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My brother Ed was hunting with me about 20 years ago. He saw a 3x3 Mule deer partially obscured by the bush in front of it. A clear view of the neck, head, and antlers, but not of the lungs. Ed was worried the deer might spook and back up into the brush again and the shot would be gone. He aimed about a foot back where he knew the vitals would be and fired. The buck jumped and ran out into the open where another hunter, from the far side, saw it and fired a couple rounds before it dropped.
Ed got to it first and the other person hollared, "Did I get that or did you?" Ed called back that his bullet had felled the deer. The other hunter left.
I arrived and we started to look over the deer. Strangest bullet hole we had ever seen. Little tiny hole, like an entrance hole, on the side closest to the other hunter. Big hole on the near side, like a mushroomed bullet would leave as it exited. We discussed for a few minutes whether Ed had missed and the other hunter had actually brought the deer down. Ed insisted it had jumped and stumbled when he shot.
Well, the other hunter was gone anyway, so we started to gut the deer. As we cleaned it, we found a small piece of shattered bullet near the small hole and in the large wound, we more small pieces of bullet and splintered pieces of wood.
Finally we realized what had happened! Ed's bullet had hit a branch before it hit the deer. Its momentum had imparted high velocity to many small pieces of wood as the bullet shattered into several pieces.
The buck had been killed but it demonstrated one more reason to wait for a clear shot without brush.
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