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Thread: Danger of Head Shots

  1. #1

    Danger of Head Shots

    When out this morning I pulled a shot and although the buck went down like a stone as I approached it lifted its head so I shot at 40 yds freehand at is head the pictures below shows why I do not like head shots. Imagine although the shot was only 3inches low if it had been the first shot.Click image for larger version. 

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    first shot pulled forward second shot 3inches low.

    Yes I need something to lift carcass off bottom of tray.

  2. #2
    No critisism intended here - freehand even at 40yds is not the easiest thing especially under pressure. My impression is that many stalkers do not practice shooting freehand, despite the fact that at some point it might be necessary to shot unsupported.

    I think that one of the problem with shots intended to damage the cervical spine or the brain is the terminology used to described them. There's a lot more head and neck than there is brain and spine, and the misleadingly-large head and neck can lead to imprecision of aim.

  3. #3
    As said above no criticism intended, but what made you think you could head shoot freehand at 40yds, do you do this often, unless the deer actually stood up why would you bother with the second shoot anyway. As to the tray, don,t worry.

  4. #4
    Point taken, but my bigger concern would be to check my zero......I know from personal experience that when I've had the need for a second shot due to the first not quite going on the intended mark, whilst I accept my own fallibility, my assumption would also be that something wasn't quite right with my rifle for whatever reason, so to chance the second shot on a head shot where the margin for error is so much greater, would not be my choice, even if the body was obscured by grass, I think I would go for engine room shot personally, but agree with the point you are making, and precisely the reason I only head shoot at close ranges and when the animal is facing away from me, high= miss, low=neck, bob on=dead deer, and off to either side and they run off into the sunset unscathed..
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  5. #5
    Three things are apparent from this, neither in a critical way.
    One, why try to shoot freehand even at this shortish range. Its all very well doing it at a paper target during competition or test but not sensible on live animals, they can move just enough to make a mess of the shot.
    Two, at 40 yds the bullet should just about be going up through zero, (line of sight for the purists and posers). Now were you aiming for the zero or estimating where the bullet path would be?
    Is there something wrong with your rifle, zero or you that misplaced the shot.
    The moral of this is 'make your shot count by removing as many variables that you can before shooting'.

  6. #6
    Above points taken I may be getting old done it many time before only been stalking for about 45years
    still do not like head shots even supported.
    I put this up to make a point.

  7. #7
    I'm confused! Was the first shot the shoulder shot? And it was after that shot the buck lifted its head? So you then shot it freehand at 40yds in the head (or jaw by looks of photo) which killed it?

    I'd say the title of the thread would be better as "The danger of body shots" if that was the one that failed to kill the animal and the head shot was successful!
    Last edited by 75; 27-04-2014 at 20:55.

  8. #8
    Thanks for making the point roedeer it just shows what can happen. It is the easiest thing in the world to pull down any ones shooting abillity no one is perfect except me, lets hope people take your point for how it was meant,

  9. #9
    Thanks for posting. Head shots though have their place, and certainly for meat culling produce the best carcass, But if you are going to be taking head shots use a rapidly expanding bullet so you cause massive trauma to the head even if you are slightly off. I used to cull hinds with a 25-06 with ballistic tip bullets - a bullet between the eyesand top of the head would come off - not very pretty, but no chance of walking away. All the venison was being butchered and was a requirement of the estate that all were head shot if possible. We were also shooting on open ground so time for a 2nd shot if needs be.

    But and its a very big but, such bullets would not work well on the normal behind the shoulder shot, and if slightly off probably wouldn't penetrate the shoulder. Also Red Hinds are substantially bigger than even the largest Roe Buck.

    Now I stick with a normal soft point and put it behind the shoulder.

  10. #10
    Now I stick with a normal soft point and put it behind the shoulder.[/QUOTE]

    good point and I'll lay bets you are very experienced and had a good rest a reds head has virtually the same kill area as a roe H&L.

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