My question is how many animals have you truly shot in the neck and lost.
Zero. My usual shot of choice is on the shoulder or the crease behind the shoulder.
The antelope that I lost with the .22-250 was shot in the chest and dropped. As I approached him, he got up and ran over the ridge. When I crested the ridge, he was standing broadside just below the next ridge. I shot him again in the chest and he again fell. Once again, as I started toward him, he got up and ran over the second ridge. When I got to where he had crossed the second ridge, I only saw miles of sagebrush. There was a little blood where he fell, but I lost his tracks in the mass of other antelope tracks that were there. I am guessing that the 52 gr HP bullets had hit bone and not penetrated into the chest cavity.
Two years ago I had both a buck and a doe antelope tags in our usual area in southeastern Montana. I crawled to within 100 yds of 6-8 antelope. My first shot, in the chest, dropped one of the bucks. The rest of the herd stood there looking my way. I decided to try a neck shot on one of the does. After I shot, she ran off about 50 yds and lay down. A second shot into her chest killed her. My first shot had punched a quarter inch (.257 AI, 117 gr GAmeKing) hole through the muscle and windpipe of her neck.
Another time I was hunting whitetail deer in the sagebrush and grass hills of northeast Montana. On opening morning, two of the other hunters in my camp each shot a small buck, they said, in the neck. One of the hunters said he found a little blood and a tuft of hair. Neither buck was ever found.
Another example, I was elk hunting in the sage and oak brush hills in northwestern Colorado with my college roommates. These guys grew up in Craig, CO, and this wasn't their first elk hunt. One of them shot a cow elk in the neck. Again, he found a little blood and hair. We never found her.
My last example was a 4x4 whitetail buck that I shot in NW Montana. After I got it home and was processing the meat, I found a .35 cal bullet in his neck, next to the vertebre. The bullet had mushroomed and the jacket and core had separated and the wound had completly healed. There was no external scarring and I had no idea the bullet was there until I found it when I was boning out the neck meat.