Roe wont go down!

UK Outfitters

Chris S

Well-Known Member
Ive been out yesterday and this morning using a sauer 6.5x55 with federal powershock 140 grain soft point.
Both times i hit a roe in the boiler room and both times it walked off never to be seen again.
Whats going on ?im a newbie and this is the first time ive shot deer but the shots were good and they hit the mark.The gun shoots fine at those ranges on paper and ive tested it since so no loss of zero.
Should i be using ballistic tip for roe in this caliber ?


Well-Known Member

I undertand that you are new to stalking? If you search the forum you will find plenty of threads on how far mortally wounded deer can travel.

Did you recover the carcasses in the end? If not, I would advise that you should follow up both strike points with a dog in order to confirm your strike, and if necessary track and dispatch any wounded deer. If you don't have your own dog, I'm sure that you could ask on the forum for assistance from a member local to you who has a dog trained for deer.


Site Staff

308rws has given you good advice. I was just a bit puzzled when you said the deer walked off never to be seen again. Are you saying the deer gave no sign at all of being hit? there must have been some sort of reaction to the shot even if you had thrown a stone and hit it, some sort of reaction could be expected. With the combination you used then you could expect to shoot a roe hundreds of yards away, what range were you at?, did you find any blood at the scene?, how far and for how long did you search for it? were you alone. I take it you saw the strike as you say they hit the mark. As it stands I can make no sense of it at all.



Distinguished Member
I have used 100gr Fed Powershok in my .243 on Sika and Fallow with great effect, as has been said there should have been some sort of reaction.

Have a look here, might be worth the purchase-

I am not a fan of using poly tipped/ballistic tip heads on deer, (There is a time and a place for everything but not for boiler room shots at 100m) I find they do just to much damage with the rapid expansion of the round.

Keep us posted....



If it walked off slowly after a small jump you have hit it in the guts if it just walk off you missed it happens to us all. Do you have a dog


Well-Known Member
Just because you don’t find blood where the deer was standing don’t assume you have missed it, it can take a short while for blood to reach the floor if you hit the animal high on the back, follow the path the deer went and you might find blood or you’re animal. Best of all get a dog, if you are stalking near me (Dumfries and Galloway) I don’t mind following up with my dog in the future. Remember a wound is more likely than a complete miss. Wounded deer usually head down hill and if gut shot then to water with that in mind it might help you find your deer.

Still you are using a 6.5X55 so you could of hit it right in the kill zone and it will run off OK…………………………………..Only joking Dave, Muir, and JayB. ;)

Best rgds


Chris S

Well-Known Member
Well after searching for nearly 3 hours i have found nothing not even blood.i was about 80 yards away .the only thing i can think is i must have missed.i couldnt tell if there was a reaction as the sight picture jumps when the gun goes off.
i think i need more shooting practice before i attempt any more shots on live quarry and not new bullets :oops:


Well-Known Member
Dont let it get to you! We have all done it and still do come to that. I shot 11 Roe this week and was out thursday evening and missed a head shot on a Doe at 100 yards. You just get conplacent sometimes and snatch the trigger :oops:

Get your self out and shoot some paper at ranges out to 150 yards, dont just do it off a bonnet though, try putting your self on a dry stone dyke or off shooting sticks or even lying in a ditch. This is the kind of conditions you are likelly to shoot from if stalking.

When you are hitting the bull every time shift to stalking some rabbits and shooting them at different ranges. The 6.5-55 is a fairly flat shooting round so bullet drop out to 150 ish should not be an issue.

Keep us posted.



Site Staff

I am more inclined to believe you missed which is a good thing, no wounded beast on the loose. Don't worry about it because despite what some of the great and good say, it will happen.

Just keep practising, it will come right.



Well-Known Member
The name of the man that never misses is ………………………………….Billy liar.

So long as you did all you can to find the animal, now move on.

Best rgds



Well-Known Member
i shot a roe and it ran some 70m through the wood, I followed up and found the roe just standing there, so to be sure i gave it a second shot and it went down.
After inspecting the roe the 2 bullets went within 1 inch of each other in 'the boiler room'. The first just seamed to disperce under the shoulder and not much penatration the second exited the other side.
This was the last time I used 95gr ballistic tip.
Now use soft point


Heym SR20

Well-Known Member

I too have shot at deer and they haven't dropped immediately - I have asked this question on many occasion and have come to the conclusion that:

1) Most deer will run after a shot in the boiler room, and this can easily be 100 yds, and mostly will run in the direction they are pointing. If their adrenalin is up - rutting or are alert to your presence they almost certainly will run.

2) With the above in mind I only take shots at beasts that are in the open. If close to cover then make sure they are facing away. Clearly mark in you minds eye where the beast is standing.

3) make sure there is solid backstop for you shot, also consider the surroundings - can you take a safe shot if need to shoot again.

4) A reload should be part of your firing sequence, and when practicing go bang, reload. - 22rf and rabbits is very good practice.

5) If you have any doubt as to your bullet strike, shoot again immediately. To be honest unless the beast is obviously going down, shoot again. As to not being able to see bullet strike, most rifles have enough recoil that you can't see the bullet strike, but if you have a lowish power scope (6x max) you can see through the scope the reaction of the animal. Its for this reason I don't like powerful scopes - yes you can make your shot slightly more accurate, but you can't see what the animal does with scope cranked up to 10 or 12 power.

6) After the shot, or follow up shot - do nothing for at least ten to 15 minutes. But clearly mark again where the beast was standing. If the beast is wounded and you move too early you run a big risk of pushing it on again.

7) I don't have a dog and my tactics for follow up are:

a) before moving study the ground carefully - in which direction did the beast run, are there any clear patches of cover.

b) mark my firing position with a stick, handkerchief or whatever - useful if you have to retrace you steps.

c) stalk quietly towards where the beast was standing. Mark the position where he was standing.

d) before crushing everything with your size tens carefully scan the surrounding area. Look for ay hair, droplets of blood etc - usually not ver much.

e) now to tracking - look for any signs of grass being knocked aside aong the line in which you think the deer took. If you get down low you often can see this.

f) move slowly from sign to sign. If it is well hit, the blood trail starts after 20 yards and gets heavier. I have taken 20 minutes to cover a few yards.

g) If the beast has gone into a thick piece of cover, I tend to circle around it looking for any sign of it coming out the other side.

If it has gone into a thick piece of cover and obvioulsy not come out the other side, mark the entry point and then back away and leave it for another half hour at least.

Chances are the deer is stone dead and actually died very quickly after the shot. If it is lieing in there wounded you don't want to push it out as you will risk never finding it and it is probably more humane to leave it quietly to stiffen up.

Quietly go into the thick stuff and retrieve your deer.


Well-Known Member
There was a similar thread a few months back, started by myself, about why some deer dropped to shot and others didn't. Morena provided a good description of what can go on physiologically when a deer is shot.

Try a search for 'dropping on the spot' and see what come up.



Well-Known Member
Roe won't go down

I have been shooting my 6.5s for many years and have used mainly 100 and 120 grain bullets. I find that using these weights there is less recoil and muzzle flip and you normally see the bullet strike. It seems that your deer were not alarmed as they walked off, which indicates a miss to me (it happens to us all). When shooting at paper you are calm, comfortable, settled and you have all the time in the world. Most often you have none of these in the field.
As Tartin indicated, I am not a fan of ballistic tips either. I found them ok on neck shots but the bullet blew up on a heartashot roe. I didn't loose my deer on that occasion, but it was not dead when I got up to it and the meat damage was horrendous. I blew the rest of the box away target shooting.
Don't dispair, take your time, squeeze don't pull and things will come together.

Tikka 260

Well-Known Member

Well, contrary to the majority opinion, my recent experience with a 6.5x55 using 120 Gn Noslers BT is nothing else than "Bang" .... "Flop"

I shot 2 roe yesterday, high heart on each of them, they didn't move a step , just fell over due to instant hydraulic failure. No excessive meat damage, but as I stated on another thread the muzzle velocity of my loads is around 2850fps .. which at 100 metres is well within the recommended terminal velocity for good expansion without massive damage to the carcass.

I don't want to start an argument about it as I am merely quoting my own experiences, but I believe that shot placement plays a larger part in the effectiveness of the shot than most people give credit for.

Take your time, say to yourself "Target Target Target" and squeeze until the weapon fires ( almost unexpectedly) . If the opportunity to shoot goes away, then forget it and move on, it just wasn't the day for that deer to die. There will always be another day !

Excuse me for going on about basic principles of marksmanship, I am not teaching anyone to suck eggs, nor am I qualified to do so.

Enjoy the moment.



Well-Known Member
I have been using the 6.5 for a while now. They are a very efficient round. My advice if you are shooting mainly roe would be to drop down to a 120gr bullet or if you rifle llikes them, then 100gr. I would suggest that you were unfortunate and missed your deer. My experience with this calibre would generally show that a roe shot with the 6.5 will drop within a few metres of where the bullet struck, normally they just drop. I have only ever had one run further than 15 metres and that was probably due to the fact that it was watching me (adrenaline up).

Where are you by the way? It could be the case that an experienced stalker off the site could come out with you for moral support and to see if you are doing anything at the critical point which you are not aware of.

Good luck



Well-Known Member
140g Sierra SPBT 37g Varget @ 2700fps knocks everything from munty's to big reds over no problem I love it.

+1 for Jingzy's comments.



Site Staff
Just had Leagle eagle up on my lease on Reds and Sika, using a Tikka 308 with Federal Power shocks.

NOT GOOD. Case split in the breach and jammed the rifle solid :eek:

I am not a lover of Federal ammo, as I have known problems before with some 270 rounds.

As for the Roe walking off, in all honesty you probably missed. If you hit the beast you normally as a rule see some body reaction, no reaction means a miss (most times). However on more than one occassion I have seen deer just walk off, and then keel over dead a few yards on when shot. If you have checked the area for blood and pins and followed the path the deer took for at least 100yds and have seen no signs, then you missed.

This is where a dog comes into its own right and would ensure that there is no wounded deer. If you let me or JAYB know where you live we can maybe arrange for one of the site members to accompany you, or if you are in the South East of the UK I would be more than willing when time allows to meet with you and help if I can.

All the best with your stalking.

Chris S

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the advice and tips his really is a great forum.
well this afternoon around 3pm it all came together.
I shot my first roe today only at about 40 yards or so but it was a good shot and after a few paces it droped.shot front on through the chest using sauer 90, 6.5x55 140gr federals.I have to say that was the best 5 seconds of my life! well almost :)
The Lucky Hunter