Thoughts on Shooting Running Deer…
I know, many of you will be shocked to find this update. I have been extremely busy, but I keep hoping to show my outdoor blog the attention that it deserves eventually…
I received an email through one of my email lists today, asking for opinions on shooting moving deer. I thought that was an interesting question, and one that certainly has caused a lot of controversy in the hunting community. I thought I’d post my own response, and I hope you all will add your thoughts (even if you disagree with me).
I know that with some, this is quite the touchy subject. I watch a lot of the hunting shows on TV, and love them. But, one of the “unrealistic” points that they emphasize is the need for a deer to be standing still. I watched one a few days ago, where the hunter didn’t shoot because the deer was walking, and never stopped. Realistically, where we hunt, you’d rarely kill a deer if it had to stop to shoot. Once the shooting starts on opening day, the deer are on the move. Sure, some of them stop, but some will be on the move trying to get to that next piece of cover.
Many other game animals are shot on the move, without ever even thinking about it. We shoot rabbits, and birds on the move almost exclusively. We learn how to do it, and do it effectively. I know there is a difference in using a rifle, but the truth is that with practice, you can learn to hit deer on the move too. A person needs to know their own limitations, and know the type of shot that they can make. We as hunters certainly need to make every effort to make safe and humane kill shots. If you are going to be maiming animals because you can’t make a running shot, then don’t shoot. But, I know many people who can kill an animal on the run more often than not.
My bottom line is that I don’t think anyone can make a hard and fast rule on this. What one person is capable of doing may be impossible for another. The same type of question could be asked about long distance shooting. What is too far to shoot a deer? I watched a show a few days ago where a guy shot a bear at 925 yards. Impressive? You better believe it! Would I take that shot? Not with my current equipment/skill set. But, I have shot many deer on the run. Under the right circumstances, I have a lot of confidence in my ability to hit them, and hit them soundly. Other circumstances might cause me to pass on the shot.
That is my opinion, and I look forward to reading other responses!
So, what do you all think?