The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 2, 2009, 09:30 PM   #1
deermaster
Member
 
Join Date: October 30, 2008
Posts: 37
head shots? is there anything wrong with them?

how do you feel about head shots on deer? i have one very small piece of land to hunt, and if a deer runs any distance, i will have to trespass to recover it. also, this land is super thick, and a 30 yard shot is extreme range. so i patterned my 12 gauge with #1 buck shot, and saw i could keep 10 pellets in the head area, and many more in the head/neck area, at 20 yards. so i went out, and killed 2 deer in 2 hunts, both head shots, both drt, absoultely NO meat waste. is there anything wrong with a head shot? if a hunter knows their limits, mine was 25 yards, whether it be a shot gun up close or a rifle at longer range, is there anything wrong with a head shot, for a flop drop, drt kill? after this season, i say not at all. it allowed me to take 2 deer without losing them or having to sneak on the neigbors property, and to not waste any meat. how do you feel about em?
deermaster is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 09:41 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Be responsible. Take and make good shots. No problems at all.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 09:50 PM   #3
BuckHammer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 286
In my opinion, head shots are nasty. Yes, I have done it; yes, it is nasty. Maybe with shot it isn't so bad, but in Indiana, if you don't have a legal rifle, slugs are the only way to go. And that is why I say it's nasty.

It doesn't appear that you think it's nasty (based on the fact that you did it twice), so as far as I'm concerned, if you can hit the head, go for it. It's a smaller target than center mass, but if you hit it, it's over right there. Also, like you said, there is no meat damage.

Bottom line is, if you can reliably hit the small target of the head, and you can stomach it, head shots are fine.
__________________
Luck runs out.
Boiler Up!
BuckHammer is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 10:00 PM   #4
Swampghost
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: Florida, east coast
Posts: 2,106
I prefer head shots when I can get them. If it's a buck even a short run can fill the meat with adrenaline/testosterone affecting the taste and I've been over the wall mount phase for over 30 yrs.
__________________
NRA Patron Member
Swampghost is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 10:09 PM   #5
deermaster
Member
 
Join Date: October 30, 2008
Posts: 37
i absolutly know what you mean about a head shot being nasty with a slug or large caliber...i probably would not do it if i was using a big and or fast bullet, just because i would feel like i disrespected the animal or something. but with the buckshot, one kill there was just little flecks of blood on the animals head where the pellets hit, and on the other, there was very little apperant damage, so i didnt feel bad about it. but i know what you mean about the big calibers, i would hate to destroy an animal like that, and if that was what i was restricted too, i would really hesitate.
deermaster is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 11:03 PM   #6
Boone
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2009
Location: Califon NJ
Posts: 6
Just say no to ugly deer. Head shots = ugly. I prefer a double lung shot. They can't run far.
Boone is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 11:33 PM   #7
armedtotheteeth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2005
Location: podunk, Texas
Posts: 1,610
Well, I shoot for the head. I have had enough of trashed shoulders, and almost gut shots. I also have a very small place to hunt. A runner would end up on the neighbors in just seconds. I use a scoped Ar 15 to much success. No chasing deer, at all. Yeah, Im over trophys too. I just hang whatever skulls i get on the back porch. MOst all of them have bullet damage. The more intersting ones where hit with a 300 Win. A good size deer here will give you 50 pounds of meat ( some more, some less), unless you hit the shoulders. Then you lose another 15 pounds. I aint shooting, cleaning, and packaging a deer for just 35 pounds of meat.
armedtotheteeth is offline  
Old January 2, 2009, 11:46 PM   #8
crowbeaner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 1,938
If I get a head shot, I take it. I've tried cooking horns every way possible, and you can't soften them up to make them palatable. I beaned a button buck with my CVA at 30 feet this fall. DRT. I'm disabled, and any amount of dragging is a chore. If my deer runs another 100 yards, it's that much more work on my tired old legs. Ugly? Yup. Darned effective though, and as other posters have noted, no meat loss. If I can't hit them in the bean, I shoot them in the neck and they drop right there. I'd rather lose neck meat than shoulders.
__________________
If you want your children to follow in your footsteps, be careful where you walk.
Beware the man that only owns one gun; he probably knows how to use it.
I just hope my ship comes in before my dock rots.
crowbeaner is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 12:02 AM   #9
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,452
"...killed 2 deer in 2 hunts, both head shots, both drt..." Rule Number One. It works, so don't fix it. Don't think I'd take a head shot on a huge trophy buck, but it sounds like filling the freezer is more important to you. Nothing wrong with that. Venison is tasty stuff.
You may want to go talk to your neighbour about getting permission should you ever need it. The worst he can say is no. A venison roast or a few steaks(whatever he needs for a family meal) makes a great incentive. Or invite him and his family for dinner. Could be that he's in the same situation.
"...use a scoped Ar 15 to much success..." What bullet?
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 12:43 AM   #10
stevelyn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: Fairbanksan in exile to Aleutian Hell
Posts: 2,618
Most native hunters I know will take head or neck shots if they can get them. No sense in shooting up edible meat. If you can pull it off why not?
__________________
Herman Cain '12

Squished bugs on a windshield is proof the slow/heavy bullet theory works.
stevelyn is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 01:21 AM   #11
shortwave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Location: SOUTHEAST, OHIO
Posts: 5,936
Prefer heart/lung shot. In years past have taken a few head shots. 12 ga. slug and head shot=`s mess.
shortwave is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 04:34 AM   #12
troy_mclure
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2008
Location: gulf of mexico
Posts: 2,716
ive made head shots with 12ga slugs, .50 muzzle loaders, .22mag, .40s&w.
it can get messy!

but i like them because the animal drops right there, no ruined meat, no holes in the hide(if you keep/sell them), if you miss you miss(for the most part).
__________________
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
troy_mclure is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 07:46 AM   #13
texfar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2004
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 404
Two of the deer I took this year were neck shots and one a base of skull shot all from about 135 yards with a 7mm STW 168 accubond. All three = mess, but no lost meat at all. the skull shot from rear = no identifiable head. Neck shots = just cut the hide and the rest fell off. I am not into the horns any more as well. I let a 10-12 point walk this year. Fretted about it all day, but the next day I felt good about it and will do it again. Meat man these days.
Ken
texfar is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 10:57 AM   #14
metalheadlead
Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2008
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 21
no problem with a head shot, as I far as I know the whole point is to take the deer down as efficeintly and quickly as possible.
metalheadlead is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 11:01 AM   #15
hogdogs
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,069
I took my first 3 deer with head shots... Grampa hollered at me about missing... "Heck I said, MISS? I hit where I aimed" he then told me for the first time about the "vitals"... I had to ask him if the brain wasn't vital...
He then told me he had wanted to get me a head mount of my first deer, then second, then third... Never hunted with the ol' feller again
\Brent
hogdogs is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 12:48 PM   #16
tyrajam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2007
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 467
It seems regional to me, a ton of hunters I know in the South and southeast grew up taking head/neck shots, but where I grew up on the west coast, it was not something that most folks did.

Like T. O'heir said, if it works, don't change it!
tyrajam is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 02:07 PM   #17
jaymag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2005
Location: springfield,MA
Posts: 239
Small target?

It leaves no room for error.Why blow it's jaw off or ears.The deer can still run and not be found.Bullets do tend to deflect off of round smooth boney heads.No point! aim for the heart and lungs.Even a kidney or liver hit,will down a whitetail.I tried ending a doe with a shot to the head at 20yrd with 00 buck.I hit one lung with a slug before this.I wanted to just finish her.She jump up after I fired.Some how all the pellets missed the brain?The face looked like sponge bob.I still found her 30yrds later.I just don't like head shots.The brain is a small target,bottom line.
jaymag is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 02:23 PM   #18
ZeroJunk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 14, 2006
Location: Browns Summit NC
Posts: 2,497
I have seem two deer with their lower jaw shot off. One was finished off quickly, the other was after it starved.

So, make sure of your shot.
ZeroJunk is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 08:40 PM   #19
jaymag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2005
Location: springfield,MA
Posts: 239
Thanks! Zerojunk

My total point!!!
jaymag is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 09:13 PM   #20
Swampghost
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: Florida, east coast
Posts: 2,106
jaymag, some folks like to eat the innards. Why would you want to mess up a perfectly good liver or heart or kidney?

Ugly? Yep! My first cut is the head (jugular/carotids) even on boiler-room shots just to get out as much blood as possible.
__________________
NRA Patron Member
Swampghost is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 09:43 PM   #21
armedtotheteeth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2005
Location: podunk, Texas
Posts: 1,610
Dont miss. The vital area is larger than the head, yes. Anywhere on the vital area of a deer , it will take far longer to kill a deer than the head will. You hit them in the head, they are dead before the bullet exits the head. You shoot them in the lungs, the run for a few hundred yards sometimes and slowly die.
armedtotheteeth is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 09:43 PM   #22
cornbush
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: The retarded place below Idaho
Posts: 1,390
Head shots are great, if you can get a clear headshot take it. You sound like you know the effective range of your load and the pattern, go for it. I take mostly chest shots, but thats because most of my shots are between 200 and 300 yards. I have taken headshots and love em,but they were at about 80 yards and 150 yards standing still, off a solid rest. I can't think of much a load of buckshot to the brain bucket isn't going to drop inside your effective range.
cornbush is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 10:03 PM   #23
Swampghost
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: Florida, east coast
Posts: 2,106
Just to make it clear, most of my shots are within bow range. 200 FT. is pretty long in the piney woods and swamps. When forced to go for the long ones (200+ yds.) I'm using another rifle and going for vitals.
__________________
NRA Patron Member
Swampghost is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 11:04 PM   #24
armedtotheteeth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2005
Location: podunk, Texas
Posts: 1,610
Yeah, we blind hunt here. Its like shooting off a rest. All ranges are known, and usually under 150 yards. 200 yards tops with a Ar15..
armedtotheteeth is offline  
Old January 3, 2009, 11:14 PM   #25
MeekAndMild
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 2, 2001
Posts: 4,988
Quote:
12 gauge with #1 buck shot...20 yards
This makes sense. Shotgun pellets spread out and hit moving targets. A deers head is bigger than the target area of a quail or dove.

Problems my hunting buddies have had with head shots occurred with rifles at longer distances. At 150 yards bullet travel time after the flash is about 1/6th of a second. Mostly problems told to me were guys having to track deer with jaw injuries from where the deer jerked its head up at the flash.

This is a totally different world from shotgun hunting.
__________________
In a few years when the dust finally clears and people start counting their change there is a pretty good chance that President Obama may become known as The Great Absquatulator. You heard it first here on TFL.
MeekAndMild is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13825 seconds with 9 queries