The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 12, 2012, 02:16 AM   #1
rmocarsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2009
Posts: 370
ugly kill

I have been deer hunting every year since I was 24 and I am now 61 years old.

Many deer taken over that period of time; none lost; several had to be tracked to find the body; but nothing that ever made me feel bad. Somber moments spent prior to field dressing, but nothing sad.

Until last year.

And I've been told that if you hunt long enough you WILL experience it.

Opening day, about 9 a.m. what I thought was a doe coming across the harvested corn field and "she" has many trails to choose from, but, whoa, she's coming up mine.

At about 30 yards I fire, and "she" goes down. I am using an SKS paratrooper with peep sight and Williams Firesight up front.

Less than a minute, "she" begins struggling to here feet; I thought "she" was done.

Bang . . . Bang . . . Bang . . . Unbelievable misses.

''She'' pulls herself out of sight through a forest floor of corn flakes out of sight, and the noise ceases.

I figure "she" expired.

I wait 1 hour and 45 minutes (because I don't want to ruin the rest of the morning hunt for my friend and his son) and when I see their blaze orange moving towards the farm house, I go to "her."

I see the deer's body and approach it slowly.

""She'' lifts her head and looks right into my eyes at about 10 yards.

Oh Dear God! I have allowed this deer to suffer for that long!

I mean to finish it with a head shot at 10 yards, but instead blow off its lower jaw!

What is wrong with this rifle!? It finally dawns on me; I go to point blank range for a head shot and realize which further brings me down, this ain't no doe, it is a button buck.

I finish the dirty deed.

By that meaning the opposite of a clean kill.

Turns out the peep sight had somehow loosened and I could move it about a quarter inch with my fingers. Gun was dead OFF.

Damn . . . ugly kill . . . needless suffering . . . and I felt (and do still feel) terrible about it.

I'm going again this year and will be testing the tightness of that rear sight several times before I ever pull the trigger again.

Rmocarsky
rmocarsky is offline  
Old October 12, 2012, 02:40 AM   #2
Ben Towe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 1,120
It isn't pleasant, but it does happen. Sights lose zero, unseen twigs deflect bullets, we flinch, etc. That's one reason I prefer higher horsepower rounds, so to speak. That way when the inevitable bad shot happens shock does the rest in a short amount of time. You're lucky if it's only happened once in all those years of hunting.
__________________
'Merica: Back to back World War Champs
Ben Towe is offline  
Old October 12, 2012, 06:44 PM   #3
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
When I was young I shot a doe broadside at 75 yards with a .308. She went down but thrashed about and wouldn't die. So I put another into here at close range. She still didn't die. Another one. All in the heart/lung area. She wouldn't die. Finally she looked into my face with those big doe eyes and let out this pitiful groan and died.

I recently bought a .270 Winchester. I had been using a .300 Win Mag for many years because I didn't ever want a deer that I shot to suffer like that again. And thank God so far they haven't. One shot instant kills.

But the .270 Winchester should give that also. Everyone I know has had them drop them on the spot with no suffering.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 01:04 AM   #4
rmocarsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2009
Posts: 370
Ben and Warbirdlover,

Unfortunately I don't think any caliber would have made a difference because the first shot (aimed at the heart/lung area) just glanced off the spine just before the tail and had very little penetration, but shattered bone and I believe made useless the deers hind legs.

The next three were clean misses.

The fourth shot aimed at the head from about 10 yards took off the deer's jaw.

The kill shot was a matter of inches from the head.

The rifle was way off zero and I don't think any chambering would have made a difference.

Rmocarsky
rmocarsky is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 01:42 AM   #5
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,441
honestly

I can't really tell the difference in most any of the "deer rifle" calibers and how a deer might react and the link to an on the spot kill. I hunted a .308 exclusively for about 10 years, and am back to using it again. Got the .270 bug too, .44 mag carbines, 7.62x39 carbines and .30-30's, oh yeah, and my Dad's .243. They might drop, and they might run 100 yds, or only 50....or 5. And going up in power won't change that......till maybe .50 BMG.

There may be something to how close the bullet passes to the spine.

I think the muzzle blast causes some to bolt.....and run till they can't. I shot one with a bow that flinched, then kept feeding...till it tipped.
bamaranger is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 10:31 AM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 2,125
rmocarsky: You would think the older we get and as our hunting skills get honed. The less likely we would encounter this type of experience. Not so my friend. Many times in my life (67) I've walked up on them still alive after I've shot. A few times I've witnessed their urge to survive and tenacious attempts to stand. I've also had deer moan directly at me also. Sorry to say. It's something one doesn't forget. Time doesn't seem to heal over that memory. Well for me it hasn't. Anyway, we all encounter experiences while hunting. Some good. Some not so good. You did the best you could under the circumstances Sir._
__________________
Watch it!!! their both out to get us.
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 10:51 AM   #7
manta49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2011
Location: N Ireland. UK.
Posts: 1,308
I us to do a lot of hunting but every time i went home i had this guilty felling. It got so bad that now i just do target shooting. If i had to shoot something to eat i would but i can go to the shop so i don't.
manta49 is offline  
Old October 13, 2012, 08:11 PM   #8
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,313
Man, Sure Shot, I do hate it when they do that awful moan. Chills my blood.

And Manta, there was a time years ago that I almost quit hunting deer. But I got over whatever that feeling was and got right back to it. Truth be told, these days I don't shoot many deer at all. There's a nice 10 point on my place that I've let walk past me for 2 years (was an 8 pt the first year). If he's a 12 this year, and if I see him, I MIGHT shoot him but probably not. He's good for the gene pool. But...I love shooting coyotes and pigs.
603Country is offline  
Old October 14, 2012, 07:52 AM   #9
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,502
It does happen and I think that when it does, if you don't feel bad about it you shouldn't be hunting at all.

I've never wounded one but was with a buddy who hit one low through both front legs although he thought it was a clean chest shot. After giving her time, we went to get her and found her lying under a tree staring at us. She then got up and ran 100 yards on two broke front legs before she collapsed again and we put her down. I still feel terrible about letting her suffer before we got her.

Anyway, we all owe it to ourselves, and our game to dispatch them as humanely as possible. When that doesn't happen I think it's natural to feel remorse and regret. It's a good reminder that what we do is damn serious buisness.

Keep your head up and thanks for sharing your story.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old October 14, 2012, 10:48 AM   #10
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,207
Quote:
It does happen and I think that when it does, if you don't feel bad about it you shouldn't be hunting at all.
Exactly. All kills are ugly, even the quickest and most humane. I sneak and stalk hunt during the gun deer season in thick cover and many times my shots are under 30 yards. This means I generally witness their last breath. Even the best boiler room shots take a few seconds and the sound of air rushing outta the hole in the side of a dying buck still turns my stomach. Bang flops are no exception and less than perfect shots generally stresses me as much as the animal. One reason I always liked bowhunting. Heart and lung shot deer still run off when hit and between that distance and giving them time to bleed out, they are generally dead by the time you walk up on them.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old October 15, 2012, 02:23 PM   #11
doofus47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: live in a in a house when i'm not in a tent
Posts: 1,330
I don't think any normal person revels in watching another living creature die a slow, painful death. If you've had a hand in that demise by hitting the creature with a car, or shooting it, etc, there should be some feeling of sadness and/or guilt. (Less guilt when the deer runs in front of my car, but still....)

You're normal, mate.
__________________
I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.
doofus47 is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 08:10 AM   #12
cnimrod
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 24, 2009
Location: NJ/NY
Posts: 144
Once in

37 years of hunting, not to be flippant Rmocarsky, but you're lucky. I'm 9 years behind you and have made more than one ugly kill. I can relate to all the sentiments expressed above and especially as I've gotten older every kill is tinged with a little regret. As I've tried to explain to my non-hunting and some anti-hunting friends I love the hunting part but we (I hope most hunters feel this way) are hardly the cold blooded killers some would believe. I often argue hunting makes one much more appreciative of life in general we've seen death and dying up close and personal. It isn't easy and we try with all respect to our game to make it as quick and painless as possible. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way. Check our David Petersen's "A Hunters Heart" he says it better than I can.
Good luck and safe hunting all - Cliff
cnimrod is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 10:31 AM   #13
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 3,399
Profiency with our rifles is what I preach most in my hunting party,also safety.
When my children and I take to the field we have the perfect shot coursing through our minds and how to prepare ourselves for the shot, sometimes even the best layed plans get goofed up. I explained this in detail to each of my hunting partners (kids) that even with all the practice they have been through the entire off-season there is always a chance for an ugly kill, it doesn't seem to bother them at this point, and the bottom line here is we don't take chances with iffy shots or bad presentation (from the animal) shots, we wait for certain shots and if they don't give us the right presentation we pass, no questions asked.

A couple years back we had a nice fat doe in an open pasture, kinda jogging about but she would never stop, giving us a chance to take her. The range was only about 100 yds but she never would stop and finally she left the pasture,with four of us standing there in disbelief, and when none of the kids shot I knew from that point my message of perfect presentation had been absorbed by all of them, I'm pretty happy for that, and blessed too.
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 12:48 PM   #14
publius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2005
Location: Mississippi/Texas
Posts: 2,457
I've been lucky enough to only lose one deer in my lifetime, in the snow of all things! Shot a doe with a .338! and got lung ( found lots of bright pink blood). Easily tracked it in the snow for about 100 yards and jumped it. Tons of blood where it was laying down. Started back on his trail then decided to come back in about 30 minutes to make sure we didn't jump it again. Got back on her trail, not nearly as much blood but easily trackable. Found another spot where it layed down and bled. After that there was no more blood and it's almost impossible track w/o blood there because it's a deer zoo. Me, and 3 others searched for an hour, no joy. Only thing I could figure out is that I must have hit one lung and when it lay down it slowed it's heart rate and the cold snow froze the wound. It undoubtedly started bleeding againat some point but it wasn't within 300 yards of where we found last blood. I felt bad about it, and would feel bad about any of your experiences. Think of the animals that get eaten alive by wolves, mtn. lions, and coyotes. I know I would rather bleed to death instead of being eaten alive.
__________________
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself." Mark Twain
publius is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 01:04 PM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I really think we get pretty excessive in our pursuit of "humane" kills.

These aren't people we're shooting. They don't have families who miss them, they're not aware of what death is, their souls aren't going to heaven or hell when we kill them, they're not "giving us" their meat as if we have to worship them or give them thanks.

Those "big eyes" we think we see in them are a myth that comes from movies like Bambi and Lion King, to name just a couple.

They're animals. They react by instinct. They aren't trying to preserve their lives because they want to see their kids tomorrow or they've got to provide for their families or they've got plans next Tuesday.

They're animals. They kill each other without a thought of pity or mercy. When one of them dies, the others don't even know it existed within moments.

Predators will tear pieces off their prey and wait for it to bleed to death, and start eating it BEFORE it dies, tearing the entrails out of still living prey. It's not immoral. It's how animals work.

We are humans. Yes, we are responsible for overseeing the earth and all it's abundance but it is no more immoral for us to kill an animal than it is to kill a plant. Causing pain on purpose is a moral flaw in a person. Causing pain on purpose is the moral problem.

Reasonably trying to avoid causing pain is moral. Some times things happen. Some times we make a bad shot. Some times the animal moves at the wrong time. Some times we take a shot we shouldn't have taken.

These aren't people. These emotional reactions we have, years later, over making a bad shot on an animal are manufactured by our society and there's no sense to it.

These are animals. They live and die brutal lives with or without us and there is no morality involved.

Yes, make your best effort. No, don't act like you ran over your neighbors kid. These are animals we're talking about, not people.
__________________
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 October 16, 2012, 02:44 PM   #16
rickyrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2010
Location: Mesquite Jungle Desert, West Texas, USA
Posts: 2,467
There are very few if not any instant kills from a rifle aside from scrambling the brain. Heart lung shots are certainly not instant. The animal may fall in place and by the time you travel 300 yards to the animal, it's probably dead by then.

For some strange reason coyotes die very quickly, most other animals there is some period of time before death completes. The animal may very well be unconscious during most of the process.
__________________
Navin R. Johnson: "He hates these cans!!!! Stay away from the cans!!!!"
rickyrick is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 04:14 PM   #17
Iron Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 346
Wow Brian, you have a bit of a cold streak in you.

If you think animals are just that you should have been at my house last night. I was walking my dog (a little Yorkie...that I got when my daughter moved back home, but when she left the dog stayed) when she discovered three little kittens that had been abandoned by someone on the side of the road in my neighborhood. She was very gentle with them. I called my wife who arrived with a box and we took the little creatures home. We fed the babies when they cried but you could tell there was true distress on the face of the dog. She was doing everything she could to comfort the kittens, even to the point of trying to get into a position to nurse them.

Now, if they were just animals with no thought or feeling, why would an animal of a different species demonstrate compassion to another species that is usually a competitor and enemy?

I have a cat too, and she acted like she wanted to kill the kittens, but the Yorkie stood up to her and protected them. She never left their sides (until I took them to the vet this morning so they could be adopted). Needless to say I was surprised.

While I believe there is a circle of life and we are in a predator / prey relationship with other species, I find it difficult to say with absolutes that animals think one way or another.

Dolphins and whales have demonstrated complex pod behaviors that shows sympathy, support, and assistance.

Deer aren't the brightest animals and the size of their eyes are due to evolution and the need for nocturnal survival. But I don't hazard to guess what they think or how they feel.

I'm with the OP on this one and agree that an ugly kill is painful for the hunter and the hunted. I would think there would be something wrong with him if he didn't feel that way.
Iron Man is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 04:34 PM   #18
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 6,984
Quote:
Unfortunately I don't think any caliber would have made a difference because the first shot (aimed at the heart/lung area) just glanced off the spine just before the tail and had very little penetration, but shattered bone and I believe made useless the deers hind legs.
Bullets travelling fast enough to generate significantly more shock than the Commie .30 Short would not have "glanced off the spine" ..... my nephew made a poor shot on his first buck ...... quartering away, and the deer dropped to the shot..... we walked up to him and he was still breathing, so we put a pistol to the base of his skull and punched his ticket. Went to flip him over and saw that he had hit it just forward of the base of the tail (from just over 100 yards with a .270 WIN) ... pelvis was smashed and there was quite a bit of internal bleeding ..... but that deer was all but paralyzed from the eyebrows down.
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 04:52 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Man
I'm with the OP on this one and agree that an ugly kill is painful for the hunter and the hunted. I would think there would be something wrong with him if he didn't feel that way.
I've said many times that we need to do our best to make a clean, quick kill. I've also mentioned several times about being bothered by shots gone wrong. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about being bothered by it YEARS later or "looking in those big doe eyes", as if there's emotion and understanding there, like you're about to pull the plug on your mother.

I've rescued many a kitten in my time (have two now) and cried when a family dog dies but that's OUR emotion, not theirs. I could tell you stories about family dogs that would make you cry and you don't know me or my dogs, but that's not what we're talking about here.

These animals we're killing aren't aware of their lives in the way we are, they don't mourn for each other, they aren't afraid to die in the sense of looking forward to life like we are.

How many times have we seen a group of deer in a field and one gets shots, drops where it stands and after a few seconds of looking around, the rest go right back to eating like the other never existed? Ever seen a deer walk right by another one that's dead like it wasn't even there? Ever watched a doe when her fawn gets shot or a fawn when the doe gets shot? I've watched both the doe and fawn walk away from the other as if they never existed.

I don't have a "cold streak". I'm probably one of the more outwardly emotional guys you could meet, but there are limits. Mourning over a kill gone wrong years later is over the limit. If we have to mourn like that, we shouldn't be killing in the first place. "We" as humans, not as individuals. If an animal is worth mourning to that extent, it shouldn't be killed.
__________________
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 October 16, 2012, 04:59 PM   #20
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 6,984
Quote:
How many times have we seen a group of deer in a field and one gets shots, drops where it stands and after a few seconds of looking around, the rest go right back to eating like the other never existed? Ever seen a deer walk right by another one that's dead like it wasn't even there? Ever watched a doe when her fawn gets shot or a fawn when the doe gets shot? I've watched both the doe and fawn walk away from the other as if they never existed.
On the contrary, Pizza- I've seen fawns refuse to leave a fallen sibling or mother and a buck actually try to defend a dead doe (that was interesting!) I'm not saying there was an emotional attachment, but the fawns did not know what else to do, and the buck was in full rut- he'd have mounted her if she wasn't laying on the ground.....
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 05:02 PM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
Examples that support my point rather than refute it. No emotion/saddness or moral duty, just instinctive reaction.

The emotion is ours and it doesn't come from modern generations being "enlightened" or something, it comes from humanizing animals, thanks to the likes of Walt Disney and others.
__________________
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 October 16, 2012, 05:40 PM   #22
Tinner666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2012
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 349
I've had a bad kill. It eventually fades emotionally, but not as a memory in general.
Not because of that, but because I'm lazy, I've quit hunting for the most part. I got to where I'd think before pulling the trigger and ask myself if I really in the mood to kill it, gut it, haul and clean it. If the answer was 'Yes." I'd do it. If not, I'd let it walk away.
I still pop one every now and then for food though.
__________________
Frank--
Member, GoA, NRA-ILA, SAF, NRA Life Member
Tinner666 is offline  
Old October 16, 2012, 09:40 PM   #23
Gunplummer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2010
Location: South East Pa.
Posts: 1,505
When I was in school I had Teachers tell me animals can't think. That is about when I figured out a lot of Teachers can't think. Animals are not in an environment that promotes emotional development. I have been in an environment where people actually start to lose their emotions, and it does not take long for most.
Gunplummer is offline  
Old October 17, 2012, 08:15 AM   #24
cnimrod
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 24, 2009
Location: NJ/NY
Posts: 144
Agree Peetza

(I hate Disney too) but if we didn't have those emotions... we'd be animals too I don't dwell on my mistakes but i do remember them and hopefully learn. I do pass up many more iffy shots than i used to. I believe validating the OP's feelings is important. Hunting is by and large a solitary pursuit its nice to come together here and share. While everybody does it their own way I do think we benefit from finding those commonalities. Esp those of us who live among many antihunters

btw i love my dogs but I always remind them they are a potential food source
cnimrod is offline  
Old October 17, 2012, 09:05 AM   #25
BLUETIP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2012
Location: tennessee
Posts: 119
at this time last year i was in Wyoming for my first out west hunt. my buddy mike ,this is his 32 year on the same ranch, his nephew and myself made the 30 hr trip driving straight thru. we were hunting pronghorn and mullies. i quickly learned that shooting off bipods on top of a trunk on my shiny new polaris 850 had nothing but nothing to do with what im used to. which is bench rest paper killing. so my winchester m-70 in .264 win mag with a 6-24x50 black diamond bowed to the pros. the nephew who quickly earned the name legman was shooting a rem 700 in 7mm rum. we chased everything he shot with a front leg dangling in the air. when he shot a jack rabbit with the same results it was more than mike and i could take. we ribbed that dude for the rest of the hunt. things didnt come together so well while chasing the mullie for mike tho. while coming up out of a draw the sun blinded him and rolled his 750 polaris. dislocated shoulder, bike laying on top him, and worst of all a bruised ego. so humane kills are not just for the animals. theyre for mike to.
BLUETIP 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 09:28 PM.


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 0.13514 seconds with 7 queries