Is this an ethical shot?

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Popsgun

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Feb 27, 2018
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5
Hi, y'all,

Not new to guns, but this will be my first deer in my entire 72 years. I want put him down instantly. I don't want him to run after a typical heart-lung shot.

I've always had muzzleloaders, but only for target and plinking. But this year I want to take a buck on my property. I have a .62 replica percussion Plains Rifle, and I'm looking at how to do the high shoulder shot. I want to flat out drop him. 
This deer will be no farther than 50 ft. away, most likely only 30 feet from my blind on my slice of Heaven. I can hit a softball every time at that range. I know exactly where to put the ball. When he drops, I'll immediately sprint over and cut his throat. My long, sharp blade will be on a four foot handle.
Does this make sense to you?

1.)I'm wondering if this will be a truly ethical shot. 90 to 110 grains of FF will be motivating the ball.

2.)Will the deer's body prevent the ball from a pass-through or prevent the ball from going a long way after it passes through?

3.)Would a shot to his neck six inches behind his head and 3 inches down do this better?

Any suggestions?
 

BrownBear

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Apr 19, 2017
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319
Popsgun said:
When he drops, I'll immediately sprint over and cut his throat. My long, sharp blade will be on a four foot handle.
Does this make sense to you?
The rest sound reasonable to me, but that has me puzzled.  Why the rush to get out there?  And why the long handle?  If you're cutting his throat and he's on the ground, just come up behind him, grab and cut.
 

patocazador

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Aug 22, 2012
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5,497
"2.)Will the deer's body prevent the ball from a pass-through or prevent the ball from going a long way after it passes through?"

A high shoulder shot breaks the vertebral column if done right. This drops the deer and kills it.  I have never shot a deer with a .62 but the ball will be greatly impeded by the backbone and may not exit.

Is this potential failure to exit important? 
If there are people, dwellings, or livestock behind him, don't take the shot. You never know what is going to happen before shooting. If in doubt, don't shoot.
 

Fishunt

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May 27, 2015
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108
Well, welcome aboard Popsgun.

I've always subscribed to the philosophy that once the animals heart has quit, cutting the throat serves no purpose. Field dress the animal on the spot and all is well.

Glenn
 

Mike in Oz

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Sep 22, 2017
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184
G'day Popsgun,

Honestly I've never seen anything short of a head canoe drop an creature absolutely instantly, death is always messy and unkind and always takes way too long from the hunters perspective. Even when the creature just drops on the spot and twitches its life out for a few seconds.

However. We all need to eat and ethical is very important but you have to temper that with realism in my opinion. 

From what you have written a .62 RB being pushed down range with a 90+ grain charge with the type of accuracy you are describing is ethical IMO.

Again just my opinion, but give the beast a few seconds to quickly expire in peace and then move in and field dress. 

I'm glad you are giving this as much thought as you are, it speaks well of you as a man and as a hunter.

Good luck.
 

MattRaymond

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Oct 28, 2015
Messages
182
Location
Western MA
I've shot several deer with my .54 Plains Rifle and each was different. One dropped in it's tracks, one took two or more steps forward and then dropped, one jumped up and bounded twice before piling up, one ran for about 100 yards before dropping leaving an impressive blood trail in the snow. Only one of those roundballs stayed in the deer, all others were pass throughs and I have no idea where the ball went, but because of the shot, I knew it continued in a safe direction
 

hunting savage

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May 3, 2014
Messages
129
Here is my 2 cents worth. When u target practice your shooting at a 1 inch circle at any range. So why not a deer headshots, neck shots  use the 1 inch circle. at that range give it a try
 

NWTF Lobo

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Jan 29, 2018
Messages
115
This is where you want to hit for a drop at the shot, high on the shoulder under the spine. This was a .62 rifle loaded with 110gr's of 2ff and was a complete pass through from 50yd's.

Don't bother to cut the throat, when the heart stops pumping the blood stops, you'll only get a little leaking. Field dress right away and hang the deer head down. If you hang head up the blood left in the body will go into the hind quarters.

 

Smokin' Joe

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I'll offer up an opinion. Head shots and high neck shots are lethal, no question, but IMO a poor choice.  Good chances of wounding / grazing your target and then the deer runs off because the head is always moving around.  2. Like Bob stated: If there are people, dwellings, or livestock behind him, don't take the shot.   ALWAYS assume that your round ball will pass through the deer or you might miss the deer.

Like a few others have mentioned also, if you are field dressing the deer on the spot there's no reason to cut the throat. If the head is not going to be mounted I will make a small 3" cut below the throat on the neck (going down the neck).  I reach in with a couple fingers, grab the wind pipe and main artery, pull it out just enough to cut them clean off with my knife.  Then when I'm ready to pull out the heart, liver, and lungs group everything slides out "easy peasy".
 

Popsgun

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Feb 27, 2018
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BrownBear said:
Popsgun said:
When he drops, I'll immediately sprint over and cut his throat. My long, sharp blade will be on a four foot handle.
Does this make sense to you?
The rest sound reasonable to me, but that has me puzzled.  Why the rush to get out there?  And why the long handle?  If you're cutting his throat and he's on the ground, just come up behind him, grab and cut.
The reason for all that is, I've never done this before. Didn't think of coming up behind him, grabbing him and giving the knife. But with an approach from the front I figure there is some chance that a dying writhe could club me with a hoof or knee. I'm too old for injuries. I was thinking the longer reach would make it safer for me, but not any more. Also was thinking that his heart would beat for a couple of minutes, and the sooner the bleed-out the better. Starting to think that just letting him die on his own is smarter and maybe less stressful for the buck.
 

Popsgun

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Feb 27, 2018
Messages
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patocazador said:
"2.)Will the deer's body prevent the ball from a pass-through or prevent the ball from going a long way after it passes through?"

A high shoulder shot breaks the vertebral column if done right. This drops the deer and kills it.  I have never shot a deer with a .62 but the ball will be greatly impeded by the backbone and may not exit.

Is this potential failure to exit important? 
If there are people, dwellings, or livestock behind him, don't take the shot. You never know what is going to happen before shooting. If in doubt, don't shoot.
I intend to know the anatomy and shot placement very well. I'll practice it on life-sized cardboard targets. Need to get good at short distance shots.

I've been haunted by a mistake I made when I was about 17 YO. My father pounded it into me that his .22 LR would go a mile before falling to the ground. But I snuck the rifle out, shooting at targets on a 50 foot high sand dune with a very small town a mile or so downrange. I made one shot that went over the top. That really freaked me out. Ever since I really dislike the thought of sending a ball bouncing off of trees, skipping off the ground, any shot that does not obviously stop in the target. A frangible bullet from a .300 WinMag would feel safer to me for this. But I don't want to take him like that. I have a very wide uphill shooting lane (you'd have to see the layout) with BLM manzanita brush extending for miles beyond. I know that anything can happen, yet this is a safe shot. I may even decide to use my bow, let him lay down for two hours, and track him down.
 

Popsgun

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Feb 27, 2018
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strong eagle said:
tell us more about your self? your english is very interesting.
LOL, what is it that you notice? I tend to type too fast and lose the organization of my thoughts, then cut and re-type. That does interrupt the flow if I don't go carefully. Born to immigrant parents, read the encyclopedia and dictionary as a kid, for entertainment. Pop's friends taught him how to fish the high mountain streams, which is why I turned out to be such a fanatical skinny-water fisherman. Umm, I did pick up very high college-level writing skills along the way. That gave me some very important A+'s. But It comes naturally, I have nothing to brag about. BTW, I'm sure that skill is quickly eroding ;-)
 

Popsgun

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
5
strong eagle said:
tell us more about your self? your english is very interesting.
LOL, what is it that you notice? I tend to type too fast and lose the organization of my thoughts, then cut and re-type. That does interrupt the flow if I don't go carefully. Born to immigrant parents, read the encyclopedia and dictionary as a kid, for entertainment. Pop's friends taught him how to fish the high mountain streams, which is why I turned out to be such a fanatical skinny-water fisherman. Umm, I did pick up very high college-level writing skills along the way. That gave me some very important A+'s. But It comes naturally, I have nothing to brag about. BTW, I'm sure that skill is quickly eroding ;-)
 

BrownBear

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Apr 19, 2017
Messages
319
Popsgun said:
Starting to think that just letting him die on his own is smarter and maybe less stressful for the buck.
With a good clean shot to the heart and lungs, it's likely to be dead before you can walk up to it. A very worthy ambition.
 

falcon

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May 28, 2012
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1,715
i always try for a heart/lung shot on deer.   

A failure to cut the animals throat ASAP after killing  can lead to some bad tasting venison.  My first priority is to hang the deer and cut its throat.  There is  always a pint or two of blood from heart/lung shot deer.   

My truck with a game hanger is usually close to the kill site.   i also carry a stout dragging rope  that can be used to hang the deer.
 

patocazador

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Aug 22, 2012
Messages
5,497
I never cut the throat. I hang the deer by the hocks and let the blood drain towards the head and neck which I don't eat.

A high shoulder shot drops the deer but destroys meat that I do eat. I shoot for the lungs or heart unless the deer is quartering towards me. In that case I shoot it in the fold where the neck and shoulder meet. This destroys meat in the opposite shoulder though.
 

FrontierGander

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May 19, 2008
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15,426
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Boncarbo,Colorado
A .62 will leave a huge hole in anything it hits!

This is a .490" round ball that went straight through a bull elks lungs. He had it maybe 30 yards max after the hit. Your .62 ona deer will basically splatter that sucker.
 

NWTF Lobo

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Jan 29, 2018
Messages
115
Again this deer was hit high above the shoulder blade with a .62 rifle ball and dropped in it's tracks.




No meat was destroyed. Here are the ribs intact roasting over a wood fire, they were delicious

 

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