View Poll Results: How Many Shots Do You Take?

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  • Shoot once watch and wait. Shoot more if needed?

    83 65.87%
  • Shoot until they drop, then one more to be sure?

    34 26.98%
  • I never have to shoot more than once!

    9 7.14%
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Thread: How Many Shots Do You Take?

  1. #1
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default How Many Shots Do You Take?

    Forgive me if this has already been done, but a recent conversation got me thinking about this.

    When I watch some of these hunting shows I notice that a lot of the guys on there shoot one shot and wait for the animal to go down. One shot kills are good for bragging, but are you the kind to wait it out or put another in him for insurance. I have a pretty good guess how this will turn out, but lets see.

    I understand being confident in your shot and all, but I have always been the type to shoot until they go down and then watch for several minutes to make sure the animal doesn't get back up before advancing to the animal.

    In my mind it is better to waste a little more meat than to risk tracking and possibly losing the whole animal. Often you want to anchor an animal before he can get to a bad spot.

    So here is a little poll to try and take the heat off of the "Boat Wars" going on. I thought it would be fun to know what others stance is on the subject.

  2. #2
    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    Shoot it until it is dead

  3. #3
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bsj425 View Post
    Shoot it until it is dead
    Your one of the ones I had in mind with this. I remember you being ashamed to shoot more than once at your moose this year. I would and have done the same as you.

  4. #4
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    I have only ever made one shot kills on big game. That is not to say I wouldn't shoot twice if I needed to, so far I have been lucky. But I take my shooting very serious and spent years learning to make one shot count. Of course I have never done a sheep or goat hunt were I was worried about loosing an animal off a cliff. I would probably anchor those critters with another shot if they twitched. But with moose, bou, and bears so far I have only ever needed one shot. I also grew up hunting with a single shot weapon until I was 18 though. Family rules!
    60% of men don't know what they have until they lose it
    15% aren't sure but figure it's better than nothing
    25% know exactly what they have and would do anything to lose it or give it to someone else

  5. #5
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Everything I have shot has died right there. This years moose was the first thing that i felt like it needed a final blow as I walked up to it. . Everything has its own circumstance though. If I shoot an animal its reaction will dictate what I do next. last years sheep stood up for about 30 seconds before tipping over and I was just about ready to shoot again.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Once has so far done it for me but anything could happen and I'm always prepared to shoot again
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  7. #7
    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    I selected the "Shoot once and watch" option, which is my thought process. But, I have been lucky with big game animals and have never had to shoot more then once. I know my time is coming though.

    I'm not sure who learned me this way, but somewhere along the lines I had been taught to shoot for the opposit side shoulder, preferebly with vitals between. So far it seems to work.
    I'm Pro-Pike.

  8. #8
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    So far it has only take one shot to get the job done but I am always ready to follow it up. I have a buddy who insists that people rush into a followup shot too often. He feels that a lot of times animals are so surprised by the first shot that they just look around bewildered and will frequently fall without running or at least not far. This assumes of course that the first shot is a fatal one and that the animal never saw you. He has killed many animals and uses a single shot browning is a 9.3 "Rock" wildcat, he puts one round low in the chest aiming for the heart and then just waits for the moose to realize it is dead which generally isn't long. Hard to argue with his success. I do the shoot, reload and reassess. If it is running away and I can put another one in it I certainly would, but if it is doing the "death wobble" I will just watch to see if it really needs another pill.

  9. #9
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    I shoot as few times as it takes. If I like the first one...I wait and let it fall. But, to me this depends on what you are chasing (i.e. how big they are and how much of a PITA is getting them out going to be) . If I have a moose standing someplace real nice for cutting and packing, I'll burn a box of shells after that first shot making sure he doesn't go flop over in that beaver pond 100 yards away. Hunting whitetails, I never got second shots....skittish buggers.

  10. #10

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    Bears clot fast and tend to run when you hit them so I nail them twice most other animals I hit once and watch them.
    Chuck

  11. #11
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    I hold off shooting, both personal and professional hunts, until presented with broadside double lung shots (90+ % of the time).

    So one good hit is generally all it takes for most critters. Moose often get a second hit. Brown/Grizz get multiple hits until they get dead or get in the alder bush. Sheep have got some "other-than-broadside" hits, but sheep die easy, a good death with any shot at any angle IN THE "BOILER ROOM" VITALS. Mountain goats get a second hit only in an attempt to keep em in sight in the easiest retrievable spot.

    Most unpleasant task...field dressing caribou that have bad hits, stomach hits.

    In a prior lifetime I preferred a second shot into elk, but my WY, UT, N.M., and Mexico mulies seem to die a good death as directed with one good hit.

    dennis

  12. #12
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    those that have been lucky enough with one shot kills are just that. If you havent had to shoot an animal more than once, you probably dont have many kills, which has zero bearing on the question and isnt meant to make any of you feel less of a "hunter", thats just the reality of it.

    dennis has pretty much said it all correct for the majority of people that get out there to hunt/harvest/cull.

  13. #13
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    I believe in making the first shot count, then shooting a follow-up if I'm in any doubt whatsoever. I've heard too many stories of "fatally hit" animals recovering and ultimately escaping. I figure ammo is cheap, and it's better to waste five pounds of meat with an unneeded follow-up than to waste the whole animal.

    This fall, for example, I was hunting in WY. I did a sneak on a nice bull elk and was confident of making a killing shot. He fell flat. I shot again as he struggled to get up, then he began floundering down the steep mountainside. When he disappeared I could hear his antlers clattering on rocks. Luckily, he didn't break any antler off. Both shots were fatal shots, but I didn't know that for sure and even fatally hit animals can travel far enough that they can be tough to find. I think the second shot was simply good insurance. Years ago I had a bull elk fall flat, then get up as I walked towards him. I had to track him another mile or so before I had him down for good.

    That said, I applaud people who make one-shot kills rather than firing off a string of shots hoping to make one good hit.

  14. #14
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutter View Post
    those that have been lucky enough with one shot kills are just that. If you havent had to shoot an animal more than once, you probably dont have many kills, which has zero bearing on the question and isnt meant to make any of you feel less of a "hunter", thats just the reality of it.

    dennis has pretty much said it all correct for the majority of people that get out there to hunt/harvest/cull.
    I agree with Cutter here. No disrespect to any in the way they voted...This is one reason I left it anonymous.

    I have to say I am surprised how the votes are stacked so far. I must admit my guess so far has been wrong. We'll see if it turns around as things progress.

    To build on what Cutter said as an example.

    I have been fortunate enough to take a good number of BG animals in my short time (under 40yrs old). Many have been one shot kills and many have not. A few have been shot again when it was probably not necessary.

    On the other hand, my young son has taken 3 BG animals and all have dropped in their tracks. Is he perfect and I am not???? It appears for now he is, but I suspect his luck will change some day.

    I have just seen to many animals flee after the first shot whether they were hit good or not. Things can change so fast that I like to shoot again rather than wait to see if he falls and maybe not have a second shot.

    I have also had quite a few drop in their tracks only to jump and run as you walk up to them. I learned to wait and watch where the animal fell to make sure he doesn't get back up. Very often in this type scenario you cannot see the animal get up after you move only a few feet from where you shot. One thing I will do if hunting with a partner is have him stay at the spot of the shot until I am at the animal in case he jumps and I cant see it.

    This is good dialog. Combined there is a ton of experience here and maybe in this thread we can accomplish helping newer hunters recover more game.

  15. #15
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I've always been a "One good shot, and watch them" guy....that being said, I have changed my views a little based on an experience I had a couple years ago with a moose that I KNEW was hit well at a close range (60 yds walking). I was mentally high fiving myself and sat down for a copenhagen and a breather before tracking....That moose traveled over 1/2 a mile in thick brush country in a rain that made nighttime tracking difficult at best. It also managed to find a brush choked ravine to lay down and die in...that whole experience changed my outlook.

    I'm a "hit 'em til they fall and watch that they dont get up" guy nowadays...

  16. #16
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I shoot once. If the critter stays on it's feet I hit it again. If it hits dirt I keep the sights on it until I'm confident it's a done deal. The first and only time I let lead fly until it dropped ended up in a gut shot on the third shot...making for a messing butchering job.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Cutter;839591]those that have been lucky enough with one shot kills are just that. If you havent had to shoot an animal more than once, you probably dont have many kills,

    Do you really want to compare kills with guys on this site? One shot kills are not an oddity and if you match the shooters skills, gun and ammo with taking and making the RIGHT shot, that should be all it takes. Moose and Caribou are about the two easiest big game animals to kill in my experience, whitails are easy to kill, but one shot usually does not result in a drop in its tracks response. Bears are a different story because you don't want to chase a dangerous animal into the bushes. I have seen bears drop in their tracks with follow on shots only used for mercy shots with no chance of flee but still very much alive.

    Take your time, call your shots and only take the right shot and one should be enough. With that said, there are many things that can go wrong, always be ready for the unexpected.

  18. #18
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    I don't know if I would call one shot kills "lucky". having every single kill be a one shot kill over a lifetime, or for a short period of time may have some luck to do with it. After all sometimes things happen out of our control. But I would also say that practice, discipline, and patience play a bigger role in making quick clean kills than luck. Again I'm only speaking for myself, and my few dozen big game kills, but I have spent years Perfecting my shooting. I also use a larger rifle 338WM and when you learn to hunt and shoot with only one shot for the first ten years you hunt then you learn to make that shot count.

    again I am quite sure that at some point I will need a second shot, and I have never taken a goat or coastal brown ( both of those I would probably anchor more than once) but there is more to one shot kills than luck when it's repeated year after year for a couple decades.

    I also think starting so young with only single shot weapons (shotgun or rifle) made a huge difference in my approach to shooting (aim for the base of neck just behind the skull) . I pass up a lot of shots that I don't like because I still want a one shot kill!
    60% of men don't know what they have until they lose it
    15% aren't sure but figure it's better than nothing
    25% know exactly what they have and would do anything to lose it or give it to someone else

  19. #19
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Who's counting? But out of 17 posts, I've counted 50 shots fired in the pole so far........lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  20. #20
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    11 caribou, 6 moose and an Arkansas white tail have fallen with one shot from my trusty 'ol 30.06. Moose and caribou are very easy to kill in reality. Most of the time if you put a decent bullet into the boiler room (heart/lungs) of an moose and give it 20-30 seconds, it will fall over dead. They just stay standing for a few seconds because they don't realize they are actually dead...

    I've taken a couple of black bears and one of them required a follow up, but they are in a different category....
    AKmud
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