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Thread: How do bullets kill deer ?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2016

    How do bullets kill deer ?

    I`m looking for a scientific explanation of how deer die when we send 100gr`s + of lead and copper at them, yes I know massive hemorrhaging, or is it the hydrostatic shock / hydraulic shock ? I`d like some pointers to journals or reputable sources , I`m struggling to find anything.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I'd look more into military and police research as people die the same way deer do when being shot and there would be more research done on this. Generally three ways, blood loss (or massive drop in pressure), suffocation (lungs destroyed) or severe trauma to the nervous system (direct injury or shock/disruption).

    "Belief in remote effects of penetrating projectiles may have originated with hunters and soldiers, but their reality is now well established in a broad body of scientific literature"
    – Neurosurgery, February 2011 - Volume 68 - Issue 2 - pp E596-E597

    Often the shock will incapacitate causing the deer to drop on the spot but then the physical injury leads to death via bleeding out or suffocation. Without hooking a number of living animals up to an ECG and something to monitor brain activity and then shooting them it would be difficult to definitively state if they were killed by physical injury or remote wounding caused by hydraulic shock.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    All body tissues, in particular the brain, require a constant supply of well oxygenated blood. The lungs act as in a interface where the haemoglobin can pick up the oxygen and release waste CO2, the heart serves two purposes 1) to pump de-oxygenated blood through the lungs so it becomes re-oxygenated and 2) to then pump that blood to all the organs in the body via the arterial system, with all the key arteries branching off the Aorta which comes out of the top of the heart.

    Putting a bullet through the middle of the heart and lungs causes massive physical damage to this pumping system and basically stops the rest of the body tissues from receiving oxygenated blood. The key organ that fails very quickly from loss of oxygenated blood will be the brain, and without oxygenated blood an animal will loose consciousness very quickly - in a matter a few seconds.

    In heart lung surgery, exactly the same would happen if it were not for the heart bypass machinery, and indeed if you could keep a supply of oxygenated blood going to the brain it would remain conscious.

    Point at which individual tissues die might be sometime after "death" - we have all no doubt seen muscles twitching often some considerable time after death.

    A shot through the brain has the effect of completely destroying the control centre of the animal. Thats why they collapse immediately, but the heart will keep beating for several minutes after death and I suspect if you ventilated the lungs, really quite some considerable time. Patients in hospital who are brain stem dead can never-the-less be kept "alive" for years on a ventilator. With a shot through the brain, the animal will be unconscious but only really dead once it has been bled out - usually requires the use a knife to cut the main arteries to the head.

    There is also autonomous nervous system - this is the automatic subconscious system that control breathing, temperature etc - this is not always destroyed / damaged in brain injuries - thats why patients can be in a vegetative state but not need artificial respiration etc.

    As well as supplying oxygen, the blood also carries essential sugars and other nutrients that provide the energy for cellular function. Many animal cells can live a long time provided they have the supply of oxygen, sugars and other nutrient provided.

    So what we want is a bullet that accurately hit the point of aim and cause massive damage to the heart / lungs and surrounding arteries and provide a really good exit hole for all the blood to leak out. Because the blood in the heart lungs and arteries / veins is an incompressible liquid, along with most of the tissue structures, much of the impact force of the bullet will be transmitted hydraulically around the body and will provide major shock to the Central Nervous system controlled by the brain. Thats why you often get the instant knockout of a rifle bullet, compared to purely cutting trauma of say an arrow, spear or knife. But the main killing bit of a bullet is the fact you have put big holes through the middle of vital systems.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by McKenzie View Post
    should be enough reading on Nathan's site to keep you quiet all evening

  6. #6
    By creating damage which causes the heart to stop beating...

  7. #7
    If you are doing your job as a stalker, they die of surprise.

  8. #8
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Coz it hurts?

  10. #10
    With a good clean shot to the brain the animal is more than unconscious Heym,its dead. A bullet passing through a deers head at 3000 fps does a fair bit of damage ,but I must admit I haven't been dragging a supply oxygenated blood with me to test your theory.

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