It used to be that "troll" was an Internet verb. It meant posting a controversial topic on a website and waiting to see what sort of flame war you could start. Nowadays it's morphed into a noun referring to those nasty cyber-vermin that get on forums and say stupid things just to make trouble.
I'm going to put out a deliberate "troll" in the classic sense. I am trolling for opinions here, and I am doing it to spark some meaningful discussion.
This is a somewhat narrow question for whitetail deer hunters east of the Mississippi: At what ranges do you normally shoot deer?
Here is my answer:
One of the things that is usually a sure tip to me that the deer hunter I am talking to is newbie or a poser is when he gets to talking about distance. A few years ago, I had a guy come up from Georgia to help with an install at the plant. We got to talking about deer hunting. He was all set. He was going to be hunting at his club-- all thickets and swamps. He had a brand new bolt gun in 300 WIN that "was going to give him the extra reach he needed."
In the back of my mind, I got to wondering how he was going to need a 300 Win to go hunt in the swamps, but I let it pass. I'm sure there are plenty of places in Georgia where a 300 yard shot is not out of the question. That was the range he was talking about.
A few months later he left the company and one day I was gossiping with one of my compatriots. Turns out our buddy did own a 300 Win . Yes, he did have a membership in a club, but he spent most of his time drinking at camp and had never gotten past firing a few shots with his rifle and never gone beyond just having it bore-sighted. The kick had been too much for him.
Now, I'm not calling anyone who hunts with a 300 Win Mag a poser. I'm not saying guys who talk about shooting deer at 300 yards are liars and sofa jockeys. However, I am saying that most real deer hunters who live in the real world see real whitetail deer at really close distances. In real woods east of the Mississippi, you can be hard pressed to get a shooting opportunity past 100 yards, and you can go your entire real hunting career never needing to shoot much beyond that. I'll take one more step out onto the limb and say that if you regularly hunt deer at ranges over 100 yards, you are passing up huntable deer that can be shot closer than that.
I have hunted in the Ohio River Valley and its tributaries all my career. My longest deer shots to date:
[ul][*] With a rifle -- 80 yards[*] With a bow -- 15 yards[*] With a muzzleloader -- 65 yards[*] Longest shot ever while deer hunting -- 165 yard coyote kill with a 30-06[/ul]Things that make me wonder:
[ul][*]12 power scopes on deer rifles that have superior performance starting at 300 yards. [*]Muzzleloaders that can shoot to 200 yards[*]Slug guns that shoot 200 yards[/ul]I'm not saying they're wrong or unethical. I happen to have a 4-12 power scope on my Model 70, but I keep it cranked back to 4 power. I'm just saying that I wonder about spending all that money and bench time, working up a 200 yard load for a muzzleloader or slug gun when ol' Mossy Horns will be poking his head out of the bushes a stone's throw away.