head shots?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by baitchunker, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    am i the only one?

    ppl think i am crazy when i tell them that i shoot does and hogs in the head. to me it makes perfect sense.
    1. they either run away un-hurt, or drop like a rock--none of this trailing blood stuff.
    2. less mess when cleaning
    3. more meat left
    4. more challenging
    5. you end up spending more time observing the animal, which reduces the risk of accidentally shooting a button buck

    6. hogs are nasty critters, they can take a lot of punishment... except for the head shot.
    7. they die faster, no pain and suffering more ethical


    what do yall think?
     
  2. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Can you come to Iowa on a sabbatical and teach these lonies where the head is? They do pretty good around here getting the kidneys or paunch or large colon and occasionally the spleen. It is a 2 hour car ride to find these gut shot deer. After a hundred yards these guys give up the chase and wait for something else to come along.

    Is the head anywhere near the tail? Need a professor. I don't even think they know where the barrel on their gun is.
     

  3. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    one of the first gents to visit our camp this year, had just gotten back from a hunt in iowa. if the bucks are really falling outa trees as he described, then i would love to come up and give a 3 day one shot one kill anatomy class.
     
  4. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    hey JD, from what i know, not to many people are quite as well trained on the use of weapons as we are. i was watching a show about hunting white tail in texas and they actually stated on there that not to many poeple that come out to hunt there can take a deer out at 200 yds. i found this quite interesting since i constantly shoot my weapons and hit target out to 500 yds with iron sites. and to hear that these guys cant take a deer @ 200 yds with a scope was very unnerving. i think that if someone were to try to take more head shots they would not get nearly as many deer, hogs, or anything. i think that people need to learn how to sight in thier weapons. i used to hunt with a fellow that if he could get his shot group within a dinner plate at 150 yds he thought he was on target. i didnt believe that. if i cant get mine within 3 minutes of angle (size of a dip can) @ 300 yds, i am adjusting and readjusting my scope until i can put those shots in that area. just me though.
     
  5. floundahman

    floundahman New Member

    Messages:
    564
    State:
    North Caro
    I have never even thought of shooting a deer in the head. I had always been taught to aim for the heart/lungs. I suppose that it's humane. I like to get photos of all of the deer that I shoot and I don't think that a head shot would be very photogenic. If it kills 'em quick and you're comfortable taking the shot, go for it. Personally, I don't believe that I'll be trying it any time soon. I wouldn't criticize anyone for taking an animal legally and humanely.
     
  6. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    i do not do head shots myself. I am a decent shot, i have competed for the National Guard in the National Combat match. if anyone cares to look up the results, Texas won this year as well as several other years. I do not need to defend my ability to shoot.
    I have shot does in the head, it can be a clean effective way to kill them. No meat is lost to speak of. The problems come when your shot is slightly off.
    I have trailed a deer for miles that a friend headshot. What had happened was he aimed right between the eyes and pulled the trigger. What we thing happened was that he misjudged the distance and hit slighly high. the bullet ripped the top of the does head off and she hit the ground flopping, only to get up and run and run and run. We found her then next morning, after over a mile of blood trailing.
    My uncle tells of this other thing that can happen when taking head shots. He shoots the same round as me, .22-250. He was gonna head shoot a spike, well he hit slightly low. The bullet hit between the eyes and nostrils of the deer, not exactly sure where cuz of the violence of that fast bullet. he says that deer flopped for 10 minutes before laying still. he still had to walk to the deer which was bellowing and cut its throat.
    I aim at another place on the deer that has the same effect as a headshot, with a slightly larger margin for error. from broadside, 1" below and 1" back from the earhole. This neck shot drops them in there tracks, messes up a minimum ammount of meat, and if you track off slightly it has the same effects as a heart or lung shot. Depending whether u hit windpipe or artery.
    Take in mind that i am using what most would consider to be a varmit rifle for deer. This is legal in my state, and i believe it is more about bullet placement than size. If i hunt a wide field that might have a long shot, i take a bigger gun such as 7mm or 308. That way i have an even larger margin of error for longer shots where wind and distance really comes into play.
     
  7. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    I've heard of people trying it and ending up blowing off a jaw or wounding it. I dont advise headshots on deer they're just to squirrely for the average hunter. If you can do it, & drop em each time then kudos to you. But I'd never condone it, imho. Headshots on hogs is different. larger target and not as flexible as a deer.
     
  8. billNpam

    billNpam Active Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Alabama
    JD I see your reasoning and would attend to agree with ya.......But IMO there are going to be alot more missed wounded deer because you have to admit some people cannot shoot if there life depended on it. The sid eof the deer is a whole lot bigger target.
     
  9. SSgt Fishslayer

    SSgt Fishslayer New Member

    Messages:
    1,241
    State:
    south carolina
    there are alot of good arguments on here about the ethical attributes of a head shot. but the same arguments can be made about a shot made broad side that is either low or high. if a deer is gut shot, he can run for miles before dying, and alot of times there is alot of meat ruined and the deer is pretty much worthless by the time you find them. i prefer head shots for anything, but if i cant get one, i will take a neck shot. i shoot a .308 so its not a big deal for me to drop a deer with a head or neck shot. if you are using a smaller caliber then i would not necassarily recommend it.
     
  10. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    i think the only ones that should even try for a head shot are the guys that know they can do it. that isn't most hunter either.
    i hunted when young with my dad constantly. one yr with a friend of his that retired from airforce. he was on the shooting team and had trophies out the gazoo. but as we found out, put a live target in front of him, and couldn't hit crud. he shot at a buck at distance of about 45-50 yds. head shot with 9 power scope. idiot cranked scope all the way up and admitted all he could see was fur. we found the lower jaw. i tracke the darn deer about 6 miles before getting a shot of over 200 yds with a v site 30-30. direct heart shot as wanted. freds mouth just dropped. point is, not all can do it. my rifles are sited in at inch group at 200yd. that's off hand. but now it's been yrs since i've been able to hunt, so wouldn't want to try it.
    gary
     
  11. baitchunker

    baitchunker New Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    State:
    alabama
    well, i started doing it last year, and i have to admit i am pretty confident in my placement. twice last year, i backed off and took a neck shot due to thick cover, and range. i havent so much as seen a reflex twitch yet...

    i agree with most of you, its not a shot for an average hunter. but, for me it has been very effective. especially on the hogs (which seem to be created by scrap iron).

    i appreciate yalls views and input. thats why i posted it on here. so far i see good sound reasoning for and against.

    thank yall,
    j.d.

    p.s. did i mention i still take heart shots on the big bucks?
     
  12. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    Personally, I love shooting does in the head. But I usually only will take a head/neck shot if they are in close range. If they are say...100 yds or more, I'll stick to the typical heart/lung shot. Most of the does I have shot in the past few years, I have shot at close range, being less than 30 yds. I am also hunting with a .300 Win Mag. If I aim right at the base of the head on the neck, it will usually dang near decapitate it. Some may think it's inhumane, but I've never had to track one. They have always dropped in their tracks. Not even a flinch. The best part is, then you usually will have a cleaner field dressing job, and you eliminate alot of meat gone to waste. JMHO.:wink:
     
  13. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    JD & Joey, you guys are Marines. The Marine & HIS rifle is the best thing they've come up with for the armed forces to date. I don't think technology is ever gonna beat that training theme. Head shots are protocol.
    The rest of us need to learn how to shoot. I'm happy with a good lung shot.
    :big_smile:
     
  14. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    bootshowl, it just takes practice, practice, practice. and a natural hand at it. :smile2:. i was fortunate myself. i (tooting my horn a little) can naturally shoot, and after 22 yrs in marines, fired expert 19 out of 22 yrs. people in ca thought i was crazy using a 30-30 instead of 06, 270, or bigger rifle. but i could still knock them down up to 300 yds.
    but i do gotta say, for majority of people, myself included, lung or heart is safest shot to make. just be prepared for a possible hike.
    gary
     
  15. coble9

    coble9 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    Ohio
    I would say headshots are great if you are accurate enough and know where the brain is and don't hit eyes, jaw, nose, neck, or ears or whatever. Some people are not experienced enough to know the proper shot placement. They think that any head shot at any angle = brain. I have never been deer gun hunting, but I only take head shots on squirrel. Less meat wasted, cleaner kill, they bleed out nicely and gut cleanly. If you can take a squirrel consistantly at 50 yards, a deer at 100 shouldn't be too bad. Granted with the firearms out today you could go out to 500+ yards. People just need to know their abilities and not take unsure shots.
     
  16. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Too many people today don't take the time to learn to shoot properly. I learned when I was 11. In boy scouts I had the opportunity to take a class for my rifle merit badge that was held at a local college in their indoor gun range. We spent several weekends going to that class. My shot placement with a .22 went from the size of the bottom of a coke can, down to a nickle at 50 yds. That was from prone/kneeling/sitting/standing. Throughout the rest of my childhood/young adult hood, I generally fired standing. When I was 16 it was nothing for me to throw my .303 to my shoulder and fire at a target 100 yrds away and hit the bingo dobber mark that we had put on it. I've hardly shot since then, and I'm 31 now. My shot placement is no where near as exact as it was. I went out before deer season and went through 30+ rounds getting used to shooting that ol .303 again. Before taking a shot yesterday, all those hours of classes went running through my head, and I still shot about 1" - 2" higher than I meant to.

    My plan right now, is that by this time next year, I plan on being able to keep my shot placement back in a quarter at 100 yrds. But I will still take the safe shot on an animal. I'd rather make 100% sure of a kill, than have the possiblity of the animal turning its head 4 degrees 1 way or another and wind up just seriously maiming it.
     
  17. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I don't have a problem with someone taking a head shot on a doe. 'Specially you Chunker. Sounds like you are pretty well experienced at it. Me...I'm more comfortable with a double lung, and/or heart shot. IF a deer ever runs on me, I might reconsider. So far, none of the deer I've shot have taken another step. DOA. I hate tracking deer too, but I've never had to track my own...yet.
     
  18. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Also, here's a close-up view of the exit wound on the deer that I shot this year with my .300 mag. This deer didn't take another step. I don't understand why they say these guns do so much damage to the meat. Wrong bullet choice possibly? I've done more damage with a .220 swift than the .300 due to the small, fast projectile exploding when it hits any bone.
     

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  19. chambers bd

    chambers bd New Member

    Messages:
    1,134
    State:
    Sautee,Geo
    This has USMC stamped all over it, I see our brother Marines are showing off their shooting skills.
    Talking about making jerky / you know not wasting any meat.

    Can you imagine Bait chunker on a ridge line hammering a doe at 300 yds with a 30-06. ha ha ha poor bambi:smile2:
     
  20. 72hdflh

    72hdflh New Member

    Messages:
    262
    State:
    West Salem, Ohio
    I like the neck shot when I can get it!!! Head if I am close enough, (Shotgun here in Ohio).