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Thread: What is considered a humane kill shot ?

  1. #31
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    You guys are all missing one key obligation on your part.
    You can sight your rifle in, ensure your rifle works, you can decide if you have a clean shot or not, but if you are undergunned then you haven't met the requirements.
    Lots of animals are hit in the vitals but if your firearm or ammo isn't adequate and your animal can run far enough way that you lose a track, that's not a humane shot.
    Lots of bears running around with one lung but there's a pile of unrecovered ones too.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark270wsm View Post
    You can never get this shot it is pure luck I have included a copy and paste done on a study of buffalo makes for some pretty compelling results
    NEW EVIDENCE
    This epiphany came about a couple of years back when I was passing a pleasant afternoon in a bird-watching blind in the wilds of Namibia. A previous guest had obligingly left a few copies of a South African outdoor magazine and as I idly leafed through the pages my attention was arrested by an article on knockdown effect. It was not the same tired old stuff about ballistics and penetration, but the result of a controlled study carried out by professional veterinarians engaged in a buffalo culling operation.
    Whereas virtually all of our opinions about knockdown power are based on isolated examples, the data gathered during the culling operation was taken from a number of animals. Even more important, the animals were then examined and dissected in a scientific manner by professionals.
    Predictably, some of the buffalo dropped where they were shot and some didn't, even though all received near-identical hits in the vital heart-lung area. When the brains of all the buffalo were removed, the researchers discovered that those that had been knocked down instantly had suffered massive rupturing of blood vessels in the brain. The brains of animals that hadn't fallen instantly showed no such damage. So what is the connection?
    Their conclusion was that the bullets that killed instantly had struck just at the moment of the animal's heartbeat! The arteries to the brain, already carrying a full surge of blood pressure, received a mega-dose of additional pressure from the bullet's impact, thus creating a blood pressure overload and rupturing the vessels.
    If this is the key to the "knockdown" mystery, it has answered a lot of previously unanswered questions. It's certainly the best explanation of knockdown I've heard yet, but it also poses a new quandary. How do we time a shot to hit on the beat? Let the debate begin.
    I read that research a few years ago - it supports the theory of hydrostatic shock killing animals. Although the observations (assuming they were honest) of the bruised brains in the buffalo that dropped dead is interesting, I think the researchers took a huge leap in logic to assume that the bruised brain was caused by bullet shock + heartbeat at the same instant. I've read several other research articles that hydrostatic shock isn't a factor in lethality - which would contradict the buffalo study.

    From my experience - the only way to guarantee a knockdown shot is a) CNS damage or b) mid to high shoulder shot.

  4. #33
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    I think there are also a number of variables between animals. The first deer I shot with a shotgun, I was sitting on a rock outcrop and hit her at 70 yds. with a Challenger slug. She went down instantly and then got backup. I missed the mark with my second shot, but that didn't matter as she walked 15 yds. up the trail and fell over dead. When we dressed her we found it was a double lung shot and her internal organs were floating in blood. Essentially 1 shot killed her.

    This past season on opening day, I hit a doe with a 150 gr. Nosler out of my 270 at about 30 yds. She went 100-150yds. into the bush. I actually heard her fall. There was a very heavy blood trail and we tracked her to a spot under some evergreens. We found her with her back legs cocked ready to jump and a bullet entry point in her shoulder with a 1 1/2" exit wound in her upper rib cage on the opposite side. I got her in the lungs, but she had ran further than any deer I had ever shot.

    Opening day 2012 @ 8:00 am, I shoot a doe in the shoulder from a similar distance. She runs 30 yds. and drops dead. Again I hit her in the lungs and there was a heavy blood trail. I was using the same type of round out of the same gun.

    What's the difference?

    In 2011, I spined a 6 pt buck that dropped on the spot and the same as Blasted Saber, I had to shoot a mercy shot because after 30 seconds the head popped up and it started crawling using only its front legs. I also shot a button buck that went about 40 yds. and died. Again with the 270.

    Most of the deer I have shot have died within 30-40 yds. of where they were shot. Why was last year's different?

    Roe+
    A bad day hunting or fishing is better than a good day at work.

  5. #34
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    Roe+ - I think it has to do with the animal's "state of mind" at the time they are shot. It's no more than a guess on my part, but their reaction seems almost based on what they were about to do. Their body is just carrying out what was programmed into the brain.

    Examples: One deer I shot had just seen me, right before I pulled the trigger. He saw me raise the gun. I think he was gearing up to "flight mode" and that's exactly what happened after he was hit. I hit him at about 40 yards through the front shoulder with a 180 grain Nosler Partition from a 30-06 (quartering towards) and it exited the rear rib cage. He ran nearly 150 yards before he went down. I've had a similar experience with deer I've shot in front of dogs that we're already "in flight". Maybe the one you shot that went 150 yards had been "pushed" out to you.

    On the other hand, when I've shot deer that were "relaxed" and had no idea I was there, they rarely ever go more than 30 or 40 yards before piling up.

    I've only had a small handful of deer drop on the spot and it's usually a high shoulder shot. One was in the spine. That's not where I intended to hit either, it just worked out that way due to the circumstances.

    Interesting thread, it had the potential to be pretty controversial. Instead, it gives the guys who are less experienced with shooting big game some idea of what to expect. It rarely happens like it does on TV.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GW11 View Post
    The idea that animals drop on the spot with a well-placed shot is a misconception. I've shot plenty of deer through the heart and lungs, perfectly humane kill shots, that have run at least 100 yards. You can hit a moose again and again in the boiler room before he realizes that he's walking dead and falls over. Animals that drop on the spot are sometimes spine or high-shoulder hits that might look better to someone watching but may actually result in the animal taking longer to expire.

    The flopping, kicking, etc., that happen afterward are just part of what happens. Think of a chicken with it's head cut off.

    GW nailed it. X2
    Woody

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  7. #36
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    GW, actually she walked out in front of me just before the push started, appeared completely relaxed, stopped walking and I shot her. Then she hopped away. I agree with you and Woody, I was just throwing this out there as examples of what I've encountered. Basically, that unless they are hit in the spine, they never drop where you shoot them. I was a little perplexed by the one this past season though.

    Roe+
    A bad day hunting or fishing is better than a good day at work.

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawbill View Post
    You guys are all missing one key obligation on your part.
    You can sight your rifle in, ensure your rifle works, you can decide if you have a clean shot or not, but if you are undergunned then you haven't met the requirements.
    Lots of animals are hit in the vitals but if your firearm or ammo isn't adequate and your animal can run far enough way that you lose a track, that's not a humane shot.
    Lots of bears running around with one lung but there's a pile of unrecovered ones too.
    I agree, you need to make sure you are the best you can be before you take the shot. In my short 32 years of hunting with a rifle, I have only had 2 deer go further than 15-20 yards after the shot. Most time s they drop where shot. I have said I`m too lazy to track animals. None of my prey have ever been a spine shot. Though I do like to take neck shots on occasion. I also do not `push`deer. Not my way of hunting and the prey is already got the adrenaline going.

    It all comes back to shot placement and distance for the projectile to retain energy.

  9. #38
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    aim for the nuts

  10. #39
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    That's hard to do on a doe! LOL

    Roe+
    A bad day hunting or fishing is better than a good day at work.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GW11 View Post
    Roe+ - I think it has to do with the animal's "state of mind" at the time they are shot. It's no more than a guess on my part, but their reaction seems almost based on what they were about to do. Their body is just carrying out what was programmed into the brain.

    Examples: One deer I shot had just seen me, right before I pulled the trigger. He saw me raise the gun. I think he was gearing up to "flight mode" and that's exactly what happened after he was hit. I hit him at about 40 yards through the front shoulder with a 180 grain Nosler Partition from a 30-06 (quartering towards) and it exited the rear rib cage. He ran nearly 150 yards before he went down. I've had a similar experience with deer I've shot in front of dogs that we're already "in flight". Maybe the one you shot that went 150 yards had been "pushed" out to you.

    On the other hand, when I've shot deer that were "relaxed" and had no idea I was there, they rarely ever go more than 30 or 40 yards before piling up.

    I've only had a small handful of deer drop on the spot and it's usually a high shoulder shot. One was in the spine. That's not where I intended to hit either, it just worked out that way due to the circumstances.

    Interesting thread, it had the potential to be pretty controversial. Instead, it gives the guys who are less experienced with shooting big game some idea of what to expect. It rarely happens like it does on TV.

    Ill agree with this. I have limited experience in big game hunting with only 2 deer taken, but my observations will support this.
    My first deer was a doe on the run with a 12 ga slug. She was going full tilt because my buddy just spooked her. I hit her good and the blood trail was like a horror movie, but she still went a good 150 yards through the thick stuff before she piled up.
    My second deer was taken last fall with a compound. Buck walked in, totally calm with no idea I was there. I took out both lungs with the shot and he only went about 25 yards before he went down.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will squander all his earnings, relationships and free time.

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