Long Range Shooting: Is it bad for the future of hunting
Updated: Apr 24, 2018
Long range shooting is exactly that: shooting. It's not hunting. It's not hunting because when you're are so far away from the animal you are hunting that it can't see you, hear you or smell you, you're not really matching wits with the animal. At that point, you're just shooting. It's not fair chase.
There has been a tremendous marketing push in the last five years for both custom and off the shelf long-range rifles, as well as long range optics. Ads for long-range rifles and scopes are now common place in just about every hunting magazine.
I believe with the advent of long-range shooting we are killing the golden goose. I predict that within ten years, 180" mule deer and 380" elk on public land may be a thing of the past.
Why? Because those older, smarter, bigger animals with the superior headgear and genetics will have been almost entirely eliminated from the population. The mature animals that were previously able to elude the majority of hunters at 300 yards are now either being harvested at 500, 600, 700 yards or are being shot and wounded at those same distances, only to run off and die. Either way, those genetics are being removed from the population. The increased rate of removal of mature-quality animals is bad for big-game populations and the future of hunting if we, as hunters, want the opportunity to pursue mature trophy animals in the future.