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Gun of choice, bovine slaughter?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by VTmtn.man, Mar 15, 2013.

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  1. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    For the 1st time, I'll be slaughtering a 1200 lb cow... Just wondering if it would be better to set up 50 - 100 yds back and put a hunting round through the ear or get up close, above/between the eyes with a shotgun/handgun? Considerations are bleeding it out promptly, either case, this should be acheivable. I've never shot something up close & it seems to be a tougher thing to do... I've had some farmers tell me a .22 and others say a shotgun w/ shot shells up close. For the 'newbie' what would be the least stressful for both parties involved?
     
  2. Coop45

    Coop45 Member

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    Have you tried wringing it's neck? LOL!
     
  3. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    No experience with cattle, gramps used a long barrel .22 revolver on his hogs. Always worked, very close up. Don't think it was to forehead, probably ear.

    Didn't you see No Country for Old Men? That compressed air hammer Javier Bardem carried is what the pros use.
     
  4. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    Leave it to a professional. Take it to a slaughterhouse.
     
  5. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    Thanks 'Coop45'! didn't think of that method... From what I've gathered there is a bit of physiology at play in the methods used. Some like to use a small cal. .22 to brain dead the cow, while the heart still pumps the blood out of the tissues. I'm thinking dead w/o warning is the way to start out. Just looking for serious advice on the best way to humanely tackle this task...
     
  6. toiville2feathers

    toiville2feathers Member

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    Feed it in the feed bunk. You want the cow calm and content when you kill it. Take a 38 special, draw imaginary lines from the eye on one side to between the ear and horn on the other side. X marks the spot and pull the trigger. Don't chase the animal before you shoot it or get it worked up, you will end up with tough meat because its full of adrenalin. Cut the throat immediately so it bleeds out
     
  7. Coop45

    Coop45 Member

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    We had to stop wringing their necks when Granny got down in the back and couldn't chunk them anymore. Good luck!
     
  8. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    Thanks 'Toiville2feathers'! I have a .38 special but never would have thought about using it for this purpose. Is there a reason why this would be better suited than a 9mm, .40, .44, .45 ? Interested in the logic?
     
  9. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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  10. primalmu

    primalmu Member

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    A .22 LR will work just fine if you use a rifle. We use captive bolts in veterinary medicine which are powered by .22 short blanks (or something very similar).

    Read starting at the end of page 51. Not only will it tell you how to do it, but you can be assured it is humane.
    https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf

    "Based upon available information, if a .22 LR is to be used the following conditions apply: (1) the firearm of choice is a rifle, (2) a solid-point bullet should be used, (3) it must be fired within close range of the skull (within 1 to 3 feet), and (4) the bullet must be directed so that proper anatomic placement on the skull is assured."
     
  11. toiville2feathers

    toiville2feathers Member

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    VTmtmman

    None really, just what I use with FMJ. The others work well to. I would stay away from hollow pts in the 9 m/m
     
  12. Ms_Dragon

    Ms_Dragon Member

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    We had a small yard that had a concrete floor attached to the main yards that had a block and tackle attachment over it.

    We put the slaughter beast in this yard over night to settle down and in the morning threw in a handful of hay and while it was calmly eating reached through the yard rails with the .243 and put a bullet in the center of it's forehead just above the eyes.

    All calmly done, with no yelling or stress to any of the parties involved.
     
  13. matrem

    matrem Member

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    As for the making it dead, not at all needed.
    As for the dealing with a half ton of dead beef, not a bad idea..
     
  14. Buck Kramer

    Buck Kramer Member

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    Worked steer farm for 5+ years, I have put down a lot of steers this way. (both to put them out of their misery and others for eating) I used a .410, big enough to do the job not big enough to scare the other steers. Make an imaginary triangle between the eyes and the point of the forehead, they are dead before they hit the ground. As stated above you want the animal calm when its done otherwise the meat will be tough (unless its just hamburger). A distance of 5-10' is fine. I would not recommend a .22, I have heard 1st hand accounts of it glancing off, but if you are doing the "1 behind the ear maneuver" go for it. Quarter it and keep it cold...and I'm assuming you know the rest...

    Just reread the OP, NO SHOTSHELLS!
     
  15. abijohn

    abijohn Member

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    Do it exactly as posted by toivillesfeathers outlines. Believe me the meat is almost inedible if the beast is all worked up. Our mobile butcher guy uses a .22 magnum lever action, usually at the feeder. An older hog has a really hard head, be very precise with your shot placement if you dispatch one of the older sows some day down the road.
     
  16. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    (With all due respect) 'Matrem', I'm not a NY city dweller living in a studio apt. with a tiny frig. I'm on 150 acres and have exactly x 3 empty freezer chests and 8 more uprights. I've managed to dress out a variety of game animals over the years. My post was not about 'should I', 'could I'... It was about getting the job done! The advice has been helpful, by & large... Thanks for the cautionarry advice, I'm sure it is sincere!
     
  17. jamesbeat

    jamesbeat Member

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    I just bought my first .22 rifle, and I did a search for what the .22lr round is capable of, ballistics etc.
    I came across a surprising number of forum posts by people who recommended the .22lr for cattle slaughter.
    They pointed out that captive bolt guns used in slaughterhouses often use .22 blanks to power the bolt.
    I also read the advice to make a line (imaginary or chalk) from the right eye to left ear and vice versa, and use a .22 at the point where the lines cross.
    There were a lot of naysayers who recommended more powerful calibers, but it does seem that the .22 does the trick.
    Personally, I would use a more powerful round, but only because I have no experience and a more powerful round would give me less chance of messing it up if I didn't do it perfectly.

    Either way, it seems that close up with a handgun is the way to go.
     
  18. josiewales

    josiewales Member

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    .22 between the eyes. I've done it and it works.
     
  19. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Going out to eat! (LOL) Sorry, I just couldn't help it. (LOL)

    A 22 Mag at the base of the skull. What the slaughter houses use (a kill stick) or if you are near the ocean go to a dive shop and get a bang stick that is used on sharks (I believe it uses a 410 cartrage), that will work. Or you could just go to the dresser and take out the old 1911 and put one to the base of the animals shull. Just make sure the animal is near a block and tackle or start weight lifting if you are going to carry the animal to the barn. (LOL)

    Good luck and good eating.
    Jim (Save me a flank steak)
     
  20. ThorinNNY

    ThorinNNY Member

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    Jim
    If I recall correctly, back in the day, bangsticks used 12 ga shotgunshells .
     
  21. Prophet

    Prophet Member

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    based on my limited experience with butchering, I'm gonna recommend against using sub-sonic .22, though I suspect a .22 magnum might work better. Maybe it's different with steer, but I've seen too many hogs flail around after getting shot in the brain with a .22 rifle loaded with cheap target cartridges because the old timers I butchered with didn't want to damage the head meat. It's no safe or easy task trying to bleed the poor animal out while it's flailing its hundreds of pounds of girth around either, nice way to get yourself stuck with the sticking knife. Good luck, be careful and enjoy the beef!
     
  22. matrem

    matrem Member

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    Certainly happy to hear that. ;)


    My experience here is that most of the folks are sincere :)
     
  23. jfrey

    jfrey Member

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    My favorite load for cattle is a .45 ACP loaded with Speer gold dots. Usually use a Glock 36 to do the job and it works. Works on hogs and horses too. Correct shot placement is the biggest concern. You don't want to mess it up and I have seem poor placement with a .22 become hard to recover. While a .22 will work, I don't like taking chances. It is worth the added expense of ammo to be sure the first time. A 30-30 is my second choice.
     
  24. VTmtn.man

    VTmtn.man Member

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    'matrem', Thank you so much for your edifying responses, your contribution to this post has been invaluable! Keep up the good posts!

    Have a great evening!
     
  25. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    ok, when I worked in the slaughterhouse, when we had a big steer the killer (there's a job title, eh?) wouldn't use the bolt hammer. He kept an old Win. 62 on his station, and would drop them with a round to the forehead, right between the eyes. Don't know if it killed them or just stunned them, as we had them up and bled out in a couple minutes after that.

    His method worked great, except for this one time....BIG 'ol steer, took 6 rounds to the forehead and then went down. That's when he stopped using .22 shorts and upgraded to .22 LR
     
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