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How far can a deer go with double lung or heart shot?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Twig, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. Twig

    Twig Member

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    I was out hunting Saturday and I came across a dead doe about 100 yards from my stand. Well I went to check her out and she was shot with what looked to me with a very well placed shot. Went in just behind the right front shoulder and came out ($with a hole big enough to put my fist in!) the left. She was bloated thinking she was shot the week before. The hind quarters was also chewed up explains why i had been seeing all the fox around my stand that week. So how far could she have gone like that? Trying to figure out who would have shot her and why they didn't ask to track he on our land I would have let them of course. :confused:
     
  2. Mantis

    Mantis Member

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    With a very good double lung / heart shot, I'm guessing not much more than 100 yards. Who knows what adrenaline in the animal would do though. I shot my very first deer straight through the heart. In fact, when I dressed it, the heart was so blown apart it wasn't recognizable. Even with no heart, he still ran at least 50 yards. He was dead, but didn't know it.
     
  3. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

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    Kill Shots

    I have been studing this for many years now. Bullets do what bullets do.
    Some drop deer in their tracks and others , well ya get to track the deer.
    I have for about the last 15 years now changed my way of killing all my deer.
    I only shoot for the spine , neck or head shots. After loosing a deer or two too the famous vitals shots.
    Most all of mine will fall straight to the ground. But I have seen deer go a long ways on lung shots. Think of it in terms of time and not distance.
    The guy may have found that deer and decided not to drag it out. Maybe wasn't what he wanted or feared being caught. We have property lines very close to where we hunt, this is why we have had to resort to shots that drop the animal VS shots that allow them to run it off till they fall.
    Look around and see if maybe she was draged to that spot. The fox may not have been able to but something bigger may have.
     
  4. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    I was always told that deer have 14 seconds of oxygenated blood. So they can go a ways, and still be dead. I shot one at about 40 yards, and he just flinched, then trotted about 20 feet away. I thought I had missed, but knew I hadn't. He finally collapsed.
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    About 100 yards is as far as I've seen a well hit deer go. If the bullet cuts above the heart valves, blood pressure on the brain drops right now and so does the deer. Shoot the heart out below the valves and it can go farther because blood pressure is sealed by the valves for a bit.

    I've shot a lot of deer in my life and few have gone far at all, most have dropped, maybe kicked a few times, expired. I don't know, maybe I'm just lucky, but I always shoot for the shoulder/vitals.
     
  6. Blackfork

    Blackfork Member

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    They can't go far enough..

    ...to get away. Usually a nice blood trail. I'm very careful to note where the deer was when the shot broke and the LAST place I saw it. I wait 20 minutes and go to where I shot it, pick up the blood trail and start tracking. They usually aren't far. Longest one last year was about 100 yards for a deer very well shot with an M1 Carbine. Swede M38 dumped two in their tracks. Jap T44 dropped the doe in her tracks. Last weeks deer went down in place after a hit with an Eddystone P17 and HXP 30-06. A doe the week before went about 60 yards after being shot with a 1903A3 and 30-06 HXP. Carrying a K98 now. Always go for heart/lung shots with milsurps and FMJ ammo.
     
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    There's the reason yours don't drop dead.
     
  8. SammyIamToday

    SammyIamToday Member

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    Furthest I've seen one go is about 80 yards after a .30-30 shot that destroyed it's lungs. Deer are amazing. Sometimes they drop right in place and sometimes not. I had one crawl about 15 feet after a 7mm Rem Mag shot tore a hole on the other side of its vitals the size of a baseball and broke it's far leg. Then last year, I had a larger buck drop in its tracks after I hit it in the same spot with a .25-06.

    I'm not sure if there's any rhyme or reason, just that they are a very hardy animal.
     
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I've tracked a deer over 200 yds that had been shot through the heart with a .50 caliber powerbelt. This deer's heart had literally been shot loose and yet it still went 200yds through the thickest brush.

    Whenever possible I now try to shoot the shoulder. deer have a harder time getting away if you take out their undercarriage. On heart lung shots it's not a matter of if you'll ever lose a deer, it's just a matter of when
     
  10. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    Thanks MCgunner. That explains why my deer dropped so fast this year. I shot a nice big doe right above the heart.

    As far as the original question goes, I am guessing the shooter may have gone after the deer right after shooting and it ran. I've heard all sorts of stories on how far deer will go even when shot through the heart.
     
  11. birdbustr

    birdbustr Member

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    The doe Hopped a fence and went 100 yards with a 30-06 150gr Federal Gameking BTSP several years ago. Perfect shot behind the shoulder. No bones and no wasted meat with the shot. Both lungs and clipped a good portion of the heart. Usually that hit would be a bang/flop.

    Hitting the shoulder bones themself will sure drop them on the spot, but that is also going to ruin some good meat. A spine shot is also going to ruin some tenderloin and backstrap (which I sure don't want to do). I guess the best policy is to always pay attention to the deer after it is shot to see if it flops or runs, and always keep a blue light for tracking if necessary.

    It must have been something to do with adrenaline and/or hormones. Really it seems to be a fluke. Yes, it will eventually happen to the best of us, but 9 out of 10 times it won't.

    I'm going to try to do a poll for the point of aim to see what the majority says.
     
  12. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Break the shoulders and even if the are alive for a few more seconds, they can't run with only two hind legs. The shoulder meat is not prime stuff anyway. I grind it for chili or sausage.
     
  13. Mantis

    Mantis Member

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    It's not the milsurp.
     
  14. Evocatii

    Evocatii Member

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    Just to add some personal experience, my dad shot a buck and obliterated the heart (we pulled the mushy heart out for examination) causing the buck to drop instantly. The same morning, I took down a buck with a direct shot to the brain, again, dropping him instantly. Outside of those take downs, I'm guessing a deer can squirm its way through the trees for some time. They can be tough animals.
     
  15. chemist308

    chemist308 Member

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    ***? Why would you shoot a thin skinned animal with that stuff?
     
  16. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    To the bottom of a very steep brushy canyon, straight down from where the animal was standing, is the worst I have seen.
    Stop the blood/oxygen supply and nothing goes very far.
     
  17. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I have seen deer complete some pretty amazing feats with a solid gunshot to the vitals. Shot a big six point one time in the the neck with a .308 and watched in stunned silence as he swam 50 yards across a pond and jumped a fence before collapsing on the other side. Saw a doe shot behind the shoulders that ran about 200 hundred yards without a heart (the 7mm WSM destroyed the area where her heart had been). Hell, I even saw a spike one time that got hit by an F-150 at about 50 mph and ran about 60 yards across a field before he laid down and died.

    Point is that a bullet in the vitals will give you the best probability of putting a deer down fast, but no matter how perfect the shot, no matter how big the bullet, don't ever underestimate what a wounded deer can do.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'd never use FMJ ammo. I wanna put the animal down asap. I need expansion to do that. I had a 117 grain .25 caliber Hornady Interlock fail to expand on soft tissue once. Bullet went into the chest between ribs and out behind the last rib, good, solid lung shot. The exit hole didn't let enough blood to trail, the deer went about 75 yards and fell in the road not having enough energy left to get across the fence. I got lucky on that one. Most of the deer I've shot have dropped dead. He was one of the few that went very far with a solid shot to the vitals and it was poor bullet performance that I blame for the cause. I've never hit a deer that solid that went that far. I've had a deer go a little farther, but it was a frontal shot with a 7.62x39 and only took out one lung, but the exit hole through the ribs was massive due to the expansion of the Sierra Pro Hunter bullet from my handload, a bullet designed to expand from a .30-30 pistol barrel. I take pains to use bullets that WILL expand. I now use a Sierra 100 grain Game King in my .257 Roberts and a 150 Game King in my 7 mag. I shoot either a Barnes X 140 or a Nosler Ballistic tip 150 in my .308. Choice of bullet is quite important in hunting if you don't want to lose game. Even if the deer goes a ways, you want a large exit wound to give you plenty of blood trail. Smaller diameter .30 caliber spitzers must expand to do that. In addition to the large exit would, more energy gets transfered, more tissue gets disrupted. The only deer I've ever shot not using an espanding bullet was with the .357 Magnum using a flat point SWC bullet and it managed to leave a pretty good blood trail without expansion just due to bullet shape. However, that bullet don't have much BC and you wouldn't shoot a SWC out of a .30-06. A spitzer needs to expand. It does very little tissue damage without expansion. That's sorta why the world outlawed expanding bullets in warfare in the first place by convention and why the military uses FMJ as a result, more "humane" to shoot a man with an FMJ, less likely to kill or cripple him.

    I don't use FMJ in my defensive handguns either, only hollow points. I wanna stop the fight asap.
     
  19. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Up to 100 yards, in my experience.

    I've seen deer with no vitals left go for up to 100yds, I've seen identical shot placement drop them like a stone. Two years ago I shot a deer and knew right away I'd hit it a bit too far back. "Autopsy revealed I'd clipped the lungs and punctured the stomach. The deer cartwheeled once and dropped dead, Maybe 10 feet from the shot. Another had a .50 caliber round ball blow through it's heart from under thirty yards and went almost 50 yards before it piled up.

    There's just no accountin' for some critters.
     
  20. oklahoma caveman

    oklahoma caveman Member

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    i read in a deer and deer hunting almanac several years back that the heart can continue beating after being shot, for up to 18 seconds. enough time for a deer to cover up to 200 yards
     
  21. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    I once guided for a fellow who brought his new 300 Weatherby and 180 grain ammo. He shot a medium sized 3 X 3 muley at about 150 yards and the buck took off lickitty-split. Then it fell over about 80 yards later. This amazed me because I had thought the 300 Weatherby was a dropper. Turns out the thick jacketed 180 grain bullet produced a narrow wound channel. Damage was not impressive.

    In contrast, I've witnesed scores of animals which toppled over after a couple jumps. Doesn't really matter if the cartridge is smaller such as .243 or quite large such as 444. There is much about knock down power which is a mystery to me. But when a good soft tip bullet is matched to the animal hunted, death ocurs rapidly. Plain ammo such as Winchester Power Point and Remington core-lockt are still good choices for the modern deer hunter. FEDERAL, Black Hills, PMC, and Hornady manufacture good ammo, too!
    TR
     
  22. JR1

    JR1 Member

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    I've killed enough deer and other critters with a rifle and bow to learn one thing for certain...there are no certainties when discussing what will and will not happen when an animal is shot. Deer are esp. tough animals that can take lead like nobody's business at times. As witnessed by some of the above stories and by own personal experience some very well hit deer can run for 200 yds. plus after being hit. Doesn't matter if it is a .223 or a .338.

    On the other hand, some deer just die on the spot for no obvious reason. Case on point would be the buck I killed this year with my ML. Shot was with 100gr. of Pyrodex, 250 gr. ballistic tip slug, 121 yds. Deer was hit a little far back but still took out 1 lung and the liver. He dropped on the spot and barely kicked. Truthfully he should have run a good long ways. Mystery of mysteries.

    Point is, watch them after you shoot them. Mark the last location. Be patient in your tracking, and don't take up the blood trail too quick. Give "dying" time to the animal.

    Oh, and don't buy into the bigger is always better thing...sometimes it is, but a well placed shot trumps a bigger faster bullet any day.
     
  23. Twig

    Twig Member

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    I guess the fox and yotes are gonna eat good this winter. :-(
     
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