Wow-I don`t know quite what to say. I`m torn between trying to remain civil, and at the same time, wanting to tear your head off.
I`m not a sofa jocky, and I DO NOT take the first, best shot I can. I wait for the angle and position I need for your "mythical" one-shot-kill, or I DON`T SHOOT. Most of the deer I`ve killed have indeed ben one-shot-kills.
And ..."Reacquire your target and continue firing.......? Are you freaking kidding me!!!!!
IF you wait for a GOOD, killing shot into the vitals, ONE shot is all that`s needed. Most white-tails are going to run at the shot-few fall dead where they stand, but deer that are hit well, will be recovered? Why would you continue to throw lead, adding even more fear to the animal, and endangering any other hunter in the area? I`ve heard the guys like that during deer season. If they shoot once, they shoot 5 times, until their shotgun is empty. If the first shot, and a calm, motionless deer didn`t put him down, the next 4, thrown at a wildly bounding animal certainly won`t.
YOU are a slob hunter, and I don`t know what ethics you profess, but it`s clearly nothing but talk.
First off, I've been wanting all my life to meet up with a true slob hunter. I've met a lot of sofa jockies, and a lot of posers that probably would have qualified if they had ever gotten out and hunted. Most all of what I've met in the field were gentlemen. Great Glorious Day! Here come to find out it was me all along. Shucks.
Second, I will point out that you may be one too. Let's just see here. . . ah!
Most of the deer I`ve killed have indeed ben (SP?) one-shot-kills.
Ooops! What's this "most" bit? "Most" as in 99.99%? "Most" as in 80%? What about the others. That was my buddies' point to me. That is my point to everyone. Don't come unglued here, you may be wanting to pull my head off, but all I'm doing is pulling your leg on this. You just happen to be way to easy.
A lot of hunters have something in the back of their heads that tells them one shot will do it. You are absolutely correct that usually a well placed shot brings the animal down and usually if it does not, they run off out of sight in a flash. Any moron trying to shoot at a running deer in the crowded woods needs to be taken out and flogged. So far, I can sense we have agreement.
HOWEVER. . .
Most of my deer also just fall over dead-- poleaxed, DRT'd, brung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Remember, I too take the "first best shot" I can. I'm a boiler room kind of guy-- no heads, necks or the other stuff. USUALLY it's the case that one shot is going to do it. USUALLY one shot is also all I get too. My deer run just as fast as yours, and I'll be fifty when I hit the woods next time-- too slow to react and going blind to boot. If I dreamed about making miracle shots in my youth, that dream is long ago dead.
But once in a while, you get the oddball thown at you. I've had a few. I can bet you have too ( you still haven't told me what MOST meant, right?) A bullet glances off an unseen twig, or some other freak event, and the deer just stands there and looks at you. Now what?
Most guys get a little unnerved. They hesitate. You don't know if you missed or what. Now what do you do?
I just happened to have learned my hunting from old combat vets. Their answer was bone chilling, but highly practical. When you shoot, you do not stop shooting until the target is down. Your focus is not on the deer, but on a patch of hair or more precisely the soccer ball-sized target behind it. You do not take your mind off that target until you are sure:
A) The target is down and not getting back up.
B) The target cannot be safely shot again
C) The target has disappeared from view.
I never saw this in print, and I never heard this discussed elsewhere until about 9 years ago. An African Professional Hunter who goes by JJHack was discussing the failings of his American clients. The biggest problem was what he called "Golfer's Syndrome." The client shoots, and the puts his rifle down to see what happens. They are dumbstruck when the beast looks at them and then saunters off.
You are right, the perfect one shot you've made may be fatal. That deer may wander off a bit and fall over. Then again it may have been that 1% (20%? You never did specify ), and all you get is a drop or two of blood on a leaf and then nothing.
JJHack, my old buddies, and I all believed in taking a baseball bat to the idea of one-shot one- kill. You need to get it out of your mind. Every hunter needs to prepare for the eventuality that one shot is not going to do it, at least not immediately. A second, a third may be required from the hunter. The hunter has to be able to make that commitment and follow through.
99 % of this is just preparation and willingness. In the past 25 seasons, I've had to put follow-up shots into a deer only three times. Sometimes, both lungs and the heart are totally involved and the deer still stands there looking at you. Sometimes they even go back to feeding. I had a yearling doe in 2002 that took three from a 30-30 at less than 20 yards and then walked off with an arterial spurter going 6 feet into the trees.
The big points in all this are:
1) You aren't a slob if you take a another shot, as long as it is a controlled shot.
2) You do the deer no great favor by holding off. The whole point of this is to bring on a state of unconsciousness as soon as humanly possible-- (otherwise the gutting process gets really complex, right?)
3) You can beat yourself up over those follow-up shots, or accept that some are going to have to be made. I'm in the latter camp.
4) It is all about the mental preparation. Your best shot is the one where the deer falls over in your sights with the second round jacked in and the rifle returned to battery. That means a) you were there to make the second shot, but b) it was unneeded.
5) You have to have enough situational awareness to also see beyond the soccer ball. If it's skylit, or if you're just not sure what's behind it, that barrel has to come up.
There. I've said it. Now I can go lie in my slob bed, and close my slob eyes and dream slob dreams. Thanks all for having me in.