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Old November 30, 2009, 07:40 PM   #26
ZeroJunk
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I've found a couple of dead deer with their jaw shot off etc...

I shot one in the eye on a guided hunt in Anticosti Canada because the guide had his nice clothes on and he didn't want to get bloody. More of a NY lawyer type deal, but I digress.

Usually I shoot them in the heart lung area, they won't go far.
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Old November 30, 2009, 07:52 PM   #27
fisherman66
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I've seen sum gut shot "ruminants" of deer that went unfound. A botched shot is a botched shot, no matter what type of shot was botched.
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Old November 30, 2009, 07:59 PM   #28
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
I've seen sum gut shot "ruminants" of deer that went unfound. A botched shot is a botched shot, no matter what type of shot was botched.
Well, yeah, but you have to botch a heart shot by a foot and a half to hit the guts. You have to botch a head shot 3 inches.
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Old November 30, 2009, 08:06 PM   #29
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?

"What's not a plan is encouraging folks that are not up to the task to be doing it. You do them no favors by increasing the cahnce they will lose a animal and it's certianly no favor to the animal with a mangled jaw"

I agree, if you were referring to me I don't want to encourage shooters who have not practiced for the shot all year not just the weekend before season. However it's true a poor placed shot anywhere is bad gut, jaw, butt not good. IMO practice 1k rounds at the range for 1 shot in the field.
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Old November 30, 2009, 08:30 PM   #30
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I was a guide for 9 years and have hunted for 45 years and have seen literally hundreds of big game animals taken so can attest to the following statement, a head shot is the most inhumane shot a hunter can take, When they work they work well, but when they fail the animal either runs off to starve to death,an approximatly 5 week process, or goes of blinded with the same results. While a bad shot is a bad shot on any part of the anatomy, seldom does a bad shot shot anywhere else result in such a slow lingerering death. I saw numerous animals each year, dead after hunting season with their jaws blown off. A client tried a head shot on an elk and missed the brain and blinded the elk which ran off unrecovered. Three days later a fellow guide found it just standing and shivering and let them just walk up on it and finish it off. And for always fatal? I finished off a wounded deer, I used a 12 guage with slugs, the head shot at 10 feet missed the brain and the deer just looked at me I dont think it even blinked. A client decided to take a cottontail rabbit after a sucessful antelope hunt, using a 7mm Rem mag, he took a head shot. At the shot half the rabbits head dissapeared and the rabbit just sat there trembleing in obvious extreme pain, needed a follow up shot. We as hunters owe our quarry the dignity of a fast humane death.
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Old November 30, 2009, 09:31 PM   #31
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Well, yeah, but you have to botch a heart shot by a foot and a half to hit the guts. You have to botch a head shot 3 inches.

Exactly.
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Old November 30, 2009, 11:30 PM   #32
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Interesting.....

Thanks for the replies, and the unvarnished truth in at least one case.

I'm a little partial to head shots and here's why. I feel that you can kill a deer from any point 360 degrees around with a head shot. Obviously you have to know your limitations before trying such a shot. I know mine and don't try head shots of more than 100 yards, most are closer than that.

I feel a head shot is a bit easier than a neck (upper spine) shot, while not much, it is a bigger target. Well placed, either will drop a deer like a rock. Which brings up another plus, no tracking, unless you just like midnight walks in the woods or swamps. I'm 70+ and long walks on cold nights don't appeal to me much anymore. Head shots aren't very messy and don't destroy hides or edible parts either, unless you're into brains and eggs..... I'm not.

Sometimes it's about the only sure kill shot you have. A deer walking straight away from you doesn't present much of a kill zone except the head shot. Pronking Mule deer will sometimes go just far enough over a hill to stop and look back, presenting the hunter the only shot, head and maybe neck.

Even in heavy cover if you can see the deer's head unobstructed you can kill him. Shooting even through light cover can cause bullet deflection and thereby non-lethal wounds, no one enjoys that. Most dead and wounded deer I've encountered have been gut shot, leg shot, or ass shot. Unfortunately you will always have those who will just "spray and pray", there's no way to get around it. I find that head shots are usually clean kills or clean misses.

And last......... If you don't have the ability to make the shot, any shot, don't take it, but I sure read a lot of posts about sub MOA shot groups here on TFL...... Makes me wonder?......


Of course all of the above is just my opinion and you know how opinions are, everyone has one, just like ...........well, you get the idea..........
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Old December 1, 2009, 01:50 AM   #33
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Never have take a head shot with a rifle. Plenty of neck shots...I like those. Only taken/killed 2 deer in the mellon with a bow. One straight down between the eyes. The other down the ear canal @ 25yds. She bellowed out and dropped. Weirdest thing I've ever seen a deer do.
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Old December 1, 2009, 01:57 AM   #34
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When I was still hunting I preferred to take a neck shot on deer if I had a good opportunity. If the deer was walking I would shoot for the heart/lung shot. I did not want to risk a neck shot if the deer was in motion. My 270 win would drop them where they stood if I got a neck shot. If no neck shot possible they ran for 15-30 yards then dropped. 40% of my kills were neck induced.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:45 AM   #35
phil mcwilliam
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Most hunters prefer, & are encouraged to take a heart/lung shot as this presents a larger target than a head shot, but alot depends on the situation & ability of the shooter.
I have head shot 2 deer, both while stalking thick bush. The deers body was obstructed with bush, but with one shot being less than 5 yards, & the other being only 20 yards, I was sure of hitting where I aimed. I would not take an off-hand head shot at a feeding deer at 100 yards though.
I know several professional meat & skin shooters that only head shoot, but these guys shoot with a rest from a vehicle under a spotlight, & in most cases even turn the engine off for the shot. They also pass up on shots that they cant take perfectly as this is their living & every shot counts.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:50 AM   #36
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One other thing to think about.

Given that prion diseases such as CWD are spread via the ingestion of neural tissue from the brain and spinal column, splattering the brain all over the place doesn't seem like such a great idea to me.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:59 AM   #37
phil mcwilliam
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I know this is an American based forum, but in Australia abbitoirs that pay professional shooters for game meat shot in the field, will only accept head shot carcasses with lungs, heart & liver remaining intact for health inspection by law.
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Old December 1, 2009, 07:08 PM   #38
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JohnKSa

An interesting thought. However the last 5 or 6 deer I've killed with head shots had no exit wounds. For the most part all were frontal shots and made with a .243 or .270. I didn't clean them, just took them to my local butcher so I presume that the bullets lodged somewhere in the skull or upper neck. Not so yesterday. Buck had his rear facing me, head down, browsing. The shot was between his legs, hit at the point where head joins neck. Knocked him down like a sledgehammer, dead when he hit the ground. The bullet exited thru his left eye with very little splatter. I attribute this to me using a 30/06 and the angle, but who knows for sure.

I haven't heard much about CWD around here and hope I never do. Your idea is something to keep in mind when hunting over bait or a food plot. I wouldn't think that anywhere else would cause much of a problem. The deer herd here appears healthy and even with a more than a few yahoos in the woods is increasing.

Good Hunting.....HB
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Old December 1, 2009, 07:54 PM   #39
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Neck shots are preferable
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:31 PM   #40
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I almost always shoot the heart/lungs. A clean double lung shot wastes very little meat. Bigger kill area, greater chance of good clean kill. Animal tends to bleed out.

IMO the head shot does not leave a lot of room for error, you move, a bug bites you as you shoot, the deer moves, etc and there is now a wounded animal running around to die slow.
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:44 PM   #41
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Never tried a head shot, and don't plan to. Always shoot for the heart/lungs, and as a hunter safety instructor, taught kids to do the same.
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Old December 2, 2009, 11:46 PM   #42
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Head/Neck shots are the perfect

shot at close range. DRT every time.
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Old December 3, 2009, 10:35 PM   #43
Dallas Jack
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I always shoot for the heart/lung area. That's what I am most comfortable with. I have no problem with others doing head shots. Just not for me.
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Old December 4, 2009, 05:10 AM   #44
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Have you ever been slapped in the head? What was your reaction, tense up,try to get away from what whacked you, and adrenalin. A head shot does the same thing to an animal. You end up with tough meat. The animal died tense, and with a lot of adrenalin in his system. A heart lung shot allows the animal to die relaxed. That's what I was taught a long time ago, when I had the responsibility of putting meat on the table. I still believe it today, many many years and animals later.
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Old December 4, 2009, 08:17 AM   #45
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infntry, I must disagree with that mind set... First off, a bullet to the noodle bowl is far more than a slap. If it hits the brain well at all, the body may tense but adrenaline will not be released to the tissues...

A deer hit in the boiler room will have all brain function until death and will dump adrenaline as well as any other survival chemicals into the tissue.
And when slapped in the face by momma I stood and took my swats... anyone else got punched in the mouth...
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Old December 4, 2009, 12:51 PM   #46
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Infntryblu...
I agree that you dont want tough, adrenaline filled meat. For that reason I shoot the heart/lungs only when I have to. The rest of the time I shoot them in the neck for instadrop. Then they cant get excited, twitch or do anything but bleed out calmly for a couple seconds.
Makes for very good eating.
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Old December 4, 2009, 02:24 PM   #47
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INF

INF when I shoot them in the brain they are dead and still on the ground before the sound of the blast is gone! They go from standing eating and then bang, dead done.
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Old December 4, 2009, 03:12 PM   #48
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my grandpa always tries to get us to shoot for the head. his last year of hunting, we spent most the day tracking a (u guessed it! ) jaw shot buck. Im not really a fan of the neck either, cause there is little room for error there too. More pronounced on an elk or moose. I either do the high shoulder shot, or the boiler room. Both have lots of room for error, and the furthest i have had a deer run was 10 yards. most just drop dead and kick a few times.

About the whole adrenaline thing, if there is no blood or heart left to pump, how is the adrenaline able to get to the meat? Dont think it can...

Another thing, head shot deer creep me out. I HATE how the one eye always bugs out.... :barf:
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Old December 4, 2009, 06:52 PM   #49
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infntryblu
A head shot does the same thing to an animal. You end up with tough meat. The animal died tense, and with a lot of adrenalin in his system. A heart lung shot allows the animal to die relaxed. That's what I was taught a long time ago, when I had the responsibility of putting meat on the table.
I certainly can't follow that logic.

First off, a head shot deer, properly head shot, is DEAD instantaneously. There is no stress. It is alive one millisecond and dead the the next. The heart stops instantly for all intents and purposes. No pulse, no dispersal of adrenaline, even if it gets released by the adrenal gland.

Second, the brain is what signals the release of adrenalin. A head shot deer doesn't HAVE a brain. No brain, no adrenaline.

Third, I have killed my fair share of deer over the years. I've seen them bolt like lightning for 150 yards and I've had them DRT. I've had them lay there kicking for a minute or two and I've had them barely twitch... and yes, I've even had head shot deer. I didn't shoot them but I've cooked and eaten the meat. I have NEVER seen any discernible difference in the taste. Does all venison taste the same? No, it doesn't, but there are SO many factors influencing the taste that I am confident that even if adrenaline was among those factors it would be heavily masked by all the others.
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Old December 4, 2009, 07:18 PM   #50
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Only if its a close shot and the deer is face first to me. I am in a CWD zone so head shots are discouraged anyway.
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