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Neck shots ethical????

Old 02-19-2008, 02:21 PM
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Default Neck shots ethical????

At what point did the neck shot become unethical? My grandpa taught me to take a neck shot unless I felt like I couldn't make it. He said that the neck shot is the most ethical and humane shot a hunter could make.

Somewhere along the way of all these hunting shows, the broadside double lunger is the only ethical placement. I just wanted to call BS on something that I've thought has gone on too long.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

I personally don't see a problem with neck shots. Sometimes that might be the only shot someone has. I havn't taken a neck shot in my 2 years of hunting, but I'm sure the situation will arise at some point. Plus a neck shot could save meat if you have to shoot through a shoulder.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:56 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

ORIGINAL: Troutman10

I personally don't see a problem with neck shots. Sometimes that might be the only shot someone has. I havn't taken a neck shot in my 2 years of hunting, but I'm sure the situation will arise at some point. Plus a neck shot could save meat if you have to shoot through a shoulder.
Since we're calling BS today, I want to call BS on the head/neck shot "saving meat."

Worst case scenario by shooting through the chest, you waste 1 lb of meat on an animal that even the small ones give you 60+ lbs of meat, and it's IMO the least desireable meat. If you ruined the tenderloins by chest shooting, then I would maybe consider buying it, but you're not.

If risking missing or not finding your deer is more important than that 1lb of meat you might lose, go to a butcher shop.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:06 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

broadside vitals shots "became ethical" when people learned that a hole in the lung or heart was notably more likely to quickly kill a deer with a better blood trail. obviously neck shots can be deadly, but they leaveless room for error.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

On the flip side I was taught that the neck shot was only to be used as a finishing shot on a downed animal (basically PB). This was passe don through grandfather, to father and finally son. Now like most kids I needed to find out on my own and attempted successfullyneck shots as the first/only shot. However my first experience with a botched neck shot wasmy first yearguiding. The shot was from a rest at less30 yards on a motionless animal (bear with his head in a bait pile). The hunter shotbut the bear lifted his headcausing him tohit the jaw. We got the bear finally but it wasn't without it's moments. The hunter claimed (which i have no reason to not believe him) that was the first time such an event had happened in many successful head/neck shots. It was the first time I saw it myself and chalked it up to an odd event. However after witnessinganother such eventfrom my room mate on a mule deer doe, it started to sink in. I then deceided my grandpa may have known what he was talking about and changed by taking the head/neck shot out of my equation. However others I hunt with did not and I was party to trying to find failed attempts of this shot.It became very apparent to methat the head or neck area is not only a smaller target but it is also a part of the body that moves a lot and often without warning.In replayingmy successful neck shot and all but2 were of animals that I could have just as easily choosen the lungs instead??? Of those few that the lungs weren't available I have no way of knowing if they wouldn't have been hadI chose to wait it out instead! For me it's a shot I choose not to use any longer. Personal opinion nothing more.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

Oh come on, whoever said a neck shot aint ethical is a total idiot. I've shot many deer in the neck and I have never had a single one take another breath. Shooting one in the heart or lungs, you know there's a good chance they're gonna run a little bit. That's more unethical than shooting one and it dying instantly. All neck shots I've taken resulted in instant death the minute the bullet hit the skin.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:35 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

I've yet to take a neck shot, always heart/lungs, though I've never shot one that died ont he spot in this region, but on tv ive seen some neck shots the animal is dead! down! on the spot! I like this, not sure how the hide would be for a mount, on the other side of the neck? I think I'll stick with the heart shot and if the only shot available is a neck...then take it. Though if/whe that happens if the animal is dead on the spot, I may become a believer in the neck shot, like ive said what ive shot so far in the heart/lungs, gun I'm talking, never has died, Ive had animals drop, only to still be alive when I walk up on them 300yds away.......others run/die. stagger die.....maybe I should overgun? haha, I just dunno.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

I was raised on neck shots on deer as well, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys and bassically all small game in the head.
I was also raised to pass up on shots that werent 100% for sure. I wasnt raised on taking 200-300 yd shots, I was taught to get closer. I stalked deer with my dad to within 40 yds, Its not that hard if you spot the deer first. I have stalked and taken deer with a bow.
I shoot 95 % of deer and hogs in the neck and do it within 100 yds, so why do I need anything bigger than my 22 Hornet, I dont so thats what I hunt with.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

Ethics aside, just looking at the overall target size as relates to a kill zone, neck shots are chancy. The responsibilty to the hunter is to make a shot that will minimize suffering and guarantee that the animal will be recovered quickly to avoid meat spoilage and predation and scavenging. The neck contains the spine, which is maybe an inch and a half in diameter, and an artery that is much smaller than that. The windpipe I wouldn't consider a fatal zone, as we have all heard of tracheotomies. In a perfect world with no wind (or shooter error) a good marksman at ease and not rushed can pull it off. Throw in the fact that deer are skittish, swinging their heads around at the slightest breeze or sound, inquisitve and almost always moving, and you have a recipe for error.

A heart/lung gives a shooter (nervous or not, but often rife with buck fever, even on does) an 8" target where the possibilities of hitting a major organ and delivering a one shot fatalhit are much greater than thecontroversal neck shot.

Another alternative is the shoulder joint shot, where the shooter aims at the shoulder, about 4" below the backline,inline with the front leg. This has always for me, dropped the deer exactly where it stood, typically taking both shoulder joints, the spine and the lungs in one shot.

As far as meat loss, I would think if you actually measured the amount and quality of meat in any of these areas the losses are minimal. I would hazard a guess there are less ounces of meat lost in a heart/lung shot, if one doesn't count the heart when it is struck. I have spent my last hour scraping the few ounces of meat that are found on the shoulder blades. Boil 'em up and let the dogs have at them.

For the Original thread starter, I think the impetus of many of these hunting shows is educational, part of that responsibilty is ethics. I have shot deer in the neck before, but I don't advocate it in my hunter safety training courses I teach. Keep in mind that many neophytes watching these shows are learning and they are nervous with little experience. My car can go 175 miles an hour but I wouldn't want my 16 year old daughter driving it the way I feel comfortable driving it.

If one is comfortable with a neck shot, feel free. That said, I wouldn't go espousing the neck shot to every beginner I talked to about hunting though.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:34 PM
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Default RE: Neck shots ethical????

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Oh come on, whoever said a neck shot aint ethical is a total idiot. I've shot many deer in the neck and I have never had a single one take another breath. Shooting one in the heart or lungs, you know there's a good chance they're gonna run a little bit. That's more unethical than shooting one and it dying instantly. All neck shots I've taken resulted in instant death the minute the bullet hit the skin.
Now I know you're exaggerating. Even if you sever both Carotid arteries, an animal still has enough blood to take multiple more breaths.
There is a lot of dead space aka non-lethal injury space in the neck, namely the trachea region anteriorly and inferiorly. You hit a deer there, it will run for hours and eventually die of pneumonia weeks later.
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