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Thread: May be the dumbest question ever.

  1. #1

    Default May be the dumbest question ever.

    Hey guys,

    First off, Im not a hunter. I fish and I do photography.
    Often when Im shooting (camera) birds, or any other animal, for some reason, I pretend its a gun. I know its stupid. Anyways, I do. I pretend Im setting myself up, and preparing for the bird to land, or the horse to stop moving or whatever, then I take my picture.

    Now, when I imagine myself as this guy with the cool camera/gun, I often aim for the head of the animal. Just to get cool pics of the eyes or something.

    I was just wondering...here comes the dumb question; Why dont hunters just shoot the bear/moose/duck right in the head?
    Wouldnt that kill it instantly? Im sorry if this is a stupid question, I just had to ask. If I didnt, Id always wonder.

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Because we want it to bleed out while it is still alive - just as you would do with a salmon. It makes the meat better.

  3. #3
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    I seen this Bull moose running through the woods one time with it's nose half blown off I'm thinking that's what happen to him someone was trying for that head shot and it might have moved or the guy shooting it may have just made a really bad shot. Boiler room shots( heart lung area) would prevent this however, if it was close enough and I was 100% sure I could hit him in the head without damaging the antlers I may take that shot or neck shot so you get zero meat lose....but in general it's not an advisable shot to make.

  4. #4
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default good question

    Its a good question.... As stated above, a head shot is a MUCH smaller target to hit with any consistant accuracy. A well placed shot in the heart/lung vital areas dispatches the animals quickly while preserving the quality of the meat and gives some room for shooting error.

    The acutal kill zone for a head shot maybe only about 6 inches or so (depending on the animal). A vitals shot gives you roughly 10-14 inches of kill zone.

    Greg

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    I try and shoot ducks right in the head but its a bit different with shotguns... I know the feeling though

    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    Hey guys,

    First off, Im not a hunter. I fish and I do photography.
    Often when Im shooting (camera) birds, or any other animal, for some reason, I pretend its a gun. I know its stupid. Anyways, I do. I pretend Im setting myself up, and preparing for the bird to land, or the horse to stop moving or whatever, then I take my picture.

    Now, when I imagine myself as this guy with the cool camera/gun, I often aim for the head of the animal. Just to get cool pics of the eyes or something.

    I was just wondering...here comes the dumb question; Why dont hunters just shoot the bear/moose/duck right in the head?
    Wouldnt that kill it instantly? Im sorry if this is a stupid question, I just had to ask. If I didnt, Id always wonder.

    Thanks
    No such thing and dumb questions here........maybe dumb answers though.

  7. #7

    Default

    It makes sense. Bigger body, small head. I guess you really have to know what you're aiming for with the body. Makes it alot more interesting too.

    Sounds like a more respectful way of 'taking' an animal as well. The moose running around with the snot blown off sounds wrong. Really wrong.

    Didnt think about bleeding the animal neither.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default another reason

    Not only is the head a relatively small target, it is also constantly moving. I imagine that most hunters have taken head shots from time to time, but the idea is to take the best shot that presents itself to you in order to kill the animal quickly and humanely. Taking a head shot and missing is bad. Taking a head shot and wounding is even worse. Personally, I have only taken head shots at big game animals when I did not have any other shot and was relatively certain 1: that I wouldn't get another opportunity; and 2: that I could actually make the shot.
    Small game is another story. With snowshoe hares, for example, you can usually only see their eyes when they're in the snow, so you almost always end up taking the head shot. That is preferable anyway, since with a small animal you don't want to waste any meat.

  9. #9
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Head shots

    Taken only 2 head shots ever. One was a moose right between the eyes at 25 yards - best shot we had, and worked out well. Second was a deer. I was only using a 300 savage but holy cow the deer's head basicly exploded, and there was brains splatterd everywhere! Skull in peices, eyes hanging by the cords. Never again will I shoot a deer in the head. What a mess!

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    Even with my shotgun shooting hares on the run I try to catch their head in the edge of the pattern too limit meat damage. My cousins wife shot her moose last year in the head with a 243, that was the only shot available and it never took another step.

  11. #11
    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LungShot View Post
    Taken only 2 head shots ever. One was a moose right between the eyes at 25 yards - best shot we had, and worked out well. Second was a deer. I was only using a 300 savage but holy cow the deer's head basicly exploded, and there was brains splatterd everywhere! Skull in peices, eyes hanging by the cords. Never again will I shoot a deer in the head. What a mess!
    Darn near spewed beer on the screen.

    On topic.. If at all possible I shoot my meat where it is possible to quarter him. When the subject is in the area I do my best to drop him at once.

    Head or neck work well if the shot is true. Cleaning busted guts off your meat sucks while in the field.

    Some claim that lung shots are better for bleeding but in effect you stress the meat with a slow kill. Not to mention the chase through the "yellow bushes", bog or possible loss of the wounded animal. (that sucks)

    So this newbies opinion is.. Always make sure your cameras safety is off before you shoot and only get headshots. (the tabloids pay better)

  12. #12

    Default another issue...

    When shooting and animal in the head you also risk the bullet skipping off the skull if you have a poor shot angle. Especially with larger animals with thicker skulls and guys shooting super fast bullet. Take bears for exapmle, there heads slope like a wedge. A moose would be a little more square though. I dont take head shots beacuse I hate going through all the work to waste an opertunity to ethicly harvest an animal and blow it cuse I thought I was in a another horrible sniper movie.

    However, when shooting random Insurgents head shots are the most perfered as I find the 5.56mm a bit lacking. And chasing wounded insurgents as much fun as ass shooting a grizz with an airsoft gun.

  13. #13
    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default insurgents

    I agree, the 5.56 is lacking a bit, hopefully that will be replaced soon with a bit more "knockdown". Till then, headshots are the ticket for them; BUT, they're insurgents, who gives a (insert your word here) if they suffer.

    As for our game animals, everyone has already beat this to death but ideally head shots are great if you can guarantee a kill, but target is much larger on the boiler room. None of us want to see our animals suffer.

  14. #14
    Member ripnlip's Avatar
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    Default powder monkey

    sweet pic of the barrow's goldeneye!!!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripnlip View Post
    sweet pic of the barrow's goldeneye!!!!!!!!
    thanks, theres more on my website
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  16. #16

    Default We owe it to our game to make clean kills.

    Number one on a hunters mind when he(she) is preparing a shot should be " can I make a clean kill?" If the answer is "no" or "not sure", then a hunter should wait until a better shot presents itself.

    As hunters, we must always be thinking of the animal, and our obligation to it. The highest percentage shot is a heart/lung shot because the heart/lung area is a large target on big game. A shot there will be a vital shot and the animal will not travel far and will die quickly.

    The head has a much smaller vital area and as some have said, a shot to the head can result in just wounding the animal, leaving it to die a miserable slow death.

    It's unethical to take a shot we are not sure will bring down the animal, large or small. As a non-hunter, you are one of the 80% who do not hunt but are not anti-hunting. Irresponsibility on our part as hunters may turn you against us and that will be the quickest way to lose the privilage enjoyed by us who follow a hunting tradition.

    So, to answer your question in a nutshell, for big game,in most cases it's not the most ethical or responsible shot.

    Thanks for joining us on the forum Sodabiscuit.

  17. #17
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    Default Not head...

    but my dad swears by neck shots. If it is within 200 yards he's shooting it in the neck. I have hunted with him my whole life and have never seen it fail.

    I have a buddy who shot his moose this last year in the head, dead before it hit the ground. I shot mine through the heart and lungs...both moose tasted about the same...delicious!! I sincerely believe in aging meat, but don't buy into the whole 'shoot it in the spot where its going to bleed out the most'. We actually used to cut an animals throat as soon as we approached it to speed up the bleeding process but have long since discontinued the practice due to the fact that we never noticed a difference in the meat.

  18. #18
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Head shot

    I've used head and neck shots often and find them to be quite sufficient for deer sized animals. In fact the heart will continue to function for some time after the CNS is disabled. Just severe a major artery quickly.
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  19. #19

    Default To the Non-hunters that read this post...

    An animal shot with a high powered rifle (or shotgun) is killed by the tremendous kinetic energy (from the bullet) being transferred to (soft tissue, thus destroying the tissue of vital organs. In other words, bullets kill by shock. That shock is so powerful that in many cases animals - hit in a vital area (heart & lungs) - know something is "wrong" but do not feel pain because of the tremendous shock, and they die quickly and humanely.

    Bow hunting is different. A broadhead arrow kills by cutting major arteries and "bleeds out" the animal. Thus the animal dies by hemorrhagic shock. Broadhead arrows are razor sharp, and more then a few bow hunters have experienced a medical emergency when they cut themselves on an arrow they were carrying - and did not even feel it.

    We as hunters owe it to the animal, ourselves and the public, to hunt ethically and treat the animal with respect. Thus (in my opinion) a hunter should not take head or neck shots (except in very unusual circumstances) and as a general rule should wait for a heart/both lungs shot.

  20. #20
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Central Nervous System "Shock"

    CNS Shock is indeed completly deadly and humane.

    I hear what your saying though.......Under most hunting situation making a head shot requires the same level of competence that a Bowhunter may require for a proper heart/lung laceration.

    Honor yourself and each animal you put on the table. Expect excellence in the field.

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