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Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Self-reliance > Hunting/Fishing/Trapping

Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and related conversations.

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2011, 02:23 AM
Crash Crash is offline
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Default Best Aiming Point on a Deer

Most of the deer I've shot, I aimed at the classic point just behind the shoulder. However, I've had to track most of them anywhere from 25 to 100 yds. I decided to shoot one through the shoulder to see if that would stop it. Well, it didn't--that deer could run nearly as fast on three legs as on four. I had to track him about 75 yds. Next time I'm thinking about shooting up high in the neck or just behind the ear. I've heard these points will pretty well put a deer down right now so you don't have to track them.

Opinions? Recommendatins?


Crash
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2011, 03:37 AM
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Native87 Male Native87 is offline
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In my neck of my place. Shoot it in the head or neck. Preferablly the head. I have never got my stomach full from Antler Soup. I cant stand the thought anymore of killing substanance for nothing more than than a prize (antlers, hide, whatever) My reason is this......... If it aint a quick kill no matter what the critter is the last minutes stress and adreneline will foul up the natural taste.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2011, 02:46 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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This is another of those topics that can get people irritated with one another. Hope this doesn't happen.

See if you can find an anatomy picture of a deer. Look where the spinal cord runs from the head to the back. If you can hit the spine anywhere along its first half or so, the deer will be DRT.

The head and neck move while the animal is eating and looking around, and that makes head and upper neck shots much harder. They can move just as you pull the trigger, and you either get a messy shot or miss.

I like to aim where a miss of a couple inches won't matter.

Once you find that anatomy pic, look at how the spine curves almost to the center of the body near the shoulders. About 1/3 of the distance from the sternum to the withers. In addition, the spine also has larger "spikes" radiating from it at that point to add strength to the front shoulder muscles. This gives you a target of about 3" or 4" high and about 6" to 8" long. You don't have to sever the actual spinal cord, you only need to hit the spine for the shot to be instantly lethal.

So, after all that, my choice is to follow the near side front leg straight up, divide the trunk of the chest into thirds, and shoot through the shoulder blade 1/3 down from the withers. If you do, when the scope comes back down from the recoil of the shot, all you're likely to see is legs kicking the air.
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2011, 11:44 AM
Poonie Male Poonie is offline
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Default Where to aim.

Its not advisable to take head and neck shots on deer as there is too great a risk of making a bad shot and or completely missing. There is just too great a chance that you'll aim at the head or neck and as was previously mentioned, the deer will move at the last second and suddenly you've got a jaw shot or throat shot deer. You don't want to do that. Better to aim for the area that has the best probablity of a clean kill, and also one that if a sllight error in point of aim is created, that there is still a better than average chance the deer will still go down. The shot behind the front shoulder, 1/3 of the way up from the bottom usually results in a lung or heart shot, both of which are quickly fatal.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2011, 02:00 AM
duckidaho Male duckidaho is offline
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I vote for the heart and lungs. My last deer ran 250 yards and I had a heck of a time finding it. Turns out I had just grazed the heart, but the lungs did the job. I've only once dropped a deer on the spot. But I just would trust myself to make a head shot or a neck shot. Especially at the distances here out west. Too many variable...deer moves, I move, whatever. Happy hunting.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2011, 08:51 AM
Mike LI Male Mike LI is offline
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Maybe the answer is in the load, the bullet. I just made up some 306 that I'm looking to try next season.

Hornady #30302 SST bullet. 150GR
IMR 4064 51.7Gr
Remington 9 1/2 primer
and a federal case. This should get me 2900FPS Not sure what the loss is down range though and for a long distance shot I would go to a heavier bullet.

But when you look at a factory bullet, like a federal 180Gr soft point, pretty standard hunting load, at 100 yards you get 2470FPS and an energy transfer of 2440.

To me the energy transfer is the key. Lot more knowledgeable guys here when it comes to loading & ballistics, and I don't mean to derail the thread but this seems to be the answer to me.

Thoughts?
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2011, 11:35 AM
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We've been taught and have always taken the heart-lung shot to "take out the engine". Out of the deer that we've taken (~10 in the short time since we've started hunting), I can only think of one that didn't fall on the spot that we had to track through the thicket and it took us about 30 minutes due to loosing daylight. That one that ran ended up having a shot (in the general heart-lung area), but the bullet didn't exit, because it hit the opposite shoulder blade, so it didn't bleed out as much.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:10 AM
Todd Heyn Todd Heyn is offline
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I believe that it is both shot placement and the projectile used.

I took two deer this past season and both dropped in their tracks. Both were right behind the front leg in the heart lung area.

I was using a .308 with a 150 grain Nosler Ballistic tip bullet. This provides enough penetration to do the job and enough energy is dissapated in the animal to be devestating to it. With the second deer I hit, the bullet turned everyting in front of the diaphram into liquid. That buck never knew what happened.

I believe that most people use a bullet that is too heavy for their intended game and the bullet does not have a chance to mushroom and dissapate its energy into the game animal. Deer are a relatively thin skinned animal.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2011, 06:30 PM
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I agree with the majority here..right behind the shoulder, up one third from the bottom. But... what if its not a simple "broadside" target??

What if the deer is "angled" towards me or away from me. Or what's worse is what if it is "facing" me, or rear-ending me?
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2011, 06:43 PM
Todd Heyn Todd Heyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
What if the deer is "angled" towards me or away from me. Or what's worse is what if it is "facing" me, or rear-ending me?
Angled towards or away make sure you are driving the bullet into the "boiler room". If the shot is too steep a sprotsman will not take the shot.

Same thing with a facing me or rear end shot, a sportsman will not take the shot.
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  #11  
Old 03-16-2011, 06:57 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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I agree about the facing away shot, you can really mess up the hams that way. For the facing toward shot, I don't agree. Again though, I try to hit the spine. I like 'em DRT, not where I have to follow for a quarter mile or more.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:45 PM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumble View Post
I agree about the facing away shot, you can really mess up the hams that way. For the facing toward shot, I don't agree. Again though, I try to hit the spine. I like 'em DRT, not where I have to follow for a quarter mile or more.
Mr Grumble,
So... for the "facing toward" shot? Where is the target? Still the spine? Through the neck? Or would you go for a low-chest shot?
--Ironclad
ps...I agree with you; if the butts at you...just dont take that shot at all; not unless you really enjoy field dressing a mess and taking home spoiled meat.
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:52 PM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Heyn View Post
Angled towards or away make sure you are driving the bullet into the "boiler room". If the shot is too steep a sprotsman will not take the shot.

Same thing with a facing me or rear end shot, a sportsman will not take the shot.
Mr Heyn,
Surely there must be a decent target when a deer is facing you?? What about a low chest shot?
--Ironclad
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:55 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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Yep, the spine through the lower part of the neck, slightly offset from the centerline. I've make this shot on a bull elk with a 180 gr 30-06. Don't think I'd try it with a light bullet.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:27 PM
farmerj farmerj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
Mr Grumble,
So... for the "facing toward" shot? Where is the target? Still the spine? Through the neck? Or would you go for a low-chest shot?
--Ironclad
ps...I agree with you; if the butts at you...just dont take that shot at all; not unless you really enjoy field dressing a mess and taking home spoiled meat.

Had a small buck walking straight at me. About 110 yard out. Center the cross hairs on the chest, just above the legs. Drops in it's tracks, no movement. Hit him with a .308 and 150 gr Fed Classic.

Get up to it, deer is still alive. We wait for the death wail, 10 minutes, nothing. 15, nothing. Finally just start to dress it.

No gut damage, hm, bullet must of never made it out of the chest.

Cut into the chest, lungs not damaged, heart, not damaged. No entrance at all into the chest.

Skinning that following week, the bullet hit the sternum and followed the ribcage under the skin to the loin behind the diaphragm (sp). Nice expansion, almost 30 inches of penetration. I had hit the deer just on the tip of the sternum enough for that heavy bone to deflect it. Followed the sternum between the legs and the ribs from behind the left front up and around the rib cage to the spine.

So it makes you wonder what's the right size, caliber or location.
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:44 PM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerj View Post
Had a small buck walking straight at me. About 110 yard out. Center the cross hairs on the chest, just above the legs. Drops in it's tracks, no movement. Hit him with a .308 and 150 gr Fed Classic.

Get up to it, deer is still alive. We wait for the death wail, 10 minutes, nothing. 15, nothing. Finally just start to dress it.

No gut damage, hm, bullet must of never made it out of the chest.

Cut into the chest, lungs not damaged, heart, not damaged. No entrance at all into the chest.

Skinning that following week, the bullet hit the sternum and followed the ribcage under the skin to the loin behind the diaphragm (sp). Nice expansion, almost 30 inches of penetration. I had hit the deer just on the tip of the sternum enough for that heavy bone to deflect it. Followed the sternum between the legs and the ribs from behind the left front up and around the rib cage to the spine.

So it makes you wonder what's the right size, caliber or location.
Mr Farmer,
Thanks so much for the details!! Sounded like a TV episode...CSI...deer autopsy!? Confusing isnt it?...tip off the sternum and start running around like that? Thanks for the excellent information, but now Im even more confused; about a front-on shot?

Im a "shooter"...no brag, just fact. And Ive never been a "bone collector". So Im thinking...between the eyes!? Maybe between the eyes has never gotten any popularity because the average deer hunter considers the "antlers" to be so danged Sacred?? I dont give a hoop, about antlers.
--Ironclad
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  #17  
Old 03-16-2011, 08:49 PM
farmerj farmerj is offline
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Not sure if you felt it was overly graphic or not. I don't know how else to tell the story any more "less graphic". Things happened that day that really changed my outlook on deer hunting.


Not sure what to say. I have head shot from the back after putting them down after a perfect chest shot.

I don't know what the answers are.

Once a deer is moving on adrenalin, all bets are off. Other than a shot that disables the central nervous system, I can't say.

Do your part to put it into a spot that should put them down is all you can do. Chest/spine or head.

The rest is nature taking it's course.
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2011, 02:15 PM
land steward Male land steward is offline
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These are all really good posts. Obviously alot of experience here. Yes behind the shoulders is the most popular place. For good reason. I have shot about 20 deer in the head but it takes some expertise. Head shot success for me are two fold. Number 1 the shot itself. Number two making sure the deer doesnt move his head when you pull the trigger. This is hard. Deer are quick to look around change angles etc. The time between the trigger pull and the bullet hitting the animal is enough to change the entry point of the bullet. This can cause a deer with his jaw blown off etc ect ect. Especially when you are attmepting this at 250 yards. When I get lined up on for a head shot I sometimes whistle or make a movement. This is when they stare very intently at me.

When it comes to bullet loads everyone has their own ideas. The worst damage I have ever seen is from small bullet weights. Big slow moving bullets tend to cause little meat damage. Small fast fast bullets cause lots of hydrostatic shock. If your lung shooting them it does not matter. If a deer is standing with one leg back a lung shot can catch one shoulder sometimes. This is all hypathetical I guess. Sometimes when we see a nice buck I fall back into the expression, Get er done.
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