This was the first time I deliberately went for high shoulder and it was a unique situation where I could wait for full broadside positioning. I have shot hundreds of deer and usually just hold behind the shoulder, if the shot is close I go for the nervous system. From doing a lot of culling I learned that head-on close shots into the center of the white-patch are instantaneous, even with small caliber bullets. Shot 19 problem deer one evening, all in the throat with the .223 with dead in their tracks results.
This does not relate to the topic at hand, for long shots I hold a bit high but take into consideration wind in case I have boo-boo with my call. We have killed a lot of deer in the 500 - 750 yard range in recent years with the .308 Win and have been fortunate to not lose any wounded.
Toughest long range shot in my opinion is head-on. If you are OK with the wind a bullet into the brisket drops the animal in its tracks. Have had some run slowly 30-50 yards also but usually they drop, lift their head once or twice and done.
Agree with your comments on solid copper bullets and fragmentation. Have seen some nice kills with a variety of latest Barnes bullets. The newer lines are accurate, not as finicky as the old solid copper X's. We find some of the meat grinder bullets perform much better out a ways, the Nosler Ballistic Tip is a wonderful performer out past 300 in the .308. Usually get a mushroom instead of core-jacket separation. We have also used Matchkings and AMAX with good results, might lean toward AMAX for closer shots and not having the bullet come apart.
Heck of a deal with that big brown bear, they do not all react that way do they!
Thanks for the info.
Last season I was involved in a management cull where a large number of does had to be killed to meet some Quality Deer Management goals. All the meat went to charity, there was a great bunch of volunteers handling the skinning and meat prep. I shot from pop-up ground blinds, ranges from 60 yards out to 3-400 yards. Some shots were longer. I waited for the animal to assume the same position for each shot, full broadside. Cartridge was .308 Win with 150 AMAX bullets. Every deer died identically. At the shot and as I came out of recoil I saw a flash of white belly hair in the scope picture. Every deer went down in its tracks, all lying on the side the bullet exited. There was no kicking or nervous reactions, the deer simply went down on their side and that was it. Another guy was doing the same shot, he had identical results. The guides on the property were very impressed because they did not have to track one of our critters. I shot close to twenty deer, my friend well over double that all with the same result. This is not practical in a hunting scenario but it was interesting that the animals died so uniformly. I also shot a few with a .260 Rem long range rifle with 142 Matchkings and had identical results out at 3-400 yards. My friend made kills out to 725 or so with the same results with that .260, it was a killing machine. I am adding this to the topic because we had extremely good results with the high shoulder shot location. Obviously we were taking out the nervous system with uniformity. I cannot discuss meat loss because I did not spend time at the meat handling facility, we were there to run up the kill numbers. Our group did over one hundred deer in fairly short time and the high shoulder shot guys made the guide's recovery job much easier.
Talk about a dream job :eek:
Very good thread ive wondered about this subject for some time now.
Thanks for the insight.
Hopefully someone can respond to this. Has anyone tried this shot on African plains game? I am going to South Africa in 1 month and am curious. The animals over there are much stronger and will survive longer,even with a well placed shot. Any first hand experience?
I have killed two elk. the first was with a .53 patched round ball from about 75 yards with a high shoulder shot, the elk went down like he was poll axed,,,1 step and folded. The second was from an 8mm rem mag at about 500 yards quartering away down hill. Took the same high shot with the same results. The front legs on both the animals just buckled and they couldn't get back up. This was in the mountains in Northern New Mexico. My guide and close friend, who has propably killed more elk in his 60 years told me if I didn't want to chase that bull all over the Rockies, was to go for the shoulders not any of the traditional low behind the shoulders. I never doubted the advice, since the dozens of huge elk racks on his shed, proved to me that he certainly knew what he was talking about. And by the way the only gun he ever hunted with (bear, cougar, elk and mulie) was an old Model 94 open sighted Winchester! He was amazing!
Great pictures and great dialogue. I see these high shoulder shots on VS and Outdoor channel all the time...pretty dramatic imagery.
I still prefer the heart/lung shot as it doesn't waste meat, and that's really the deciding factor for me as to why I choose to kill versus buy my groceries.