I shot my first whitetail last night . I was shooting 168 gr. Berger VLD bullets with 49.5 gr of Varget out of an old Ruger M77 30-06. I shot him right behind the shoulder where I was aiming. He dropped like a rock and expired quickly.
When he dropped, I thought I shot high and spined him. after skinning him out , I found I had hit him exactly where I aimed. I believe the bullet partially fragmented and part of it took out his spine. I recovered the bullet and a fragment on the far side of the animal. I read a lot of mixed reviews on the VLD's, but I'll try the VLD's again.
I also tried Dead Down Wind for the first time. This buck walked out and I moved to grab my rifle. He caught my movement. I was sitting next to a cutbank with an evergreen tree behind me to break up my silhouette. He turned quickly and jumped. He was looking right at me . I had my rifle up at this point , but all I saw was his head. He didn't smell me . He settled and stepped back out . The rest is history. I 'll use Dead Down Wind again.
Here is a photo of the VLD 168 gr. Hunting bullet. I discarded the fragments as I wasn't thinking about taking a photo of any of this. The fragments I found were smaller than a size # 8 piece of shot. As you can see in the pic, the bullet lost over 100 gr. The backbone was taken out as well as the lungs.