By: Bears Butt


I borrowed this image from the internet (chrislonghunt2X350), as if you couldn’t tell, it shows a rifle aiming at a target 1330 yards away.  Some of us would consider this a long range shot.  Others would consider it a medium long range shot.  It doesn’t matter what you call it, but the target is quite a ways from the muzzle of the rifle.  There is an ongoing argument about long range hunting and we hunters need to gather in some facts and stick together.  If you have the right equipment and practice, practice, practice you will gain a knowledge about your particular type of hunting that makes you very proficient at that type of hunting.  I have some big (to me) issues about shooting long range shots, in that I doubt a shooter will take the time to “go over there” and check for blood after they have taken that long range shot and the animal walked away (that is a totally other subject).  This story is about the history of long range hunting….of course the facts are all contained in my own head, but I want to share my knowledge with you.

To start with, I have been hunting ever since I can remember and my rememberer is getting foggy to say the least, that is why it is SOOOOO important for me to be sharing this information with all of you.  I have hunted with a sling shot, bb gun, pellet gun, shotgun, big rifle, small rifle, muzzleloader, bow, rock, spear (gig), pitch fork, stick, pretty much whatever I thought it would take to bring home the game I was after.  I have bagged pretty much every kind of animal found in Northern Utah, my prowling grounds, except a mountain lion, bear or the once in a lifetime big game animals found around these parts (no tags mean no hunting for them).  Most of my bagged game have been deer, rabbits, a few elk, lots of birds and a few small critters in between.  My point is this….I like to think “I know my crap” when it comes to bagging the game I’m hunting.  Along with that knowledge comes my limitations and I like to think the closer I am to that critter, the better my chances of bagging it in a clean kill, ethical manner (another story that a lot of hunters don’t even consider).

So, back to this story and the history of hunting….nothing has changed in the hunting world….nothing….since the beginning of man and his quest to eat meat.  Let us go back in time.  Back to the “Stone Age”.  Digging deep into my cerebral hemisphere I picture a man walking upright and living in a cave.  A cave that was there waiting for him to inhabit.  Now, I’m not getting into all the religious and or Darwin theory stuff, this man just suddenly appears and is living in this cave.  He has a woman and of course since they didn’t have any TV’s or iPads, they of course had at least one child.  The child takes all the woman’s time…she takes care to make sure the child is fed, is warm and gets to bed early so it is asleep when the man comes home for entertainment (remember they don’t have a TV).

Since “she” is busy in the cave, “he” has to go out and bring back some bacon (meat).  In his quest to do that, he climbs trees, rock outcroppings and does a myriad of other “manly” things that causes his body to get big and tough.  When he encounters a beast, he wrestles it to the ground and breaks its neck.  Brings it back to the cave and they feast on the beast until it is completely devoured.  At this point he has to go back out into the wildness surrounding the cave and do it all over again.

At some point in time, the child (let’s assume a male) grows up and emulates his dad.  “Son”, he says, “This is how we bring meat back to the cave”!  And he shows the young and tough boy just how to get the best of the beast and break its neck.  At the same time he shows him what critters are just too big and tough for them to tackle, as the chance of surviving a battle with one of them would just mean the man would have to go back and make another son (something he is going to be doing anyway, but why wait for that one to grow up to this ones point in life).

The boy learns well, and so with two meat gatherers in the family, life becomes better for the “old man”.  Soon, however the boy wants his own cave and off he goes.  Dad is left with the task he had in his younger days.

Well, one day, while he was out trying to get the better of a beast and break its neck, the man comes across his boy (now a man) bringing a beast of his own back to his own cave.  This beast has had its head caved in with a rock!  A rock!  The man yells at the boy…”THAT IS NOT HOW I TAUGHT YOU!!!!  YOU MUST BREAK ITS NECK!!!!  NOT BASH IN ITS HEAD WITH A ROCK”!!!!  The boy on the other hand scratches his head and says, “But dad!  The rock makes it so much easier!  A couple of quick strikes and the animal is dead and then I have meat to take back to the cave.  I don’t have to be as big and strong as you in order to wrestle them down.  I just grab them around the neck with one arm and bash it in the head with the rock that is in the other hand”.

After much convincing the man gives in to his boys way of doing it and he too joins in the malay of acquiring meat with a rock….life is good in the land of the cave dwellers.  Time marches on and soon the man is gone and the son has had a son of his own and has taught him the fine art of smashing heads with rocks and bringing home the food so needed for survival.  Well, that son goes off and establishes his own family in his own cave and like his father before him suddenly finds his son sitting high on a rock outcropping that is directly above the very game trail he hunts daily.  A heard of game go by under the outcropping and the boy high above drops a huge rock from some 100 feet above the unsuspecting game.  SMASH!!!!!  One of the animals is sprawled out under the big rock.


Of course it takes a bit of time for the boy to come down off the rock outcropping and when he does he gets a royal butt chewing from his dad.  In retaliation he says to his dad, “Dad, you might think it unfair that I drop a rock on top of the meat, but in so doing, I don’t have to be as big and strong as you to hold an animal in one hand while I bash its head in with the other holding a rock.  I just simply find as big a rock as I can pick up, hold it above the game trail and when the string of animals comes along I let the rock go.  It falls and smashes one of them and off I go to feed my family.  It is simply my way, don’t you see dad”?  Dad, scratches his head and goes off thinking about what he had just seen and heard and soon, he too is standing atop a rock outcrop over a game trail with a rock of his own waiting to drop onto an unsuspecting meat bearing animal.

Time still marches on….dads have sons, sons become dads with sons… goes on and on, mostly because TV’s have not been invented yet.  And with the sons, comes new and better ways to bring home the meat.  Dropped rocks become pointed rocks on the ends of sticks.  Still the dads yell at their sons who are holding the sticks with the pointed rocks on the end and cuss them out about how they are supposed to drop rocks on top of their meat animals.  The sons explain how they don’t have to be as big and strong as their dads to pick up big rocks and hold them for hours while they wait for the game to come along.  They can be stealthy in the forest and when the animal comes along they jam the pointed rock into the side of the animal and take home a whole lot more good meat than one that has just had a 200 pound rock dropped on it from 100 feet above.  And soon the dad is carrying his own pointed rock stick and sneaking along the forest floor in search of meat.

Suddenly one of the sons has the brilliant idea that if he could propel a pointed rock stick from a distance away from the game trail he would be able to take more meat home to the cave as the animal would not smell him while he is so close to the trail.  He invents a bow!  And when the dad, who is waiting next to the game trail sees his son coming down the trail heading back to his own cave with a meat animal slung over his one shoulder and the other hand carrying a bow and pointed rock stick, becomes very irate and yells at his son for not carrying on tradition!  “YOU MUST HAVE A LONG STICK WITH A POINTED ROCK ON THE END!  TO END THE LIFE OF A MEAT ANIMAL WHILE YOU ARE SO FAR AWAY FROM THE TRAIL IS NOT FAIR TO THE ANIMAL!  THROW THAT BOW AND SHORT POINTED ROCK STICK AWAY AND TAKE THIS LONG STICK AND DO IT THE RIGHT WAY SON”!!!!  But the son soon convinces his dad that more meat is put in the cave without having to be so close to the trail and that he doesn’t have to be so very strong as to be tough enough to jam the pointed rock stick so deep into the animal to cause it to die quickly.  The next time the son sees his dad, the dad has a very nice bow he made and a couple of short pointed rock sticks in his hand.

Soon enough the dad has captured a horse and trained it to allow him to ride it.  Why wait for the meat animal to come to you, when you can go to it….and while you are at it, you can shoot while atop of it and bring more and more meat back to the cave.  In fact, so much meat was being brought back to the cave, that the sons were using the animal hides to create caves without having a rock wall to make it out of.   Soon, all of the cave dwellers were leaving the caves and finding new and bigger sources of meat animals.  The bows and short pointed rock sticks were allowing them to seek larger meat animals.  By increasing the amount of pull the shooter had to pull, meant the short pointed rock stick would fly faster, farther and with more force the meat animal didn’t have to be a small one. Dads everywhere were arguing with their sons that it was just not fair that they could bring home more meat than they were bringing back and that it was the son’s obligation to honor the way his dad had taught him to bring home the meat….”YOU MUST DO IT MY WAY”!!!!!!……………

Quite by accident metal was extracted from one of the fires that cooked the meat and soon (many, many, many years) man was making metal objects and sharping them into knives and spear heads and points to put on the short sticks.  And dads all around the area were yelling at their sons that to place a metal point on a stick was not the way they were taught!  They were to listen to the elder of the dwelling and sharpen the rocks like they were told from the beginning.  Metal points on sticks was not a manly way of doing the meat gathering exercise.   And sons were continuing to convince their dads that it was a modern way, much quicker than sharping a rock and it made a much better cut on the animal and it died giving up its meat in a much more humane way.  And it wasn’t long before the dads were carrying the metal points on their short sticks.

Along came a very intelligent meat gatherer who thought it best to form up a barrel and put some new fangled powder down into it and shoot a round projectile out of it.  Wholly crap did the dads yell then!  A revolution was on the brink of happening with sons gathering up as many barrels as they could find and powder by the stacks were being stockpiled.  They called these instruments “guns” and soon the bow and short metal pointed sticks were out numbered.  Dads joined in the revolution and had their guns and they went out with their sons and brought back tons of meat!

Guns too got to be made different and over a very short period of time a small rock was attached to the side of the gun and when the trigger was pulled it would strike a plate of steel sending sparks down into a chamber that held a powder charge.  The powder charge would then ignite, explode and send the round ball inside the barrel down range at an amazing speed and with very good accuracy!  Dads yell at sons and sons explained back to the dads.  Soon dads everywhere had this type of gun.  They could bring home much meat and not even be close to the trail where the meat animal was walking.  Many called out that it was unfair to the meat animal and that the shooter didn’t have to be “close” to be able to kill the animal!  But alas, the arguments faded away and everyone had a gun like this.  BUT WAIT….more inventions!  Why have a rock that made a spark, when you could put a powder infused cap over a nipple and when the hammer hit the cap, it would pop and send a spark down into the waiting powder charge!?!  You could hunt on a rainy day!  You could keep your powder dry and it would fire nearly every time!  What a thought.

Once again the dads yelled at the sons who were purchasing these type of guns!  And once again the sons were explaining the benefits of such a meat gathering tool to their dads.  Sons were bringing more waterfowl birds back to the dwelling on rainy days then ever before.  The guns were more reliable and so the old flint fired guns found their way to a fireplace and burned up, or converted to the cap firing guns. Dads everywhere were using cap fired guns and having a great time bringing home meat.

But it wasn’t over yet!  A brilliant young man came up with an idea…What if I could put powder in a container, place my patched round ball on top of that container and place the whole thing in the back end of the gun.  Push the cap into the back of that and have the hammer of the gun hit it causing a pop and spark and BOOM…out goes the ball and kills the meat animal I’m aiming at!?!

And so, the beginning of a “cartridge”….patched round balls soon became more pointed….lead became copper coated….lead was soon replaced with another alloy that displayed the characteristics of lead without the problems caused by lead….and on and on.  And with every change came the same dad/son arguments and the fact that it wasn’t fair for the meat animals because they had no idea the hunters were anywhere around and being shot left and right without a clue.  Meat was being brought back to the dwelling by the truck load….yes, TV’s were invented…..the need for meat was being cut back on.  The large herds of meat animals had been decimated etc.  And suddenly game laws were enacted that restricted the hunters as to what meat animals they could harvest, how they could harvest them, how many they could harvest and what times of the year those animals could be harvested.

Dads yelled, sons yelled, everyone yelled…..some for the changes…..some against.

Let’s look at today.  Magnified scopes are now allowed on muzzleload rifles in Utah…..alas poor Eurick…..Muzzleloaders are more like a modern rifle than they have ever been, with shooters able to place hundreds of rounds in a circle the size of a fifty cent piece (or smaller) at 200 yards, 300 yards and farther ranges……..Bows are being made lighter and more accurate with the use of sights, stabilizers etc and rangefinders can be mounted to the risers……Trail Cameras are programmable to send pictures within seconds to a smart phone just a few yards down the trail, signaling the hunter of an approaching game animal…..Center fire rifles are being crafted and cartridges are being scientifically manufactured to consistently allow the shooter to shoot out to a mile and even farther and hit the target.  Big game animals are being killed in another county from those guns.  And the dads are screaming, and the sons are screaming and everyone is screaming….some in favor and some not in favor.

The dads could be screaming in part because of that damned TV invention.

October 3, 2016

Bears Butt

Written on October 3rd, 2016 , Hunting Stories

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    Wapiti commented

    That was a long – but, good story Mr. Butt.

    October 9, 2016 at 11:53 am | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.