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Deer drives

Old 01-11-2017, 04:40 PM
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Default Deer drives

All the posts about head/neck shots vs the vitals got me thinking. If you consider a neck/head shot unethical, what are your thoughts on deer drives or shooting at a deer that is running or trotting? Where I'm from, deer drives are common practice and rarely do you get shots at a deer standing broadside.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:50 PM
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To each his own since I prefer a one on one with the deer and don't hunt anywhere that you need to have a drive. IMHO If a guy knows what he's doing it's not unethical to shoot at a deer trotting at close range, but I can't see it at full speed or at any distance. That's just me since I prefer to hunt where I have scouted and know the deer movements such that a good standing shot is presented 100% of the time when one comes along unaware I'm waiting in ambush.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:58 PM
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I grew up learning to hunt in CO. Glassing, spot and stalk and still hunting were what we used. Deer drives simply aren't done out there. I have nothing against them but in my mind the shooter needs to be very careful about what shot they take and what shot they pass on. And I'm betting that most deer taken on drives are dropped with chest shots, not neck or head shots. There is a reason, bigger target. Doesn't matter if a deer is standing still or moving, the chest will always be a bigger target. It is what it is.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:06 PM
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They drive a lot in Pa. Went on a few and for some odd reason they always posted me as a shooter As far as your question goes, flat out running, no, not an ethical shot to take. Trotting at say 50-70 yards, yep if you know your rifle well and know the lead of your particular rifle/cartridge combo.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:08 PM
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There's nothing wrong with shooting running / trotting deer in certain circumstances. I hunt deer with buckshot on an extremely thick property. At any given spot I might have a couple very small shooting lanes out to about 20-25 yards max. If I relied on deer stopping in those lanes I wouldn't shoot many deer.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:18 PM
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Been on them and have killed deer. More like slow calculated pushes. They deer I have shot were shoulder/chest shots not head.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:24 PM
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Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
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Deer drives are definitely a regional thing. In PA we do them every year, Ohio too. I've shot many deer on the trot/run. The key to good deer drives is knowing your escape routes and setting up on them. If you're pretty sure where the deer will go when pushed you can usually put your standers right on top of them.

For you western guys.... I've often wondered why they don't push out the creek bottoms etc... seems like good areas to push.

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Old 01-11-2017, 10:47 PM
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I look at a controlled push as a few guys slowly moving and frequently stopping almost like a stalk, toward one or a few set shooters waiting on deer encouraged to move towards or past them. These deer are likely to move a bit and stand and look back.

I look at drives as a group or line of pushers not concerned with how much noise they are making and maybe even intentionally making noise to get deer out in front of them to run towards or past set shooters. I don't like them, do them or endorse this.

Why? It's too dangerous. I don't believe that the rule of, "Be sure of your target and what is beyond it." can be followed when you are making fast offhand shots at a deer who has a constant change of what is beyond it.
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:10 AM
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Location: MICHIGAN
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When I was a kid growing up in mid Michigan I was usually a driver on those types of hunts. All the neighbors would gather Thanksgiving afternoon, I don't know if it was a under stood thing to drive or if it was a word of mouth thing because not many had a telephone back then.

They would drive down the road to a farm that had a swampy brush filled area every one got out of the car/trucks an some one who seemed to be the leader set the standers, then the kids and some of the adults were drivers. You would pretty much keep your mouth shut and sort of sneak along with the wind blowing the scent to the deer. several times a buck would get shot trying to sneak past the drivers. Also many times the deer did not come tearing out of those swampy area until they hit the open then the afterburners would kick in.

Can't say when they stopped doing those drives for sure but I know I never went on one again after 1964.
Never really liked them my self.

I like my unmolested deer relaxed and walking thru my woods looking for a hot doe. No iffy shots taken. Know where every one else is too.

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Old 01-12-2017, 04:24 AM
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Location: Onslow County, NC
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Deer drives don't bother me, it's just another social event meant to put meat in the freezer. Base here does them twice a season put on by a hunt club and the shooters are Service Members, drivers are the club members.

Many here that do deer drives put emphasis on hitting the largest target (chest) of the deer and many spend the week prior to a drive at the skeet range practicing.

I see it no different then when we run rabbits with dogs, shooting at flying fowl, or running deer with dogs. You practice, practice, and practice for the type of hunting you are going to be doing. If you can only shoot at a target sitting perfectly still then we don't want you out there.
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