I cannot count the number of times I have heard archery hunters explain that, while they didn't get a buck, they did have the opportunity to sling a few arrows--as if this somehow made up for an otherwise unsuccessful hunt. It is this lack of respect for the animal that will kill the image of hunters as conservationists. I am not condemning bow hunters--I am one myself whenever I can make the time. I am simply suggesting that hunting is not about slinging arrows or throwing lead, and a rifle hunter at 1000 yards is as bad as an archer at 100.
If you cannot kill your target on the first shot, then there is as much chance that you will injure it as miss it. I realize that anyone can miss, but to intentionally seek increased distance as part of the hunting challenge, while simultaneously accepting greater odds at injuring the animal, is very poor form.
So what can we do about it? How about respecting the guy who has developed the woodsmanship necessary to stalk within responsible range? Or the hunter who passes on the shot rather than take a long shot with a greater risk of injury? I don't want to hear about the techno-geek or the toys he has mastered that enable him to make 800 yards shots. I want to learn from the guy who has developed hunting skills--of which shooting is but a small part. Hunting is all about challenging oneself, and the greater the effort, the greater the reward. Hire a posse to find your animals for you if you wish. Buy a long range rifle/scope combination if you can't cut the distance. Shoot 'em under a feeder if you have to. When the day is done, it's the guy who scouts his own animal, understands the game and the terrain well enough to close, and respects the other hunters in the field that sets the example I want to follow.
*If I buy a better shotgun, I can shoot the mallards over your decoys*