Judging yardage

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Judging yardage

Postby TheCallDr » August 27th, 2012, 10:15 pm

I am curious what others have come up with for judging distance? I slump lower than most and it did affect my ability to judge distance. 50 looked like 40 when a Turkey was in a field. Never had that problem bow hunting in a tree stand. Plus I have never used decoys that much to have a reference point.

Finally all I could think of was to put out a mounted turkey at different yardages and see how much detail I could see. Kinda like don't shoot till you see the white in their eyes. Then I put a red dot sight on my shotgun and that helped. I don't miss ( or not kill ) near as much. Fields and logging roads always seemed to throw my distance judging off.
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Re: Judging yardage

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » August 28th, 2012, 1:54 am

Man your talking to one of the worst distance judges ever :lol: . Open fields give me nightmares, in a woods I use my range finder to a certain tree to judge distance, but no trees in open fields. That's why I always use a decoy when field hunting. Bow hunting hasn't been a problem for me either, but I don't take long shots. The longest shot I've taken one with was 21 yards out of the 41 deer I've taken with a bow.
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Re: Judging yardage

Postby grizzly » August 28th, 2012, 3:23 am

one of the best things i ever did was to buy a small range finder that i can pull out of my pocket fast and pick a few trees at different spots that are out say 30 to 40 yards and know when they cross over these points they're in range...wayne

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Re: Judging yardage

Postby eggshell » August 28th, 2012, 6:16 am

I'm in the range finder crowd. I also have trouble with yardage, that is why I set up a gun capable of killing at 50 yards before I had a range finder. I don't intend to shoot 50 yards but if i make a mistake I am more than likely covered. Since I've bought the range finder I find my guessing of yardage is getting better, because I'm learning what 30 yards looks like from various set ups. I would say a range finder is a good investment for anyone.
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Re: Judging yardage

Postby ylpnfol » August 28th, 2012, 8:12 am

i don't shoot at deer much past 20 yds w/ my bow, i practice at 20 & 30 yds so after a couple of months of practice its easier to judge these distances, before climbing a tree i pick out a tree that is 20 yds away, and use it for reference when i get up in the tree, then look for other markers the same distance away from my tree, as that tree is, if i'm hunting a field, i'm like scott, the critter always looks closer than they are, i generally stick a practice arrow in the ground at 20 yds as reference, as for turkeys i like to wait for them to get close enough that you can hear them utter.....oh $*!# 8-)

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Re: Judging yardage

Postby charlie elk » August 28th, 2012, 8:33 am

An old method I was taught during my water-fowling days is the size of the target in relationship to bead indicates if it is within killing distance. If you pull up and the bead hides the target it is too far whereas if you see lots of head around the bead it is within range. This is 2 extremes but somewhere in between there will be a sight picture for your gun and skill level that is your maximum effective distance. Practice and commit this to memory reflex if you want to leave the range finder at home.
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Re: Judging yardage

Postby Treerooster » August 28th, 2012, 8:52 am

I have always been pretty good at judging distances. I sort of have to be in my work to drop a tree just short of an obtstacle, sometimes by inches. :D

I still practice judging distances when turkey hunting though. I hunt several states every year and will be in different terrains such as forests (both thin and thick), hilly country and fields. I actually judge paces not yards. Forty of my deliberate paces are just under 40 yards. As I walk through an area I am hunting I will pick an object and guess the range. Then I count my paces to that object to see how good I judged the range. Its pretty easy to practice as you do it while walking and I will do this several times a season, especially in new terrain. I also pace my kills off to see how far the gobbler was from me when I shot it as this also reaffirms my range judgement.

I agree that the closer you are to the ground the harder it is to judge distance. I try to pick a nearby tree or stump and judge the range before I sit down at a setup. When I judge range I do it in 10 yard increments, such as thats 10, thats 20, thats 30 and that stump is 35. If time allows I tend to reaffirm my range while sitting down and also will pick ranges at several angles as you never know where a turkey will show up.

Its not always possible to range objects before setting up so if a gobbler comes in and is near the edge of my range I will do the 10 yard increment thing out to the gobbler to make sure he is in my effective range.

For me the two most difficult times to range a gobbler is while I am in a prone position or across a steep draw or cut. In the prone position it is difficult because you can't see the ground much, but I still try to do the 10 yard increments. Across a steep draw is hard because there is no ground, just air. I again do the 10 yard increment but realizing that my estimated will be longer than the true range as the ground goes down then up but the shot goes straight across. I guess I just try to "straighten out" the range in my head and subtract the excess. In either case if I don't feel good about the shot its best to pass.

I also have my gun set up to be lethal farther than I intend to shoot.

I am pretty accurate at judging ranges out to about 70 yards. After that I am better offf with a range finder. I guess thats because I don't hunt with a rifle much, and I don't drop trees that tall either. :D
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Re: Judging yardage

Postby Cut N Run » August 28th, 2012, 1:17 pm

I judge distances every day from standing and sitting. It is just something I think about regularly. Another thing I do that helps is mark trees in areas I hunt regularly with black rope about the diameter of a pencil. It doesn't affect the turkeys and I know if he's inside of the rope (40 yards) He's dead. I also step off the distance to stumps & rocks just so I know what's where and how far the turkeys are. I don't hunt much open terrain, so using objects to help determine distance really helps.

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Re: Judging yardage

Postby maineute » August 28th, 2012, 7:00 pm

I rely on the range finder, Put out a decoy and range it out. Easy as pie, no screw ups.

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Re: Judging yardage

Postby TheCallDr » August 28th, 2012, 9:34 pm

I agree having a gun that will shoot farther than your comfortable distance may be the best buffer. Guns and ammo has been a big help. ( love my Z Point )
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