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Thread: Head shots not so good.

  1. #1
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default Head shots not so good.

    Here is a spike that was shot in the head. From the position the moose was facing the shot was right between the eyes as intended. Went only about an inch low but that was enough to miss the brain.

    The moose landed on its lower back as it fell back so fast that it missed landing on its rear. Not a twitch or anything. Then 10 seconds later it got right up and ran away(took another hit at 70 yards from a 41 mag which dislocated the front shoulder). Only made it 80 yards bleeding out and stopped and went down. Lifted its head once more but got the last shot between the eyes from 6 feet above as no more chasing was wanted.

    A lesser bullet may not have had the same outcome. This was a 375 Barnes XPB from a 500 S&W Handi-rifle at 20 feet (1890 FPS). The bullet completely penetrated the head and missed the vertebrea by a hair. Left a blood trail that could have been followed by the blind in the rain.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    This is why all hunters ed classes say boiler room shots. Him going down for a 10 count happens with game shot in the spine to, it's called "spinal shock" and can last a few seconds to minutes. The animal is only temporarily stunned and once it recovers will frequently run away. My friend fritz lost a 7mm Remington in the rack of a spinal shocked white tail. Deer dropped, he figured it was dead and wanted a quick pic before dark. He set the rifle in it's rack and posed with the deer just as it jumped up and ran off....with his rifle! It's more comon with archery hunts but dose happen with firearms hunting as well.

    Dude you know a moose has a brain the size of a walnut right?
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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    More the size of a balled up fist from the ones I have seen. Kinda shaped the same too.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Guess my hands are bigger than yours.

    Aww your just nit picking now little target incased in bone or big target with minor amounts of bone? Simple really. (note the sarcasim?)
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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Huh, watched a bull keep on going after being shot in the boilerroom last fall. Follow up shot was back of the head, went down instantly. Every shot I've hit in the head or base of the head on the spine they drop instantly and barely twitch. I'd say too much confidence with too much gun.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Default angles

    it's all about the angles no matter where you put the bullet. boiler room or head it doesn't matter. You have to have the angle. Not critiquing your shot placement at all here. But I'd say that the bullet passed too low to "properly" effect the brain and missing the spine is what allowed the bull to get up and go away.

    At that distance, it's hard to pick your angle and it's even harder to imagine a get up and go away at that distance, but it's possible as you have seen.

    I'm just guessing here, but my bet is the bullet did massive damage to the upper mouth and the nasal passages which bleed like crazy and led to the easy tracking job. Had I been in your position, I'd have done just what you did. Put it on him and pull the trigger. He's going down no matter what, just be ready to hit him again if/when he gets up to go away.

    I'm not condoning head shots, and I'm not counting them out either. I'll take it if I'm given it AND I have the right angle AND I'm at a reasonable distance. Like them or leave them, it's up to you.

    Nice bull, congrats by the way.

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    Member junkak's Avatar
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    No mammal will survive with the lower jaw and upper pharynx blown out.

    Even better is slightly below the jawline, left/right three full hairs and up a bit. Depends on the bull. Fair chase also deserves full kill.

    Angle is key. Boiler shots may be necessary but cleaning a gut shot is not in the plan. I like ribs more than neck so it becomes a momentary decision.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    hows this for a pair of 'boiler room' shots...
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    pull my finger....

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    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Holy rib shot Batman?
    Bet he fell down in a hurry.

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    Default head shots

    Shot a deer in the head with an arrow once. Not a good outcome, never recommended, didn't work so well, will never attempt again. (The arrow was never recovered as is glanced off the skull plate and disappeared into the great blue yonder.) Since my foolish childhood, I've matured and my respect for animals prohibit me from doing anything other than quick, humane kills.

  11. #11

    Default Head shots are never a good idea.....

    unless you are walking up to make a quick fatal shot to a wounded animal. But beyond that, too much can go wrong and an injured animal runs away to suffer a long, slow death. The heart/lung area is by far the best.

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Default head shots

    Used a 264 mag for many years and did lots of reloading and paper shooting at the time. Never had a rifle that shot flatter or farther. Head shooting was kind of my thing. If I got set up right for the shot (good rest) ..... it was usually a done deal. Head shooting is for those that are very intimate with their shooting. I'm older now, and shoot a 375 mag ...... and don't spend as much time on the bench. Now I shoot for "the middle of the big". Number one most important thing to me ..... moose must not get away wounded. Body shot moose usually bleed out real good. When you open them up quickly and lots of blood floods out ..... it's a good thing ...... gets rid of heat ..... less gamey meat. Head shot moose go down quick, but don't loose enough blood. Very important to get them opened up ...... get 'em to bleed ..... get the hide off ..... and get 'em taken apart and cooled down as quick as possible. No such thing as a bad moose. If killed quickly and properly cared for ..... they're always good.

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    My friend fritz lost a 7mm Remington in the rack of a spinal shocked white tail. Deer dropped, he figured it was dead and wanted a quick pic before dark. He set the rifle in it's rack and posed with the deer just as it jumped up and ran off....with his rifle! It's more comon with archery hunts but dose happen with firearms hunting as well.



    Thats hillarious!! the guy two miles away shot the same buck and got a slightly used 7mm. also wonder if the second hunters first impression was if it was a deer that was not going down without a fight

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARV1 View Post
    Huh, watched a bull keep on going after being shot in the boilerroom last fall. Follow up shot was back of the head, went down instantly. Every shot I've hit in the head or base of the head on the spine they drop instantly and barely twitch. I'd say too much confidence with too much gun.

    MARV, you be nice now. You KNOW it would not have gone far...
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  15. #15
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Here is picture of more than the head.

    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  16. #16
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Head shots

    I have made many headshots on Turkeys in Montana. Got good at it - and if I missed I always missed the whole bird cleanly. I prefer calling them in nowdays and using a bow.

    I did headshoot a muley buck one day with my 45 caliber muzzie - went down like a rock. got back up and took off before I could re-load. No blood - scalped him a bit though. I have always liked neck shots at the base of the head - if close. Mostly I shoot for the heart/bottom lungs.

  17. #17

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    While I can't speak to head shots, every single caribou that I've shot were all neck shots. I think that people are wary of neck shots because they are afraid of missing, if you are a good enough shot, in my opinion, there is no cleaner and more humane way to do it. If you hit high, out goes the spine and they die instantly. Hit low in the neck, the main arteries are severed and they bleed out extremely fast. In addition, you risk losing very little meat. Never had one get back up after a neck shot, just my two cents...

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkak View Post
    No mammal will survive with the lower jaw and upper pharynx blown out.....
    But they may very well survive long enough to be far, far away from you when they die, and you're headed back to work on Monday.

    I want the quarry to take every ounce of energy that round has to offer, and that means boiler room shots.

    And I graduated from the 30-06 after having watching a few moose and a bear take more rounds than I was comfortable with after thinking about it later. I now use 300s, 338s, or 450s.

    I want to put as much energy into that prey as possible with the first round (which means good expansion, good weight retention, and no exit), and then give them multiple rounds (if, hopefully, opportunity allows).

  19. #19
    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Default Kill 'da moose :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    But they may very well survive long enough to be far, far away from you when they die, and you're headed back to work on Monday.

    --Same can be said for boiler shots. I've seen tons of blood and not found a moose. We looked for 3 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I want the quarry to take every ounce of energy that round has to offer, and that means boiler room shots.
    --same here but it usually ends up being a better spine / throat shot. I prefer a good bleed but hate chasing. If the bull turns just right and isn't near water I will do my best for shoulder/lung shot. Sadly moose rarely pose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    And I graduated from the 30-06 after having watching a few moose and a bear take more rounds than I was comfortable with after thinking about it later. I now use 300s, 338s, or 450s.
    -- .300 this year and no moose. 2 weeks and many sublegal bulls. Great trip however

  20. #20
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkak View Post
    Originally Posted by Mark
    I want the quarry to take every ounce of energy that round has to offer, and that means boiler room shots.
    --same here but it usually ends up being a better spine / throat shot.....
    How so? What range are we talking?

    How is such a small, questionable target like the throat or spine more available than the lung/chest cavity?

    ....Sadly moose rarely pose.....
    My experience is that they pose quite well.

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