A good rule to set for yourself as a hunter is to practice shooting different distances at the range. If you want to shoot a deer at 100 metres, shoot that distance at the range to know what your bullet is doing, and to see if you’re accurate.
Knowing a bullet’s trajectory will give you confidence at any distance. The trajectory of a bullet is slightly curved due to an explosive start and then gravity taking over. Finding a balance in velocity and bullet weight will guide you towards the perfect caliber for the hunting you hope to enjoy. There is a wide assortment of firearm calibers available but keep one thing in mind: it doesn’t matter what caliber you shoot, as long as you shoot it well.
If you sight in your firearm to hit a target dead-on at 200 metres, you will hit your target slightly high at 100 metres and you will hit your target low at 300 metres. Knowing exactly where your bullet is hitting at the different distances allows you to compensate or adjust for the gravitational pull.
Close encounters with bear or moose in the dense bush require a different approach than if you’re hunting in open country. You never know where game will show up to offer a shot opportunity. If you know where your bullets are hitting at any range, you have better odds of being successful. As hunters, we owe it to the game we pursue to be accurate for quick, humane kill shots, giving us confidence in our decisions.