High Shoulder Hits, be ready to finish the job....

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Fiftydriver, Nov 29, 2009.


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  1. elkaholic

    elkaholic Official LRH Sponsor

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    I've heard archers speak about the narrow area right below the spine where you really don't get much of the vitals. Maybe just barely clip the top of the lungs. Could be what happened??
     
  2. pitbull320

    pitbull320 Well-Known Member

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    KIrby gald you got the deer I had the same thing happen on that big whitey that I told you about on wednesday the shot was 790 and the deer was standing broadside I pulled the triger and the buck droped I sat and waited for about 30 min and he never moved so we had to drive down the cooley so we lost him for a few min when we got there he was gone a big pool of blood but no deer we heard a shot on the neighbors and whent over there and there was my 170 whitey he was shot right at the point of the shoulder and it was perfect and he still got up and whent 300 yrd till the neighbers kid shot him so I didn't get the deer but that how it gos some times but I still can't believe that he sucked up that 300gr bullet out of my edge
     
  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    Troutslayer,

    The buck was mortally wounded, I was obviously not intentionally hunting big game after dark as I had only a 1911 pistol. My way of thinking, if the FWP wants to try to nail me killing big game after hours I would be MORE then willing to take that one in front of a judge and see where the chips fall. I only did what I suspect any *Rule 1 Violation*al sportsman would do.

    It was proven the deer was alive but not able to run away as he only took a few yards worth of movement before falling. Knowing that, I would like to know how many other hunters would leave an animal overnight in that condition when they had the ability to end its suffering then and there.

    Perhaps you would not have done what I did but if I had it to do again, I would but I would have my rifle with me the first time I went out. That was my only mistake.
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    Shawn,

    Most of the game I have shot in the high shoulder has also nearly always been dead by the time I got up to it. That was what suprised me with this buck.

    The bullet passed through the chest cavity roughly 1.5 to 2" below the spine. When we butchered the deer, there was a 10" circle around the impact that was severely bruised on both sides of the rib cage.

    When I was dressing the deer, the chest cavity was completely full of blood. The next morning I was able to inspect the lungs a bit better with the morning light and the tops of both were significantly damaged with the bullet passing through the tops of both. I have seen deer with much less damage then this die much sooner, just a strange thing I guess.

    By the way, those night sites really worked well!!!
     
  5. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    I agree totaly, tracking and finishing wounded game is not illegal IMHO. It is done all the time, no iime limit on recovery
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    I will be honest, I seldom hold to intentionally hit the high shoulder but it often turns out that way. When I hunt at long range, which to me is anything 500 yards and out, I will take a center hold on the shoulder to allow the most error in all directions and still get that bullet in the vitals.

    In the area I hunt, putting the animal down on the spot is a good thing but in no way a requirement. May mean a longer haul out but other then that, there really is no way to loose a mortally wounded animal.

    I think that the high shoulder shot can get you into trouble, espeically with some specific species of big game animails. Many do not realize that game such as elk, moose or buffalo have huge dorsal spines on their spine. Generally the top third of a bull elk of moose will not result in a one shot kill. It may drop the animal to the shot but I have seen many situations where a hit on the top 1/3 of these animals resulted in the animal regaining their feet after several minutes.

    On deer, the distance from their spine to the top of their back is much less so a hit to the top 1/3 of a buck is generally a fatal hit. If nothing else, the spine is generally broken and the animal is unable to move.

    In my case, the spine was not physically impacted by the bullet. Both shoulder blades were broken and that was obvious when the buck tried to run as he could simply paw with his both legs and did not have good control of any of his legs telling me his spine was severely stressed.

    For all intent and purpose, this buck should have died long before he did. My only real reason for posting this is to say to be prepared for anything when you walk up on your "Dead" big game animal.

    I will post some pics when I get a chance.
     
  7. elkaholic

    elkaholic Official LRH Sponsor

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    Kirby.....glad you recovered your animal and I don't think any logical person would argue with how you accomplished it.....Rich
     
  8. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I have yet to execute a DRT high shoulder shot, I have tryed but can't quite get it with out having to sent a second one over to finish the job. Either I hit them like you did without hitting the spine or I spine them or I hit the dang leg bone just down from the scapula which sucks on an elk, I usually try once a year just cause everyone says it's the best place to hit them.
    I cut two elk this evening, the one shot looked just right with a 7mm and it did just what happened to you, both shoulder were hashed , very little lung and no spine and reqired a head shot, the other elk I shot and I spined first shot then heart shot her so I cut both elk and figured the other guy lost around 30-32 lbs of meat just on the shoulder shot that didn't kill her, mine cost me 9-10 lbs.
     
  9. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    Kirby, first of all I want to say I'm glad you're alright, having a deer stand up after being shot can be dangerous.

    In reference to your comment:

    I believe you did, but not enough for them to notice it. :D

    How bad did that buck scare your life when he got up? Please tell us! I've got a smile on my face right now, but that's because I'm a bit nervous after I read about that buck getting up when you grabbed it's antlers. :)
     
  10. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Having to apply a finishing shot is the dark side of hunting for me. It is for me, the only part of hunting that I have a tough time with. If there is ever a reason that I quit carrying a weapon and change to a camera, that will be it.

    Me personally, I am strictly a boiler room shot placement guy. I don't mind the tracking out to a hundred yards that sometimes happens.

    Kirby, I am glad it turned out OK. I had a deer start to stand up when I grabbed it by the antler after a head shot. Very unnerving to say the least. The last head shot I will ever take again.

    Troutslayer, if MT FWP has a problem with how this situation was handled, then they have truly lost their way.

    Good post,

    Steve
     
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Kirby,

    Sounds like you had a little excitment. I wonder if holding on to a set of horns is anything like bull riding? :)

    Glad you scored, and are safe, and waiting to see some Pics.

    Oh yeah.... I'm a boring boiler room kinda guy. :)

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  12. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    I've had the best luck shooting center of shoulder, if quartering away I hold to have the bullet exit the center of the offside shoulder. The high shoulder hit works very well with high velocity impacts.
    But you never know what the emotional state the game is in, get them jacked up on hormones and a dose of adrenaline from fear from the invasion of an army of hunters and they can take alot more abuse. I shot an undisturbed whitetail once years back in a bad wind, range was around 600 yards, POI was off POA about 12", impact was just in front of the hams, 2" below the spine, bullet hit hide in/hide out, nothing else. That shot shouldn't have even killed that deer, but it hit the ground, flopped a couple times and was dead, ya just never know!
    I never liked the high shoulder shots, after seeing them laying on they're back bawling like a sick calf, head erect looking around using a deer rifle of nominal MV. I normaly take the center shoulder or lung shots if given a choice.
    congrats on your buck kirby!
    RR
     
  13. LongBomber

    LongBomber Well-Known Member

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    Just my opinion but it makes a huge difference what state the game is in. If you grunted him in close and he is ready for a fight he will likely be significantly harder to kill than if he was totally unsuspecting and undisturbed.

    I have lost 2 deer in my hunting career. I called in a nice 4pnt whitetail to 28 yards. I shot him facing me at a bit of a downward angle. I shot him in the top of the white diamond, exiting right behind the diaphram. He dropped instantly. I was crouched in a tight ball infront of a stump, in wet snow. I tried to wait as long as possible before I moved, about 5 minutes later I had to stand up, I slowly stood up, and just as I got up straight the deer basically levitated and bolted. He dropped over a bank heading for the river, I heard some serious crashing so I figured he was down and walked back to my truck to get some extra muscle to haul him up. A good 15 minutes later my partner and I started down the 50 yard bank. His tracks in the snow showed him dragging something bloody, and he fell repeatedly on his was to the bottom. As we worked thru the alder I heard splashing... and watched him fall into the river. He hit the current and all I could do was watch. He disapeared under the water and never surfaced again.

    Clint and I walked at least a mile downstream with no sign of anything on log jams or gravel bars, no tracks exitting the river. I cut my tag and went home empty handed. The thing was he had serious clockwork hanging out under his belly, and had no diaphram left and must have had serious lung damage. But when he came in he was ready for a fight, he was grunting up a storm, neck all swollen. I think if he was relaxed when shot he would have never moved an inch.

    At least you got your deer and didn't end up with a horn where the sun doesn't shine!! You did make one mistake... alway bring the finisher!!
     
  14. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    ive shot 80 deer the last 5 years and seen a like # shot. With an edge they often die gutshot. The impact and 300 smk is just more than a nervous system will take. Saying that i killed a 175 lb dressed rutted buck this year at 250 and shot him mid shoulder and liquified his lungs and 15 minutes later he was moving still. Not really alive because he couldnt see me when i was 2 feet away but still not really dead. Ive never lost a deer with the 338 I usually just listen for a splat and take off walking even at 1k plus. deal is if they are jacked up on hormones and fear and they get real tough.