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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I've decided that since I see far more deer within shooting range while pond hopping for ducks, that I would start carrying my Ruger gp100 .357. I've been practicing off hand out to about 50 yds. What I haven't practiced is having a shotgun slung over my shoulder. I spotted the doe at about 35-40 yds in a little brushy point. I drew and put my sights on her. However, the way my shotgun was slung, I couldn't extend my arms the way I am used to. So after she trotted on a couple of yards * stopped I gave it my best and apparently my best was a clean miss at that particular time. ;-)

mrgd
 

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Sorry to hear about your luck. I took my first shot with a handgun last year and thought I had hit the deer. Never could find it. Did lots of extra sighting in this year and finally got my first one! Used a T/C in 357 B&D. Keep practicing and you will get one! You going again this year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I may go in the morning for a little bit before work. My cousin took a six pointer this morning off of the same place, so they may be a little stirred up. They are rutting here now so hopefully a dumb one will run in front of me within range. I got a good 8 pt in black powder season so I doubt my wife will go for another trip to eastern Oklahoma.

mrgd
 

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How sure are you it was a clean miss? Based on what? Did you go follow up and look for blood at the spot the deer was and along the path it took? Deer don't just fall down when hit unless hit in the CNS most times in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Graybeard, thanks fo the followup question. There were two others with me. We all three concurred that she didn't react as if she had been hit at all. Even so, we all went to the spot where she was standing when I shot and searched there ant the path she took leading out of the little brush finger. We were able to see her and her run for about 50 yds before she got to the next trees. We searched thoroughly along her path and on into the next trees. Believe me I wanted to find blood from a double lung, but we never saw drop.
 

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I recall a corsican ram I shot with handgun many years ago. First shot was standing still and me resting my arms on a tree for a pretty solid rest. At the shot it ran giving no real indication of a hit. It was running in such a way to give me a broad side shot at it running full tilt around 35 yards or so away from me.

At the second shot the ram went head over heels and lay dead as a doornail. I fully expected two holes from two bullets but surprisingly there was only one. WHICH? I guess I'll never really know. Logic tells me the first shot should have been the hit but if so it sure was a strange coincidence it fell exactly at the shot the second shot. Misses happen. So do poor hits which is why we must always follow up as you say you did to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, he was about a hundred yards past .357 range, so i drilled him with a .243. Biggest buck I have ever killed. Heart for breakfast and tenderloins for dinner. ;-)

mrgd
 

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Congrats, any pics?

We can't hunt carrying both long gun and pistol so I have to choose beforehand and stick to one plan or the other. I am committed to pistol next Monday at least for the opener of our gun season!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The land owner had said there were some funky racked deer there and asked that we thin them out if we see one. This guy would have been a great ten pointer if he would have had been typical. He has a nice five points on the right and then a long pointless main and a brow tine on the left. I am really happy with him. I got to take one they wanted gone off of their place and shoot a trophy in my book.

I can't get the picture to post. I will have to have the wife put it on photobucket or something.
 

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Hey MRGD,
Good work on the funky-rack deer harvest!
Those funky racks need to be cleared out so they don't breed up a whole population of 'em. Sounds like you and the land owner have more cleaning to do. That sort of thing can ruin the rack potential in a local area for 10 years or more .
Cull them hard, (just don't talk too loud about it but...git-'er-done.)

2nd subject,
I'm sure you and your huntin'-buds did good with the unharvested doe but I can't help but wonder (like GB did) about how you determined a miss.
I'm not "beefin'" here, I do think you guys were probably correct in your assessment.
I just wanted to use the subject as a stepping stone to show how I see the escape of a shot-at deer and what it has come to mean to me.

It goes like this:
If the deer bounds away in classic whitetail fashion, with long jumps and head & tail held high, you can bet that was a clean miss, (though it is correct to look for blood or other obvious sign anyway.)
In over 40 years of deer hunting I've never seen a gun-shot-deer take off in that fashion. No exceptions.
When they have been hit, and especially with a lethal hit, They may [and often] jump straight up into the air and when they hit ground again they are running like a scalded dog.
The head is level with the backbone as is the tail and the manner of run is like a greyhound.
No bounding or jumping, (with possible exception of going over things like downed trees.)
To summarize, a high, bounding jump normally means it wasn't [was-not] hit.
The "scalded-dog" type of run means a dead deer that has to be found...after it runs out of gas.
Never saw it any different once I figured this out regardless of what was used to shoot the critter.

One other technical detail to share;
If they run off like a scalded dog, they sometimes lose consciousness while still running hard.
This often means the deer falls to the ground while still moving at over 20 MPH which [sometimes] causes ground litter (leaves, sticks and other natural debris) to be kicked up when they invariably slide across the ground [from forward momentum] to wherever they actually stop.
This ground litter often falls back onto the deer and covers it, sometimes very thoroughly.
I discovered this by bumping into a so-concealed deer and almost falling from the trip. The deer was struck broadside through both lungs and did the scalded-dog run (outlined above) and ran for about 80 yards (most of which was out of sight.) The blood trail was easy enough to follow but ran out within 20 yards of where the deer came to a stop but the deer could not be seen.
BTW, the blood trail often stops shortly before the deer drops, (a matter of blood-pressure loss, the thing that actually kills everything. )
A circular search pattern was executed (to look for blood or other sign of escape) but turned up nothing. As I turned to go [giving up because darkness was coming] my foot dug into the beast that lay at my feet completely covered in leaves. As I said above, I nearly fell from the trip.
Once I began to examine the sight more closely I could see the slide-mark on the forest floor.
That was the most-covered-up deer I've ever seen but I've seen lots of this sort of thing many times and I've begun to think it may account for the loss of many deer around the country.
I thought telling on myself like that might help others find their deer after the shot.
The character of the run tells me what happened more than anything else.
Even finding blood doesn't mean the deer was mortally wounded.
The scalded-dog run never lies.
Even if you need a hound to find the beast later, you can be sure it's "been killed" if you're seeing a scalded-dog type of run when they escape your sight.


Another BTW, I've learned [first hand] to agree with all the pundits that say the 357 requires surgical precision when hunting deer or larger game, (no matter what bullet is used.)
Fortunately most 357s I've ever seen could deliver the needed level of accuracy...if the shooter could.

Good thanksgiving to all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for that description of the signs of a hit vs. unhit deer. That is the best desription of such I have heard. To borrow your term, she did the bounding normal run. We only looked for blood out of what I believe to be my duty as a hunter.

Thanks again for that desription. I hope many read it.
 

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I'm very gratified that you grasped the concept.
Sounds like you guys did right. (I already thought so but the description might be useful to others sooo,)
Give it another go with the 357.
A well placed shot will get-er-done about as well as anything else.
Feels great when its done right...you'll see.
 

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I killed two deer last season with my S&W Model 28 .357 Mag. The first deer was hit clear through the lungs. Only went 40 yds before expiring but it was a dead run and didn't leave a drop of blood. The second deer was hit in the same area through the lungs. He simply trotted 40 yds and fell over dead. But this deer left a huge blood trail courtesy of the entrance hole.
 

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Hey You Guys,
and anyone else that took the time to read my remarks [above] about the Whitetail Deer and the "scalded-dog run" they make when mortally wounded...
What I'd like to add is that I also never saw a Mule deer do this.
Oh sure, if you miss they go off in the "classic fashion" with head and tail held high.
But all the mule deer I ever shot or saw shot were very different in their character.
They would head off in what I'd describe as a "deliberate" manner, neither hurried nor casual.
When dealt a mortal blow they would begin their "death-march" and after about 20 to 80 yards (depending on many things I suppose,) they would "settle" down to the ground and die in an almost peaceful manner.
One big mule deer buck, upon being hit in the ribcage with a 165gr '06 bullet, walked "deliberately" for about 80 yards while I watched him take 2 more solid hits, his body rocking with each impact.
A forth shot was almost sent but he finally found what must have looked like a comfortable spot and he settled down and peacefully put his head down for the last time. I never saw any whitetail do anything like that.

The only exceptions were when the deer was knocked flat by the hit, a rare event [to my eyes] with mule deer.
My total number of mule deer (seen shot or personally shot) only numbers about 2-dozen so I accept that its a small representation of deer behavior.
(Two of these were with a 4" barreled 357 w/125gr factory ammo by the way.)

Even so, I'd like to know if other hunters have seen this difference in how whitetails and mule deer respond to a mortal wound.
Maybe I'll try that question on another board too.
Any remarks on your personal observations would help my curiosity.
Thanks.
 

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Deer are much tougher than people. A .357 Mag 125 gr will not have any more effect than any other related round in it's class. Example, people don't run half mile and then climb four barbed wire fences to escape with a broken pelvis. Deer do.... I chased one with another LEO with AR's and the deer out-paced us with a broken hip, with other injuries. I know first hand of the LE use of the 125 gr .357 load.....but I would highly recommend 158 + weight for deer, even whitetail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wish I could find some more hunting ammo. There is very little hunting ammo in any configuration in the oklahoma city area. Almost everythis is rapid expansion self defense ammo.
 
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