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Thread: Margin for error, a terrible shot

  1. #1

    Margin for error, a terrible shot

    I was fortunate enough to shoot my first roe buck of the season after a fair bit of trying but after yesterday there is no doubt in my mind that bigger calibres are better for killing deer and never to me has this be so more evident. I have a .223 and .308 and never have I'm been so glad that .308 is my calibre of choice. Unfortunately, yesterday I let a shot go that was terrible and it was my fault, no excuses but this were saved from a nightmare by a bigger calibre and good ammo Horny 150 sst's.

    I was stalking the heavily wooded property boundary where small patches of open hardwoods give nice margins where roe can feed. It was very much tip toe stuff and any deer you see would be very close. I had just moved into darker cover between rows of mature spruce to take a wizz and ahead out on a bit of open grassy ground was a bit of movement. Zip down, glassed it and sure enough it was a nice buck. So made my way to the edge of the trees about 15m ahead quick but quiet and set up sticks but had been a bit surprised and took my eye off it. It had been grazing right to left diagonally right to left at about 50m and I made my first mistake by not dropping my variable down to low mag. I was a bit close but would not have had any other clear line of sight through the trees. I'm a minute or so it popped out between two trees so straight into the aim and bloody hell it filled the picture but not in clear focus (parallax at 150 for open ground and it's at 40). The safety catch was knocked off with that wonderfull tikka click and the buck flinched and looked right at me. I knew he was or the off so I forced a rushed shot but he was already moving and the bullet hit him well back in the last 2 ribs.

    Now this is one of those times where the is a moment of doubt and anger because you know you've messed up. On the reload I glanced up and down he had crumpled to the floor kicking hard but down and with parallax and mag fixed a follow up was there if needed. The buck expired quick enough. On inspection the bullet had taken the back of the liver but made a mess to tidy inside which given the shot is to be expected. It was then when you think over things that this was luck for than skill and actually I'd made a real arse of final parts of the stalk because of simple things, magnification, parallax, safety catch. All that saved the day was the heavy calibre bullet because in honesty having heard of and seen similar shots made with a .243 or less, the deer would have been off and running to far away places. That definately something to consider when the FEO tells you all you need for deer is a .243!!!

    So, bigger calibres have knock down power that gives you a greater margin for error and I'm happy with that theory. If I had shot that buck in the same place with my .223 it wouldn't be what I'm cooking later and I'm sure of that.

  2. #2
    this seems to be true for alot of people but you also have fellas that say it all comes down to shot placement but it if its a snap shot then you need that extra little bit of knock down power in case of error

  3. #3
    I think most of us have been guilty of the above at some time when stalking Paul, I had it happen on a fallow buck a couple of months ago (6mm rem) Without my GWP that buck would have died a slow lingering death as the bullet had only clipped the liver on its way through.
    Ill bet you are more focused next time though.
    I wish I was half the hunter my dog thinks I am

  4. #4
    cracking honest post Paul..

    Some fella's i know put their clients that need an estate rifle on the bigger calibres for just the reason you mention..

    Bound to be some controversy about shot placement on this one
    Blessed be the sheeple for they shall inherit bugger all...

  5. #5
    Not so much about shot placement but need for a dog when stalking me thinks or access to one,not a dig just an observation
    Everybody mucks up from time to time

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  6. #6
    Do you have a dog Paul if not what do you do when you get a few runners. Good post i even mess up every now and then but its very rare lol

  7. #7
    see more then my fair share of bad placement, had a clean miss@ 40m yesterday (novice client with bucks fever). Rather have that then a wound mind you.
    I hope there are no pro stalkers out there without access to a deer dog. Just the game were in means this sort of thing might happen more to us.

  8. #8
    Teak my dog will find deer if there's a trail but he's not a trained deer dog that barks etc as such. Cracking picture John

  9. #9
    Firstly, the deer dog thread is somewhere else, not in this one.
    An honest post that we`ve seen before and we`ll see again. Mistakes happen and always will.
    The one thing it proves is snap shots aren`t the best shots.
    "He who kills sow with piglets empties the forest of boar" My neighbours dad on new years eve 2011.

  10. #10
    true and although not my best effort, dead is dead and not far off being a very tasty meal for the family. Sometimes a snap shot is what you need to do, we're not always able to get into our comfy zone when the deer show and you take what you're given especially when you have to work hard for it.

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