Shoulder shot placement info needed.

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 4ked Horn, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    As some of you old timers may already know I have not shot an elk before. My bro is planning an elk hunt this year and I was telling him that some of you are big fans of the shoulder shot for putting them down solid. I have looked at anatomy pictures of elk today and I was not sure if you are putting the shot at the spot where the bullet would wipe out both shoulder blades and the spine or if you are shooting them below that in the forward joint of the upper leg bone. I was telling him that I remember that was the shot GG used on his 820 yard elk a couple seasons back.

    Could you describe exactly where you would place the shoulder shot? Would you use this same shot placement for a quartering toward or quartering away shot? Or better, when would you not use this shot?
  2. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007

    Well I discovered one cool feature of these forums... It shows you related topics at the bottom of the thread. I'll besure to read all of those, especially the one with the pictures and dots.


  3. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2004
    I always aim for the high shoulder shot where the spine and blade overlap. That way, if the bullet goes low it still takes out the main blade (often both of them) and shrapnells the heck out of the heart and lungs. If it goes high, it is a clean miss and they will often give you another shot especially if they are at long range because the noise of the gun can't be heard. Good luck.
  4. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    What do you aim for when shooting angled toward or away? Do you still aim for the close shoulder blade hoping fo spine on the exit or do you aim for the far side shoulder after wrecking the spine first?

    Does it matter as long as you hit spine or is the point to break them down to prevent a run off and leaving the opportunity for a follow up shot?
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    Does hitting the shoulder blade actually do any anchoring damage? I really don't know. I know the spine shot surely does!
  6. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2007
    There is a considerable space anterior to the shoulder blade and above the spinal column where a bullet can slip through and maybe clip the top off a spine, with the result that the animal is knocked flat from spinal shock, but soon miraculously jumps up and runs away as if unhurt.

    I've seen accounts of this phenomenon on other posts with warnings against hitting this area while trying for a high shoulder shot.
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Shoulder Shot

    If you are shooting a heavy bullet (200grs and up) cliping
    the back of the shoulder will make it expand early and impart
    more energy on the ELK.

    But for lighter bullets I recomend the lung shot for a sure kill.

    If you want to drop him in his tracts shoot him in the neck.

    Almost any bullet placed in the lungs is deadly but may take
    a little while to bring him down . so the terrain has a big part
    in where you place your shot . Also if your shooting something
    like a match king I would not recomend the sholder shot.

    Proper Shot placement depends on many factors ,Choose poorly
    and the hunt will end up the same way,choose properly and
    the outcome will be good.

    The main thing is make your decision and live with it.

    Just my opinion And I hope all goes well.
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    On the recent elk hunt my brother and I were on we had the chance to take two bulls in very different situations. Mine was out on a large meadow late in the evening, for that shot, I slipped the bullet behind the shoulder as I had no concern about the bull covering some ground before passing. He only traveled 25 yards anyway.

    My brothers bull on the other hand was in heavy timber. We were hunting him in an area that had many deep draws. Shooting him down in one of the draws would have ment many hours packing meat out on our backs. IF we shot him on top of one of the fingers between the draws, he would be much more accessable but he would have to drop to the shot.

    When the shot opportunity happened on a big bull, my brother put the shot through both shoulder tops and the spine. The bull fell on his nose to the shot but needed a finisher shot when we got up to him. He certainly could not move, but would not have died for a long time.

    Not being terribly familiar with elk anatomy I was suprised at how low the spine location is on a mature bull elk because of the very tall dorsal spines on the verebra.

    Watching the impact of my brothers shot, I suspected a high lung shot and on deer it would have been easily into the lungs but on an elk it was not even in the chest cavity. The shot impacted probably 1/3 down from the top of the shoulder hump.

    There is no doubt this shot is effective at ending the escape of an animal this size, but you will more then likely need to apply a finishing shot when you get up to the bull.

    A shot a bit lower taking out both shoulders would have also dropped the bull and probably killed him much quicker with no follow up. still, to get a shot angle to cleanly break both shoulders is not always possible.

    If I needed to drop a big bull on the spot I would try to take out both shoulders with a shot about 1/2 the way up the chest of a bull. YOu would probably get some spinal shock as well and top of the lungs also.

    Kirby Allen(50)