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Neck shots

3790 Views 81 Replies 40 Participants Last post by  Johnboy60
I just posted this in another thread a couple weeks ago, and someone had a troll comment on a neck shot.

I’ve shot 3 deer coming at me straight in the neck, and all down within 150 yards. 2 within 80. If I hit dead center it was 150 yards, if a little off so completely severed aorta is quicker,

Straight on only, in the neck and not in the chest that’s lower down, at 10 yards or less so you’re accurate within an inch, take it or no?

This one was 7 yards away, I had been drawn about 30 seconds and never would turn, just straight at me, then looked up right at me so it was this or nothing. After working 3 times I would do it again when required.

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· The Impartial Archer
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It is a low percentage shot.
I think some people are struggling with the definition............lol. Of course it'll kill the deer if you hit where you aim but at 10 20 or 40 yards when you shoot at a LIVE animal it's not always ALL about your shooting skills.......thus the "low percentage part".

OP you said you shot 3 deer coming at you at 150 yards or so........my guess is that was not with the bow.............lol. You do realize that a rifle kills by trauma and a bow does not right? I have killed a few deer with neck shots with a rifle........that said my rifles were (I don't use them anymore) dialed in for sub MOA groups at 100 yards and I never got "buck fever" with a rifle......and again that 120 grain bullet going 2950 FPS turns an 8 inch circle of that neck into mush........and arrow won't do that. Also the bullet gets there in about what? .2 seconds and the arrow is much slower.

So that means the deer can't move or react to the shot of that rifle OR the noise so all "you" have to do is make a good shot......that's not the case with the bow.....veteran bowhunters know that. The deer reactions can come into play with the bow. IOW the most alert and fastest high strung deer on the planet won't duck at 270..........lol......but it can any bow.....even a 400 FPS Xbow. So in some cases even the BEST executed shot miss their mark with the bow.

So sure if you hit the spine that's 1.5 inches wide or the jugular or get into the lungs it's a dead deer.......no doubt.....but it opens the door pretty wide for things that you didn't see coming happen as well......that's the low percentage part.
 

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I just posted this in another thread a couple weeks ago, and someone had a troll comment on a neck shot.

I’ve shot 3 deer coming at me straight in the neck, and all down within 150 yards. 2 within 80. If I hit dead center it was 150 yards, if a little off so completely severed aorta is quicker,

Straight on only, in the neck and not in the chest that’s lower down, at 10 yards or less so you’re accurate within an inch, take it or no?

This one was 7 yards away, I had been drawn about 30 seconds and never would turn, just straight at me, then looked up right at me so it was this or nothing. After working 3 times I would do it again when required.
Irresponsible! Risky shot no matter what you think and it adds fuel to the antis. You would never hunt with me. To hit that artery is nothing but pure luck.
 

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If you’re looking for an echo chamber to confirm your thoughts, this is not the best place when it comes to risky, low percentage shots. With a bow it should be broadside or quarter with clean access to the vitals. Anything else should be avoided. Let the deer walk, it won that round.
You would think, but the other day one of the more outspoken AT members had a thread titled he messed up… professed to shooting at a deer that was close and facing him, shooting down but at an angle. He says he found the deer but you know how that goes, and everyone was giving him props for doing a great job lmao. I saw someone taking a unwarranted risky shot on an animal that deserves the up most respect that we can give them… but what do I know. That poster wouldn’t hesitate to shoot at the tail I think lol.
 

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You would think, but the other day one of the more outspoken AT members had a thread titled he messed up… professed to shooting at a deer that was close and facing him, shooting down but at an angle. He says he found the deer but you know how that goes, and everyone was giving him props for doing a great job lmao. I saw someone taking a unwarranted risky shot on an animal that deserves the up most respect that we can give them… but what do I know. That poster wouldn’t hesitate to shoot at the tail I think lol.
Pretty sure both P&Y and B&C have numerous deer that were taken with risky, low percentage shots where the hunter just got lucky. Still doesn’t justify taking a bad shot.
 

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In 46 seasons of bowhunting, I've hit three deer in the neck......not because I was aiming there but because they moved as I released. Once the arrow is off the string, the hunter becomes an observer and reactor, instead of the proactive factor in the situation. Two were completely unaware of my presence and must have heard my pretty quiet recurve or 5" helical feathers coming towards them. The other buck had seen my popup blind and was actually headed towards me to investigate. He turned hard into the shot as I released my compound, which made for a nearly 600 yard tracking job. That is fact based on a virtual straight line exit across a picked corn field with the distance reading coming from my Sig Kilo rangefinder.

I tagged two of the three and have replayed those scenarios in my mind dozens of times. Bowhunting is such a dynamic environment and good situations can turn sour in a heartbeat. Why add to the potential for disaster by intentionally taking a risky shot? On the flip side, I passed an 18 yard frontal shot on a beautiful 10 many years ago while hunting on a good friend's farm. He was down the ridge a ways in a treestand and saw much of what transpired. Instead of turning to my left after digging at the scrape and licking branch, the buck turned to my right where the brush was too thick. Again I've replayed that experience in my mind dozens of times and never once regretted that I didn't pull the string. If I wounded that buck and never recovered him, I would feel far worse than I did for a few hours watching him walk away. Everyone has the prerogative to make their own decisions in the woods.....and live with the outcome. However a discussion on a bowhunting website like this is not going to justify what many feel is risky and irresponsible behavior.
 

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Of course it'll kill the deer if you hit where you aim
I'm doubting this part also. In the woods, and not at home studying a diagram, most hunters cannot quickly identify the narrow, fatal band on the neck from various angles and then pick the appropriate aiming point.

I've shot 2 deer in the neck with a 25-06, and as you said, totally different ball game. It will drop them with a neck shot so long as you roughly center the crosshairs on the neck. Of course, studying a diagram and knowing where the spine snakes through the neck to the body is a good idea.
 

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no neck shots(with bows) but i have done a chest shot(with crossbow). last year i shot a buck through the chest dead center on the hart. bolt exited out the hind quarter and went another 30yrds.(ground blind angle) deer ran 100 yrds and piled up in sight. id rather wait for broadside but chest still gets vitals.
 

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Per theOP's post, these shots were taken from the ground in which 98% of the posters have not been 7-10 yards head on with a deer at ground level.

I've done it on a mule deer, and he did not go 40 yards.
 

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A couple things stand out to me in the original post. You say “it was this or nothing” and “you would do it again when required”.
It’s almost as if you your conscience knows it’s not ideal, but you’re trying to justify it to yourself. You always have the option to pass a questionable shot. It is never “required”. This is not a self defense situation, where you have to kill this animal.

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Most of the threads/posts that assert "I had to shoot....." are dealing with a less than ideal impact. I've already noted that a seemingly good scenario can turn ugly due to unforeseen circumstances......so why add to it with internal compulsion to risk a minimal opportunity for the results? You folks keep the tracking dogs busy. A guy from OH that shows up in the fall with photos of a big buck he killed to get accolades....shot his recent one poorly. Thread didn't go over well, so he waited a few days and started another. Is modern deer hunting just about "hero photos" and bragging rights???
 

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Most of the threads/posts that assert "I had to shoot....." are dealing with a less than ideal impact. I've already noted that a seemingly good scenario can turn ugly due to unforeseen circumstances......so why add to it with internal compulsion to risk a minimal opportunity for the results? You folks keep the tracking dogs busy. A guy from OH that shows up in the fall with photos of a big buck he killed to get accolades....shot his recent one poorly. Thread didn't go over well, so he waited a few days and started another. Is modern deer hunting just about "hero photos" and bragging rights???
agreed....a lot of folks get crazy over big bucks and do things they would not in other scenarios....just look at the rich/famous hunters that poach and throw it all away

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I had a buck duck and spin a couple years ago. Got him in the ham and watched him run off. I was sick about it. Trailed a few hours later and it was a short bloodbath to a dead deer. That didn't make it a good shot or one I would ever attempt on purpose.
Similar situation in my early years Archery hunting. Had a nice backlogging a doe at a good clip 8 yards from the stand. Ended up releasing the arrow while was chasing at the 8 yards. I was sick to see The Impact points the ham. He instantly stopped chasing circled back to where he was shot, I could not nock another arrow fast enough, he was down before I was able o knock a second arrow 8 yards from the stand.

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
 

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I'm not saying you should ever choose it over a broadside lung shot obviously. But if you have a buck sticking his neck out at spitting distance from you then we can't pretend that is a "super low percentage shot". Yes it's a small target but it's so close you'd have to be pretty bad with a bow to miss, yes deer can move their neck faster than their torso but I'd like to see a deer register a threat and dodge an arrow before a 320+fps arrow can travel 10 yards.
Still low percentage given the SIZE of the window and when deer are on high alert trying to figure what something is that may move their head up and down. Now if they are broadside the up and down has less of a chance getting in the window. Bow hunting can be hard enough and we can't control much of it to put the percentages in our favor, but we can put the percentages, lower the risks, in our favor by choosing a larger target. IMO part of the reason some may take iffy shots is the fact that they don't want to wait, or lack the patience or thoroughly consider stand placement, which takes more time and effort. It is also notable that threads here on AT are guys taking those shots on bigger bucks, because they HAVE to kill that "trophy" buck and are willing to take or increase the risks to get that "trophy buck", no matter what. If one leaves out all weapons, which is a higher percentage shot, a target 4"x4" 16 square inches or a 6"x 6" target at 36 square inches? The 6x6 is 2.25 times bigger than the 4x4, so to me I will take that 2 times larger area. The size is proportional, bigger neck window, bigger broadside and with a quartering away shot the vitals are elongated. I just don't get why a bow hunter wouldn't use everything possible to put the odds in their favor.
 

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Twice this year I had a buck within 15 yards straight on. The 1st one finally turned and feed around me but never presented a shot. The last one stood head on for 5 mins if not more before finally turing around and walking directly away from me. Just to low % of a shot for me to risk taking.
 
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