Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Rely on the basics, not improvements in shotguns and deer slugs

October 14, 2011 at 08:16 AM

The State Journal-Register

When my cousin Lloyd and I started hunting deer with shotgun slugs, everybody had the same equipment. Smooth bore shotguns, and rifled ‘punkin ball’ slugs. Even the most accomplished hunters weren’t really sure what to expect when a one-ounce ball of lead, as aerodynamic as a bowling ball, went flying out the barrel. Lots of hunters were delighted when they hit a five-gallon bucket at 40 yards. 

Now with a wide variety of new and improved deer slugs, rifled slug barrels, shotguns equipped with scopes and red dot sights, the effective range of some slug guns is pushing 125 to 150 yards, when the hunter has ideal conditions, a solid rest and a clear line of sight. Even at that, the majority of Illinois deer harvested with firearms are tagged at 50 yards or less. 

Most of the time, putting a deer in the freezer, or over the fireplace has little to do with how far your gun will shoot. It has far more to do with the shooter’s ability to get set calmly and quickly, and taking a shot they are confident they can make. The best shot any hunter is going get is the first one. It’s important to make it count.

A hunter who can consistently hit a seven-inch paper plate, shooting off hand at 50 paces, will be prepared for nearly all of the Illinois hunting scenarios he or she is likely to encounter. That’s harder than it sounds. With iron sights, at 50 yards a paper plate looks like an aspirin tablet. Shooters good enough to hit it every time, will be better shots than 80 percent of the people in their hunting party. 

Even ‘out West’ the majority of deer, antelope and elk are taken inside 125 yards - most hunters sight in 200 yards or more. For over 20 years, one Montana outfitter has had a 12-inch square target 300 yards from his firing station. Every hunter is offered $50 if they hit it on the first shot - off hand or from a rest. No one has ever collected.

No matter how far your gun will shoot, your best bet is to become skilled at realistic shooting distances. Hunting situations come with a racing heart and targets that might move. The longer the shot, the more it will be affected by wind. That green twig 75 yards down range that you can’t see, throws a clod in the churn every time. The best long-range shooting tip I‘ve ever heard is ‘get closer.’ 

When a proud hunter steps off the distance from his shell casing, to the deer, it’s seldom as far as it looked when he pulled the trigger. I never step one off.  If I miss, I don’t care how far it was. If I’m lucky to hit something 50 yards away, it may as well be 100. In fact, I guarantee that it will be 100 by the time I get back to the cabin.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Yes i love this article…theres no replacement for shot placement…i sight my gun in at 50 yards and according to the hornady box at 50 yards my shot will be about 2 inches high from where i am 100 yard or less if i can manage to put the cross hairs behind the shoulder i am going to be cleaning a deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/14 at 01:41 PM

Buckman84, If you sight your gun in @50 yds that is exactly where the slug will hit @ 5o yds.

If you sight it in @ 150yds it will be 2.5 in. high @50 and 3.3 in. high @100 with a Hornaday slug

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/23 at 08:25 AM

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Groups developing 3 options for blocking carp

Previous entry: Birders debate ethics of using recorded bird calls

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

January 2020
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons