I've just come back from my second RTA this week - in both cases I used my .38 Special Taurus Ultralite (2" barrel, 150 grain round nose American Eagle bullets)...
The one today felt like a cluster-f*ck so I'll give you some background then ask if those with actual experience would kindly make comment - don't worry I won't cry if I get criticism, I'd appreciate any constructive feedback too though if anyone thinks I've done something wrong. I'd like to know if I've done something wrong as although I'm confident killing deer there isn't any formal training on this type of activity. I've not had any issues in the past with RTA's but these have all been Roe as I live on the south coast.
I was in bed all day with a dodgy tum, had several missed calls and eventually picked up to a desperate control centre asking if I could go and dispatch a wounded deer - I said I was ill but depends how far it was. She advised it was only ten mins away and the deer was immobile despite being approached by the officer in attendance. She also said she'd had a refusal from another volunteer so I was the only person. I said I'd go and do it on the proviso the officer waited and that they would sort out carcass disposal.
I arrived on the scene 10 mins later - I only took the pistol as I'd been assured I could get close to the animal and didn't feel up to wrestling the usual kit into the car (shotgun & rifle as well as pistol). It was a young fallow buck and was indeed immobile by the side of the road. It had blood around its mouth so I decided to put it down ASAP. At this stage I was happy with the pistol as my choice as the animal was in a heavily brambled ditch next to a busy road - so a discreet close quarters weapon was ideal. The police car and officer were keeping traffic from getting too close so I knelt into within 2ft cocked the hammer, and squeezed.
One between the eyes... nope. Another one between the eyes... still wheezing! Another three in the back of the head... still going! Another one at the back of the neck... nope. Another one between the eyes. STILL NO! - now I'll add that after the first shot it wasn't going anywhere, but I was still getting eye response even after the SEVENTH SHOT! After the seventh shot I just jumped on him and stuck him in the heart with my knife - a short while later he'd bled out and was still/dead. Officer in attendance said "he didn't want to go did he!".
Had that been a shot with my 17hmr or centrefires I know there would have been very little left of the head, let alone any issue with a quick kill. The Roe buck I shot in the head with the 38spl on Monday showed very little damage to the skull (though did at least die quickly with one shot). You would think 7 shots with a 38 would have obliterated the skull, but the shots appeared as no more than small red dots.
So my questions to any of you with experience are:
- Is the 38 enough gun for this purpose? Fallow?
- Is there somewhere else you aim on the head that is 100% effective? (though I think I hit pretty much everywhere!)
- What's your take on the above?
- What calibre and rounds are you using?
- Does anyone know what effect the 2" barrel has on power?
- Could this have been to the round nose slugs over penetrating and not expanding?
Probably not a popular thing to mention - but I've heard of plenty of deer large and small dropping to a .22lr to the head, let alone 7 shots from a 38 special!
Thanks in advance,