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Old January 10, 2013, 05:25 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,324
If the opportunity presents itself (positioning, range, wind, etc), I'll take a head or neck shot, any day. I very much prefer dropping the animal right in its tracks, with no suffering.

But, if I'm not 100% confident the shot will work, I move to the heart/lungs.
Under some circumstances, I might even compromise further.

On this year's Elk hunt, for example, I was one of only two people on the mountain, that saw anything other than a spike or cows (and that second person was with me). The big bull that I didn't get a shot at and the little 6x6 bull I dropped, were the only sightings of "real" bulls, over a 9-day period.

The hunting conditions made it obvious, from day one, that we had to take what we could get, or we may go home to a year of empty freezers.
I didn't have any of the preferred 'traditional' shots available for my bull. So, I shot through a tree, and put a 275 gr bullet through his liver and diaphragm.
When he reacted to the shot, and moved, I had an opportunity to drop him with a neck shot (through another tree ).

The liver shot was absolutely fatal (and the torn diaphragm, preventing him from breathing properly); but the neck shot dropped him in his tracks, cut off all blood flow to his brain, and stopped CNS activity. Lights out.

Neither shot makes me happy, but he was still dead quicker than many heart/lung shots I've witnessed; and our camp had the only bull to come off that mountain over a 9-day period.

I do my best to minimize any suffering for the animal, and to drop it right in its tracks. But, I can feed my family for almost a year, with one Elk; and an Antelope may last several months. (I haven't hunted deer for a while.)

Head and neck shots are great, if they'll work. But, if there's any doubt, I turn to whatever else will be effective.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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