I’ve always preached that hunting is a sport for all people, from all walks of life. Even if you’ve never even touched a gun or gotten squeamish at the sight of blood since you were 8, there’s always a way for you to enjoy our primal pastime regardless.
Trust me, I know: I almost passed out the first time I had to clean a grouse.
However, longrange hunting takes the sport to another level entirely. Now you’re adding in an aspect that requires significantly more skill, experience, expertise, and patience. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, or simply curious about the inner workings of longrange hunting, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll be diving into all the essential aspects of longrange hunting. From equipment and ballistics to training and ethics, we’ll discover the most beautiful, artful, and respected activities hunting has to offer: longrange hunting.
1. Equipment Upgrade: Longrange Huntings Best Friend
Having the right quality equipment is important regardless of how you hunt, but when it comes to longrange hunting, it is even more paramount. Most longrange hunters will go for high-powered rifles that can deliver accuracy and power at incredible distances.
Trust me, those babies can pack a sweet punch!
Picking the correct firearm for you is important, so if that’s something you’re in the market for I recommend you check out our article “What Should You Look For In A Firearm For Hunting?
6 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Buy“. It can definitely help guide you in the right direction!
After you got your rifle, you’re going to need a nice telescopic sight or score with adjustable magnification, target turrets, and ballistic reticles. Essentially, something that can give you the toolset you need to compensate for bullet drop, wind drift, and target precision.
Lastly, you’re going to need good ammunition. A good longrange hunter needs to be willing to drop a few extra bucks on solid match-grade and premium hunting rounds to achieve consistency, but most importantly to ensure that the shots have enough energy to make clean kills.
PSA: Make sure you also understand your ammunition well to ensure that you make the necessary adjustments for bullet trajectory and drop!
2. Mastery and Skill: Hitting the Bullseye
My uncle would always say that long-range hunting is like going from an early 2000’s point-and-shoot digital camera to an original 1970’s film camera. It requires significantly more skill, patience, and understanding of a million tiny buttons and adjustments. Once you figure it out, however, the results are so much more satisfying.
You’ll need to fine-tune your marksmanship abilities over quite some time to become a true longrange hunting ace, and naturally the most difficult part of longrange hunting is the actual aiming and shooting. I hope that if you’re considering getting into longrange hunting you’re prepared to spend many hours at the range practicing your shots because it does not come easy.
However, it is incredibly fun. Go out in the field, set up a metal, start at 100 yards, and work your way back. Soon you’ll be able to snipe a fly from a thousand yards off!
The mastery of fundamental shooting skills is, as I’m sure you already know, also a lot more than just aiming and shooting. It’s about control; breath control, trigger control, willpower, and the ability to follow through. Every move you make matters.
Because control is so important, I recommend you also take use of all tools you can possibly have at your disposal. Get ahold of bipods, shooting sticks, or sandbags to keep the rifle steady and minimize human errors by your own hand. Trust me, stability is your best friend when it comes to longrange hunting!
Ballistics is going to be the most challenging obstacle to overcome, but with a little knowledge of physics and the equipment you’re using, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a longrange hunting God.
Learn all there is to know about bullet trajectory and how it’s influenced by factors like muzzle velocity, bullet weight, and ballistic coefficient. Get familiar with calculating bullet drop and then compensating for it. Understand how the wind is going to affect your shot, and how you can use it as your adversary for maximum accuracy.
3. Ethics and Considerations: The Hunter’s Code
Hunting is ethical, and that’s not what we’re discussing in this section (however I recommend you check out this article if you’re curious about why).
However, when you go longrange hunting, it gets a little bit more complicated. Essentially, the risk of harming the animal in an inhumane way is significantly larger. Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that you ensure clean and humane kills.
Longrange hunting means that you are far from your target (duh), and an inefficient shot could potentially just scare, panic and injure the animal. Not only does panic mess up the flavor of the meat, but they could also get away too far away for you to find them, and a life is lost for nothing.
When you take the step to upgrade to longrange hunting you have to understand that there is more at stake, which is why it’s so crucial that you select the right caliber and bullet combination that will deliver enough energy and terminal performance to kill your prey. Also, if you’re a skittish and easily nervous hunter – maybe reconsider.
Longrange hunting isn’t a guessing game, but all about making calculated and ethical shots that land within your personal capabilities. Practice, practice, practice, and become so intimately familiar with your gear that you can’t even picture a reality where you’d mess up.
“Don’t practice till you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong”
Unleash Your Inner Elite Hunter
There are of course many other factors that come into play when it comes to longrange hunting, and this is by no means a comprehensive guide – but rather a way for you to get the idea of what longrange hunting entails.
It is by far the most satisfying way you can hunt in my opinion, and shows a mastery beyond anything else. Longrange hunting goes back to the very core roots of hunting: assembling a strategy, practicing a skill – and using the combination of those to gain results.
Once you feel confident enough to head out into the wild, you can truly regard yourself as an Elite Hunter.
Looking for more hunting-related content? Check out our library of guides, tips, tricks and reviews here!