My dad got me a Winchester 94 for Christmas in 1952. It's got more elk and mule deer kills than I could ever remember. It's still going strong. A 170 gr partition puts the smack on anything it hits. Perfect gun for still hunting the timber. I never felt a need for more gun.
Good to see another 30-30 fan.
Dead Right There
I remember reading an article about shooting at the top third of the vitals instead of the bottom third. You're still shooting the through the lungs, but the shock from the bullet could shock the CNS simply by approximation. It's not a spine shot but energy from the bullet could at least stun the spinal cord without physically hitting it and thus give a DRT shot. This seems safe as even if the animal doesn't drop right there, you still made perfectly good vital shot which should kill it anyways. This obviously isn't advisable for bowhunting, but perfectly reasonable for the rifle hunter. So to the original poster, I think this could be what is happening.
And like everyone else is saying, they're all different. My first elk dropped in his tracks and my dad couldn't believe it because he said he'd never seen it happen. But then again I once thought I was shooting blanks at a bull 'til he just tipped over. Hit him all five times but it didn't even look like he noticed I was even shooting.
Can't spell scum without U&M... Go 'Cats!
These shot are high shoulder shots. Breaks the spine and hits both lungs if done properly. The spine is broken wich causes the legs to buckle and the lungs is what kills the animal while laying there. I've done this a few times myself. 7mm to me is not a huge caliber and that is way I shoot mostly. The high shoulder shot is a great place to shoot a animal IMO. If your to high with your shot you will shoot over top of the animal, if the wind is blowing left to right the chances of a bad shot is less because the bullet can travel much further to the middle of the animal and still hit the lungs unlike if you were aiming at behind the shoulder and the bullet travels more to the middle of the animal you would hit the guts. If the bullet travels to the front of the animal you will hit the neck also dropping the animal. If its low there is a ton of travel for the bullet still to hit lungs. I like them all as long as the animal doesn't suffer. I choose we're I'm aiming by the situation I'm in and how the animal is standing.
Last edited by Ikeepitcold; 10-26-2012 at 06:52 PM.
Just got a surprise before dark. I shot a doe that was facing me with the black powder gun at about fifty yards. The bullet went through the center of the liver and exited the left ribcage about mid deer, still the deer ran 50-75 yards. On the broadside shots I expect them to run 50 to 125 yard because I only shoot behind the front legs. Next week I will be in unit 67 Colorado using 168 grain Bergers in the 7mm. If I get a shot with the Berger I dont expect a tracking job. If hunting the Aspens I will probably use the Remington Core-Lokts for less meat damage.
Pretty happy with the performance of the barnes on this animal, Even though I did hit meat I wasn't mangled and blood shot from the precusion.
Interesting stuff here guys. I've shot deer, antelope, and elk with everything from a .22 Hornet (only deer) to a .338-378. And each one has reacted differently. Some run, others collapse, some flip over and flop... one thing that I can say for sure about most of the hunting shows where you are seeing instant DRT's (dead right there's) is that most of those guys shoot to break an animal down via crushing major skeletal forms (shoulders) and nervous system centers (spinal cord). For two reasons; one, it ensures recovery of the animal and two, it makes for great T.V. when an animal is killed instantly. Many people do not understand that when a heart/lung shot animal runs off that it is dead on its feet. They assume it is suffering and not in a state of deep shock. Therefore, killing an animal instantly is appealing to both the hunting and non-hunting public.
However, the question remains, how is this done? This can be easily accomplished via a high shoulder shot that strikes the animal on the point of the shoulder two-thirds up the body. A hit from any high velocity, well constructed, caliber appropriate, bullet in this region on ANY mammal will drop them instantly with thier feet tucked and rear hitting the ground followed by their head hitting, Hard! This method works on any and all animals for the simple reason that the bullet is destroying three vital systems; skeletal, nervous, and circulatory all at the same time. The shot placement formula listed above comes from a combination of years of practicing it after reading and watching how to do it from African and North American Writers that span Capstick and Keith to O'Connor and Boddington.
When shot through the ribs behind the shoulder and under the spinal cord an ungulate or predator is being struck in only one vital system, circulatory. Therefore, it does not matter how large the caliber is, there is a high probablity that the animal will "run off" and die. I say that caliber does not matter, assuming one is using a game appropriate caliber (deer/antelope .25-06 - 300, elk/moose 270-375) because a bullet at high velocity that does not break bone and relies and soft tissue devastation via hydro-static shock alone rips through an animal at hundreds if not thousands of feet per second and therefore as is quite often the case as I have experienced on deer sized game, the larger the round the less tissue damage there is and the greater the chance the animal will "run off." I have seen this numerous times when killing deer and antelope with my various .300's, .338's, and big bore lever guns, not that these are not great all around game cartridges because they are, however, they do seem to perform better on game that provides a more substantial body mass (elk/moose/bears) for the bullet to dump it kinetic energy into via expansion and velocity loss. With that said, I've experienced more DRT kills on deer sized game with my .257's, 270's, and non-magnum 30's than with any of my super fast, "HUGE" rounds like my .338-378 or .300 RUM. Unless! I break them down as written about above OR, and here it comes... I am using a fragile and therefore bullet designed for maximum soft tissue destruction. For example, the Nosler Ballistic Tip, Hornady SST, or any of the billed "Varmint Bullets." All of these expand very rapidly and dump massive amounts of energy into a small space and therefore "shock" an animal's nervous system without breaking it down. The arguments for and against these bullets is long and storied but the point is that when kept away from heavy muscle or bone they kill very quickly and cleanly. They are simply not designed to break an animal down by breaking bone though they will do it at proper velocities.
I think we could all take a lesson from the T.V. guys on this one. While there is nothing wrong with shooting for the lungs due to its being a large target and 99.99999999% effective at killing game and therefore, widely and rightly practiced there is a strong argument for breaking animals down by crushing and destroying all three vital systems with one bullet. This is expecially true with dangerous game or in situations where game cannot be allowed to run, e.g. fences, cliffs, water, etc. All hunting situations are different and each calls for specific determinations of shot angles and placement but I for one will continue to shoot "high shoulder" and watch 'em drop hard!
Shoot straight brothers and sisters.
Last edited by Grizz; 11-05-2012 at 11:24 AM.
I have taken five elk and all of them fell were they stood. The first was at 285 yards, one at 125 yards, and the others have been under 40 yards. Last years bull was at 20 feet. The bullet didn't have time to expand on that one so he was still standing after the shot. I was a little concerned, didn't want to have to track him, but he didn't take another step. I aim broadside, low in the chest, intentionally going for the front shoulder. I think it is the shoulder that drops them in their tracks, but it also gets both lungs and the heart. They expire quickly. I don't know how many deer I have taken, but shot this way they also drop in their tracks. I did shoot a deer in the neck once with a 300WM using Nosler Ballistic Tips. Thinking less meat damage that way. Dropped in his tracks. I looked him over, took some pictures, and then took my coat off before I started to fIeld dress him. Its been at least 15 minutes and I was about to turn him over to start when he started trying to get up. Shot him again and I never tried a neck shot again. I use a 300WM for elk and a 243 for deer.
Really good post. I shoot a deer behind the shoulder. The reason? To preserve as much edible meat as possible. My hunting pardner, my brother shoots the shoulder. I am using 7mm 168gr Bergers and my super large Nov4 mule deer walked about ten steps before falling. This was a pass through shot that I was satisfied with, a little surprised it did since it did not pass through the spring bear and the bear never took a step. How sure was I of the shot on the deer? My spotter told me he is trying to get up, I had already switched from gum to knife. Griz post is helpful and points out the need for changes between species and circumstances. I let HSM do my reloading, I can't match their quality. Even better for accuracy is the RWS 177, I will be using that where shorter range is the norm. White tail in Ar.
I also like shooting deer with the 243wssm. The 243wssm is like a 25-06 the hard way, same exact ballistics, but more noise. I do like the speed of the 55gr, 4060fps. I shot a large whitetail buck with the 55gr balistic tip, same exact results, pass through deer dead after 50 yds. I know an elk can keep going on one lung, but none of our game can go far with a hole through its hear or both lungs and it don't have to be large caliber. IMO
Last edited by xtreme; 11-09-2012 at 07:19 AM.