Bullets vs Tracking Game

WYOHTF

WYOHTF

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I like these kinds of threads we’re we get to tell the truth.
I’ve guided a fair bit in my life and have seen many normal 30-100yd blood trails, probably Just as many that were bang-flop. I have seen and used or been around most conventional calibers and cup and core bullets out there in almost 40 years of hunting. I know one thing for sure, Speer bullets in any flavor don’t cut it for me as a big game bullet.
The worst train reck I ever had with a bullet was a Barnes X bullet from a .308 at about 45 yards.
He took two right perfect behind the shoulder. I had jumped him and he froze when I cow called.
He turned and headed down slope hard. At the time my son was 12 and I was trying to teach him patients and we sat down and had a snack.
About twenty minutes had passed. We started tracking I in yellow pine needles and moss and rock. There was good blood
About 400 yards later the trail had taken us into some dog hair fur. He had bedded down in the middle of it. There was enough frothy blood in the fir needles to squish out of the ground. Not a drop of blood or a track to be found after about 50’ from that bed.
I called my brother and a friend who are both very accomplished outdoorsmen. Us and are kids looked for that bull till dark, we had a lab that has found game before. I looked for two more days. Nothing. Punched my tag and called the game warden and told him about it.
He said he would fly it after a week and look for birds.
That bull healed up or died in some dark hole somewhere. Bugs the crap out of me to this day.
Haven’t used a Barnes since
Just my experience
My favorites are SST, Interlock, Partition, and Swift A frames. And Federal Fusions
In the right cartridge and velocity they all work good for me
 
Last edited:
biff's reloading

biff's reloading

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Jun 12, 2006
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360
I don’t know to much about muzzleloaders what is long range for a traditional? 150-200?
Well, assuming it lights the pan powder, and assuming that lights the charge, and assuming that happens within a second or 2 before either you or the deer flinches, I'd say 150 yards is about as far as I'd expect to be able to hit a deer with a 50cal flintlock and actually kill it. But I cant remember the last time I even had an opportunity that far in late season. I have a 50 that was my grandpas, and a 62cal smoothbore I built 15 years ago from a navy arms barrel and a bucket of spare t/c parts. 75 yards is definitely a long shot with it. Long range Is kinda off the table in a thicket with a foot of snow and a flintlock. :D it's fun.
 
WahooYahoo

WahooYahoo

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The Great Republic of Texas
Can't give you specifics about bullets for I've only shot a few pigs (6mm 105 VLD), prefer the knife. But I will say that they are my favorite animal to hunt. I'll take pigs over elk anyday and I live in Wyoming. Haven't been in a while because I'm tired of paying top dollar for a guide or property access. Go get em!
Well sir, I live in Texas and have wild hogs at my disposal. We should work something out. No guide needed. Your elk for may pigs!
 
N

nwhunter

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Feb 6, 2011
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oregon
I have been deer hunting for 56 years now. My go to shot has been behind shoulder 1/3 of the way up. I have killed deer with calibers from 243 through 45/70 and killed elk with 7x57, 30/06, 300 Weatherby, 338-win mag and a couple with a 50-caliber muzzle loader throwing 410 grain buffalo bullets with 100 grains on pyrodex.
The only time I have ever shot an animal in the shoulder was with the muzzle loader. It will break the shoulder and knock an elk down. I have seen people lung shot elk with a muzzleloader and with no expansion and slow speeds they don't bleed much and can be hard to follow in a herd. I have followed lung shot deer quite a distance and helped other hunters find their own deer lung shot that they had given up on finding. I don't like leaving wounded game, mine or anybody else's.
I have probably shot over 40 deer through the lungs, and most don't go far. I have seen well shot mule deer go quite a ways at times, usually big, older deer. Strangely the elk I have shot behind the shoulder have never gone far, always less than 50 yards as I recall.
I have probably shot a dozen deer through the neck and they have always fell where they were shot. I have heard horror stories of other hunter's neck shots and following deer for long distances.
A neck shot for me is not a shot I would use for a long-distance shot. I used to hunt in Idaho for mule deer and one hunter in our party always lined up his shot on the shoulder to try to ensure hitting his deer. I once saw him shoot the foot off a deer holding on the top of the shoulder and he was zeroed at 300 yards shooting a 30/06 with 165gr bt Sierra game king. He finally got that deer, but it went a long way. Personally, I would rather shoot low and miss than maim an animal.
 
WildRose

WildRose

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A neck shot for me is not a shot I would use for a long-distance shot. I used to hunt in Idaho for mule deer and one hunter in our party always lined up his shot on the shoulder to try to ensure hitting his deer. I once saw him shoot the foot off a deer holding on the top of the shoulder and he was zeroed at 300 yards shooting a 30/06 with 165gr bt Sierra game king. He finally got that deer, but it went a long way. Personally, I would rather shoot low and miss than maim an animal.
He missed his POA by about 3-4' then. If you're shot is that far off hitting a foot is a literal 1:1,000,000 shot and you're as likely to hit a leg or foot then no matter where the original POA was.
 
N

nwhunter

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Feb 6, 2011
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Location
oregon
He missed his POA by about 3-4' then. If you're shot is that far off hitting a foot is a literal 1:1,000,000 shot and you're as likely to hit a leg or foot then no matter where the original POA was.
As best I can recall he must have been more like 550 yards from deer and just misjudged his distance, this was before the era of range finders.
 

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