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Head Shots - Are you for or against them?

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Replies

  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Western PAPosts: 8,242 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Ernie, the center of the kill zone is pretty much the top of the heart/ bottom of lungs. Thats where I am going also.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • EturnEturn Member Posts: 317 Member
    No - It is unethical.
    Zee wrote: »
    Eturn,

    Are you saying that I should not be taking head shots when I feel conditions are right?

    Do I think anyone should take head shots on animals? No. As I explained earlier, a person can be the best shot in the world, with the best gun in the world and still not hit the brain because they can not control the animal's actions or the other animals in the woods actions.

    Am I telling you not to take head shots? No Im not. You can do as you want. I can not nor would I tell anyone how to hunt. But I will express my opinions on it when asked.
    “Not everyone is willing to embrace liberty; liberty requires not just effort, but risk. Some people choose to delude themselves and see their chains as protective armor.”
  • timctimc Senior Member TexasPosts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    To me this was an ethical head shot. Doe was 90 yards, eating corn and very relaxed. I watched this deer for about 10 minutes before taking the shot. No their movements can not be predicted with 100% accuracy but within a few minutes of watching her I was pretty confident of her movements, I had a good rest and a very reliable rifle. Shot was placed just below the ear and she dropped in her tracks.
    The doe is the white spot by the feeder.
    54E35BB6-910D-4883-9103-5D1C2F4073E4-3013-00000A7EBC9D8A5D.jpg
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    timc wrote: »
    To me this was an ethical head shot. Doe was 90 yards, eating corn and very relaxed. I watched this deer for about 10 minutes before taking the shot. No their movements can not be predicted with 100% accuracy but within a few minutes of watching her I was pretty confident of her movements, I had a good rest and a very reliable rifle. Shot was placed just below the ear and she dropped in her tracks.
    The doe is the white spot by the feeder.
    54E35BB6-910D-4883-9103-5D1C2F4073E4-3013-00000A7EBC9D8A5D.jpg

    Oh yeah, bro Tim, for you that was a piece of cake. Totally ethical, a dream shot. Congrats.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    I know the area around you there as far as the land scape and the geography. That's one of my favorite parts of Texas right there. lots of Mesquite and brush.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Cheetoh734 wrote: »
    Saw a large doe take a broad head to the boilermaker and by some miracle not go down after almost 30 minutes of watching it....Watched a guy take a head shot with a .223 (it was archery season, and it was the only thing in the cabin for critter control) that blew off the deer's entire lower jaw and took a good size chunk out of the bottom of its skull and the thing still took another 20 mins to go down...Felt horrible for that deer....I don't know if this was some sort of freak occurrence but after that my confidence in head shots was shaken to say the least...

    For people that don't practice or may flinch, a head shot is a mistake, true enough. However for some like that, maybe any shot is a mistake. For someone that shoots a lot and has killed several animals A head shot isn't anymore difficult than anyother. Put it in his ear. Down he will go. if you have a good rest and you can shoot MOA at the range pretty regularly, and you are not overly excited, a head shot should be a piece of cake.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    Eturn wrote: »
    Do I think anyone should take head shots on animals? No. As I explained earlier, a person can be the best shot in the world, with the best gun in the world and still not hit the brain because they can not control the animal's actions or the other animals in the woods actions.

    Am I telling you not to take head shots? No Im not. You can do as you want. I can not nor would I tell anyone how to hunt. But I will express my opinions on it when asked.

    I can live with that. We all make our decisions based on our perception. I do not feel that either of us can change each other's mind.

    I feel that I can make head shots under certain circumstances and know that I have made them. Even out to 300 yards. You feel that there are too many things left to chance. I understand that.

    Both the gun and the shooter must be capable of the accuracy involved in that shot. Then, the shooter must be able to read the target. By that I mean, anticipate the target's move.

    What I often do, is wait until I know the target's attention is focused on something. A feeding deer has erratic movement. But, when a noise or movement attracts their attention, they will lift their head and lock onto whatever it is that drew their attention. This gives me a few seconds where I am confident they will not move. In that time, I can acquire a sight picture and fire. Practice, practice, practice.

    In regards to this, I have even whistled at a deer to get them to lift their head and stare in my direction. As soon as that head locks...........bam! I have seen this work time and again. On many creatures. Distract.............and fire.

    Works for me.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    snake284-1 wrote: »
    A head shot isn't anymore difficult than any other. Put it in his ear. Down he will go.

    I do not use any specific aiming point. I am simply trying to bisect the cranial vault to disrupt/sever the brain stem. I have taked head shots from just about every angle. I consider the exit of the bullet and that gives me my point of aim.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Zee, it's like me and really long shots. I don't think it's real ethical for everybody and his dog to be trying to kill deer at 500-600 yards. However I know there's some of y'all here that are more than capable. I'm not going to tell you I don't think you should try it. Hell, on a good day, I have stretched my legs on occasion. Not to yours or Ernie's extent probably, but I have gotten out of my normal comfort zone. But for me, a 100-even 200 yard head shot can be doable.

    Another thing here, if I don't feel good about the shot, I don't go for it. That's everyone's choice, everyone's decision. One time out north of Uvalde, I was in my 25 foot tower blind on an afternoon hunt. When I got to the top of my tower and got inside and turned around, there was a nice buck about 400 yards out across the little canyon my blind overlooked, sunning on the ridge. The wind was whipping that tower around a little and it was swaying back and forth gently. I declined that shot because I wasn't comfortable with that shot in that wind. If it would have been a calm afternoon, I would most assuredly taken that shot.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    Cheetoh734 wrote: »
    ....Watched a guy take a head shot with a .223 (it was archery season, and it was the only thing in the cabin for critter control) that blew off the deer's entire lower jaw and took a good size chunk out of the bottom of its skull and the thing still took another 20 mins to go down...Felt horrible for that deer....I don't know if this was some sort of freak occurrence but after that my confidence in head shots was shaken to say the least...

    I've seen many bad shots.

    I've seen deer shot in the leg. I've seen deer shot in the gut. I've seen deer shot in the hind quarters. I've seen deer shot in the neck. I've seen deer shot above the lungs and below the spine. I've seen multiples of some of these.

    I've seen exactly one deer missing it's jaw.

    Bad shots come in many different forms.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    snake284-1 wrote: »
    Another thing here, if I don't feel good about the shot, I don't go for it. That's everyone's choice, everyone's decision.

    Exactly.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Zee wrote: »
    I do not use any specific aiming point. I am simply trying to bisect the cranial vault to disrupt/sever the brain stem. I have taked head shots from just about every angle. I consider the exit of the bullet and that gives me my point of aim.

    HaHa!!! I said put it in his ear and he'll go down because my buddy Grover had just told me how his son just dropped a nice 10 point the last day of the season Sunday within 10 minutes of the carriage turning back to a pumkin. He said it like that, "Put it in his ear and down he went!":roll2: :rotflmao: :roll2:
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,403 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Zee wrote: »
    What I often do, is wait until I know the target's attention is focused on something. A feeding deer has erratic movement. But, when a noise or movement attracts their attention, they will lift their head and lock onto whatever it is that drew their attention. This gives me a few seconds where I am confident they will not move. In that time, I can acquire a sight picture and fire. Practice, practice, practice.

    In regards to this, I have even whistled at a deer to get them to lift their head and stare in my direction. As soon as that head locks...........bam! I have seen this work time and again. On many creatures. Distract.............and fire.

    Works for me.

    ......Which is exactly what I did in the video. Over here it is reasonably common to 'whistle' at a deer to get its attention. It will invariably stop a walking deer which will turn to look at the 'whistler'.

    I have done the same thing on many hunts to either get a deer to stop and stand still or get it to raise its head up. Often, a deer will even take a couple of steps towards you as they get 'curious' about whats going on.

    It is another 'trick' that you learn with experience.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    I can't whistle for one, because I never could whistle worth a damn. I was joking about a Deer Grunt Call I have earlier, but I have stopped them with a grunt call. But one word, once you whistle or call, you better be ready to shoot, because once he comes to his senses, he is fixing to launch to the next Zip Code.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • Cheetoh734Cheetoh734 Senior Member Seattle, WaPosts: 714 Senior Member
    No - It is unethical.
    Zee wrote: »
    I've seen many bad shots.

    I've seen deer shot in the leg. I've seen deer shot in the gut. I've seen deer shot in the hind quarters. I've seen deer shot in the neck. I've seen deer shot above the lungs and below the spine. I've seen multiples of some of these.

    I've seen exactly one deer missing it's jaw.

    Bad shots come in many different forms.

    Just for clarification, what do you mean by that?
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    My head shots are restricted to squirrels and with my little .32cal 44 inch barrel flintlock. Everything else is "double lunged". You better not agrevate a black bear with a head shot :yikes:!
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,403 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    snake284-1 wrote: »
    I can't whistle for one, because I never could whistle worth a damn. .

    It doesnt have to be an ear piercing whistle, in actual fact the softer the better. Just purse your lips and blow gently and make it loud enough to carry to the animal. The deer will stop and look in your direction and freeze while it tries to figure out whats going on. When I whistled in the video, the rifle was already at my shoulder and the crosshairs were on its head. It only took a fraction of a second to adjust my aim slightly and the bullet was on its way.

    As Zee says here.........
    What I often do, is wait until I know the target's attention is focused on something. A feeding deer has erratic movement. But, when a noise or movement attracts their attention, they will lift their head and lock onto whatever it is that drew their attention. This gives me a few seconds where I am confident they will not move. In that time, I can acquire a sight picture and fire. Practice, practice, practice.

    Next time any of you are near deer which have not been 'spooked', give a low whistle and watch the reaction of the deer. You may just be surprised at the results. Even better, see how long it takes for the deer to move and then figure out if you could make the shot in that time period.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    Cheetoh734 wrote: »
    Just for clarification, what do you mean by that?

    Bad shots can happen with any intended placement. We don't want them to happen, but sometimes, they do.

    Mostly, I think it comes from the taking irresponsible shots. Shots the hunter had no business taking. Others, it's just a bad day.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • timctimc Senior Member TexasPosts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Zee wrote: »
    Bad shots can happen with any intended placement. We don't want them to happen, but sometimes, they do.

    Mostly, I think it comes from the taking irresponsible shots. Shots the hunter had no business taking. Others, it's just a bad day.

    Not neccessarily, There ar those times when just crap happens. I do agree though a novice hunter should take a nice chest shot because the kill zone is a much larger target. All this depends on the shooter as has been said many times in this thread. In my mind most bad shots are do to inexperience, improper caliber and bullet selection. If you can't put 5 rounds in a sub moa group at 100 yards you should be happy with a lung/heart shot and stay away from the head. With practice and the right equipment head shots can be done with a very low probability of a bad shot.

    Here is a through the eyes shot at 220 yards...
    5185ED2D-570B-4012-8D69-7BA9A9C876CD-5260-00000BF84856FEF0.jpg

    240 yards behind the ears DRT...
    51FB0BF0-1D38-49D7-ACE1-C2888B5E8227-907-00000282B919EAE9.jpg

    238 yards just below the eye...
    Pig11132011AR10.jpg
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    Yes, there are times when crap happens. That's what I was referring to when I said , "bad days".
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member WyomingPosts: 8,566 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    And if you do it long enough, you are going to have a bad day and or equipment failure.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member WyomingPosts: 8,566 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    What would would be the size (Dimension) of a deer's brain where you would have instant "lights out?"
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    What would would be the size (Dimension) of a deer's brain where you would have instant "lights out?"

    The brain is roughly the size of your fist or palm on a big deer.

    But, like I said, the idea is to disrupt the brain stem/cerebral cortex. This does not necessarily mean you have to HIT the brain stem. Simple disruption will do the job. Often occurring with the 'explosive' tendencies of a high velocity round bisecting the cranial vault. In other words..........'pop'!

    Severing/disrupting/destroying the brain stem is what causes flaccid paralysis. They drop and never move again. The signal from the brain to the muscles is toast.

    Taking out a portion of the brain without disruption of the brain stem often results is the muscles firing until the signal stops. Often seen in the kicking/flailing motion on the ground. The lights are on..........but nobody is home.

    The brain stem is the switch to turn the lights out.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member WyomingPosts: 8,566 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    Got it. About the size of a rounded 3x5 index card?
    So what would be the size or diameter that would entail disrupting the cranial vault?
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,076 Senior Member
    The cranial vault itself is roughly the size of the brain. The brain stem is located at the back and bottom of the brain. Where the spinal cord ties in.

    Basically, if the shock caused within the cranial vault is enough to disrupt or destroy the brain stem, you've done it. Just depends on damage caused by the bullet.

    I shot a deer once with a 55gr BTHP out of a .22-250. Hit her in one eye and the bullet came out the other eye. This essentially missed the brain. But, the shock caused by the bullet was enough to crack and take out the front if the cranial vault. Taking the front of the brain with it.

    However, it did not sever or destroy the brain stem. Result? The deer dropping to the ground and kicking around in a pinwheel for a few seconds until all motor function stopped. Not flaccid paralysis.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    One thing, if you hit brain with a frangible high speed bullet, it's more than likely going to put the animal on the ground for good. The brain, any part of it, is full of nerves and blood vessles. You hit a wad of that and let that bullet expand, any animal is going to be out of commission, it doesn't make a lot of difference which part, and if you hit close to where it connects to the spine, Done Deal. Where you get into trouble with head shots is hitting jaws or other non immediately leathal parts. I have seen deer with noses blown off, lower jaws missing, eyes blown out, but nothing hit that puts the animal on the ground for good. But you get his brain or spine, he may live for a few minutes, but he's not going anywhere.
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • PFDPFD Senior Member PNWPosts: 1,841 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    The last head shot I made was on a 796 yard pdog.

    So, I had to vote "yes, under the right conditions".

    Mike

    Now did you aim at the head of a pdog at 796 yards or is that just where the shot landed?

    I once "dazed" a mourning dove by grazing it's head from 100 yds with a .30-'06 but I was aiming for cm.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I took a 300-yard head shot at a bedded deer that was only showing its head and neck. I had a solid rest, and a rifle I knew was capable of shooting 2" groups at that range. The bullet took the top of the skull off and shredded the top 2/3 of the brain. The animal jumped up and did 3 backflips before dropping within 10 feet of the place it was bedded down. Not quite a bang/flop kill, but close. That's the only intentional head shot I've done, but I did deflect a .50 caliber round ball off a 1" diameter tree branch and hit a button buck in the head when I was holding for a bolier-room shot at 50 yards. That one dropped in its tracks.
    Jerry
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Southwest PAPosts: 2,907 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    I see no problem with it given the stipulations.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Colorado SpringsPosts: 7,823 Senior Member
    Yes - Under the right conditions.
    PFD wrote: »
    Now did you aim at the head of a pdog at 796 yards

    Wondered if somebody would catch that. That was a tongue-in-cheek remark.

    Nope, I certainly wasn't aiming for his head. Even with a 20X Leupold, a pdog at near half a mile is a bit "fuzzy". Probably the only reason I hit him at all is because I'd just killed 2-3 at a bit over 700, and those after I'd smacked a few at 600. Sort of like walking the fire out. I certainly can't do it on demand.

    But....original question.....with all the usual disclaimers I have no problem with headshots. If you can do em, go for it. If you can't, leave it to those who can.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
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