Shot placement

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by kalboy26, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. kalboy26

    kalboy26 New Member

    173
    0
    0
    Im curious as to where everyone else places their shot on deer, elk, or antelope, and why? I've always gone just behind the front shoulder to avoid damaging meat, but I hear a lot of other guys saying they like to shoot the front shoulder. I even hear some people say they shoot the neck or spinal cord.
     
  2. MTHunter

    MTHunter New Member

    188
    0
    0
    Spine above the heart or a neck shot. I have lost 2 many deer after a heart shot because of that last spurt of energy deer esp white tail can get even when shot in the heart. If I am just on a meat run and don't care about preserving the antlers I sometimes try for a headshot. We used to live on reservation in WA because my wife is a tribal member there and we as in she could hunt all year round. All trips then were meat runs because there was no work aside from logging or fire control so we survived by hunting without it we would have starved.
     

  3. tri70

    tri70 New Member

    1,324
    0
    0
    If they are close and standing, a neck or head shot works. If they are running and you feel confident in a shot, the heart/lung area works. Also the longer the distance the kill zone for heart/lung is better.
     
  4. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Active Member

    995
    39
    28
    I prefer to hit my deer and for that fact pigs and goats around the chest area or about 5" below the shoulder so that the projectile drives in and smashes the front leg and then gets into the heart/lung area and busts up all the vitals smashing arteries etc.

    With a front on shot I aim about the middle of the chest as this will pulp the heart and lungs. Running shots are a thing I don't really do much of(on deer) because I'm not that good as I used to be on these as I used to practice running shots on rabbits so I just let them go with a free pass till next time.
     
  5. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    6,624
    2
    0
    I shoot for the neck if it is an easy shot. When I shoot a deer in the shoulders I shoot the deer right in the shoulder blades. I also use a shotgun slug, 30/06 or 5.62 x 54r. All three damage the shoulder blades enough that the deer can not use its front legs. I have shot deer with a 5.62 x 39 and a 5.56. Neither cartridge had enough power to put the deer down right there. They did kill the deer but it ran a considerable distance. When I cleaned the deer both rounds failed to create a suitable wound channel. The hole in the deer's shoulder blade looked like it was drilled. The larger calibers shattered the deers shoulder blades.
     
  6. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    5,044
    95
    48
    It depends on the 'totality of the circumstances'! ;)
    Short of a 'central nervous system' hit, the only way to stop the animal (of any size) is oxygen deprivation to the brain caused by blood lose.
    If the range is short, winds are calm, you have a VERY accurate weapon, the animal is relaxed and not moving, and you have 'practiced' enough to be 100% sure you can make the shot a central nervous system shot is the way to go. :cool:
    BUT this is not a perfect world and I have only had a few times when these 'conditions' were PERFECT so I have used the 'boiler room' (heart lung) shot most of the time. I have NEVER lost an animal when I have done my part (choosing the right bullet and placing it properly) using the heart lung shot on everything from antelope to elk.;)
     
  7. kalboy26

    kalboy26 New Member

    173
    0
    0
    For those of you that take shoulder shots, do you feel like you damage much meat? I've never dared to take a head or neck shot, to small a Target for me on something that wont usually hold still. I suppose if I was fairly close and it was lined up right I wouldn't hesitate though.
     
  8. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    Neck shot or the heart chamber. I only take side shots. No Texas heart shots!
     
  9. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Active Member

    995
    39
    28
    I don't think so as mostly up front is the ribs and etc and not much meat where as the back half of the critter is where most of the meat is.

    When I bust rabbits with the .22 in the head/neck area I generally dress out the rabbit and depending on the damage done to the front of the rabbit cut the front half off and give it to the dog.
     
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    1,505
    1
    38
    I almost always take a heart/lung shot a few inches behind the shoulder. I don't like head shots because if you pull it you run the risk of blowing a deers lower jaw off giving it a very painful, slow death from starvation. That being said there are exceptions. My last deer I took a head shot at 65 yards with my Hawken. She had turned away from me and was slowly moving away. Every now and then I had a chance at the back of her head so I felt that if I did miss my shot it would be a miss altogether. The round ball went in behind her ear and she dropped like a rock. That's the first head shot I've taken in 46 years. I only ever took one before that and was rewarded with a six inch piece of antler.
     
  11. gschnarr

    gschnarr Member

    44
    0
    6
    I always go for the heart lung shots. With the neck or head shots, there is too much chance of a wound that will only cripple for a long slow death. If you watch a deer, the head and neck are moved often and quickly. Not the best for a shot. When hit in the heart lung area the deer will drop quickly. I and those I have hunted with for the last 50 years have never lost a deer hit in the chest with a deer round. There is always a blood trail if the animal happens to make it out of sight.
     
  12. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

    1,511
    0
    0
    No animal shot in the heart should get away. Hit there they take off on a mad dash and for me, NEVER have they run over 100yds. They always left a great blood trail a blind man could follow. With the heart blown away they are dead in less than 4-5 seconds.
     
  13. kalboy26

    kalboy26 New Member

    173
    0
    0
    This is kinda why I was curious, mine usually make that mad dash but never get far. 50 yards furthest I had one go, and I've never had a railed problem finding the animal. A friend of mine always shoots the shoulder to avoid the dash, but I feel like there is alot of meat there. No arguing that a shoulder shot will put a damper on the dash though I guess.
     
  14. MTHunter

    MTHunter New Member

    188
    0
    0

    It was probably more my fault they got away but I have seen these whitetails here in Montana and in Washington run about 300 yards before they drop from a heart shot. I will just stick with my spine shots since I am admittedly a pretty ****ty tracker. Shoot them in the spine that animal drops on the spot.
     
  15. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    5,044
    95
    48
    Exactly. Many of those I hunted with use the shot to break down the shoulder to stop the animal. This requires the shot to be lined up exactly to get both the shoulder and the heart/lung. My experience, as I said above, is the same as yours, 50 yds max, but most were DITT. :cool:
     
  16. Intheshop

    Intheshop New Member

    210
    0
    0
    It "can" get complicated,which really doesn't jibe well with the whole intent of putting meat on the ground.Terminal ballistics "should" be easy-peazy...get enough gun/calibre,hit'm in the boiler rm and break out the skinning knife.

    But,it gets a little more involved than that.A few factors below that stirs the pot.

    Shot angle.....and how placement effects this.IOWs,if you have a full broadside shot and you're good enough to keep all shots in a pie plate at "X" amt of distance.....devided by wobble factor.....the hit/kill probability is what?Change shot angle to a "quartering away",now how does that pie plate accuracy envelope factor in?

    Shot angle effect on terminal ballistics.Same scenerio as above....a full broadside vs Quartering away.In the latter,the bullet may have to go through a cpl ribs and maintain its path to reach vitals......could be a long'ish wound channel.What "was" enough bullet for broadside,might come up short on longish(wound channel) angles.

    Ballistics in general.Compare a .243...which can lead to serious debate in itself as to it's effectiveness on Deer sized animals......But,is exactly why I'm using it>Compare a wound channel on a broadside dbl lung hit of a .243 at say less than 50 yds,with same bullet and a 400 yd shot.Both with identical placement."Premium" bullets are great....but you can still get outside the lines WRT expectations.

    Above are just a few reasons experience plays such a vital role in hunting,effectively.You've asked a great question........some see the answers as easy,and they can be.Just keep asking season'd hunters about shot angles,anatomy,bullet performance,etc.You'll see patterns develop.Be careful however putting too much stock in trophy hunters.Yes,they'll have input...and it is valuable.But temper that with a "meat hunter"....you know the guy.Been using the same 30-30 for 40 years and putting meat in the locker.Both have accomplished the intended task....Dead Deer.But the methods and tools can be drastically different.

    I bow hunt with a recurve and go for dbl lung shots.
     
  17. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

    1,733
    0
    0
    There are so many places you can shoot a deer at that will kill it immediately, even a butt shot,not ideal but there are a lot of blood vessels back there.Definitely the best tried and true spot is behind the shoulder so you take out the lungs, if they can't breath, they can't run.The only other spot I go for is the neck because again, with a broken neck, they can't run.
     
  18. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

    1,733
    0
    0
    Another thing, a really important thing to remember is that shot placement is more critical if the animal is stressed.If you are in a heavily populated area where hunters all the sudden fill the woods, and the deer are spooked, you can put a shot right through the heart and they can still run and run for a long time because their blood is full of adrenalin, as where if the deer is calm and has no clue you are there, maybe it's grazing or something, and you made that same shot-it will drop right there without a step.
     
  19. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

    7,315
    272
    83
    Depends on the weapon, and the range to the target.

    Shotgun: 15 yards or less: right behind the ear, or head shot.
    No sense in wasting meat, and I owe the animal the quickest death possible.
    16 to 50 yards: heart lung, right behind the shoulder
    Over 50: see above.

    Pistol: same as shotgun

    Bow: 0 to 30 yards: heart\lung, between the shoulder and the last rib. varies with shot angle.
    30 and beyond, I will wait for it to get closer. If it doesn't come in closer, it wasn't meant to be.

    Rifle: 0 to 25 yards, head for the same reason as shotgun
    25 to 250 yards, Heart\lung area, generally right between the shoulder and the elbow, about 6 inches back.

    I am not out there to kill, I am not out there only for the meat. I am out there for the time with my friends and family, and it is our job to teach the next generation the right way. The animal must be respected, as must all of nature's gifts. If I fill a tag, great. If I don't, it still beats the hell out of a day at work. My take on it, YMMV.
     
  20. nosaj

    nosaj New Member

    746
    1
    0
    Good to know. The largest creature i have ever killed was a beefy raccoon....... :eek: