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ZEE AND OTHER MARKSMAN HUNTERS

pjames777pjames777 Senior MemberPosts: 1,421 Senior Member
Curious, you are more than an excellent shot.  Why do you and others like you shoot the body of the animal versus a head shot that would preserve more meat?  

Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,301 Senior Member
    For me... the head moves more.
    I've taken a few head shots when things were optimal
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,133 Senior Member
    Dont regard myself as a marksman as such. But my hunting style is based on the stalk  and I like to get in as close as I can. I cant remember the last time I took a body shot at a deer. I know it's been a couple of years though and about 20 or 30 deer back. The last body shot on a game animal was a shoulder shot on a large boar  few months ago.
    I class myself as a meat hunter and while I wouldn't pass up a trophy animal,  I prefer head or neck shots .

    The areas I hunt dont normally lend themselves to ' sit and wait' hunting and if they do, I will watch for animals and then plan a stalk in closer to take the shot.....close being  anything from 20 yards out to 150.......
    Actually, I do remember the last body shot on a deer now. It was 12 14mths ago.  A red hind at about 190m on a cull hunt. Poked a 120gr sp into its shoulder as it was slowly walking on an angle towards me. 
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,355 Senior Member
    edited November 2020 #4
    The only deer I’ve shot so far this season was a head shot. 


    I take head shots when I want to and body shots when I don’t.  
    Often, I take body shots because I’m testing, experimenting, learning the terminal performance of a particular bullet or cartridge (this year is heavy on the 6.5 Creedmoor and 140/147gr ELD-Match Bullets). 
    I really learn nothing with head shots. 

    The last deer I shot last season was a head shot with a .220 Swift. 

    So, they happen. But, not when I’m learning something on ballistics. 

    They are relatively boring to me. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,067 Senior Member
    I'm no marksman by any stretch, but I try for the heart/lung area right behind the shoulders if presented with the opportunity.  I have hit a few in the neck, but it was because they were close and that was the only shot presented.  The only head shot I ever made was on a running antelope at about 100 yards.  I had to finish her with a follow up shot to the neck.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,780 Senior Member
    Depends on the terrain and the situation 
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,355 Senior Member
    edited November 2020 #7
    I Ike the head shot at times. But, feel it is a “specialized” shot. 
    It takes the right platform in the hands of the right shooter at the right time to be.........right. It can easily turn wrong. 

    My buddy botched up two head shots last year. I was fortunate to find and later dispatch one of the deer (Dead Man from last year with the 03 Springfield) but never could find the other. Though I watched her over the next week and a half slowly die from her wounds on my game camera pics. 
    If you can’t make the shot......don’t take it. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,133 Senior Member

    If you can’t make the shot......don t take it. 
    That's the thought that always lives in my mind when hunting. I have passed up many shots where I wasnt confident, or couldn't get close enough to be in my ' comfort zone'.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • pjames777pjames777 Senior Member Posts: 1,421 Senior Member
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,203 Senior Member
    I've always avoided headshots, because like KP said......it moves too much.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,247 Senior Member
    I do a fair amount of headshots.  Its usually because I can precisely line up the shot, and I KNOW the gun/ ammo/ nut behind the trigger can make it.  But since we use feeders in TX, it's pretty easy to time the shot when they put the head down to eat.

    But if the shot is outside of 75- 100 yards, or the hold is iffy... well, shoulder shot works.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,978 Senior Member
    My dad taught me to take head/neck shots. His reasoning was it made you a better hunter in that you need to stalk close to make it viable. Sound logic for the most part. Teaches restraint and require some modicum of skill. That being said, I have utilized the heart/lung shots on occasion. 
    In his memory I still strive for the neck shot when able. I do enjoy a nice pan fried heart so there is that as well. 
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,439 Senior Member
    Well, I am a fair shot with a rifle and I dont see any need to make my target any harder to hit or the outcome questionable. A body shot that is 2/3rds of the way from the top and right behind the front leg (on a broadside) WILL hit something important if the critter twitches, I slip, the wind blows the stand... whatever. If you are prepared to wait for a good head shot, you can wait for a more broadside shot. IF you put the hole in the right place you will not lose any meat but a little rib. A lot less meat loss than a neck shot.
    Have I taken head and neck shots, sure. The critter stopped where a body shot wasnt feasible, the shot was well within my ability, and I was getting pressed for time in the hunting season.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • TurdusMerulaTurdusMerula Member Posts: 292 Member
    I have shot a few longish shots to kill deer. Why I don’t shoot the deer in the head is the reason that shooting into lungs (and heart) it gives room for an error.
    Deer moves their heads so fast that there’s always possibility to make a nasty wounding.
    I sacrifice some meat rather than have to live with possible wounded animal with a ruined jaw or similar.
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour
    -William Blake-
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,975 Senior Member
    At one time i'd like to think I was a damn good shoot since i was once able to clean the MR-1 target at 600 yds with open sights, that said in almost 70 years of hunting i cant recall ever shooting any game in the head, besides i was taught to send them off with a fresh meal in there mouth.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,096 Senior Member
    Funny almost everyone immediately think deer.  Short story about my old friend John...

    John was an exceptional hunter and a GREAT shot.  Him and I used to spend hours every fall in the woods just BSing while sitting on top of a local hill surrounded by many acres of Northeast hardwoods.  We'd waste a whole morning away drinking hot sweet tea with milk out of his thermos (he hated coffee) while nestling target grade .22s on our laps.  As opportunities came, and they were plentiful, we would take nothing but head shots on squirrels as far out as we could spot the critters since he loved to eat them and HATED ruined meat, and if you do a head shot you can just let them lay on the ground and cool down without having to field dress them right away.  We'd just keep track of how many we shot and collecte them all at the end of our morning and then we'd go to his house where he'd cook up a big pot of squirrel in white gravy and serve it over egg noodles!

    Anyway, John booked himself on a buffalo "hunt" out west because he LOVED buffalo meat and was tired of paying premium dollars for it locally.  He, flew out and showed up at the ranch and he was taken out to the herd in a Chevy Suburban with a group of other hunters, all strangers to him.  As Linefinder has said here before, buffalo "hunting" is more like buffalo shooting.  On the drive out to find the herd the usual subject of chosen weapons and calibers came up as it always does when hunters gather.  Well, he had to put up with all the others criticizing his choice of caliber and ammo.  He was hunting with a beat up sporterized '03 and using 30-06 FMJ surplus ammo.  As usual John just sat and listened to everyone just talk on without saying much.  These guys are all carrying shinny Weatherby and other fancy sticks in boomer chamberings in the .338-.375 class.

    Like I said, my buddy just stayed quiet (he was a man of few words anyway) and when they found the herd he was the last guy to shoot.  Most of the guys had to put multiple rounds into their animals to get them down.  

    John lines up with the cow he picked and shooting offhand, squeezes the trigger and the beast buckled and collapsed on the spot from a perfectly executed brain shot...

    When he told me the story he smiled and said it was a very quiet ride back, just the way he liked it...
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,067 Senior Member
    Speaking of squirrels, I knew an old timer who grew up in Arkansas.  He claimed that he and his sisters loved to eat the brains of 2/3s grown squirrels.  How he figured they were 2/3s grown is a mystery to me, but that's the way he told it.

    So, the moral of this story is if you like to eat brains, head shots are probably not what you want to do.  As for me, I'll just stick with the brains I already have in my head and not add to it.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,345 Senior Member
    Never been in the cards for where I hunt, and I also happen to like European skull mounts.  I've killed all of three deer in about a decade of chasing them.  My first required lengthy observation just to determine if it was even legal.  The second and third were now or never opportunities.  My Dad's three in the same zone all about the same.

    Given the narrow windows and less than 200 yard distance on all six, I've come to roll with a zero that gives a point blank arc of 3" up and 3" down and plan for the boiler room, on the expectation that given the combination of sleep deprivation, sudden target appearance, and need to identify, I won't have time to figure out the minutiae of a head shot.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,112 Senior Member
    When I was younger I was with an older hunter who took a headshot on a red hind, well I don't know if she moved or his shot wasn't good but he blew the bottom jaw.
    We followed that deer looking to finish for  hundreds of meters untill she finally swam across a river [The clarence] that was just to dangerous to follow. That was a bad day.
    I had never taken an aimed headshot on an animal bigger that a rabbit or possum before that day and I never have since.
    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,096 Senior Member
    Speaking of squirrels, I knew an old timer who grew up in Arkansas.  He claimed that he and his sisters loved to eat the brains of 2/3s grown squirrels.  How he figured they were 2/3s grown is a mystery to me, but that's the way he told it.

    So, the moral of this story is if you like to eat brains, head shots are probably not what you want to do.  As for me, I'll just stick with the brains I already have in my head and not add to it.
    While I'm a fan of calf brains when prepared correctly by a good chef, I have absolutely NO desire to do it myself.  Plus I don't know if there is danger of getting one of the crazy brain diseases from eating them, so there is that...
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,566 Senior Member
    I hardly ever take a head shot. 
    The only time I did was a pig, and it was intentional....Took that sucker forever to stay still long enough for a shot (223 Rem/AR-15)
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,203 Senior Member
    Speaking of squirrels, I knew an old timer who grew up in Arkansas.  He claimed that he and his sisters loved to eat the brains of 2/3s grown squirrels.  How he figured they were 2/3s grown is a mystery to me, but that's the way he told it.

    So, the moral of this story is if you like to eat brains, head shots are probably not what you want to do.  As for me, I'll just stick with the brains I already have in my head and not add to it.
    In the mid-80's I knew a bank vice-prez that died from whatever it is you can catch from eating squirrel brains. He was in his mid-forties and left behind a wife and 3 kids.

    Might be a good reason to shoot squirrels in the head.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,355 Senior Member
    I hardly ever take a head shot. 
    The only time I did was a pig, and it was intentional....Took that sucker forever to stay still long enough for a shot (223 Rem/AR-15)
    Didn’t you shoot that one with me in the head as well?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,566 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I hardly ever take a head shot. 
    The only time I did was a pig, and it was intentional....Took that sucker forever to stay still long enough for a shot (223 Rem/AR-15)
    Didn’t you shoot that one with me in the head as well?

    Yes, I was with you, and it was your AR. 
    First time I ever pulled the trigger on it was on that hog.
    The one I am talking about is not one of our synchronized shots
    In fact, I have taken another hog (not a head shot) with one of your rifles, where the first time I pulled the trigger was on a hog.
    I may have made another head shot with you using the bolt rig, I am not sure.....You are always pushing me to do new things... B)


    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,566 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I hardly ever take a head shot. 
    The only time I did was a pig, and it was intentional....Took that sucker forever to stay still long enough for a shot (223 Rem/AR-15)
    Didn’t you shoot that one with me in the head as well?

    I failed to mention, the reason I shot the hog in the head, is because you told me to shoot him there.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,355 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I hardly ever take a head shot. 
    The only time I did was a pig, and it was intentional....Took that sucker forever to stay still long enough for a shot (223 Rem/AR-15)
    Didn’t you shoot that one with me in the head as well?

    I failed to mention, the reason I shot the hog in the head, is because you told me to shoot him there.
    That was my LR308. Not a .223 Rem. Not that it makes a difference. Just FYI. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,566 Senior Member
    I appreciate the correction.  I was thinking you wanted me to do a head shot because it was a 223...So much for thinking or remembering :D
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
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