rifle shoot

One time I shared a camp out West with a gun writer of some repute. He was retired military and rough around the edges, but a nice enough fellow and well-schooled in literature, politics and firearms/ballistics in particular. Having fired hundreds of rifles and a zillion test rounds over the years, the guy couldn’t hear squat, but he could shoot.

I watched and spotted for him as he sighted his 7mm Mag. at 100 yards. I was impressed with his 1/2-inch groups, and I told him so.

A couple days later he dragged in a nice mule deer buck. “How far?” somebody asked randomly.

“542 yards,” the scribe bellowed proudly. He had missed with his first 2 “test” shots, but with his guide spotting the bullets as they kicked up prairie dust, the dude finally nailed the elevation and windage. He held a foot in front of the deer and over its spine, and plunked that third bullet smack into the lungs.

I was not impressed, and I told him so. I don’t care who you are, how experienced a rifleman you are, or how many thousands you spent on a rifle, scope and ammo. Nobody needs to be shooting at a warm-blooded critter more than 5 football fields away. I know long-range shooting is all the rage today, and that’s fine on the range, and fun. But not on deer!

My max is 300 yards…and then that is even far for me, especially when I’m striving to make a clean and ethical kill on TV. In HD, you can see the bullet part the hair on a buck. I want that bullet to be perfect on the shoulder, or almost so, every time—pressure man.

I ask you, how far is too far to shoot at a deer with a rifle? What is your max range?