Originally Posted by RT2506
I have never even hunted antelope but have killed a few hundred white tail deer with about everything from a 22lr up through a 45-70. First and foremost is bullet placement. It does not matter what bullet that is used and what caliber it is chances are that a deer will run off a little ways if you behind the shoulder heart/lung shoot them. On average I would say 60% of the time. I have shot them with bullets that totally pulp everything in the chest cavity and leaves exit holes the size of baseballs and still have them run off 50 yards or so. Take the same bullet and caliber and place it in the center of the top 1/3 of a front shoulder and over 90% of the time it will drop in it's tracks because you have traumatized the spine either by the bullet or fragments of bone from the shoulder which usually takes out the lungs at the same time. If you slow that 125 Nosler ballistic tip down to under 3000 fps impact velocity and place it in a shoulder it is one deer killing bullet. I shoot it in my 308 Win and 30X47 rifles and 30-30AI T/C Contender pistol. For full house loads in a 300 Win mag the 150 or 165 Nosler ballistic tip is a real killer. Just my observations from 48 years of killing stuff.
The only for sure drop an animal in it's tracks shot is a brain shot. Don't matter which bullet you use either.
+1. Thanks for writing all of that, so I don't have to. My experience is exactly the same - many deer run like crazy with a heart/lung shot regardless of bullet (that said, I won't say bullet doesn't matter at all). I shot a doe this fall with a 168 Berger Classic hunter. The internal damage to the heart and lungs was amazing. She ran 110 yards. Flipped her over and there was significant lung tissue outside of the wound. Significant lung tissue. Top of the heart was gone.
Shot a little buck with a 100gr Montec and he dropped 15 yards away. I am pretty sure my bow creates less KE than my rifle.
High shoulder often drops 'em. Neck shots drop 'em. Head shots drop 'em. If you blow any of these shots, the outcomes can be crappy. True of all shots I guess, but more so of these IMO.