SO if I am to understand your story correctly, the bull was running when shot at a distance of 350 yards, (running downhill as in forward momentum) when the bullet hit him ran him through the shoulders and broke vertebrae? And as the story also implies, the bull was getting ready to tumble when someone shot him in the neck getting ready to tumble at a distance of 350 yards?? Since the bull didn't make it far before someone else had shot him, what makes you very certain he wasn't going to die after gravity and momentum finished with him? I would have never found out myself, because I'm not irresponsible enough to shoot at a running animal, much less an elk; nor would I have the skill to hit one in the neck tumbling at 350 yards with a single shot. That bull would have lived to grow beyond 300 inches if it were my shot to take, and I could argue that shooting a running adrenaline charged elk in the boiler room could have the same ugly outcome as you're talking about into the black timber.
The shoulder blade articulates like a human shoulder blade. It can be moved up and down to accomodate uneven terrain, similar to many other animals. As such the top of the blade can move in relation to the spine. The blades show an un-even bullet trajectory (strong uphill or downhill angle). I've personally never seen a softpoint bullet leave such even neat holes in bone and such little damage (especially after breaking two vertebrae on the exit). The hole is more typical of what I see with more solid constructed bullets. If we do the analysis of the physics of the 150 grain 7mm slug, and the sheer foot poundage it imparts to bone material, especially when we push it INTO the spinal column regardless of whether we sever it or not, it TYPICALLY imparts instant incapacitation to the animal similar to someone bashing a human in the spine with a sledgehammer without cutting the spinal cord....paralysis, and often resulting in massive intantaneous failure of nervous system function and organ failure.
The cow example you gave is what happens when you give a knucklehead a big rifle with poor bullet selection....IMO, if the bullets didn't completely penetrate, they were inadequate for the purpose.
The second picture you're showing is essentially a knee or an elbow in human equivalent. I've never advocated an elbow or knee shot....barnes bullets or 8 mag aside. As far as bowhunting goes....who in hells hockeysticks would try to shoot through bone with an arrow anyway?? Apples to bananas I say.
I've had to shoot a bunch of elk twice with lung shots, but have yet to shoot a single deer, elk, or antelope more than once with a good double SHOULDER (not elbow) shot, but all of the animals have been standing still, perfectly broadside. Its a pretty simple deal....knowing your anatomy and knowing where to hit an animal is the key.
The lesson for the day is that a 7mm with 150 grain softpoint bullets is a bad choice for shooting running elk at 350 yards. Unless you consider shooting at any animal that you respect at 350 yards is a dumb thing to try in the first place
I'll tell you what....I've shot at a bunch of running coyotes at those distances, and most people don't even fathom what kind of lead it takes to hit those targets with a rifle, much less small targets like shoulders and necks. I'd like to meet the fellas that pulled these shots off....I think I could learn something from them.