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Doe #3 (223 Remington RIFLE) Head Shot

Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior MemberPosts: 8,527 Senior Member
edited March 1 in Hunting #1
Zee always likes to put a little bit of pressure on me, to help broaden my horizons and to develop a skill set or learn to do something different than the way that I typically do things. 
This is not just his desire, but an actual request that I have given him in times past.  
By nature, I am a very deliberate shooter. In other words, I want things to be perfect as possible.  
Whereas, my good friend, when it comes to shooting steel…”A hit is a hit! Moving on!”
The first time we ever shot together on steel at distance, I was shocked when he hit the edge of a target, shooting a 6.5x47 Lapua rifle I had brought with me, and was getting ready to move onto the next further target. I was stunned that he didn’t want to make the correction, and center it up.  
Well, I digress.  
I am better on accepting wobble than I used to be, and I am capable of shooting faster, on demand.  
The reference point here is, is it I am willing to shoot faster than I used to-Thanks Zee!
I have only taken two head shots in my life, and both are when I was with Zee. 
It is just not a shot, that I ever consider when I am in the field. I can tell you in the future, it will be on my mind as an option under certain circumstances in the future.  
My first headshot was the last time I was with him using a AR-10 in 308 Winchester on a hog.  That Hogg was eating corn, and it would not stop moving, and it literally took me forever to make the shot. 
This would be with a Remington 700 SA bolt rig in 223 Remington, using a 60 grain Hornady V-Max. Scope is a Vortex. It also has a two-stage trigger, I believe it is a Timney.  I rarely use a two-stage trigger.  
After explaining where I should put the bullet, he also explained that it would be a lot easier if the deer were not eating. 
When deer are eating corn, they are bouncing all over the place and running back-and-forth and you have animals going everywhere, whereas when deer are not eating, they still they stay still longer, but still not as long as a lot of people would like.
They would not cooperate, and so Zee put out some corn, and we had deer everywhere, and it was exactly like he said, a whole lot of movement. 
I guess I should’ve brought some Valium or something like that, because after the deer was down, I found out that he was extremely stressed out with the whole situation. I was having a good time (I was focused ) and not worried.  The one thing that did bother me, is that I was shooting at around 50 yards or so, and the rifle was zeroed for 100. I did not know, exactly where the bullet would be impacting at that distance, and that bugged me more than anything.  I did end up shooting a tad low but she went down immediately. 
Ultimately, I did put another shot into her head. The coolest thing about this whole situation, was the explanation that Zee gave me after the animal was down. It was then, that I fully had a better grasp of how to approach head shots wisely.  If I had made a perfect shot, I would not of got that explanation. It was some of the most helpful information he gave during the week.  Tripod usage, would be another one of the extremely helpful things, but this shot was from the prone position.  
This meat went to the rancher, as he wants all of his deer killed with head shots. I think this my most fun kill!


Speaking about rifle shots, we did find a doe that was still alive that had been shot/wounded with the 270 Winchester. 
As you can tell the impact barely broke the skin, and I’m pretty sure that the distance was under 100 yards. 



Ernie

"The Un-Tactical"

Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    Head shots are hard. Or, hard to do right, rather. They are a Hero or Zero kinda shot. 
    A correct head/upper neck shot causes flaccid paralysis. No, not what you take a blue pill for. That means NOTHING moves from the head down after the shot. The cerebral cortex has been disrupted and no more signals can be sent from the brain to the rest of the body. Basically, you blew up the bridge and nobody else gets to cross. 
    That’s hard to do on an unwilling participant. It requires an astute understanding of the body, how it works, and how to shut it down. It requires an understanding of your rifles external ballistics and/or an understanding of how to capitalize of deviation from POA. It requires a mostly steady platform and/or perfect timing. It requires shooting fast when the moons align and an abbreviation of the fundamentals of marksmanship. 
    Basically……..it ain’t for everyone. But damn…….it works when done right. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    Yeah, I was stressing the whole time. I kinda threw Ernie into this shot without a whole life of preparation or practice. 
    So, I would have to live with the consequences if it went wrong. Which stressed me out because……..I wasn’t pulling the trigger and really had no control. 
    A bad head shot, and you’ll knock the deer out, cause enough damage to put it down but not necessarily kill it. In that case, you better shoot again before they regain their faculties and take off. 
    A REALLY bad head shot will either not drop the deer or drop them without knocking them out. In which case, they bounce back up quickly and take off to parts unknown. Difficult or impossible to track and likely to die a slow, agony filled death over the course of a couple days or week.  Yeah, I was stressed. 

    I will say, I was backing Ernie up with another gun. Had the above shot happened, I’d have fired immediately. 

    As luck/skill would have it, he knocked her down hard enough but didn’t kill her and was therefore able to put another round into her head a finish the job. 

    Remember folks, if you EVER take a head shot and see movement afterwards……..they aren’t dead and it didn’t work as intended!  It’s therefore a crap shoot as to whether they will expire soon or get up and bolt. 
    Just FYI. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    edited March 2 #4
    All that said, I threw Ernie into the fire and he performed. I had a safety net in place, but he ultimately didn’t need it. 
    He learned. And that was the point. To grow in capabilities and experiences. Otherwise……..why?
    👍🏻
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    edited March 2 #5
    And yes, the last pic in Ernie’s post was a joke. That’s a pic of Rose. An orphaned doe we are raising. She sustained a small cut on her shoulder being rambunctious and we jokingly surmised that someone must have shot her with a .270 Winchester. 
    I have it on good authority that such a wound is most likely very akin to one caused by a .270 Winchester. So, our joke is mostly based in reality. Of course. 
    😎

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    Upper neck shots are actually easier than head shots. As long as your windage is right, you have plenty of vertical margin. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,567 Senior Member
    What's your aim point for head shots? My experience has been a round in the lower ear  towards the eye if looking broadside gets the job done. 
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,365 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Head shots are hard. Or, hard to do right, rather. They are a Hero or Zero kinda shot. 
    A correct head/upper neck shot causes flaccid paralysis. No, not what you take a blue pill for. That means NOTHING moves from the head down after the shot. The cerebral cortex has been disrupted and no more signals can be sent from the brain to the rest of the body. Basically, you blew up the bridge and nobody else gets to cross. 
    That’s hard to do on an unwilling participant. It requires an astute understanding of the body, how it works, and how to shut it down. It requires an understanding of your rifles external ballistics and/or an understanding of how to capitalize of deviation from POA. It requires a mostly steady platform and/or perfect timing. It requires shooting fast when the moons align and an abbreviation of the fundamentals of marksmanship. 
    Basically……..it ain’t for everyone. But damn…….it works when done right. 



    These are the pics of the brain of the last red stag BH shot with the 17HMR.........the 20 gr projectile hit within 1/2 an inch of where the brain stem exits the brain, cutting part of the cable and causing extensive trauma to the brain. One second the deer was facing side on the next its whole body collapsed from the neck down and it dropped DRT.
    For those who decide to try head or neck shots, you must have a clear understanding of where the brain is in relation to the animals eyes and ears......and not just from the front, but from all angles..And different species of deer have slightly different physical characteristics


    If the shot is within my comfort range 100- 120m and I have a steady rest I will plan a head shot and I do mean plan it. Anything over that distance out to 200m I will normally take a neck shot as it allows for a slightly bigger target and therefore the area to target is slightly bigger. I take into account all the factors present including wind, height difference, how steady the rest is etc cos it can become real ugly if things go wrong.
    Neck shots however have an added complication as, for example, on Red deer, the neck is quite wide and you have to hit bone........which is why we have studied  where the bone is in relation to the whole neck...

    And you have to practice. Simple things like setting up a target at different ranges and shooting them from whatever rest is handy, not sitting at a bench with bags and rests but things like laying prone and using a backpack for a rest or kneeling and using a tree/stump etc....
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    JKP said:
    What's your aim point for head shots? My experience has been a round in the lower ear  towards the eye if looking broadside gets the job done. 
    My ultimate goal is to bisect the cerebral cortex and/or sever the brain stem. My POA depends on the angle and varies to accomplish the above. 
    I try to look at it like the 3D target it is and not one dimensional. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,527 Senior Member
    I was definitely not thinking in 3D when I shot.  After we got her back to the barn, Zee explained things, and it made much more sense to me than it did before.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 484 Member
    edited March 11 #11
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,527 Senior Member
    Dealt with
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 603 Senior Member
    Not trying to highjack this thread, but it seemed to be the spot to share the 5 minutes of my life today that I will never get back.

    I was at Dunham's Sporting Goods looking for a new bat for my grandson's birthday and naturally had to wander over to the firearms counter.  There was no store clerk there, but a guy was talking loudly to his companion a couple of aisles over about an AR that was on sale.  He asked if Ruger made a good AR a few times before I realized he was talking to me, and not the guy on the other side of me.  He told me that there was a Ruger AR on sale for less than $400.00 and he wanted to get one if it would be any good.  Surprised by the price he was talking, I asked if he was sure he was looking at a Ruger.  "Sure" he says "It's right here on the flyer, a Ruger AR 12S"  Puzzled, I told him that did not sound like a Ruger model that I was familiar with, so he showed me the flyer.  The AR 12S is a Charles Daley 12ga shotgun for $379.00, posted underneath the Ruger AR 556 that was on sale for $900.00

    So after I explained to him that he was looking at a shotgun AR-similar platform he asked what were good AR rifles.  Me, being the idiot that I am, asked if he was looking for a .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO.  He didn't know what the difference was between the two and said he really wanted one with a .223 Wylde barrel on it because that is what his buddy had.  I then went into a 10,000 foot over view of the chamber dimension and throat lead differences and explained that the Wylde really was a chamber design to try and achieve the best of both worlds between .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO and not so much a 'barrel'.

    I asked him what he wanted the rifle for, if it was going to be used for fun, running large volumes of surplus ammo out of it or if he was looking for better accuracy.  He said he wanted to use it for hunting deer.  At this point I paused and made the observation to him that there were better, more ethical calibers available in less expensive platforms for deer hunting. 

    "What do you mean 'ethical'?" he says. 

    I told him that a 55gr full metal jacket bullet would not necessarily provide the type of performance on big game to achieve a quick and humane kill - in my opinion.

    He says "oh, it will be fine, I intend to shoot them in the head.  My Buddy shoots them in the head all the time with his, and they drop in their tracks"

    So I told him that I wasn't saying it could not be done, just that head shots are not always the shot that is best presented and he might be better off using a less expensive platform in a chambering better suited to deer hunting.

    "Oh, no, they will all be head shots.  I will be hunting them over a bait pile and they will be 10 feet away when I shoot them in the head.  My buddy does it all the time"  And then he said he was going to go do some more research and walked away.

    Jayhawker, if you happen to read this post, this guy (who doesn't know how to read a sales flyer) 'hunts' up in your neck of the woods.  :s 

    And now the five minutes anyone spent reading this post is gone forever as well...    
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    That was funny. 

    On a side note, I killed 5 deer this season with a .223 Remington and only one was a head shot. The rest were chest shots. 
    So, it works well with the right bullet. But, I agree there is little margins for bad shooting. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 603 Senior Member
    edited March 19 #15
    Talking with this individual, who could not properly interpret a sales flyer, knew next to nothing about Ruger and considers shooting deer over bait from 10 feet away to be 'hunting', I was not left with the opinion that this person knew very much about accurate shooting.

    Or much of anything else

    I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming that I was somehow in Oklahoma and had experienced a face to face encounter with He Who Must Not Be Named.

    A skilled person could reliably take a whitetail deer with a .22LR, and possibly make 30 yard crossing shots on grouse with a .410,  but I was not of the impression that I was in the presence of such an individual.
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,562 Senior Member
    Ha!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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