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

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Unread 12-09-2009, 06:48 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 624
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

It is human nature to try to control other humans.
It is human nature to resist being controlled by other humans.

So the internet is full of "I wouldn't do that!" indignant posts, on every topic.

Just like it never occurs to the poster that others might be smarted than him, it never occurs to the poster that others are better shots than him.

This will go on as long as there are humans.
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Unread 12-09-2009, 07:52 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: mathias wv
Posts: 987
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

Originally Posted by killahog View Post
RidgeRunner where are you coming up with these outrageous times(An Hour Cleaning up a Headshot) VS (2 minutes dealing with a lungshot) If you don't have the skills to make a headshot you are doing the right thing by taking lungshots.
you question my skills? did you happen to read my post on headshots in this thread?

I've taken a few deer, cleaned up a bunch, now where did I get these outrageous times, think about it.

takes 2-5 minutes to gut a deer, if its lungshot you leave most of the blood from the animal at the gutpile when you dump the blood out of the chest cavity, however on headshot deer it takes an hours or a bit more to fully process a deer, and your dealing with much bloodier meat the whole time.
Now I've probably cleaned up 200 or so deer, shot about anywhere they can be shot, my experience shows that headshot game is much messier to clean up and process than bled-out game.
Is that statement so outrageous?
Born to Hunt, Forced to Work!
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Unread 12-12-2009, 01:48 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Missoula, MT USA
Posts: 278
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

I tried to be a smartass and shoot a cow elk in the head from less than 100 yds. I clean missed and didn't get an elk that year. I will only take a head shot when it is the only shot that presents itself.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 10:50 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 15
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

No two opportunities are exactly the same. I've had many DRT neck shots but only recall one head shot (back of the head where the neck meets) these shots have been taken with equipment, position, and practical experience that allowed for an ethical kill. I hunt some places that you just can't let the animal make a run or you're in for an adventure, LOL. I have other places that the boiler room is my go to.
I shoot year round and varmint hunt also, practice is the key to my hunting success.
If I have any gripe it's about the people who don't even bother to check zero but just drag their rifle out of moth balls every year and go give it a try. And even those folks can do what they want, not everyone has the time or access to a place for practice.
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Unread 12-31-2009, 01:10 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 3,030
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

I was in rifle club as kid, with my buddies we shot 100's of rnds a week in 4 position, competed at state. Started hunting w/243, Dad told me to shoot elk in head because of small caliber, so that is what I DID. think it was old school ideas. I shot about 10 in a row, then I MISSED 4 head shots one season and gave it up. Shot 2 w/ pistol at bow type yardage. Met a guy in the bighole years ago hunting w/22-250, only head shot elk,old timer. Met a guy in SA that did game control and shot 10-20 animals in a evening head shot. I have had 2 long follow ups on neck shots, one on bull w/340 WM 1/2 mile, said never again, and one on muley, 2 mile 325 WSM, BOTH shot under 100 yrds. I am a fan of the boiler room shot.
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Unread 01-01-2010, 05:44 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

Hi Guys,
A warm African helo to you all.Kind of new to the forum thing but here goes.
I have taken in excess of 160 animals this year with head shots,some with a .22LR some with a .308Win and then some with a 375H&H.Shooting distance between 50 and 250 meters.I had a client who head shot a blesbuck at 150 meters at a full run,the only shot he could take after his initial shoulder shot went wrong.
I learned a couple of things that may or may not help you in future.A small bullet in the right place is much better than a big one in the wrong place.A big bullet slightly of target has a far greater chance of killing an animal than a small one in the same place.I have seen two Impala this season that where shot to far down in the head,jaw line,that still dropped stone dead from broken necks.
A 375H&H can shoot head shots at 200 meters if you can handle it.Always be prepared to shoot a follow up shot as fast as you can,it saved me twice last year.
Trust yourself,your equipment and practice as much as you can.We here are fortunate with the abundance of game and being part of a cull team helps to keep the eye in and the finger sensitive.
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Unread 01-01-2010, 08:57 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 624
Re: to take or not to take a head shot on a deer?

We raised pigs to ~ 250 pounds, and then gave them a 22LR to the brain.

Lately, I have been giving raccoons a 22 short standard velocity to the brain.

With both of those animals, I like to shoot down through the brain from above, to get the brain stem.
If I just hit the upper brain, the animal acts like it is drunk.
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