Beginner’s guide to long-range hunting: Everything you need to get started

Hunting

When starting out on hunting, experts suggest that you practice perfecting your shooting technique at short ranges before trying out long-distance shooting.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

What you need to get started with long-range hunting

If you’ve decided to try long-range hunting, then you likely have already done the hard work of determining the maximum distance at which you can hunt efficiently and how to take a good shot. Once you learn these important skills, next you just need the right gear. Quality, reliable gear is key to ensuring successful long-range hunting. 

What to consider when getting ready for a long-range hunt

Distances

Depending on who you ask, everyone will have their own idea of what they consider to be a “long-range” shot on a game. Responses can vary and range at from 200 to 300 yards and as far as 800 yards in more extreme cases. Calculating the most accurate distance for your shot depends on how comfortable you are behind your choice of rifle and how often you practice different hunting and shooting positions in a variety of weather conditions and terrains. However, a good rule of thumb for beginners will be anywhere from 300 to 600 yards.

Caliber

Overall, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all caliber for each type of hunt. There are many things to take into account when choosing the best one for your specific goals. Most will be from .5.56mm to 6.6mm in range, based on which brand you select and your overall desired performance.

Ammunition

Long-range hunting ammunition is very unique due to its slender designs and precise specifications. Cartridges that feature ammo with a hollow nose cavity and alloy core are very accurate over extremely long distances, while those with a heath-shield tip will not warp from aerodynamic heating when moving at fast speeds.

Scopes

Due to the very nature of the sport, finding the right hunting scope is an essential investment for your long-range hunt. Using a scope increases the chances of you hitting your target accurately, especially in circumstances where you need to react quickly. They also help compensate for any weaknesses you may suffer from in your eyesight, such as farsightedness.

Body position

It is important to keep in mind the positioning of your body when out on the range. The prone position will ensure that your rifle remains completely steady when taking a shot and will keep your body well grounded, with your forearm and elbows providing support. Make sure to support your rifle with your less dominant hand to prevent your shoulder from being injured during recoil.

Wind force

Over longer distances, the changes in weather can affect the accuracy of your shot. At the 100 to 150 yard range, the flight path of your bullet will be unaffected by the wind’s side speed. However, stronger winds can lead to a failed hunt or even endanger members of your hunting party. Practice in environments with changing wind speeds, weather conditions, temperatures and cloud visibility.

The best long-range hunting gear

Best duffle bag

Smith & Wesson S&W and M&P Tactical Range Bag

Smith & Wesson S&W and M&P Tactical Range Bag

Designed to hold up well in any type of weather condition, this premium bag is made with high-quality and durable material. The heavy-duty ballistic fabric features oversized zippers for easier grip, hooks, thick nylon straps and loop closures. Internal compartments help keep the bag well organized, while the rubber skid pads on the bag’s bottom prevent sliding. The 8-pocket system setup is ideal for any hunter that needs to separate different gun parts. 

Sold by Amazon

Best stabilizer

BOG DeathGrip Aluminum Tripod

BOG DeathGrip Aluminum Tripod

Investing in a versatile and stable shooting platform is worth every penny. This tripod features an adjustable knob that controls up to 50 degrees of tilt and a clamping head that rotates a full 360 degrees. The 3-position legs are capable of locking in place when being used in a variety of positions, such as prone, standing, sitting and kneeling. 

Sold by Amazon

Best scope

Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32x50 Digital Riflescope

Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Digital Riflescope

Set your hunt up for success with a scope that features a high-tech HD sensor that provides full-color clarity during the daytime or night — which you can conveniently switch back and forth between with an ergonomic knob on the handle’s side. Black and white and classic green mode are also available for night vision mode. The 8x digital zoom offers an optical system with up to 32x magnification for prey that is further away. It is also able to save zeroes for five different weapon profiles and corresponding calibers. 

Sold by Amazon

Best rangefinder

Gogogo Sport Vpro Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder

Gogogo Sport Vpro Laser Golf/Hunting Rangefinder

This rangefinder offers three modes, including normal scan, which can be used to scan objects within 900 yards, and speed mode which can measure speeds up to 300km/h. Accurate distance and slope data can easily help you adjust for your best shot. 

Sold by Amazon

Best ballistic calculator

Garmin Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition

Garmin Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition

Garmin’s calculator is extremely durable and specifically engineered to military-grade standards. It works well with GPS, GLONASS and other geo-locating technology for the most accurate coordinate positioning. The tech’s navigation sensors use a 3-axis compass and allow you to get texts and emails in the field. 

Sold by Amazon

Best shooting gloves

PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Delta Utility Gloves

PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Delta Utility Gloves

Available in four patterns and designs, these gloves offer comfortable roll-over fingertip design and are moisture-wicking. The multi-piece palm fabric is specifically created to ensure only one layer of material makes contact with the shooting grip for additional safety. 

Sold by Amazon

Best camo gear

YEVHEV Hunting Gear Suit

YEVHEV Hunting Gear Suit

Made with a versatile zipper closure, Yevhev’s suit is perfect for use in light to medium weather conditions that range from cold and wet. The outer layer is extremely weather resistant yet soft and durable enough to combat fabric noisiness and exposure; your chin and mouth can also be protected from the elements when the zipper is fully closed. Additional compartments and ventilation zippers help prevent you from getting too hot or too cold when out in nature. 

Sold by Amazon

Best shooting bag

Caldwell DeadShot Boxed Combo Front and Rear Bag

Caldwell DeadShot Boxed Combo Front and Rear Bag

This bag is easy to transport around on different terrains and features a quick connect system that secures the bag together for optimal storage. It is great to use on any surface regardless if you need to adjust for different positions in the field.  

Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.