Best Shot placement on big game

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Greg Duerr, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    I have been going back and fourth with a Friend who has a different view than I do on most things pretaining to Rifles, barrels, and Cartridge choice. However the one thing he wont deviate from is bullet placement. For him its either the neck or head and finds it frustrating why anyone would place the bullet any other place. He never has nor will he ever shoot a big game animal anyther place that the neck or head. This subject for him is closed

    So what is your prefered bullet placement location................all things considered?
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    I almost always shoot for the dimple directly behind the shoulder. No real meat loss, and will double-lung, and more often than not, get the heart as well.

  3. Jud96

    Jud96 Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2013
    Depends on bullet, cartridge, and range but either directly on the shoulder or slightly behind it where Mud shoots them. This really busts them up and they don't go far.
  4. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    If I can I will go for the shoulder of a deer. They usually don't go more than 15 yards after being hit. And my second option would be right behind the shoulder. Takes out the lungs like what has been mentioned.

  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I have shot lots of game in the head because of caliber, because they would not drop the game in there tracts if shot in the boiler room.

    The problem with this type shot is that there heads are seldom still and the neck is a small target
    and poor hits are common. leaving the game to die a slow painful death. so a perfect shot is necessary every time. being a good shot is not the only requirement for good clean kills every time.

    If you place the correct bullet for the game in the center of the chest it will die.

    With all of the outside influences the perfect shot is not always possible but a good shot is or it shouldn't be taken.

    Another reason I like the chest shot is it bleeds out the meat better than a head shot. also bullet performance is more predictable with a chest shot.

    I do have one exception though, If I encounter a trophy I will normally shoot the shoulder to drop him where he stands and not worry about meat loss.

    I like/enjoy taking running shots when I need to and the Head/neck shot is out of the question.

    So My opinion for what it's worth is, take shots that you are most proficient at and pass on the other.

    If your friend is happy with his choice then let him have at it.

    This is a long range hunting site and most of the good/best shots will normally take the chest/shoulder shot at longer ranges.

    The hunter has to make his choice and then live with his choice.

    Just my opinion

    PS I shoot hogs anywhere I can (I like to make them squeal if I cant drop them in there tracts). Ha Ha.


    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    You can probably take their tail off to get them started then finish them on the run. No malice intended I believe you can, just a humorous picture that jumped in my head.

    I don't shoot enough game to be cocky or particular.

    My problem with the head shot is folks that believe it's a clean kill, or a clean miss. A few years ago I killed a bunch of feral cats off some property for a friend. All but one went well. Using an accurate .22, and good rest, I didn't account for the steep down hill, placed the shot where I wanted, and took off the lower jaw. Spent the next few days trying to get another shot on a pretty miserable cat.

    My mistake, and while I haven't tried a head shot on game I have seen similar end results. I think if it hasn't happened to your friend yet it will.

    With a few exceptions, tags are too few and far between for most of us to take the head shot approach.
  7. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    I bet your friend doesn't shoot at game from a very far distance. This is a longrange site as others have said so most everyone here would not take headshots at distances that we shoot at. Now at 100-150 yards and waiting for the right moment, a head shot will work. I go for both lungs when I shoot big game. Some people go for breaking the shoulder and getting the vitals but that just isn't for me. I don't have any fault with them doing it, I just choose to go through the softer tissue, ribs and into the lungs.

    I think this topic and many like it have been discussed and argued extensively on here. If you do a search, you can find them.
  8. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    I'm very interested in this as well.

    I want the heart and lungs if I can.

    I want every scrap of edible, if not for me, for the dog.

    Cow elk.

    Head shot, loose the cheek meat.I like cheek but there's more edible in the heart and lungs.
    Neck shot, loose what?
    Conventional, loose some lung, heart, shoulder.

    A former guide told me head shot, on hunt my guide will call the shot, it's in the contract but I'd love the education.
  9. Jluck

    Jluck Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    This I have never understood. You actually and intentionally shoot through a shoulder? The vitals are just inches back....?...

    I personally don't believe in intentional meat waste. What is the purpose of a direct shoulder shot? I have heard it said it's to "anchor them" but I have witnessed the contrary enough to know a proper vital shot will dispatch game more efficiently.

    After reading my text here, I don't mean to flame or sound like a ass but am curious if I'm missing something.
  10. mugzzzee

    mugzzzee Active Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I aim just behind the shoulder in the lung area. Why waste any meat?
  11. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    On neck shots there is the chance of shooting through the wind pipe..................head shots could blow off the lower jaw.'

    Ive made head shots twice and both times the animal was dead before it hit the ground.

    However there is just something exciting about following a blood trail in the snow..............................................with a lung shot.

    Every animal I shoot if it goes any distance I go back to the spot it was first hit and track it back. On my last Bull Elk it was interesting seeing the blood spray in the snow at the spot he was standing at and the amount of blood loss as he headed out........................................
  12. ohiohunter

    ohiohunter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Op, show your buddy a target of any big game animal and it will clearly indicate where the best and most ethical shot is, heart and lungs. Head shots are a friggin mess, neck shots are fine (but not favored) when necessary and presented w/ a low risk opportunity.

    The only people I know that shoot for the head or neck are poachers.
  13. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    I am a shoulder shooter on deer. Into or exit a shoulder on angling shots. If you think the heart and and all the lungs are behind the shoulder you need to take a good look at the inside of a deer in the position it would be standing up. The heart is right behind the lower part of the front shoulder/leg and half of the lungs are also. Unless a deer is really big it does not have enough REAL meat on the shoulder to fool with. The triceps is usually not really messed up on the deer that I shoot. Hitting the shoulder imparts a lot of shock plus bone fragments and expanding jacket usually gets the heart, lungs and the underside of the spine. I lost count how many deer I have killled loooooog ago but will say it is in excess of 400. I used to help do crop damage control with a buddy for a few years. I do not like to have to go into the THICK SNAKY jungle of east NC trailing up a deer in the dark. Most of my hunting is done in the last 2 hrs of light in the evening. I shoulder shoot them and 90% of the time they drop in their tracks and those that don't are not far away.:D
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wound cavity my friend...The force passing through with a nice double-lung will more often than not stop the heart from blount force trauma. I've shot whitetails in that little button directly behind the shoulder (while standing up and broadside), with a little .257 Wby and a 110 Accubond, and it was moving so fast it jellied up the heart, lungs, and everything else soft (vitals) within about a 8"-10" circle from the shot path.

    Here's an example....

    See this little guy right here?

    If you look directly behind the shoulder, where the shoulder joint rotates, you will see a little "dimple" with a dark spot in the center of it... THAT is where I shoot them. It gets everything important in 1 shot, and I've never had one run more than 25-30 yards.

    Yes, I snipe my deer, I don't ambush them from spooking them up while walking through the woods, and take random quick-shots. I shoot from a remote and elevated position and they have no idea I'm there. I wait for my perfect shot (the most humane one I can get). When I see it, I take it.