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Thread: Mode of death

  1. #1

    Mode of death

    Interested in your experiences
    I used to have a 308 but had a Sikka stag run after the bullet went through both lungs, one kidney & lodged under the skin of the contralateral flank. It ran 200 m downhill then 200 m into forestry. I found it in the morning after a fretful night.
    I thus changed to a 25-06 which was flat shooting and did drop them on the spot but was very destructive in terms of edible meat. It was horrible to shoot without a moderator & even managed to smash the windscreen of my 4x4 by firing off the bonnet.
    I thus choose the middle ground with a 6.5x55

    I understand bullets kill quickly by sending a hydraulic shock wave via the blood to vital centers of the hindbrain. The brain can auto regulate minor changes in Blood Pressure but a bullet strike is like a JCB, with its ram half extended running into something with its bucket, this peaks the Hydraulic pressure. Studies with pigs shot in the haunch show that they stroke out with a pressure wave in the brain.
    If you shot a deer with a musket ball through the lungs, it will die, as the oxygen levels to its brain fall but you will not get a 'drop on the spot' as there is no high velocity pressure wave.
    What are your experiences please?

  2. #2
    This has been done to death previously but, in short, my experiences are that there is no realiable peer reviewed science to support claims of mysterious pressure waves being a reliable way to kill something. If mysterious pressure waves were a reliable method of killing deer then there would be no need for a carefully aimed shot: it would be sufficient to shoot your target in the rear leg, or ear, and the mythical forces of doom would cause it to drop dead.

    So, while some may claim to believe in such magical forces and, indeed, there is fairly good anacdotal evidence for their existance, I suspect that their belief is weak as the very same people aim to hit the heart/lungs or CNS when shooting. When they start shooting for the ear, or left rear leg, with proven success then I will give further consideration to the theories.

    Until the science indicates otherwise I will continue to believe that shooting a hole in a vital organ causing, in the case of heart/lungs, rapid loss of blood pressure is the only reliable route to humane shooting of a deer.

  3. #3
    My first deer rifle was a .243, It shot 100grn soft points very well. I think in its rather short life it probably dropped about 50 deer, all to heart/lung aimed shots. It killed deer and (touch wood) I never had a wounded beast to date. However they tend to run a bit, anywhere between 5-100m - to date I have only ever lost one beast, and that was dead (saw the bullet hit, the way it ran and type of paint at the spot show it as a H/L shot) or as near as I could say. Unfourtunatly he took of into the thickest bit of plantation on the place, I tracked him until dark. Then the following morning walking over the whole plantation, we saw no signess of living deer, let alone wounded ones. That was shot at 150m (ish) with the .243.

    I soon after purchased a .308 for the larger species, my farther only shot one deer with it before the zero started to wander, so cant really comment but that deer (a wounded red) dropped like a ton of bricks on the spot. It was probably 25 years old so had shot many deer previous to my ownership.

    I have a Tikka Lite/Stainless 6.5x55swed due to arrive on the first of June. This will be my deer rifle, both the .243 and .308 were sold, for all species of UK deer, and hopefully boar too soon. I went for a 6.5 because I like the calibre very much - Having seen/shot beasts with my farthers gun in the same calibre it seems to "poleaxe" them, and I dont think he has had a beast run yet (hasnt had it that long... and it will probably happen soon) out of maybe 10 deer he has shot. I subscribe to the Heavier bullet going slower arguemnet for both dropping deer quickly and minimal meat damage.I think the damage from a 6.5 is very different to that of a smaller faster bullet - It tends to punch a big hole, with little bruising/boiled blood. Whereas my .243 was punching a small entry hole and a medium exit hole, with lots of boiled blood/bruising (down to hydraulic shock).


    As for what kills them technically I have little knowledge, and as long as the beast dies as quickly as possible with as little fuss I dont really mind. I remember reading somewhere though that at 70m a .58 Calibre Musket ball fired through a "Kentucky" (I think) Rifle was just as effective as a Nosler Partition .270 bullet. Food for thought.


    Great idea for a thread, I will be interested what some of our more knowledgeable members put.


    Sam
    "Even at the very bottom of the river, I didn't think to myself, Is this a hearty joke or the merest accident? I just thought, it's wet." - Eeyore

  4. #4
    Rod, I think there is a lot of uncertainty about kinetics etc. when people start talking about what actually kills the beast you shoot. This is a good article;

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_killing_power.htm

    But this explains the process as well as anything I have read;

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/energy_transfer.htm

    I have recently watched Mike Robinsons (the TV chef) new DVD on stalking red deer. In it the stalker uses a .308 and drops deer on the spot, Mr Robinson uses a .243 and the deer he shoots run. I would think .308 is one of the most popular calibres in the world for medium sized quarry including boar, I do think that not all bullets perform as well as we expect. I would not worry about using a .308!

    Saying that I have a 6.5x55 and like it because it has good sectional density and has a proven history (since 1889 I think?) of being able to do the job well. But unless you use 120gn bullets (or less) you are not going to drive them any faster than a standard load out of a .308.

    I think any of the mid range calibres are all more than capable of taking deer effectively with good shot placement, sometimes my heart lung shots on fallow drop them on the spot, sometimes they run. Mainly I think it is if they have seen me and are spooked, full of adreniline, that they are more likely to run. I have yet to have a roe run any distance at all. This may be because on the smaller body of the roe is more prone to the shock wave you mention, rather than the larger bodied fallow.

    All I can say is, after going out stalking with a friend who uses a 7mm-08, I have put in a variation for a 7mm rifle too. I am very impressed by them.

    ft

    Edit; I have just read Sam's piece above and his point about the old fashioned calibres is a point well made! Lew Potter regularly uses his Ruger No1 in 45-70 for taking fallow deer, very effectively I might add.
    Last edited by flytie; 19-05-2010 at 08:06. Reason: a rare attack of perspicacity
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rodkayak View Post
    Interested in your experiences
    I used to have a 308 but had a Sikka stag run after the bullet went through both lungs, one kidney & lodged under the skin of the contralateral flank. It ran 200 m downhill then 200 m into forestry. I found it in the morning after a fretful night.
    I thus changed to a 25-06 which was flat shooting and did drop them on the spot but was very destructive in terms of edible meat. It was horrible to shoot without a moderator & even managed to smash the windscreen of my 4x4 by firing off the bonnet.
    I thus choose the middle ground with a 6.5x55

    I understand bullets kill quickly by sending a hydraulic shock wave via the blood to vital centers of the hindbrain. The brain can auto regulate minor changes in Blood Pressure but a bullet strike is like a JCB, with its ram half extended running into something with its bucket, this peaks the Hydraulic pressure. Studies with pigs shot in the haunch show that they stroke out with a pressure wave in the brain.
    If you shot a deer with a musket ball through the lungs, it will die, as the oxygen levels to its brain fall but you will not get a 'drop on the spot' as there is no high velocity pressure wave.
    What are your experiences please?
    Hi rodkayak

    I recon there would be some very happy and very rich gunsmiths out there if everybody that had a Sika stag run on a good engine room shot changed their rifle..

    If you shoot a good few you will get a runner on pretty much any calibre at some point..

    Lot of respect for the sika, tough and resilient.

    ATB

    Terry
    Blessed be the sheeple for they shall inherit bugger all...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rodkayak View Post
    I used to have a 308 but had a Sikka stag run after the bullet went through both lungs, one kidney & lodged under the skin of the contralateral flank. It ran 200 m downhill then 200 m into forestry.
    Putting aside all talk of ballistics and hydraulic shock (which are very important factors in clean kills), it's a fact that sika stags are especially robust and can 'carry the lead' even if well hit with a larger bullet that has performed properly. Was yours aware of you when you took the shot? If so, it was probably poised to run anyway and your chances of an instant knock-down would have been greatly reduced.

    Even the smallest deer can run when well hit. I've had a roebuck, which I believe was totally unaware of my presence, sprint 100m with its heart completely shattered before dropping dead. Even though the animal is clinically dead, its body may refuse to accept this and muscle memory takes over until the systems fail completely.

  7. #7
    My limited experience of Sika deer, particularly in woods, is that they are inclined to run more strongly than other deer after non-recoverable wounds to the thorax. Your experience of a 200m run does not surprise me, and if it's any comfort, I feel sure that the Sika had a markedly less fretful night than you had!

    While your concern to abvoid suffering is laudable, I think if I had changed calibre after every deer that went for a bit run I'd have been through them all by now.

    As has been pointed out, there are numerous lengthy threads where various theories are bandied about:
    http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...hread.php?4239
    http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...hread.php?9254
    for example.

    I like this set of essays www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/ballistics/wounding.html

    I share caorach's scepticism with regard to the mysterious pressure waves, and I'd point out at once that a mammal does not in any meaningful way resemble the hydraulic system of a JCB, a 2l bottle of water with the lid screwed on, or indeed ballistic test media.

    Enjoy the debate!

    Dalua

  8. #8
    True this type of thread has been commented on many times in the forum. However the site is here to help everyone.

    In my experience with Sika, and I have hunted them and managed (tried ) over the past 25 years, they are as Pheasant Sniper reported very tough deer, especially the Stags when the rut is on. Do not be suprised if they still run with your 6.5x55. Thats not to say its a bad round for Sika, its just to say that Sika are that way inclined.

    I have seen them taken with just about most calibres including 300win mag, 338, 30.06 and they are dead on their feet but still manage to run off. So do not be suprised if this happens again when you stalk Sika. Because belive me it will happen.

    ATB

    Sikamalc

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
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    I have met a couple of people who when shooting Sika will shoot throught the front shoulders to ensure they don't run, the shock generated will 99% of the time kill then, but like everything else you might not get that humane kill as you wished but atleast you won't have a runner and can dispatch quickley.

    Sika are known Hard Bas****s, and will put a fight. I have shot several predominantley with my .243, 100gr soft point, Heart/Lung or neck and have been lucky not to have had a runner/lost deer.

    You could shoot 5 deer, all lined up in the same way, same body weight, same shot placement. They will all react differently. There is no given science on this.

    I have seen a video clip af a bloke shoot a Roe Buck, it was rutting with another Buck, once shot, it ran probably just under 200m, the camera man kept the camera on it, unbelievable to see, and wouldn't have thought it possable, OK, it was pumped with adrenalin from rutting, but still very interesting to see.

    TJ
    Position and hold must be firm enough to support the firearm
    The firearm must point naturally at the target without any undue physical effort
    Sight alignment (aiming) must be correct
    The shot must be released and followed through without disturbing the position

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pheasant sniper 1 View Post
    I recon there would be some very happy and very rich gunsmiths out there if everybody that had a Sika stag run on a good engine room shot changed their rifle..

    If you shoot a good few you will get a runner on pretty much any calibre at some point..

    Lot of respect for the sika, tough and resilient.
    Can't fault any of that. IMHO only one thing is certain after the bullet strike - expect the unexpected. Plus of course, be prepared to deal with it!

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