The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 29, 2006, 11:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Location: Country of Origin: Texas
Posts: 192
Instant drops.

With deer season opening this weekend, and many a thread having to do with "instant drops" on game like deer, hogs, bear (best if used with a 9mm ), etc... I started this thread for everyone to discuss what they think causes animals to run off and others to drop.

This is just an idea that I had, could be true, could be total bs...

At the university I attend we were talking about cellular respiration and oxidative metabolism, which after I'm done showing off my big vocabulary, means how the cells in an animals body produce energy. Most of the time it combines food (glucose) with oxygen to produce energy; however, in a process called "fermentation" the food is converted without oxygen into energy. This means that even with a double lung shot and 0 oxygen in an animal's system, their cells can still produce energy and they can still run away.

So if you have any ideas or theories why some animals drop and others run, for the most part this is talking about non-CNS shots, please share them here thanks!

Last edited by Venison_Jerkey32; September 29, 2006 at 11:05 PM. Reason: usual
Venison_Jerkey32 is offline  
Old September 29, 2006, 11:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 26, 2005
Location: Houston area
Posts: 1,823
cool question!

Well, you said "fermentation" and all I could think of was "wine".... shows where MY brain is.

You are not going to find any molecular biologists on here to debate this, I don't think, LOL....but it is my utterly unscientific, totally idiosyncratic hunch (is that enough qualifiers?) that it has to do with the individual animal, much as it has to do with the individual human in a shooting.

There are a zillion variables here. Is the animal ill? Has it just been bred? Does it have CWD? WHERE was it hit when it was shot? How old is it? I just saw a show on one of the outdoor channels this evening in which somebody shot a deer and it ran, but it was clear from the moment of the shot that it was a fatal injury (deer jumped up, hunched up, white tail showing). It ran off a six-foot overhand into a gully and there was found dead. The shot was a killing shot. When they found the animal, they realized it had been injured fighting and had a broken jaw (not acquired in the fall or the shoot) and it would have died that winter even if it had not been shot by the hunter. It ran. Did the pain it was already in have anything to do with it? I don't know.

Scientifically, I don't think you could tease out enough of those variables to be able to say with any certainty what's going on there. Apart from shooting twin deer who have literally had identical food, health care, etc., and seeing if they react the same, I can't imagine how to even begin to prove your hypothesis.

With humans there is always the possibility that media have "taught" a shooting victim that they are "supposed to" fall down if shot. But sometimes people who have been shot don't even realize they HAVE been! Is it possible that a deer may not recognize it's been shot until it "piles up" where it stands?

You've certainly raised an interesting question, and if y'all figure out a way to research this, I hope we get to find out the results!

I will not be a victim

home on the web: (my webpage) (Orthodoxy)

"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
springmom is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 10:47 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: March 19, 2006
Location: Country of Origin: Texas
Posts: 192
Springmom, it is the same fermentation that produces wine, just slightly different in animals.

I also think that with an older animal, they have developed reflexes that the younger animals might still have to "think" about, which could cause the younger animal to drop, where the older animal will just run despite the fact that he is shot or not.

I would relate this to someone who practices drawing a handgun over and over and over. If that person and another person who just got a chl were both suddenly shot at the same time, I would wager that person number 1 would instinctively draw before he even realized what he was doing. In contrast person number 2 might think "Oh my God I've been shot!" and forget all about his handgun (because he is new).

One time I was going to guitar lessons, and my instructor's house was on the same way to my church. So, after driving for 30 minutes, I realized that I pulled into the parking lot of my church instead of my guitar teacher's house. Because I had driven that road a hundred times, I wasn't consciously thinking "left turn here, right turn there" I just did what was natural.

My point is, I think that deer can develop habits like running when startled, just like humans can develop habits that become second nature to them.
Venison_Jerkey32 is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 10:51 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2005
Location: Philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 394
I would assume it has a lot to do with adrenaline. A buck that is in full rut might run 100+ yards because it is loaded on adrenaline and testostorone, but a doe might just drop on the spot. This is just my uneducated guess.
si vis pacem, parabellum
dave0520 is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 11:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: January 9, 2005
Location: Moses Lake WA
Posts: 1,001
It depends a lot on how much the CNS is impacted. Every neck shot I've ever accomplished resulted in an instant drop. Only one managed to get back up. That was an 800 Lb moose shot with a 90gr 32.20. The bullet didn't manage to break the neck bones, yet the animal couldn't/didn't run after getting up. A 240 gr .45 autorim behind the ear finished that job, though.

Armed and Safe: Not just a theory

If it time to bury them, it is time to dig them up.
Remember, "Behind every blade of grass."
armedandsafe is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 06:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: August 14, 2006
Location: Browns Summit NC
Posts: 2,580
I think we are probably over complicating this.Some men can run 100 yards in 9 seconds so you know a deer can.I don't think that is long enough for anaerobic metabolism to have much to do with it.I suspect all deer have enough stored energy in their cells to run 100 yards plus.If they don't, I think it is because the injury destroyed their nervous system as has been said, or they may not associate the wound with anything to run from.Not uncommon to shoot a deer and the others just stand around.Thats the reason you wait a few minutes before you approach after the shot.I shot a buck a few years ago that fell right down.Me,being a DA waltzed up to him,and when he saw me he got up and ran 100 yards.If I had waited even 2 minutes he would have expired right there.I have shot a few deer in the head and a few in the neck which eliminates this problem,but I was right on top of them with a good rest.I am not a good enough shot to try this in most hunting situations.Whatever the reason,with a heart lung shot the deer will often run 75 yards plus depending on who knows what.Oxygen starvation to the brain is what stops it.

Last edited by ZeroJunk; September 30, 2006 at 07:07 PM.
ZeroJunk is offline  
Old October 2, 2006, 06:52 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: January 16, 2006
Posts: 162
I cant prove it, but from what i've seen the attention level of the animal is the major factor in drt or not. If the animals dont know i am there they are more likely to fall over dead than one that has busted me. The animal that has spotted you and is on alert may run for 150 yds with the same shot that dropped its clueless companion.
Like I said, I cant prove it, but it sure seems that way .
hossdaniels is offline  
Old October 2, 2006, 07:17 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 12,831
The fermentation you are talking about happens inside the muscles, producing lactic acid as a byproduct, just like when you climb a mountain. It's lactic acid that makes your muscles sore. Fermentation works, but very slowly, and in warm-blooded animals it just supplements metabolic oxygen requirements. There is not enough energy produced to sustain an animal, especially one that has been double-lung shot.

When an animal is injured (shot), the first response is usually a parasympathetic response ("fight or flight" response along with copious adrenaline release), along with a corresponding increase in heart rate (using even more oxygen). If the animal has been lung-shot, the CNS will quickly give out due to hypoxia (oxygen levels being too low) within a short time (typically about 5-10 sec), and at that point, it doesn't matter anymore. With the CNS going, equilibrium goes, animal falls over, then suffocates.

However, in 5 seconds, that deer can cover 100-150 yds into the ugliest, nastiest stuff it can find, so keep an eye on it. Or it might just stand there with a perplexed look on its face until it gets woozy and topples over.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old October 2, 2006, 07:23 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: November 6, 2001
Location: west texas
Posts: 772
I have shot many deer with the ol' 30'06. Anytime I have perforated the heart and lungs, the deer has dropped DRT. Not a twitch, and not another breath.

I have seen many others shot with .270's and .308's (no, I'm not knocking either) and have witnessed short runs, 30-40 yards.

I'm sure there is a first time for everything, but I have never seen a whitetail deer take more than 50-75 yards after a good shot from any caliber (including .223).

Unfortunately, I have witnessed a few bad shots that resulted in missing deer, and yes, unfortunately one of those was from me.


stinger is offline  
Old October 3, 2006, 08:52 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3,482
Knocking them down hard seems to help. A good soft-point that will expand and penetrate through lungs and ribs. A good hit that knocks them down is better than a shot that leaves them standing; standing deer run a lot better than knocked-down deer.
Fremmer is offline  
Old October 3, 2006, 09:08 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 3,126
I think Hoss is on to something - the animals that seem to run the most are ones that are already alert and spooked. Most of the ones that i've seen shot that are unaware tend to drop very quickly. I guess the 'flight' response is already active in the spooked deer. The last message that their brain sends to their legs at the shot is " RUN!!!!!"

It also help to have a rapidly expanding bullet in the right place too

Any deer well hit with a good bullet in the right spot has the capacity to run 100 yards before collapsing. Some do, some don't..
mikejonestkd is offline  
Old October 3, 2006, 11:01 AM   #12
Junior member
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: The Toll Road State, U.S.A.
Posts: 12,451
I've heard one theory that, if you're bullet just so happens to hit the animal at the exact same moment as the beat of the heart, then the pulse of the blood through the body from the heartbeat, combined the the acceleration/enhancement of said pulse with the bullet's impact with the bloodstream, causes a massive rush of blood which shocks the nervous system (brain, spinal cord), dropping the animal DRT. If shot between heartbeats, then the animal runs a ways before running out of oxygen. So that would make it pure luck, if true, and caliber has very little to do with it, once you reach a certain threshhold adequacy level of caliber.
FirstFreedom is offline  
Old October 3, 2006, 11:27 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 3,126
First freedom,

I heard something similar in a magazine one time but I can't remember where or when.....dang alzheimers.....what were we talking about? Oh yes....hitting at the right moment of the heart beat cycle...

Our local community had a terrible tragedy a few years back, a Rochester Institute of Technology freshman lacrosse player was struck in the chest with a ball and killed on the spot. A local doctor revealed that an impact at the right instant can disrupt the heartbeat rhythm and kill someone or an animal almost instantly.

So it appears that there is evidence to support your post, now how do we shoot at the right moment?

mikejonestkd is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 10:17 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07309 seconds with 9 queries