?? Wonder if I made a bad choice

HARPERC

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When all is said and done, I hope you go back out with a dog & find your deer. Then you'll have closure. If you don't find it, you'll never know if you hit or not. But one thing is certain - you probably can't trust your current bullet choice FOR HUNTING so, a change is in order.
Keep us posted.
I look forward to what the dog has to say. Terrain can make a big difference in recovering game, a good dog very useful.
Lots of lung tissue doesn't bleed much, and it doesn't take but a small bit of lung function for a deer to cover a lot of ground.
As far as the bullet being trustworthy in the future, it doesn't sound like you will.
Sounds like pieces of the puzzle stacked against you, more than just a bullet, or placement.

Best Wishes
 

Ckleeves

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I’m a big Berger fan but one thing that has to be noted is every different bullet line and weight/caliber/hunting/target etc act a little different on game. The LRHT line does have a smaller meplat then the other target hybrids. The 215 and 230 hybrid along with the 230 OTM are proven killers. The new 208 and 220 LRHT I’m not sure if there is a ton of info out there on how they do on game. The smaller meplat and Im not 100% but I don’t believe the cavity is as deep as some of the older target hybrids but these things could cause less expansion.

This is just speculation, I know of some kills with the 153.5 and 144 lrht bullets this year and they worked just fine. But people have a tendency to lump all Berger bullets into one category when they really shouldn’t. Pick one with a proven track record and shoot a bunch of game with one you like and draw your one conclusions on how they act with different shot placements and impact velocity’s.
 

7sand8s

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Ever hear a bullet strike a tree? Or soft dirt? Guess what it sounds like, especially from a distance.
Again, we are all just speculating and hoping for the best. Which, depending where you’re at and almost a day later, may be for a miss.
Totally different sound. And there are no trees to hit
 

lancetkenyon

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Did you track the deer further today or yesterday?
I have had elk shot that left no blood trail, and only made it 40 yards. I have had deer shot that dropped at the shot that had 0 external blood as well.

I have plenty of experience both firsthand and secondhand by buddies, with various LR Hyb kills. .257 135 LR Hyb, 6.5mm 144 and 153.5gr LR Hyb, and .308 208 LR Hyb. On pronghorn, Coues, WT, Mulies, and elk. Plus, the .257" 131 BJ, 6.5mm 142 and 150 SMK, and 7mm 183 SMK.

Pretty confident you have a dead deer out there, probably wasted by now. To not try and locate a deer past 40 yards just because you found no blood trail is a shame.
 

338 dude

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I know I didn’t miss him….that shot was spot on…I’m not bragging but it was an easy shot for me also. I still feel good about it even after not finding blood
I just went through the exact same scenario evening before last but I am shooting a 140 VLD hunting, felt good about the shot at 300 yds not any sign of a hit. hopefully I just missed.
 

338 dude

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Did you track the deer further today or yesterday?
I have had elk shot that left no blood trail, and only made it 40 yards. I have had deer shot that dropped at the shot that had 0 external blood as well.

I have plenty of experience both firsthand and secondhand by buddies, with various LR Hyb kills. .257 135 LR Hyb, 6.5mm 144 and 153.5gr LR Hyb, and .308 208 LR Hyb. On pronghorn, Coues, WT, Mulies, and elk. Plus, the .257" 131 BJ, 6.5mm 142 and 150 SMK, and 7mm 183 SMK.

Pretty confident you have a dead deer out there, probably wasted by now. To not try and locate a deer past 40 yards just because you found no blood trail is a shame.
I agree but what is one to do in my instance where there are property lines signs and fences
 

338 dude

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I don’t think I missed and didn’t graze him. It’s a transmission line for power company. He ran back 20yrds and disappeared into the thicket. But no blood at POI and within the first 30-40 yrds in the woods. I haven’t looked any farther. Waiting on a dog that is trained in this stuff
A trained blood trailer is better of course but any dog will follow blood it is instinct
 

HANGum HIGH

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This, I didn’t know I had to clean them out before shooting them. The guy that reccomended them even said they are not a “blood tracking bullet” he said he shoots shoulder shots with them. I aimed behind shoulder, I wouldn’t have hit bone. I wasn’t aiming at shoulder
If you have to drill out the tips in order for them to perform as advertised, it's time to look at different options. That sounds absolutely ridiculous to have to do so that the berger expands. Heard to many issues with this bullet not expanding. Will never spend time drilling out the tip when I can simply find a round that performs.
 

Will Gray

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Feb 21, 2013
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I shoot Sierra Gamekings in all my rifles for hunting (270, 308, 30-06,300WM, 300RUM, 338 EDGE, 358 Winchester, 35 Whelen, 375 RUM and others) I know Sierras are not trendy like Berger, Hammer and such. They are low cost comparatively, blow a hole in animals. Never have had one pencil.
 

FEENIX

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Did you track the deer further today or yesterday?
I have had elk shot that left no blood trail, and only made it 40 yards. I have had deer shot that dropped at the shot that had 0 external blood as well.

I have plenty of experience both firsthand and secondhand by buddies, with various LR Hyb kills. .257 135 LR Hyb, 6.5mm 144 and 153.5gr LR Hyb, and .308 208 LR Hyb. On pronghorn, Coues, WT, Mulies, and elk. Plus, the .257" 131 BJ, 6.5mm 142 and 150 SMK, and 7mm 183 SMK.

Pretty confident you have a dead deer out there, probably wasted by now. To not try and locate a deer past 40 yards just because you found no blood trail is a shame.
Agreed! I posted it a couple of years ago that my friend nearly lost a huge 6x7 Montana bull. He shot him with factory ammo loaded with Hornady 200 ELD-X (OP's former bullet of choice - @7sand8s ) out of his .300 WM at ~450Y. He managed to run back into the timber. It took all 4 of us over an hour to track him down without success—no blood trail. Luckily, an honest hunter two ridges over were watching the hunt unfold. On his way down to tell my buddy, he heard the bull's gasping last breathe. The bull managed to make it two ridges over before he expired. ~5Y from where he laid to rest, there was a tiny spec of blood. It was a double lung shot, but it did not appear that the bullet expanded. It was not a pass-through, but we did not recover the bullet (pressed for time). The bull literally drowned with his blood. We sent his remaining ammo to Hornady, hoping it was a bad batch/fluke. It tested good on their ballistic gel test.
 

lance21

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Oct 16, 2010
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My son and myself killed 2 bucks this year. 7 saum using the 190 gr Berger lrht. Massive trauma, both exited leaving big holes. Mine dropped on the spot, his went about 25 yards. Imo it's a great hunting bullet.
 

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