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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been sitting here watching a couple deer hunting shows on TV this morning. I noticed that these guys are always shooting the deer in the front shoulder. I was taught to shoot lower right behind the front leg for a heart/lung shot. I'm just wondering why these guys are hitting so high. The ranges aren't that long so a properly sighted rifle should be right on the money. It seems to me that where they're shooting, it would have a tendency to wreck more of the meat. Can anyone give me any insight on why they shoot this way?
 

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The thought is if you hit the shoulder it will break and the animal won't run. My freference is to hit just behind the shoulder, about 2" lower and drop it properly. If you hit them there they won't run far. But that's me.
 

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IMHO, the guys on TV are mostly trophy hunters. They are not after the meat, but the rack, and the bragging rights. The meat is usually not wasted, they will find someone that will gladly take the meat. They just want to be sure to make an "anchor" shot. One that will insure that the deer doesn't run, or show to much trama, and suffering, for the cameras!
 

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In larger game especialy, but also for deer, on a broadside shot the heart is slightly forward of the back of the shoulder as well as more of the lungs. While you can hit the heart and miss the shoulders at the same time, shooting into the shoulder is a better shot as far as killing the deer quickly and being able to find it. You get more of the lungs for sure. But you also take out the shoulders which immobilizes the animal faster so that deer that are vital shot in a way that would allow them to run for a while can be found easier and fewer should be lost. I always shoot behind the shoulder for most deer, but if I am shooting at a trophy deer it will be in the shoulders.

You can look at it two ways. Shoot the shoulder and loose some meat when you find it or possibly not find it and lose all the meat and a trophy animal.

I shot several this season with my 30-30. All directly behind the shoulder in a good spot. They all ran over 100 yards through thickets except one. I clipped his legs and blew out his heart. He bled ALOT and was in open pines. The does I killed had perfect placement for not losing any meat. I almost didnt find them though. No blood until you got within 10 yards or so. If thier shoulder would have been hit, they would have been more likely to lay down and die sooner and been found quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK that makes a lot of sense. Especially when you consider everything they shoot drops on the spot. Mine don't, but they don't make more than 50yds either. I guess Id rather have the meat, its the reason I hunt. I LOVE WILD GAME ON THE TABLE!
 

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I only shot one deer this year, a doe that was about 2, or 3, years old. She dropped on the spot, jumped up, made one leap of about 5yds, and collapsed. No shoulder hit at all. Broke ribs going in, and broke ribs going out. When field dressing the deer I did not find the heart. With a rifle I have never had a deer run more than a few yds. With a shot gun I have tracked them for over 200yds.
 

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I've had very few of mine drop on the spot. Maybe about 6-8. I dont believe but maybe 5% have run over 100-150 yards. While I make good shots, I guess I dont usually hit those spots that drop them immediately. There are certain nerves that will do it. I have shot several in the neck on the run and it drops them on the spot. There is a nerve that runs up one side that if it is nicked they wont move again. I've blown the heart out and seen them run for close to 200 yards. Sometimes them things are just plumb amazing.
 

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Bad as this old sailor disagrees with my own thoughts. I have to agree with USMCSpeedy. I do sometimes get lucky and kill a deer or an Elk. Have way to many bear kills to keep track of even if I wanted to keep track. I can agree with a hunter shooting the shoulder if say hunting in Western Washington. there you have lots and I do mean lots of pressure and if you do not knock it down you very well may loose it to another shooter. Bethel Ridge in Eastern Washington is another prime example of that scenario. I hunt where the pressure is no where near as bad so I shoot behind the shoulder almost every time. I normally do not shoot at running deer or elk as I do not find it necessary. Besides that I am not in my opinion a good enough shot to ensure a clean kill on a running animal. Now I am sure some here are great shots and have no problem shooting at an animal much further than I would shoot PERIOD! I feel that about 300 honest yards (Not guessed yards) is pretty much my comfort area maximum. Perfect conditions,no wind,good rest,standing broadside etc,etc. OK a little bit further. Mostly I shoot a Remington 338 Winchester Magnum Senduro 700 . Hand loads of 250 grain Speer Grand Slam bullets running around 2700 feet per second. Have never lost an animal yet and never trailed one more than 50/75 yards. Which means it lived maybe five or so seconds after the gun fired. Just my thoughts. Hey speedy,thanks for your service. Remember that the Marines are a department of the Navy. :eek: :thumbsup: Yea Yea, I know you call it the men's department. :) I'M with you brother.:D catfish
 

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I've nailed deer hard in the vits and watched them run 75-100yds. Taking out a limb will slow them down a little, but have seen deer with two limbs missing run like hell.

Besides, headshots are my first choice anyway; if it's moving or far away, I consider a body shot but the head is the best. One shot instant drop every time!

But the trophy hunters wouldn't want to ruin the head for the taxidermist, understandable.
 

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Catfish, you brought up another point that happens here in some areas, other hunters bullying you off your game or taking your animal before you can find it. I've not seen it personally as the area I hunt is pretty honest and fair but hear about it all the time.

This is one of many reasons that I carry stupid amounts of guns and ammo including a gas gun with a large mag. When it comes to firepower, I want to be king!!

Especially bad are the 'any elk' GMU's, there's ******* A-teams running through there going after whatever they can including your kill.

So drop 'em hard and fast and get your tag on there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess I never considered the possibility of someone else claiming my kill. Rarely heard of in my area of MN and then usually only when hunting public land. These TV folks though are always hunting on some big game ranch it seems like. Of course they do a lot more walking just to get the shot than I do too.
 

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I prefer to ambush the deer from an elevation. After landing on them I use superior strength and close combat tactics to subdue them by hand. No, I have not got one again this year. Why do you ask?
 

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Shot placement has to do with the angle you are shooting from.If you are in a tree stand your shot placement is different then if you are in a ground blind.
And how the deer is facing broadside,angle away ,angle to you.
All this has to be taken into consideration when taking your shot.And of course What caliber you are using has allot to do with it to.
Sense I started using .50 cal Beowulf I have not had a deer go anyware when I shoot it it just drops.
Dead on the spot it was shot.
No tracking!!!
I have seen deer get hit with a long range round from 50 yards and run a long distance because the round was the wrong round for close shots to fast and no expansion so no damage just a hole so they have to bleed out which could take a couple hundred yards.
So all this has to be considered when taking a shot.
Mike
 

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I have a buddy that insists on taking shoulder shots. His reasoning, "I aint trackin no damn deer". And he aint eating that shoulder either :eek:
 

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I shot a whitetail at 50yrds from a stand with a .284, 120gr SP with open sights in So. TX, when I shot I saw some debris fly on the other side of the deer, I though SH!t, I shot under it, when I got to where he was standing there was a huge amount of blood, a few feet away I found the bottom of it's heart, about 1" thick and 2" around, this was in the brush country 75 miles south of San Antonio, visibility into the brush was almost nill, very thick, I tracked the trail into the brush, found a small mesquite tree that it had run into, covered with blood, looked for it for more than 30 minutes, was ready to call my Dad on the radio for help, then I spotted it's tail, it had drug itself unfer a thorn thicket and all that was sticking out was the tail, it was more than 50 yrds from where it had been shot, I drug it out and gutted it, the heart was completely gone, pretty much vaporized, the exit wound was close to 2" around, so with no heart it went 50 yrds into very heavy cover,

In NE I have seen a large whitetail shot in the shoulder and the hip, and still go more than 2 miles before it layed down, after a couple of hrs of looking with several people we found it and it jumped up and started to take off again, and was finally put down with a running shot to the spiine, it's amazing how far they can go even severely injured,
 

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Shot placement has to do with the angle you are shooting from.If you are in a tree stand your shot placement is different then if you are in a ground blind.
And how the deer is facing broadside,angle away ,angle to you.
All this has to be taken into consideration when taking your shot.And of course What caliber you are using has allot to do with it to.
Sense I started using .50 cal Beowulf I have not had a deer go anyware when I shoot it it just drops.
Dead on the spot it was shot.
No tracking!!!
I have seen deer get hit with a long range round from 50 yards and run a long distance because the round was the wrong round for close shots to fast and no expansion so no damage just a hole so they have to bleed out which could take a couple hundred yards.
So all this has to be considered when taking a shot.
Mike
Your screen name may be Goofy but you certainly make sense! I especially agree with the statement of bullet design. A bullet made say like a FMJ does not expand. Neither will a hunting bullet at the wrong velocities. Now this is just my opinion. When we hunt we should attempt to use a bullet that expands to the optimum and take the best shot we can get. A "Texas heart shot" as I have heard some folks call them is not on my agenda. My 338 is to big in all actuality for deer hunting. Because Deer and Elk season run together I use it because I do not want to pass on a nice bull or a big buck. During the general deer season I use a 7MM-08 with 120 grain Nosler ballistic tips. I have actually also killed two Elk with he little 7mm-08 but they were close. One a cow was only about 50/60 yards the other a young bull (3X2) was at 160. Neither went more than 10 yards. Course now neither was spooked and did not even know I was there until the gun fired. Too late then! The bullet traveled from the bulls right rib cage up through the lungs took out a large chunk of his heart and stopped under the skin on the off side. Retained about 94 grains of weight.
 

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Shot placement has to do with the angle you are shooting from.If you are in a tree stand your shot placement is different then if you are in a ground blind.
And how the deer is facing broadside,angle away ,angle to you.
All this has to be taken into consideration when taking your shot.And of course What caliber you are using has allot to do with it to.
Sense I started using .50 cal Beowulf I have not had a deer go anyware when I shoot it it just drops.
Dead on the spot it was shot.
No tracking!!!
I have seen deer get hit with a long range round from 50 yards and run a long distance because the round was the wrong round for close shots to fast and no expansion so no damage just a hole so they have to bleed out which could take a couple hundred yards.
So all this has to be considered when taking a shot.
Mike
Now I know everyone has dozens of technicalities - blind? tree stand? We have no such things here. Take a simple walk for an hour or two during hunting season - sometimes less and you'll find a decent deer around here. Just stop when you see a deer or several (they're not often alone), pick one, lazily bring the rifle up and drop one. I simply use my Marlin 30-30 with standard 150 grain lead tipped flat top bullets. Never had to track one down yet. Just shoot for the shoulder and destroy the leg. Missed a couple times and was off by a couple inches to the right before I mounted the scope (my eyes aren't quite what they used to be) - those went just behind the shoulder and the deer also just dropped. I doubt I've ever had to shoot one from more than 75 yards. Deer are everywhere here in the mountains. Left our friends last night who we had dinner with and there were 6 of them in their front yard 40 ft. from the house.........
 

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Now I know everyone has dozens of technicalities - blind? tree stand? We have no such things here. Take a simple walk for an hour or two during hunting season - sometimes less and you'll find a decent deer around here. Just stop when you see a deer or several (they're not often alone), pick one, lazily bring the rifle up and drop one. I simply use my Marlin 30-30 with standard 150 grain lead tipped flat top bullets. Never had to track one down yet. Just shoot for the shoulder and destroy the leg. Missed a couple times and was off by a couple inches to the right before I mounted the scope (my eyes aren't quite what they used to be) - those went just behind the shoulder and the deer also just dropped. I doubt I've ever had to shoot one from more than 75 yards. Deer are everywhere here in the mountains. Left our friends last night who we had dinner with and there were 6 of them in their front yard 40 ft. from the house.........
I was just curious. those are Whitetail I believe or are they Mule Deer? I was thinking of maybe coming South to look for a Mule deer but have not made up my mind yet which area? Thanks in advance.
 

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I was just curious. those are Whitetail I believe or are they Mule Deer? I was thinking of maybe coming South to look for a Mule deer but have not made up my mind yet which area? Thanks in advance.
These are whitetail here in Idaho and you definitely don't have to look for them. Our problem is trying not to hit them when driving! However, our hunting season has been reduced to two weeks in the late fall. I think that is going to expand soon though due to the proliferation of the deer now. It used to be 6 weeks.
 
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