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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am astounded by the stories of deer running 50 100 or more yards after being hit it the boiler room with a 7mm 270 or whatever high powered lazer beam. I have shot deer with 30/30, 308 win, 35 Remington. 444Marlin, 450 Marlin, 30/06 and even 00Buck . Not once have I had a deer take more than two leaps and drop and never had to shoot them twice. And never have I seen a deer run far after being hit in the arse. They needed a follow up shot but they never got far from my buddy who was the butt LOL of my jokes about it to this day. All I can guess is the bullets some hunters use in the magnums and higher powered rifles are not built for deer and are not expanding just poking small wholes in them? Just a guess. I would like to hear any theories on this?


Do not get me wrong I am not bashing the magnum guys in any way.

Sincerely,

AL
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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The farthest I have ever had a deer run after being shot is about 75 yards. This was a large doe that I shot through the lungs with a 30-06 165 g jsp. I did not have any problem trailing the deer because it looked like someone was pouring a bucket of blood out on the ground. The deer had a entrance wound behind the left shoulder and a very large exit wound on the right side. Some animals just have an amazing amount of stamina. Nothing has ever walked or ran away from my 444 or 45-70 though.
 

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With my 30-30 i have had one deer run 50 yards, 6-7 DRT and one little doe that went maybe 10 yards.

With my .338 i have a DRT and my dad shot a buck with it low through the heart shoulder and lungs using corelokts 225 grainers and the deer ran 50 yards, significant damage the heart was in half, and the lungs were mush.

Most of the deer i shoot are DRT but once in a while when you hit one in the same exact spot that made the rest DRT and the deer runs 50 yards, you know there is just no way to insure a DRT unless you sever the spinal cord or destroy the brain, regardless of the caliber used, high lung shots seem to take them down pretty quick.
 

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I can advance several theories:

#1 -- you may not have shot many deer. I've killed over 200. Most of those went at least 20 yards, some a whole lot farther, all with very fatal wounds, and chamberings have ranged from .38 Special to .338 Win. Mag and just about anything in between.

#2 -- You are an excellent hunter and superb shot who never makes the slightest error in shot placement. I've known such fellows and if you are one of them, good on you.

#3 -- pure, blind luck.
 

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Other than shooting them in the head/neck, I don't know of any way to get 100% DRT. I've only ever lost three and one of those was to someone who stole the carcass before I could get to it following the blood trail, another was due to gut-shot, and the last simply stumps me even today even though it happened 30 years ago. Boiler room is a very reliable shot. I guess I'm 98% or something with it but I couldn't tell you before I pulled the trigger on any of them whether or not it was gonna drop in its tracks or run 100yds. So far, my .260 has been fantastic in that the four I got with it this year all fell either in its tracks or didn't make it out if sight from where I shot it.

I've used 20ga buckshot and slugs, .30-30, .35 Remington, .30-06 (180gr SP and PSP), .260 Remington, .45cal muzzleloader, and .50cal muzzleloader on whitetails. So, not a broad range of calibers but at least one skinny bullet and one fat one.
 

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I can advance several theories:

#1 -- you may not have shot many deer. I've killed over 200. Most of those went at least 20 yards, some a whole lot farther, all with very fatal wounds, and chamberings have ranged from .38 Special to .338 Win. Mag and just about anything in between
+1 to what Pisgah said.

Personally, I have harvested 28 deer, 6 wild hogs, and an exotic ram. I can't say for every single one of those 35 critters, but I would guess about 60% went between 10 and 50 yards, while a few went more than 100 yards. The key factor seemed to be whether or not the animal was alert to danger when shot. Whenever possible, harvest your game before it even knows you're there and you'll get more "DRT" results. Just don't count on it or brag about it because, if you do, the next 5 you shoot will make you track them! ;)
 

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I really can't speak to this at all. I have some theories but that is all they are. I seem to be having better luck lately but I think that is all it is. I have had what I think is bullet performance issues but I still can't say for sure. Deer are amazing animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was not trying to brag. And no I have not shot that many deer compared to a lot of hunters. I have only shot at one moving deer and was lucky enough to pile it up fast. Not a practice I normally do. I practice a lot and the army spent a ton of cash teaching me as well. My tag count is only 8 or 9. I have seen a lot more shot though and have seen them run before.. It still amazes me that any animal will run with no heart or lungs!

AL
 

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I agree that an observation of surprise at well shot animals running significant distances is an indication that you need to shoot more animals. I have seen nothing that will drop a deer in its tracks every time; I have seen nothing that will not do it at times.
 

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I harvested my 60th. deer as a hunter about 3 hours ago (I have killed a couple hundred more as a law enforcement officer). It was a nice doe that came out of the cedar swamp into a clearcut full of tangled brush with about 8" of fresh snow. She was acting spooky and I had to wait a few minutes for her to settle down. I wanted her to face towards an open area because when a deer is shot, if it runs, it will usually take off in the direction it is headed, and I really didn't feel like dragging her out of the shintangle in the cedar swamp.

I shot her just behind the shoulder about halfway up the body with a 300 grain .44 caliber Hornady XTP from my Knight Muzzleloader at a range of 79 yards. At the shot, she took off and ran about 100 yards with both lungs shredded into a soupy mush. The blood trail was 4 feet wide on the fresh snow. Fortunately she ran straight the way she was headed and piled up where I could get to her easily and not have too much trouble dragging her out.

The first 10 or 12 deer I shot way back in the 1890's, or whenever it was, dropped as if the earth was yanked out from under them, and I thought that all those hunters who had to track deer they shot must have been doing something wrong or using some caliber that lacked the magic that my rifles obviously had.

The next 10 or 12 deer all ran from 20 to 120 yards after being hit and I wondered if I had lost my mojo or something.

All of these deer were shot squarely in the heart/lung area.

I have shot deer with everything from a .223 to a .458 Magnum (although most with a .270)and it just does not seem to make one bit of difference what you hit them with. Unless you hit the spine, about 2/3 of them in my experience will run some distance after being hit. They can be pretty tough and tenacious of life, and they will prove it to you sooner or later if you shoot enough of them.
 

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I agree that an observation of surprise at well shot animals running significant distances is an indication that you need to shoot more animals. I have seen nothing that will drop a deer in its tracks every time; I have seen nothing that will not do it at times.
Want to bet?

My 9,3x62 w/ 286 NPTs is a 100% DRT rifle!
High shoulder, It knocks'em over and they don't get up.
 

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I do not doubt you a bit, Ray, but it is the high shoulder shot, not the caliber, that puts them down quick.

I have used that shot on several deer and an elk when tracking would be a problem, and they hit the ground fast. I don't use the high shoulder shot all the time for a couple of reasons: first, because it does spoil some meat, and second, because I had a bad experience with one deer about 10 years ago that I lost using the high shot placement (although admittedly the bullet hit just behind the shoulder on the crease).

That deer ran off and I couldn't find it. One of the guys from camp did find it the next morning and bagged it. My shot had struck too high to hit the lungs and too low to hit the spine...there is an inch or two of nonvital tissue between them and that is what I hit. I was using a .270 and you would think that the shock effect would do the trick, but the deer ran off with no blood trail and no evidence of a hit except some hair on the ground.

The key to the high shoulder shot, I think, is to put the bullet on the point of the shoulder about 3/4 of the way up the body, hopefully breaking both shoulders and severing the spinal cord, and accept that there will be some meat loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I hope I did not jinx myself ! Watch next year Ill be telling of the deer that ran 200 yards into a swamp. I am not new to hunting either. I just do not take shots at deer I am not sure of. I have also passed on a lot of shots not knowing whats behind the animal. If Maine had the kind of hunting like other states I am sure my tag list would be much higher.

AL
 

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Your tag list doesn't matter...you are a careful and ethical hunter, and that is what counts. If you hit them in the boiler room, you will have venison in the freezer whether or not you have to follow them a ways.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I can advance several theories:

#1 -- you may not have shot many deer. I've killed over 200. Most of those went at least 20 yards, some a whole lot farther, all with very fatal wounds, and chamberings have ranged from .38 Special to .338 Win. Mag and just about anything in between.

#2 -- You are an excellent hunter and superb shot who never makes the slightest error in shot placement. I've known such fellows and if you are one of them, good on you.

#3 -- pure, blind luck.
Pretty well agree. Last buck went over 200 yards with a solid hit from a .257 Weatherby in the lungs, and yes, I have the bullet. It surely did expand.....

Just happens sometimes.
 

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I've never once had to track a deer when they have been shot with my .25/06, my antelope this year went about 20 feet, but that was probably because he was already running, the bullet pulled the opposite side lung out of the chest cavity.

My .280 has been very reliable, I've had to track deer about 20 yards with this caliber, only a few times though.

I have also shot several deer with a .22 LR handgun, most were about 20 feet or closer, I shoot them in the head, they are always DRT.

Generally I would say that head and neck shots are 100% reliable, but this last season, my cousin shot a pretty nice buck on the run. He used a 300WM with 125 grain factory Federal load. He shot a buck on the run and thought he missed, so he shot again and drilled it through the lungs. It dropped right there. We got it cleaned and went to hang it up in his garage. He does taxidermy and wanted to mount this one, so he proceeded to cape it and low and behold he got to the neck and right in the middle of the neck, there was a bullet hole in and out. When he finished skinning out the skull, I started investigating and found no physical damage from the bullet beyond some bruising.
 

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I do not doubt you a bit, Ray, but it is the high shoulder shot, not the caliber, that puts them down quick.

.....

The key to the high shoulder shot, I think, is to put the bullet on the point of the shoulder about 3/4 of the way up the body, hopefully breaking both shoulders and severing the spinal cord, and accept that there will be some meat loss.
whh,

Well...So far, I can't prove you wrong as that high should shot from some of my other calibers have all produced a DRT deer. But the 9,3 has also produced many DRT hogs with that shot where the others have not. It may just be me - I can't bring myself to put a 286 NPT through both lungs. I wanta see it go through in the toughest way!
 

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I agree that shot placement is far more important to the effect than caliber. Obviously, anything that hits the brain from a .22LR on up will have an instant effect. The high shoulder shot is often very dramatic, but destroys a lot of edible stuff. A heart shot, in my experience, hardly ever drops them on the spot, and that includes calibers I have shot or seen shot from .243 to .338 Win.

The emotional state of the animal also has profound consequences. An adrenaline filled buck will react very differently than a buck in its bed. There are just way too many variables to say that any specific gun will produce "this result" every time.

I am far more concerned about missing the best eating parts, and preserving the quality of the meat. I have come to believe that it is actually better to shoot the animal above the heart, even if some tracking is needed afterward. A shot above the heart is absolutely fatal in seconds; it destroys almost no edible bits; it almost always leaves a good blood trail; and it does a very good job of "bleeding out" the animal, if the heart is allowed that last few seconds to work properly, to help meat quality. It is also the largest lethal target on the animal. DRT just doesn't matter to me.
 
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