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Thread: Sunday morning's efforts... and my first head shot deer!

  1. #1

    Sunday morning's efforts... and my first head shot deer!

    5am start on Sunday morning, it had been raining all evening and night before so I guessed they'd be out feeding at first light.

    I was trying a high seat in a different position as had seen tracks where I couldn't see from my usual position. For 2 hours I sat freezing my nuts off, I'd heard some roe but nothing close, so I decided to quietly climb down from the high seat and check out the area I usually shot onto. A big buck and three does were happily chewing away on the nursery's profits, but I had no shot as I was on the ground and in line with a caravan park! The largest doe began working her way towards me, and I saw an opportunity - if she got withing 15ft the angle of the shot would be the same as a high seat and end up in the ditch behind her. I quietly set the gun against a polytunnel I was hiding behind and waited for her to walk into the shot. BOOM! Probably about 15ft away through the engine room... but she took off! I lost sight of her but as I tried to follow I saw the other doe standing with her ass towards me facing out onto the crop fields, feeling confident I put the cross hairs between the base of her ears and she dropped on the spot!

    I spied what I thought was the doe running into the fields - I followed to try and get another shot. The deer was now about 150m away, and not on my permission - the farmer would prob be ok with me finishing something off but it was dodgy! (please let's not start on the legalities because I know what the law is on this) I was looking through my bino's to see if it was showing any signs of expiring when I noticed antlers! "Bugg*r" I thought, where was the doe I'd shot?! As I turned around she was about 10ft behind me next to the shrubs. H&L shot but the adrenaline had gotten her about 20m from where I shot her, and would guess the closeness meant the round zipped through without a great deal of initial damage.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not a bad start to the Doe season, and the landowner was very happy as they've been decimating his shrub nursery!

    I've never shot a deer in the head before as was always told H&L was the most sure-fire way of ensuring it went down with no jaws being shot off etc, and H&L shots have always worked for me! - following a thread I'd started on here a while ago I'd had some great advice about when to take the head shots (facing towards or away usually). I remember the advice and worked out well, though wasn't prepared for the mess it left!
    Last edited by csl; 12-11-2012 at 23:21.

  2. #2
    Always a contentious subject. But (In my inexperienced opinion) it is always a case of the guy squeezing the trigger must make the call and as long as he knows his abilities and his rifles abilities. Well done.
    I shall now duck my head.
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The Singing Stalker View Post
    Always a contentious subject. But (In my inexperienced opinion) it is always a case of the guy squeezing the trigger must make the call and as long as he knows his abilities and his rifles abilities. Well done.
    I shall now duck my head.

    +1

    Al.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyDoom View Post
    I remember the advice and worked out well, though wasn't prepared for the mess it left!
    No need whatsoever for a photo, but you can't really tell from this picture what the mess is. I'm going to assume that there's a large piece of the other side of the doe's head missing. Still, looks like the 7mm-08 does the business!

  5. #5
    well you culled the first doe with a clean H/L shot, well done. you then placed a good back of the neck shot on the 2nd, well done. you were confident in both and willing to accept if anything went wrong,,well done.

    ok, should you have followed the first doe visually before turning on the 2nd for a shot, I probably would have, but hey ho, I've taken a 2nd before the first has come to complete rest before, so I can't preach.

    thanks for sharing, but of course, dont' forget, one successful headshot doesn't mean you've mastered it, so proceed with caution as usual :-)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    No need whatsoever for a photo, but you can't really tell from this picture what the mess is. I'm going to assume that there's a large piece of the other side of the doe's head missing. Still, looks like the 7mm-08 does the business!
    Actually had my .243 on this occaission (still love that rifle/calibre!) - wasn't really anything left of the top part of the head, forehead and most of the top jaw gone/pulverised. I've not shot a deer and had it buckle instantly like that before - only seen it on foxes (which I often head shoot) until now!

  7. #7
    You see, I realise that it makes no difference to the deer to be shot fatally in one place or another, but I think I wouldn't want to shoot a deer in the head on aesthetic grounds. I've shot the front end off a partridge before (misjudged the height a bit there when it was directly above me), hooked a fish through the eye, and it's not pleasant. I realise of course that of you have a job to do in the form of a cull, you don't necessarily have the luxury of choice. And it's not like these things make me throw up or anything, but it's just not pretty...

  8. #8
    I'm a big fan of head shots if they're under about 65m (ie. the same range I'm comfortable head shooting bunnies at).

    I have to say I was brought up with a slightly different attitude to head shots (ie. that they were to be taken whenever you felt you had a solid rest, out to about 150m), and have taken a while to get used to the fact that many find them unacceptable here. I think with something like roe, with a .243, a head shot from behind or in front poses very few risks - the damage is so complete that they really are unlikely to walk away. Side on is a little more iffy.

  9. #9
    Good start for you. If I was going to be picky I would also agree about the photo just a personal thing I dont post photos of any Deer Ive had to take a head shot on.


    nutty

  10. #10
    Thanks PKL - yep I think the adrenaline had gotten to me... it was a cull job that I was being paid for, I'd had 5 fruitless sessions before, and the deer were within poking distance!!! I should have followed the first one, though the shoot is so small if it had run out of my boundary I'd be on the phone to a friend with a dog anyway (mine's only 8 weeks old)!

    PM - Yep it was very grisley and had it been a tropy buck I would have left it (obviously if it were buck season!). H&L is my preference, but head and neck shots definitely have their place for me!

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