You're absolutely right that we all should use the best tool for the job, and that we need to be humane regardless of what the target animal is. On another level, we all also hunt differently, in different conditions, at different ranges, etc. And to top it all off, we all have different skill levels, different physical limitations, etc. What about self discipline? As in knowing our limitations, and sticking by them, and NOT taking any shot that is questionable? In my case, and this is fact, not any kind of bragging, I can honestly tell you and everyone here that I have never had an animal get away without being recovered, and my longest tracking job on an animal has been 60 yards. That was with a deer I shot with a bow. My longest tracking job ever, was 8 miles through the woods and fields at night, looking for a criminal, and I found and brought him back too, but that is a different type of tracking. Anyway, depending on how you hunt, different things may be either marginal, or effective. In my case, I have .44s, .45, .45-70s. and various other rifle calibers, and have used them too. A lot of the hogs I have taken were a result of a few of the local farmers/ranchers stopping me when I'm on duty and asking me to stop by their farms after work for a walk and to see if I can take a hog or two. This happens every other week or so. I carry a .357 as a duty gun, so that is what I use. These aren't planned hunts where I have the luxury of going home and grabbing something else and picking and choosing. For the most part, we're talking a walk through some scrub brush, where you usually can't see 50 yards, and often can't see 10 yards, either at dawn or dusk. I DONT take any shot that I have any doubt whatsoever in, and that is why I haven't lost an animal yet, and doing my best to keep it that way. Have I made ranchers upset by not taking a shot that I thought was risky? Absolutely! But after getting to know me, and seeing why I do it this way, they no longer question me because they know I do this humanely, and with respect for their land, their crops, their cattle, etc. They used to have a couple other guys go in and shoot everything they saw, and ended up with cattle being shot, hogs left to rot attracting buzzards and coyotes, and then the coyotes would attack their calves when they ran out of dead hogs or gut piles. They haven't had that problem with me once, they won't, and they know it.
The .44 is a great hunting gun, but it could be argued that it is marginal nowadays, since we have things like the .445SM, the .454, the .460, the .500, etc. Then there's the .50 BMG that makes your .458WM and my .45-70 both just look puny, and therefore ineffective, inhumane, and VERY marginal. I'm not trying to start a fight, just saying there's a lot of variables involved. What works for me, with (for now) good eye sight at 37yo, and inside of 50 yards, may seem like a bad joke to you if you are used to shooting at longer ranges and with deteriorating eye sight (as per your post). To me, it sounds like each of us understands our own limits, and respects the game we hunt, but we just do it differently. I don't see a problem with that, and don't see why you seem to get upset when people do things differently than you do. Both our ways are legal, and to me at least, ethical. So why throw rocks?