One added benefit of clear-cutting activity for deer hunters is the ability to see longer distances. Concurrently, one of the drawbacks is the probability of having to make longer shots. It is incumbent upon every responsible hunter to know their individual limitations when it comes to attempting to kill deer at long ranges. Taking “Hail Mary” shots, hurts the image of the sport, as well as potentially wasting the resource.

Like any other sporting activity or skill, understanding your limits and working and practicing to improve your skills is more than acceptable, it’s warranted.

Increasing your long-distance shooting skills, say from 200 to 300 or even 400 yards, will require changing certain aspects of how you shoot and even the weapon you’re using.

• Point of impact. Learn your rifle’s point of impact from 5 to 500 yards. Don’t take for granted what might be on the ammo box or a manufacturer’s website. Guns sighted in for long range frequently hit low at close range, then follow a trajectory curve out at distance. Learn the math.

• More ammo, fewer gadgets. The only way to improve your shooting skill is to learn how to shoot correctly and shoot more often. Buying the latest rest, brace, shooting stick, etc. will not make you a better shooter. Burning more ammo on paper helps you learn your gun and its, and your limitations. The end game is hitting the target.

• Come prepared. Plan your hunt if you know there is a chance of taking a long shot. This includes using a stand that provides a good rest, having a range finder to pinpoint exact distances, binoculars to positively identify the target, and the right gun and scope for the job.