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Old November 29, 2006, 01:07 PM   #39
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3,482
Like I said, First, you take the shot that you're comfortable with. You are the best judge of your own shooting skills.

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.

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.

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.

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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