Field & Stream Questions Long Range Hunting

By Mountain Pursuit

Venerable hunting and fishing magazine, Field & Stream questions long range hunting in it's August-September, 2019 issue. 

Mountain Pursuit is alone in hunting nonprofits to take a firm position opposing long range hunting - and has proposed a 400-yard maximum shot restriction for all big game hunting, based on Fair Chase. We have been criticized heavily by hunters for taking this position. 

In its August-September issue, Field & Stream addresses how technological advances in firearms, ammunition, electronics, optics and overall ballistics has resulted in an incredible improvement in long range accuracy since 2009. The magazine also questions the ethics of long range hunting shots. 

"For the entirety of the 20th century, there was an unwritten rule that 300 yards was as far as you shot at game. Real hunters got close before they pulled the trigger. Now that's changed," writes David Petzal in an essay, "So, Have We Gone Too Far.

"In some circles , it's considered praiseworthy to shoot at animals out to 500, 600 yards and beyond. Why?," he continues.

Mountain Pursuit's opposition to shots beyond 400 yards is based on Fair Chase. Key to the ethic of Fair Chase is that the game has a chance to detect the hunter, and if detected, elude him. Any technology or technique which tips this balance in favor of the hunter is unethical. According to biologists, big game animals have a greatly reduced chance of detecting the hunter outside of 400 yards - hence Mountain Pursuit's suggested restriction. 

Writes Petzal, "Our recent sniper fever has brought us to a place where we can shoot critters fom far beyond the range of their senses, but that doesn't mean we should. The sniper's stock-in-trade is giving the enemy no chance, which is the opposite of fair chase. Nor is a game animal the enemy."

 

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