Head on shot

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lmcglamery
 
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Head on shot

Postby lmcglamery » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:44 am

Walking through the woods late afternoon and the biggest buck I've ever seen came walking up a trail toward me. At 75 yards, he stopped and stared, facing me. Knowing I should either shoot now or risk seeing the white flag running through the woods, I aimed at the base of his neck, right into his chest and shot. He turned and trotted away and then raised his flag and ran up a hill. Tried to find blood but couldn't and searched around the area he went into and no sign. Of course I may have pulled off a bit and missed, but wondering if anyone has experience with such a shot and finding him later dead somewhere from a wound that wouldn't produce a lot of immediate blood. Advice for finding? Naturally, if I see him soon, I'll know I didn't hit him.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:10 am

One of the worst shots you could take, especially with a bow! Yes, there's a very definate kill spot, but it's not real big, and there's virtually NO "marginal kill" area around it like in the broadside heart/lungs scenario. You either hit it or you have a non-vital (from that....that's not saying that the animal won't die later from a secondary cause) hit, or you missed.

Many years ago I tried this shot with a firearm and missed the kill spot and just had a messy leg wound. Eventually it dried up and I never found the deer. Lessons learned.

If you hit that spot, you'd have found him. Sounds to me like you didn't.

And I have a question for you. If that deer wasn't the biggest buck you've had a shot at, but a doe or a smaller buck, would you have still tried that shot?
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Waste Nothing,

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lmcglamery
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby lmcglamery » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:16 am

Shot was with a gun, so likely not hit. Maybe I'll see him or buzzards this weekend, though I hate to see meat wasted. To your question, no, if it had been a doe or a small buck, no way I would have taken that shot. I'll only take a high risk shot on something that merits the risk, and this guy merited the risk. I could have let him walk until next time, but always worried there won't be a next time. You know how that goes.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:29 am

We're going to differ on this one. A deer's size does NOT make me want to risk a chancy shot. In fact, I may be even more inclined to be more conservative on a once in a lifetime shot like that. I'd rather not take the shot than risk hitting him and not finding him , or worse yet a lingering death from gangrene. But that said it took me many years and more than one lost deer to realize this.

Just learn from your experience. That is a lesson that you can learn no where else. Good luck to you.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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lmcglamery
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby lmcglamery » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:36 am

Agreed, and in the back of my mind, I agree, but greed took over in this case. Hopefully I will gain in wisdom as time goes on.

Happy new year to you and your family. Thank you for lending your wisdom in this question.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:26 pm

LOL! I'm hardly "wise"...just ask my wife! It's more like even I finally get the message after beating my head against the wall enough! :mrgreen:

And BTW....Welcome to the forum!
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
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lmcglamery
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby lmcglamery » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:32 pm

Many thanks.

Happy hunting.

So, on a related note, having missed (possibly hit, but assume missed) this big boy, would you hunt the same area expecting him to come back, or expand the territory? Very low hunting pressure on private land, but worried I might have run him off onto another property.

Thank you in advance.

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:34 pm

lmcglamery wrote:Many thanks.

Happy hunting.

So, on a related note, having missed (possibly hit, but assume missed) this big boy, would you hunt the same area expecting him to come back, or expand the territory? Very low hunting pressure on private land, but worried I might have run him off onto another property.

Thank you in advance.


Hoo boy...that's almost impossible to answer without actually being on the ground there. There are many factors.....

Was where this happened in this buck's core area? Was it in a bedding area? Is the area in a travel corridor? What the cover like...open? Thick? In between? What's adjacent to the area? Cover, feed, etc. Are there a lot of does that frequent this same area?

My guess without knowing any of these things is that if you missed him and it's his core area then he will be back, if he's not back already. Big bucks DO NOT like to leave their core area. However, you have "edjumacated" him and he will most likely be nocturnal and even if he is active during daylight you will have to approach or set an ambush is a different spot from where you shot at him.

If you hit him he may very well be back also....as I said they do not like to leave their secure area, and if he's mortally wounded and dies he may very well die in that core area for the same reason. About 10 years ago I hit a nice buck with a broadside shot which apparently only hit one lung (there's an ammo issue that's part of this story which I'll save for another time...suffice to say that I changed sabots after this episode...). We tracked him all that day (we had snow) and he made a big loop and wound up going back onto our main ground. In his beds there was lung blood. The nenxt morning we picked up his track and while I really expected to find him dead, he wasn't and left our ground. Where he went I could not go and even our farmer friend who's place we were hunting could not go so we had to quit. The neighbor who bowhunts the adjoining ground which was still part of his core area found him dead a week later about 200 yards from where I shot him.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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oletimer
 
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Re: Head on shot

Postby oletimer » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:58 am

Woods Walker wrote:One of the worst shots you could take, especially with a bow! Yes, there's a very definate kill spot, but it's not real big, and there's virtually NO "marginal kill" area around it like in the broadside heart/lungs scenario. You either hit it or you have a non-vital (from that....that's not saying that the animal won't die later from a secondary cause) hit, or you missed.

Many years ago I tried this shot with a firearm and missed the kill spot and just had a messy leg wound. Eventually it dried up and I never found the deer. Lessons learned.

If you hit that spot, you'd have found him. Sounds to me like you didn't.

And I have a question for you. If that deer wasn't the biggest buck you've had a shot at, but a doe or a smaller buck, would you have still tried that shot?


I agree with most of this. Would you take the shot if it were not a wall hanger....angle with a bow. But with a firearm I have taken this shot several times. If you have a good rest and are proficient with your weapon it is not a risky shot. There is always the possibility of jerking your shot but as I said with a good rest and at 75 yards I would take it. Not the prefered shot but sometimes that is the only shot possible. The few times I have shot head on they have all dropped like a sack of potatoes. In fact one of the largest deer I have taken was shot head on. I did pass on the largest deer I have ever seen with a head on shot. He came straight at me to check a scrape and then turned and went straight away. Still can see him in my mind [huge and HEAVY]. I had a muzzleloader in hand [ first day hunting with one] and did not feel comfortable with the shot. Also did not know the capabilities of the weapon. Would now have taken the shot.
Would defintately wait for a better angle if posssible but with everything in place I feel this is an exceptable shot.
lead follow or get out of the way


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