In another thread Brown Dog posted:
I hadn't considered the 'force multiplier' idea of brain shots for culling.
At the risk of hijacking a thread, would you mind taking a second to explain how you visualise your aiming point for a brain shot; deer face on, side on and oblique.
I've never brain shot a deer, so I don't feel wildly confident about the aiming point;
for eg, on Saturday I lay waiting for a doe to show herself over a convex slope (waiting to neck shoot her), meanwhile her young buck partner lay facing me.
To pass the time I moved my sight picture over the buck's face.
I think that a brain stem shot would have meant shooting between the nostrils- which made me think about how much bone, sinus etc the bullet would have to transit to reach the stem - a lot!
Shifting the POA higher -between the eyes, presented a 'glacis plate' of sloping skull bone.
What's the solution? [in case you wondered, the pair took off and I didn't get the shot!]
By the way, Bill B, Don't feel bad, I don't understand the SMK debate either:
Encouraged by the SMK reports that I read when I first discovered this board, I experimented by shooting an unopened tin of tomatoes at 200m with a 168 lapua scenar out of a 308.
Expected an explosion; nothing happened.
Thought I'd missed.
However, it was drilled dead centre
Next time I'm attacked by tinned tomatoes, Scenars will not be my projectile of choice
Each to his own I guess"
When I shoot cull/crop damage deer I try to make multiple kills per session and to do this the deer need to drop on-the-spot so as to not overly alert the other deer. To do this I often shoot head shots...here's a little about the structure of a deer's head and where I aim.
A deer's head is shaped a bit like a long dull wedge with the nose at the tip and brain at the rear. The brain case (cranium) comprises but a small portion of the entire deer head and a frontal shot, up the nose, must travel a fair distance through the nasal cavity crowded with soft tissue, bony septum and turbinates...not a good option.
When I shoot for a brain shot I prefer the deer be nose to the ground in a feeding stance so that the neck is stretched out and I have a clear path to the braincase. This allows a through-and-through shot, no meat damage and the projectile is close to the ground so less chance of it landing in an undesired area later in it's travels. There is also less chance the deer will see anything as is the possibility when shooting them from the side as they stand in the standard "posed" left or right stance.
The projectile needs to hit a tennis ball/small avocado sized object cradled in a cavity bounded by ear canals on the bottom rear, eye sockets on the bottom front with the rearmost edge being the cervical spine connection. I try to place the round at the intersection of a pair of lines, one drawn from each eye to the opposite ear canal. On frontal oblique shots the eye may be a good marker but the angle needs to be considered, a nose up stance as in flehman would not be a good choice. On rear oblique the ear canal would be good. I have on occasion shot them from a straight-on stance with the nose angled down good bit...my position being high than that of the deer.
Shots to avoid...darkish/low light shots at dawn or dusk when the critter is looking directly at the shooter or if the shooter is in a shadowy place. The beast will sometimes see the muzzle flash and do a quick little "snake head" maneuver and cause a erroneous impact...same applies to muzzle loaders and the billowing smoke upon discharge. Any straight-on up-the-nose shot should not be taken...the head may be twisted to the side on impact and the round will miss the brain but you'll have a beast with a face that looks like a peeled banana racing noisily around quite unhappy.
Best shots for me are head down and feeding as I stated earlier (either from the front or rear), I've shot several that were feeding straight away from me, the projectile passed through the throat and entered the brain from the bottom side. Shots from the rear (180) are the easiest as the critter is facing straight away, head high and the entire terminal cervical spine and brain are an easy unobstructed target/hit.
Not much of a shot from straight on nose up.
The ear canal (auditory nerve fossa) is low in the ear.
Shots from the bottom must miss the jaw bone.
Head down feeding makes for an easy brain shot.
Inner parts reveal the actual brain size...face shots are no good..the brain must be hit.
[b]"X" marks the spot but this would not be a good shot as he'll probably see the muzzle blast and move.[b]
A better shot but not too good for a buck to be mounted.