Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ideal shot placement for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Kachok, Dec 6, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,168
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    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.
     
  2. DM~

    DM~ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2,263
    Location:
    upper mid west
    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!

    standard.jpg

    DM
     
  3. heeler

    heeler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,619
    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.
     
  4. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,425
    Location:
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    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.
     
  5. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,060
    Location:
    Central Utah
    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:

    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
     
  6. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    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.
     
  7. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    9,052
    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?
    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.
    DSC02492-1.jpg
     
  8. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    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.
     
  9. 336A

    336A Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,005
    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.
     
  10. Kachok

    Kachok Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,429
    Location:
    Palestine TX
    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.
     
  11. clamman

    clamman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    Eastern nc
    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!
     
  12. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    9,052
    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?
     
  13. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,912
    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.
     
  14. Kachok

    Kachok Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    4,429
    Location:
    Palestine TX
    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.
     
  15. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,822
    Location:
    Texas - Born and Raised
    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.
     
  16. Eleanor416Rigby

    Eleanor416Rigby Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Central Texas
    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.
     
  17. krupparms

    krupparms Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,044
    Location:
    OR. / State of Jefferson.
    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!
     
  18. groundhog34

    groundhog34 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  19. krupparms

    krupparms Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,044
    Location:
    OR. / State of Jefferson.
    I believe it means drop right there ..
     
  20. krupparms

    krupparms Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,044
    Location:
    OR. / State of Jefferson.
    They use a lot of new words & abbreviations here! I thought a Mall ninja was a kid raising #*#! in a mall!
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,379
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    DRT = dead right there




    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about
     
  22. Todd1700

    Todd1700 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Pine Hill Alabama
    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.
     
  23. groundhog34

    groundhog34 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  24. Jaag

    Jaag Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    NW WI
    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.
     
  25. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,379
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    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.

    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page