Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hunting Question

For you experienced hunters out there.

How many times have you need to take a second shot at the same sporting critter?

Why?  Tough critter?  Shot wasn't placed right or you missed?

Of all the sporting critters you've shot what proportion were needed a second shot?  1 out of 100?  1 out of 10?

By sporting critters, I mean something like trophy animals or meat animals  White tail deer being the most common.  I am not counting things like prairie dogs or wild pigs.  Varmint critters.  With varmint critters a crippling shot that gets away is less of a concern.


I ask because usually I hear from folks more experiences than me that they don't even have to track shot game.  It most commonly drops where it stood, with not tracking of blood trail necessary.


ZerCool said...

Someone who tells you they never have to track a deer either (A) doesn't hunt much, or (B) is lying through his teeth. (Or (C) is too lazy to track, but I won't touch that.)

I have missed a few deer in my life. It happens. Shakes, misjudging range, misfire, whatever. Even if I'm 99% sure it was a clean miss, I'll treat EVERY shot like it was a hit: wait 20-30 minutes, find where the deer was, where it ran, and start combing for blood or hair. Yes, it means time not looking for more deer - but I refuse to leave injured game if it's at all avoidable.

I've had several deer drop where they stand, and I've tracked several for a couple hundred yards. I had one drop where it stood and then need a second shot to finish it - the shot had shattered bones so he couldn't walk, but he was still full of fight.

The key for "drop where they stand" seems to be a VERY good hit in the lower chest - heart and lungs - and a deer that isn't already spooked. If they're looking for trouble - ears up, blowing, stamping - they're probably going to run. If it's head-down grazing or walking with a small herd, a good shot *should* drop it.

But that's just my experience.

Chris Byrne said...

I've never had to take a second shot to drop, but I have had to administer a coup de grace.

That doesn't mean they all dropped where they stood; but the furthest I've had to track is a couple hundred yards....

Well... except for a bear in Maine, but I wasn't actually HUNTING that (my partner and I were on a moose control hunt and we were charged. We never found the bear).

Thing is though, I'm paranoid about taking my shot, shot placement, trigger control and followthrough.... And I shoot .300 win mag at ranges from 600 to 1000 yards, on a regular basis, for fun.

I don't generally take shots on game at over around 300 yards; and even then only in perfect conditions, with a perfect shot, using the laser, dead calm wind etc...

I just won't take a shot I am not 100% certain is going to cleanly kill the animal. I'm actually kinda paranoid about it.

Chris Byrne said...

Oh and I also don't really much care about recoil so I always use "enough gun".

I shoot .300wm all day long when I'm doing a 1000 yard event, or practicing for it. I may shoot 200 of them in a day.

If I'm shooting beyond 300 yards on medium thin skinned game I'm at least using a .308; and on heavy game at any range its the .300wm.

I don't shoot sub .300 rounds at anything bigger than a white-tail; and I'm pretty anal about bullet selection and loading (I handload for precision, performance, and economy).

... actually, at the moment, other than AR's and .22lr... I don't even own a single rilfe smaller than a .308.

ProudHillbilly said...

You could just come to my house and smack one over the head with a shovel when they are reaching up on the porch to eat my potted plants. It would save you time and being out in the cold.

abnormalist said...

"I just won't take a shot I am not 100% certain is going to cleanly kill the animal. I'm actually kinda paranoid about it. "

I'm with Chris on this. I've had years where I went without venison (god help me) because I wasn't 100% sure on the shot. I passed on several deer this year because I was only 95%.

The one I did take (with a bow) only ran about 30 yards, and the blood trail looked like a chainsaw hit him.

With a bow (my primary means of hunting deer) I can safely shoot in the kill zone on a deer at 50 yards, but I wont shoot beyond 40. I really don't like to shoot past 30, but that 30-40 yard range is acceptable when everything's right (no wind, good light, deer is not spooked at all, good known range on the laser range finder, etc). With my old side lock muzzle loader I am solid to 150, but rarely go beyond 100 (or really 75), with real rifles, I've never shot at an animal past 300 yards.

I've never had to track past about 100-200 yards, most falling within 30-50. Most actually fall where I can see them, as they don't know what happened to them to begin with.

Chris Byrne said...

Hillbilly... They wander through my yard all night long too.

Little hoofed rats.

... but I live in North Idaho... kinda goes with the territory.

The Contrarian said...

Shot a few deer, all of them have dropped on the spot. That said, I mostly hunted with shotgun and slugs, so as long as placement was fine, there wasn't really any risk of movement. Now, I've shot a couple waterfowl that required finishing off. It's not frequent, but sometimes a pattern will just hit screwy.

Marty said...

I would say about 1 in 10. Including one this year.