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Old December 8, 2019, 01:07 AM   #1
Prof Young
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The Neck Shot?

So somewhere recently I read about a guy who likes to take a neck shot when he is hunting whitetail deer. Said it was the drop-them-in-their-tracks shot. Well, yeah it you hit them in the spine as it goes through the neck but it seems to me that there is a lotta ways a neck shot could just lead to a non-fatal horrible injury.

What think you.

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Old December 8, 2019, 01:53 AM   #2
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Neck shot will drop them like a sack of potatoes; you don't have to hit the spine. Broadside, I'll aim at the base of the neck so if I hit a little a further back I'm still making a high shoulder shot. If the deer is facing me, and is more than a 100 yards or so, I'll wait until it lowers its head and again aim for the base. For me, I want to be less than 200 yards when going for the neck. Inside of that, it's almost a guaranteed kill shot from an accuracy standpoint. YMWV.
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Old December 8, 2019, 02:27 PM   #3
big al hunter
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I am not a fan of the neck shot. If it is a good spine hit, it is instant. If not, not so much.

I have not used neck shot on a deer, but I have on an elk. I was tracking a bull I had already shot with a muzzle loader. Hit both lungs on a broadside shot at about 10 feet. When we located him he was bedded, his head was up and watching us at 20 yards. I took very careful aim from a sitting position. The neck was the only vital spot I had as a viable target. The bullet scraped the bone as it passed. The bull jumped up and ran off. We found him a few yards into the trees, and another shot finished him.

Not every neck shot will have the same results. I will only use it when forced to on a previously wounded animal. The spine is a small target and hunting is rarely a time that I have a stable bench to shoot from. I can usually get fairly stable with improvised rests and such, but occasionally it happens too fast to get set up. But that is usually very close range and stable rests are not needed.

If my situation had been with a modern rifle it may have ended different. Others have had different results and have a different opinion. To each his own.
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Old December 8, 2019, 03:26 PM   #4
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I am not a fan of the neck shot. If it is a good spine hit, it is instant. If not, not so much.
Agreed ..... I hit my buck this year in the neck ..... bullet hit the spine and he did go down like a sack of potatoes ..... he started to get back up, so the spine may have been damaged, but wasn't severed ..... it still took him several minutes to finally die .....

The spine is a tiny target compared to the chest. Intentionally trying to hit it when there is a bigger, more fragile target (lungs) is being too cute by half.


It was not intentional- led him just a bit too far......
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Old December 8, 2019, 04:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Prof Young View Post
So somewhere recently I read about a guy who likes to take a neck shot when he is hunting whitetail deer. Said it was the drop-them-in-their-tracks shot. Well, yeah it you hit them in the spine as it goes through the neck but it seems to me that there is a lotta ways a neck shot could just lead to a non-fatal horrible injury.

What think you.

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Agreed. With the spread of various wasting diseases, compromising the spinal column is a terrible idea.
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Old December 8, 2019, 04:39 PM   #6
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I hit a buck with my muzzleloader at the base of the neck and shoulder, He jumped a stone wall and died. I do not believe I hit the spine since he didnt drop right there. Bullet went right thru also even at 100 yds. I usually try for a double lung shot but it was in heavy woods and I took the one shot I knew I could hit..
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Old December 8, 2019, 08:02 PM   #7
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Gotta shoot them somewhere. The neck shot can be a really great option. There are pluses and minuses with a neck shot just like with anything, but most of the neck is very deadly. The risk of non-fatal injury is low, I’d argue much lower than a lung shot. A good Marksman takes advantage of what the animal gives them. I’ve done a lot of still hunting for elk in thick cover. Neck shots are an important part of this style of hunting.

The cousin of the neck shot, the head shot, is asking for trouble in my opinion but neck shots are generally a clean miss or a dead ungulate in my experience
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Old December 9, 2019, 12:36 PM   #8
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I’m not a fan of neck shots, personally. But remember that the spine is not the only thing in the neck that will cause a mortal injury when hit. There are also large arteries and veins that will cause exsanguination and cessation of blood flow to the brain, when injured. And don’t forget a tracheal hit that will cause suffocation in short order. And all of these structures are in close proximity to each other in this area. My problem is that, unless the distance is short and the animal is very still, the neck presents a significantly smaller target than the chest.
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Old December 9, 2019, 12:51 PM   #9
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My problem is that, unless the distance is short and the animal is very still, the neck presents a significantly smaller target than the chest.
+1.

Quote:
remember that the spine is not the only thing in the neck that will cause a mortal injury when hit. There are also large arteries and veins that will cause exsanguination and cessation of blood flow to the brain, when injured.
The veins and arteries are so close up to the spine as to be pretty hard to hit either without the temporary cavity/shock wave/bullet fragments affecting one without the other.


Quote:
And don’t forget a tracheal hit that will cause suffocation in short order.
It'd have to be a pretty explosive bullet to destroy and block the trachea.... very little meat around it to offer the necessary resistance to cause the bullet to mushroom/upset..... you are not likely to suffocate them in short order by doing a ballistic tracheotomy- punching a hole in it won't stop it up.
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Old December 9, 2019, 01:16 PM   #10
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Problem with the neck shot being a very small target? I read about all these super small group's guy's shoot, target size shouldn't matter that much. Ya have a 3/4" load at 100yds but at 200 yds ya need a target the size of the lungs? Someone mentioned shooting the neck shot where the neck goes into the shoulder? Well I think if the shot was taken where the neck come's out of the head margin for error goes way down and with a good shot and super accurate rifle that's a pretty good size target! How does anyone hit a sage rat at 200yds? Well that said it's been years since I've neck shot at anything! Used to and it worked very well but then people started talking about how much better the lung shot was and I bought into it. I will say his about the neck shot, at some point your 3/4" or less cartridge is going to open much wider and the lung shot become's a better high percentage shot! If your one of those guy's that thinks 400+ yd shot's are fine, I don't suggest you do much neck shooting.
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Old December 9, 2019, 01:29 PM   #11
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Problem with the neck shot being a very small target? I read about all these super small group's guy's shoot, target size shouldn't matter that much. Ya have a 3/4" load at 100yds but at 200 yds ya need a target the size of the lungs? Someone mentioned shooting the neck shot where the neck goes into the shoulder? Well I think if the shot was taken where the neck come's out of the head margin for error goes way down and with a good shot and super accurate rifle that's a pretty good size target! How does anyone hit a sage rat at 200yds? Well that said it's been years since I've neck shot at anything! Used to and it worked very well but then people started talking about how much better the lung shot was and I bought into it. I will say his about the neck shot, at some point your 3/4" or less cartridge is going to open much wider and the lung shot become's a better high percentage shot! If your one of those guy's that thinks 400+ yd shot's are fine, I don't suggest you do much neck shooting.
Yeah, that sub minute of angle group doesn't matter a whole lot if the shooter can't keep the gun pointed where the bullet needs to go under field conditions ..... either standing on his own hind feet or gettin' into a stable position from which he can still see his target, QUICKLY ..... that tiny group was obtained from a solid bench, and the well defined paper target just stood there until everything was perfect..... seems deer never promise to do that. mine this year jumped up out of some plum bushes right in front and took off running .....
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Old December 9, 2019, 01:35 PM   #12
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A neck shot is not a reliable, humane, one shot kill. It's also a much smaller target. Keeping in mind that most commercial hunting rifles are not capable of those super small group's even on a good day.
"...a tracheal hit..." Is not as quick as destroying the lungs altogether. Suffocation is an extremely painful and slow death too.
People regularly survive neck shots and people are much easier to kill than any game animal.
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Old December 9, 2019, 01:43 PM   #13
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People regularly survive neck shots and people are much easier to kill than any game animal.
To be fair, very few people are shot in the neck, nor anywhere else, with major caliber expanding hunting bullets fired from high powered rifles ...... most people shot at all, in this country, at least, are shot with handguns ..... usually small concealable handguns, and even if the bullet expands at all, it is a very tiny wound track ...... very possible to not be a fatal wound, especially with our modern medical treatment (Trauma Centers) so very near where most of these shootings occur ......
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Old December 9, 2019, 02:36 PM   #14
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A neck shot is not a reliable, humane, one shot kill.
Lol. Hell if it isn't.

Quote:
Keeping in mind that most commercial hunting rifles are not capable of those super small group's even on a good day.
Hell if they aren't
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Old December 9, 2019, 03:10 PM   #15
an Old Shooter
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I will pass up a neck shot for another spot if I can. Two years ago I took a very nice 8 point with a muzzle loader and a heart lung shot. When skinning we found a neck wound a day or so old with clotted blood in the lower part and half way between shoulder and head. The bullet had missed the spine and the major blood vessels. He appeared uninjured and was feeding in a food plot.
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Old December 10, 2019, 01:30 AM   #16
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Someone wants to make neck_ head_ or top of the spine shot's above the front shoulder/s they best be shooting Nosler Ballistic tips or a Hollow point. Anything other bullet tip may garner a long walk to retrieve.

I seldom shoot deer in the ribs. I like those spare ribs for a BIG pot of sauerkraut and potatoes. Best boiled dinner there is on a cold/rainy Fall night.
200 yrds or less you'll witness me aim at the White throat patch or a perfect side to side top of the spine_ either or is my preferences.
Don't like head shots as I've observed a couple big deer get up and actually walk away being shot there. Guaranteed such head wounds will cause total blindness or the complete lower jaw destroyed. Heard tell of a fellow making a head shot upon rolling the dead deer over onto its back in the grass was kicked and charged. Missed the head but deer was hit on one side of horn at its base.
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Old December 10, 2019, 07:36 AM   #17
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Once again someones still living in the past and makes no certain willingness to upgrade his knowledge.
I shot a 75 lb button at 45 yds, with a 130 grn Accubond. My poa, was three inches behind his ear and center of his neck, bang flop, no wiggles or twitch.
In this case I liked the poa because there wasnt any usuable meat wasted.
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Old December 10, 2019, 10:06 AM   #18
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or a perfect side to side top of the spine_ either or is my preferences.
So you'd plaster the front end of the backstrap to save some rib meat? M'kay.
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Old December 10, 2019, 10:11 AM   #19
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I’m a lung shooter. Big kill zone at any reasonable range and always deadly. And it’s never a moving target like a neck or head can be.
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Old December 10, 2019, 11:58 AM   #20
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I prefer the double lung shot, but I take the shot I can make when I have only what is offered. This year I killed one of my antelope with a neck shot, and I did the same thing last year. Why? Because when stalking on open ground you have to get low, and when you are low and the game looks at you the head and neck are very often the only target you'll get. I didn't get a pic of this years neck shot antelope, but I did last years. Here is that buck.

2018 #1 Ant. Buck by Steve Zihn, on Flickr

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Old December 10, 2019, 12:07 PM   #21
Don Fischer
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Originally Posted by Sure Shot Mc Gee View Post
Someone wants to make neck_ head_ or top of the spine shot's above the front shoulder/s they best be shooting Nosler Ballistic tips or a Hollow point. Anything other bullet tip may garner a long walk to retrieve.

I seldom shoot deer in the ribs. I like those spare ribs for a BIG pot of sauerkraut and potatoes. Best boiled dinner there is on a cold/rainy Fall night.
200 yrds or less you'll witness me aim at the White throat patch or a perfect side to side top of the spine_ either or is my preferences.
Don't like head shots as I've observed a couple big deer get up and actually walk away being shot there. Guaranteed such head wounds will cause total blindness or the complete lower jaw destroyed. Heard tell of a fellow making a head shot upon rolling the dead deer over onto its back in the grass was kicked and charged. Missed the head but deer was hit on one side of horn at its base.
Any head shot you saw a deer walk away from was the result of poor placement! Not saying I would take a head shot but it s a very small target. Only ever made one and the bullet, 175gr from 7mm Rem Mag, went in the back of the head and completely cleaned out the head shoving everything out the nose. A broken jaw is very bad placement! At the end of the day, the value of the shot you take is going to rely almost entirely on your shot placement. Largest and easiest target to hit is the lungs!
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Old December 10, 2019, 03:56 PM   #22
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I'm not opposed to neck shots, if the hunter knows the proper hold.
But I do avoid them.

I'd rather just take a head shot, if I'm opting for CNS instead of vitals.
Depending upon the angle of the animal, it's arguably actually a bigger target.
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Old December 10, 2019, 04:51 PM   #23
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I rarely go for a neck shot. I shoot out of a stabilized elevated blind. (Guy cables with leg capture) I shoot off a Bogen heavy tripod topped with an Outers Varmiter gun rest. My wobble zone at 100 is well under an inch and I do consistent 1 inch groups with my Bushmaster AR in .450 Bushmaster.

Under 100 yards I prefer headshots. Not something you would do if you are a trophy hunter - as it generally liquifies the skull. I hit a 4 point early this season and it hydrauliced the eyes out of the skull like tennis balls. Sorta comical.

Zero meat wasted. I like that part.

Past 100 I use heart/lung. It's simply the largest sure target.

I expect to get 5 deer again this year - and have not had to track one in 4 years. That's important to old cripples like me.

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Old December 10, 2019, 05:37 PM   #24
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Neck shots with a muzzleloader are not as effective as a high velocity modern bullet, as far as the damage done and shock done to the animal. I do neck shots often, using a 6.5 Creedmore with 123 Gr. Hornady SST bullets and it is VERY effective. I use the same combo on a lot of hogs, shooting them in from the center of the front leg or forward of that area...with lots of success due to CNS damage. Using a muzzleloader, I prefer the old double lung shots on deer though.
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Old December 11, 2019, 09:08 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
I rarely go for a neck shot. I shoot out of a stabilized elevated blind. (Guy cables with leg capture) I shoot off a Bogen heavy tripod topped with an Outers Varmiter gun rest. My wobble zone at 100 is well under an inch and I do consistent 1 inch groups with my Bushmaster AR in .450 Bushmaster.

Under 100 yards I prefer headshots. Not something you would do if you are a trophy hunter - as it generally liquifies the skull. I hit a 4 point early this season and it hydrauliced the eyes out of the skull like tennis balls. Sorta comical.

Zero meat wasted. I like that part.

Past 100 I use heart/lung. It's simply the largest sure target.

I expect to get 5 deer again this year - and have not had to track one in 4 years. That's important to old cripples like me.

450 Bushmaster is pretty good at DRT.
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