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Really crucial when using a single shot, what is your most effective place to put the bullet on deer or other game?

Most of the deer I have taken have been within 100 yards, several within 50. I have a habit of setting up near trails and have often had deer walking directly towards me. I have put 11 deer down with a neck shot and never had to track one of them. Each dropped in its tracks and did nothing more than twitch, even when no bone was hit. Most of these were with a 30-06, some with a 30-30 and even one with a 44 magnum Blackhawk. I dropped a little doe last year through the shoulders but wasted a lot of meat that way. Almost every other shot I have placed through the shoulders or in the boiler room has resulted in the deer running anywhere from 10 to 50 yards. I like to use heavier bullets, 180 gr for the 06 and 150 or 170gr with the 30-30. I think the 44 mag was a 240gr XTP. I have used other calibers including 223, 270, 357, 45lc and four different gauge shotgun slugs.

I have shot three hogs, shoulder shot one ran surprisingly far, the other two were head shots that went down immediately.
 

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Never understood the shoulder shot.
 

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Usually try for a heart shot, preferable broadside and I aim for the spot on the back side of the front leg where the leg meets the body. Basically the back side of it's armpit. Hit that on a broadside shot and you have both lungs and the heart. Since the deer don't always cooperate I still try for a heart shot, but sometimes there's a shoulder shot included.
 

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I like heart shots also, when close enough and the animal not moving I try to imagine where the top of the heart is and hit that spot. For longer shots and most times the lungs are the biggest target. As mentioned neck shots are usually bang flop but I have see them go bad when hit nearer the windpipe so not a very big target and if the animal is nervous it easily can turn out bad. Just when you think you have seen it all you learn different :confused:

jedman
 

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+1, that's the last place I'll choose given the opportunity for a neck, head or just behind the shoulder shot.Tim

A lot of people think the shoulder shot is a waste of meat - ya, some, but you will anchor that puppy and won't need to give away as much sausage.;)


If you can make the neck or head shot great - but sometimes a big animal is on the move and you either anchor him or haul meat. On a Canadian logging trail/road with several miles of trees/brush with a moose quartering away - you do your very best to anchor him pretty close to where you first saw him - putting rounds in the lungs & heart might work sometimes, but those times when that moose just keeps on rambling - well, some are fast learns, while others take a little more time.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Almost all of my neck shots have been on close, stationary deer. Only one from over 100 yards and he was facing straight in my direction.

Several years ago I aimed at the armpit area of a moving doe. I hit further back than I intended with a ballistic tipped 270. I found her 3 1/2 hours later still drawing breathe with half her internals missing from her abdomen. I finished her off with my sidearm. She led me on a heck of a chase across half the dang county. If a deer is moving now, I aim a little further forward and have not gut shot another one in the 20+ years since. Lesson learned the hard way, I still feel bad about that one. They may still move on a shoulder shot but not far and are easier to find. Never still alive when I get to them either.
 

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the guy at the gun store told me that if I bought this great big magnum, I could shoot a deer or bear anywhere and he would fall down dead.
 

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I grew up in shotgun and slug country. Was not much worry about where to hit them. Idea was to hit them. Lot of air around those deer when they are moving.

Over the years the thing that put venison on my table was

A Don't stand out, hunker down and tuck in.

B If they are coming my way, let them come.

The 10 point 200 lb buck on my wall jumped over a deadfall, a firebush, and me. Distance from the end of the barrel to the side of the deer was in inches. Like less than 6 inches.

Slugs may not be super accurate, although these days with rifled slug barrels some guys are getting pretty good results.

But they are a big chunk of lead. And if you put one in a good spot. Don't chase that deer too quickly, give it 15 minutes to lay down, stiffen up and bleed out. Well they will put meat in the pot.
 

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About those head shots, Killed a 6 pter last year(mercy killing as some yahoo attempted to make that infamous neck/head shot (take your pick)! That deer had me spending most of the day looking for a shot and finally got the quartering behind the shoulder dead meat shot .The deer was starving and had no lower jaw and this was the 2nd week of rifle ,me shooting a stik bow . The deer was garbage at that point and so is that shot and I hope to never see another animal in that condition . Think before you pull that trigger animals move at unpredictable times and neck/heads turn in an instant with unnecessary suffering and in 2 cases (the other a neck shot 7-8 yrs ago )had a hole a soft ball would fit thru both ended up with my tag not the shooter that caused it /just sayin Ed
 

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i'v seen alot of neck shots by alot of guys. either the deer was dead right there or they missed clean. i never seen a wounded neck shot. head shot can be a bad deal if the shooter don't under stand where the brain is.
 

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Never have taken a shoulder shot. Just slightly behind is my sweet spot. Being an archery hunter I`m never in a hurry to take a shot.
Sooner or later the "shot" presents itself. Guys that are archery hunters know what I`m talking about.
 

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I hold out for the neck shot whenever I can, but I'm fortunate enough to hunt everyday of the season on my own place so I have no problem letting one walk. Nothing wrong with the body shot, I just hate the mess and wasted meat.
 

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Never have taken a shoulder shot. Just slightly behind is my sweet spot. Being an archery hunter I`m never in a hurry to take a shot.
Sooner or later the "shot" presents itself. Guys that are archery hunters know what I`m talking about.

Maybe - for some. I took up archery as a youngster (45# Paul Bunyan recurve) and used the spot & sneak method or just sat and waited. Deer seemed to "sense" my presence when I tried sneaking & belly crawling and never did get a deer with a bow using that technique.;)

Sitting and waiting on a good known deer route - yup, saw a bunch with the bow but most never walked that trail perfectly and seemed to have that knack of keeping brush between them and me - a couple listened to my ESP pleadings and presented me with a kill shot - I got a couple and missed a couple. (funny how they took off when the arrow was released and they lowered their back and hind legs as if they where digging in to take off at warp speed - that arrow would go over their back and sometimes I gave up looking for that arrow after 30 minutes.:mad:) Now with a handgun/shotgun or rifle - they all would have been shot at and probably bagged?%*. I think I remember shooting a couple cartridges back then having "fake" bullets, as those bullets refused to hit anything - never got a refund either.

I suppose if one were in a tree stand/tower - things would be different - but in my limited experience I have found if you wait too long for that "perfect" shot - you don't get a shot - period. Sometimes for some, that's no problem but for me, it usually meant a good fireside story but no deer meat that year unless a relative gave me some.;)
 

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I grew up in shotgun and slug country. Was not much worry about where to hit them. Idea was to hit them. Lot of air around those deer when they are moving.

Over the years the thing that put venison on my table was

A Don't stand out, hunker down and tuck in.

B If they are coming my way, let them come.

The 10 point 200 lb buck on my wall jumped over a deadfall, a firebush, and me. Distance from the end of the barrel to the side of the deer was in inches. Like less than 6 inches.

Slugs may not be super accurate, although these days with rifled slug barrels some guys are getting pretty good results.

But they are a big chunk of lead. And if you put one in a good spot. Don't chase that deer too quickly, give it 15 minutes to lay down, stiffen up and bleed out. Well they will put meat in the pot.

Look what a 20 ga with a rifled barrel will do . Hickcock 45 also does some pretty good shooting with a 12 ga smooth barrel shotgun at over 200yds off hand . Check out this on his youtube channel.


Neck shots are my favorite when close and shooting conditions are good.
 
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