Having a sense of range is essential in hunting. However, the idea might seem a little vague to some of you. Here, we’ll tell you more about it!
Having a sense of range is important in hunting. Here, we mean estimating the distance of the animal. However, for different kinds of hunting activities, this sense varies: you can't use the same references if you are stalking, hunting in a stationary position or small-game hunting, for example. You won’t be hindered by the same things, in short, few things are similar.
Today, thanks to the experience of our teams, we want to share our advice and knowledge on this sense which is not much talked about. Many hunters will tell you that it’s a question of experience, which is true, but it can also be improved thanks to some advice which will allow you to have a keen eye ;)
Let’s start with an activity where range is essential: bow hunting.
Here, every metre counts for the accuracy of the arrow. However, range is difficult to measure as the eye can often be tricked: we tend to estimate fewer metres than there are in reality. In other words, the target often appears closer than it actually is. Experience certainly plays a role, but in bow hunting, practice is always necessary.
For bow hunting, as for other disciplines, it is important to have the correct shooting angle. If you lie on the ground, your shooting angle will be better. Furthermore, you should learn to shoot standing up or crouching. This activity requires you to be very quiet and therefore to be crouched down in the vegetation most of the time. What’s more, a sense of range varies depending on your position.
On the ground, the vegetation in front of you can give the impression of being either further from or closer to the animal. On the other hand; the absence of vegetation can also make you lose your sense of distance as there are no references to use.
With experience, says Valentin, who has been hunting for eight years, “we can find other references”. For example on your bow, or even when standing and extending your arm in a particular way, you can point your finger and know that you are 10m away, depending on the angle of your arm.
Now you have a sense of establishing references. For hide shooting and driven shooting, the principal is the same. The idea is to save time during the hunt. To this end, you can also use a rangefinder. The goal is also to estimate the distance yourself and use this tool to check and confirm this estimation.
With these activities, it is also a safety issue: for example, if there is a road or a path close by, it’s essential to estimate the distance so that you don’t shoot in that direction. This safety issue is also linked to the variety of legislation concerning driven hunting, which often sets limit on range.
For this type of hunting, your sense of range can be disrupted at twilight. The lack of light gives the impression that the animals are far away although they are very close.
For waterfowl shooting, it’s a different story altogether. First of all, we’ll explain the two types of hunting to better explain them to you:
Game bird shooting can be carried out with or without decoys. In any case, the hunter looks for the optimal shooting range in order to maximise their success.
It is a very dynamic, fast-moving type of hunting with lots of shooting. The hunter is camouflaged behind their hide, they must react quickly, which is why the ability to calculate the range is essential.
This sense is not always easy to develop, particularly with crows, which are very distrustful animals. The ideal shooting range for increasing your chance of success is around 15m.
The range can also depend on the weather: if it’s cold, the bullet will be colder and so the estimated range should be different.
Finally, dogs are often present at this type of hunt. So no, a dog will not help you to judge the range, but it will, however, allow you a longer range as it will go and fetch the game.
Carlos, the product manager, tells me: “every shooter should judge the range in order to aim for the maximum level of success while guaranteeing safe conditions for each shot”
This article is nearing its end, but we couldn’t finish without telling you about our new Solognac rangefinder. This rangefinder allows you to measure long distances: up to 800m! An essential tool for a large number of activities, it will also allow you to practice and grasp a sense of range so that you will be ready during the whole hunt. The magnification of this rangefinder (x6) will allow you to better aim at your target. A good magnification is necessary for this tool, and we were able to respond to this need.
So, it’s already the end of this article. We hope that this advice will be helpful and that your sense of range will be less approximate. It’s Michael, our product manager, who will conclude here by telling us that the important thing for getting to grips with range is to:
“know your gun, ammunition and environment well!”