Hunting - Maximum Effective Range

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Making clean kills in the field while hunting by improving your maximum effective range.

We have all heard stories of how a big buck or other wild game was killed by a shot from an almost unbelievable range. And these shots do happen. However they are more often than not just plain luck, and usually result in lost game or a wounded animal wondering around the woods injured and suffering. No hunter wants to leave an animal in the woods to suffer. With a grocery store on every corner in most towns, there is no longer any need to risk injuring wild game with a high-risk shot. But you also didn't get up way before dawn to tramp out into the woods on a fruitless hunt. So to make the best of your hunt, and avoid taking risky shots a hunter needs to learn when to try a shot or wait for a better chance at the wild game.

So now Maximum Effective Range (MER) comes into play. Maximum Effective Range or MER should not be confused with Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR), which is the farthest range you can hold your sights on a target and shoot clean without worrying about the bullets drop rate. To get a shot for a reliable and quick kill, you must hit the wild games target area. On deer it is an area about six inches in diameter. The target area size for a clean kill differs depending on the size of the game. But we'll stick with the deer for now. The gun should be sighted where the bullet's trajectory is not more than 3 inches above the sight line. The Maximum Point Blank Range or MPBR is the range the bullet drops to three inches below the sight line. If you shoot dead on at any range within the Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR), using good ammunition as you always should, the bullet will not be more than three inches off the sight line and stay in the lethal target range.

Maximum Effective Range (MER) is exactly what it says, the farthest distance you can take a shot at a deer or other wild game and still make a successful, efficient, and lethal shot to your query. Hunters have many things to take advantage of today that were not available to our fathers and grandfathers on their hunting trips. The selection and technology of guns today insures we have plenty of options available, so we may always have enough gun to get the speed or velocity needed. It's up to the hunter to use it correctly. Simply because the guns Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR) is 300 yards, does not mean you can get a good clean kill at three hundred yards.

It is up to the hunter to judge his Maximum Effective Range (MER) depending on several variables. The hunter must take into account the dispersion of his gun and ammunition. On the shooting range when the gun is warmed up and sighted correctly you could probably hit one-inch groups at a hundred yards. (This adds up to about three inches at three hundred yards) But to do the same in the field when the first shot counts and the gun barrel is cold is another story all together. And more than likely, at the shooting range you have a nice handi-dandi bench or table rest that you won't have while hunting.

Also there is the fatigue factor, in the woods your heart is likely to be pounding from the hike. Not to mention, my adrenaline starts to rush at the first sight of a deer or other wild game and that makes the heart thump even more. The fatigue from hiking up a hill and adrenaline rush will affect how well you shoot.

Aiming error also depends on the hunter's shooting position, the type gun he brought along on the hunt and the type of sights the hunter has chosen. The hunter's physical condition is also a major factor in shooting errors while hunting. The range of variables differs with each shot, but there is a way that you can get a idea of how big there error is and what the Maximum Effective Range (MER) is. When at practice on the shooting range, or where ever you may practice, use a target that reflects the lethal range of the deer or whatever wild game you will be hunting. And see how far away you can shoot and still successfully hit the target.

Set the target at a random range, maybe a hundred yards and see if you hit it, and how many times you can accurately hit the target. Practice shooting the way you'd probably have to shoot while hunting. If you won't be able to use a rest while hunting, practicing with a rest does very little to help your shooting while hunting, so ditch it until you are sighting your gun. Or if you hunt from a blind use a rest that reflects the rest used while hunting. If you can hit the target nine out of ten times, you're doing well, that's what you want to aim for. Some hunters try for three out of three, both are reasonable goals.

If you are going to be hunting with open sights from an unrested position, then obviously your Maximum Effective Range (MER) is going to be much shorter. 50 yards is likely to be the best you can shoot for. But if hunting in brush and heavy cover, you won't be seeing any wild game beyond fifty yards anyway, and a Maximum Effective Range (MER) of fifty yards is fine.

In either case, with scope or open sights, you can either pass up shoots at deer and other wild game due to poor hit probability. Or you can simulate the conditions found in the field at the shooting range, or where ever you practice your shooting. With the latter you will increase your Maximum Effective Range (MER). Thus increasing your odds of bringing home a trophy deer or some other wild game, and decressing the odds of missed or wounded game.

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Source Url: http://redneckknowhow.com/2015/05/21/hunting-maximum-effective-range/
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