Ideal shot placement for deer


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Kachok
December 6, 2012, 03:32 AM
Like many on this forum I have been hunting deer for some time, I have am a pretty good shot on the bench and in the field. I have long considered the perfect shot to be a clean broadside 1-2" behind the shoulder half way up and this has served me well taking out both lungs without tearing up any meat, but I would like to hear what others consider to be their perfect shot for quick kills on deer, especially you fellow meat hunters.

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R.W.Dale
December 6, 2012, 03:44 AM
It kinda depends on what I'm hunting with it where.

High impact speeds with faster expansion or smaller calibers a heart lung is fine and tends to be quite efficient at anchoring game.

Slower expansion heavier bullets at lower speeds and or where DRT is more important due to terrain or property boundaries I will move to the shoulder for quick immobility.

IMO its far too easy to loose the entire deer when you start to get to focused on meat loss and if you haven't had a deer run on a heart lung shot then you simply haven't shot enough deer.




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Patocazador
December 6, 2012, 04:10 AM
If everything is ideal and the deer is less than 100 yards, I'll shoot it in the neck. I don't eat necks anymore with all the new diseases of the CNS so no meat is wasted from my standpoint. The best thing is no tracking involved.

BigN
December 6, 2012, 06:16 AM
22-250 right behind the ear

VAPOPO
December 6, 2012, 06:52 AM
Neck if I get a clean shot, the boiler room is the 2nd fav.

tikka-guy
December 6, 2012, 07:27 AM
I tend to aim a little lower than halfway up. Maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the way up? I've seen deer get shot in the upper half of their body and barely bleed, and not die - at least not in any reasonable amount of time. I try to stay away from that area as best I can.

I've taken a couple of neck shots, with DRT results, but I've always been nervous about those. What is it a about a neck shot that makes this happen? Do you have to hit the spine for those results, or are most neck shots good shots? I guess I've mostly avoided them just because I don't know exactly where on the neck to aim.

T.R.
December 6, 2012, 08:13 AM
This illustration shows where I aim for BANG-flop performance.

TR

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/organdiagram.jpg

Grumulkin
December 6, 2012, 08:28 AM
I like neck shots.

utbrowningman
December 6, 2012, 02:57 PM
I put my shot an inch or two above the mark on the diagram. Deer took a few steps then dropped. 100 yards with a Federal soft point 150 grain from a .30-06.

Art Eatman
December 6, 2012, 03:57 PM
If it's inside 200 yards, I like the neck shot. But, depending on circumstance, the cross-body shot into the heart/lung works nicely.

I gotta admit I'd be less picky on a really big bragging buck. :D

Kahr33556
December 6, 2012, 04:07 PM
break both front shoulders no tracking

MCgunner
December 6, 2012, 04:20 PM
It kinda depends on what I'm hunting with it where.

High impact speeds with faster expansion or smaller calibers a heart lung is fine and tends to be quite efficient at anchoring game.

Slower expansion heavier bullets at lower speeds and or where DRT is more important due to terrain or property boundaries I will move to the shoulder for quick immobility.

IMO its far too easy to loose the entire deer when you start to get to focused on meat loss and if you haven't had a deer run on a heart lung shot then you simply haven't shot enough deer.

What he said, especially the last paragraph! I need not respond. :D

MCgunner
December 6, 2012, 04:26 PM
I don't eat necks anymore with all the new diseases of the CNS so no meat is wasted from my standpoint.

What? I bone out the neck meat for chili. I love my chili, but that's probably a Texas thing. Heck, I bone out most of everything except the tenderloins, back straps and a couple of rump roasts for the crock pot. I stuff my own sausage, make chili meat, and do jerky with the rest. My meat grinder does get used. :D

OTOH, if I waste some shoulder meat to get a clean DRT, so what? I ain't gonna run out of meat, trust me. He won't be the only thing in the freezer during the year, not with all the hogs we have down here and no season or limit on 'em. I kinda like the deer I kill for jerky. Don't do that with pigs....which really do have parasites on occasion and must be cooked thoroughly.

WayBeau
December 6, 2012, 04:52 PM
Big bucks get it where the mark is on the diagram. Does get it in the neck.

.333 Nitro Express
December 6, 2012, 05:00 PM
I always imagine a rounded loaf of bread suspended in their bodies, between their shoulders. Whatever the angle (I don't always get a picture-perfect broadside shot, alas), I aim for that imaginary inner loaf of bread, rather than for any 2-dimensional spot on their hide.

DM~
December 6, 2012, 08:03 PM
IMO its far too easy to loose the entire deer when you start to get to focused on meat loss and if you haven't had a deer run on a heart lung shot then you simply haven't shot enough deer.


That's a fact! Deer shot in the heard/lungs almost always run, some quite a long ways!

I shoot them in the shoulder, or take a frontal center chest shot, it drops them right there, i couldn't care less about looseing a couple pounds of shoulder meat!

Plus, most times, any deer with the one i shot, will stand around letting me make a double, like these two,

http://www.fototime.com/C8EA6F979F7FAAE/standard.jpg

Several deer came out, dropped the first one, and the others ran a few yards and stopped, trying to figure out where the shot came from. I then dropped the second one.

They won't stand around if the one shot takes off running!

DM

W.E.G.
December 6, 2012, 08:07 PM
Aim for the chest?

I find that deer usually don't cooperate in providing the ideal shot-angle.

I like a bullet that is heavy enough to reach the vitals from any angle, and which will make an entry AND EXIT wound from any angle.

This guarantees a quickly dead deer almost without exception.

ADKWOODSMAN
December 6, 2012, 09:15 PM
You want a bullet that will give and entry and exit hole as stated above, no matter the angle.

Kachok
December 6, 2012, 09:43 PM
Is the double lung shot really that bad?!?! If so I should play the lotto because I am on a really lucky streak, never had a deer make it far at all. Every time I shot square through the shoulders I had half the meat gunshot with my 7mm Rem Mag.

DM~
December 6, 2012, 09:52 PM
Is the double lung shot really that bad?!?! If so I should play the lotto because I am on a really lucky streak, never had a deer make it far at all. Every time I shot square through the shoulders I had half the meat gunshot with my 7mm Rem Mag.

Is that question aimed at me?

If so, now you know why i don't have to put up with the recoil and muzzle blast of a 7 mag.. I'll add that, i happen to like the 7 Rem. mag., i just don't need it or any big magnum to kill a deer. And yes, long ago i hunted with a 7 mag. quite a bit.

DM

tikka-guy
December 6, 2012, 10:04 PM
This illustration shows where I aim for BANG-flop performance.

I don't think I have ever seen a bang-flop from a heart/lung shot. They almost always seem to run a lot further than I think they would.

One downside of a heart shot is that you destroy some good meat. Venison heart is pretty tasty.

R.W.Dale
December 6, 2012, 10:08 PM
Is the double lung shot really that bad?!?! If so I should play the lotto because I am on a really lucky streak, never had a deer make it far at all. Every time I shot square through the shoulders I had half the meat gunshot with my 7mm Rem Mag.

I wouldn't say its bad.

Its actually a pretty safe bet for a deer that will expire in a resonable time frame, offers a good margin for error and usually results in a blood trail if not too high and saves much meat. Also doesn't require much bullet to get the job done.

However all this comes at the expense of the deer still being highly mobile for long enough to possibly cover a tremendous amount of ground. I recently shot a does heart to bits with a 125g sierra pro hunter from a 30-06 and she still went 50 yards+ and crashed into the property line fence to expire. Albiet with a massive blood trail.




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MCgunner
December 6, 2012, 10:46 PM
I don't think I have ever seen a bang-flop from a heart/lung shot. They almost always seem to run a lot further than I think they would.

I have, quite a few times. I did it a few years ago with a .30-30 Contender at 90 yards using a Nosler 150 BT. Hit about 3" below the spine, only ribs/lungs. Shot was behind the shoulder. That thing went down so fast into the grass he was standing in, I thought I'd missed. He was dead before he hit the ground. I have thought perhaps a chunk of rib hit the spine or something, but I'm betting not. Path of the bullet was sufficiently close to the spine that I'm betting on pressure wave affects to the spinal cord. Whatever was the cause, it was one of the fastest bang/flops I'd seen in a while, not even a twitch when he went down and nothing, but lungs.

Contrast the one I shot this year, was on the run, adrenalized after being spooked cause he was high steppin' and snortin' and ran right across in front of me and my SKs. I shot his spine twice, base of the head with the exit hole in his left ear, and he was still holding his head up when I finished him in the head with my NAA mini revolver. He was NOT going to go down. Adrenalin affects, I'm thinkin'. Oh, he was going nowhere, his back broke in two places, but he still had his head up. Zombie buck.

I mean, I never cease to be amazed. :D Break the shoulders, though, and they can't use their front end. Even zombie bucks won't go anywhere.

sleepyone
December 6, 2012, 11:50 PM
I would never take a frontal chest shot. A friend of mine was hunting a fence line where we had ran a trail of corn. The deer walked all the way down the fence line eating but would never present herself for a broadside shot, so he got tired of waiting and shot her in the chest. His shot was high and he lost a lot of back strap.

I'm like some others here. I usually just take a shoulder shot so even if they don't die right away from the heart/lung being blown up they won't be able to run on me. I have never had to track a deer, so I will stick with what works. I need to qualify that statement by saying the longest shot I have had to take is 110 yards and most are around 50 yards. With a .270, any well-placed shot on a white tail from distance is going to result in a kill.

friscolatchi
December 7, 2012, 12:33 AM
I have, quite a few times. I did it a few years ago with a .30-30 Contender at 90 yards using a Nosler 150 BT. Hit about 3" below the spine, only ribs/lungs. Shot was behind the shoulder. That thing went down so fast into the grass he was standing in, I thought I'd missed. He was dead before he hit the ground. I have thought perhaps a chunk of rib hit the spine or something, but I'm betting not. Path of the bullet was sufficiently close to the spine that I'm betting on pressure wave affects to the spinal cord. Whatever was the cause, it was one of the fastest bang/flops I'd seen in a while, not even a twitch when he went down and nothing, but lungs.

This from McGunner.

I shot a rather large 8 pointer on opening day from a rocky perch about 100 - 125 yards from the slow moving, unsuspecting, browsing fellow using my 45-70, loaded with Hornady's (325's?). Hit him right above the left shoulder about an inch from the spine, cracking ribs. It appeared to have exited on the same side below the leg. The heart was intact. Well, this fellow was lifted about a foot or two off the ground and flipped over, lay still and after about 1 minute had a seizure, and was DRT. I waited about 15 minutes before I approached him. From my background, a seizure after trauma is pretty ominous. My post mortem had me thinking that the shockwave must have affected his spinal cord as his heart was intact. I was 4.5 miles in. Took me 6 hours to drag him out.

Kachok
December 7, 2012, 12:58 AM
Is that question aimed at me?

If so, now you know why i don't have to put up with the recoil and muzzle blast of a 7 mag.. I'll add that, i happen to like the 7 Rem. mag., i just don't need it or any big magnum to kill a deer. And yes, long ago i hunted with a 7 mag. quite a bit.

DM
I currently have only one magnum, and it has been hunting with me exactly twice in two years and only when I hunt my friend's peanut field (1100yds end to end) in the woods I quit using magnums and mostly use my Sweed.
I have always had a policy to use rapid expansion bullets (SGK, Ballistic Tips, SSTs...etc) shooting behind the shoulder and bone breakers (Accubonds, Partitions, Core-Lokts....etc) if I wanted to shoot through them. The softer bullets do alot of shock damage to the vitals if they don't have to go through alot of bone/muscle first, or that is the way I have always seen it. Correct me if I am wrong. My friend liver shot a deer this season with my 06 165gr SGKs, had he been using a hard controlled expansion bullet I would think that would be a long tracking job, but the shock damage/fragmentation from that Game King destroyed the lungs and the deer made it a whopping 20 yards.

788Ham
December 7, 2012, 01:21 AM
sleepyone, next time that scenario presents itself, make a kissing sound, when the deer looks up, shoot it right under the chin in the throat, bang-flop!

DM~
December 7, 2012, 01:34 AM
I currently have only one magnum, and it has been hunting with me exactly twice in two years and only when I hunt my friend's peanut field (1100yds end to end) in the woods I quit using magnums and mostly use my Sweed.
I have always had a policy to use rapid expansion bullets (SGK, Ballistic Tips, SSTs...etc) shooting behind the shoulder and bone breakers (Accubonds, Partitions, Core-Lokts....etc) if I wanted to shoot through them. The softer bullets do alot of shock damage to the vitals if they don't have to go through alot of bone/muscle first, or that is the way I have always seen it. Correct me if I am wrong. My friend liver shot a deer this season with my 06 165gr SGKs, had he been using a hard controlled expansion bullet I would think that would be a long tracking job, but the shock damage/fragmentation from that Game King destroyed the lungs and the deer made it a whopping 20 yards.

I've always said, for the fastest kills, you need a bullet that expands FAST but will penetrate DEEP, hopefully giving an exit hole. That's what i've seem over and over work the best.

I've shot moose, bears, caribou and many other animals through the lungs, they all died. The problem is, they don't die FAST ENOUGH for my likeing, so i started dropping them in their tracks.

I've always used a high shoulder shots on big bears, but i've always used a heavy enough bullet for caliber, that I KNOW it will go on through to break all the bone, and i prefer NP's for that job.

Back to deer... I find a shoulder shot anchors them, as does a frontal CENTER cest shot. I can post pict after pict of deer that ran with lung/heart shots, and also deer after deer that dropped in their tracks with shoulder and center chest shots. I've just seen both so many times, there's no doubt in my mind what each one does!

I hold meat damage down by NOT using super fast bullets that loose their cores easily, and i don't need or use some ultra magnum, as they just aren't needed! I hold my shots at deer to 300 yards or less, and i like 200 even better. I won't shoot at long ranges, because i'm a "hunter", not a "sniper" and i like to hunt! I don't judge the quality of my hunt on wether i kill something or not...

All of this is a long way of saying that i pretty much agree with your post as to what soft bullets do in deer. lol

DM

Kachok
December 7, 2012, 01:54 AM
Since most of you are in agreement I am beginning to really think that my success has been just dumb luck, what bullet would you use to minimize meat damage on shoulder shot? (Bonded?) Is the dead center of the shoulder the best aim point on a clean broadside shot or do you prefer the high shoulder? I don't need uber fast impact speeds, my 06 pet load is pushing just north of 2800fps with 165s, my favorite 308 is around 2750fps with 150s and my 140gr 6.5x55 is about 2740fps. I might skip the 7mm-08 for through the shoulder duity because the only load that shoots good in that rifle is a smoking fast 140 at over 2900fps!

R.W.Dale
December 7, 2012, 02:48 AM
Non tipped cup n core bullets should be nearly ideal for shoulder shots with the specifics you mentioned (aside from the 7-08)

I reserve straight up heart lung shots for light n fast for Cal bullets and tipped cup n core bullets. And or high impact speeds

Basically if I'm not 100% sure of the bullets ability to exit every time it goes through the ribs. As demonstrated by my 125g pro hunter 30-06 load (3100fps) wich may not be great for shoulder shots but will blow pieces out on a lung shot.

Bullets at a velocity window that need that resistance to expand go through the shoulder




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Kachok
December 7, 2012, 03:07 AM
The only SP cup and core I keep for all my rifles are Speer BTSP and Serria Game Kings both of which are thin jacketed on the rapid expansion side I think, I recently tried finding some tougher Speer Deep Curl bullets for .308 and .264 cal but everybody seems to be sold out including Midway. Might try good ol Core-lokts I have some hefty 180gr 30 cal (only ones for sale locally), that is a bit of an overkill IMHO but I won't have to worry about lack of penetration if the shoulder is hit :) Never worked up any 180gr loads for 06 or 308 anyone have any hints on where to start?

interlock
December 7, 2012, 05:55 AM
I have shot many, many deer. I assess each individual shot before making it. Sometimes neck, sometimes atlas joint sometimes chest.

i tend to use 165s from the 30-06. I hunt a lot with my cousin who uses 150s from his 308. we both use soft points


there are so many variables

jrdolall
December 7, 2012, 08:53 AM
I don't think you will find any real concensus on this issue because each shot is different and each animal is different. I killed three bucks last year of similar size. Two were at perfect broadside. One was DRT and the other ran 150 yards or more down into a thick creek bottom. Both shots were close to identical double lung and standing deer. Was one maybe an inch higher or lower? I'm sure it was but I don't recall exactly. The thrird deer was the largest rack and gave me a quartering to shot at 50 yards. The shot went through his left shoulder and took out both lungs and a lot of his innards but did not exit. He never even flopped.
I prefer a broadside shot and I actually aim a bit lower than the above diagram. If I pull a shot, target or animal, it will virtually always be high and right rather than low. Where I mostly hunt I really don't mind a small tracking job but I have the advantage of knowing my neighbors and knowing the land like the back of my hand. If a deer runs after being shot I can just about tell you where he will be within 50 yards or so and we can drive within 100 yards of any spot on my property.
As far as damaging meat I really don't worry about it on a buck as I just want them on the ground. For meat hunting I will take the exact same shot, no meat damage at all, or a neck shot IF the deer is completely relaxed and within 50-75 yards. I have never really paid attention to whether a particular bullet/caliber damages more or less meat. I figure any of the hunting calibers I use will destroy a shoulder or ham and I am okay with that.
Federal Premium 165s in the 30-06 are my main hunting round.

JShirley
December 7, 2012, 08:55 AM
I usually aim where T.R. showed, except when I take the shoulder. Behind the ear I've usually reserved for deer that don't realize they're dead.

Sav .250
December 7, 2012, 09:49 AM
As you know , deer don`t always cooperate in giving you the perfect angle for that perfect shot. First order of business, if the shots not there , don`t take it. There are times you even have to pass. A good hunter would anyway.
Being able to take a good shot at any angel is paramount to a happy ending. Most use the gun range as their tunning up place. Straight ahead. No angels. While in the real world, some time you see a head/neck. Shoulder. what ever. Sometime just a plain brown area. You never know.
Being able to hit your spot at any angle is when you can call yourself a hunter. All that being said, knowing a deers anatomy and the area presented will the perfect shot
selection be available.
Some guys just take a shot..........some know what their doing.

DM~
December 7, 2012, 10:44 AM
The only SP cup and core I keep for all my rifles are Speer BTSP and Serria Game Kings both of which are thin jacketed on the rapid expansion side I think, I recently tried finding some tougher Speer Deep Curl bullets for .308 and .264 cal but everybody seems to be sold out including Midway. Might try good ol Core-lokts I have some hefty 180gr 30 cal (only ones for sale locally), that is a bit of an overkill IMHO but I won't have to worry about lack of penetration if the shoulder is hit :) Never worked up any 180gr loads for 06 or 308 anyone have any hints on where to start?

Personally, i think 180's are too heavy of a bullet for deer out of a .308 or 30-06, they just don't give that fast expansion that i like. In those cartridges i like a tough 150 or 165's, and as i tend to work up one bullet/load for everything, i tend to use NP's.

Then i can use that bullet/load on deer, caribou, blk. bear or even an elk... I don't have to learn were several different loads go, i learn that load, and use it for everything i hunt.

DM

Kachok
December 7, 2012, 09:09 PM
OK I am going to give the (intentional) double shoulder shot another try. I got some hard non-fragmenting 150gr TTSX bullets since they have good expansion and terminal performance without a reputation for making jello as some rapid expansion lead bullets will do. I figure if I still have to feed the shoulders to yotes with that nothing will work and I will go back to my "lucky" shots.
Before anyone chimes in and tells me that I don't NEED TSX penatration on deer trust me I already know. A $0.65 cent bullet is worth it if it saves most of the front shoulders IMHO. Know several people who have hunted with the all copper bullets and they all have said they don't feel it is a handicap in the killing department, and they all agree the meat damage is less.
Yeah I am being a nit pick about a few pounds of meat, but I do hate to be wastful. Please pardon my rant.

R.W.Dale
December 7, 2012, 09:46 PM
KACHOK if you're hunting wide open farmland as you allude to I personally wouldn't change what you're doing

In such a location if a deer even went 300 yds it wouldn't be a big deal to locate and recover it assuming it can't get out of sight from your hide.




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Kachok
December 7, 2012, 09:53 PM
I am hunting a mix of farm fields and dense brush. I have a rifle for every occasion so only my 308 or 30-06 will be sighted in for the heavly constructed bone breakers. My 6.5x55, 7mm-08 and 270 WSM will remain loaded with SGK/SST/Ballistic tips for my "lucky" shots.

wild willy
December 8, 2012, 09:26 AM
Most of the time I try to shoot them on the X in T.R. picture. But most deer shot there will run I,ve shot three there this year. All ran. 20 to 100 yards

Ankeny
December 8, 2012, 10:46 AM
Is the dead center of the shoulder the best aim point on a clean broadside shot or do you prefer the high shoulder? Long distance hunting shows have popularized the high shoulder shot. Problem is, if you shoot below the spine and above the heavy bones, the critter might go down, but it's back up and off to the races. I have seen it time and time again on pronghorn, deer, and elk. I no longer take that shot. Of course if you hit the large bones going in (and hopefully on the off side too), the animal drops in their tracks.

As far as head and neck, we all know down they go if you hit the spot. Of course, the wounding/failure rate is high with head neck shots, resulting in blown off jaws, holes in the snout, etc. There is a reason the "traditional" kill zone is through the boiler room. I guess I am fortunate where I hunt. If an animal runs a few dozen yards before expiring, it's usually no big deal.

If I absolutely have to anchor a animal on the spot I'll go for a central nervous system shot, but that situation hasn't been required for many years.

tahoe2
December 8, 2012, 01:56 PM
full penetration in & out of the chest cavity from any angle should do it, my first Antelope I hit too far back (my opinion) 8 inches back of the shoulder through the liver. @ 170+ yards Buck fever and 20 mph winds were contributing factors, he took about 30 yards and 15 minutes to die, not happy about that. Would have preferred a bang! flop! But that's hunting.

buck460XVR
December 8, 2012, 02:36 PM
Growin' up bowhuntin' with a recurve, I learned to aim behind the shoulders for a clear shot to the heart/lungs. Height on the body was determined by angle of the shot. Ground vs tree stand. Blood trailing was expected, and this led to a good blood trail and an good chance of an bleeding exit wound also. Growin' up gunhuntin' with a .32 Special and hunting pblic land with a high density of hunters, I learned to shoot high in the shoulders and break the deer down so it would not run. Running a 100 yards may mean a lost deer. A small amount of meat loss was irrelevant compared to losing the whole deer to another hunter. My 5th decade of hunting deer and my tools have changed, but not my choice of shot placement. Not to say I have hit every deer there.........

Coltdriver
December 8, 2012, 03:13 PM
I took a doe this week with a high shoulder shot using a 140 grain Partition that also fragmented into the spine from a modern 6.5x54 MS. The muzzle velocity on these was 2500 fps. Bang flop. I took that shot because I was about 100 yards away, could take my time and there was a fence to private property about 25 yards from the deer. I did not want it running anywhere.

Had I been further away with more room for the deer to run I would have gone for the boiler room shot.

I had also hand loaded these rounds and had just shot about 50 of them the week before at 100 yards so I knew exactly where the bullet would hit. I was able to sit and use shooting sticks and just wait and watch until I had a perfect broadside.

It is true that every situation is a little different.

HOOfan_1
December 8, 2012, 07:57 PM
I always aim for the Heart/lungs with either a rifle or shotgun...that is just what I was taught, and what I usually read from professionals.

The deer I shot last year, at 250 yards was a heart/lung shot. Both lungs were destroyed and the heart was clipped. He ran about 70 yards across a field before he dropped. I saw him the entire time, therefore had no tracking to do.

primape
December 10, 2012, 03:32 PM
Most of the time just behind the shoulder like the diagram posted. In my 308 using 150g Nosler BT they mostly drop right there and never go more that 10/20 yds if they do run. In Florida it is so thick that alot of times you don't see anything but the head and neck, so that has to be the shot.

This one was steady moving away at about 75 yds and about to go out of sight. All I saw was head and horns. The NBT did its job.

And you northern and midwest boys, don't laugh too hard at the size of our puny deer here in west central Florida.

MCgunner
December 10, 2012, 09:59 PM
Umm, so much for mounting that one. :D

gspn
December 10, 2012, 10:31 PM
Like others have said...soooo many variables. If it's broadside I use a double lung shot...but there are exceptions to this. For instance...if the deer is on the property line and I can score a solid neck shot then I'll use it since it will keep the deer from running over the line.

If it's quartering toward, like last week, I'll shoot at the seam between the front of the shoulder and the chest...my .45-70 pushed all the way through that spot and out the far side, taking lungs along the way, and the deer dropped in it's tracks.

I stalked a buck one time...I was directly behind him by about 55 yards. There was no way to get him to turn without blowing my cover...so I took a knee, used a sapling as a rest, and shot him directly in the back of the neck...and he dropped like a bag of hammers.

If it's a longer shot I'll wait til they are broadside and take a double lung...I don't take neck shots on those longer shots.

Sometimes I just don't have a shot...and they walk.

I've found that 140 and 150 grain ballistic tips from my 7 mag explode inside of deer. Since I mainly take double lung shots I've found that this isn't really a downside...they absolutely turn the vitals to liquid. Those deer sometimes run...but they always drop fairly close. The downside to no pass-through is less blood trail. If I'm hunting next to thick cover it might affect my decisions.

Lots of variables affect my decision...but I always take an ethical shot. One that I know I can make and that will kill quickly. I don't take shots I'm not comfortable with...I owe it to the animal to do it right.

bad_aim_billy
December 10, 2012, 10:53 PM
I like the neck shot if possible.

wild willy
December 10, 2012, 11:00 PM
Head and neck shots are like 800 yd shots very few people are good enough to do them.Head and neck shooters always say either you kill them or you miss.But I've seen too many deer with jaws blowed off or shot thru the windpipe to believe it.

MCgunner
December 10, 2012, 11:10 PM
A head shot to 100 yards with a 1/2 MOA .257 Roberts is one thing, but iron sighted levers or my SKS are another. Sorta equipment dependent, too, ain't it? I hunt with pistols, black powder sidelocks, this and that variety. I don't just go to the field with my most accurate bolt gun every time. While I know I can hit the brain on an animal at 50 yards with the .257, I probably won't attempt it with my Hawken. Too, I've had an animal move as the sear was breaking throwing off the shot. More room for error on the shoulder. One deer years ago, just as the sear was being loaded, 3 lb trigger at that, the deer turned and started to walk off. The shot broke and hit him in the rump, the bullet went through the length of his body and out his neck. He dropped immediately. Only damaged meat was a bit of the right hind quarter. I might have crippled that deer if I'd been trying a head shot. Hopefully, I'd clean missed. I just got lucky on that one, actually. But, if I couldn't stop the shot with THAT much movement, just a move of the head would have been impossible to stop for.

DM~
December 11, 2012, 12:11 AM
Head and neck shots are like 800 yd shots very few people are good enough to do them.Head and neck shooters always say either you kill them or you miss.But I've seen too many deer with jaws blowed off or shot thru the windpipe to believe it.

Yeaaa, i've heard that HUGE pile of bull, about "hit or miss" a time or two too!! But, like you said, it's BS!

http://fototime.com/D4B1C053D3324D4/standard.jpg

DM

heeler
December 12, 2012, 02:40 AM
Just got back from several days of hunting in Frio county Texas and came across this thread.
Having killed more than 75 Texas Whitetail deer over the last 46 years I have seen all manner of behavior from gun shot deer.
In all these deer I have killed few just fell right there.
This did happen Monday morning though with a heart lung shot from a 150 grain Federal Blue Box 150 grain soft point fired from my .308.
Instant death.
But that does not happen that way often at all.
Most heart lung shots have sent most deer running from a few yards to many.
It still is my preferred shot due to the fact that a living creature simply cannot function without air or blood.
The only time I have ever taken a direct shoulder shot was on a sendero with thick white brush in the last four minutes of legal shooting light at around 120 yards due to the fact that this south Texas white brush is damn near impossible to go through so I truely needed that deer to drop right there,ruined shoulders and all.
Neck shots are iffy and I dont like making them unless the deer is broad side and even then I aim for the middle of the neck where it meets the body,which has produced several late evening kills with dead right there results.
On the other hand I have seen neck shots drop a deer and it gets back to it's feet after a minute or so because the vertebre was not broken but another area of the neck took the hit.
And has been stated earlier,if you hunt enough you will see shot deer run for yards and yards with shot out hearts,lungs,and jugulars.
It happens.

1911 guy
December 12, 2012, 03:04 AM
I put the bullet through the heart and lungs. Choosing a profectile that performs well at this is essential. You need something that will both expand and penetrate well. A huge honkin' big exit hole is good. I use both 2 3/4" 12 guage rifled slugs from Winchester and handloaded 150gr Hornady SST in my .308. The ones that don't lay down and die right there are easy to follow for the short distance they go. I've never had one go more than 50 yards. Part of that is because I'd rather pass on a shot than take one I'm not confident in making correctly.

morcey2
December 12, 2012, 12:05 PM
My dad's only deer was a head shot. He didn't hunt, but my all of his new in-laws did. He rented a Spanish mauser from a local sporting goods store (it was 1969, you could still do that.) and bought a box of bullets. He shot 3 shots to figure out where the rifle was hitting with the military sights. BTW, those were the first 3 shots he ever took with any gun.

Nobody bothered to tell him anything about proper shot placement. He had a doe tag and a buck tag and he planned on filling them both. The came upon a group of does and one of my uncles told him to shoot one that was on the edge of the group. My dad's thought process went like this:

"I've never shot anything, where should I shoot it? In the movies, they always shoot them 'right between the eyes', so that's what I should do."

He proceeded to shoot the poor doe 'right between the eyes' and the head almost completely disappeared. Needless to say, it was a bang-flop. Or a bang-flop-puke. :) He never shot another deer after that.

He went to return the gun after the hunt and they told him that for another $5 he could keep it. He did and we always joked about it being our "8mm howitzer". About 10 years ago, he gave it to me because no one else wanted an old, beat up gun. I had it drilled and tapped, mounted a scope, and did a little more work on it. It still couldn't shoot groups at 100 yards (my dad's deer was at about 20 yards) until I re-crowned the muzzle. It now shoots 1" groups at 100 yards. Next to my Grandpa's 1903, it's my favorite gun.

Matt

d2wing
December 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
Another heart lung shooter. Most neck shots drop them but need a finishing shot for me. I don't like head shots. Can ruin racks and always iffy as I don't get close standing shots. If needed I am fine with shoulder and chest shots. Tracking isn't a problem for me. But rarely is it and issue. Usually they drop pretty quick and leave a good blood trail. I know the pain of losing a deer to another hunter. Once I shot a deer on one side of a thick swampy area. It took me awhile to track it. About an hour later I found a fresh gut pile about 150 yards away where a trail came in from the other way and it was more passable. It had been dragged a maybe 30 yards. It happens.

H&Hhunter
December 21, 2012, 01:34 AM
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02492.jpg
I like to shoot them where DM likes to shoot them. To far forward you say? Two things about that, this did not hit any bone besides ribs. And below is a picture of the heart. I'd call that a center punch wouldn't you?
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02509.jpg
The green circle is the "point" of the shoulder, the white dot was my point of impact, the deer was almost perfectly broadside. The purple line is the rear of the bone structure shoot behind that and you don't hit bone besides rib. The blue line is the rear of the shoulder muscle. Using this shot placement you'll successfully kill any quadruped animal anywhere on the planet. In North America you can afford to slip further back and still get lungs. In Africa you'll be gut shooting almost every animal shooting behind the shoulder. Same for many feral hogs BTW.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02492-1.jpg

Captcurt
December 21, 2012, 10:35 PM
My last buck took a 165 Accubond from a 300 WSM through the heart and still went 50 yards. When I field dressed him the bottom of his heart was rolling around in the bottom of his chest cavity. A doe once took the same hit with a 45 cal. Barnes MZ from a muzzle loader and went close to 100 yards. Her heart looked like it had been hit with a meat cleaver. They never cease to amaze me. The last hundred or so deer that I have taken were heart, lung or shoulser shots depending on the situation. I try to break a shoulder when possible.

336A
December 22, 2012, 10:08 AM
The only time I get consistent DRT results is when I use a 12GA slug. I've yet to have one that didn't act as if the light switch turned off on them. The one I got this year I had to take a full frontal shot at 50yd as it was looking right at me and ready to run. It was not the shot I wanted o take but it was either shoot or go home empty handed. So I placed the beads dead center of the chest and sent a Brenneke K.O. slug on it's way. On impact he did a back flip and I was filling out my tag.

The last deer I hit before that with a slug was with a Win Platinum tip sabot at about 70yd back in 2002. It was a broad side shot behind the shoulder, I was shooting from a knee. That one was also DRT, in fact I thought I missed as I didn't see him any more after I recovered from the recoil.

Kachok
December 22, 2012, 10:25 AM
Never used a slug gun before, never though of them as any more powerful then a 30-06 but I do know that very large caliber projectile would have to make one heck of a wound canal, especially that KO slug.

clamman
December 22, 2012, 11:32 AM
The last two deer I took were shot behind the ear with a 12 ga. sabot round out of a rifled barrel. They both did a little dance for a few seconds and dropped. One of them was on a farm path at 90 yards. Drove my truck right up to that one. Sure was nice!

H&Hhunter
December 22, 2012, 12:05 PM
The last two deer I took were shot behind the ear with a 12 ga. sabot round out of a rifled barrel. They both did a little dance for a few seconds and dropped.

If they did a "little dance" before they dropped they were neither spine nor brain shot as either of those create an instant drop. What did the slug hit?

sixgunner455
December 23, 2012, 11:02 PM
I've only done one head shot on a deer. Impacted just below the base of the skull, went through the spine, out the esophagus. Bang-flop-bleedout.

Kachok
December 24, 2012, 03:02 PM
Bang flopped a deer yesterday with a quartering away shoulder shot, bullet goes in the forward shoulder bypassing most of the edible parts, and went out the neck with a massive 6 inch exit wound and nearly decapitated the deer! Thank God for Serria Game Kings and the nasty work they do :D That shot did not tear up more then a couple pounds of chili meat and made for a quick ethical kill so I might be using that more often.

41 Mag
December 25, 2012, 08:33 PM
Kachok.

That is about my most preferred shot, either quartering to or away, to put the bullet in the area just inside the onside shoulder or behind it so that it will exit out the opposite of the other shoulder or neck. Usually I aim about 1/4 of the way up from their brisket or just a touch higher if I need it to drop on the spot. This usually takes out the esophagus, several major arteries, possibly the heart and one or both lungs, and the CNS all at the same time. It is more or less like turning their switch off.

I have also shot a bunch of them broadside through the lugs and heart as well and had some drop to the shot and some run a ways. Some simply have a tenacity to them and simply don't want to give it up.

I shot a 6 point last year using a .243 with some 80gr bonded cores. The first shot was perfect just behind the shoulder and messed up they offside shoulder when it exited. He ran close to 50yds before piling up just inside the edge of the woods.

I let him be for around 20 minutes but could see him trying to get up so I closed in on him. I sat down and got a good hold on him and could see he looked like he was in the last throws, my only shot at this point was right up his rear so I held off. About the time I thought he was done he rolled up and got to his feet just as I touched off the second round. He made it about 20 steps and face planted, and was still.

I held on him not seeing any movement what so ever and so I turned around to go and pick up my things from where I had originally shot him. As soon as I cleared the edge of the woods he was up and gone. We found him in some brush about two hours later still alert, but really sick. One shot from my 454 finished things up. When we got him out we found that both of my shots had impacted no more than an inch apart, one exited his offside shoulder and the other lodged in his neck as a result of me shooting him as he was getting to his feet. Both had done extensive damage to his internals and one lung was total jello and the other was half collapsed.

He simply had the will to go and did so. I was very grateful we found him, not so much due to his horns, I simply get sick to my stomach when I cannot track one down even if it isn't mine.

Eleanor416Rigby
December 29, 2012, 03:58 PM
DRT, or at least down within a few yards should be the norm. If not, maybe something is wrong. I've seen enough broken jaws and skulls with ricochet scars to know better than "clean kill or clean miss".

Since learning to hunt as a small boy, I have had DRT or down to stay within a few steps from the heart/lung/shoulder area. When I get flesh on the near side shoulder, two ribs going in, three ribs going out, and bone on the back side shoulder, they don't take a step. When I don't break a shoulder, they go a few steps. The only one that went anywhere farther than that was when at 12 years old, I shot a deer facing me at about 200 yds with a .243 and hit in the shoulder. Bullet traveled at an angle through the guts, out the opposite side lower/rear abdomen, and through the knee for a second penetration. During the two hours of tracking down into a "holler", my Dad explained to me that frontal shots can be tricky.

krupparms
December 29, 2012, 06:55 PM
I use heart /lung shots. All the deer here are small coastal blacktails. They might DRT or run 10 or 15 yards. As I am posting this, there are 3 of them at about 25yards from me! I have a 4", .357mag. Loaded w/ 158gr. LSWHPs. But no tags :banghead: Oh well I can get them next year! Head shots beyond 30 yards without a scoped firearm is not a sure thing! I have had to kill to many deer w / lower jaw broken or shot away & a scar or horns shot. Bad Hunters are what helps us look bad & gets land closed! Great thread!

groundhog34
December 30, 2012, 12:16 PM
I may be a fool but what is DRT? By the way I have killed 100+ deer and try to break the shoulder so they do not run. I hunt in a very hilly area and the deer always run down hill into the thickest area they can. At 65 I am too old to drag deer uphill.

krupparms
December 30, 2012, 12:26 PM
I believe it means drop right there ..

krupparms
December 30, 2012, 12:34 PM
They use a lot of new words & abbreviations here! I thought a Mall ninja was a kid raising #*#! in a mall!

R.W.Dale
December 30, 2012, 12:42 PM
DRT = dead right there




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about

Todd1700
December 30, 2012, 01:52 PM
Is the double lung shot really that bad?!?!

No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. In fact it's the safest place to shoot a deer. Through both shoulders is fine as well as long as you are using enough bullet to get through them and don't mind wasting the meat. I like having that meat made into sausage so I stick to lung shooting them.

The lungs are the biggest vital spot to aim at and are a more stationary target which improves the odds you will make a lethal shot. The head and lethal area of the neck are small and even a deer that isn't walking will still move their head and neck a lot.

The DRT obsession that some people have is just a mystery to me. Sure it's fine if the deer drops on the spot (and some that I lung shoot do) but if he runs 50 yards, so what? Is the hunt ruined? What's the big freaking deal about that that makes it worth taking a riskier shot? If I couldn't track a deer 50 yards I'd quit.

I have 2 cousins that are neck shooters. They love how most of the time the deer go straight down at the shot. BUT, over the last 20 years I bet each of them have lost at least 5 deer apiece that got back up and ran off. Meanwhile I haven't lost a single deer in the last 20 years shooting them through the boiler room.

groundhog34
December 30, 2012, 02:14 PM
The problem with a deer running 50 yards where I hunt is they will go 300 feet downhill. I am too old to drag deer uphill and do not feel safe driving a 4 wheeler down a 45 degree hill. Tracking them is not the problem getting them out is. It is much rougher land around Mt Cheaha than the rolling hills of So Alabama.

Jaag
December 30, 2012, 02:30 PM
I've shot a lot of deer over the years and have come to regard the mid to high shoulder hit as the most reliable for dropping them in their tracks. It's the point where the neck, spine and shoulder meet and anything in this area definitely disrupts the CNS.
I've taken deer with many calibers and have made hits in the heart or lungs that worked fine but they always covered some ground. We don't always have snow so tracking isn't always easy.

R.W.Dale
December 30, 2012, 02:38 PM
50yards can absolutely be a critical variable that might mean a crappy crappy recovery or none at all.

Throw rough terrain, rain or private property boundaries in the mix and 50 yards can be just as bad as 500.

I've personally seen and experienced heart lung shot deer go A LOT farther than 50yards. The front shoulders is the safe shot. Pure ribcage vital shots are always a gamble that really leaves the ultimate outcome in the deers court. I know I don't want to give one the chance to even go 10 yards into a thick tangled blackberry briar patch. Id prefer to drag the same deer half a mile across a plowed soybean field.

When you have terrain like this 50 yards matters.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/2012-10-13161311.jpg

You're not going to drive your side by side up to this deer and pick it up. And just because it goes 50 yards from where you shot it doesn't automatically mean that's just 50 yards it has to be drug.



posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about

Kachok
December 30, 2012, 04:41 PM
Have not seen snow here in years, tracking blood in underbrush so thick you have to crawl through it is tough going I have done it for friends before. I practice with my rifles year round to keep shots where they are supposed to go and tracking to a minimum.

rondog
December 30, 2012, 06:46 PM
Very good points, R.W.Dale! I've never deer hunted, although I hope to soon. But my dad was an elk hunter, he and his buddies would always go from OK to CO every fall for their annual hunting trip. And I remember him telling me stories about how somebody made a perfect long-range shot, killed the animal right on the spot, and then realized the dead elk was on the OTHER side of a deep, rocky ravine and recovery was going to be brutal.

His group always preferred the easy recoveries.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/dads%20hunting%20photos/Scan10007.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/dads%20hunting%20photos/Scan10008.jpg

DM~
December 30, 2012, 07:38 PM
I've seen double lung shot deer run only 50 yds, or even less, but i've seen a lot of them run over 100 yds, and quite a few go 150yds...

I've never seen one with a high shoulder shot go anyplace, but DOWN!

DM

mk67026
March 22, 2013, 12:31 AM
Hi all! I know this is an old thread, but it's a great subject and I wanted to introduce myself by (hopefully) contributing something. :D

I grew up zapping small game & varmints with a '63 Remington Nylon 66 with a Sears Ted Williams scope (it's identical to this one (http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/5135046/Rare_1960s_All_steel_Weaver_Te)). It was the very first gun I ever shot, and my dad proudly handed her down to me (she still looks like new, in fact, she's aged far better than *I* have lol). Dad taught me to aim small and miss small; shooting at aspirins with a .22 will definitely help improve your aim! Ha!

Anyway, I finally was able to bag my very first deer this year, using my very first "real" rifle. It was literally a day out of the box- though I took it to a 100yard indoor range to carefully sight it in before I hit the field (God bless my dad, he got me a new Savage Axis 30-06 for Christmas... :D ).

I nailed this fine button buck in a front quartering shot (http://www.hunter-ed.com/images/graphics/shot_quartering_forward.jpg) at roughly 160yds, aiming for his right front shoulder. He ran only about 20 yards, and was dead in seconds.

The bullet (150gr Federal Vital Shok) had struck his right humerus roughly 1/3 of the way up from the bottom, shattering it and sending a mixture of bone and bullet shrapnel through his heart and lungs; they were pulverized and turned to red Jello. I don't think I could have ground up his thoracic cavity any better with a blender! I lost some brisket meat, the heart, and the right arm roast, but the rest of the animal was pretty intact. There was no exit wound, and the stomach/intestines were untouched.

I can't wait to repeat the performance on some feral hogs, coyotes, and lots more deer! :D

frankenstein406
March 22, 2013, 12:47 AM
seems like the deer keep coming angled at me so I've been shooting them in the brisket area. one I shoot dropped right there and pretty much took they front right leg off. Good thing to because it had a rear broken leg and 3 other bullets in it that must have healed up.

other one ran pretty much straight at me and stopped, shoot it in the brisket and ran 25 yards and dropped right there. they seem to die really quickly which makes me happy.

kyhunter
March 22, 2013, 02:57 AM
deleted

Eb1
March 22, 2013, 03:14 AM
Mostly all of my bang flops do not exit. All exited heart/lung shots were trackers. I try to hit high shoulder, straight on, or neck shots.

I will say that the .25-06 has never had a deer run.

The ole 30-30 is a toss up if you hit them in the heart/lung area. It also matters if the deer is alert. If calm, then your chances go up for a DRT with the boiler room shots. If they are on high alert, you better neck, high shoulder, or chest shoot them from my experience.

kyhunter
March 22, 2013, 04:19 AM
I shoot boiler room with a .30-06 but being its around 100 yards mostly i dont know how well it works closer/ farther. I shoot a 165 grain flat tipped soft point loaded down to around 2500 fps. I dont need the velocity or recoil for that short of a shot. they generally dont make it out of the view of my scope if anywhere at all.

I did shoot one high shoulder with a nosler 180 grain and it ripped the top of its spine out as well as pieces of its leg and heart upon exit. This round was scooting 2800 fps though.

Texan Scott
March 22, 2013, 06:35 AM
Just below and behind the ear. Brain stem. Spasmodic leap/ muscle rigidity. Flop, done.

kyhunter
March 22, 2013, 06:52 AM
^^^ thats how i treestand handgun hunt. Death from above. Also quite the challenge

JShirley
March 22, 2013, 08:16 AM
Akpert,

You're right, killing "innocent living things" is a difficult choice. I'm going to guess that you only eat fruit that has dropped off the tree? Of course, the entire world is filled with things that eat other living things without questions of guilt or innocence, because that's how the ecosystem works, but one can strive for true ahimsa. The Jains only applaud killing themselves, so maybe you can get philosophical tips from them. A link to get you started follows: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~pluralsm/affiliates/jainism/qanda/main.htm

Peace,

John

Loyalist Dave
March 22, 2013, 10:18 AM
I like the diagram on page one of this thread posted by T.R. He's only about an hour North of me in Lancaster, so the deer we both hunt are a bit similar in size. I use, though, a patched .530 round ball, so I am not using what one might call a "high powered rifle". I too get deer that only go a short distance (under 50 yards and often less) when hit, and I have reached out to 100 yards without trouble.

I don't try for the heart. It's delicious so why blast it to bits?

If a hunter is a good shot and likes a spine hit from neck shot, or a brain hit from a head shot, I don't fault the other person for that. 30 years ago I could see well enough to do that with iron sights..., not now. That's not a judgement on others, just a personal preference.

LD

Zeke/PA
March 22, 2013, 10:39 AM
Trail Watching, or "Pot Huntin" as some in PA call it presents decent shots at a USUALLY un-disturbed animal.
With Butt on ground, back against tree and rifle braced on knees, a neck shot does the job VERY efficiently.
The animal is DEAD before it hits the turf except for an occasional reflex kick or two.
I killed a bunch of "Big Woods" whitetails with my '06 and lately a couple with a Marlin .35 Rem. with the neck shots.

Gregaw
March 27, 2013, 03:28 PM
Video on how to make a "proper" head shot. (Very graphic)

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/03/robert-farago/british-slo-mo-deer-headshot-video-nsfw/

I've personally never shot at the head of a deer, though I've been tempted a few times.

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