Hunting - Where's your Shot Going?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by BreechFace, Nov 19, 2021.

?

Where do you aim for on big game?

  1. Head

  2. Neck

  3. High Shoulder

  4. Heart, and Lung through shoulder

  5. Heart and Lung - No Shoulder

  6. Texas Heart

  7. I'm Vegan

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Not to pick on you as you may just be using common terminology (and I often do as well), but a LOT of people think a head shot and a CNS Brain shot are one in the same and that isn't necessarily so, as your shot certainly illustrates. Depending on the animal, somewhere between half and maybe 75% of the head is not any sort of critical structure to immediate survival (brain or brain stem). A lot of us get away with "head shots" that don't actually penetrate the CNS via hydraulic shock, hydrostatic shock, or blunt force trauma resulting in closed head brain damage. The 6th hog I killed was like that. The shot hit the hog broadside, just below and forward of the eyes, going through nothing but the sinuses, killing the hog. It was a lucky shot and I got away with it, but that doesn't always happen.

    ------------

    I like to make upper CNS shots when I can (distance and steadiness determining if I will take that shot), and shoulder lung shots a great distance or when less steady.
     
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  2. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I'm a double lung heart guy......unless it can't be done.

    I'll take shoulders on quartering animals or late hunts when I want to anchor them right there, but 99% of the time, heart/lungs. In 40+ years of hunting and I dunno how many animals I've taken exactly 1 head shot. I'm not a fan as it's just to easy to screw it up.

    That was still hunting in 18 degrees and 25+ MPH winds with a minus something wind-chill on Ft. Riley KS. Truly freaking miserable conditions when smarter guys stayed home.

    You couldn't stay on the upside hills cause the wind-chill was brutal and nothing, I mean nothing, was moving in the open. I was hoping to find even a doe, just to end it. While pushing through a wooded draw I came upon a decent 8pt buck bedded, body behind a tree, head protruding from the trunk at about 20 yrds. The wind was howling so bad in addition to the fresh snow that he never heard me coming. I must have watched him for 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get him to stand up and clear the tree, but the brush was pretty thick anyway. Finally, I was just so miserably cold, I kneeled, rested on another tree, put the crosshairs right at the top of his skull to compensate for offset, and shot him in the back of the head, blowing the right antler off with a chunk of skull.

    I warmed up going back to the truck for my cart and dragging him out.
     
  3. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Ok which one of you voted ‘Texas Heart’, I hope you are from Texas and like aiming for the heart.
     
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  4. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    No shots when I get done hunting in a couple of hours, budweiser on ice for me today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
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  5. caribou

    caribou Member

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    When hunting 'meats' Im carefull where I place the shot, when its fur, I dont really care, so its mid chest when taking a shot at smaller animals, as 'fur' is a much smaller shot than most 'meats'.

    When its an animal thats aware Im after it, I shoot for the head/neck to about to 200 or so yards, then I move to the chest for further ranges.

    If they are just walking or eating Ill take a head shot out to what I feel confident in hiting, and often its pretty far.
     
  6. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Instead of shots here is my choice.

    20211120_181352.jpg
     
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  7. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    The last buck (white tail) I shot, and he went down "like a ton of lead had just hit him" I never even hit the heart, but destroyed the liver, and it exited the upper backside taking the ribs with it. That was only a 129grain Whitetail Winchester factory round in the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    One other, much bigger Mule deer I shot, I ended up blood tracking him for slightly over a 100 yards and that was with 130 grain Remington core lock bullet from a .270 Winchester. BTW it was about the same distance on the run also. That deer had destroyed the heart, however, the liver which is one of my favorites, was still intact as was one of the ribs was just fine, so we could make some venison ribs with them. Incidentally the 130 grain Remington round was recovered on the right side just inside the hide.

    I've never intentionally tried a head shot, or for that matter a neck shot, but did hit an elk that was standing in a fire break, right at the base of the neck as it was facing me and he collapsed right there on the spot. Now that was also with the .270 Winchester using handloaded 150 grain WW Silvertips and 4350 IMR powder, however that was much further away at least 150 yards, up hill. Most of the other deer whitetail as well as mule deer were much less unspectacular, and were generally hit just under the shoulder, and went less than 25-50 yards before going down.

    BTW I shot my first deer (whitetail) using an Iver Johnston Champion using a slug, and after that quite a few of my deer were were taken with a 30-30 Marlin, as well as a .300 Savage Model 99. Jack O'co...... was the one that got me into the .270 Winchester, and reading some of the threads here, convinced me the 6.5 CM with the recoil reducer was the right choice for me, although I don't believe I needed the recoil reducer.
     
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  8. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    No shots for me yet, my usual budweiser red can and a couple slices of pizza from the Nineveh store.


    I did connect on a doe today low shoulder shot.
    Could of shot three more at different locations.


    20211122_180321.jpg 20211122_124722.jpg 20211122_121013.jpg
     
  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I did some sketches last night with my daughter (9) and told her that the spot to aim was at the point on the shoulder. If she could smack the tip of that point it would be about as good of a shot as could be made. Now I have to make sure and live up to that if I get a chance to hunt with her this year. I think we are going to hunt with my dad after thanksgiving (he has plenty deer and is a legal KY hunter, I’m not paying $300+ for out of state license) so I have to make sure he goes for that too if we get a meat deer.
     
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  10. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    Shoulder on bucks , heart/lung with does.
     
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  11. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I’m always going to try to shoot a deer in at least one shoulder while taking out the lungs. I don’t care so much about hitting the heart. Punch that high shoulder and the deer is done on the spot. If a deer is quartering away from me, I’ll aim to hit both lungs and the off-side shoulder. If it is quartering to me I’ll try to take out the facing shoulder and then punch both lungs.
     
  12. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    A fine looking rifle too!:thumbup:
     
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  13. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    My favorite deer rifle, I might use my 243 Remington 788 here shortly. Haven't shot a deer with it for over twenty years.
     
  14. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Let me guess, that rifle is scary accurate?
     
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  15. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Both of the 243s are tack drivers.
    I bought the H&R a couple of years ago and filled a bunch of tags with it and my brother shot a big doe with it last year. I like it so much I bought another H&R Handi-Rifle in 223 and put a 3x9 Burris scope on it. I might take that one out next week. I made 55 grain test bullets and got that load developed. A friend gave me to 62 grain bullets to load up and try.
    If they shoot right I'll order 250 bullets from Midsouth.
    Seen a nice big 8 point this morning.
     
  16. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    Heart/lung, within 100 yards, deer standing dead still with a sign on the antlers saying, "Shoot me, I dare you!"
     
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  17. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Those 788’s have a dirty reputation of being more accurate than the 700’s of the time.
     
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  18. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    My 788 puts them real tight group with the 100 grain Hornaday SST.
     
  19. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I had to select I'm vegan. I generally shoot in the neck and head. I really don't like damaging more meat that necessary. If it's not a slow shot. I am breaking the shoulders.
     
  20. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    View attachment 1039654 [/QUOTE]

    That hanging buck looks like he has ear pro.

    My last shot went in the top of his neck. Bled internally but bullet exited with a bit of expansion
     
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  21. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Hate to argue, but there is a lot of meat in the neck and bullet placement is critical in that area. On the other hand a good chest shot will drop a deer instantly. No air in lungs and deer can't run. I feel this can be better than a good heart shot.
     
  22. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    They can and they do, not always, but it certainly happens. They can run as long as there is oxygen and adrenaline still in their blood to keep the brain and muscles going, which is usually only a few seconds. Numerous hunters here on THR have documented double lung shot deer running off
     
  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The Aorta. Best probability of recovering a deer if the bullet doesn't hit exactly where you want it to (for whatever reason) You have a 4" circle around the aorta that gets you either or both lungs, depending on angle, if you hit high or too far back (within that 4"); you lose the heart meat, but recover the deer if you are a little low, you disable/break the foreleg if a little to the front.
    Learn deer anatomy from every angle you'd shoot at. I couldn't count the number of 'Texas heart shots' I've passed up over the years.

    Yup. I'm one of them. Even hit the aorta, and he still ran 75 yards. He hid under a log, it was right at dusk, and my Dad found him in the morning right away when we searched.
     
  24. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Agree 110%.

    Every, and I mean every, deer (also Elk, chamois, hogs), I've double lunged with:

    .243
    6mm Rem
    .260 Rem
    6.5x57
    .270
    .350 Rem Mag
    and .300WM

    Has run some. Some as little as 5-15' others as far as a 100yds. Usually it depends on what they're doing at the time of impact. They all die, just not a DRT. It's my preferred shot and I'm just not surprised when they go a little ways.

    The only animals I've had DRT were head/spinal or high shoulder.
     
  25. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Right. The only way to be sure to drop an animal in place is via significant upper CNS damage. That can be direct damage to the upper spinal cord, brain stem, or brain, or indirectly by damaging those areas with either hydraulic shock or hydrostatic shock, but these indirect methods apparently are not 100% reliable in typical hunting calibers. I am guessing, Chuck, that your high shoulder shot either passed through the spine (direct damage) or right next to the spine (likely hydraulic shock indirect damage) resulting in DRT.

    It just always seems easier to find an animal where you shot it rather than finding it after it has run somewhere else, often into the woods, briars, or thickets.

    Here is a short video I put together from my hunt on Thanksgiving. I was hog hunting on my place and ended up watching the deer, raccoons, and mice all evening before giving up after about 5 hours of hunting. Oddly, I had two injured deer show up. One was a larger (for my place) buck that had a limp of unknown origin. The other was a doe that had been shot. That was my assessment based on their being what appeared to be corresponding wounds on opposite sides of the shoulders, one small, one large, the larger apparently draining (not bleeding). The locations would indicate a high shoulder shot from an elevated position, but the entry was too high, passing over the spinal column without doing significant damage, and the project exited out slightly lower on the opposite side. Generally speaking, I like high shoulder shots because you have the chance of catching the spine along with the lungs, but if you err and go too high, you can blow the whole shot, which is what appears to have happened here. The hunter received no hydraulic or hydrostatic benefit from the shot.



    Over the years, I have encountered a variety of wounded animals, usually with well healed or mostly healed wounds. When they are hogs, we often target the wounded hog, first, and then examine the animal to see what was causing it grief. This is probably only the 3rd time I have encountered a recently wounded deer, the previous time being a deer actually hung up in a fence that I managed to free. The first time that I recall, was a high, mid back (grazed ?) wounded deer that was still slowly bleeding.
     
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