Reminder: The importance of shot placement

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    Senior Member Array daffyduc's Avatar
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    Reminder: The importance of shot placement

    Not sure where this belongs... feel free to move it....

    Reminder: The importance of shot placement - Regardless of caliber....

    I learned somethings about self defense scenarios while hunting last weekend....

    We are not all that different from a deer anatomically speaking. Hunting with a .50 caliber muzzle loader, we had a smaller buck come through. He was approx 120 lbs... He would not get broad side so I lined up the best shot I could dead center of his chest and fired....

    The little fella took off....

    I was fairly sure I had hit it as he was only at 50 yards or so. we waited a few minutes then went to check out the scene.... I hit him alright... not only was there blood, there were parts of flesh on the ground.... I have always killed the deer almost instantly.... I felt very bad at this point.... so we started tracking.... this guy made it about 1000 ft before laying out.... when we came upon him we assumed he was dead, based on the amount of blood... he stood up and ran off again... we could see at this point he had entrails hanging out. we caught up to him again and I used my carry (.40 S&W hollow point) from about 15 yards to put him down before he had a chance to run off again....

    Upon field dressing him we inspected the wound. the bullet passed through the chest cavity close to the breast bone and tore a hole 6 inches through the under side of his stomach.... the follow up shot from the hand gun went straight through center of mass broad side. just a reminder of how important shot placement is.... 3 inches higher would have passed through his heart.... The next time, I am going to be much more selective with my shots.... I have never had to track an animal before.... I hope I never have to again....That said I got to thinking if this was a human or a dog and I was being attacked.... 3 inches would have stopped the attacker cold.

    Lesson 1

    EVEN WITH A .50 CAL.... shot placement is key.... and .45 is not a death ray...

    another lesson:

    I accidentally left my electronic ear protection in the tree stand and did not notice it until I was at the deer.... I did my best to hunch my right shoulder to my ear and plug the left one with a finger.... still rang my ears..... In an SD scenario expect not to be able to hear anything for a few minutes.... something I never thought about before.... in a multiple attacker situation this could be very disorienting and would greatly handicap you if they continue the assault. you may also not be able to hear police commands when they arrive, possibly resulting in a misunderstanding (aka you getting shot)

    Just a few lessons learned that could be applied to SD, thought I would share....

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Bullet construction also makes a big difference.
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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    Good lesson on deer, there. I have taken 200+ deer in my days and quickly learned a 'dead' deer can run a mile.... and, I HATE tracking.
    I got a .300WinMag since too many deer stayed out of range + the big magnum rifle dropped 'em where they stood. Two didn't fall, they just stood there, dead as a rock.
    About 50 years ago, an old hunter once told me, "Never go after a deer right away, Just sit & have a smoke, then proceed". Dang, that was good advice.

    I also insist on an instant, painless kill and have let many shots go because I wasn't sure enough of it being an instant kill.
    Good on you for putting the animal's suffering above a questionable shot.
    A .50 cal ball at 50 yards is an effective combo. The deer was in shock & didn't suffer with that damage.
    Much like a chicken with no head running away... it always amazed me to see that.
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    Senior Member Array daffyduc's Avatar
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    I use hornady .45 (sabot) sst... have had great luck with it in the past.... this was totally my fault...

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    Quote Originally Posted by daffyduc View Post
    and .45 is not a death ray...
    BLASPHEMER!

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    Senior Member Array daffyduc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatrix View Post
    BLASPHEMER!
    Not even out of a rifle. ;)


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    Glad you stuck with it and got your deer in the end. Some good advice up there about patience. There's plenty of deer out there; if you don't have time to visualize the internals and how they sit in relation to your position and the deer's position/posture, you shouldn't pull the trigger - even if you do, things can go wrong. I was ground hunting once and (haha) woke up to see a deer coming towards me. Got my deer with a head on shot like you describe as he was walking slightly uphill - had a little more white showing. However, when dressing him I found a 1/8" by 4" hole in the bottom of his heart - then it hit me just how close I came to screwing the pooch at what should have been an easy shot.

    Good luck to all the hunters and stay safe.

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    Distinguished Member Array sealteam20001's Avatar
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    One shot one kill! If possible, it saves a lot of grief on the deer and you..

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    Yep learned the waiting thing years ago when i was an avid bow hunter for deer and everything else lol.

    Deer feel pain but dont understand why they are in pain. Instinct says run and escape. Which they will do if able to at all. Fortunately deer dont run very far to get out of danger unless they know they are being chased even if they arent hurt. Hurt they will normally go down hill shortly toward the nearest water. And usually bed down within 50 yards or so of where they were hurt if you stay still.

    Wait half an hour and even if it didnt die yet it will set up so stiff that its more like a cow trying to get up and run than deer. Normally though they expire even from a marginal shot in a short time if you dont follow them and jump them up again. Get one good and scared and thinking its being chased though and the darn things can run on sheer nerve for miles if they arent hit solid
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    OP Were you using one of those modern muzzle loaders or a Traditional gun like a Lyman Hawken 50cal?

    An old friend of mine dropped an Elk with a 50cal flinter from 100 yards 23 years ago. The kicker here and to my knowledge he never lied to me but he told me his shot hit the animal in the privates and fell where he stood. It was mighty good eatin'.
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    Distinguished Member Array technomonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daffyduc View Post
    EVEN WITH A .50 CAL.... shot placement is key.... and .45 is not a death ray...
    so, the moral of the story is that we need death rays ?
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    Next time use your left index finger to plug your right ear and keep the left ear aimed 180 degrees away from the gun,that way your not getting the blast coming right back at your unprotected ear
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    Quote Originally Posted by daffyduc View Post
    Not sure where this belongs... feel free to move it....

    Reminder: The importance of shot placement - Regardless of caliber....

    I learned somethings about self defense scenarios while hunting last weekend....

    We are not all that different from a deer anatomically speaking. Hunting with a .50 caliber muzzle loader, we had a smaller buck come through. He was approx 120 lbs... He would not get broad side so I lined up the best shot I could dead center of his chest and fired....

    The little fella took off....

    I was fairly sure I had hit it as he was only at 50 yards or so. we waited a few minutes then went to check out the scene.... I hit him alright... not only was there blood, there were parts of flesh on the ground.... I have always killed the deer almost instantly.... I felt very bad at this point.... so we started tracking.... this guy made it about 1000 ft before laying out.... when we came upon him we assumed he was dead, based on the amount of blood... he stood up and ran off again... we could see at this point he had entrails hanging out. we caught up to him again and I used my carry (.40 S&W hollow point) from about 15 yards to put him down before he had a chance to run off again....

    Upon field dressing him we inspected the wound. the bullet passed through the chest cavity close to the breast bone and tore a hole 6 inches through the under side of his stomach.... the follow up shot from the hand gun went straight through center of mass broad side. just a reminder of how important shot placement is.... 3 inches higher would have passed through his heart.... The next time, I am going to be much more selective with my shots.... I have never had to track an animal before.... I hope I never have to again....That said I got to thinking if this was a human or a dog and I was being attacked.... 3 inches would have stopped the attacker cold.

    Lesson 1

    EVEN WITH A .50 CAL.... shot placement is key.... and .45 is not a death ray...

    another lesson:

    I accidentally left my electronic ear protection in the tree stand and did not notice it until I was at the deer.... I did my best to hunch my right shoulder to my ear and plug the left one with a finger.... still rang my ears..... In an SD scenario expect not to be able to hear anything for a few minutes.... something I never thought about before.... in a multiple attacker situation this could be very disorienting and would greatly handicap you if they continue the assault. you may also not be able to hear police commands when they arrive, possibly resulting in a misunderstanding (aka you getting shot)

    Just a few lessons learned that could be applied to SD, thought I would share....
    Is it legal to use a modern gun for a finishing shot in TN? Everyplace I've ever been, during primitive season (archery/muzzle loading), the same type weapon had to be used. Modern pistol for a finishing shot during muzzle loading season would get your guns confiscated and a BIG fine.
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    Member Array mnmbrewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    Is it legal to use a modern gun for a finishing shot in TN? Everyplace I've ever been, during primitive season (archery/muzzle loading), the same type weapon had to be used. Modern pistol for a finishing shot during muzzle loading season would get your guns confiscated and a BIG fine.
    Michigan will get you the same thing. If you finish the animal with anything other than primitive you are looking at a whole lot of trouble. Since my instructor was a former conservation officer we actually covered some of the hunting laws reguarding hand gun carry.
    Aceoky likes this.

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    I just arrowed a 4 point on Oct. 20th with a crossbow.
    Hit the deer at 25 yards, puncturing one lung at the very rear.
    Waited 1.25 hrs. got down and found the bolt covered in goo.
    Followed good blood trail for 50 yards.
    Then followed sporadic blood trail for another 20-25.
    Then lost blood all together.
    Daughter #2 was helping trail(she is into forensics) and said we should split up, and we did; I walked another 20 yards and found the deer piled up on a deer trail.
    He went around 120 yd total.
    Always wait when you know you hit them.

    Glad you recovered the animal.
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