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Thread: Measuring moose before you shoot.

  1. #1
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    Default Measuring moose before you shoot.

    I am not sure if this has been posted before but it is something I have been thinking about for a long time. One of the biggest debates I have seen on this forum is, "Is this moose legal?" The only way to tell for sure is to measure it. Now this is hard to do on a living moose but not impossible. The secret is a mil-dot scope and a range finder. Usually you use mildots to estimate range if you know the size of your target. But if you know the range you can get the size of your target.

    Here is the equation.
    (Range to the target X mils read)/27.77= target size in inches

    Now for the word problem.
    You see a moose at 217 yards. You aren't sure if he is a legal bull. You measure him with your scope and get 6.4 mils. Now we do some math to find out if he is legal.
    (217 X 6.4)/27.77= 50.01"
    By the math he is legal but it would be up to you if you want to trust your mil dot skills.
    For those of us who don't really understand mildots this is a great website to explain them way better than I can.

    http://www.mil-dot.com/user-guide

    Hope this helps.

    fiveptbill

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    You can do similarly with a 4A reticle, and others...
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    Forgive me if this is a completely stupid question. I have no experience or knowledge of mil dot scopes. Wouldn't the equation change when you use a variable power scope? Are the mils fixed on a variable power scope? I can understand using a single equation if the mils are also variable and directly proportional to the power of the magnification.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcnejs View Post
    Forgive me if this is a completely stupid question. I have no experience or knowledge of mil dot scopes. Wouldn't the equation change when you use a variable power scope? Are the mils fixed on a variable power scope? I can understand using a single equation if the mils are also variable and directly proportional to the power of the magnification.
    Depends on the scope. With a fixed focal plane scope, the dots vary with the zoom.

    Most scopes have a calibrated zoom level for the dots. For example on my Leupold 6.5-20, it is calibrated to be correct at 14.4x, marked by a triangle on the zoom ring.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    This is too much like algebra. I'll take a pic and then make a graph based on 10" eyeball to eyeball. It has always worked for me.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    As a bow hunter I put a 50" long 2x4 on my back stop. Then using the reticle of the range finder, see what it fits between in the range finder. Also watching the 2x4 every time I shoot, I am looking at 50" every time I shoot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    As a bow hunter I put a 50" long 2x4 on my back stop. Then using the reticle of the range finder, see what it fits between in the range finder. Also watching the 2x4 every time I shoot, I am looking at 50" every time I shoot.
    I like that idea.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Member Happily's Avatar
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    very good tips 5ptbill and dave, my preferred method is spend the summer guessing various objects widths the same as practicing guessing range and then checking with range finder but always like new methods. Who has tried the leupold trophy scale products?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Depends on the scope.
    It does indeed. It pays to be intimate with your specific scope and how you can use it, regardless of your preference. But it doesn't take a fancy or complicated reticle to measure accurately. Most scopes are not used to their full potential, as lots of shooters get hung up on fancy bells and whistles without ever really learning to use a simple fixed power scope effectively. With a just simple fixed power with 4A, 7A, or similar reticle, a hunter can easily estimate distance, lengths and widths pretty accurately. In combined with a laser range finder the accuracy can be improved to the extent that you can quickly tell if a moose is 50+ and legal, without doing any math. (Not to take anything away from the guys who can do the math, calculate range, trajectory, etc., turn the right knobs the right direction, and all that jazz. That stuff is just a bit more complicated than I'm interested in (or maybe even capable of) when hunting, especially if it's not necessary).
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
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  10. #10

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    RX-800i Compact Digital Rangefinder






    Leupold® RX 800i with DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy™). The RX 800i lets you instantly and accurately judge the width and/ or height of a target using the unique Trophy ScaleTM feature. Simply set the baseline measurement you are looking for (between 10 and 60 inches) and Trophy Scale™ lets you know if your target measures up

    I have been useing this , it works well.
    Doug

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    The mil dot scope with rangefinder combo is a good way to go about estimating rack size at any range. I came up with the same idea and used it to harvest a 54" bull last year (2014). The problem was getting far enough away from the moose to accurately measure it's width in mils. When we first spotted the moose it was only 35 yards away and it took up the entire scope (the Vortex Viper I use needs to be set a 14x to use the mil dots). It was wide but not 100% over 50 inches, and it didn't have sufficient brow tines to be legal in this area. We watched the moose for about 45 minutes and when it backed off to 109 yards I was able to get a good mil measurement through my scope. I knew I needed 13.89 mils at 100 yards to equal 50 inches (I had a chart taped to the butt of my gun with distances and mils to equal 50"). I took 3 measurements and each time it came out to more than 14 mils. After the third measurement I decided that if I was going to have this tool, I might as well trust it. The bull took a 300 win mag to the vitals and went down easy. When we approached the bull and put a measuring tape to it, he came out at 54 inches. I was very happy with how the process worked out and I was glad to be confident in pulling the trigger. The last thing I want to do spend all year prepping for a hunt and dreaming about pulling the trigger only to take a slightly under 50" moose and turn it over to troopers, along with a sum of cash. If I had not had the mil dot scope, I don't think I would have pulled the trigger on a moose that close to 50".

    All said things worked out great for me last year using this system, but you have to remember that it is just a tool to help ESTIMATE the size of a moose. I believe Leupold got in some trouble after coming out with a rangefinder that included a "Trophy" feature which would help estimate widths at given distances. Someone used it to harvest an animal that turned out to be illegal. They went back to Leupold with a law suit in hand and Leupold promptly discontinued the product.

    This year I plan on using this system again but I encourage you to err on the side of caution as nobody wants to be in the position of harvesting an illegal animal.


    Good luck, moose season is almost here!


    -Flydaho

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    My favorite method is to rope 'em, hog tie 'em, and put a tape on 'em. Only 100% foolproof method of measuring them before you shoot them I know of.
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    I have worked out this idea on paper and tested it in town before, but haven't hunted moose in awhile. I use a Vortex monocle and a range finder. It's a great idea and another tool in the tool box.

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