This probably one of the biggest terms among whitetail hunters and Outfitters that is so loosely defined, misrepresented and misunderstood. Yet, it’s one of the most important pieces of information discussed when hunters and Outfitters meet for the first time. Hunters looking for a good Outfitter always ask this question in some type of format and Outfitters answer it in so many different ways, based on their own definition. Obviously, the hunter wants to hear a high percentage and the Outfitter knows this and wants to give the best number they can. Often times, giving supporting stories that a hunter can’t verify.
So Hunt Trip Guru, through experience with all types of weapons and many conversations with hunters and Outfitters, has come up with a universal definition that we hope will be adopted throughout the whitetail hunting industry.
A shot opportunity is simply defined as this: Anytime a deer is in effective range of the hunting weapon used – ANYTIME!!
Now, once you try to get more words in there like if, and, or and but, the more hunters and Outfitters can redefine it. We have to keep it simple and basic in order to get reliable data and figures.
Hunt Trip Guru has also been able to define the effective range of a weapon:
- Bow – 40 yds
- Shotgun – 100 yds
- Muzzleloader – 200 yds
- Rifle – 300 yds (High calibers: 30-06, .270, .308, 7mm, etc.)
We realize that some hunters are more or less qualified or experienced to make shots at these distances, but on average, this is the agreed upon and most realistic effective range for hunters. If a hunter feels like they cannot make shots at these distances, then they are really hindering their chances of success when paying to hunt with an Outfitter. All distances are conservative and well within each weapons effective killing range.
Some folks may be thinking “Well, that all depends on…..”. The only problem with that approach is to remember that hunters are hunting a wild animal in fair chase conditions. All a hunter can ask for is to be on a well managed property with trophy bucks present. If a deer comes within the effective range and the hunter can’t get a shot for whatever reason (too quick, no clear shot, not ready got winded, etc.), it doesn’t matter. It is considered a shot opportunity. The Outfitter has done all he or she can do. They have done their job.