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wtnhunt

shot placement..... rethinking

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I had told Catrina next deer I shot I would take a high shoulder shot to anchor it so there would be no tracking.  I typically aim tight behind the shoulder in the crease between 1/4  and 1/2 way way up the chest,  that usually puts my bullet close to or clipping the heart and taking out the lungs.  This last deer I shot a couple weeks ago in nasty weather, I honestly don't know where I aimed as I don't recall even flipping the safety off or taking the shot, but the 30 caliber eld x punched through the center of the shoulder blade.  The 178 grain eld x ended up traveling up, hit the spine and was recovered in the hide on the off side(pic below).  The 178 grain bullet had shed to 147.3 grains of recovered mushroomed bullet, 82.75 percent retention not counting the tip, not bad considering it punched a hole through the shoulder bone.  Surprisingly the shoulder was not destroyed.  Past history I have had with shoulder hits have been splintered bone and ruined meat, not the case with this bullet.  I had not been one to deliberately take shoulder shots, but had always heard high shoulder shots usually dropped deer in their tracks.  This deer dropped straight down.  Last deer I shot with the same load also was drt but that was a tight behind the shoulder shot at close distance.    

So, what say you?  Are high shoulder shots more often than not anchoring kill shots you try to take or avoid?

Happy with these bullets so far.  Still have to kill something with these from the .270.

 

20181216_100419.jpg

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Will I take them...absolutely!  Do they always drop them in their tracks?...no.  Had some break down and plow the ground with their nose since their front wheels didn't work.  

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The thing I do not like about shoulder shots is the increased loss of meat.  With a deer standing broadside, I have never aimed at the shoulder for that reason.  On a hit behind the shoulders I have never had a deer make it more than 40 to 50 yards before going down.  Unfortunately, the still hunting or tracking that I do seldom offers up a broadside shot opportunity and I can attest to the damaged meat from a shoulder hit.  The one scenario I would use a high shoulder hit on a broadside animal is when an animal running off after being hit would make recovery extremely difficult or impossible.  While the high shoulder hit does cause a dramatic collapse (as would any spine or near spine hit) it does not offer a more ethical, that is more rapid, death.

On 12/24/2018 at 9:20 AM, wtnhunt said:

Past history I have had with shoulder hits have been splintered bone and ruined meat, not the case with this bullet. 

It is interesting that there was minimal (I assume there was some) ruined meat in this case, but I wonder if that would/will be repeatable.  I find it amazing the difference in the amount of damage done from animal to animal with similar hits.  As for the recovered bullet, it seems to have stood up pretty well considering what it came into contact with.

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