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Misses

Old 01-01-2019, 10:36 PM
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Or near misses, just a discussion. I remember having the discussion with an old time Hunter about the Deer moving before the bullet hit. He told me I'm full of Deer droppings (paraphrase). I'm a pretty good shot and with a good rest seldom miss my point of aim by more than an inch or two. I've had hits on Deer where the point of impact was a good distance from my point of aim. I started taking most of my shots when the Deer were head down feeding, instinctively and seldom had a point of impact different than my point of aim. I came to the conclusion that when the point of impact was different than the point of aim it was almost always on the horizontal. Could be I'm jerking the trigger, but that is unlikely as I have a set trigger (likely) set to less than a pound of pull.

Bear with me here and don't hesitate to correct my math. 3000 fps as a likely velocity (hedging to the high side) is 1000 yards per second. Average shot 150 yards. That is 0.15 seconds flight time for the bullet (approximate). Likely a little longer as I'm using muzzle velocity and bullets start slowing as soon as they leave the barrel. By my reckoning that is plenty of time for the Deer to be in motion between seeing the muzzle flash and the bullet hitting.

Average human reaction time is .25 seconds. I recently watched a video that times a Buck jumping the string on a bow hunter, reaction time 0.08 seconds between the twang and the Deer hunching enough for an arrow miss.

I think it is possible for a Deer to be in motion after seeing the muzzle flash and before the bullet hits. What do you think, is my math wrong?
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:02 AM
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I can't buy that, by the time a deer sees the muzzle flash and the message gets to the brain and the brain tells the muscles to react the bullet is in them. Most hunting bullets are supersonic, that is faster than reaction time I believe, and the bullet hits them before the sound reaches them . The speed of an arrow is an entirely different animal, no pun intended.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:11 AM
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given the stated reaction time, of a white tail deer at .08 seconds,
lets say its reaction time to a shot is from a rifle throwing a projectile at 2700-to- 2500 fps,
average white tail deer are shot at well under 150 yards
(Id bet the true average is well under 80 yards,)

and at any range over 150 yards, I doubt the deer would pick up the muzzle flash,
and certainly could not hear the shot before bullet impact.
simple math, if we were to even assume even a slower, 2300 fps x .08 seconds reaction time,
the projectile has already covered at least 184 feet (61 yards) of the distance to the impact point,
before the deer could, even begin to react or move any significant distance,
boost the velocity to 3000 fps and your closer to 80 yards the projectile has traveled before the deer could begin to react,
so while its might be potentially possible under ideal conditions for the deer,
I doubt its a significant factor in most people missing.
ever year we have a impromptu rifle accuracy contest the target is a 3" diam orange dot,
the contest involves each participant walking briskly back from the 100 yard target backer,too the range, safe shooting line,
immediately dropping to a seated position with his deer rifle and firing at least two but hes allowed as many shots as he can fire in 10 seconds
only the closest two bullet impact point,s to the center of the target count, in your score,
obviously smallest total distance counts, and you would be astounded at the number of people,
that can consistently shoot 1" bench rest groups that can,t consistently punch holes in a 3" orange dot without a bench rest.
Id strongly suggest most misses are the result of lack of hunter competency with the chosen weapon,

years ago I saw a game department survey made where they asked hundreds of hunters at a western BLM check point, to look out at 5 different colored flags placed at random but carefully measured distances and write down what each person estimated the distance too be from the check point, they were handed a pen and a survey card, they were told NONE of the colored flags were at an even 100 yard multiple but that was the only info , each flag was a different, color, placed in a
different direction and at a different distance.
the survey taker pointed out each colored flag and asked them to write down their estimated range!
they tabulated the actual hunters field estimates being made on the spot, vs the carefully measure actual distances.
.
.
the results were about what Id have expected..after decades of listening to guys claim they killed deer & elk at 400 and 500 and 600 yards.......
the vast majority were very VERY bad at estimating distances correctly past about 150 yards, some estimates that were over 70% wrong were not uncommon

yes thats a mule deer, but even mule deer are rather commonly shot at under 150 yards
use some rifle like a 25/06 with a 120 grain bullet, a 270 win with a 130-140 grain, or a 30/06 with a 150 grain, thats pushing bullets near 3000 fps,
and you can be rather sure that deer reaction time,is never a significant factor in you missing a deer.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 01-02-2019 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:40 AM
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Game animals do not have a bullseye painted on their hide either.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:20 PM
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No way your missing deer due to them moving after seeing muzzle flash. They have no idea what a muzzle flash is and there is no sound until after the bullet hits them. I think this theory is bunk. Your pulling some of the shots or misjudging exactly where you aimed. I shot at a deer 4 times this year and missed it with every shot. It an the 4 deer with it never moved a muscle the entire time. They definitely heard shooting not sure if they saw a muzzle flash but either way they have no concept of what is happening. As it turns out, I was hitting a small spruce branch that was just in front of the muzzle without realizing it. Couldn't see it in the scope. Lesson learned better trimming next time.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dhasemann View Post
No way your missing deer due to them moving after seeing muzzle flash. They have no idea what a muzzle flash is and there is no sound until after the bullet hits them. I think this theory is bunk. Your pulling some of the shots or misjudging exactly where you aimed. I shot at a deer 4 times this year and missed it with every shot. It an the 4 deer with it never moved a muscle the entire time. They definitely heard shooting not sure if they saw a muzzle flash but either way they have no concept of what is happening. As it turns out, I was hitting a small spruce branch that was just in front of the muzzle without realizing it. Couldn't see it in the scope. Lesson learned better trimming next time.
Possible there was something between me and the Deer. I've hit a few where they looked like the bullet came apart before it hit. When this happens it tears up some meat.

Not an every time thing, it just happens every once in awhile and mostly my misses are where I aimed for a behind the shoulder lung shot and the bullet hit in front of the shoulder, base of the neck. That neck shot actually works well, even if it wasn't exactly planned that way. They go down in a pile, DRT. I have to ask myself why as I want to do better next time. Is it me, my rifle-scope, like you said a tuft of grass or twig, or is it possible the Deer actually saw the muzzle flash and rocked back on it's haunches ready for a bound?

Most times a Deer doesn't settle in to feeding continuously, they often go head down to feed, then pop up and look around for danger, then go back to feeding and repeat. I figure head down shots are the most likely to be the best shot, either because I have more time to shoot or maybe they aren't paying attention as much to their surroundings?
Every time I get one of those aimed for the lung and hit the neck shots I ask myself why? My clean misses or gut shots are really rare, like a few times in decades of hunting. So my shooting skills are good if not great.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:20 AM
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I agree with your old time Hunter.......
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:24 AM
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This!
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