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Old February 28, 2012, 09:08 AM   #9
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Posts: 11,539
The skull is thickest in the front.
Not necessarily. In some mammals, one of the thicker areas of the skull is the frontal bones. In some, the rear of the skull where you suggested the animal be shot can be thicker. If your upwards rear shot does not pass through the foramen magnum, then it will hit the occiptal or one of the occipital condyles. The occiptial is is often much thicker because of the natural anatomical position of the head relative to the body. The head is supported out in front of the body by the neck muscles that attach primarly to the rear of the skull. In order for the skull to be held in this position with the rear of the skull supporting the rest of the head forward of the muscles, the skull is often thicker there.

On a deer, for example, the frontal bones are thinner than the occipital and the frontal bones are not further protected by much soft tissue, occipital condyles, mastoid processes, or bony ear structures such as the petrosals that are located laterally at the rear of the skull at the corners between the temporal bones and the occipital.

In some seventy years of shooting rifles, I've yet to see any shot into the brain with a high-intensity cartridge which did not result in instant flop.
I am with Art on this. I have not seen a penetrating brain shot on the hogs I hunt that has not resulted in as he called it, the instant flop. Given that wounded hogs often seem to run into some of the thickest and thorniest brush, down into creek bottoms, and further away from me than when they were when shot, I prefer to use brain shots to drop them in place. And speaking of hogs, while they do have a "thick" set of frontal bones, the interior and exterior aspects of the fronts are quite thin and so what make the bone so thick is a large gap between the bones that is filled with soft tissue. Much thicker and comprised of much more bone is the area at the top rear of the skull where the occipital and parietals meet.

MOSFET-Engineer, any of your calibers would work fine for putting down just about any North American mammal. Given that many animals are much more dangerous when injured than not, I would suggest that whatever caliber your choose that it be fired from a long gun which will makie it easier to shoot accurately from a longer distance and hence keeping you safer.
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher." -- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
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