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    Morning All,

    I just wanted to share my complete brain **** moment from last night in hope of a bit of re-assurance and maybe some stories you guys could share... At this moment in time I wouldn't be being dramatic in saying part of me doesnt want to shoot again at all! ?‍♂️

    The farmer of some land I shoot over (approx 800 acres) contacted me a week or so back as he had seen an explosion of hare numbers and asked if I could trim the numbers a bit. (I could feasibly see 50+ hares in a 100 acre field at one time these past few weeks)

    Firstly I will say I am not a fan of shooting hares. I think they're particularly captivating and while I would not persecute people who do I am not a massive fan of shooting them. However as we all know we need to keep our land owners happy and I made clear I would only shoot what I saw to be mature fully grown hares.

    So I went out early evening last night to get some bunnies and magpies and spotted a hare in a lovely position around 150 yards away. I could see he was big and sat out grazing on some cover crop. 

    I adjusted for the shot with probably about a 2-3mph breeze. The first shot hit the rear leg of the hare, sending it in to a bit of a spin but then nestling down in to the crop. I walked up another 20 yards or so in hope of getting a clean shot. I shot again, this time hitting the ground just in front of the hare. Anyway, I walked towards the maimed hare and saw it trying to run away around 50 yards in front of me. Finally I was able to take the shot which put him down (probably about 5 minutes since the first shot)

    As I approached I could see the mess I had made of his hind leg and on top of that the follow up shot I had taken looked to have ricocheted and shattered his front leg so he couldnt get away at all.

    I paced the walk back to where I took the shot. It was a little over 170 yards but the wind in the bottom of the field was closer to 7-8mph ?. I have never felt so terrible about a kill. I hate shooting hares, let alone injuring one because of my stupidity in not range finding correctly.

    I called the farmer and made clear I would not be shooting any more hares. I will live with the consequences if he wishes to replace me with somebody else.

    I'm feeling really lousy about it and hoping for some similar stories and the best ways to overcome the profound feeling of guilt!

    Many thanks, 

    Dan

     

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    It shouldn't matter what the quarry is. Would you have felt OK about wounding a rabbit instead?

    It happens to us all now and then, but it's your duty to ensure the animal is out out of its misery a.s.a.p. 3 shots to kill a hare seems excessive. Buy a rangefinder. :good:

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    Unfortunately it happens.

    Even Robin Hood mucked up a shot now and then.

    I wont take a 'long' shot on anything but you don't say what weapon you were using.

    You dispatched it as soon as you could.

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    Why would you shoot from that distance .What calibre  what time of day. You are right to feel the way you do cos you should not have taken the shot surely field craft would have got a better outcome 

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    Sorry I should have added. I was shooting a .17 HMR

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    3 minutes ago, Grandalf said:

    Unfortunately it happens.

    Even Robin Hood mucked up a shot now and then.

    I wont take a 'long' shot on anything but you don't say what weapon you were using.

    You dispatched it as soon as you could.

    .17 hmr mate.

    Easily capable out to 150 + yards. Clearly just a little "too comfortable" with it. I should have checked and double checked the yardage before the shot. We live and learn I suppose. 

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    As long as you learn from the situation you have moved forwards.

    Years ago a chap I used to shoot with was unable to understand the holdover principle, he would aim at a long distance rabbit and the bullet would strike the ground low. He really could not work out range and the capability of his weapon and his shooting ability fell far short of his expectations. Not seen him for a few years, but I bet he's still shooting exactly the same.

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    17 minutes ago, scutt said:

    Why would you shoot from that distance .What calibre  what time of day. You are right to feel the way you do cos you should not have taken the shot surely field craft would have got a better outcome 

    You're absolutely right. I'm not asking for anybody to tell me not to worry about it and not to feel bad because I should. After 15+ years shooting I should have known better than to take a "50/50" shot.

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    1 hour ago, Grandalf said:

    Unfortunately it happens.

    Even Robin Hood mucked up a shot now and then.

    I wont take a 'long' shot on anything but you don't say what weapon you were using.

    You dispatched it as soon as you could.

    Fortunately William Tell didn’t!

    But back to the OP, think we have all been there and anyone who says otherwise is most definitely from the School of ‘Porkie Pies’

    Learn from every outing you take.

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    It is made worse by the shrieking noise that hares make. I am glad that pigeons do not make similar.

    I have also severely wounded animals before. I blew a rabbit's snout off once, while going for head shots only. I did finish it off very quickly though. I felt bad for a couple of minutes, then moved on.

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    I'm feeling really lousy about it and hoping for some similar stories and the best ways to overcome the profound feeling of guilt!

    So long as you have learned a lesson - put it behind you. Chris Packham would no doubt like to hear similar stories.

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    59 minutes ago, Gordon R said:

    So long as you have learned a lesson - put it behind you. Chris Packham would no doubt like to hear similar stories.

    ?

    thanks for everybodys replies/ stories!

    Looking through the forum as a whole shooting hares is obviously a bit of a debated issue. Personally after last night I will be steering clear (especially considering I'm not a huge fan of the meat)

    I'll be sticking to bunnies and corvids from now on... At sensible ranges with an accurate range finder ?‍♂️

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    It’s an awful feeling and everyone goes through it, out lamping last week I had two rabbits which were head shot but lost lower part of head and needed follow ups, I felt horrible and considered not shooting at all, haven’t been back since.  I also use HMR although I’m not good enough to reach out to those distances as I head shoot however the round is more than capable for sure, I really don’t like it in the wind.  I have shot rabbits out to 140 (but only twice) and try to get as close as possible, I usually always use a range finder unless lamping.

    Try to not beat yourself up about it, it’s part of shooting and I’m afraid it will happen again, as will winged birds, birds not picked up, anyone who doesn’t miss and doesn’t have the odd lost runner is either lying or hasn’t been more than a coup”e of times and been lucky.

    The Hare still had a better life than a battery chicken or Halal animal.

     

     

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    As has been said, we all make mistakes with wind and distance calculations, and bullet drop. But having had a HMR i would not say it is capable of 'reliably' dispatching a Hare at 150 yards in an approximate 8 mph wind. If you want to take shots at that distance i suggest you get something more suited to the job. Maybe the .17 Hornet, or the .17 Remington. Or even better the .204 Ruger. Anything that bucks the wind better, and maybe has a flatter trajectory??  But regardless of all that, if you shoot for long enough you will make mistakes, and animals suffer. That's life..... It's just statistics..... Last year my .22RF scope must have got knocked and was slightly out of zero. I shot at a squirrel at around 40 yards. I hit the wooden frame of a Pheasant feeder. The result being a Squirrel ran off with a large splinter of wood embedded in it's eye. No doubt to die a painful and slow death somewhere. ? I was haunted by that for weeks.... Perhaps i should have tested the zero before going into the coppice?? But why, it had always been bag on before? Questions, questions....You'll get over it in a few weeks. And telling the farmer you won't shoot Hare there anymore, may cost you a permission. Best to reflect when you're home than lose a good permission.... Then when you've come to terms with what happened, and if you really think you need to, speak to the farmer.      

    As i get older, i find i get more enjoyment out of hitting a steel plate at 600 yards than dispatching quarry. But that's just me....

    Good luck, whatever you decide...

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    Risky shot with an HMR regardless of wind drift and unknown range but don't get too down over it, learn and move on. We have all messed stuff up and anybody who thinks they already know it all is only kidding themself.

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    Most people on here can kill a fox at twice that distance in double the crosswind, can I be first to say you should have your licence revoked and your FEO contacted? By the way, I’m being sarcastic...

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    No one on here is a perfect shot despite what they may say, we’ve all wounded an animal before whilst out shooting and it will happen again. Don’t let this put you off shooting hares as they need controlling just like any other wild animal does.

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    14 minutes ago, Luckyshot said:

    No one on here is a perfect shot despite what they may say, we’ve all wounded an animal before whilst out shooting and it will happen again. Don’t let this put you off shooting hares as they need controlling just like any other wild animal does.

    Totally agree. I haven't shot a hare for a few years now, but if a farmer asked me to trim a few up, I would certainly do it.

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    An interesting post Dan Padgett.

    There would be very few shooting men who have decent morals who wouldn't at some stage of their shooting lives have a conscience about quarry they shot and wounded.

    Personally I do not shoot hares anymore and I have long since given up shooting deer. Even with pigeons I regret instantly shooting and wounding a bird which flies off. The same goes for game birds, corvids et al. 

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    I shoot them because I like to eat them. My Hare and venison faggots are Incredible!!! I’ll take a couple a year and try and take the big jack hares holding large territories which gives the younger jack hares a chance to do their thing. And a bit like shooting foxes leaves a void for hares on the periphery to come in and fill. You shoot enough live quarry then you will unfortunately wound a few. The majority you’ll get chance to have another go at but there will be some that disappear into the undergrowth never to be seen again. All you can do is do your best to try and mitigate it but otherwise carry on and keep shooting. 

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    We've all wounded quarry now and then. It's regrettable but we have to be prepared to accept the guilt that comes with wounding a living creature. The alternative is to stop shooting and I'm not prepared to do that. 

    I can't say it doesn't bother me anymore, but it's not something I dwell on anymore either, really. I'll do my best to prevent wounding but it does happen occassionally.

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    An honest post. I would imagine every single member has done something similar, and it was refreshing to see lots of support from the pigeon watch massive. And no tin hat was required ?

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    I had a bunny a few weeks back with my hmr at 40 yards. It rolled down the hill and I thought ok. I moved onto the next and recovered them both. On walking up I noticed the bunny id shot had missed its head and took the base of the head through its neck. It was paralysed and just sat there. I felt pretty **** after it looked at me. 

    As I’ve got older I’ve taken more responsibility for my actions . I had another 2 last night for the pot.

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    I'd be more worried if you didn't feel a little guilt over a badly shot animal. I always feel a little guilt even when it's a good shot; after all we have just taken a life.

     

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