accomplished with a front circle sight as against the vertical length of the metal that makes up the hole around the opening. Use your imagination.

mdeland
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Post by mdeland » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:59 am

That's a great idea KL! I'm always amazed at what I should know about shooting after doing it a lot for the last 50 years and still never thinking of it.
Ah well, to soon old, to late smart!
I hunt in the mountains or near them often and visualizing distance there is hard to do.
I almost always hunt with a scoped rifle without mildots so pretty much have to judge distance by looking at game and knowing the size of their bodies. In other words a WAG! Not hunting big game with open sights is probably why I had not come across your suggestion before now.
I usually hold just below their back line, behind the shoulder on side shots using a scope, as all my hunting rifles are sighted to impact 3 inches high at 100 yards.

wislnwings
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Post by wislnwings » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:53 pm

Great idea KL, another one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments.

KL
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Swing and a miss

Post by KL » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:03 pm

I forgot to mention that for this to work you have to shoot the same load through the same rifle every time. Shooting in mountains can be tricky because without realizing it your shots are generally somewhat uphill or downhill in relation to your game. It escapes me right this moment which is which, but for shots at targets substantially uphill or downhill with one you hold slightly over and with the other you hold slightly under. Military Sniper manuals available commercially for about $30 - 40 explain this better than I can.

mdeland
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Post by mdeland » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:45 pm

Actually you tend to shoot high wither up hill or down.

pete
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Post by pete » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:54 pm

Kl;
A variation of the technique you mentioned is one I've used for years except I make lifesize targets and use the typical back to brisket dimension of the particular animal compared to the sight blade. For instance a buck antelope is typically 14" back to brisket and a mule deer buck is 17"-18". I even made a lifesize coyote target and use it to compare to the duplex reticle of the scope on my .243 at different ranges and tape drawings of it on the scope.

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Old Doe Shooter
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Post by Old Doe Shooter » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:58 pm

Wow. Sorry you missed but you will redeem yourself. When I saw " swing and miss" I thought someone was AGAIN trying to beat their game to death with a ball bat as previously mentioned on these 'pages'.

oh-behi
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Post by oh-behi » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:03 am

Check out this website. if you want to learn the mildot system. The Mildot Master is an analog computer that is inexspensive, fits in your pocket and easy to use. All you need to know is the size of the target and you can compute everything you need for a 1st shot hit. I been tryin' to talk Manny to put 10 mildots in his MVA scope so I can try it out 8)


http://www.mildot.com/
"For those who will fight for it..........FREEDOM..........has a flavor the protected shall never know."

L/Cpl Edwin L. "Tim" Craft, B Co 3rd AT's, Khe Sanh Combat Base, February, 1968

KL
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Swing and a miss

Post by KL » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:19 pm

These systems all work as against a target of known size.

For example, and considering the example I gave, an elephant at a far enough distance would take up 1/3 the height of your post. However, we know that an elephant is larger than 1 foot in diameter. But the system (and maybe not the exact example I gave) will work every time with a target that you know is 1 foot in diameter.

This idea dawned on me during archery practice before the age of archery bombsights. The ranges are much more critical with distance. Arrow drop is more pronounced at 300 fps than a coppered slug at 2500 fps at the same distance. You can see the trajectory of an arrow at more than nominal distance. It's almost impossible to do that with less than tracers in a firearm at any distance.

The Mildot Master looks like an excellent idea. Leupold custom service offer a similar idea if you let them know your load. Heresy or not, sooner or later I intend to have a removable mounting system fabricated for a Leupold LR Tactical on my 40-90BN, for comparison to modern equipment. It will look odd but that is not the object.

MD, you can visually "build in" your own mildot system with simple cross hairs by mentally imaging where the 25%, 50%, and 75% distances are across or up or down from the center. Again, you know your shells, and you know the size of your target. Take 50%, cut it in half to 25%, then cut that in half to equal .125% or 1/8th. That is easier than mentally picking 7 or 8 imaginary mildots.

All of these systems "back in" to the variable you want to know but don't (the range) by using the variables you do know (bullet drop, size of target, sight setting at X range, etc.).

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