Getting Closer

It is repeated over and over in regard to hunting.  “Get closer”.

It’s an often misunderstood term.  I once was criticized for telling a guy to get closer.  He hunts on beanfields, or cornfields, that are as flat as flat gets, for as far as the eye can see.  He was quite sarcastic about it.  “Get closer.  Are you kidding?  Ever try to sneak up on a deer?”

Well yes, and it can be done if you’re willing to move slow enough and you’re downwind, but that’s not the point.

No, Young Grasshopper.  Find out where they’re going to be, and get yourself in there beforehand.  See?  You’re not “getting closer” in the real time, active stalking sense necessarily.  You’re allowing your prey to get closer to you.  You know them, you know their habits, their needs, their wants, and their hangouts and that allows you to predict their movements.

The longest shot I’ve taken at a living creature was about 85 yards, and it wouldn’t have mattered if it had been in the middle of 100 square miles of open flat land or in the wooded hills bordering the Palouse.  If you can observe their habits over time, you’re good to go.  Most of my kill shots were in the 15 to 45 yard range, and the closest deer were oblivious right up the moment of impact. (In Joe’s world, “closer” is anything inside 1,000 yards)

If you want to take all this as metaphor, that’s your business.  It applies in many fields anyway.

2 thoughts on “Getting Closer

  1. I live and hunt in Pennsylvania. Longest deer shot I ever took was 50 yards. I bought into all the hype years ago, went with a scoped rifle and looking for the long shot. But I went back to the 60 year old iron sighted Winchester 30-30 and settled in!

  2. Anything human or deer sized within 1000 yards is probably hittable on the first shot if the weather conditions are reasonable but that doesn’t make it a humane shot. 500 yards or less is pretty reasonable in my book.

    But the only deer I have shot was 255 yards away. That was a shot through a cervical vertebra completely severing it’s spinal column.

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