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Old 07-27-2010, 03:48 PM
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Default Where do you shoot a deer to drop him in his tracks

I have shot many in the neck, but I have heard several talk about a high shoulder shot.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:55 PM
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The vast majority of the time, I use the high shoulder shot. I have been known to also use a neck shot or even a {gasp} head shot, if the situation warrants it....
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:03 PM
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I shoot most of my deer right at the point of the shoulder at the base of the neck. I've used the high shoulder shot about 3 times now, and I'm learning to love it, except for the lost meat on the top of both shoulders. To pull this off, aim about 3-4 inches below the top of the deer right over the front leg. Even if the bullet doesn't shatter the spine, the shock will drop the deer in it's tracks. If the shot is absolutely perfect, I've been know to shoot a doe in the top of the head.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:04 PM
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I shoot them in the high shoulder, but like Germag said I have been known to take a neck shot or 2, even shot one in the head but I wouldnt do it again. I actually cant use any of theses with a bow tho
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:08 PM
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They just don't walk away from a high shoulder shot!!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:17 PM
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Too much meat loss with the high shoulder for me. Right behind the shoulder 1/3 of the way up and put it through the heart is my preferred shot.(Ruins nothing but some ribs and vital organs) It may not always drop em where they stand but it always drops em. Missing the heart by a little still puts your shot into the lungs, liver or both and they go down. Neck shots(spine) and head shots(brain) drop em where they stand if you don't miss by a little and hit em in the throat or blow their lower jaw off, then it gets real ugly.A deer wounded like this can run a very long way.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoch View Post
They just don't walk away from a high shoulder shot!!!
[/IMG]

He is quartering just a bit away, full broadside I would move fwd a bit more. [Note exit will be in front of the other leg.]

Put a hole thru one of the floating shoulder blades, enjoy lack of tracking.

Miss high = spine shot, instant drop
Miss low = boiler room / vitals / massive blood trail.

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Old 07-27-2010, 04:18 PM
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They just don't walk away from a high shoulder shot!!!
that's right
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
[/IMG]

He is quartering just a bit away, full broadside I would move fwd a bit more. [Note exit will be in front of the other leg.]

Put a hole thru one of the floating shoulder blades, enjoy lack of tracking.

Miss high = spine shot, instant drop
Miss low = boiler room / vitals / massive blood trail.

That's actually about 2" lower than I like to aim for the high shoulder shot. My favorite shot is about 2" to the right of that red x. I've shot at least 15 right there, and have never had one take a step.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:28 PM
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in the head.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:41 PM
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Tight behind the shoulder,I don't always drop them in there tracks but I still have the shoulders to grind.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:54 PM
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Tight behind the shoulder,I don't always drop them in there tracks but I still have the shoulders to grind.
Exactly. That is my preferred spot to put one as well. Occasionally a neck shot.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:00 PM
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High shoulder most of the time. It's the largest part of the spine, disables all legs, cuts a major artery. Seems like they expire about the same time as a with heart/lung shot.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:02 PM
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Yeah, when I use that high shot, I move it back just behind the shoulder blade. It shocks the spine and destroys the main artery that supplies oxygenated blood to all of the internal organs and the rest of the body.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:40 PM
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I usually will try to break a deer down with a shot through the shoulders because the spine drops down there, but it depends on the position of the deer.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:45 PM
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They always went straight down when I've shot them in the head and it wastes no meat (not even the tongue). I don't shoot them in the shoulders or the heart (good meat wasted). I prefer the double lung.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:46 PM
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I love the high shoulder shot as well. I first learnt to shoot them behind the shoulder where bowhunters aim but the past maybe 5 seasons I have been using the high shoulder shot and they haven't went another step. I have missed to the front and hit one in the neck and that will do the trick too.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:48 PM
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Head, neck
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:52 PM
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Sholder shot work's for me
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4powerstrokesd View Post
in the head.
x2(5 met their maker last year like that), processor likes it too!
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:09 PM
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there is a theory out there called the "Bowling Ball" theory... imagine a bowling ball placed at the junction of the spine, neck and shoulder...

Picture the ball - and keep your eye on it... now rotate the deer any way you want to rotate it.... the ball is still there.

Hit that ball - from any distance - and the game is over.

The red X on the deer above is at the lower part of the ball.

It is very humane to the deer (well, as humane as you can be and still shoot it) and requires absolutely no tracking.

Works every time - from every angle... does not matter much unless it is a head on shot or a dead walking away shot, neither of which are overly recommended - particularly the walking away shot.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:20 PM
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shots to the neck will always do it..their ear wont even flicker
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:06 PM
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That 'Bowling ball' model is pretty accurate - I have shot several deer while they were walking [not running] fairly quick - I use more of a 'center mass' mentality with the high shoulder blade in the middle where I put the red 'X.' I just let them walk into the scope crosshairs and drop 'em.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:10 PM
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If you want to drop em in their tracks...that is where you have to shoot em.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoser View Post
[/IMG]

He is quartering just a bit away, full broadside I would move fwd a bit more. [Note exit will be in front of the other leg.]

Put a hole thru one of the floating shoulder blades, enjoy lack of tracking.

Miss high = spine shot, instant drop
Miss low = boiler room / vitals / massive blood trail.

OH NO!!! NOW WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A DEBATE ON IF HE IS A SHOOTER OR NOT!!!!




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Old 07-27-2010, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ambush80 View Post
They always went straight down when I've shot them in the head and it wastes no meat (not even the tongue). I don't shoot them in the shoulders or the heart (good meat wasted). I prefer the double lung.
saves the hide too without any holes in it
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:40 PM
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Rifle? IN the shoulder - PIN the shoulders.
Shotgun & Buckshot? If running, the front shoulder, where neck/back come together. If standing still - head.

Here is a good read on this very subject matter.
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/articlegad.html
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:53 PM
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High shoulder shot for me. I've had them drop like a rock and a few have rared up on their back legs and paw like a wild horse then drop.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:01 AM
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Im interested in this as well i live on 10 acres and i see deer everymornin i go out to pee, i really dont wont to have to track one here, thats why i didnt kill none this year but over the season my venison craving has grown and i will probly try to take one this year for the freezer, lord forgive me but i will probly use a .223 here because i can shoot it more accuratly than my 30.06 i will probly only look for a head shot, and if i dont get it ill just pass and cause i know ill see one the next day, will i do this everyday? no i will not i dont eat that much and i dont love killing unless im going to eat it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:14 AM
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Don't get me wrong, I like it when they drop where they stand but tracking is a part of hunting if you ask me and all "hunters" need to know how to do it because one day they will have to track one.

I like the HS shot as well.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawg4028 View Post
I have shot many in the neck, but I have heard several talk about a high shoulder shot.
I've got a .308 Winchester, It doesn't matter where I hit 'em... they fall!
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:44 AM
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High shoulder shot gets my vote too. I normally get enough blood trailing experience during bow season.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:50 AM
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How well does the high shoulder work with smaller calibers and smaller grain bullets, say 85 to 110 grain?
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:01 AM
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It works well....the weight range you are asking about would indicate to me a 6mm bullet....a .243 Win will work just fine.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoch View Post
They just don't walk away from a high shoulder shot!!!
That is my favorite shot as well. I will however take a neck shot if I have a good solid rest and the shot is relatively short.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:11 AM
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Hhmmmm......

Well, like it or not, my answer is mine and its my preference


For bucks, I like a high shoulder/base of neck shot. I'm not a big fan of behind the shoulder shots. I've had mixed results behind the shoulder. Some have ran, some have dropped. It all seems to depend on their adrenalin at the time. But the high shoulder/ base of neck shot is very reliable for me no matter what caliber I choose.

For does I shoot differently. When I shoot a doe, I am shooting primarily for meat. Thus I want to minimize the damage to the meat. Call me gross, inhumane, whatever, but a round between the ears has no meat damage. And the deer doesn't run off. And if you miss, you miss. There typically isn't a marginal or questionable head shot. It is or it isn't.

Just my $ .02
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:14 AM
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Ok, help me out. Is this the "bowling ball" area in green? I just don't see anything up there but spine and shoulder blades.

I have always went for the neck shot or double lung.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:42 AM
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A shot in that green area typically breaks the back, the shoulder, and sends bone fragments into the vitals. 99 out of 100 will not take a step.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DYI hunting View Post
Ok, help me out. Is this the "bowling ball" area in green? I just don't see anything up there but spine and shoulder blades.

I have always went for the neck shot or double lung.
That's the "high shoulder" shot. It breaks both shoulder blades, immobilizing the deer and bone fragment will usually take out the lungs (or the bullet may get the tops of the lungs..in addition, it will shock the spine and usually knock the deer unconscious and may rupture the main artery to the brain, and or the main artery to the vital organs. You're relying on kinetic shock more than the bullet itself penetrating vital organs. The bullet itself immobilizes the deer by breaking both front shoulders...and may or may not break the spine or penetrate the lungs. Shock and fragmenting bone do a lot of the work with this shot. It's a very dependable shot and usually drops the deer in it's tracks....I've had a couple of deer that were not rendered unconscious (or at least didn't appear to be) and tried to run but were unable to do more than push themselves a few feet with their rear legs and expired very quickly.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golffreak View Post
A shot in that green area typically breaks the back, the shoulder, and sends bone fragments into the vitals. 99 out of 100 will not take a step.
It also sends bone fragments in to the meat , which is always a joy when it goes through the grinder. Kinda like a Big Mack with bone meal?

I like to shoot them in the face.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
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Ok, help me out. Is this the "bowling ball" area in green? I just don't see anything up there but spine and shoulder blades.

I have always went for the neck shot or double lung.
If people would look closely at this diaphragm they will see that the heart is located in a position where it is protected.

In order to shoot a deer standing broadside one will sacrifice both shoulders if I was processing the animal.
I don't care for the bloodshot bone fragmented meat.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germag View Post
That's the "high shoulder" shot. It breaks both shoulder blades, immobilizing the deer and bone fragment will usually take out the lungs (or the bullet may get the tops of the lungs..in addition, it will shock the spine and usually knock the deer unconscious and may rupture the main artery to the brain, and or the main artery to the vital organs. You're relying on kinetic shock more than the bullet itself penetrating vital organs. The bullet itself immobilizes the deer by breaking both front shoulders...and may or may not break the spine or penetrate the lungs. Shock and fragmenting bone do a lot of the work with this shot. It's a very dependable shot and usually drops the deer in it's tracks....I've had a couple of deer that were not rendered unconscious (or at least didn't appear to be) and tried to run but were unable to do more than push themselves a few feet with their rear legs and expired very quickly.
What he said.

Here's my experience shooting them with a 120 gr. .25-06.

I use a fast expanding bullet (Winchester PEP). If I hit my spot I hit slightly above the shoulder joint. The bullet will hit the near side ribs, and knocks out about a 1 to 2 inch circle of bone that turns to little tiny bone shards, and shreds the lungs. If the bullet itself (which has expanded) doesn't actually hit the backbone, the energy from the bullet will impact the backbone/spinal column, plus the energy travels up the shattered ribs. You can see the bruising around the backbone/rib joint. If there is an exit wound, it is usually just the core, resulting in a .25 caliber exit wound.

About half the time there is no exit wound, meaning a 120 lb. animal has fully absorbed approx. 2000-2500 ft. lbs. energy. Meat loss is minimal because the big muscles of the shoulder are not involved, except possibly on the exit side, due the angle of shooting from a ladder. Even then, because there is not a massive exit wound the meat loss is minimal and usually is trimmed away..

There is massive bleeding into the lungs. Even if the lungs were not shredded, the animal couldn't go any distance because it's lungs are full of blood.

Of the very few deer that I've used a second shot on, most were in the condition germag described where they were down, and pushing with their back legs, and I put a mercy round into them. Even though the shoulders are not usually directly involved, apparently the shock to the spinal cord paralyzes them.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:08 PM
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Does - head shot

Bucks - through the aortic arch
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:21 PM
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I use a 165 gr .308 near 2550 fps - punched a neat .308" dia hole thru the near shoulder blade and did not litter the meat with bone fragments. My 300 gr .452" SST sabot did the same from my MZ at ~1800 fps.

I do not like high velocity / high fragmentation bullets for meat hunting.

Velocity is the single most overrated issue for hunting guns - give me a heavy slow bullet any day.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEON MANLEY View Post
If people would look closely at this diaphragm they will see that the heart is located in a position where it is protected.

In order to shoot a deer standing broadside one will sacrifice both shoulders if I was processing the animal.
I don't care for the bloodshot bone fragmented meat.
I give the shoulders away if there are bones fragments in them too. Most of the time I cut up the exit side shoulder and feed it to the dogs. It's not fit for human consumption after a 150 grain powerpoint blasted through there and sprayed bone fragments everywhere. The entry side shoulder is normally edible.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:54 PM
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I usually shoot them in the woods behind my house..........
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:09 PM
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Head shot, spine, boiler room, or if hes facin you, even inbetween the legs under the neck...
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:34 PM
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High shoulder shot.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:06 PM
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Jim Boyd Jim Boyd is offline
 
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Yes - that photo shows the "bowling ball" shot placement perfectly.

Pundits and opinions aside - most folks do not want to have to "look" for a deer and if the trade off is a bit of wasted meat, I consider it a great deal.

Head shots are not - nor have they ever been - incredibly ethical.

For those of you who can consistently and effectively pull them off - my hat is off to you.

I am a consistent MOA shooter off of the bench with .308 and 7mm-08 but am not willing to head shoot a deer in the wild. Call if personal preference - and a hard learned lesson.

I shot a doe in the head, broadside at 20 yards, with a .243 about 10 years ago. The bullet entered just below and forward of the ear - exactly where I was aiming - and literally centered on the brain. She went down - immediately - but struggled for moments (60 seconds perhaps?) but long enough for me to feel badly about it - so bad that I shot her again to make sure she was expired.

I started using the bowling ball theory about 5 years ago and have taken perhaps 12 - 15 deer in the ensuing years. I have not missed a single deer and only one has taken a single cognitive step. A few stumbled slightly but none were able to effectively place their feet for an attempted escape - except the one mentioned below.

The one that took a step was shot too high (bullet struck above the spine, shot was taken at dusk at 227 yards but it was clearly my fault) and knocked the deer out cold. I walked up to him - he woke up and took off like he was unhurt... we found him an hour later (with a dog) standing up in a dense briar bed, fully conscious but he could not run... we dispatched him with a shotgun... while a dog barked at him and we viewed him with a lamp.

In almost every one of the animals taken in the last 5 years - the deer hit the ground - and literally did not move a muscle... they were expired the moment the round struck them.

Here is the even better part...(at least with a broadside deer) - miss to the high side and it will generally be a clean miss or will break the spine. Miss low and you will break his shoulders. Miss forward and you will likely get a neck shot. Miss rearward and you will strike the spine or the lungs. In most of these cases, the deer will be dispatched immediately or will be an easy find.

My 227 yard deer was a clear exception - but there are exceptions to every rule and again, that was my fault... poor shot with little or no excuse why. I had enough light, a good rest, high end glass, a .308 rifle, an unobstructed view and the deer was standing still. No excuses... just poor placement.

A bowling ball is the size of a pie plate... if you can not hit a pie plate, you need to quit hunting or you are shooting at too great of a distance.

Too many deer are shot at and missed... and too many are wounded and lost.

We owe it to ourselves and the animals (in my opinion) to make the most lethal and instant kill shot in our power.

No fights or debates picked here - these are just the thoughts of a hunter who wishes to do the best I can personally.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:10 PM
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stiles1682 stiles1682 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mud Minnow View Post
I've got a .308 Winchester, It doesn't matter where I hit 'em... they fall!
X2!! Ive hunted with all the magnum calibers and destroyed lots of deer. But I have come to my senses and that 308 Win is OH SO SWEET!! Im a lifer for it!
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