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to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

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Unread 12-09-2008, 11:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,871
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

30-05 boy,

I posted that picture for the fella that did the shooting. My initial reaction was similar to yours.

There was another head shot post where a young lady in pink 'trousers' did the shooting.

After posting the pic with my 'usual' comments the shooter emailed me anticipating the above comments, which are usual for the 'head' shot.

Personally I've made a few head shots in my time. Each was a chip shot, under 250 yards, that I KNEW I could make.

Of the two recent posts, I could sense strongly that the young lady knew what she was about. She's a chip of the old block. I could almost see the grin on her face as her dad gave her the point of aim. If you're head shooting squirrels at some distance why not use that confidence/skill on something as large as a deer. If this dad has done his job well, and I know that he has, as evidenced by the young lady's shot, there is definitely not a problem.

Regarding the shooter of the topic posting, this fella owns and manages an operation where he as plenty of shot opportunities and does a bunch of shooting. His shooting rig is top notch and I have a strong feeling that he is well experienced with the rig. Again definitely not a problem.

The other day my son and I were zeroing his new SIG 556 with the Eotech sight. We got her all done. I'd hung my horse shoeing hammer on the back stop then returned to the shooting bench. I just had to look through that nifty sight. Hmmmm, I says to myself, lemme take a shot. Back stop is at 100 yds. He says whatcha shooting at. I replied the top of the rail road tie. I saw just a glint of sun on the west side of the hammer handle. I'm confident that what was going through my mind was the same thing that went through the pink trousered young lady's mine with kind of a grin/smirk that can only be felt. Bang went the 223 and stuff flew. Observer tho't that the bullet had penetrated the tie. No way. He was looking for the "wound". I pointed to the hammer handle. There was the hole, perfectly centered, in the perfect spot on the length with only chips showing on the top of the handle. Why you're in the zone and know you can make the shot you can. It's just that way........

Bottom line, nothin' makes ya feel better than a head shot.
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Unread 12-10-2008, 12:03 AM
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Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

I gave them up when one went bad. Shot a buck in the head, went over to him, grabbed him by the front leg to move him, and he woke up. It was another very quick shot point blank in the head to finish him.

That was the last one for me, but will not knock another hunter and his choices for the reasons posted earlier.

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Unread 12-10-2008, 03:09 AM
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Location: Nevada
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Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

Bottom line, nothin' makes ya feel better than a head shot.
Roy, you really are terrible.


I bet that scared the life out of you! When reading your post I could not help smile, probably the first during the whole day.
In my view, it all is in the hunter's ability. What may be an easy shot for one hunter, may be impossible for another hunter. We should all know our limitations and be responsible. The young lady that grew up shooting squirrel heads did never consider missing on the dear head, she was so confident; and that's a very important factor in making your decision.

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also as it was in the days of Lot so it shall be in the days...
It's happening again!!! God sent to us His prophet, and His Word
to this generation and we once more are rejecting it as was prophesied!!!

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Unread 12-10-2008, 07:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Helena, AR
Posts: 300
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

I have been shooting several doe deer every year for the past 15 years to manage the herd in our area. If a person is proficient with his or her equipment and puts in the range time, a head shot is just as lethal as any other shot. I have probably made 50-60 head shots from 15-212 yds. I am kind of like Roy, you know when you are in the zone and can make the shot. If it doesn't feel right or I have any doubt that I can not make the shot, I will pull the crosshairs down and make a neck shot. That makes for an easy cleaning job and very little destroyed/bruised meat.
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Unread 12-10-2008, 08:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N. Central Indiana
Posts: 608
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

Originally Posted by canderson View Post
That makes for an easy cleaning job and very little destroyed/bruised meat.
That's the main reason why I shot the doe this year in the head. My buddy has been wanting a unblemished deer hide to tan for his wall for a few years now and this was the perfect opportunity. I would say that 95% of the animals that I take are taken with a high shoulder shot. This is the first deer in about 10 years that I've head shot. I shot that doe with a Barnes TSX in .243 in the ear, and the bullet came out the other side just behind the ear and it didn't look like it expanded at all, which was what I was hoping for. Looking at the skinned hide from the inside, there is only one "hole" in the hide. I talked to the skinners at the processor when he was in paying for it, and when they skinned it, they gave him 100% of the skin, from the tip of the tail to the nose. They skinned the head cased, like you would skin a 'yote or muskrat. He has the eyebrows, ears, lips and nose on the skin. He's been unlucky the past 2 years and hasen't seen any deer of any size to take, so he got the whole deer as well. The other deer that I shot this year was taken with a shot that went down between the shoulder blades (I was a distance above the deer, the deer was facing me with its' head down at a horizontal distance of maybe 15 yds.) That deer went to my Aunt.

I believe that no matter what animal you are shooting at, it's your obligation to make a clean quick kill. If I don't have 100% confidence in knowing where my bullet will impact, I won't shoot.
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Unread 12-11-2008, 01:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
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Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

I have taken quit a few deer with head shots but only when I'm comfortable with the shot. I usually set up so I can have a shot from behind with there head high as apposed to the side for the reason of hitting a jaw. From the back you miss clean if high, left or right. Low is just as lethal as center. I do not like the head shot on elk, low behind the shoulder gets it done with little blood shot, can't take a chance on missing such prime table fare.
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Unread 12-11-2008, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Helena Montana
Posts: 655
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

I try to shoot all my does in the head,it makes for a more challenging shot and doesnt destroy any meat,if you have a problem with it dont do it,dont expect anyone to care that you dont think its a safe shot,keep your ethics to yourself.Here of all places isnt the place to be preaching about shot choices,MANY hunters are against the entire theme of this forum,any shot can go wrong,S%@$ happens.

Last edited by NONYA; 12-11-2008 at 11:15 AM.
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