obviously I'm not archery hunting, but that photo was great. thanks
6 mm and nimrod, why is the neck shot so risky and no room for error? there is no fat no muscle, just bone and arteries, from what I can tell skinning the last half dozen or so.
What am I missing on the risk?
There is a lot of muscle in the neck, depending on what part of the neck you aim at. The vital target is the spine and on medium game you have about 2" or less of horizontal leeway in your shot placement. You could get lucky and hit an artery and have the animal bleed out quickly but that is a smaller target yet.
I was on a management hunt for whitetail does, it was muzzle loaders only. I had a very accurate TC that I had practiced diligently with and I was confident in it. Late in the afternoon I had a huge old doe trotting past at about 60 yards, I hit her a little too far back (liver) a fatal shot for sure but she laid down with her head up about 40 yards out. I wasn't sure of the shot so I reloaded and got a good solid rest. All I could see was her head and the top 3 or 4 inches of neck. I aimed for the center of the neck and just as the trigger broke she jerked her head and I hit her in the jaw. She stumbled to her feet and took off toward a river about 200 yards away, if she got there I couldn't follow. I took off at a run reloading as I went and finally managed to kill her on the river bank. I will never forget the sight of that deer taking off with her jaw dangling, it still haunts me years later.
The heart lung area is a much more forgiving target, in a perfect world I could make a neck shot every time at 300 yards but the world ain't perfect and neither is my shooting so I'll stack the odds in my favor as much as possible.
It just doesn't give you much room for error and if you don't hit bone or artery, an animal can go an awfully long ways, sometimes w/o bleeding very much if at all.
I shot a mule deer buck dead center in the middle of his neck about 5 inches in front of his shoulder one year with a 30-06 and 165gr. Nosler. He went down but got back up after a few seconds and ran down across a draw and stopped out at about 250 yards. I was going to shoot him again, but I listened to my buddy who was yelling at me to NOT shot him again because he was dead. Sure didn't look dead standing over there on the hillside! He paused a second or two and then ran over the hill. We went and started tracking him which was difficult with dry ground and no snow. He only had a drop or two of blood hear and there. We started checking draws as we came to them and we were hunting in open sagebrush, grass country with some junipers in the draws. We went about 4 draws and never saw him and at about that time I saw some deer about a mile away going up a hill. As they hit the top, I could see a buck in the group that was just not acting right. He walked over the hill out of sight. I just knew it was the buck I had shot.
We drove around and got over to where we last saw him and eventually found the buck still very much alive laying under a juniper. He got up and started walking away from us and I shot him again killing him. I was very lucky to find this buck and if I would not have seen him cross that hillside I may never ever have gotten him. He would have died eventually, but it would have been slow. He had about a 3/4" hole in his neck, but I had missed bone and artery, and his windpipe. Where he had laid before we got to him and he got up, there was only just a very small bit of blood in his bed. He was bleeding only just a little bit.
I will shoot an animal in the neck to finish them off and have sometimes taken a front on neck shot hitting an animal just above the chest bone if "everything is perfect" and the distance is not too far, but I've seen neck shots go wrong and I think the animals deserve better. They are just too iffy and can go wrong quickly. A lung and heart shot gives a lot more room for error and is simply a lot more effective. Just my thoughts on this. Neck shots can be fatal, but they sure have a high likelyhood of something going wrong also.
A goat is a pair of lungs with four feet and a pair of eyes(and they USE them). Most of the time they are watching you wich dosnt give you a lot of neck to shoot at.
You can blow a very big hole in the chest, not hurt any meat and its a lot bigger more stable target.
Not saying a neck shot will not killem right then and there but in my world bigger is better, specialy when it comes to a kill zone= I'll try for the lungs first every time! If you are off a little you take out a shoulder,spine,liver or heart and a piece of the lungs.
__________________ "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
I prefer head shots to neck shots for reasons previously mentioned. I filled my wy antelope doe tag two weeks ago with a shot just below the base of her ear at a ranged 216 yards. My rifle is incredibly accurate, I had a perfect rest, there was no wind, and I waited until she was broadside with no other antelope behind her where if I missed my mark I would miss totally. She never knew what hit her, and I did not waste an ounce of meat. Typically I like a high shoulder shot (bigger target and usually won't hurt the cape), but I told myself if I was going to fill a doe tag, I would not waste any meat. But, that's just me. Take the shot that you are most comfortable with and feel most confident in. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. In my younger years I thought "you'll never hit 'em if you don't try" now I think of myself as more of a hunter for knowing when not to pull the trigger. Good luck!
I shot a blue-eyed antelope doe in 2004 with .180 gr NBT with a .300WM. She was bedded ~ 125 yards away and the only shot I had was a head shot, one eye blew that way and the other eye blew the other way - DRT.
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By no means do I consider myself an expert on killing antelope...But I do know after shooting seven of them, they can be pretty tough...One heart shot buck ran another 100 yards laid down with his head up for at least 5 minutes...
Last year I shot a quartering to me shot in front of the right leg...The bullet traveled just under the hide along the far side of his body and the Berger (what was left of it) lodged under the hide of the left rear ham...He fell got up ran another 50 yards or so and laid down....With only his head and neck showing I took a nice rest and put one right under his chin at 204 yards...He flopped then got right back up...I again aimed at his neck and rolled him again....This all happened over a course of about ten 10 minutes....When I got to him I noticed that his head was almost severed the two neck shots were less than 2" apart....Get this he was still breathing I cut his jugular and waited for him to expire....This wasn't a big lope he was only a little over 13" probably 2 1/2 or 3 years old.....That first shot certainly would have killed him and I have killed many whitetails instantly with that very same shot.....
My respect for the toughness of an antelope that I learned on that earlier heart shot buck told me to go for the finishing shot and the head and neck was all I had....I have shot numerous whitetails in the neck with no problems (at much closer ranges of course)...But what I learned on those antelope hunts are that the target is small, the animals are tough and the only time you should intentionally shoot at the neck is if you are trying to dispatch one....
Like the others have said....use the boiler room target and unlike the mistake I made, make sure you reach both lungs....
Good luck hunting everyone, my son and I leave in three days for WY,