Deer hunting question

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by raven18, May 13, 2009.

  1. raven18

    raven18 New Member

    May 13, 2009
    i've heard mixed answers.... is it humane to kill a deer with a head shot... it's instantaneous death, why isn't it humane? well if you think it isn't then please teach me
  2. smokyhollowforge

    smokyhollowforge New Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    I try to take out the lung/heart area on bucks that I will mount. All others a head shoot would be nice but not always available. Since I eat what I kill a head shot is preferred.
    Just my taxed 2 cents worth!

  3. olmossbak

    olmossbak New Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Tenn
    If you change head shot to brain shot I will opt for more humane. A brain shot is very difficult as the target is quite small whereas a heart/lung shot gives you more room for error while still making a rapid kill. A head wound can be quite traumatic to the deer causing great agony for an extended period until it dies of starvation or infection.

    The only way I would try a brain shot is if the deer were directly under me or very, very close. Nope, changed my mind, I would go for a spine shot and still get a clean kill if I am a bit off.
  4. tim peterson

    tim peterson Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Howdy sometimes its easy to get confussed when you get mixed info. I have been lucky enought to take several deer. All were what I considered humane shots . But 90 percent were 1 shot kills through the lungs or shoulder area. Death may have not been instantaneos but it was damn close. The problem I have with HEAD SHOTS is this I know a hand ful of good/great Deer hunters that share my opion dont take a head shot. We all saw or heard storys about someone shooting at the Deers head missing and blowing off its lower jaw. Its such a small target when your excited. Most of these Deer are never recoverd and starve to death. Can you shot a deer in the head sure if your lucky!! The humane thing is to take a well placed anchoring shot. This is goning to be throught the lungs or shoulder. Thats my 2 cents . Good Luck !
  5. 21bravo

    21bravo New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    wilkes county, nc
    raven, i generally shoot for the top of the shoulder when im pulling the trigger. however, i have ocassionally taken head shots. and every one has been an instant kill. my buddy always takes head shots unless its a horned buck. ive never heard of or seen him take a head shot that wasnt an instant kill. granted were only hunting to about 500 yds max.. my 0.02 is if you can take the shot and are fairly confident, take it;)
  6. 308 at my gate

    308 at my gate New Member

    Dec 6, 2008
    Lost in SW USA.
    I have hunted deer and prong horn antelope and I always shoot for the heart. When I am out walking or creeping into position my heart is pounding and I am not that good to take a head shot. I have never had an animal get away or linger long after being shot.
  7. Well said by all. I don't take head shots because I'm not that confident in my abilities. I have taken a few neck shots whith great results but the majority of my shots are heart/lung shots. If you are comfortable with taking a head shot that you are sure will kill the deer then go ahead and take it.
  8. I agree with just about everything said, and to summarize, unless you're really sure you've got your gun sighted in absolutely right, you know what the distance will do to the bullet given the specific cartridge you're shooting, and you're supremely confident of your ability to place the bullet within about a half an inch of the point of aim, go for the heart.

    Otherwise, you're apt to blow the jawbone off and the animal will run away and slowly starve to death.
  9. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I am a heart / lung guy myself, although, if the deer is feeding and still, I will go for a neck shot. My scoped .270 is accurate enough to do it, I just have a hard time looking at the misshapen head afterward. :eek:

    January 08 my buddy went to a ranch to kill some does. We killed 2 each and a father & son killed 3 each. All of theirs were head shots and you never saw so many busted skulls & eyes bugged out in your life. All were instant death, it was just a little too ugly for me. :( :eek:
  10. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    I agree with one of the other post that if you are off just a bit on a head shot it will be a mess, for the deer. I usually shoot for the heart lung but last year i took a couple shots in the neck and it was a much better cleaning experience. I think i am sticking with it.
  11. raven18

    raven18 New Member

    May 13, 2009
    Thank you all for your opinions. if ya can't take brains and not the best shot, heart and lung is a better shot
  12. Powderhorn

    Powderhorn New Member

    Apr 26, 2009
    I usually jump from a tree right onto their backs, grab 'em by the antlers and ride 'em out to the truck, where I apply a bite-hold on their necks, which cuts off their blood supply to their brains. Well, at least that's how we do it up heah in Noo Hampsha.
  13. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    North Idaho

    Dang and here I thought my initials of "BS" were sufficient! :eek:;) catfish
  14. swanshot

    swanshot Active Member

    Absolutly. I once blew the lower jaw off a roo, trying for a head shot. It was not nice. I will NEVER do that again.
  15. OBrien

    OBrien New Member

    May 6, 2009
    Bangor Maine
    At around 5 yards with 12ga. buckshot go ahead. But other than that its not a very good idea. I have seen a bear brought in that had its lower jaw partially missing and when we skinned it there was almost no body fat on it. This was a fall bear in Maine toward end of season. It would of starved over the winter if it had not been shot.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Hunting & Fishing Forum Deer Hunting: 19 Point Buck! What a Story! (#366) Thursday at 4:32 AM
The Hunting & Fishing Forum Bowhunting Deer: The Legend 6x6 Tuesday at 3:52 PM
The Hunting & Fishing Forum Late Season Deer Hunting Dec 2, 2016
The Hunting & Fishing Forum Deer Hunting Action with Three Bucks On the Board! November 2016 (#365) Dec 1, 2016
The Hunting & Fishing Forum The Best Hunts for Making Memories: Deer Hunting 2016 (#362) Nov 16, 2016