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Old November 24, 2006, 11:11 AM   #26
Troponin
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Wild Bill,

So you're saying that you go out to a wooded, field and mountainous region and practice shooting at moving targets that have the capability to move 360 degrees and move up to 30-40mph?

I too am not trying to be a smart butt, but this is a common circumstance that you will see in the woods. Anyone can practice all day hitting a stationary 2D target, or even 3D target for that matter, and get good at hitting it.
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Old November 24, 2006, 11:21 AM   #27
Wild Bill Bucks
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Trop,

I haven't had to take a moving shot for quite a long time. I hunt from a stand, and sometimes I will have to wait for a while to get a good shot. Most deer in my area are moving through looking for something to eat, and most will move a little then stop. I don't shoot at every deer I see, and am willing to wait on a good shot. I am fortunate enough to hunt an area, that the deer are not pushed by people walking around, so getting the kind of shots I get, is not really hard to do. If you hunt an area where deer are skiddish or are constantly being pushed, then I would not be taking neck or head shots. I do practice in real hunting conditions, and not only from the bench, so that I can do well in real hunting circumstances. The only bad shot, is one that you don't practice, so I practice as much as I can. I understand many peoples concerns about this type of shot, but one must limit shots with patience.
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Old November 24, 2006, 01:15 PM   #28
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Fremmer, .25-06, with blue box Federal Power Shok 117s.....rifle is Howa 1500 22", with Boyd's JRS Classic stock. The rounds drilled right through (and into the tree behind the doe), so I actually should choose a bullet with a tad more expansion and less penetration for neck shots - maybe a 90-100 grainer. Still, both dropped instantly. They kicked longer than I like to see however.

I have a lot more counterpoint on this subject which I will post later this weekend or next week...
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Old November 24, 2006, 05:08 PM   #29
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Thanks for the info, First. But I was wondering what round you have used in the past for the heart/lung shot because of this comment:

Quote:
I don't see why you'd opt for the meat-damage-tracking-usually-required heart/lung shot
Most heart/lung shots don't damage much meat, and usually don't require tracking at all; a good heart/lung shot typically puts them down on the spot, and they stay down. I was just wondering what caliber you were using when you had what you consider a good heart/lung shot, with a result of lots of meat damage and/or required tracking.

Quote:
The rounds drilled right through (and into the tree behind the doe), so I actually should choose a bullet with a tad more expansion and less penetration for neck shots - maybe a 90-100 grainer. Still, both dropped instantly
I don't think that a 17 grain difference will be a big deal for a neck shot. If you're going to take that shot, take it with the round that gives you the best accuracy. And I wouldn't worry about the amount of kicking by a deer as long as it goes down and stays down.

Looking forward to your counterpoint information, and my compliments on this Thread; I'm thinking and learning a lot!
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Old November 24, 2006, 05:28 PM   #30
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I shoot shoulder shots on Bucks and Vitals on does. I just don't want to take the chance of my deer getting away and for some reason I really don't want to have to track my bucks but don't mind doing it with does.
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Old November 25, 2006, 06:40 AM   #31
45reloader
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I say any shot you can make you take.

Bird hunters often go for head shots so I see no reason to treat deer diffrent.

Only the hunter knows if he can pull off a neck or head shot.I know in most cases, for me, I was to far away to take a neck shot.But the few times I was able I would.
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Old November 25, 2006, 04:12 PM   #32
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Bird hunting has nothing to do with deer hunting, if you dont know the difference you need to go deer hunting with someone experienced and able to explain the whys and wherefors.
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Old November 25, 2006, 04:28 PM   #33
45reloader
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Wrong side of the bed Fox ?

I've shot just about everything we have here in Pa so Please keep from talking down to me.

Plain and simple headshots and neckshots work.You don't have to like them.
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Old November 25, 2006, 04:46 PM   #34
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depends for me if they are standing or moving and the distance for a neck shot.

I've taken several deer in MS in thick woods that all dropped instantly with a neck shot. They were 75yds or under and not moving, except one that was less then five yds in a galop/trot (all with open sites w/ Marlin.30-30, .45colt Win '94, Marlin .44mag lever and one Ruger Blckhwk .45colt).

mostly I will shoot for vitals in long distant shots with my Ruger M77 .270 or Mosin-Nagant 7.62 X 54R (these have simmons scopes) if they are not moving fast...cause I'm not too good hitting long distant moving targets.

Otherwise, in real thick woods I use shotgun...can't beat it!
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Old November 25, 2006, 06:48 PM   #35
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I hate sitting in tree stands.To me it's more like assassination than hunting.So,I still hunt most of the time.More challenging.Heart Lung shots are always fatal and seem to me to be a bigger target when a good rest is not handy.If you can make a neck shot free standing at 100 yards ,good for you.I can't.I am not going to judge a shot that another man takes,or why.But ,I don't know that it is good for any kids out there reading this forum to be thinking they need to be taking neck shots next week.
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Old November 25, 2006, 10:45 PM   #36
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I didn't mention (thanks for the reminder), I sit at ground level. I don't use tree stands and I have used a prop to shoot 90% of the deer I took. I also like to still hunt when possible.
For the kids that could be reading this... always be sure of your target, and make sure you have a clean line of sight before you pull the trigger
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Old November 28, 2006, 09:22 PM   #37
roger1shot
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Almost Miss

Hey,
The neck shots are great ,but it's a hit or miss game.
This almost happen to me.
Took a neck shot,but hit the edge of the breast.
Bullet from the 7Mag. 160 gr blew a 2" hole in the breast.
Didn't hit heart, deer ran off 100-150 yds.
Just keep looking and found blood and the deer.
The good and bad of neck shots.
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Old November 29, 2006, 11:57 AM   #38
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OK, I just have to continue to take strong issue with some of the stuff being repeated here a few times - it breaks down like this:

1. Possibly unethical because they move their neck suddenly and can thus cause a miss or bad shot: No, not so. Would be true if you were aiming up high on the neck, near the base of the skull, but the mid-neck does not move completely, such that you will miss the neck, even if the deer is turning his head. Particularly with rounds that get there very fast (full powered, bottle-necked rounds), at close range. (and particularly on bucks which have larger necks). In addition, as for "if you miss, you can shoot their jaw off and not kill them": No, I don't think so - If you're aiming mid-neck, as I advocate, then a miss will result in no-harm, no foul, as follows (imagine a deer broadside with its head to your left): too far in front - complete miss under head. too far in back - still hit the spine (since the spine is sloping down and back), OR a complete miss. too high - right in the spine (even better), or complete miss. too low - complete miss, OR trachea hit - I submit that trachea hit with proper bullet will still drop them, but I am open to contra on this particular point.

2. Related to #1, "most people can't hit that small of target, if if NOT moving, from a field rest, and so unethical": This is sorta true, and the second-best point made. And it is a definite valid point, if you take my original premise of 75-100 yards or less. True enough. However, I am *hereby* changing the entire original premise fro 75-100 yards, down to 50 yards or less. So that changes everything. So I was wrong; everyone else was right. But 50 yards or less, even with average-bubba skill, even field-rest or sling-supported free standing shot, even if the deer is just starting to move it's head, or even if the deer is slowly walking, my premise still stands *IFF* I change it to 50 yards or less, assuming well-sighted in rifle, and good hold. Since I'm now hereby changing my premise based on the new yardage (which distance makes a huge difference, of course), I am now right once again. 75 yards, different story. 100 yards, *definitely* different story (for the average bubba, and/or an above-average bubba unsupported).

3. Regarding the allegation that "no, destroying shoulder meat is not an issue because I take broadside shots that do a clean pass through double lung, no shoulder, and therefore no need to ever try the small target neck shot.": No, I call hogwash on this reasoning because even if you try to get most of you shots exactly or nearly-exactly broadside, I would venture a guess that 99% of you ain't gonna pass up the shot if the animal is slightly quartering away or toward, or "regularly" quartering away or toward, or severely quartering away or toward. And those instances are FAR more common than a clean perfect broadside shot. And, in those instances, you're gonna need to hit the front shoulder *EITHER* on the way in, OR on the way out, in order to hit heart/lung.

4. Regarding the "they bleed out faster, so less mess and better taste" - touche, that is the best point yet, and the only one (perhaps) 100% valid - I dunno about the taste, but you're right - I sure did get very bloody while gutting the neck-shot deer.

5. Regarding "I WANT to hit a shoulder to *physically* disable, not just make them bleed out" - would be a good point except for the fact that a neck shot drops them almost always, so you get as good or better result without any meat damage.


OK, so to revise and revamp, if anyone cares to give input still:

1. UNDER 50 yards;
2. With a high-powered bottle-necked cartridge round that gets to the target extremely fast;
3. With a soft-point or other very-fast-expanding bullet, which expands thus at the velocity of your chosen round at short range.
4. With a well-sighted rifle (preferably scoped with low -powered scope, for pinpoint quick acquisition), *sighted in* for the short ranges (very important);
5. A MID-neck shot is a superior first-choice shot than a vitals shot, generally speaking
6. this is even if the deer is slowly walking
7. this is even if shooting from an unsupported position (though preferably with sling support), provided you can get a good hold and you are a good shot.
8. This is true even if the deer might turn it's head suddenly out of the blue, because the mid-neck doesn't move enough to make you miss under these circumstances.
9. This is true even if you don't aim for and hit the spine - there will be so much shock and trauma from the expanding bullet that it will stun the CNS at a minimum, and drop the deer CNS hit or not.

Once again though, my experience is VERY limited - I can count on one hand still the number of years I've been hunting (seriously), so I'm still very open to contrary (and in truth, I'm probably wrong - I just need to read some stories of neck shots gone awry, but don't ever see them).

P.S. I believe that at such short range, the idea that neck shots are a better choice would still hold true without "high powered bottle-necked rounds". I think a .44 mag or .45-70 would get there fast enough to make it ethical even if the deer is slowly walking.

Okay, talk amongst yourselves.
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Old November 29, 2006, 01:07 PM   #39
Fremmer
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Like I said, First, you take the shot that you're comfortable with. You are the best judge of your own shooting skills.

Quote:
If you're aiming mid-neck, as I advocate, then a miss will result in no-harm, no foul....OR a complete miss. too high - right in the spine (even better), or complete miss. too low - complete miss, OR trachea hit - I submit that trachea hit with proper bullet will still drop them, but I am open to contra on this particular point.
It depends on how bad the miss is. The neck on a deer is not that wide to begin with, so if your shot is way off, you'll probably completely miss. Which is a bummer, because now the deer is going to run away. A vitals shot gives you more room for error. On the other hand, if your shot is just a little off, just enough to not put the deer down, then it is going to be wounded. I've never shot a deer in the trachea, so I can't comment on whether it will drop a deer, or simply leave it in a wounded state.

Quote:
But 50 yards or less, even with average-bubba skill, even field-rest or sling-supported free standing shot, even if the deer is just starting to move it's head, or even if the deer is slowly walking, my premise still stands *IFF* I change it to 50 yards or less, assuming well-sighted in rifle, and good hold.
A fifty yard shot at a neck without a rest? You have more confidence in my average bubba-shootin' skills than I do. I'll stick to the vitals shot if I shoot off-hand. Bigger target is good when shooting off-hand.

Quote:
5. A MID-neck shot is a superior first-choice shot than a vitals shot, generally speaking
I disagree, at least for me. The vitals shot leaves more margin for error. If your vital-shot deer are consistently running (more than 20 or 30 yards) after being shot, something is wrong -- the caliber, bullet type, or where you are aiming at the vitals.

Quote:
6. this is even if the deer is slowly walking
7. this is even if shooting from an unsupported position (though preferably with sling support), provided you can get a good hold and you are a good shot.
Shooting a moving deer in the vitals off-hand (at any range) is hard enough. Why compound the difficulty by shooting at the neck, which is an even smaller target?

But see, all of my points really relate to me. I wish I were a better shot! If you can make those kind of shots consistently (and many in this Forum can, and my compliments to you), then take it. I don't think that you're "wrong" about taking neck shots. But for an average bubba like myself (who gets charged up by making a good 40 yard DRT off-hand shot at the vitals), it might be a good idea just to stick to an easier (and effective) vitals shot.
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Old November 29, 2006, 01:16 PM   #40
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Hey, gang, how many times must it be repeated that we don't take shots when we're not "super positive"?

As a shot, the neck shot is one of the best. That's different from worrying about one's skill.

A cross-body shot into the heart/lung area, hitting below the backstrap and behind the front legs, wastes no meat. Might have to follow a blood trail, but so what?

I guess the only way I'd take a shot at a buck's six o'clock would be if he were the biggest critter I'd ever seen. So far, through the years, I've only seen and passed one such opportunity--because I wasn't sure of a hit.

To me, the deal is that you take the cleanest shot you are assured of making. For me, about half my bucks were shot in the neck. But that also means that about half were shot in the body, right?

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Old November 29, 2006, 01:49 PM   #41
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There's a show on the Outdoor Channel called "The Choice", or something along those lines.

One premise of the show is that the weapon used to kill game animals is the choice of the hunter. Compound bow, recurve bow, center-fire rifle, blackpowder rifle, handgun...etc; it's your choice to use what you're comfortable using and you're not looked down upon by those who's choice is a different weapon.

On this show, they use all weapons - though compound bow much more than others. I like the premise because it does a little to break up the different camps that hunters can sometimes find themselves in all too easily.

I apply that philosophy to this topic of where to shoot. It's really your choice. It only becomes an issues when one person tries to tell another person that their choice is better.

Well, "this is better than that" with regard to shot placement is just about as subjective as any "9mm vs 45acp", "Glock vs Sig", or any other one of those "what's the best rifle/pistol/revolver/ammo" threads.

The choice you make for shot placement should involve consideration for ethics, skill level, circumstances, ...etc. By circumstance I mean: If it's the end of the season, and my meat locker is empty, I just might take a chance on that doe a little farther out than I'm used to shooting provided the conditions are close to ideal.

Make your choice. Realize it's not the only choice, and always keep all valid choices on the table as options, because sometimes your preferred choice isn't an option.

First - if I have a neck shot available, and my preferred double-lung shot behind the shoulder is unavailable, I've got no problem taking the neck shot because I do agree it's an effective shot to put down a deer and it's with in the range of ethics I practice and accept as a hunter. It's just not my preferred choice.
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Old December 2, 2006, 01:30 AM   #42
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because neck shots are less forgiving. you have alot more room for margin of error behind the shoulder than taking out the spine in the neck. when shooting at the neck, unless you hit the spine or catch an artery...you have pretty much lost the deer. it's gonna run forever and end up suffering from an infection and eventualy die'n weeks later. if you shoot at the neck you better be a good shot and seal the deal or you're just giving hunters a bad name.
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Old December 3, 2006, 09:51 PM   #43
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Neck shot

Too each his own here. You really must be honest with yourself. If you are a competent marksman and can shoot with the adrenalin pumping, go for it. Every shot presents itself in a different way. For the sake of an argument, any given shot has it's horror stories. I hunt a lot of coyotes and prefer a frontal shot on them(less pelt damage). As for deer, I use a smaller caliber with a premium bullet. Head, neck, heart what ever presents itself with the best killing shot for my ability (with the least amount of meat damage). I am usually in awe how "dead" they fall with a shot at the base of the skull. Pics enclosed. This deer shot @ 70 yards through the neck, didn't twitch. The bullet took out the spine and base of the skull and exited with a 1.5" hole. Upon skinning it out, the shock caused massive damage about 8" down the spine with damaged tissue farther down the neck. I am very selective in picking my shots. I probably let many deer go waiting for a perfect shot. I have the utmost respect for the whitetails will to live and it's ability to hide when wounded. In my neck of the woods, if you have to track them, they are someone else's deer.
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Old December 4, 2006, 01:52 AM   #44
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Nice looking Buck.

Too bad it doesn't look like a legal rack here in Pa though...needs atleast 3 on one side. What a shame. he looks like he has a pretty good sized body on him.
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Old December 8, 2006, 10:04 AM   #45
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seen too many deer run over after being hit in the neck area on to someone elses property & be taken by another hunter to even consider it, i still feel a good heart shot with a decent expanding bullet minimizes the risk of losing the seasons trophy not to mention hard feelings.

just my opininion hunting 30yrs now in pa & ny.
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Old December 8, 2006, 01:33 PM   #46
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For those who really know their rifle...
and are better than average shooters...
Go for it...

If you feel you must take a neck shot...

AIM FOR THE UPPER THIRD OF THE UPPER THIRD OF THE NECK...

This POI will assure a faster death...

Even if you miss the spine a tiny bit, the game will bleed out and drop much closer to the POI than if you miss the spine with a lower mid-neck shot... because you are more likely to hit major veins and arteries.
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Old December 9, 2006, 10:28 PM   #47
Troponin
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Amazingly, I just shot a deer today in the neck and he dropped like a rock. LOL Couldn't help it, he was in a full on run and I only had 3-5 seconds to bring up the gun, aim and shoot. Took out his spine...dang lucky shot.
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Old December 10, 2006, 09:14 AM   #48
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I'm one of those who'd been taught and practiced heart/lung shots most of my life mainly due to being primarily a bowhunter.

When I moved out to the bush, I noticed the locals took mostly neck shots on just about everything and took a dim veiw of white folk wasting too much meat on heart/lung shots. Besides moose and caribou heart is too tasty to be sending lead through it.

Nowadays I shoot for the neck or head as a first choice.........IF the conditions and range are such that I'm reasonably certain of getting a solid hit.

If the range is too far, the wind, the animal's orientation to me or any other factors come into play, I'll go for a heart/lung shot.
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Old December 10, 2006, 10:58 AM   #49
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Wilyote, what gun/round on that deer?
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