?? Wonder if I made a bad choice

emp1953

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Sep 29, 2013
Messages
460
.300 Hornady brass 76gr of powder 2850 out the muzzle
What Caliber rifle and what twist rate barrel? Beings thats a target bullet it probably did its job perfectly, drilled clean through not disturbing too much along the way.
 

KMG

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Feb 11, 2012
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HINCKLEY, IL
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.
Just last weekend my daughter & I took 3 does on the Wisconsin opener all with Berger 140 Hybrids. No long range shots they were from 60, 120, & 170yds. All were bang flops & all had exits. My daughter was using my 260 rem. pushing the 140 Hybrid at 2625' & dumped her doe. Been using them, will keep using them.
 

INVICTUS

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Oct 26, 2011
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West Texas
I normally shoot Hornady ELDX 200gr. I was out of those and couldn’t find any at all…my buddy the shoots long range recommended the bullets I have pictured BERGER 208gr long range hybrid…I bought them and found a good load for my gun. I shoot deer out to 500 so I’m puzzled at the shot I took with this new ammo. Deer was perfectly broadside 290yrds…I was in box stand using bags. Made what thought was a perfect shot. Deer ran off. I haven’t found one ounce of blood anywhere. Did I make the wrong choice in bullet? Should I not shoot these at deer?
The honest truth is, everyone always thinks they made a perfect shot. I always do, otherwise I wouldn’t shoot. However, that’s just not realistic for anyone. This mindset leads to questioning the bullet, gun, conditions, everything. From my experience all these things are very reliable and the small difference is me, good or bad.
If it was me, I would get back on the range and verify that everything still works. Then duplicate the shot and see what I am doing and perhaps discover what did. It’s a good method for learning. It’s well worth the effort.
Just my two cents on the “it’s the bullet, gun, ect” mindset.
Good luck with it.
 

TXTrained

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Jan 22, 2019
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181
Location
Brazoria TX
I normally shoot Hornady ELDX 200gr. I was out of those and couldn’t find any at all…my buddy the shoots long range recommended the bullets I have pictured BERGER 208gr long range hybrid…I bought them and found a good load for my gun. I shoot deer out to 500 so I’m puzzled at the shot I took with this new ammo. Deer was perfectly broadside 290yrds…I was in box stand using bags. Made what thought was a perfect shot. Deer ran off. I haven’t found one ounce of blood anywhere. Did I make the wrong choice in bullet? Should I not shoot these at deer?
Those are Target bullets . NOT really for hunting.
But maybe you missed.
 

hoffbill

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Dec 21, 2013
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46
Based on the terrain described, lots of tall grass and scrubby brush is possible that an unseen twig deflected the bullet causing a miss. A slight tweak from a twig can cause enough deflection to miss by several feet.
 

WHITEBULL

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Apr 26, 2015
Messages
132
Did you go back with the dog and find that deer? Shot placement, bullet integrity is irrelevant at this point. You owe it to that deer to give 100% effort in finding it. This is a part of hunting. Whether you want to or not.
 

dougduey

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Apr 11, 2011
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1,415
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San Antonio, TX
Did you clean the tips out?
Listened to a Gunwerks podcast the other day and Aaron Davidson says this has no effect on the Berger’s performance. He’s the first person I’ve heard dispell this myth.

That is a target bullet, you most likely penciled him with that bullet. No expansion = no damage to inside vitals.
These actually have a thicker jacket due to the higher twist rates and actually perform very well on game.

The big takeaway I got from Aaron Davidson’s podcast was he shoots to hit bone with Bergers, and he’s killed a lot of animals with their bullets.
I’ve got friends who hate them, and others that swear by them. It’s like anything, once you learn the strengths and weaknesses/limitations of what you’re using, you adjust to get the performance you want and need. I’m a big proponent of choosing the proper bullet for the animal you’re hunting, as well as for the caliber you’re shooting and velocities you are getting. You need to stack these in your favor as much as possible.
 

jareese

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Dec 10, 2015
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South Central Wisconsin
The Long Range Hybrid Target (Yellow box, black label) are TIPPED Berger's - they also "appear to me" to be a bit thicker at the nose than the other hybrid bullets berger makes. I personally will not hunt with these bullets - I DO use the Hybrid's (230's & 140's) and will hunt with them - but not these newest ones that are tipped.
 

Solomon

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Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
16
Location
Oregon
I am at a loss for words after reading this. I have given up the remainder of my season to search for (possibly) hit animals. There is only one right thing to do in this situation, and it sure isn’t talking about it for days on a hunting forum. The deer deserved better.
 

Bravo 4

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Jul 20, 2007
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The South
Totally different sound.
You are right that it can be, but at a distance are your buddies experienced enough to know the difference? Some say they can tell the difference between a meat and gut shot. I say maybe, because it is going to be obstructed by something (maybe just distance) and, unless they are there watching, a split second unexpected experience.
 
D

Deleted member 120585

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I normally shoot Hornady ELDX 200gr. I was out of those and couldn’t find any at all…my buddy the shoots long range recommended the bullets I have pictured BERGER 208gr long range hybrid…I bought them and found a good load for my gun. I shoot deer out to 500 so I’m puzzled at the shot I took with this new ammo. Deer was perfectly broadside 290yrds…I was in box stand using bags. Made what thought was a perfect shot. Deer ran off. I haven’t found one ounce of blood anywhere. Did I make the wrong choice in bullet? Should I not shoot these at deer?
I wouldn't make an assessment based on one event in the field. It sounds like a "clean" miss -confidence shattering, but certainly better than a wound and it is entirely possible it was an anomaly. I have seen great groups by great bench shooters with one unexplainable stray right in the midst of their succession of great shots. The fact that it happened while shooting at an animal, probably makes you shudder and doubt yourself and the "new" bullet; it would me too. Also, there is one big, big clue as to what probably happened: the deer ran away, a 208 grain bullet and the deer ran away! A 208 grain bullet on a deer is quite a huge wallop -and he ran away?!!! I bet, you didn't hit him and that in a way is terrific -it is so much better than a horrific, bad wound. I bet it was a "flyer" -for some unknown reason, a shot that would have been off by 4 to 8 inches at 100 yards and totally missed at 500 yards. It happens. I would practice on some water jugs at 500 yards and I also would bet they are toast with that setup and your skills. The difficult part is accepting that it was a one-time event out of your control and not let it affect your shooting or confidence. If, with some further practice, the bullet proves to shoot accurately, I wouldn't dump it for another bullet based on the one event. Best of everything and good shooting!
 

Bdog35

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2012
Messages
39
I normally shoot Hornady ELDX 200gr. I was out of those and couldn’t find any at all…my buddy the shoots long range recommended the bullets I have pictured BERGER 208gr long range hybrid…I bought them and found a good load for my gun. I shoot deer out to 500 so I’m puzzled at the shot I took with this new ammo. Deer was perfectly broadside 290yrds…I was in box stand using bags. Made what thought was a perfect shot. Deer ran off. I haven’t found one ounce of blood anywhere. Did I make the wrong choice in bullet? Should I not shoot these at deer?
You shot a deer with a target Bullet , that’s what you can expect to happen, find another bullet that is for hunting.
 

Plinker147

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Feb 7, 2015
Messages
962
So I will chime in with a recent experience I had this year. I haven’t missed an animal with my rifle in 10 yrs from 50-650yds and I harvested a pile of animals in those 10 years. Well guess what I completely missed a deer at 220 yds sitting of a tripod Arca Swiss rail system, another words a solid rest. I rushed the shot, mashed the trigger and didn’t follow through ALL MY FAULT.

Sounds like we will never know what happened in your situation but misses happen and I would lean towards that answer not bullet failure.
 

lancetkenyon

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Jun 3, 2013
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4,059
Location
Arizona
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.
Do you archery hunt? If so, do you tune your bow and tune your arrows?

Do you hand load? Do you tune your loads? Powder charge weight, seating depth, maybe primer test, maybe neck tension, maybe turn necks/uniform primer pockets?

Not sure why one more step is so foreign of a concept for the quest in perfection.
 
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