Head Shot on deer, Good or Bad?????

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jareese

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I used to take headshots on Doe. I don't anymore after tracking one for many hours, and miles, following pin points of blood, it moved it's head as I broke the trigger. I took off most of the front of her face. Horrible sight, horrible feeling, horrible death for the deer. I will never do so again. We owe more to these animals.
 

bdyal1972

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Jun 24, 2012
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No where near the woods. I miss it
Went on an out of state deer hunt with a buddy of mine and we shot our buck deer in the first two days ( got pretty lucky). With lots of time left to hunt we each got a antler less tag and went back out. To make it more interesting we decided any shot less than 500 yards would be a head shot, of course conditions had to be ideal. We had great weather and no wind for the afternoon hunt. I shot mine at 350 yards, DRT. My buddy shot his at 400, DRT. With no meat loss and having such a great time I am thinking this was a great idea. So I thought I would see what you guys all think, just looking for honest opinions? Is there any reason this is just a bad idea?
I have killed 7 deer and 3 elk with head
Shots all within 50 paces, 4 off hand.

2 I had no other option and wind working against me

Kind of like a texas heart shot

How confident in your shooting and the presentation and a possible tracking job?
 

Sniper03

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BAD
Head shots for me are totally out!
Being an avid hunter it kills ME if I do not have a clean kill and injure the deer in this case. I believe in humane kills or will not kill at all.
Being an Army Firearms Range Instructor, on an Army Rifle Team for 2 years and a Police Sniper for 16.5 on the Rifle. I believe I would have no difficulty hitting a deer in the head under normal circumstances. And I am very glad you and your buddy were successful in shooting the two antlerless deer and especially at the yardage you shot them. As the others have mentioned, there are too many things that can happen when doing head shots. As mentioned twig snapping the deer suddenly turning because something is approaching and at longer ranges as you stated the wind can play a part on completing a good clean shot. The Deer video that was shown here previously turns my stomach and angers me significantly and just implants my thoughts deeper. NO Head Shots for me ever.;) Other than on SWAT! We trained continually to do Head Shots all the time as well as Snaps and Movers!;)

03
 

Plinker147

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Feb 7, 2015
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If you guys go by your logic we never be able to take any shots because “too much” can happen. It takes a second while you are deciding to pull and the and the act of pulling the trigger. Anything “ could “ happen in that time. This is an *Rule 1 Violation*s debate, it’s pointless.

Everyone has to live with results of their own shot, leave it at that. For one to sit on their high horse and say “if you don’t hunt/ shoot the way I do your wrong” is simply BS. Everyone has different abilities and standards.
 

Doginab

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Mar 28, 2012
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Went on an out of state deer hunt with a buddy of mine and we shot our buck deer in the first two days ( got pretty lucky). With lots of time left to hunt we each got a antler less tag and went back out. To make it more interesting we decided any shot less than 500 yards would be a head shot, of course conditions had to be ideal. We had great weather and no wind for the afternoon hunt. I shot mine at 350 yards, DRT. My buddy shot his at 400, DRT. With no meat loss and having such a great time I am thinking this was a great idea. So I thought I would see what you guys all think, just looking for honest opinions? Is there any reason this is just a bad idea?
I think this is a bad thing. A double lung is in my opinion the optimum shot. It offers a large target area, puts game down quick and bleeds out your meat. Just my .02
 

memtb

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Winchester, Wy.
If you guys go by your logic we never be able to take any shots because “too much” can happen. It takes a second while you are deciding to pull and the and the act of pulling the trigger. Anything “ could “ happen in that time. This is an *Rule 1 Violation*s debate, it’s pointless.

Everyone has to live with results of their own shot, leave it at that. For one to sit on their high horse and say “if you don’t hunt/ shoot the way I do your wrong” is simply BS. Everyone has different abilities and standards.

Most of us would refrain from playing “Russian Roulette”, even though there are favorable odds in your favor....for the first time! ;) memtb
 

Clem Bronkoski

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Locust Gap, PA
Terrible idea. I don't care how good a shot you are or what the conditions are. The brain is a small target and a lot of bone around it to deflect a bullet. As a Hunter/Trapper Education instructor we instruct students to take broadside shots at the heart/lung area. After season we take walks along creek beds and find a couple deer a year with jaws being shot off by someone who attempted a head shot! What a terrible way to die. No lower jaw the animal can't eat or drink.
 

aebhunter

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Oct 31, 2013
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Full disclosure, I tried a head shot one time on a cow elk. 100 yards (I have a hundred yard zero). As stated in some other posts, the millisecond I broke the trigger the cow moved and I hit her bad. I was horrified at the end result and I was extremely lucky to be able to quickly put a follow up shot into her vitals right after. That was the first, and last time I will ever try that. I have shot plenty of animals behind the shoulder and ruined absolutely zero meat doing it, so I choose that route now.
I've said this before, but I think the whole "head shot" debate fall into the category of how you truly feel about your abilities as a shooter, and how realistic the chances of making a clean shot on an animal are. Since I joined this forum, I have actually decreased my definition of my effective range, and I shoot probably ten times more than I did when I joined. After shooting probably close to 5,000 rounds in the last few years in different type of steel matches in different types of terrain, I have witnessed some really odd things happen that could result in a wounded animal. So now, I just try to get to a range where I know my odds of quickly and cleanly killing the animal with minimal meat loss are fully maximized. Everyone has their own view on the subject, this is just my .02.
 

Antonio m

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If you take jaw off , they will get away and die a lingering death. The heart shot is a near miss too.
Boiler room , shoulder just works well and is a large target
 

thwatson2

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Nov 4, 2012
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91
Head shots are perfect when you hit the intended spot. Heart and lung shots are perfect when you hit the intended spot and same for neck shots. Lower jaw instead of brain or gut shot when you intended a heart lung shot are all bad scenarios. Nobody is perfect Try your best to make clean shots and be prepared to track a wounded animal to remove it from misery...just my 2 cents
 

greatwhitehntr

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Northern NEVADA
It's always made me wonder when you see guy absalutely loose it over head shooting yet they'll shoot a big buck or bull in the hips or through the butt to try to slow them down enough for more shooting and that's all good!!
Took the words out of my mouth.
I will also add that in the 12 years of me guiding big game hunters *Rule 1 Violation*s seem to drop off really fast in the heat of the moment. To each their own but I have a hard time believing those that preach are that perfect. I've seen it with my own eyes.
 

dk17hmr

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Nov 15, 2009
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Wyoming
I shoot alot of animals in the head, I am very particular on the placement and situation. Looking straight at me or straight away, close range (sub 150 yards), calm animal, no cross hairs movement, with a bullet fired fast enough and constructed well enough to penetrate the skull.

80gr amax from a 22-250 will break apart before getting to the brain cavity with a face on shot but a 62gr Barnes from the same rifle at the same distance and shot placement will punch through the back side of the skull and go zinging across the desert. At least from my experience on doe antelope. The one hit with the 80gr got heart shot the second it stood back up.

This year I kill a buck antelope with a chest shot, when I got up to him he had dried blood on his face, I didn't think anything of it because there was alot of blood on the ground from his heart not being present anymore. It wasn't until after I cleaned his skull that I realized he had been shot in the face by someone else a day or two before I killed him.



I don't advocate headshots especially at longer ranges but I will still take them in the right situations. If your going to take them just be ready for a follow up if things get Western.
 
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