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Thread: ethical shots on undisturbed game

  1. #1
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Default ethical shots on undisturbed game

    I believe I have to say what I think the first shot on undisturbed game should be like. (Been blasted for saying people don't "observe" their shots anymore.)

    The first shot on game should be aimed at harvesting the animal as quickly and humanly as possible. Normally this means placing a carefully aimed projectile into the ribcage of a broadside animal, with the knowledge of that projectile's travel path. ie; aim to pass through both lungs, and the heart if possible.

    A hunter should have a good enough idea of anotomy to know where lungs, heart, liver, intestines, ect are on the animals they hunt.

    A hunter should be able to observe the reaction, if any, to the shot and take follow-up action as required.

    If you are a responsible hunter, you pick out a spot to aim at.... and we hunters shouldn't be saying "I shot towards the animal" or "I shot at/into the left side of the thing, why didn't it fall?" And we have all heard other tales.

    Folks, we are our own worst enemy out here. Lets not give the anti's more fuel by wounding animals, or leaving them to suffer because we didn't do OUR homework before the hunt.

    Best of all let's put on a Sportsmans game face when talking in public. Hell, we ought to wear one permanently anyway.


    Welcome to my soapbox today,
    Chris

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    it should be an exacution....short sweet and to the point.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    it should be an exacution....short sweet and to the point.
    Well said.... it's a job to do in the course of hunting. I don't feel good about killing animals, but I feel really good about being proficient at it when I have to.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    To me ribcage is way to big an area and only about a third of it will give the damage you are talking about as good shooting. Bears I prefer through both shoulders first shot.Most everything else I like one third up from the bottom of chest and bullet almost hitting the back edge of the front leg.JMOFO
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Amigo,

    I agree with both front shoulders on bears. And you follow same advise I do on shots... picking a spot and knowing whats in the path of your projectile.

    Thanks for the post.

    Chris

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    To me ribcage is way to big an area and only about a third of it will give the damage you are talking about as good shooting. Bears I prefer through both shoulders first shot.Most everything else I like one third up from the bottom of chest and bullet almost hitting the back edge of the front leg.JMOFO
    I think that is why he went on to further narrow down the target area to "...with the knowledge of that projectile's travel path. ie; aim to pass through both lungs, and the heart if possible."

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    I tried to keep it short and sweet...

    since I was jumping up on a soapbox and complaining about some "hunters".

    apriaciate the response,
    Chris

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    Growing up shooting whitetails from trees with my bow I forced myself to visualize the arrow's exit. I feel waiting or positioning for a good shot is one of the many parts of archery hunting that makes it so awesome. Plus, arrow's waste a lot less meat!

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    I'm curious...... Any of u guys posting on these 'soapboxes' every get them wet and slip on them ocassionally?? I've hunted for near 50 yrs now and must confess I've lost game. It sucks, but sometimes life sucks. I've lost ducks, geese, pheasants, squirrels, a whitetail buck with my bow, and probly other game. I've cleanly missed "unmissable" shots. Each hunt teaches u something. Thats why the more u hunt the better u get. No offense but, how bout when someone gets on his soapbox he takes a quick look in the mirror and see if his life and ALL around his life is as he feels is near perfect. While objective and constructive help/info is useful, (and I'm sure the posters are, and mean to be helpful here and on other 'boxes'), I would like to see the next posters on here fess up. I'll let the OP start out cuz I (and u) know everyone who hunts has 'learned' a thing or 2. Maybe the 'soapboxes' won't be stacked so hi or so often on the forum if the OP(s) would self analyze and/or fess up first. So....no offense akguns&ammo, step off the box and tell us about your miss/mistake. Thanks.......
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    What prompted this post?

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Cod,

    Yes, I have made some bad shots. But I owned up and took the blame. It wasn't my rifle, my scope, the wind too strong...

    One mistake that still hurts was a doe. She had a buck behind her and I didn't wait long enough for the buck to do what nature intended.. Just as I shot he "nudged" her from behind and I hit too far back. by the time I found her the meat was bad. the whole thing was my fault. But, I knew where the bullet had hit and I spent the time to track her down.

    I guess it comes down to "yes, sometimes s___ happens, but we need to still be responsible for our actions".

    This thread started due to me getting bent over a number of "hunters" stating they shot AT game and then it didn't fall right there.

    I guess because I am in the industry, I have seen (and will see more) more unrespectfully to the animal "hunters".

    This image is not one that we sportsmen (and women) want to project to the public.

    We need to spend time at the range and be profiecent with our choice of hunting tools.
    We need to learn the atonomy of the game we seek.
    We need to know our limitations in using our hunting tools.

    We need to own up and be good conservationists of our sport.

    to paraphrase: "If not us, then who?"

    That help answer why post?

    Chris

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    I say people should observe their shots; that means they should either by visually seeing the impact, seeing the reaction of the animal, looking at the tracks left behind, looking at the "sign" left behind, we the hunter should know if we hit what we aimed at/where we aimed at.
    And no fair saying you "aimed at the animal", or shot at it's rear as it was running away from the road. We should always aim to harvest as humanly as possible.

    Chris

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Been lucky or should say always real close so never fired twice on big game. Now those pesky little doves and day break teal from behind are a much different story.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Statements by the OP such as “A hunter should have a good enough idea of anatomy to know where lungs, heart, liver, intestines, etc are on the animals they hunt.

    A hunter should be able to observe the reaction, if any, to the shot and take follow-up action as required.”

    Followed by
    “If you are a responsible hunter, you pick out a spot to aim at.... and we hunters shouldn't be saying "I shot towards the animal" or "I shot at/into the left side of the thing, why didn't it fall?" And we have all heard other tales.”

    certainly lends to the inference or conclusion that if an animal didn’t fall … then the hunter was not ethical or responsible or did not make an ethical shot.


    I would suspect that one of the recent stories the OP references includes a story where 4 shots were made so I sense a bit of judgement by the OP that that hunter did something unethical. That hunter posted signs at the trailhead, solicited help, used blood hounds to track the animal, and after the experts gave up, he orchestrated more search parties to follow up on more blood spore in pursuit of the animal. When I read the thread, I wish I had volunteered a few guns for the search parties or offered to help.

    Although I agree with Brwnbr, “it should be an execution....short sweet and to the point.” but keep in mind that for a poacher, a 22 mag round behind the ear of a deer would be likely qualify as an execution but that act is illegal and frowned upon, so there are limits to such "ethical" shot placement.

    Heck, sorry to even bring it up but I recall a story by a moderator (of which I have the upmost respect for) of this forum from last fall. (Edit: I recall stories by more than one of our moderators.) In conclusion, the OP has some good things to say. I don't think we should be purposefully labeling hunters (or inferring) as irresponsible or unethical if they pull the trigger and the game does not fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo View Post
    Cod,

    Yes, I have made some bad shots. But I owned up and took the blame. It wasn't my rifle, my scope, the wind too strong...

    One mistake that still hurts was a doe. She had a buck behind her and I didn't wait long enough for the buck to do what nature intended.. Just as I shot he "nudged" her from behind and I hit too far back. by the time I found her the meat was bad. the whole thing was my fault. But, I knew where the bullet had hit and I spent the time to track her down.

    I guess it comes down to "yes, sometimes s___ happens, but we need to still be responsible for our actions".

    This thread started due to me getting bent over a number of "hunters" stating they shot AT game and then it didn't fall right there.

    I guess because I am in the industry, I have seen (and will see more) more unrespectfully to the animal "hunters".

    This image is not one that we sportsmen (and women) want to project to the public.

    We need to spend time at the range and be profiecent with our choice of hunting tools.
    We need to learn the atonomy of the game we seek.
    We need to know our limitations in using our hunting tools.

    We need to own up and be good conservationists of our sport.

    to paraphrase: "If not us, then who?"

    That help answer why post?

    Chris
    Not to pick too much but the rhetoric comes across as a preacher that says, "hey, when I was young, I went to prison found Jesus and now am a better person (inferring than you) because of it." At the end of your post, I guess I was looking for some link to send money (play the game of pass the plate) for some hunter ethics program/charity.

    I realize I'm not perfect.... so don't get me wrong, as I do buy into the "we should's" but the inferences and judgements are little preachy for me (e.g. do as I say, not as I have done).

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    In a "perfect" world all shots would be made by very ethical and capable hunters - however we all know the word "perfect" is non-exisitant.
    I have taken a fair amount of big game with shots to the base of the skull and the game is usually dead before it hits the ground. Do I consider that an ethical shot - you bet I do - but only if the conditions are right which includes many of the OP's first statements. Animal posture, what is it doing, distance, hunters ability etc etc...
    So to me the words "ethical shot" could be much more than just undisturbed game or typical heart/lung shot consideration. Young, and newbie hunters, definetly experience more trouble determining their limits as it is unfortunatly part of the process. Good mentors to this group can reduce the learning curve, but in the end each individual will act differently all throughout their lives and some of it will always be less than ethical.
    Perhaps the best way to help limit the number of issues the OP mentions of "bad press from bad shots" is to do our best to help with the education and learning curve process of the new hunters. If you know a newbie that has little or no guidence offer to be a mentor if possible. I am taking a young man ( 11 ) deer hunting this fall, his parents do not hunt yet he has the bug bad. He comes over and we shoot bows together, and soon we will be shooting some muzzleloaders and slug guns for this falls hunt. I will have him set up in a tent blind with a good rest and the range will be very limited - probably under 50 yards - for the deer hunt. The level of skills he shows me this summer in shooting will determine the distance that I will allow him to shoot at a deer, and I will be with him to call the shot if and when it happens.
    I had to learn my hunting all alone, Outdoor Life and Fur-Fish-Game were my mentors - I would have loved to had a veteren hunter teach me for sure...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Congrats on your post, Smokey. Mentoring a young one is one of the best things one can do. I wish I would have had such a thing. My older brother learned as we went along. (I will never forget the time a 11 yr old buddy reached down to pick up a cottontail I shot, and it squealled like a baby. The kid freaked. He didnt know they made a noise.) Thanks for your introspection, Akgunsammo. My post was not to demean anyone, but to try and get folks to look at what motivates them to get on that soapbox. As noted by some it MAY come across as preachy. As this is the OUTDOORS forum there are some very seasoned hunters on this site. Those posting sometimes forget that there are many 'lurkers' that read posts a bit different than what the posters intent may have implied. I had the hunch this thread (like the other poster pointed out) was a result of the 4 shot bear incident. Maybe too often the 'pro' hunter comes on and 'armchair' quarterbacks the incident. Notice in my previous post I did not 'dispute' anything u or others said, cuz I agree with what was said like the other posters did. Not everyone is an expert hunter on here. In life, mistakes are made. The key then is to improve 'oneself'. Congrats again to u Smokey. YOU are improving not only yourself, but others around you. You are the man! Cheers to all and wish me luck. I'm off to get me a Blackie.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Cod,

    good luck on your hunt.

    I think maybe you pointed out something I keep overlooking, that is some "hunters" just haven't had anyone to show them where to shoot ethically on game.

    No I did post only because of the bear incident, but due to several stories of "hunters" in the shop this spring.

    One I found almost painful to listen to was a "hunter" who shot 7 (seven) times at a small black bear and then found out he was shooting at a beaver. If he had harvested it, he would have broken the law. as it was, he got a lesson on game identification.

    And yes, I do mentor new "hunters" and I am still working with a "challenged" youth (27) who loves to hunt. My girlfriend went hunting for the first time last fall and harvested four deer in one long weekend trip in Texas. All were DRT'd.


    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I have taken a fair amount of big game with shots to the base of the skull and the game is usually dead before it hits the ground.Do I consider that an ethical shot - you bet I do
    If you ask me, if you know your gun, and under the right circumstances, this is THE best shot to take. I hate wasting meat to bloodshot.

    When my son was young he would shoot stupid chickens in the yard with my pellet gun. But with one stipulation.........head shots only. After missing a few, (clean misses) he started to be a pretty darn good shot. And we had nice clean birds to eat.

    Again, with any game, IF (and that's a big if) the conditions are right, a head/neck shot (behind the ear) is ALWAYS my preferred target.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Im a 'Head and Neck' shot placer myself.

    Between the eye and the ear, the 'temple shot' area, as well as to base of skull are preferrable,depending on Head angle , as well, a neck bone displaceing shot is might fine too

    Knowing your rifle, knowing your abiltys with it, as well as anatomy of the Animal your placeing the bullet in all meet at the crossroads of Sucess, no matter which Organs you destroy, when you shoot the animal, as there are many vital places.

    My father inlaw, as a youth, used a Kayak and a long needle like point on his lance and lanced Caribou that swam across the river, pokeing them in the Liver......He did that as he could save his bullets, as well before him , 100 years, it probly saved Stone points from snapping. Later a .22 replaced his lance, and since, the outboard replaced the Kayak....back of the head rules there now

    Undisturbed animals usually present the best condition for takeing a shot, while spooked or confused, even running or flying demands skills beyond basic rifle operating ability. Chest shots are great on such animals who may be moveing in unpredictable ways. I often use a chest shot on moveing animals.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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