Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

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Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby Meules37 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:08 pm

Which shot do you prefer when gun hunting? Heart/Lung? High shoulder? Neck? People I hunt with are split between the heart/lung area or the neck. One of the guys has taken 3 deer in the last 4 years all with neck shots from about 70 yards, all three dropped in their tracks. I've taken two bucks, both with heart/lung shots, both needed to be tracked for about 100 yards. What's your preference?

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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:51 pm

Heart/lung. No question. Not only does that shot result in a dead deer, but if you're not quite in your "bullseye", you have some margin of error. Yes, a shot like this usually results in a deer running full out for 40 to 100 yards or so before it literally dies in stride. But really, if you are going to hunt you really need to be able to track a running deer that most likely is spraying blood like a firehose. It's not that hard.

As far as your neck shots go, yes, if you hit them right where you should they go right down. IF you hit that spot. If you don't, then you not only have a REAL tracking job on your hands, but also a deer that may have half it;s face shot off or worse. I killed a deer on a drive we had the last day of gun season a few years ago, and that poor deer walked out of a CRP field and stood there while I shot and killed him at 30 yards. His lower jaw was hanging by skin, most likely the result of a neck shot gone wrong.

I like shot placement that gives me a definate "option B"
Last edited by Woods Walker on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby rthomas4 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:57 pm

I also prefer to shoot 'em in the neck. I've never had to track one that I've shot in the neck. I've shot 'em as close as 20 or 30 yards and as far as 200 with neck shots, and everyone of 'em was dead before they hit the ground. The deer I've had to track the most were either shoulder shots or heart/lung shots. One 8 point in particular went over 100 yards after being shot in the heart. When I butchered him, there was nothing identifiable left of the heart.......and, he only left about 3 very minute drops of blood in the entire 100 yards he ran. The big buck my brother killed last month was shot directly on the point of the shoulder, traveled a little over 100 yards and never left a single drop of blood because the 150 grain .300 win mag bullet stopped just under the muscle on the opposite side. His lungs were all mush when I butchered him.
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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby w4sar » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:45 am

My favored shot is also heart-lung, ideally when the deer is broadside, I aim just behind the shoulder about 2/3 way down from the back. If I hit exactly, I get both lungs and the top (atria) of the heart, the deer rarely goes more than 50 yards and the trail is obvious. A bonus is that very little meat is damaged. There is also a few inches of leeway that would still be fatal. Quartering toward or away from me, I aim for the heart as well, but the angle will result in more meat being destroyed. I have been tempted to use a neck shot when the deer is close, but am afraid that if my shot is off, I may cripple it. I do use a neck shot as my coup-de-grace if the deer is still alive when I come up on it, if I have placed the shot correctly to begin with, they are dead well before I get there.

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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby Deebz » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:27 am

I hunt shotgun only here in IL for gun season. I just don't feel that I have the accuracy needed to place a 1 oz slug exactly where I need EVERY time to go for the neck shot. I prefer to aim for the hear/lung area. Yes, they run a short ways before falling over dead, but they fall over dead. My experience as a bowhunter for the majority of my hunting career has led me to become somewhat accomplished at blood-trailing deer. I know some guys hate having to follow sign to their deer, but it's just a part of hunting to me.

I did kill a doe at about 85 yards with a neck shot one time. I was winded after stalking (actually running) through a big drainage ditch bottom to get in close enough for a shot. I was aiming for the shoulder and must have pulled to the right. She dropped right there and was dead by the time I walked up on her. It was a super clean gutting/butchering job as well. I just would rather take the shot I feel that I have better odds of killing a deer with EVERY time.
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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby Buckinator » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:34 pm

I prefer the broadside shoulder shot. The last 3 out of 4 I have shot there have dropped where they stood. Yes a little meat is damaged but I just cut around it and all is well. This has worked using both my .30-06 and my buddies .243

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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby Retranger » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:44 am

HEART AND LUNG ONLY :!: :!: :!: Like has been said you have room for error. And fellows remember there is more to track the deer by besides blood :!: :!: :!:

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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby kellory » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:11 pm

I agree with retranger. Aim small, miss small, and there is always something more than just blood to follow.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby Rocky Landsverk » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:42 pm

shoulder, meaning scapula. Dan Schmidt talks about that a lot. they fall where they stood.
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Re: Gun Hunting - Where do you aim?

Postby msbadger » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:19 pm

I live in the hills and properties surrounding us have serious swamp land,add to that, I have had deer literally stolen...dragged off not gutted when I went to get retrieval permission(pre cell phone). Then when I went back to camp get help tracking...So this being shot gun only area I take nothing but shoulder drop on site shots now. 2x's I have pulled shots during bow season and unintentionally hit the shoulder...both deer 20yrd shots 49# bows dropped them in their tracks and the broad head was pushing out hide on the opposite side.Those I do not recommend, but with a fixed blade the arrow shattered the scapula and hit a bundle of vessels and nerves.
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