Coup De Grace?


December 31, 2008, 05:31 PM
This is sort of a strange question, but one I haven't been able to find a suitable answer for. My buddy and I were reading about deer hunting (I've gone once years ago, didn't get a deer and he's never gone) and have come across the subject of a deer that isn't quite dead. It recommends that you slit the throat open to allow it to bleed out, but he read somewhere that you can also shoot it in the head to kill it (and that would probably be the more humane thing to do also I imagine). However I then read (yeah i know we need to talk to someone instead of read, but I know no one who hunts) that ideally you should allow the animal to bleed out so the meat will not taste like liver. What (if anything) is the "proper" answer for this question? Have any of you had a experience where you had to finish it off, and if so what is the best, quickest and safest method to do so? Once again, thanks in advance.

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Art Eatman
December 31, 2008, 05:46 PM
I've read about this "bleed out" thing, but I never bothered. If Bambi's not totally ruined when I get up to him, I just bust his neck and have done with it. Since I rarely ever carried a pistol, I just used a second shot from my rifle.

FWIW, a heart/lung hit generally has Bambi bleeding internally. Bunches of blood.

The meat was always good, whether neck shot or heart/lung shot. It really does help a lot to know what you're doing in the field-dressing, the skinning and butchering--and, of course, the cooking. :)

December 31, 2008, 06:02 PM
It is a really poor idea to slit a wounded deer's throat, for a couple reasons.

1. Even if the deer is down you may not be sure how "down" it is. The instant you touch it - it could hammer you with antlers and/or slice the Holy Deuteronomy out of you with this sharp hooves. I've seen both of those events happen.

2. As Senator Eatman has said - a good hit (heart and/or lungs) with a high-powered rifle or a broadhead arrow causes so much blood loss that a deer will be "bled out" in a matter of a couple minutes, and gutting it will leave no doubt.

3. If the deer is a doe or a buck that you don't care about having mounted - simply shoot it in the head. From the side that would be at the base of the ear. From the front put it between its' eyes and from the back put it between its' ears and on a line even with the base of the ears

4. If it is a buck that you want to save the head and rack for mounting - shoot it through the shoulders at the top of the shoulders. Shoot it twice there if need be. There isn't enough meat in that part of the deer to be worth letting it suffer several minutes.



Friendly, Don't Fire!
December 31, 2008, 06:14 PM
I would also say a shot to the head (with a handgun, if possible just to keep the mess to a minumum).

I agree that you never know just how wounded the deer really is. It may be getting a second wind, ready to jump up and run off! One shot to the head would prevent any such thing from occurring.

December 31, 2008, 07:23 PM
Yeah I've seen too many videos of deer beating people up to be entirely comfortable with the idea of cutting one's throat, but thought I'd check to see what you all thought :D

December 31, 2008, 08:54 PM
"Cut it's throat", yes, but only if you jump on it's back with your knife between your teeth. :rolleyes:

Read any of the accounts of the african hunters and they all advise putting a final shot in it's head regardless of how dead you think it is. Granted we're not dealing with "dangerous" game, but if you know it's still alive, stay clear and shoot it again.

I think we've all seen that video of "When animals attack". Anybody who has seen that deer beat the holy hell out of that guy (while his wife took perfectly calm pictures I might add) should have plenty of respect for a whitetail.

I always poke them in the face with my rifle barrel to be sure they're deceased.

December 31, 2008, 09:37 PM
I put my blade in at the back of the jaw and push down and away, laying open their throat to the bone.
the lose conciousness almost immediatly with no blood going to the brain.
Thats only if theheart is stil beating.

I throw away most of the heads, after I cut out the tounge.

Never had a difference in taste, bled out or not.

January 1, 2009, 01:53 AM
"...and/or slice the Holy Deuteronomy ..." And that's being polite. If Bambi isn't dead, he can gut you with his feet, shoot him again, with your rifle. Don't assume that any game is dead when you walk up to it. The guys on the hunting shows poke the carcass for a reason. Approach from the back too.
Like Art says, how any game tastes depends entirely upon how it is dealt with in the field.
"...will not taste like liver..." Must be dipped in flour and gently fried in butter and served with with carmelized onions and bacon. And not well done. Lots of hunters eat the liver, heart and kidneys of a deer in camp. Mind you, a deer liver isn't those wee slices of calves liver you get in the supermarket.

January 1, 2009, 10:52 AM
To my deer hunting mentors(dad and grandpa) wasting a bullet on a downed animal that could be approached reasonably safely was a cardinal sin. Early on I was taught how to safely(in their eyes) approach the deer from behind, place one foot on the animals shoulder, grab an ear or an antler with one hand while slitting the throat with the other. The thought was that the animal couldn't kick you without rolling or turning and in doing that, would push you away. Same if the animal tried to get up. 45 years later I still use the method if need be. Since I'm not nearly as conservative with my ammo as they were, nowadays, I generally shoot 'em again in the head or neck, but there still are times when this is not practical...i.e. trailing a wounded archery/gun deer after dark when shooting it again after legal hunting hours would be illegal, and allowing it to suffer needlessly would be(IMO) unethical.

Like others here, I've found that food sources, weather, amount of stress the animal endured before death and how the meat was processed/handled has more effect on how the meat tastes, than whether or not it was "bled" properly.

BTW..........if you're gonna attempt to slit a deers throat you best have a good sharp knife. They don't appreciate bein' sawed on by a dull knife.

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