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Thread: Neck shots

  1. #1

    Neck shots

    Ok before I ask a question I. Personally do not neck or head shoot beasts , that's my personal choice .....
    I'd rather engine room shoot than blow a jaw off on an attempt head shot ....
    I have no problem with those who GENUINELY know their capabilities and equipment .....problem I have is with those who think they are better than actually are.
    So no arguments please about if it should or shouldn't be done ....

    For those who know question ....when you neck shoot ....where in the neck do you do this ?

    A) top of neck near atlas joint/ head ? ( con small target ?)
    B) base of neck near top of shoulders ( con saddle / meat damage?)
    C) half way up length and halfway aiming to split neck/ spinal cord?

    Please just a genuine query ..has to how and why folk chose their shot ?


  2. #2
    When shooting them in the neck, I always aim for the neck :-)

    In a way that is a serious answer. I will only shoot them in the neck if they are facing directly towards or away from me and I usually aim to hit them as high up as I can so either under the chin or in the atlas area if the shot is from behind. However, life does not always present me exactly the shot I want so sometimes I take what I get and this can mean hitting them lower down the neck. I don't have the knowledge to support this but suspect that deer hit higher up the neck die faster than ones where their neck is broken lower down, which is why I like to go as high as possible. Also although the neck is a small target this far up when you are only shooting them facing towards or away from you this also means that the chances of a non-fatal strike are small. I'm under no pressure to shoot deer and so only take shots I like, I sat one night during the sika rut this year and managed 6 or 8 stags in the scope including some of the best heads I'd ever seen and I didn't get the shot I wanted so I didn't shoot any of them, so this lack of pressure helps.

    As you say a chest shot is never a bad decision and I'd prefer to be doing that but I simply can't afford a runner on a goodly amount of the ground I shoot over as a runner will mean a lost deer. So, there is a balancing thing going on - a chest shot deer is always going to be dead within seconds of being hit but I might never recover it whereas with a neck shot there is a much higher chance of a miss (though with my front or rear only rule hopefully not a wounding one) but an almost zero chance of not recovering anything that is hit. Where I think there is a good chance of a recovery, or it is physically possible to retrieve a runner, I will chest shoot them after that they get shot as high up the neck as possible or, occasionally, in the head.

    Different people will shoot different ground and balance up the risks differently to me so there isn't a right answer to this one.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:

  3. #3
    I only shoot them in the neck if no other shot is on. When I do it's half way up and centre and limited to under a hundred metres or less.

  4. #4
    I think that it's perhaps worth pointing out that neck shots don't necessarily mean severing the spine or spinal column. The spine takes a slightly 'looped' route through the neck meat and it's quite where you might think it to be. However, a shot in that area is a real hammer blow to the brain. Yes I do take head and neck shots, but let's just say that I don't take them without processing the outcome in my mind first. I mostly shoot roe and have hit individuals in this area that really have died instantly. The reaction to shot is, in my experience, an animal that doesn't even manage another step. In those that I have taken in that way, most I'd say have not have their vertebra shattered at all. It's the - correct me here folks, hydraulic or hydrostatic? shock that kills them. Head shots are different for me. I aim for the head; not for the Atlas area. Head is head, neck is lower down than that. Essentially I think that trying to aim for the narrowest part of the deer save for its legs, is probably not one I'd go for.

    I take chest shots by choice mostly given our ground. But if I'm in a tower and there's something at 50 yards out - and I don't have the confidence to hit it in the neck then I shouldn't be shooting at its chest either. The point here though, again, is that a well placed shot in the neck doesn't necessarily mean spine. I have to declare that I have not shot large red in the neck. There's a huge amount of tissue in there and I don't know the shock effect of hitting them somewhere soft but I'd imagine a 200gr .300 Win Mag would leave a nasty mark. I'd be interested in those who do take these shots on larger animals as to just where they aim and what results they've had. There are some handy cut-away diagrams of deer skeletal structures on the web.

  5. #5
    'Trying to hit a target the size of a hosepipe, hidden in an overcoat-sleeve wrapped in a hearthrug.'

    When I've done it, from a well-rested position and at short enough range, it's been just below the head on deer looking directly at or away from me and just above the shoulder on broadside beasts.

    To quote a second source which I've also forgotten - 'On approaching a shot deer, I prefer to see it staring glassy-eyed into the next world, rather than looking anxiously back into this one'.
    Last edited by Dalua; 10-12-2016 at 17:57.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sauer View Post
    ....where in the neck do you do this ?
    Ideally, hitting the spine or as close to the brain stem as possible would be ideal. However, in my neck of the woods, not the preferred shot.

    Here's the target on which I practice.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Hi I'm not going to get into whether one should or should not, but take a look at this attachment and try it a few time and you make up your own mind.

  8. #8
    All of the above.

    Prefer chest shots, if not then I prefer head shooting to neck shooting, if I can only get a neck shot i'll take it.

    Whether they will run or not with a chest shot has got nothing to do with the choice. If I habe to get on hands and knees to follow up then so be it.

    Neither is meat recovery
    Last edited by jubnut; 10-12-2016 at 19:30.

  9. #9
    Shot a few over time in the neck only as a chest shot was not an option just gone for the middle. Used .223, .243 & .308 every single one has just buckled at the knees and dropped on the spot.
    2 have then tried to stand again a few seconds later, the dog was quick on the case and both were dead when I got to them. Don't know and can't explain why they tried to stand.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger22 View Post
    I only shoot them in the neck if no other shot is on. When I do it's half way up and centre and limited to under a hundred metres or less.
    +1 apart from thinning on deer farms, where I head shoot.
    Click image for larger version. 

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