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Old January 12, 2013, 08:06 AM   #26
phil mcwilliam
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A good neck shot will break the neck / cut the jugular & often drop an animal quicker than a fatal heart/lung shot, which may cause the animal to run before expiring.
Problem is the quick instant drop that a neck shot offers, if done incorrectly can result in a throat shot (particularly a broadside shot), which may not be a fatal shot especially on larger deer.
I guess you have to sum each potential shot prior to taking it. I've taken various species of deer with neck shots, but prefer heart/lung as a target if I have the choice.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:09 AM   #27
Strafer Gott
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Look at the deer skeleton. Just a tick on any of those spinal facia bones is going to bowl them over with a busted back. The spine is mighty wide in some places, and easy to hit. That's what makes those high shoulder shots so effective. With a big slow round like a .45-70, or even a little slow round like a .30-30, you can miss the range estimate, and still bring home some meat.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:00 AM   #28
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Strafer, I'm not a fan of spine shots.
I once hit high into the spine of a deer. (downhill shot, I misjudged placement)[BTW, this was using a .45 cal. muzzle loader with patched round ball.]
Yes, the deer dropped where it stood but was still very much alive. This was very disturbing as I prefer quick one shot kills. It was the only deer I have had to use a second shot to dispatch.
I thank everyone for all the replies to my question. I have learned a lot. I have decided to stay with my normal heart-lung placement. But, I may consider a neck shot if the circumstances dictate it to be the best choice.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:11 PM   #29
Strafer Gott
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Wow, a .45 PRB and you brought the meat home. I'm impressed. A second shot is one thing. Loosing game is what chafes.
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Old January 12, 2013, 02:15 PM   #30
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I shoot for the vitals. Personally im not that good of shot to guarantee a quick humane kill in the neck. I hunt big timber, lots of saplings and branches to risk a wounded animal shot. I double lung or shoot for the heart. If its a neck shot, that animal gets a free pass.
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Old January 12, 2013, 02:23 PM   #31
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Strafer, thanks for the compliment. But a .45 prb in a traditional ml rifle is a very effective deer killer out to about 100 yards. Bigger prb calibers will take much bigger game. I would love to take an elk and/or moose with my .54.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:02 PM   #32
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I've only shot at the neck of 1 doe because I didn't have a better shot. She was broadside and another deer was blocking her body. It was a shot I knew I could make and she dropped DRT. I aim small at the largest target available unless I have no other choice as it was in her case.
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Old January 12, 2013, 07:18 PM   #33
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Where I hunt your lucky to get a 100 yard shoot,,, That being said I shoot neck if deer is standing still & with scope only YMMV ; )

There's a GATOR in the bushes & She's Callin my name
>Molly Hatchett<
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:21 PM   #34
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Another high shoulder fan,But nothing wrong with a good neckshot both get it done pretty quick.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:36 PM   #35
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I mean no offense to anyone, but the heart/lungs of a deer present a dramatically larger lethal target than the spine in the neck (or the back). Of course a perfect spine hit will drop a deer instantly and a close to the spine hit will drop a deer temporarily. With more than 45 years of deer hunting experience it is, in my opinion, unethical to aim at the spine if a heart/lung shot is possible. I have NEVER met a guide or outfitter (in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming or Montana - the states in which I have hunted) who suggested a neck shot rather than a heart/lung shot. My closest hunting buddy grew up in a place where neck shots were the norm. I have helped him track his wounded neck-shot whitetails for miles without recovering them. We have hunted elk, mule deer and black bear together. He no longer aims for the neck. Check this out to evaluate lethal target areas of a deer:
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Last edited by lefteye; January 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM.
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Old January 13, 2013, 03:14 AM   #36
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lefteye, I respect your opinion, but would like to point out:

Most guides set their standards and recommendations for the "least common denominator." They rarely know what a hunter's skill will be, or how they'll react if presented with the trophy of a lifetime. They have to base their recommendations on the worst of the bunch. So, they have to recommend the 'safe' shot.

When we're out there on our own, though... We only have ourselves to make that decision. I take the best shot I know I can make. Sometimes it may be a head or neck shot. Other times, I may play it safe with a heart/lung or double-lung shot. And, I'll pass if it's questionable, altogether.

Slob hunters that can't hit what they're aiming at, are not representative of what some one else is capable of.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:11 AM   #37
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The little button buck I took this year on opening day, I shot in the neck as to no ruin any eatin parts.. he weighed 62 lbs dressed, shot was 50 yds or less, off trigger sticks tri-pod. He wasn't much bigger than the 130 grain Accubond I sent through his neck. fine eatin though...
Thanks for coming!
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Old January 13, 2013, 05:04 PM   #38
Jack O'Conner
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I tend to get a little excited when aiming at a deer. So I go for the larger chest target so that a little wobble still delivers a dead animal.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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