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match bullets for deer

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Unread 05-27-2007, 10:21 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hunt South TX Live in Central TX
Posts: 195
Re: match bullets for deer


I've had that happen to me with various huting bullets. It's gonna happen. If you are looking for instant death then aim for the neck within your comfortable range of accurate shooting ability. I don't like tracking a deer especialy in South Texas where the brush is thick and thorny. I have also expiremented with the high lung shot (between the top of the spine & lung) and this seems to expire the deer quickly/instantly ~ creates a shock to the spine. I have always used some type of bonded bullet though, so my exits have always been smaller than a quarter size. Using the types of bullets you mentioned you should have a much larger wound channel. Shooting them through the shoulder will proved you with a quick kill shot as well, but I wouldn't recomend you shooting them with a quick expanding bullet. Remember Accuracy kills and you are on track with that. If they take off after a lung shot ~ down here in TX we call it a "dead run" just give it a few min. as previously mentioned you'll get your deer. Just take your time and squeeze the trigger then go get your deer...
I hunt South Texas
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Unread 05-28-2007, 07:50 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The Motherlode
Posts: 655
Re: match bullets for deer

As I said before the Berger website lists there bullets as target and hunting bullets. Just because a bullet is listed as a Match bullet does not mean it is not suitable for hunting with. The fact that a bullet is not listed by them as a hunting bullet does mean that they do not recommend it for hunting use. They obviously know their bullets very well and I imagine if you called Berger they would tell you they do not recommend using that bullet for hunting big game. That does not mean you should not use Match bullets for hunting but obviously you should use one of the Berger match bullets that is recommended for hunting.

As others have said this will happen, that's life. The fact that the original poster was bothered by the bullets performance and the manufacturer does not recommend it for that use says alot. To ask what's the problem and make the guy feel bad for caring about the animal is insane. I would not give up on Bergers or match bullets for hunting just go with one of the heavier 6mm VLDs and see what happens, unless your PPC won't shoot them.

As to the comment that if I feel for the animal maybe I'm not cut out for hunting, I say that is what makes me a good hunter. Every year I am disgusted when I hunt refuges and have to watch more and more sky scrapers blasting away at birds 100yards away. The new long range hevishot and other rounds bother the hell out of me. That's one area where long range hunting is despicable. I'm sure that the rounds are capable of killing a duck at 70 yards but 99% of the twice a year hunters out there can't properly judge range and I guarantee never practice shooting clays at those ranges. They blast away without any concern for the birds. Every other time I go out I see someone clip a bird now, watch it lock up and drift several ponds over and the guys never even get out of the blind to attempt a retrieve. That's the sort of thing that makes antihunters blood boil and fuels their campaigns.

I'm not going to suggest that you should perform any sort of ritual after you kill an animal, I certainly don't but I often think about native people around the world who will either put some food in a deer's mouth or give a seal a drink of water to say thanks for the animal giving its life to maintain the hunters. The animal was not just a trophy or bragging rights, it was intertwined with every part of their existence. Recently there was an article in a hunting mag about the “Cult of the One-shot Kill” as the author put it. Which said that there is this new mentality that you are less of a man if you have to shoot twice. As I said before these things do happen, if you use a marginal bullet they are likely to happen more often. When they do happen you should have some compassion for the animal and end it’s suffering. And the next time you go out you should not use that same bullet and just accept the poor performance. I am sure if the original poster had a second shot he would have taken it, but as he said the animal laid down in tall grass.

Rant over.
Now it's time fore me to go. The Autumn moon lights my way.
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Unread 05-28-2007, 10:46 AM
ven ven is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 87
Re: match bullets for deer

didnt want to cause a flame with my post .i would of taken another shot if it had benn presented but tall grass prevented that .i know the animal died with one shot but i was concerrned that it took so long to die even with perfect shot placemnt have never yet lost or wounded an animal so was quite upset by the experience .thanks for all the imformative replys.
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Unread 05-28-2007, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 169
Re: match bullets for deer

sam b I shot a doe that weighed around 120 lbs at a distance of 300 yards with a 75g hornady Amax from a 220 swift The muzzle velocity was 3000 fps. The animal was slightly quartered away but standing still the bullet took out both lungs and at impact the doe just sort of jumped and then walked about 10 yards it then stood there for a while and actually started grazing again after about 5 minutes it started doing the wobbly gobblin and fell down as soon as if fell I started walking to it and when I reached it I saw it take its last breath. The bullet punched clean through and did not touch a rib I was not very happy with the results of the shot but I don't feel it was the bullet that failed I just did hit anything for the bullet to open up on. I will use them again but the next time I will shoot for the shoulder to break the animal down or I will shoot the head that's one place that always produces excellent results for me.
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Unread 05-28-2007, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: north dakota
Posts: 100
Re: match bullets for deer

I have used the 178 a max for many years on whitetail and mule deer. Shooting them for a 300 wm at 3000 fps + they are devastating, similar to a ballistic tip. We are able to buy as many deer tags as we want so I do quite allot of bullet testing. Last year I played with the 155 a max out of a 308 with poor results at best. They showed very little penetration and complete bullet failure. Many times the jacket was found within inches of the entry wound. I have also been playing with the 190 bergers. With the excellent results of bergers in my f class gun I used them hunting also. I only shot 2 deer. One was 880 yards with a impressive exit wound for the range and the other was 520 yards and both shoulder blades were taken out. I plan on shooting the 190 bergers this up coming season. The 190 smk may be an accurate bullet but in my opinion they have much to heavy of a jacket for whitetail. I used them 2 years and learned a great deal about bullet performance. My theory is to cause as much damage and dump as much horsepower on target as possible with a heavy bullet.
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Unread 05-28-2007, 01:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: match bullets for deer


I submit a few points to consider, some observations and conjecture based on my experience(s).

1.) I don't believe the ungulates have a sense of mortality, I believe their brain is wired at a level more ancient than ours and they live in a close approximation of act & react. I don't believe they anguish over death as it's not a consideration for them. I do believe they feel pain but not in the same sense as humans or as many folks would like to believe (even amoung humans the idea of pain is varied and situational). I believe that much of the "fear" and "pain" folks attribute to the actions and displays of wild animals that have been shot and then approached to close quarters prior to death is fear and anquish from the close proximity of the human (a known or unknown danger) and not physiological pain from the projectile/wound. An approached wounded animal that cannot flee will most certainly shift into a survial mode and thrash about in fleeing motions and exhibit enlarged pupils and other characteristics of that state.

(One of the most "painful" experiences I have witnessed was that of a deer that had been hit by a minivan. The occupants of the minivan, a woman and her teenage daughter then stopped to render assistance to the down but not dead female deer (doe). The young girl was tightly holding the doe's head in her lap attempting to comfort the creature as it fitfully thrashed, quivered, bellowed and stared about with giant brown terrified (in my estimation) eyes. This little girl (and her mum) were sure they were doing the correct thing in their attempts to comfort the wild but slowly dying beast... apparently in their mind the creature somehow knew they were there to help and not to be considered a fearsome foe from which it could not escape... Despite the good intentions of the mum and daughter I considered the affair of being physically (restrained) comforted pure torture for the deer....the "pain" of the physical injuries to the deer were of no consequence to it IMHO.)

I don't see their reactions to injury as much different than that of humans immediately upon being seriously injured, physiological shock alters the bodies mechanisms for perception with the immediate elimination of pain being one of the benefits, albeit a short duration affair in humans. Much of the pain humans "feel" is learned or caused by reflection upon the injury or our mortality.

2.) The little 6mm bullet at 300 yards, I have directly observed the 6mm Nosler Ballistic Tip 55gr on our whitetail deer at just over 500 yards with results similar to your roe deer. The bullet went double lung on a broadside presentation without much reaction from the deer. The deer entered a standing (still green) corn field and traveled perhaps 80 yards before it lay down to die. Upon examination on the wound I believe the little 55gr 6mm was going a bit too slow to open up and simply punched a nice hole through both lungs. I believe that had the little bullet hit something more substantial than hide, intercostal muscle and lung tissue it may have begun to tumble for a little more terminal damaging effect. I believe that even at the shorter 300 yard distance of your shot coupled with the slow projectile speed the projectile will not have a sufficiently long wound channel and may not tumble or expand/fragment in the short trip across your smallish roe deer (we see this pin-hole type wound with large varmints and long shots).

3.) Some critters are a bit tougher than the average and hang to life a little longer, your roe deer may have been one of those??

4.) I have been witness three times where a whitetail deer was shot though the chest (archery) in what I would have considered a fine a shot as person could expect and the deer showed no mortal effect from the passage of the arrow. In one case the deer was shot again within several hours and bagged and I had a chance to examine the first wounding (entrance and exit). I have heard of (and witnessed) this type of chest through-and-through wounding with minimal effect and have come to believe that there is an area in the center of the chest on an ungulate that is less "vital" than one would expect for a slow projectile (minimal primary wound channel) or cutting type only (archery) wound.

I would not anguish too much over the reaction of the little roe deer upon your approach, I believe it was just the flight, fight, freeze reaction and you got close enough to be an intimate witness on an impaired subject.

I believe that 300 yards may be a little too far for that bullet on a smallish critter to expect significant terminal effects on very soft tissue.
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Unread 05-28-2007, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 2,598
Re: match bullets for deer

Great post Dave.... My sentiments exactly.... You put it into words far better than I ever could have,again a great post........
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
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