Deer's Reaction to Being Shot and Where to Shoot

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by 147 Grain, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. 147 Grain

    147 Grain

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    Whenever a bullet strikes your intended target - like deer - if carefully observed, (9 times out of 10) its reaction will tell you if you hit your mark or not.

    Heart or Lung Shot
    Upon being hit in the heart or lung area, most deer will usually jump or bound forward - kicking out with their hind legs. This shot produces a bright red frothy blood trail with pink or white flecks of lung tissue in it.

    Liver Shot
    No deer can survive a shot to the liver. Reactions include running a short distance with its head high or well forward before dying within 100 yards. Blood trails tends to be very dark red / thick and glutinous.


    Stomach or Gut Shot
    Gut-shot deer usually hunch-up and stagger away into nearby cover with their head held low. This poor shot usually produces a lot of green-like splashes of rumen from the stomach - content that sometimes has a lot of pines, acorns, or hair, but with very little blood.
     
  2. 147 Grain

    147 Grain

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    Found the following links that hopefully will be helpful to everyone:

    Deer and Elk Anatomy Overview: http://www.bowhunting.net/NAspecies/elk2.html

    In looking at an elk's circulatory system and bone structure, there appears to be two good spots to shoot for:


    [​IMG]

    1. Heart and Lung area slightly behind the front leg / near the top of the shoulder.


    [​IMG]

    2. Spine / Base of Neck Area. Following the forward portion of the front leg 1/2 to 2/3'rds up to where the neck meets the spine. There are a lot of major support bones in this area that when broken, should anchor the animal very quickly.
     

  3. rustychev

    rustychev

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    That is sometimes true but I have sean deer hit drop on the spot with a good hart shot or the the one I shot last year at 75 yards with a 300 win mag start to run. I was not sure how far back i hat hit so i shot agin deer keep going full tilt for 300 + yards when I guted it the bigest pice of lung was about the size of two fingers and there was no heart. So what I am saying is your really never know if you dont see them fall.

    Rusty

    edit to add both shots hit right in the chest with one taking out the far sholder
     
  4. noway

    noway

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    agreed

    Theirs no thing as a typical when it comes to deer and where shot at and their reactions. Once you killed a few, this will be clearer.
     
  5. 357glocker

    357glocker

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    Of the few deer I've shot, here were the reactions:
    1) A mature doe running full speed downhill broadside to me @90yrds. 150grn Corelock 7mag shot through on the centered backside of shoulder. Front legs collapsed, she slid about 5yrds and rolled around for @ two minutes before expiring.
    2) 2x2 buck, small bodied. Hit in the hind quarter by a dodge dakota doing @60mph (coming back from a deer stand!). Deer spun into the ditch still alive when I backed up. Slit throat with knife.
    3) Yearling button buck. Using a 12ga loaded with 00buck he stepped out at @14yrds. At the shot he was violently tossed to the ground. No further sign of life. I found 8 pellets on the opposite hide, all through the ribcage.
    4) Mature doe walking broadside, 110yrds. 7mag 140grn ballistic tip. At the shot she kept walking at same pace, no sign of hit. My rifle was perfectly sighted in. Walked to the site of shot and found blood. Followed for 90 yrds. Deer was hit on the front shoulder and it was shattered, exit hole about the size of my fist. Everything in between was jelly. Great shot, no sign of hit. Morale of this story, follow up on every shot you make as it may not be a miss!
    5) Yearling doe running broadside. 7mag 150grn scirroco. Low neck shot, at shot deer fell face first to the ground, continued breathing until dispatch shot.
    6) Smaller doe, 50yrd feeding broadside shot. 7mag 140grn ballistic tip. Shot through the heart. Dropped on shot, dead on arrival.
    7) Mature doe, 60yrd broadside shot, she knew something wasn't right and was agitated. Good shot right behind shoulder. She almost collapsed at shot but regained herself, she ran uphill for almost 50 yrds, collapsed in tall grass and made one last kick for life and did a gymnists back flip. Dead on arrival.
    8) Mature doe, 40yrd frontal shot. 7mag 140grn ballistic tip. Shot was dead center chest as looking at the front. Deer bolted about 10yrds to the side and fell over dead. The bullet made jelly out of the insides, veered to the left and went lengthwise through about 4 ribs, went back into the body cavity and ended somewhere in the paunch area, never exited.
    9) Mature doe, 50yrds. Deer originally shot with a 150grn 30-30. She was hit on the very low part of the ribcage broadside and ran about 30yrds and stopped to look what happened. I was playing backup role for a first time deer hunter (she took the first shot with the 30-30) She wasn't going to be able to shoot a second time in time so I fired my 7mag 140grn ballistic tip into the broadside deer. Boiler room shot, she ran another 10 yards and fell. Dead on arrival.
    10) Big bodied 4x4 buck. .50 cal 295 grn powerbelt muzzle loader. Walking 60 yrd broadside shot. Hit right behind shoulder. He lower his front part of his body at the shot didn't see anything after that due to the smoke from the muzzleloader, turned around and ran about 60-70yrds and fell. Dead on arrival.

    I haven't really seen anything that these deer do in common even though they have all been shot in approximately the part of the body (good chest/heart/lung shots). Some of them have a great will to survive (look at deer #4 above) and it is the responsibilty of the person making the shot to make it a good one and follow up. The only thing that I've noted that is common to all these animals is the bright pink frothy blood they leave on the trail. Reactions vary too much to say how a deer will react to a certain shot.
     
  6. TJC

    TJC "No Compromise" Millennium Member

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    Deer react differently almost every time they are shot. While certain hits with a firearm produce similar reactions by the animal, a bow shot is something different.

    I shot 14 deer with the bow last year, biggest being a nice 8 pt. The farthest anyone went was about 65 yds. Not all ran, some acted like they never knew they were shot.

    One big old doe came in and I stuck her through both lungs. She was about 22-25 yds out and was alone. She stood there and in about 3-5 minutes, fell over and died right where I shot her. I think the fact that there were no other deer there to react to the noise of the shot helped to keep her calm.
    Another one shot the same way just looked around like "what the hell was that" and then walked about 15 yds before falling over.

    Point is, with the bow you don't have the kinetic energy of a bullet or slug to cause the body to react.
    Some will jump up and run a ways. The ones that run are usually falling over in about 25-50 yds.
    But you don't get the same types of reaction as when shot with the gun.
     
  7. vafish

    vafish

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    They all act different when shot.

    I've had them drop after two hops from a liver shot, I've had them run 100 yards from an almost identical shot.

    Even Neck shots don't always drop them in their tracks. I've had one hit low in the neck that took out the thorax and juggler veins that ran 150 yards. Had another one that I hit high in the neck (you could see the top of the vertabrea) It ran towards me, shot it twice more, once through the heart/lungs and once in the center of the neck. It dropped with the 2nd neck shot.
     
  8. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Pulpa est valeo

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    If you are using a high energy bullet, the shoulder is a good target. Just where the front leg joins the body. You have several major targets there.

    1. Brachial nerve plexus
    2. Spine-just behind the joint
    3. two major blood vessels
    4. the lungs behind the shoulder


    We shot two last year with the 6.5-284 pushing a 120 grain spire point and both dropped on the spot like they were pole axed.