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Neck Shots.....

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Plank Road Farm, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. Plank Road Farm

    Plank Road Farm Member

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    Having just read the thread on Liver Shots.....
    I have a question of "Where do you shoot when making a Neck Shot?"
    I've only been hunting white tail deer for (this is my third year) and have always aimed center of mass behind the shoulder.
    Some have dropped right there and others have ran as far as 50 yds.
    I'd perfer to make a shot the drops the animal where he stands.
    The comments I've read suggest the best to insure that is to make a neck shot.
    I've never shot a deer in the neck.
    Where exactly do you airm (in front of the shoulder or just under the ear) for that result.
    If you miss the spinal cord is the wind pipe just as good?
    Don't want to wound the animal and take a chance of not recovering it.
    I have always heard that shot placement is the key.
    I am just trying to find the optimal "place".
    TIA
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    A neck shot that breaks the spine and the deer is DRT.
    A neck shot that misses breaking the spine, not so much.

    And a deers spine isn't where you think it is.

    During the rut, it may not even be where you know it is, due to a bucks swollen neck glands.

    In general, it is a very difficult shot to make, or depend on.
    So, I wouldn't.

    rc
     
  3. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I agree that's very risky and unreliable shot. If you do drop them you have to finish them off when you get to them usually.
     
  4. matrem

    matrem Member

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    I don't understand the desire to take neck shots either.

    The lungs are far easier to hit than the spine and every bit as deadly, though they may run for a few seconds.

    Most folks I talk to that aim there, tell me that their reason for neck shooting is wasting less meat. The fact is, there isn't much meat between a whitetails ribs. Hit a bit too far forward, and yes, some meat is wasted.
     
  5. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    If you pull a COM shot on a deer 6" you still have a dead deer with the posible exception being a low shot. Do the same on a neck or head and you miss or badly wound and depending on the circumstances loose the deer to a horrible death.
    A shot for 100 yds and under if you know your gun but at that distance you can put one in the ribs just as easily.
     
  6. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    In most situations the best shot placement on broadside Deer …remains the Thoracic area.The shot is ideally placed TIGHTLY behind the shoulder… about 1/3 to ½ the way up from the belly.

    Sometimes the “on side” front leg will be extended forward better exposing the area… in which case the shot can be placed in the “pocket” formed there.

    Anatomically speaking, you can see the reason for the shot preference: (large target, heart, lungs, major vessels all reside there).

    [​IMG]


    BUT, you specifically asked about an anchoring shot “CNS” (Central Nervous System). IMO, you would do well to stay away from the neck and instead use a “High Shoulder Shot”.

    BOTH shots require a higher degree of precision than the standard Thoracic shot and should NOT be attempted unless you are confident of your skills.

    [​IMG]

    Caveats aside (but duly noted), the neck of a deer is one part of its anatomy that is frequently moving (or prone to be). IF the deer moves its head/neck just as your shot breaks…the chances of wounding the animal are great.

    With the HSS (High Shoulder Shot) you have basically a static target area (assuming the ENTIRE deer isn’t moving). It also affords you slightly more margin for error (Left/Right) than the typical neck shot.

    NOTE: Depending upon bullet construction, impact velocity, etc…, the HSS will often result in some loss of otherwise useable meat. Normally…it will involve the upper portions of both shoulders and can even ruin some parts of the Back-Straps. It WILL drop deer in their tracks if properly executed, but as with all things…there is a trade off.
     
  7. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I make head and neck shots when ever possible, because I can, and I preferr getting them dead ASAP.

    You have the obvious brain and spinal colum to hit, and its not hard at all for me to do such, so I do. Saves meat and avoids runaways with blown lungs, not that they would get away as Im on open tundra, but the further meat runs from the shore , the further I have to carry meat to the boat.

    Placement IS everything, a bad shot is a bad shot.

    Alot depends on the moment and whats going on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  8. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^^^Yes, besides having to carry the meat farther, you don't want an animal running so far that it gets a build up of lactic and pyruvic acids in the muscle tissues.

    Can make for some poor eating.
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Back in the Dark Ages, my dear ol' dad sez to me, "Son (he called me Son), if you shoot 'em in the white spot, they don't go anywhere."

    I was an obedient child.

    A sideways view? The spine is about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the neck, but I've found that centering the neck with an '06 or a .243 is just as good. :)

    And Dad also sez to me that if I put the cross hairs out in front of a deer's nose when he's running, I'll likely hit somewhere in the neck.

    He was right.

    But if a nice buck is walking along or in a sort of trot, I'll lead him a wee tad and go for the heart/lung shot. Does? I'll wait until I see one just standing and looking.
     
  10. bison

    bison Member

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    Neck shots on hogs are particularly tough as their spinal cord drops down much lower at the shoulders than you'd think or than that of a deer. I always go for the boiler room.
     
  11. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    This obsession with head and neck shots is silly to me. The best chance you have for a DRT in the real world is a shot through the heart and lungs. No meat is lost, and the shot is nearly 100% effective even if your shot placement isn't.

    Neck and high shoulder shots mess up a ridiculous amount of meat.

    Head shots will fail you at some point. Heads move around too much.

    Why does the most effective and traditional way of doing anything need to be disputed to death?

    Next we will be discussing TNT bullets out of varmint rifles.... again
     
  12. critter

    critter Member

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    You MUST remember, too, that the head-neck area is easy for a deer to move VERY quickly. If you linger during the trigger squeeze, the neck may be gone by the time you get around to pulling the trigger.
     
  13. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    Because it's the Internet. I have posted this before and I'll post again. According to our local game wardens one of the most problematic shots they encounter is a failed neck/head shot.

    Yeah, I know a lot of folks figure the critter is either DRT or it's a clean miss. Problem is all of those clean misses that aren't...
     
  14. interlock

    interlock Member

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    well, in thre real world i live in sometimes i take neck stots. on a roe deer there is a white patch on the front of the neck called the gorget patch. if the animal is under 100 yards away and conditions are right i will take a neck shot. i normally will go for the gorget patch if from the front and the atlas joint it from the back. from the side is little more dificult the shot is taken high on the neck. But, conditions must be right to take these shots. I don't take head shots.

    my normal shot selection is through the pocket 1/3 to 1/2 way up the body in line with the rear of the front leg. It does not ruin any meat really and often the deer is drt... but sometimes even with it's heart turned to mince it will make 50 yards.
     
  15. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    I was a neck shooter growing up and did very well. I'd have shot the shoulder, but the caliber I was using was .222, so a shoulder shot wouldn't do. I'd aim dead center of the neck and that did the job. You may want to aim where the neck meets the shoulder as all the blood vessels bottle neck there or where the head meets the neck. The best part of this is all the meat you'd get (both shoulders in perfect shape) not all bloodied or traumatized. Nowadays I use a .243 and fire where I have more sight picture, but the neck shot was and still is my favorite.


    Waste not want not. :)
     
  16. Plank Road Farm

    Plank Road Farm Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I know this question has been asked before.
    And I apoligize if it bores some of you to have to read and respond.
    But, I enjoy this forum very much and appreciate most of you who don't hesitate to share your experiences and wealth of knowledge to the curious and novice hunter.
    That's what this forum is all about, I think.
    The comments have been excellant.
    Thanks.
    PRF
     
  17. ralphie98

    ralphie98 Member

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    Not that I defend it, but my dad has been using nothing but neck shots on the closer shots for the last 5 years or so. I've seen deer that he hit pretty low on the neck too and even they would drop right where they were, possibly from the shock I guess. He aims dead center on the neck area.

    Personally I like to aim for the Thoracic area that flintknapper posted about but I always end up destroying one of the shoulders (but at least they don't go far after that shot).
     
  18. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    For a neck shot, you aim at the middle of the neck. As long as you're using a good expanding bullet out of a high velocity rifle even if you don't hit the spine the deer will be DRT. Where I live, if a deer runs very far it will be on another person's property and I won't be able to retrieve it so I like neck shots.

    Of the 6 deer I took last year, 4 were neck shots and of those 3 were DRT. The furthest was at almost 300 yards with a 300 Win. Mag. No shot deer were lost. Most of the deer and other large animals I've taken with lung shots were not DRT.

    In addition, it is by no means only "failed neck shots" that wound deer.
     
  19. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    That's absolutely true. In fact, I think there are probably more big game animals lost that are shot in the guts or have a leg blown off.
     
  20. RonSC

    RonSC Member

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    The only time I could justify a neck shot would be on a truly exceptional animal and then only if it was under 100 yards and was the only viable option. A neck shot is a low-percentage shot and in most cases the heart/lung is available. WHY risk a fist-size target when the vital area of the average deer is nearly the size of a dinner plate. Just does'nt make a lot of sense....!
     
  21. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    This is why it makes sense:

    [​IMG]
    -
    [​IMG]
    -
    [​IMG]

    Now I would fully agree that if you think "minute of deer" accuracy or "being able to keep all shots within an 8 inch pie plate at 100 yards" accuracy is sufficient, the I would agree that you should not take neck shots and should go for the biggest lethal target there is.

    For me neck shots have proven to be high percentage shots and they're DRT with no tracking.
     
  22. EmbarkChief

    EmbarkChief Member

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    Like most here I learned from my dad. He always shot his in the neck (.243) and instructed me to do the same. Through the years he has averaged about 2 deer per season and for the most part I do the same with the most deer taken in one season at 7 and the least 1. I'm 35 now, shot my first deer at 10. Between my father an myself we have taken about 60 in the past 15 years. With the exeption of about 10 (head shots) these were all shot in the neck. My father lost a deer 4 years ago (bad headshot) and I lost one when I was 14 (bad neckshot). Three weeks ago I shot 2 on the same afternoon hunt, both neck shots with my .280, both bang flops. That's my personal experience with the matter.
     
  23. caribou

    caribou Member

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    More than once Ive caught Caribou with bullet wounds, from high power rifles. Healed lungs, healed legs, healed necks, holes in ribs, chunky livers.
    Not all shot animals die.
     
  24. castingdonkey

    castingdonkey Member

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    Neck shot if they are facing you. It takes the guess out of where on the neck to aim.
     
  25. caribou

    caribou Member

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    If you know thee anatomy ofthe animal your hunting, you will much better place the shot. Know your rifle, know your animal, know yourself. The three will meet more often the better you know.
     
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