Home Forums Campfire Forum Ethical Shots

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    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Post count: 579

      Back from my first week of hunting for the 2014 fall season. Had a blast and made 4 stalks 3 of which got me in close, but got busted drawing or waiting to draw on 2 of them. One of them I was really close, 7 yards; however, he was strongly quartering towards me and only presented his scapula and humerus. As we were watching each other I was thinking about one of the books about Ishi. There were photographs of him butchering a buck he killed, by shooting it through the neck with his arrow.

      Has anyone purposely killed an animal shooting through the neck (with bow and arrow obviously)? Does anyone think it could be an ethical shot?

    • shaneharley
      Post count: 118

      I just recently seen a video where a guy took a shot at a forward facing elk. I couldn’t believe that he would have done that because it just seems like a long shot letting the air out of him. Also the elk wasn’t really spooked and he could have waited for it to keep coming and turn. Plus they recorded it and played it at the full draw film tour… I was kind of disappointed. I wouldn’t think that is how you would want to advertise yourself. They did recover the bull but I don’t know… I met another guy that bragged about making a Texas heart shot on a bull elk. He ended up with the elk but I don’t know… I had a doe that I would have gladly shot this past year in front of me for 45 minutes. Within 15 yards. I got sore and changed position several times it was so long. All I had was that facing shot. I could have put an arrow in her from minute one to 45 but waited for her to turn. She never did and another doe came behind me, I was on the ground, at about 4 feet and whiffed me and both vacated the area in a quick hurry. For me I just soon not risk a neck or a facing chest shot… I did kill one with a wheel bow where the arrow did strange things in the air and ended up just cutting the front of the neck. The blood was a misty spray and eventually the buck would have bled out but I tracked him and double lunged him because it started to rain and the blood was misty. So killing one in the throat can be done but I don’t think I would try for it.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Reading such posts, I always key in on the “ethical” question that is raised.

      I once read something that stuck with me: Ethics are what we do when nobody is there to see us

      That about covers it for me.

      People like Ishi hunt to survive…next meal, life sustenance and all that… I’m pretty sure I’d do a lot of things if I were starving or very hungry that I’d like to believe I’d not do, “if nobody was there to see”.

      As for killing shot? Well, I think most of us would agree that the neck or TX Heart is a “low percentage” kill shot. Sure, it can happen, but it’s not what we would want to count on…

    • Fallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      I teach the bowhunter ed classes for the state of Minnesota. We tell our students No neck shots. The 2 vitals in the neck are the spine and the juggler vein. The spine is protected by bone about 1″ across and is not easy to pin piont a location in the neck. The juggler vein about the diameter of a pencil and also there is no good way to pin point its location. The other thing about this shot location is that they can raise, lower or turn their head very quickly so just when release the arrow you can just put a arrow through muscle.

      The neck shot was the meat hunters shot of choice with a rifle because of the shock damage to the spinal cord that dropped them on the spot.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      All that up there! And, I hit a small buck in the neck (spined it) as a teenage hunter. It blatted and bawled something awful. So, I prefer not to go that route by choice.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 579

      Great info fellas. I, as well, have heard about someone killing an elk with a head on shot through the brisket, but like you guys say, there’s a lot of room for error. I was gun hunting hogs and shot an “eatin’ boar hog” (as the locals called it). My buddy ran up and grabbed him at the shot, and holding him down he put his knife into the pigs neck and sawed back and forth to cut the artery and vein. We thought he was finished and went to get the truck. When we returned he was still alive…! Finished him quickly with .22 to head, but I then realized how much muscle protected the boars neck. It was incredible.

      paleo, I’d hate to have to listen to that, its hard enough to hear the bear moan.

      What’s the “Texas heart shot”?

    • shaneharley
      Post count: 118

      Texas heart shot is up the backside.

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      Fallguy wrote: The neck shot was the meat hunters shot of choice with a rifle because of the shock damage to the spinal cord that dropped them on the spot.

      Been there, done that with a rifle at 35 yards while I waited for a buck to come around a corner. But I would never attempt a neck shot with a bow.

    • wahoo
      Member
      Post count: 415

      some sights promote those kind of shots. I am talking with the kid at work that claims the best shot on an elk is the face forward frontal chest shot – he gets that crap off some site on the web

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      There are some good comments here. I go with Doc on the ethics comment. When you read about the shots taken by Pope & Young and the famous old timers in the rifle community, it makes you wonder. Things were different then, at least in the minds of sportsmen. I’m very glad to read here that we as a herd generally would not consider anything but the most ethical shots. It’s not without error, but at least trying to do it right from the outset is the way to go. Good thread. thanks, david

    • 1shot
      Post count: 252

      I have,knock on wood, never lost a deer to a poor shot, 75-100deer with a recurve, over 200 deer with the rifle.

      If I am shooting, the critter is dying, it may sound kinda strange to some people, but I want to kill the critter, not hurt him.

      The main reason why I havent “lost” any Deer, I believe, is that I only take shots that will get my arrow into the lung/heart area.

      Distance is a factor, but also angle and animals level of awareness.

      When setting-up tree stands/brush blinds, distance and angle of possible shots are my main focus.

      Do I pass on many close-up shots because “things” just arent right to me??? Yes I do…

    • jczieske
      Member
      Post count: 22

      For me, a clean quick kill is most important. I need a clear shot at the boiler room on any animal I am pursuing for it to be considered ethical.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      Doc Nock wrote: Reading such posts, I always key in on the “ethical” question that is raised.

      I once read something that stuck with me: Ethics are what we do when nobody is there to see us

      That about covers it for me.

      People like Ishi hunt to survive…next meal, life sustenance and all that… I’m pretty sure I’d do a lot of things if I were starving or very hungry that I’d like to believe I’d not do, “if nobody was there to see”.

      As for killing shot? Well, I think most of us would agree that the neck or TX Heart is a “low percentage” kill shot. Sure, it can happen, but it’s not what we would want to count on…

      Sums it up for me! I don’t need to kill an animal, and I don’t want to kill an animal so bad to gamble on a shot other than a broadside lung/heart shot.

    • Kent Hansen
      Member
      Post count: 9

      Ptaylor wrote: Back from my first week of hunting for the 2014 fall season. Had a blast and made 4 stalks 3 of which got me in close, but got busted drawing or waiting to draw on 2 of them. One of them I was really close, 7 yards; however, he was strongly quartering towards me and only presented his scapula and humerus. As we were watching each other I was thinking about one of the books about Ishi. There were photographs of him butchering a buck he killed, by shooting it through the neck with his arrow.

      Has anyone purposely killed an animal shooting through the neck (with bow and arrow obviously)? Does anyone think it could be an ethical shot?

      Two ways to think about this…if you are an ethical hunter, and there is no doubt in my mind you are based on your concern about this issue, do you not strive for high kill, low maim percentage shots? By that definition, though a neck shot may seem questionable, it may not be given your skill level and the shot presented…we all make this decision at the time it presents itself. I would suggest that while some may disagree, a neck shot presents a much better chance of a kill than a maim. Certainly, it’s a small target, but a hit that’s not lethal will likely be a clean wound that will heal quickly (assuming sharp, clean broad heads). Personally, it’s not one I’ve taken simply due to the fact I’ve not been presented with a neck shot that wasn’t moving about and I’m good enough but I’m not that good!

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      AlexBugnon wrote: [quote=Doc Nock]Reading such posts, I always key in on the “ethical” question that is raised.

      I once read something that stuck with me: Ethics are what we do when nobody is there to see us

      That about covers it for me.

      People like Ishi hunt to survive…next meal, life sustenance and all that… I’m pretty sure I’d do a lot of things if I were starving or very hungry that I’d like to believe I’d not do, “if nobody was there to see”.

      As for killing shot? Well, I think most of us would agree that the neck or TX Heart is a “low percentage” kill shot. Sure, it can happen, but it’s not what we would want to count on…

      Sums it up for me! I don’t need to kill an animal, and I don’t want to kill an animal so bad to gamble on a shot other than a broadside lung/heart shot.

      Sound reasoning to me guys.

    • Ptaylor
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 579

      If I remember correctly, Howard Hill killed an elk at 186 yards with his longbow. Certainly a different time, bowhunting has come a long way since then, and thankfully.

      Something else occurred to, a possible by product of the Ashby studies:

      As I stood there watching the deer’s shoulder blade block my shot, I thought, “I built this arrow to break through bone, if I chanced to hit one. Couldn’t I just shoot through the scapula then?” It was a tempting notion, but thankfully I abstained. However, I can see the Ashby arrows almost encouraging people to take shots blocked by bone because that’s what they are made to do. Hopefully not, but a potential side effect of the lethality studies.

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      Ethical Shots are relative to why you are hunting. If you are hunting because you are starving there are no ethical shots. If you are hunting like the majority of us are then every shot should Ethical.

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