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Losing my first buck tips?

Old 11-20-2022, 09:25 AM
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Spike
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Default Losing my first buck tips?

Hello all. This is my first year hunting and I was lucky enough to shoot my first buck yesterday morning, a 4 pointer. I was on a field side in a blind and he was below me in the field. I could not believe it when I shot him, a feeling Iíve never experienced! Unfortunately, I spent the next 8 hours tracking him down and never found him. Strangely enough, towards the end of the day before it became dark our, the deer stopped bleeding. At first the blood trail was strong.I figured that would mean Iíd walk up on him down quickly but that never happened. When I took the shot I was aiming for his vitals, his heart behind the shoulder. I was exited before I made the shot so itís possible I could have moved slightly before taking the shot. I just feel real terrible about not being able to find the deer. An almost sick feeling. Is there any advice anyone could offer me or any suggestions on how to improve for next time so my chances of this happening again are low? And why in the 8 hours he never dropped and seemed to stop bleeding? I really appreciate any feedback. Thank you in advance
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Old 11-20-2022, 04:41 PM
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what weapon/caliber were you using?
how far away were you when you shot?
too many people miss simply because they spend most of their time shooting off a bench rest, not from field positions, in practice, Id certainly suggest you spend a great deal more time using a sling and shooting at 50 yard targets off hand

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Last edited by hardcastonly; 11-20-2022 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 11-20-2022, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I was shooting my River American chambered in .308 WC. The deer was about 70-80 yards away from me Iíd say. When you mentioned using a sling while shooting, what do you mean by that? Also, when you mentioned shooting field position and off hand are you saying shoot as if I were actually out hunting while Iím at the shooting range versus off the bench? Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-21-2022, 03:39 AM
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Yes, that is what he said. After your gun is sighted in take some shoots standing up, sitting down and kneeling. Using the sling is having it adjusted so you can make a single wrap around the arm of the shoulder you hold the rifle against so it pulls tight when the rifled is shoulder. It will give you steadiness. Also check to see if tracking dogs are legal in your state and get a list of approved handlers so you have it for the future.
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Old 11-21-2022, 10:10 AM
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if you have the option ,its generally rather helpful to learn to shoot SKEET, as it helps you gain the rapid hand/eye coordination required to use a shoulder fired weapon on moving targets, now obviously use of a shotgun on Arial clay birds is not the same as shooting at a rapidly departing white tail deer's heart/lung area, but if you can consistently hit 20 plus skeet targets with a scatter gun, you'll have very little difficulty using an accurate rifle to drop a running deer at under 50 yards or so.
and used with a sling, if you take a second or two longer, with a decent optic (low power scope)
(hitting a 6" orange dot target at 100 yards in under 5 seconds,
with a first or second shot is a skill that's fairly easy to acquire with enough repeated practice)
now a lot of guys might suggest you select a lever action, pump or semi auto, so you have nearly instant repeat shot capability,(which certainly might be helpful) but its that first well placed shot that's much more critical to upping your odds of success, than laying in a hail of projectiles on a bouncing white tail deer,
as it rapidly seeks to put a great deal of distance between you and his current location.
BTW, a good bolt action, with a fast 60-72 degree bolt lift, like a, tika, browning or Weatherby can with practice allow a well practiced rifleman to put down a very rapid follow up shot should it be required , and yeah, if you select a lever action, pump or semi auto, you can get off a second shot rapidly, but again the goal is a well placed first shot, and a 150-165 grain bullet in your 308 win is certainly a lethal combo in your current rifle IF you place it correctly.
theres no need for you to change weapons, but I'd strongly suggest you practice shooting off hand rapidly from a standing position.
the fact that your deer was not mortally wounded and did not drop within 20-50 yards of bullet impact is almost certainly the result of less than ideal shot placement (it happens, ) the lesson learned should be... your not just trying to shoot faster, your trying to be certain that any shot you fire hits exactly where you intended it to, and that requires practice in shooting from standing field positions, and a good sling and a decent scope certainly aids in precise shot placement!

BTW

your certainly not alone, anyone with much experience has either missed a shot or had it hit in a place it was not intended
and I can tell you most of the guys Ive hunted with can shoot 1"-2" 100 yard bench rested groups easily, but damn few could could consistently and rapidly hit a 5"-6" orange dot at 100 yards shooting off hand until they put in a great deal of practice, and everyone of them became much more consistently successful once they acquired that skill level,
and yeah, if you have the option of leaning against a tree or dropping to a sitting position obviously its to your advantage to do so, so you do that!
https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/online-course/images-shooting/sittingRao_20120413_0017.png
https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/online-course/images-shooting/StandingLee.png


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Last edited by hardcastonly; 11-21-2022 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 11-21-2022, 03:10 PM
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Behind the shoulder you may have missed the vital parts. the heart is very low in the body of a deer and the lungs are not much higher. If you shoot high in the shoulder you not only cripple it but can easily get an instant kill and drop by hitting the spine. with a .308 you can shatter the shoulder blades and you will find him very quickly. Good luck on your next hunt.
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Old 11-21-2022, 03:18 PM
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Have you ever killed deer? A behind the shoulder is about the best shot to take, most times I get the heart and lungs and I aim at the crease behind the shoulder about a 3rd of the was up the body and I have no problem making a mortal shot.
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Old 11-22-2022, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
Have you ever killed deer? A behind the shoulder is about the best shot to take, most times I get the heart and lungs and I aim at the crease behind the shoulder about a 3rd of the was up the body and I have no problem making a mortal shot.
Low behind the shoulder is where I shoot with a bow, and the lower 3rd is the shot for that, my point was much higher and you can miss the heart and lungs.
I have killed several never had one go more than 30 yards, with the high shoulder shot.

Last edited by TheCreeper; 11-22-2022 at 03:03 AM.
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