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Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

 
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:14 PM
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Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

Anybody have any cases where you have witnessed a big game animalís reaction to a gunshot or shots that werenít directly taken at that animal? Or maybe even a shot taken directly at an animal that didnít react to the shot if it was a miss. This is in reference to a big game animalís reaction to the sound of a shot and quite possibly impacts in their general vicinity. And particularly at longer rangesÖÖÖÖ..

Again, during the past few months, I have had several additional instances where I have been able to observe big game animalís reactions to gun shots and find some of them interesting.

ē 3 does at 350 yards and slightly below our position showed no reaction to a buck being shot by someone that was about 300-400 yards beyond them, and slightly above them. The 3 does just continued to feed and never indicated they heard the shots. I know if I heard the shots the does had to because they were closer to the shooter, but they werenít alarmed in any way.


ē About 40 cow elk at just under 700 yards showed more alarm at the fact that I shot a spike in the bunch and the fact that he fell. They acted confused and alarmed. They actually came towards us for a ways before turning down the canyon. Iím sure they heard the shot but probably couldnít tell where it came from. They just reacted more to the spike falling, as evidenced by their reactions and how they looked at him, than they did to the shot.


ē 2 does in a basin about 1000 yards across showed no reaction to about 8-10 shots we took at rocks during a lull in the hunting. They were about 320-350 yards to our right at about 45 degrees and on our same level. The shots were at rocks about 45 degrees to our left and about 600-800 yards away. The deer were feeding and continued to feed throughout the shooting. They were still feeding in the same spot when we left the area.


ē 2 does bedded in a small bowl at 1250 yards showed no reaction to about 12 shots on rocks at their same distance but about 100 yards to their left. They were bedded and the impact of the bullets on the rocks and the sound of the shot didnít alarm them in any way. They were still bedded and sunning themselves when we left.

ē 11 deer feeding in a small flat/saddle on a ridge at 1100 yards and about 30 degrees to our right showed no reaction to our shots taken at crows at 800 yards and about 30 degrees to our left. The crows reacted but that was probably because the 200 grain slug only missed by about an inch or less.

I believe the deer at 350 yards were probably an exception and normally I would have expected them to run, but they didnít. I find that from about 700-800 yards on out the animals donít respond like you might think they would. I also find, in my experiences, that at ranges of about 1000 yards and beyond that you can pretty much count on them not reacting to the shot in most instances, unless the impact is really close to the animal.

What have you noticed or found as far as animals reacting to the shot and what were the circumstances and distances. Along this same line, have any of you used sighter shots at extended ranges, and if so, what were the results?
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:47 PM
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Re: Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

2X2 mule deer. 110 yds. First time shooter.

Deer walking broad side. When shooter moved to set up (Was prone and had to shift a bit) the itty bitty buck picked up on the movement and turned facing the shooter. Ears were forward and focus was intense. Bang - nothing. Deer remained motionless, still focused on the shooter's location. Shooter turned his head and whispered something. I laughed (quietly of course). Deer still focused. Bang - nothing. Shooter in frustation moved excessively. Deer ran when he saw the movement. Shooter was shooting through a bush, enough to deflect the bullet and most probably prevented a clear view by the deer. Shots didn't seem to bother him at all.

Years ago. daughter and I were hunting. Her first hunt. She was sitting to my left about 5 yards. I was looking in another direction. She indicated she saw a deer. She pointed up and across the canyon. I scooted over to get better directions. This time she pointed down. The nice 4X4 had us more than made. I saw that the next movement which would be me raising my rifle, would send it on its way. I gave her the plan. I raised my rifle, the deer took off. It had to go up hill. I was supposed to shoot in front of it, between the brow points and turn it to the right, the anticipated escape route, which would present her with a broad side 120 yd shot. I shot, put the bullet right where I wanted, said deer jumped the dust and continued straight away. Didn't seem to mind the sound or the bullet strike, just didn't seem to like our ugly beings. If it would have been a yote it surely would have gone along with the plan.

Shooting range behind my house to beyond 1000 yds. Deer cross every once inawhile. The further away they are the less gun shots bother them. Beyond 700 yds it doesn't seem to bother them at all. Closer than 440 (fence line) they are kind of nervous anyway as its an open crossing area. However, if they see ya, no matter how far away they are, they're gone.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:02 AM
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Re: Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

I second the generalization of about 700 yards not really bothering them maybe even 650. Last year I could not get a range on a bedded deer. A range was guessed and I shot beside the deer into the dirt. Bullet impacted the dirt and blew clumps of dirt right toward the deers general direction. The deer did not even get up. So I made the appropriate 1MOA change I deemed necessary and shot the doe. Then she got up and tipped over. Range was somewhere right around 650 yards.

The year before I shot a buck, again at 650yards and the heard of about 30 deer didn't seem to mind. They just watched as the buck walked a few steps and layed down.

I think that animals in general care much more about movement than noise. There were many times when my hunting buddy and I have been close to animals especially elk while bowhunting and talking to eachother we could tell that the animals could hear us, but the second you make a move they bolt.

I have had deer and elk run from seeing me walking though the brush at over 600 yards. But one time we were watching a large herd of over 100 elk come all the way to us from 600 yards away after hearing 15 shots fired very rapidly from 400 yards behind us. That was a big surprize.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:56 PM
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Re: Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

I think the deer react differently depending on environmental conditioning. Deer in the mid west are way more skiddish than western deer. Maybe becouse the deer out west can run their asses off and not find cover so why bother. African game animals react similarly, the group darts off a few hundred yards than they stop to evaluate.
I have whitnessed does milling around a bait pile on a Michigan farm while they were shot AT by some novice nimrods with 30-30's, You know the type! They got very nervouse and split after the 3rd shot. The lack of a sonic crack, due to the excessive range being attempted, is why these does took so long to register Danger! You learn to make the first shot count, you miss in Michigan your SOL. I could go on but classic conditioning is my story and I'm sticken to it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:42 PM
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Re: Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

Roy:

I've had similar results when target shooting. One day last year we had the targets set up at 700 and had been shooting for quite a while. We were switching guns and noticed 2 does and 2 fawns on the left side of the range at about 750 yards. They fed there while I shot a 3 shot group and then we watched then slowly feed out and across behind the targets and off into the trees on the right. We just sat there and watched them and they acted like we didn't even exist even though they were standing down range when we had been shooting. It was kinda like they owned that part of the country and come to think about it, it was their back yard we were playing in. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:56 PM
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Re: Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

usmcjarhead:

The sound heard down range where the animal is, is quite often not what we might think. I've experimented with guns with and without muzzle brakes and the sound heard down range and there's quite a difference. We have one spot where you can get behind a small ridge at 400 yards and the sound of the un-braked gun is considerably more than the gun with the brake. We set up a video camera a few years back and you could see and hear what the different guns sounded like. The gun with the brake would make a very small puffing sound and then you'd hear the crack of the bullet going by. The gun without the brake makes a significantly louder blast and was much louder. Maybe some day I'll find a spot at around 1000 yards and set the video camera up and see what it's like at that range.
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:25 PM
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Re: Big game animalís reactions to gun shots

Most of the shots on our club are less than 700 yards, in fields surrounded my trees. I have seen groups of deer, 3-5, that have been shot at, and have them stop as a group at the sound of a shot and pay it no attention. I agree that the deer seem to react more to motion than sound, to a point.
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