Where do I aim?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by DiRTY DOG, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. DiRTY DOG

    DiRTY DOG Member

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    Long time shooter and predator hunter, looking for my first deer this season. A 9"-10" vital zone is rediculously large and I need a more exact aiming point... Assuming my first shot will be 200 yards or less, EXACTLY where do I aim on a typical shot? I'm not impressed with critters that run off like on TV, I'd prefer to have them drop instantly or close to it.

    Rifle is certainly capable of great accuracy, I'm not bad myself from field positions. Bullet will be 180gr Sierra soft point at 2650fps. I'm zero'd at 200 and have my dope to 500, but in the local terrain my shot will most likely be 100-200 yards.

    Any good diagrams for neck shots or the perfect vitals shot etc? I want your experience in a picture please. What part of the neck is best for a neck shot if I choose that? High shoulder? Where in the vitals exactly, should I try to almost clip the shoulder on a broadside shot? Etc. Thanks.
     

  2. flyin lizard

    flyin lizard Well-Known Member

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    Do a google search on animals vitails or check with your state DNR or fish and game dept. for charts.

    Personaly I like a good center lung hit, it bleeds well , kills clean,does not damage a lot of meat and leaves the most margin for error.


    Having trailed a number of deer with Deer Search Inc. that "dropped at the shot" then after a minute they getup and run, usually are not recovered because the wound is a high back or neck hit that just stuns briefly, does not bleed enough/fast enough to cause death quickly ,the animal can"t clean it so infection sets in for a slow death. Crows have lead me to a few of these animals later on. A nice buck should not end up as coyote bait.
     

  3. 300rum

    300rum Well-Known Member

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    For drop on spot at less then 200yrs I used neck shot, behind the ear.
    If you are using boiler room on vitals choose behind the front leg 2-3inch midle of the vitals (hart shot) and you will have a dead animal in less then 20yrds.
    you can choose high shoulder shot but you will loose to much meat (no sense for close shots 200yrs)
    Another nice shot is spineshot.- DIRT.

    You will see the reaction of the animal and you will know rightaway where you hit.
    High jump on all 4 legs is heart shot
    stumble the front legs and run a little is boiler room
    droped down like a potato bag - spine shot (head, neck) WATCH THE TAIL MOVEMENT - IF YOU HAVE TAKE ANOTHER SHOT - you just paralize the deer
    back legs kiking - gut shot

    One year my partner shot a buck downhhill on the head- he was looking straight to us.
    Bullet entered right eye, exit behing the skull (no brain damage) and entered on boiler room.
    He back one step, and droped down on his back legs. no movement at all - but the trail - wen we got closer - he was alive. - so another shot was taken to end the slowdeath.
     
  4. DiRTY DOG

    DiRTY DOG Member

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    If I decide on a neck shot, where? Is the spine really directly up and down the exact centerof the neck or is it off set a little? Is it better to hit the neck closer to the head, or down by the body, or right in the middle? These are the types of details I'd like to hear about that I've not seen after several searches and lots of reading. Pics?
     
  5. Anywhere along the center line of the neck will drop them like a rock. They also won't run anywhere when hit on the front shoulder. To get them to drop in their tracks you've got to hit them in the head or break bone.
     
  6. scotsgun

    scotsgun Well-Known Member

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    Deer have a large muscle running up the 'top' of the neck. To be assured of an accurate neck shot you should aim approx half way up and half way 'through'. However a deer's head and neck is always moving and for the inexperienced is likely to result in wounding.
    It is also for this reason that i would not recommend a head shot. I have trailed many dear which have been shot by the inexperienced trying head shots and resulted in blowing off lower jaws or removing ears, etc.

    Until you gain more experience, i strongly recommend you reserve your shots for the 'boiler house'; the heart. Access the following link:

    culling: shot placement (1)

    The benefits are that even an averaged shot will result in terminal destruction of the heart and/or lungs as the target area is larger and the body moves less than the head or neck.

    Take the shot, keep your eye on the scope and observe the deers reaction to the shot whilst you cycle the bolt and reload. Remain there for some minutes to ensure that the deer does not rise again.

    If you shoot the heart, the deer should either lunge forward or jump before dropping. A deer that hunches up like a cat when scared is bad news - you've missed the vital and shot the stomach (rumen).
     
  7. DiRTY DOG

    DiRTY DOG Member

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    The heart will be my primary objective. However, depending on the circumstances, I'd prefer to take a neck shot.

    Most of the (cartoon drawing) deer anatomy images I've seen show the spinal column in the exact center of the neck. Really? I don't know, I'm asking. I would guess it's 2/3rds up the neck rather than dead center.

    I'm an accomplished marksman, I just need to figure out where I'm supposed to place the bullet, exactly.
     
  8. DiRTY DOG

    DiRTY DOG Member

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    A lifetime of reading Field & Stream, Outdoor Sports, etc, combined with an avalanch of images and advice on the web from bow and rifle hunting sites has engrained this aiming point into my head:

    "BEHIND THE SHOULDER"
    [​IMG]

    But I know better from my own actual hunting experiences shooting other game. That big ol' yellow aiming area is not ideal at all. I can only guess that since a large portion of deer hunters can barely hit the broad side of a barn, that's what they should "aim" for. That's why they say anywhere in that 10" vital area is sufficient, because who can't hit a 10" target at typical deer hunting distances?

    There are others who narrow it down a little and say to aim for the crease behind the leg. That's probably a much better shot. Like this:
    [​IMG]

    But isn't there an even better shot? I'm an experienced predator hunter and I take pride in marksmanship and dropping animals dead on the spot. There is definately a magic death zone that drops them like rocks. I draw a line up the front leg and down the neck and shoot at the intersection like this:
    [​IMG]

    So I would assume that would also work for deer? Seems this is not a very popular shot. 90% of the "advice" you hear on the internet is to take a safe shot and shoot behind the shoulder for a double lung shot. But the way I read anatomy, that's barely even a lung shot, closer to the diaphram and liver in reality.

    I think this would be a more effective shot on a simple broadside target:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. tackb

    tackb Well-Known Member

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    most of the advice here is correct , if i was you i'd go 1/3 up the chest just behind the front leg the beast will then drop maybe not on the spot but it will drop then get your knife out and have a look inside and see just what you hit and how the animal reacted ? this info will help you build up a knowledge of where you hit the animal by it's reaction ? i find that if you take off the top of the heart where all the vessels enter then the animal will drop on the spot .

    please everyone don't get yourselfs all self rightous about this but i like to use the head or neck inside 200m being accurate is what we practice for so why not ? of course head is no good if you are after trophys !

    remember this though , all animals react differently to being shot depending on how alert,pumped with adrenaline , what time of year etc so the only real solution is to get some experience of your own so start simple?

    Russ
     
  10. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Here is a spine shot at 225 yards with a 308. You can see the entrance hole . If you move that shot about three inches forward so you get both the shoulder and the spine you will be in good shape. The spin is only a couple of inches in diameter so try to actually hit it is not the best idea unless you are really comfortable. The rifle in question is an F-class 1000 yard competition 40X so 225 yards into the spine was not a hard shot with that gun.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  11. dk17hmr

    dk17hmr Well-Known Member

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    I have shot alot of deer in the neck with everything from arrows to bullets. Most of them dropped, one however ran about 150 yards crossed a creek and went another 50 yards before bleeding out, that particular buck was shot in the jugular with a 100gr 3 bladed Muzzy broadhead.
    [​IMG]

    I shot this one exactly in the heart, he ran a total of 45 yards and I saw him drop. There was blood spray on both sides and very easy to track. From the shot to sticking my knife in him was about 5 minutes and he was done kicking 30 seconds after the shot.

    [​IMG]

    My dad shot this one with his 30-06 at about 95 yards only part he saw was the neck and he needed meat in the freezer. He lost the deer through recoil, went out and looked and found it dead right where it was standing the snow wasnt messed up where it would have been kicking. It just dropped like someone pulled a rug from out under it.
    [​IMG]

    The furthest I have had a deer run with a heart lung shot was about 75 yards, the furthest I have had a neck shot run before dropping was around 200 yards.

    Take it for what its worth. I like neck shots and take them when conditions are right...if not I let the air out of there lungs, either way tracking isnt a big deal.
     
  12. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Here's a couple more visual reference. I like the heart/lung shots.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Good luck!

    Ed
     
  13. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    The only way to ensure they don't run is a CNS shot. I have blown off a piece of the heart and had the rest hanging out of the exit and it still went 70 yards, a second deer shot seconds later in the same spot dropped to the shot. No two are guarenteed to react the same. A deer hit in the traditional aiming area will die but there is no way of telling if instant or after a short run. When LRH I take a high shoulder shot and most of the time they drop to the shot.

    I also kill deer on crop damage permits and often times this means neck or head shots. If I am looking to kill multiple deer at one time the first has to be a DRT head or neck. I like the head neck junction but will shoot other areas of the neck, you just need to know your animal and your limits. I use a 6br with 107s. Accuracy is not an issue, a good reading with the LRF and its all over.

    The Perfect Shot North America
    Shot placement for north american big game is a good book to get to know vitals and see why and where the bullet is going.