Archery Talk Forum banner

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.

Attachments

41 - 60 of 82 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
16,151 Posts
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.
I have helped track a few neck shot animals, 3 elk and a big bear that I recall, none resulted in a recovered animal, one was on purpose, and that person has not and will not ever try that again, I was pretty irritated with that

All of them bled enough to track over a mile before losing sign, the bear lost enough blood I don’t think it could have lived, but the end of that track the bear went up a slippery cliff, so it wasn’t close to dying at that point, found one more smear of blood in a clear cut about 200yds past the cliff

The ugly thing about neck shots is you can cut through the esophagus and sentence that animal to a long and suffering death and you will never find it because it will take days (or longer) to die.

A straight up neck shot (not a frontal) is a desperate shot, and one that shows you don’t give a rat’s ass about making a clean kill, and all you care about is you possibly getting that animal by any means.

You have to get lucky to hit the jugular even if you know where it is, the spine has a good chance of stopping the broadhead before the blades reach the artery… I would imagine shooting them in the ass is technically a higher percentage shot, and hopefully we all know that’s a stupid shot

Archery is a game of close calls, we aren’t owed a critter, and if a person can’t wait for a shot with a clear path to the vitals, you have no business in the woods… especially with a bow

Alaska, I agree a lot of bad shots start with “I had to shoot”…. No they didn’t, with a bow, a shot taken in desperation is a shot that should have never been taken… you say irresponsible, I agree, but I think it’s worse than that, it’s disgusting and selfish to take a shot like that because they think the world owes them a trophy

As humans, we have the ability to kill more quickly and efficiently than any other death a wild animal can have… that’s one of my biggest feelings of “success” I would rather make a perfect shot on a small buck than a poor shot on a big buck
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
one of my 1st good bucks was a neck shot back in the mid 80’s. The buck came off a ridge looking for does, I grunted at him and turned to come to me but unfortunately he walked straight to my tree looking for the buck. I knew I was going to get busted when he turned his head and exposed his neck and I decided to take the shot. I was shooting a 70# bow with a 400 grain arrow using a 125 grain thunderhead and hit perfectly where I was aiming. He ran about 40 yards into a thicket and I heard him crashing around. I figured he went down so I climbed down and went to retrieve him, I found my arrow broke off at the insert some blood but no deer. When I started tracking him he had gone back up the ridge (mountain), half way up i found my broadhead with a big goob of meat. When I got to the top he stood from behind a log and took off, at this point I didn’t expect to find him. I walked back to my truck, You had to drive about 3-4 miles to get to the top of the ridge. I had never been out that road before and It took me awhile to figure out which ridge it was, I followed a log road all the way to the end of the ridge where I jumped him and started tracking again. I went about 20 yards and it looked like you were spraying blood with a hose, I guess his running finally caused an artery to open up, I found him about 40 yards further, I had walked right past him coming from the top. The broadhead had hit him perfectly in the neck spinal bone and left a hole that looked like he had been shot with a 357 mag hollow point and still ran 150 yards up a very steep hill. No more neck shots for me.
was this a straight on head up shot or down from the top? I don’t think I’d shoot on straight down into neck from the “back”
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
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.
The biggest buck I’ve ever been close to, was in 2005. Full draw at about 7 yards for what seemed like forever. He would never turn and give me a good shot angle. I never shot. Could I have killed him? Maybe. Is it disappointing that I didn’t kill him? Yep. But I have no regrets.
My most regrettable deer was a doe that I shot at last light when I couldn’t really see well enough. Wounded her and never recovered her, even though the shot was less than 5 yards. I regret that choice to this day, and learned from my stupid mistake.
Sometimes no shot is better than “the only shot I had”. My opinion
actually you draw quite the conclusion. I’ve just seen it work every time quickly, and wonder if people realize how deadly it is, in the rare situation that you have a buck looking at you or near eye level at least within 10 yards. Just curious about others experiences. I was surprised to see one go over 100 yards, but he was booking it because he could see the arrow in front of his nose and was trying to run away from it prolly in his head.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,418 Posts
not with a bow,for me anyway, i turned down a shot like that once a bedded buck all i could see was his neck and head over the brush at 35 yards ,i was not going to shoot i tried to wait him out but he spotted me and jumped..but im happy i did not try a shot, i have seen deer with arrows in the face because some moron tried a head shot/
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
not with a bow,for me anyway, i turned down a shot like that once a bedded buck all i could see was his neck and head over the brush at 35 yards ,i was not going to shoot i tried to wait him out but he spotted me and jumped..but im happy i did not try a shot, i have seen deer with arrows in the face because some moron tried a head shot/
Definite NO at 35 yards, even a perfect broadside is often hard at 35. Just talking about near point blank territory.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
Someone says bowhunting is dicey and you need 30-06 to kill deer. Do you stop bowhunting?
Speaking as a holier than thou preacher on AT, who knows more than the people with 10x the actual experience, because it’s what they said in hunter Ed class…..of course you should never bow hunt again! What kind of idiot question is that?! 😂

ok I admit that was just to light their fire 🤭

Better pic, this was different hitting dead center white patch, esophagus plus veins.

also a pic proving that AT robots think it’s a picture of an elk 😭. Thanks auto keyword robot!
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
4,597 Posts
Speaking as a holier than thou preacher on AT, who knows more than the people with 10x the actual experience, because it’s what they said in hunter Ed class…..of course you should never bow hunt again! What kind of idiot question is that?! 😂

ok I admit that was just to light their fire 🤭

Better pic, this was different hitting dead center white patch, esophagus plus veins.

also a pic proving that AT robots think it’s a picture of an elk 😭. Thanks auto keyword robot!
this line of 'reasoning' is even more desperate than your neck shots

at least you're consistent in your approach to life
 

· Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
Speaking as a holier than thou preacher on AT, who knows more than the people with 10x the actual experience, because it’s what they said in hunter Ed class…..of course you should never bow hunt again! What kind of idiot question is that?! 😂

ok I admit that was just to light their fire 🤭

Better pic, this was different hitting dead center white patch, esophagus plus veins.

also a pic proving that AT robots think it’s a picture of an elk 😭. Thanks auto keyword robot!
Is this a wolf?

Anyways.. as much as I condone acting responsibly and upholidng good image of bowhunters, when people declare what someone else is capable of doing it gets awfully close to when people say you can't own a gun because someone else can't be trusted with one.
 
41 - 60 of 82 Posts
Top