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Thread: A Tale of Two Bullets

  1. #1
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Default A Tale of Two Bullets

    So my dad shot a bull from his tree stand in unit 15C on the evening of the 13th; good rest, 75 yards, .300 H&H Magnum, neck shot. The bull went down hard, and dad started to climb out of the tree. In the time that took, the bull got up and eased off into the willows. Dad blood-trailed him until dark, but lost him. The next morning, five of us went out there and combed the area; no bull. "Well," we said, "the brown bears, coyotes and ravens'll have a good meal." Two days later, a mile to the west, Dad's best friend John was staking out a little muskeg and saw a cow run out of the brush, followed closely by a big bull. The brow tines were two and two, and John agonized for a few moments before taking the shot. Broadside lung shot, Weatherby .378-338 Magnum, perfect kill, right on a trail only a half mile from camp! We all pitched in and had the big fella hanging in a few hours. As I was skinning the neck, I noticed all this yellow Crisco-looking stuff all over the muscle, but didn't think too much of it until I found the bullet. "Hey John, you want your bullet back?" I yelled. John looked at me funny. "That's not my bullet," he said. "I shot him through the ribs."
    "You know what," Dad said, "that's MY bullet." We all had a good laugh for a while. That's why we couldn't find that bull the other night; he was out chasing cows with his neck shot to hamburger and filled up with pus! We found John's bullet just under the skin of the shouler on the other side; two old moose hunters have mementos of a great season, and a great bull. Here's a picture of the rack, which measures 57".
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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Great story. Do you think the neck shot would have eventually done him in?

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    cdubbin,

    This can be a great lesson to other hunters who may read your post.

    The # 1 lesson I see here is that after you shoot an animal and it falls it doesn't necessarily mean you've killed it (right then). Stay in shooting position after jacking another into the chamber for a followup shot.

    #2, I've always felt that a lung shot is thee best first shot to take for most hunters, and this story tends to back that up.

    Certainly glad it all worked out, and I commend you guys for searching for the wounded bull. But there is an aspect of this as you've relayed it...that I don't like to see posted here. The comment that, well, the bears, yotes and ravens will have a good meal. We have much more (mortal) wounding loss of game than most people realize, and I hope we can educate others to where it is greatly reduced.
    Sincerely,

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    Gotta hit em right in the right place.

    If it didnt hit in the right place, it didnt kill 'em. Shock, Awe and the Boom of a bigger gun wont help.

    Same with spears, rocks, bullets, arrows.

    What kind of bullet dosen't go completely through a Moose neck?
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Gotta hit em right in the right place.

    If it didnt hit in the right place, it didnt kill 'em. Shock, Awe and the Boom of a bigger gun wont help.

    Same with spears, rocks, bullets, arrows.

    What kind of bullet dosen't go completely through a Moose neck?

    Well put and a good question.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I've seen it with Winchester Silvertips.They tend to blow up on close range shots from what I've seen of them. Very glad the moose was finely taken.

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    A lot of moose are lost because neck shots. Yes, a lot of hunters also kill moose with neck shots, but in my view the neck presents a much smaller area to shoot. Of all the moose I have shot, the one that walked away down a valley after the shot, and the one this year where shot on the neck. The latter walked away, and I found it bedded about 100 yards away. It was very much alive, and when it saw me from about 20 yards away, it got up and started walking. That's when I shot it through the lungs with my .454 Casull, and it dropped on the side after the shot.

  8. #8

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    I had to laugh when I read your story. I was thinking of when I was young and my father used to tell me never never never assume that an animal is down for the count. If it make the slightest movement you put another one into it. He obviously didn't want the animal to get away and it shows some respect by making sure the animal doesn't suffer any longer than it has to.

    Now, have I had the exact samething happen to me over the years. Sure did! Dad always says I didn't listen very well. LOL

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    I had a lucky hunt where the moose interrupted coffee and I was able to shoot him only 15 yds off the trail to camp. The moose was walking straight to me and at 45-50 yds stopped and acted like he may just walk down the ridge. when he turned his head, I put a 7 mag 175 gr core-loc in the neck dropped him like a rock. I waited as he kicked twice and walked up to make sure he was done. I went down to restart the coffee and grab a tarp and some more game bags.

    I was surprised when I got to the neck to see no pass through!!! the bullet was nestled next to the skin. It had retained a majority of its mass and expanded well, but looked like a little chunk was lost when it hit the neck bone.

    Conversely I put the sneak on a bear a mile + out with the same load. I made it out of the willows where I thought it should be. I caught something out of the corner of my eye. the bear was running towards the gnarly bunch of willows I had just navigated through. I pulled up and swung on the bear knowing a quick kill was a necessity as darkness was setting in and I didn't relish looking for a bear in thick willows with a headlamp, let alone the lack of one since in my haste I grabbed my stone, waders, and gun with a few bags. The shot dropped the bear in her tracks. I had shot for the spine. But like ducks, I wasn't in my "groove" yet. It usually takes me a few shots to get on. Swinging right I'm usually a little behind, and left usually a little in front. That explains why the bear dropped like a rock. I swung left and ended up earholing it at 75 yds. The same load passed completely through.
    A lucky shot that did the job.

    Sorry if this off topic, but I also wanted to mention how this account by the OP was a great reminder for myself. I know the neck can be a vital zone, but you can't always assume that the critter is down for good. I know I have moved out of position too quickly and could have been in for a lot of tracking if my animal had gotten up and left. Congrats on harvesting a nice bull and thanks for reminding me to be patient after the shot.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    I participated in a hunt where an animal was lost due to the assumption it was down and dead. 3 of us. One should have stayed put to watch the downed animal, while the other 2 went around to the drop zone.
    Stay on point and make SURE the animal won't get back up!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    The density of moose hide, bone, and hair are the most demanding conditions that a bullet could ever perform in. This is why I like big slow cartridges like my 358 and 9.6X62 mauser. A nice well placed lung shot ensures a fatal bleed-out. I always like to shuck the lever for number two....one just behind the shoulder and one square in the lungs. Seeing a game animal suffer is a terrible thing to witness first hand. Lot's of moose are shot every year with 27 and 28 caliber rifles......but I just prefer a 250-300 grainer at a modest speed. Last moose I shoot was with a 200 grain hornady interlock......his shoulder bone destroyed that bullet.

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    RE: Silvertips mentioned above - I've seen them fail twice on California blacktail deer (large dogs). One was a 7mm Rem Mag, the other a .30-06 (IIRC). The just explode. Not really made for hunting, I'm not sure what the original intent was. I sold off a couple of boxes in .41 mag just because I couldn't figure out what they were made for.
    Don't remember them making them for the .300 though...

    cdubbin, would be real interested in knowing the load and a little more about exactly where in the neck he was hit.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    Great story, good on you guys for taking time to look for the wounded animal.

    A friend lost a 70+ inch bull shot in the neck. I'm a heart lung shooter.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

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    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Nosler Partition

    Nosler Partition Bullets:
    I have had the same problem with Nsler Partition at close range. In 2001, I shot a Moose in 2001 in the neck, straight on bone at 70 yards and it did not even break the neck. Of course a Double Lunger finished the job, so I was able to take a close look at the neck shot. It right where it needed to be and I would have expected it to break the neck, but it didn't.
    I have had much better luck with the harder cast bullets.

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    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    I'm surprised by how many people on here aim for the neck. I have taken several hunter safety courses, as well as reading all the hunting publications, and nowhere does it recommend taking neck shots. The heart/lung area is by far a bigger target, and is just as deadly. I'm not criticizing because I've had a few animals get away wounded myself. JMO that the neck shot is perhaps a little more likely to allow that to happen.

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    What's the width of the kill zone on a neck shot? 3-4 inches? Unless you're draped over a rock and the moose is less than 50 yards out and facing you straight on, aim for the chest. There is absolutely no reason to try a neck shot on any animal when a chest shot is available.

  17. #17

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    Interesting. Surprised there was that degree of infection after just a couple of days. Says a lot about the wisdom of a second shot, especially why visual contact can't be maintained.
    Still trying to "figure out" why, as described in a deferent post anyone would take a "swinging shot" at a running bear, at 75 yards, right at dark. May say more about the current state of hunting, at least for some, than any of us are willing to admit.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Have him aim for the ball of the neck right behind the ears.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    This is my opinion and experiance, worth nothing more than the internet ink it took to transmitt this, for your eyes to absorbe the light from your screen and your mind to distill my necrocryptic message;

    It boils down to this....
    Get as close as you can to your prey, with a rifle/bullet combo that works in accuracy and terminal effect, and put the shot where your confident of a sure incapatation.
    Be prepared for a follow up shot- Every Time -.

    Know your animals anatomy, in rut, in Summer, in Winter and when shedding.
    Even Caribou "Grow" in spring with their hair all loose and shedding, they actually look fat~~LOL!!~~
    Muskox look very different ain various seasons, and Im sure Moose do as well.

    If your wanting your target to die, place the bullet where your "Sure" its gonna do damage. I place the shot where I am confident, and am able. I sometimes do need a follow up shot, and I'm not shy about taking it to make sure Im done.
    Some preferr the neckbone, some the heart, but in that respect, you still must HIT the vital, or its gonna run off.

    Try to find your best feeling rifle with the most accurate load.
    I have my favorite rifle/cartridge combo, and I do not deviate from that, I even bought ALOT of the ammo I preferr.
    What I use is tried and tested in my years, and not only accuracy, but terminal effects are right near perfect, for the shooting I do.

    Go shooting just for the hell of it, get to the "Feel" of your rifle, and let it be an extention of "You".

    I recently hunted with a friend who had binos with a range finder, and I honestly found I am totally incompetent in estimating "Yards".........but yet I can shoot a .22LR 100-120 with some precision.
    I had no idea, and am rather pleased with myself. Rabbits beware......


    I guess I range animals in as "Close enough " or as "lets get closer", or I'm not shooting them at all....Even without being able to estimate range in yards, l can still place the shot on what I was aiming at. I never adjust my sights, I just hold differently on what I precive the hold over ought to be, and with enough practise with the load/rifle combo, its natural enough. The skill was built with practiseing proper shooting tecniques, trigger time hitting and missing.............I am blessed with the ability to try my rifles in all kinds of ways and conditions.

    Thats from .22, to .30 to 12G.

    Good luck.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

  20. #20
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    I'm glad some of you could appreciate my little story, and what a unique hunting experience it was. To the rest of you self-satisfied sumbeetches, here's the part I left out, because I thought it made for better telling; this was actually a tale of three bullets. My dad did indeed put a follow-up shot into the bull, again into the neck. That bullet was also recovered. This was Superbull. That may not be an excuse for those who believe the neck shot is no good, but I'd like to address the sentiment that an animal should'nt be allowed to leave the site. Does that mean we should outlaw bowhunting? Animals hit with arrows are not that likely to lay down and die right there. This is why, at least from what I remember, they stress blood-trailing techniques so strongly in hunter ed. Projectile placement is important, but so is knowing how to track.

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