Neck Shots.....


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Plank Road Farm
December 3, 2011, 05:38 PM
Having just read the thread on Liver Shots.....
I have a question of "Where do you shoot when making a Neck Shot?"
I've only been hunting white tail deer for (this is my third year) and have always aimed center of mass behind the shoulder.
Some have dropped right there and others have ran as far as 50 yds.
I'd perfer to make a shot the drops the animal where he stands.
The comments I've read suggest the best to insure that is to make a neck shot.
I've never shot a deer in the neck.
Where exactly do you airm (in front of the shoulder or just under the ear) for that result.
If you miss the spinal cord is the wind pipe just as good?
Don't want to wound the animal and take a chance of not recovering it.
I have always heard that shot placement is the key.
I am just trying to find the optimal "place".
TIA

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rcmodel
December 3, 2011, 05:52 PM
A neck shot that breaks the spine and the deer is DRT.
A neck shot that misses breaking the spine, not so much.

And a deers spine isn't where you think it is.

During the rut, it may not even be where you know it is, due to a bucks swollen neck glands.

In general, it is a very difficult shot to make, or depend on.
So, I wouldn't.

rc

d2wing
December 3, 2011, 06:48 PM
I agree that's very risky and unreliable shot. If you do drop them you have to finish them off when you get to them usually.

matrem
December 3, 2011, 07:56 PM
I don't understand the desire to take neck shots either.

The lungs are far easier to hit than the spine and every bit as deadly, though they may run for a few seconds.

Most folks I talk to that aim there, tell me that their reason for neck shooting is wasting less meat. The fact is, there isn't much meat between a whitetails ribs. Hit a bit too far forward, and yes, some meat is wasted.

X-Rap
December 3, 2011, 08:03 PM
If you pull a COM shot on a deer 6" you still have a dead deer with the posible exception being a low shot. Do the same on a neck or head and you miss or badly wound and depending on the circumstances loose the deer to a horrible death.
A shot for 100 yds and under if you know your gun but at that distance you can put one in the ribs just as easily.

Flintknapper
December 3, 2011, 08:41 PM
In most situations the best shot placement on broadside Deer …remains the Thoracic area.The shot is ideally placed TIGHTLY behind the shoulder… about 1/3 to ½ the way up from the belly.

Sometimes the “on side” front leg will be extended forward better exposing the area… in which case the shot can be placed in the “pocket” formed there.

Anatomically speaking, you can see the reason for the shot preference: (large target, heart, lungs, major vessels all reside there).

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/deer-anatomy-1-1.jpg


BUT, you specifically asked about an anchoring shot “CNS” (Central Nervous System). IMO, you would do well to stay away from the neck and instead use a “High Shoulder Shot”.

BOTH shots require a higher degree of precision than the standard Thoracic shot and should NOT be attempted unless you are confident of your skills.

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/highshouldershot-1.jpg

Caveats aside (but duly noted), the neck of a deer is one part of its anatomy that is frequently moving (or prone to be). IF the deer moves its head/neck just as your shot breaks…the chances of wounding the animal are great.

With the HSS (High Shoulder Shot) you have basically a static target area (assuming the ENTIRE deer isn’t moving). It also affords you slightly more margin for error (Left/Right) than the typical neck shot.

NOTE: Depending upon bullet construction, impact velocity, etc…, the HSS will often result in some loss of otherwise useable meat. Normally…it will involve the upper portions of both shoulders and can even ruin some parts of the Back-Straps. It WILL drop deer in their tracks if properly executed, but as with all things…there is a trade off.

caribou
December 3, 2011, 08:52 PM
I make head and neck shots when ever possible, because I can, and I preferr getting them dead ASAP.

You have the obvious brain and spinal colum to hit, and its not hard at all for me to do such, so I do. Saves meat and avoids runaways with blown lungs, not that they would get away as Im on open tundra, but the further meat runs from the shore , the further I have to carry meat to the boat.

Placement IS everything, a bad shot is a bad shot.

Alot depends on the moment and whats going on.

Flintknapper
December 3, 2011, 09:33 PM
^^^^^^^Yes, besides having to carry the meat farther, you don't want an animal running so far that it gets a build up of lactic and pyruvic acids in the muscle tissues.

Can make for some poor eating.

Art Eatman
December 4, 2011, 12:15 PM
Back in the Dark Ages, my dear ol' dad sez to me, "Son (he called me Son), if you shoot 'em in the white spot, they don't go anywhere."

I was an obedient child.

A sideways view? The spine is about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the neck, but I've found that centering the neck with an '06 or a .243 is just as good. :)

And Dad also sez to me that if I put the cross hairs out in front of a deer's nose when he's running, I'll likely hit somewhere in the neck.

He was right.

But if a nice buck is walking along or in a sort of trot, I'll lead him a wee tad and go for the heart/lung shot. Does? I'll wait until I see one just standing and looking.

bison
December 4, 2011, 12:20 PM
Neck shots on hogs are particularly tough as their spinal cord drops down much lower at the shoulders than you'd think or than that of a deer. I always go for the boiler room.

Frozen North
December 4, 2011, 12:29 PM
This obsession with head and neck shots is silly to me. The best chance you have for a DRT in the real world is a shot through the heart and lungs. No meat is lost, and the shot is nearly 100% effective even if your shot placement isn't.

Neck and high shoulder shots mess up a ridiculous amount of meat.

Head shots will fail you at some point. Heads move around too much.

Why does the most effective and traditional way of doing anything need to be disputed to death?

Next we will be discussing TNT bullets out of varmint rifles.... again

critter
December 4, 2011, 12:42 PM
You MUST remember, too, that the head-neck area is easy for a deer to move VERY quickly. If you linger during the trigger squeeze, the neck may be gone by the time you get around to pulling the trigger.

Ankeny
December 4, 2011, 01:01 PM
Why does the most effective and traditional way of doing anything need to be disputed to death? Because it's the Internet. I have posted this before and I'll post again. According to our local game wardens one of the most problematic shots they encounter is a failed neck/head shot.

Yeah, I know a lot of folks figure the critter is either DRT or it's a clean miss. Problem is all of those clean misses that aren't...

interlock
December 4, 2011, 01:43 PM
This obsession with head and neck shots is silly to me. The best chance you have for a DRT in the real world is a shot through the heart and lungs. No meat is lost, and the shot is nearly 100% effective even if your shot placement isn't.

Neck and high shoulder shots mess up a ridiculous amount of meat.

Head shots will fail you at some point. Heads move around too much.

Why does the most effective and traditional way of doing anything need to be disputed to death?

Next we will be discussing TNT bullets out of varmint rifles.... again
well, in thre real world i live in sometimes i take neck stots. on a roe deer there is a white patch on the front of the neck called the gorget patch. if the animal is under 100 yards away and conditions are right i will take a neck shot. i normally will go for the gorget patch if from the front and the atlas joint it from the back. from the side is little more dificult the shot is taken high on the neck. But, conditions must be right to take these shots. I don't take head shots.

my normal shot selection is through the pocket 1/3 to 1/2 way up the body in line with the rear of the front leg. It does not ruin any meat really and often the deer is drt... but sometimes even with it's heart turned to mince it will make 50 yards.

baylorattorney
December 4, 2011, 02:11 PM
I was a neck shooter growing up and did very well. I'd have shot the shoulder, but the caliber I was using was .222, so a shoulder shot wouldn't do. I'd aim dead center of the neck and that did the job. You may want to aim where the neck meets the shoulder as all the blood vessels bottle neck there or where the head meets the neck. The best part of this is all the meat you'd get (both shoulders in perfect shape) not all bloodied or traumatized. Nowadays I use a .243 and fire where I have more sight picture, but the neck shot was and still is my favorite.


Waste not want not. :)

Plank Road Farm
December 4, 2011, 03:13 PM
I know this question has been asked before.
And I apoligize if it bores some of you to have to read and respond.
But, I enjoy this forum very much and appreciate most of you who don't hesitate to share your experiences and wealth of knowledge to the curious and novice hunter.
That's what this forum is all about, I think.
The comments have been excellant.
Thanks.
PRF

ralphie98
December 4, 2011, 04:14 PM
Not that I defend it, but my dad has been using nothing but neck shots on the closer shots for the last 5 years or so. I've seen deer that he hit pretty low on the neck too and even they would drop right where they were, possibly from the shock I guess. He aims dead center on the neck area.

Personally I like to aim for the Thoracic area that flintknapper posted about but I always end up destroying one of the shoulders (but at least they don't go far after that shot).

Grumulkin
December 4, 2011, 04:18 PM
For a neck shot, you aim at the middle of the neck. As long as you're using a good expanding bullet out of a high velocity rifle even if you don't hit the spine the deer will be DRT. Where I live, if a deer runs very far it will be on another person's property and I won't be able to retrieve it so I like neck shots.

Of the 6 deer I took last year, 4 were neck shots and of those 3 were DRT. The furthest was at almost 300 yards with a 300 Win. Mag. No shot deer were lost. Most of the deer and other large animals I've taken with lung shots were not DRT.

In addition, it is by no means only "failed neck shots" that wound deer.

Ankeny
December 4, 2011, 06:14 PM
In addition, it is by no means only "failed neck shots" that wound deer. That's absolutely true. In fact, I think there are probably more big game animals lost that are shot in the guts or have a leg blown off.

RonSC
December 4, 2011, 07:50 PM
The only time I could justify a neck shot would be on a truly exceptional animal and then only if it was under 100 yards and was the only viable option. A neck shot is a low-percentage shot and in most cases the heart/lung is available. WHY risk a fist-size target when the vital area of the average deer is nearly the size of a dinner plate. Just does'nt make a lot of sense....!

Grumulkin
December 4, 2011, 08:30 PM
This is why it makes sense:

http://www.orchardphoto.com/h29zo107.jpg
-
http://www.orchardphoto.com/h29zo99.jpg
-
http://www.orchardphoto.com/i19zsi91.jpg

Now I would fully agree that if you think "minute of deer" accuracy or "being able to keep all shots within an 8 inch pie plate at 100 yards" accuracy is sufficient, the I would agree that you should not take neck shots and should go for the biggest lethal target there is.

For me neck shots have proven to be high percentage shots and they're DRT with no tracking.

EmbarkChief
December 4, 2011, 10:08 PM
Like most here I learned from my dad. He always shot his in the neck (.243) and instructed me to do the same. Through the years he has averaged about 2 deer per season and for the most part I do the same with the most deer taken in one season at 7 and the least 1. I'm 35 now, shot my first deer at 10. Between my father an myself we have taken about 60 in the past 15 years. With the exeption of about 10 (head shots) these were all shot in the neck. My father lost a deer 4 years ago (bad headshot) and I lost one when I was 14 (bad neckshot). Three weeks ago I shot 2 on the same afternoon hunt, both neck shots with my .280, both bang flops. That's my personal experience with the matter.

caribou
December 4, 2011, 10:42 PM
More than once Ive caught Caribou with bullet wounds, from high power rifles. Healed lungs, healed legs, healed necks, holes in ribs, chunky livers.
Not all shot animals die.

castingdonkey
December 5, 2011, 12:09 AM
Neck shot if they are facing you. It takes the guess out of where on the neck to aim.

caribou
December 5, 2011, 02:14 AM
If you know thee anatomy ofthe animal your hunting, you will much better place the shot. Know your rifle, know your animal, know yourself. The three will meet more often the better you know.

35 Whelen
December 5, 2011, 02:29 AM
This obsession with head and neck shots is silly to me. The best chance you have for a DRT in the real world is a shot through the heart and lungs. No meat is lost, and the shot is nearly 100% effective even if your shot placement isn't.

Neck and high shoulder shots mess up a ridiculous amount of meat.

Head shots will fail you at some point. Heads move around too much.

Why does the most effective and traditional way of doing anything need to be disputed to death?

Next we will be discussing TNT bullets out of varmint rifles.... again


Thank you. I've heard all the "I never miss, I never lose game, my rifle is the most accurate in the world, I know exactly where the spine is, blah, blah, blah" and I'm still not convinced. I've never passed up a lung shot and I still don't eat lung soup.

35W

natman
December 5, 2011, 03:55 AM
This is why it makes sense:


Now I would fully agree that if you think "minute of deer" accuracy or "being able to keep all shots within an 8 inch pie plate at 100 yards" accuracy is sufficient, the I would agree that you should not take neck shots and should go for the biggest lethal target there is.

For me neck shots have proven to be high percentage shots and they're DRT with no tracking.

It must be tough dragging a bench and bags around when you hunt. I suppose the deer can sense the presence of such a crack shot and don't move, just for you.

A classic example of "I'm such a good shot, sensible practices don't apply to me" along with a healthy portion of "I get to insult the marksmanship of anyone whose opinion differs from mine.".

interlock
December 5, 2011, 04:41 AM
It must be tough dragging a bench and bags around when you hunt. I suppose the deer can sense the presence of such a crack shot and don't move, just for you.

A classic example of "I'm such a good shot, sensible practices don't apply to me" along with a healthy portion of "I get to insult the marksmanship of anyone whose opinion differs from mine.".
sometimes on this forum we discuss the levels of accuracy we expect from our hunting gear. I read people talking about 6 inch groups... minute of pie plate.... 4 inch groups. I read about people not practising much... the same box of rifle rounds for several years. 500 yard free hand shots...

The reason i practise a lot, both with .22 and centrefire, I expect MOA accuracy become confident and competent with my rifles shoot off sticks etc. is so that i know i can take the neck shot if required. My rifle deer season is all year long. I shoot lots and lots of deer. I dont shoot runners, i don't neck shoot walking deer often.

I believe we need to work within our own limits. Clearly my limits, with my equipment and skills set are different than some of the minute of pie plate hunters. So i dont need to drag a lead sled and sandbags around the field - and i don't expect everyone to be the same standard.

I am sure we will agree to differ.

Grumulkin
December 5, 2011, 07:20 AM
It must be tough dragging a bench and bags around when you hunt. I suppose the deer can sense the presence of such a crack shot and don't move, just for you.

A classic example of "I'm such a good shot, sensible practices don't apply to me" along with a healthy portion of "I get to insult the marksmanship of anyone whose opinion differs from mine.".
As someone used to say, "if you've got it, flaunt it..."

You have the choice of being picky about how your rifle shoots or accepting the "minute of deer" mentality. In looking at load books, I found that several years ago I was satisfied with 1 inch 100 yard groups out of a rifle but not any longer.

http://www.orchardphoto.com/2010Crow.jpg

You may also be very surprised to learn you don't need a bench with you to make an accurate shot. The above crow was taken at 311 yards using the prone position with me half in and half out of my front door; it was a neck shot. The prone position is very steady as are shooting sticks from the sitting position once you're used to using them.

I'm also with interlock in that I don't shoot runners and I wouldn't take a neck shot on a walking deer since I'm not that good of a crack shot. I also don't shoot anything offhand if I can help it and then only at much shorter ranges.

So, in conclusion, if you're satisfied with "minute of deer" more power to you and you shouldn't take neck shots but that doesn't mean that someone else who has better skills than you is not being sensible or ethical if a neck shot is chosen.

OK, I lied about the crow. It wasn't a neck shot.

natman
December 5, 2011, 08:21 AM
Let me clear something up: I'm NOT advocating "minute of pie plate" accuracy. The fact that several people keep harping on it shows a lack of understanding of the actual issue.

I'm a big advocate of good shooting. I think you should spend the time, money and effort to shoot well.

However, I also advocate shooting at a high percentage target. If you're such a good shot, you can put your bullet in the exact center of the heart just to avoid the chance (theoretical for you, naturally) that the bullet might land an inch or two away from where you intended and still result in a clean kill.

GTS Dean
December 5, 2011, 08:40 AM
My experience:

When the bullet placement is mid-neck, just ahead of the shoulder, the deer crumple in thier tracks, and never twitch. Heart/lung shots have about a 40% chance of running a short distance before dropping.

rodger1950
December 7, 2011, 08:37 AM
I always use neck shots on standing deer if they are within my comfortable bulls eye range. The target would be where the head and the neck meet and in the middle , but i only do it with my H and R ultra slug gun and remington buck hammers. One hole groups at 50 yards. Not bragging, its just a perfect tool. Have shot 18 deer this way and not one has gone more than a foot. Just make sure you can hit that spot.

Sav .250
December 7, 2011, 03:21 PM
Liver shot? neck shot....if that`s all the shot you may have.
Stick with the just behind the shoulder shot. Your job as a hunter is to kill as humanely as possible.
You start getting fancy and the end result might be wounded deer. J s/n.

sKunkT
December 7, 2011, 05:49 PM
For me, I do not limit myself to one type of shot. I primarily shoot for lungs or shoulder blades. If a neck shot is what I've got, it's what I take. I do not do head shots. They are too ugly for me, and I have seen two different deer during hunting season with missing lower jaws before. I have shot quite a few deer with a bow and firearms in the lungs or heart. They have all died, but never within 30 yards. Scapulas and spinal neck shots with a rifle knock them down before they know they are hit. Broadside lung shots ruin the least meat. I say take whatever shot you are comfortable with that will kill the deer quickly. You don't need to be a sub MOA shooter to bust a spine. I'm not, and I've killed plenty of deer- not as many as some, but I've done my fair share.

Zeke/PA
December 7, 2011, 07:32 PM
MOST of the rifle deer kills that I had over the years were in fact neck shots.
It was my Dad's way and it's the way I was taught.
For the most part I hunt sitting on my butt against a tree,rifle across knees.
When a deer appears, knees come up and act as a rest.
The PA big woods deer are usually 75 yards away or less and if you do your part, the animal is unaware of your presence.
Dad's words were, "Wait for your shot and take him in the neck".
The deer goes down as if poleaxed.
The Maryland beanfield shots are a bit more tricky however but neck shots are still possible with extreme care and caution , shooting an accurate rifle

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