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Old December 18, 2005, 12:03 AM   #1
impact
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Did I learn something this year!

In the past I have always made head and neck shots. My first deer was a double lund shot with a 222. The deer ran 60 yards and layed over and died. It was a clean kill! Next I made head and neck shots because I felt I was able to make the shot. And I did. Well this year. I shot two deer. The first one this year was a bad deal. I shot a doe at about 80 yards with my 270. I put the cross hairs on the side of the deer and dropped the hammer. The deer took off running with what looked like both front legs gone! not working. The deer was sliding on it's chest with it's back legs pushing it along. the deer went about 60 yards and layed over. I thought for sure it was a good hit. I could see in the scope that the deer had a big hole in the chest area. I let the deer lay for about 30 minutes and the deer did not move. I got up and moved to the deer. The deer ran away. about the time I got four steps from where I was sitting the deer jumped up and ran off with only it's back legs. It went into the woods. I chased that deer for a long time. But it was faster tham me with only two back legs. I lost that deer and that really sucked. I take great pride in making one shot kills.

The second deer was about 200 yards away. I made another good lung shot. I mean the bullet hit in the X of the cross hairs. It was a good shot. That deer ran almost 300 yards before it layed over and died. When I cleaned the deer both lungs were shot out. I know some people here don't think neck shots are good. This year I tried to be like everone else and make body shots. NO MORE! This year was the first year I shot a deer and lost it. I feel real bad about it. From now on if I can't make a head or neck shot I'm not going to try! It has worked real good for me in the past and I'm going to stay with what works.

Just my thoughts!
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Old December 18, 2005, 12:54 AM   #2
Iowa Cornfed
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Impact: Sorry to hear how things turned out for you.

I'm not real clear on your bullet placement, because you've indicated you placed the cross hairs on the side of the deer and shot, and then indicate that the front legs were not functioning . But then refered to the second hit as "...another good lung shot too" leaving me to assume they were both lung shots. (which wouldn't explain the front legs not working)

Was there no blood trail to follow, and if so did you inspect the blood to know if it was in fact a lung shot deer?

If you shot too far back, (gut shot?) it could be a long night for a really good tracker. But again, with both front legs gone, I wonder about it being a lung shot.... And I mean, I just can't imagine it running around the timber on it's hind legs...

Well, I don't know how it went down, but generally giving a deer a half hour to expire before you rush up on 'em is better than trying to keep up with 'em as they're bolting once they've been shot.

Anyway, sounds like you've got your mind made up on the head/neck shot concept, but in any case I'd not get too hung up on the one-shot, one-kill thing. I mean, I try to operate on that premise too, but still, if the animal is mobile, feel free to place another round on target, because it's better to have to shoot your game two or even three times, then to have a lost deer.

My boy shot a deer 3 or 4 years ago that we never recovered. Got to snowing too hard and we just lost the trail. I know what you're going through, it does make ya feel sick.
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Old December 18, 2005, 01:48 AM   #3
gdeal
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Humane Hunting

Hunting deer with a 22 caliber rifle is inhumane. U need at least a 30 caliber rifle or a 12 guage shotgun with 00buck. If U hit a deer and it is still moving put it out of its misery right away. Don't watch to see if it is going to get up again.
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Old December 18, 2005, 02:53 AM   #4
Fremmer
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There is nothing wrong w/ the caliber. Consider using different ammunition. I like the 150 grain round for the .270.
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Old December 18, 2005, 05:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Hunting deer with a 22 caliber rifle is inhumane. U need at least a 30 caliber rifle or a 12 guage shotgun with 00buck.
you'd better call PETA on me in that case.
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Old December 18, 2005, 05:59 AM   #6
NorWestr
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U need at least a 30 caliber rifle or a 12 guage shotgun with 00buck.
You are joking aren't you?
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Old December 18, 2005, 07:54 AM   #7
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Nothing wrong with the 270 for deer 2400ftlbs energy!+ The beest bet is a little lower to take out the heart or top of heart /bottom of lungs, deer will definitely die in 30 mins you did the right thing with the deer waiting for it to die etc. I had one exact same some years ago, 90 yd free hand shot deer exited left ( literally ) on its chest and back legs, went over a berm and into the trees. I hung around for 20minutes and then went quietly forward and luckily spotted it lay down under some pines, I head shot it from where I was about 50-60 yds and it was over. When I got to it, the reason was obvious, I had shot a bit low, the bullet broke nearest leg went through the bottom of the chest below the heart and broke the other leg. It would have lasted many hours even a few days as there was no real bleeding, so I was glad I got a second chance, but I bet yours was similar. The only thing I could say if that happened again , give it a mercy shot, I surely will if it happens again. But if you think about it, you were just unlucky and the heart lung shot is till the best. The area for fatal wounding is five times greater than a head / neck shot and as anyone will tell you a deer can move far faster than you can and it can and will move between you pulling the trigger and the bullet getting there, so you end up wounding or blowing its jaw off or something. Not many of us would rest easy knowing a deer has gone off to die in agony over many days! The hard bit is taking the time to look at the deers position and deciding whether to aim in front or behind the foreleg. If it is just standing behind, but if it is feeding and walking in front may be best.

Second deer , 2-300 yds run for a lung shot is not unusual, as the deer literally runs out of oxygen in the blood then drops, smaller deer about 100-150 yds often. They are findable and I would call those good shots, Ive had a deer with no heart go 70yds because it had seen me as I shot and the adrenaline keeps them going.
I wouldn't get too wound up about drop on the spot kills they are good if it happens but the others are legitimate shots and as above much more certain to kill in the engine bay, than going for tricky head/neck shots. IMHO
Good hunting
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Old December 18, 2005, 08:43 AM   #8
Art Eatman
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It seems common for a heart-shot deer to drop to his knees or even fall completely to the ground and then get up and run for some distance. I'll call it luck that any of my "long distance runners" have gone no more than 100 yards, and were in open country when shot. I'm talking here about using a .270 and a .30-'06. Some of my deer, shot with those, just folded up and died...

gdeal, you shoot a deer in the white spot with a .222 and they fall down instantly ruined and don't go anywhere at all. That was the case for my first deer, back around 1950.

I've killed over 20 deer with a .243; mostly neck shots. DRT. "Never went nowhere."

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Old December 18, 2005, 02:01 PM   #9
impact
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The first deer I shot that day was with a 270. It was a side shot. But through the scope I could tell I hit the shoulders. I thought the deer was down and out. The deer went down next to a tree line. Just inside the tree line is a deep dried up riverbed. I like to sit and wait after a shot. Never know what you might still see moving around.

When I ran over to the riverbed I could hear the deer on the other sdie moving in the brush. I looked and looked. Never did see it. So I made my way through the riverbed and chased the deer in the woods. Still with no luck on getting a visual on the deer. The deer went off into some thick undercover. I even went back and got my dog to help look but he is not trained to track deer. I thought if he found the deer or even heard it he would be after it. We looked for a few hours and came up empty.

I went back to where the deer was shot and where it layed. Lots of blood! I let the dog smell the blood and we went back to the last place where the deer went over the riverbed. My dog knew he was suppose to do something but he didn't quite know. He's only 10 months old and never even saw a deer before. Thats going to change!

The second deer. I was was on a ridge and the deer was on top of another ridge next to me in this big field. When I shot the deer ran along the top of the ridge and the cut down the back side. I lost sight of the deer. I went to where I shot the deer and found a good blood trail. Pink blood! I tracked the deer where it went over the ridge. I tracked and tracked. This field has some tall grass. About waist to chest high. It started to rain. it was light at first and then got heavy. I was going as fast as I could so not to lose the blood trail. As I tracked the deer I could see I was getting close to a tree line. I'm thinking oh no not again. About that time I found the deer.

I just picked me up a Nikon Laser 600 range finder. The next time I go out there I can get a better idea how far that deer ran.

This year I changed from my Sierra 135gr match bullets to a Sierra 140gr game king. I'm going back to my match bullets. They expand much better. The deer had a big hole through the lungs but I guess that was not enough to put it down fast. I'm going back to what works good. why I changed I don't know. I shot many deer and never lost one. I feared the day I lost a deer. guess it was bound to happen one day. I always kinda felt not tracking a deer took some of the hunt out of the hunt.

The kicker is. There was a boy in camp that shot his first deer. He is 15. He made the same shot as me with a 22-250 at about 70 yards. He dropped a yearling in it's tracks. He said it just folded up and fell over. I think the 140gr Game king would be a good bullet for a nortern deer with a big body and lots of fat. These thin skinned texas white tails need more of a varmint bullet.
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Old December 18, 2005, 02:39 PM   #10
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Impact: Last year I shot a buck with a 270 (150 gr) and it reacted much like your first one. I was so surprised that it didn't just drop in its tracks that I didn't even attempt a second shot running in the woods. I could have in hind sight. I sat for about 20 minutes and walked over to where I should have hit the deer. Finally found blood. I slowly began following the blood trail in the dry leaves marking the trail as I went with tiny pieces of surveyors flagging. I didn't know if the deer would be 75 yds away or run for 200 yds. So, I marked the trail. Found the deer out of my sight in the brush at about 75 yards from where I shot. I hit the deer just a tad back from the front shoulder, and the bullet just wizzed through without much expansion. Inside, there was lots of lung damage. I try for shoulder shots in order to try to break the front shoulders and take out the lungs/heart at the same time.

This year, I shot one with a handgun (480 Ruger with 325 gr HP) and it ran about 50 yds. Again just out of my area of visibility. Broke the front shoulder. Took the same careful precautions and found the deer in about 30 minutes after he bled out. There was lots of blood as I followed the trail, unlike the 270 deer that just had spots of blood in the leaves but a steady trickle. Both were shot from the exact stand location in a similar impact location at about 50 yds.

I swear by the use of flagging to mark a trail as you just never know when the blood will stop and you need to be able to sight down the trail to give an approximate bearing. First the bearing, then the widening circles in search of the deer or more blood. If I see the deer lying down, I check to see if it is in a "natural position" and watch for any movement/alertness. I would take another shot if I saw any activity at all.
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Old December 18, 2005, 02:57 PM   #11
impact
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Foxman most of my shots are neck shots. The only time I make a head shot is when the deer is close and looking away. I don't think I ever head shot a deer over 50 yards. The deer goes down so fast. Because of the recoil and muzzel blast most of the time I never see the deer hit the ground.

I thought about shooting the first deer one more time as it laid there. That little voice in my head told me to do it. It looked like it was down and I didn't want to wipe out anymore meat. If anything like this happens again there will be a second shot.
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Old December 18, 2005, 07:21 PM   #12
MeekAndMild
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Quote:
I let the deer lay for about 30 minutes and the deer did not move (snip)I thought about shooting the first deer one more time as it laid there. That little voice in my head told me to do it.
OK, lets analyze this a little bit for the future. There was something else other than the voices that told you the deer wasn't dead. But in the heat of the moment you've forgotten what it was. This may take a little bit of sitting down thinking time, but it will probably pay off in the long run.

I try to approach deer slowly and watch them a few minutes at each stage of the approach, with gun ready to shoot. I try to circle very slowly until I can get a good look at their head.Dead deer have that glassy eyed stare like, well, ... dead deer. They often have their tongue hanging out and it kind of looks bluish. Plus they're not breathing and their feet aren't necessarily underneath them.

gdeal, I've got to add this one comment. Except for very close shots, like in the deep woods under 30 yards I think that buckshot is not a good idea. Buckshot is IMHO designed for trench warfare and not hunting.
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Old December 18, 2005, 07:32 PM   #13
impact
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22-rimfire thats a good idea. when I found the deer I put my hat on a tall weed that was close to the deer so I could find it when I came back. This feild I like to hunt is big. I would say you could make a 600 yard shot if you think you could. I'm not that good! The one reason I hunted this feild is bacause of the tall grass. The deer will move around in this feild and feel safe. Belive you me you need to keep one eye open all the time to spot any movement in the feild. When the grass looks like it is moving it just may be a deer. from time to time I make a loud noise. If there is a deer in the feild you will see two ears and a neck
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Old December 18, 2005, 08:02 PM   #14
impact
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MAM I dident even get that close to the deer. It was about 80 to 100 yards when it bolted. It was like the deer come to life. The first thing I thought was !#$%. By the time I grabded my gun it was in the dried riverbed. I didn't know if the deer ran down the riverbed or went over the top. It went over the top! Here in Texas we have lots of the these bushes that have thorns the grow little oranges. I don't know what they are called. But the deer ran off into a about a 20 acre patch of these things. Thats why I got my dog. They will cut you up! My dog can run through these things without a problem. I was hoping the dog would kick up the deer and make it run. On the other side of that is real thick woods. It looks like it was cleared a few years back and the under growth took over. I'm sure thats where the deer bed. I think the gun shot deer was trying to get back to the bedding area.

I leared a few things. Stay with what works and don't change. Because and should are two words I don't like.
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Old December 18, 2005, 09:30 PM   #15
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I have had much practice trailing poorly hit deer. My aging father does not shoot too good, unfortunately he does not shoot bad enough to miss. I prefer to mark the blood trail with toilet paper. It is biodegradable. Some of these trails went for a mile or more, that would be alot of surveyors tape to pick up.

The worst was a low front knee hit. I was fortunate to have some snow that day. The deer was tracked more by the drag marks from the leg, than the blood.

I am not sure that I would consider the 22 caliber adequate for deer. I tend to believe that the 6mm/243 is a minimum caliber and then only with premium bullets. I do hunt large bodied northern whitetails.

I also agree that if there is a doubt that the animal is dead put another one in it. No one likes to lose a deer that is hit. Sorry guys and girls, it is a fact of life. If you have never lost one consider yourself lucky. If you shoot enough critters sooner or later you will lose one. It may not even be your fault, maybe the bullet will fail, maybe the bullet will pass through a reverse negative anti gravity vortex, but you will lose one.
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Old December 18, 2005, 10:07 PM   #16
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Most surveyors tape does degrade. Basically it gets brittle with time and fades and will fall off whatever you tied it to. I know we all have seen pieces that are years old along property lines and so forth. I use tiny pieces, maybe two or three inches long on a weed or branch etc. I don't want no big dangling flags on a blood trail. I try to pick up the pieces after the kill though as I do not like to litter. I also mark trails with it (the glow type) so I can see it in the dark as I walk into a stand the first couple of times. Keeps me from getting disoriented sometimes.
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Old December 19, 2005, 05:00 PM   #17
Foxman
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Impact Yep been there too , That little voice is so often right ( I think they call it commonsense) but you ignore it and after could kick yourself
I would guess the sensible thing is why lose that meat and/or trophy for a few cents worth of ammo. But its like when you rush a shot and either miss or hit wrong place and after you think I had loadsa time why did I push it, Ive gotten better over the years but now and then the crazy bit still creeps in!
But if it didnt you would lose interest, it would be too much like an execution.
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Old December 20, 2005, 12:40 AM   #18
impact
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yah Foxman! You have to remember the first deer I ever shot ran. After that they were all one shot drop kills. Thats just the way I hunt. I have passed on many shots just because I didn't think I could make the shot. I have killed many deer. I have never had to track a deer. Tracking a deer is a whole new ball game. I'm not sure I like to track a deer. BUT! It is part of the hunt.

I'm one of these guys that wait for the perfect shot. I think about everything before I drop the hammer. anything other than a neck or head shot to me is like a unknowen. When a deer runs after I shot it freakes me out. I really really don't like to make a body shot. when I drop the hammer I want to see the deer hit the ground with little to no meat damage.

This year I tried to be like everyone else. I don't like it! I'm going back to my mathematical way of hunting. One shot drop kills. .

I do envy people who can hit a deer on the run. I think thats a real talent.
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Old December 22, 2005, 11:20 PM   #19
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two of the first three deer i shot were killed with single shots to the heart. one with a .243 100 grain partition and the other with a .270 150 grain soft point both ran about ten yards and fell over and died.

game animals are funny creatures and can go way further than you or i ever could with a bullet through the chest. i recently saw my brother shoot a yearling moose with my .270 and a 150 grain Hornady SST at about 30 yards. the moose got up and ran away. we tracked it and its mother for five miles before we finally lost them. there was a blood trail for four miles and then a field with no snow on it (short stubble) where we lost the trail. we got a visual on them but by the time we got to where we had last spotted them they were long gone. i have no idea how a moose could lose as much blood as that one did and still survive to run over five miles.
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Old December 22, 2005, 11:39 PM   #20
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i'm always amused by people that are suprised and shocked that a deer dosen't drop dead on the spot. deer run, it's what they do. you could say they were designed (intellegently or otherwise ) to run. in fact, eating and running are about all they do most of the time.
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Old December 23, 2005, 12:06 AM   #21
impact
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jseime I have a friend that lives in Newfoundland. He ask me every year to come up and hunt Moose. That does sound like fun. The only problem with canada is! Once I got up there I don't think I would ever come back to Texas Canda is a beautfull place. I just don't like the politics. getting my gun into Canada is not easy.
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Old December 23, 2005, 11:39 AM   #22
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Hawken, it seems to me that a cleanly chest-shot deer will run for no more than 7-8 seconds. The ones who get knocked down seem to kick for about the same time. OTOH, a neck shot deer will just go down and often not move after the first couple of twitches.

It is the ones where you hit a twig before the bullet gets to them, or you twitch just when you pull the trigger or they see the muzzle flash from your B.P. rifle and jump before the bullet gets to them or one of their deer buddies sees you and snorts or you forget to shield the safety when you pull it off so that it makes a noise et cetera that bother me. The older I get the more I find myself believing in repeating rifles. It is really great to have that point and click interface for an immediate second shot.

Quote:
Canda is a beautfull place. I just don't like the politics. getting my gun into Canada is not easy.
Yes, its like a whole other country.
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