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The neck

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by EL COLONEL, Jun 11, 2010.



    Feb 1, 2006
    S.A. TEXAS
    Is the neck shot good on deer or is the double lung shot better ?..........:dunno:
  2. ju993rnaut


    Feb 6, 2010
    I would think both shots would be somewhat effective. A lung shot would almost certainly be a kill, but how fast, I couldnt tell you. You might get caught in the dark following a blood trail. A neck shot might be and instant kill or might not depending on whether you hit the spinal column or major artery. Some animals become paralized but are still alive, some are done instantly, and some are just wounded. Propper shot placement on most animals (depending on their position in relation to yours) is just behind the shoulder if quartering away or standing sideways and the chest if facing or quartering towards you. These arent very specific(as to exact placement) but I dont wanna get into detail. I wouldnt take an animal with a neck shot if I could help it and if I couldnt I dont think I would unless it was a once in a lifetime trophy.

  3. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008
    check a deer's anatomy, look for lethal areas, think...

    just a few reasons why I can not recommend head or neckshots:


    if they go wrong, they go WRONG..

    ...given that you don't even consider tracking wounded game, I don't see how you could ethically justify shooting in the neck or head. In addition to that, you don't even seem to be able to hit a pig's vital zone which - let's face it - is not that hard to miss. No offense, but go to the range, improve your shooting skills - until then, take the easy shots, don't shoot too far and if it is too far, too dark or for any other reason not 100% then just don't shoot. these are animals we're hunting for f... sake, they deserve at least a clean kill.

    try and hit either heart AND lung (go in deep) or try and hit lung and rather high so the temporal cavity will hit the spine, this should result in immediate dropping. it also helps, to hit the shoulder and destroy bone(s)
  4. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008
    maybe that helps..
  5. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    This has been hashed so many times before...

    A journeyman hunter will always tell you to wait for a shot on the vitals. One shot, one kill. make it clean and quick.

    However, there are members here who will also tell how they regularly kill trophy bucks with neck shots at 200 yards with their Daisy BB gun.

    If you really need to ask this question, you need to hunt longer with men who have been doing it their whole life.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  6. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008
    by journeyman hunter you mean what exactly?
  7. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009

    Men and women who have grown up hunting. Hunters who hunt as frequently as they can.

    I may not qualify, but I grew up on a farm and have hunted (deer, birds, small game) for almost 45 years in several states and areas of the US.

    I hunt with some men who have more days in the field than I do. My father-in=law is, shall we say, long in the tooth. yet he still moves from hunting season to hunting season. Only during the summer does he not hunt, and then he is fishing. (and in his health he should not be out in the woods alone, but he will have to die to stop him)

    When you want to ask about hunting, those old men that used to hunt to put food on the table are the ones to ask. My grandfathr never saw hunting as a "sport". It helped feed his 9 kids.

    Actually I don't hunt so much anymore as use it as an excuse to spend time with my sons. I still carry a rifle, but when hunting with them I have never needed to use it. They were always taught to wait... one shot one kill...
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  8. this topic comes up every so often and here's my input on the matter,

    a neck shot over a broadside lung/boiler room shot, I perfer the latter. if anything goes wrong you still get someting if you go for a center of the boiler, too low, you get more heart, to high maybe the spine, left or right, still not bad.

    A neck is a very serious challenge under hunting conditions and can lead to a serious mistake.
  9. I'm 45 years old, have been deer hunting since I was 12. Didn't shoot my first deer until I was 19, but have been shooting then pretty well since then. Last season I shot 5, most years I shoot at least 2. I've used neck shots about 8 times on deer over the years.

    All but one were with a scoped handgun at under 50 yards.

    Of those times I missed completely once. Found a bullet mark in a tree branch the deer would have ducked under to continue along the path he was on. No blood or hair.

    Once I nicked the top of the deers neck, luckily he ran towards me instead of away and I shot him through the lungs and he continued to walk towards me, as he went under my stand I shot him again in the neck and he dropped at the base of the tree I was in.

    And another time all I could see was the head and neck sticking out from behind a large pine tree at what ended up being 90 yards. Took the shot, he dropped in his tracks. As I reloaded the TC Contender he jumped up and ran off. Thankfully there was about an inch of snow on the ground and he left the easiest blood trail I have ever seen. Shot was low and took out his wind pipe and jugular veins. Every time he exhaled there was a 6 foot wide spray of blood in the snow. He ran about 100 yards before he died.

    The rest of the neck shots were instantaneous drops. So out of 8 shots 3 were less than satisfactory results. So that's almost a 40% chance of a poor outcome based on my results.

    Compare that to the rest of the deer that have been chest shots I've recovered every one with the exception of 2 and both of those 2 were wounded by other hunters and running past me when I shot at them. Both of them made it past me and onto a prison property where we were not allowed to recover the deer.

    I do not recommend that people try neck or head shots. I haven't tried to take one in 10-15 years. There is just much less margin of error and you can leave the deer with wounds like n0vember has shown.

    Here is a link to an interesting study on shot placement and caliber.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010


    Aug 2, 2009
    South Florida
    I prefer neck shots only. I have been hunting 35 years and have only had one deer take off on me , that was the one time I took a boiler room shot. After 500 yards I caught up with him again, took the neck shot and down he went. Every other shot the deer were dead before they hit the ground. I also do not take the shot unless I am certain I can kill it in one shot. I have taught both of my sons the same thing, and they have not had any issues after hunting for 7 years with me. We also spend numeous hours at the range ensuring we know where our bullets will land at certain distances.
  11. pac201


    Nov 12, 2007
    I've been hunting since I was 8, to say I have some experience would be an understatement; that being said, I must concur that heart/lungs is the best way to go.
  12. BK63


    Sep 15, 2005
    I have shot more deer behind the front shoulder and they dropped right where they were. One time when I fired the deer started to run and I hit it a little farther back, not much, just a little and it went through the lungs. It ran about 50 yards and dropped.
  13. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    In all my years of hunting, I have taken a great deal of game. Simply put, yes, the shoulder/lung/heart shot is the wisest usually. But I have taken a great deal of game with neck shots, and never lost a one yet. I do stay close in on the neck shots. Not that i could not hit the neck at long range/s, but there is to much margin for error there. At say 50yds and less, I cannot see why with a good eye and right conditions, and especially with a good scope, that there should be a problem for a neck shot if properly placed.

    Again, YES the classic lung shot just behind the sholder is more error free, and quick drops into the front shoulder will usually alway ensure DRT, but if you and your weapon are doing their job, 50 yds and less is for me, my rule for neck shots. Again, understand, not that a man cannot hit the neck at longer range, but the margin for error goes way up at further distance to the neck. So, for me, and "my rule for me," 50 yards or less, if I have a real clear shot, DRT in the neck.

    Now i do not agree with my little brother, on the ranch, he uses a 22-250 in a sniper set up from massive scope to tripod, and makes all neck shots .. Period ! I have jumped down his throat for this, but I must admit, he has never lost a deer yet, and gets some very long shots. I don't approve. But one day he'll learn. (i hope). :faint:

    Heart/lung ? Best bet. But if you and your equipment can shoot on the money, there should be no fear or concern for an under 50 yd neck shot .

    My 7 MM Rem mag will cover 3-4 shots at 100yds with a nickle. At 50 yds, it is even sweeter. So, although I could go for the neck at 100/200 or more. I have a personal rule to stay at 50yds or less on the neck.. One exception is if I have no other choice out to 100yds, and have a very clear steady shot at only the neck and no hope of getting better, I'll take it. Again, confidence in my ability, and in my equipment. But I do not suggest it to just the deer season "only" shooter. ;)

    My .2 ;)

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  14. bnkrtstk


    Aug 6, 2008
    n0vember, that is one tiny deer.

    I prefer neck shots, here is a pic of my 11yo daughter's first buck taken last December. 100yd shot, he was DRT.
  15. Personally I dont take neck shots.


    Feb 1, 2006
    S.A. TEXAS
    Thanx to everyone that replied................................:wavey:
  17. n0vember

    n0vember germanolicious

    Dec 1, 2008
    roe deer ;)
  18. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    There is no such thing as the best shot on a game animal.

    The best shot is the one that presents itself with a reasonable chance of success.

    Deer are not hard to kill if you hit them properly. The problem for most hunters is they lack the marksmanship skill to make a good game shot. So they only shoot a standing broadside heart/lung. To be sure that's the money shot on deer. But a good neck shot, or spine shot, or liver shot will put a deer down VERY quickly if not in their tracks. I've even killed a pair of deer with a Texas heart shot (one with a bow) and they went down as quick as I've ever put an animal down. 20 years ago it was quite common to see posters of shots to take on deer and other critters at various angles. You almost never see that anymore as people have become too obsessed with WHAT they are shooting (ie: caliber, gun, high performance ammo, scope etc) as opposed to HOW they are shooting.

    Seriously? How many hunters do you know that actually practice with a rifle on offhand running shots on at 30-40 yards? I can't think of ANYBODY that does that.

    Go to a hunter's certification course in Germany for your Jagdschein (hunting license) and you are REQUIRED to shoot at a moving running board target and score 3/5 hits at 100 meters!
  19. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Like what CanyonMan and Big Bird stated. Just DRT - thanks bnkrtstk. Great to get the kids hunting early. My 13 year old like hunting and my 15 year loves fishing. 16 year old just likes Glocks and AR-15s.

    Just get her done!
  20. I am going to assume you are talking about a firearm shot. With a bow I think a neck shot is unethical.

    I have two 308s and will always take a neck shot with either rifle at whitetail deer if the shot presents itself. It comes down to knowing what my capabilities are as a shooter to hit the target, and my confidence in my equipment to drop a deer in it's tracks with a neck shot.

    I spend a lot of time on the range to be sure I can make these shots. Last summer one of the range regulars even asked me "what are you trying to do, drive tacks?". That is why I am confident to take neck shots, and I have never had to track a neck shot deer. They all go directly to the ground.