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Thread: If you shoot enough deer...

  1. #1

    If you shoot enough deer...

    Yep, I lost a fallow doe a couple of nights ago.

    I was wandering into a high seat and saw 10-12 fallow in the corner of a field just below the seat. The wind was light but in the wrong direction and they winded me but couldn't quite place me and wandered across the edge of the wood in front of me. I was prone and comfortable and head shot a doe at about 40 yards. Solid bullet strike and she dropped on the spot. The rest of the herd trotted off into the middle of the field and I had the crosshairs on another for a chest shot at about 100 yds. Wasn't quite comfortable with the shot, as there was grass and the odd branch nearby so let them go. Gave it a few minutes and stood up, to find the doe looking at me through some thick grass - couldn't believe it was the same one - no obvious sign of injury, but she was the only one who didn't run off with the rest of the herd so took a second shot, despite the grass/branches and she ran.

    Large pool of blood where she had dropped, various bone splinters and then my heart sank - a large, shattered mollar tooth. Picked up a good blood trail, and then perfect - it starts to piss it down before I've tracked it 30yards. I've had the dogs over the ground and spent hours combing a thick plantation where I think she headed but no luck.

    The only small consolation is that there was so much blood where she initially dropped that she won't have lasted long. I've also been back to the spot I took the shot from, and looks like there was a couple of thin branches in the likely path of the bullet, which could potentially have caused a deflection. I've zeroed the rifle and bang on.

    Anyway, bound to degenerate into the pitfalls of head shots, but it was the only shot on, and considering the circumstances I was more than comfortable taking it. I'd do the same again tomorrow (albeit, being a bit more careful for the odd stray branch).

    I've been over and over what I did, and am happy I did everything I should and could have, but still a horrible feeling.

  2. #2
    Just out of interest,how many deer have you shot?
    It happens, and you did all you could.
    Where did you aim the second shot?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 75 View Post
    I've been over and over what I did, and am happy I did everything I should and could have, but still a horrible feeling.

    Damn, It can be lonely out in the field sometimes.

    Like you say, you've done all you can, and keep this is mind "tomorrows another day", because in deer stalking, if we think about it too much, we'd just give up.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
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    I lost a Red Hind a couple of years ago now, a neck shot at from memory 60 or 70m, she dropped on the spot, anyway, as we went up to her, she was in a ruT in the ground on her back, unable to get to her feet and her neck under her, I go the knife out was going to sever the arteries to dispatch, she kicked hard got up and ran never to be seen again.

    I was gutted, it's a horrible feeling, felt sick for a couple of days. It's not much comfort to hear this, but I got told it by several people, Unfortunatley, with this pastime/hobby/job/sport, whatever you call it, you will at some point lose an animal, it's one of those things.

    People have lost animals to what they thought was a perfect Heart/Lung shot.

    About the grass/twigs thing, I was out for an AW stalk a couple of weeks ago and I had a Roe Doe in my sights at 80 ish metres, I never took the shot due to long grass/thistles in the way directly infront of her, there was less than 10 grass shoots in front of her cheast, perfect broadside shot, but didn't take the chance. I was using a .270 with 130gr coming out the spout.

    Would it have been a good shot? Don't know, chance of deflection, probably minimal, but didn't want to risk it. Although there was a dog available.

    Sorry for your loss of a Deer, it's not nice, but it will happen statistically.

    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

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncs View Post
    Just out of interest,how many deer have you shot?
    It happens, and you did all you could.
    Where did you aim the second shot?
    Prob 50 ish per year - I appreciate not a lot compared to some on here... Second shot was placed right between the eyes. Don't like face-on shots, but that was the only part of the body I could see and wanted to get a follow up shot in quick before she ran as she had clearly seen me. Almost certain second shot was a clean miss due to all the crap I was shooting through, but like I say, she was going to run and it was the only chance I had.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tartinjock View Post
    People have lost animals to what they thought was a perfect Heart/Lung shot.
    Indeed. I took a roe doe from no more than 70 yards over open plough. I couldn't have wished for a clearer shot. She responded perfectly to the shot, head down and hind legs kicked up in the air then a short run only to come to stop and stand staring at me. Contrary to expectations she didn't keel over but just stood for a while longer before lying down, still staring at me. There was a lane directly behind her so a quick follow up shot was impossible. After a couple of minutes I decided to manouver myself into a position where it would be safe to take a second shot but I was only able to make just a few yards before she got to her feet and almost pronked away into cover! I spent the rest of the evening looking for her but was finally beaten by the light. I returned in the morning and lost a whole paid for session coaming the wood with a dog, but to no avail. Certainly not the outcome any of us would enjoy.

    Its no comfort but, yes, as the title of the thread suggests, if you shoot enough deer...
    /l\ Y gwir yn erbyn y byd /l\

  7. #7
    As original poster said, if you shoot enough! sooner or later it will happen.

  8. #8
    No offense, and sorry to hear of your experience, but 'THAT' is exactly why I don't take headshot's. Not to say I won't lose deer with heart/lung shots, but the margin for error is much much bigger, and with a badly placed headshot death migh follow after hours, maybe even days, whereas a badly placed shot through the stomach or 'around' the vitals, will bring the animal to peace within minutes, probably no more than 30-60 minutes in worst case circumstances I'd think.
    Last edited by PKL; 05-01-2011 at 11:32.

  9. #9
    Hi PKL, I know someone had to point out the choice of head shot, It's a shame that you chose to though, as it could be seen as kicking a man when he's down.

    The head shot issue does not bother me, there are various ways for a deer stalker to achieve their goal. Some will approve of the methods at our disposal, some will not.

    The thing that rips my knitting is people complaining about bullets causing meat damage - who cares about meat damage? If the bullet doesn't expand enough & the deer runs off, you don't have any venison to take home anyway!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    No offense, and sorry to hear of your experience, but 'THAT' is exactly why I don't take headshot's. Not to say I won't lose deer with heart/lung shots, but the margin for error is much much bigger, and with a badly placed headshot death migh follow after hours, maybe even days, whereas a badly placed shot through the stomach or 'around' the vitals, will bring the animal to peace within minutes, probably no more than 30-60 minutes in worst case circumstances I'd think.
    Hi Guys,

    IMO it's a very dangerous thing to get into the habit of head shooting wild deer. It's something we have never done, and NEVER advocated. The same with neck shots. I've seen too many of both end in disaster - for the animal! I agree partly with your post PKL, but fee that even a badly placed shot in the stomach, or AROUND the vitals can inflict unimaginable suffering on the animal - and that can last much longer than 30 - 60 minutes.

    We once found two Fallow that were shot by poachers at 12.30 am, we found them the next morning at 8.30am - one shot through the brisket, and still very much alive, and one hit in the guts - again very much alive! That's 8 hours of unimaginable suffering. But as you say, a jaw shot deer can live for days as it slowly starves to death, unable to drink, unable to eat.

    Head shots on wild deer? Not a chance IMO.

    Regards

    Mike.

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