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dgfavor

Shooting Bedded Deer

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Clueless1

Younger me would have shot.  I don't know that bullet per se but there aren't a whole lot of bullets out of a 6.5 that aren't going to make it very far through that deer.  Younger me would shoot both shoulders out of deer so I didn't have a tracking job.  Younger me also spent a LOT more time with a rifle than I do now. 

Today me, not sure.  Depends on my confidence in the bullet I loaded and how much time I had spent with the rifle leading up to season.  Most years not much anymore. 

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NCgrouse

All great reasons to hold off dg. When I take my wife, and when I start taking my son, I will want the most vanilla, unexciting scenario to play out as possible. No squealing thrashing and back end dragging or mercy follow up stuff. Much less intense for new folks especially. 

 

Looking forward to your update when you get back in there and kill him.

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pjourn

I live in your neighborhood and had a similar experience a few years back. I was with my nephew who was about 16 at the time. We had walked into a nice buck bedded at about 25 yards. We sat down, got him set up and waited. And waited. And waited. And thought about taking the shot. And thought better. And wondered where a 270 sighted in at 200 yard would even hit at 25 yards. And waited. And then I tried to get him up. And he wouldn't. So we waited. Finally, without much warning, he bolted uphill in a direction we hadn't discussed as a possibility and didn't present much of a shot. My nephew passed on a bad shot and I was very proud of him. We still laugh about that buck. 

 

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MAArcher
23 hours ago, bobman said:

 

I wouldn’t shoot a trophy in the head 

 

Come on, you wouldn’t like a nice Texas mount with a bullet hole right between the eyes?  

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Canuck

Or a "Manitoba Mount" which is just like the Texas Mount only the deer has a hole in both hooves as a result of covering its eyes to shield them from the spotlight.

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kgb
On 10/14/2020 at 12:57 PM, E.Young said:

On shooting at that range, I currently sight my .308 in to one click high (1/4") at 25yd which puts me back at POA/POI on at 200yd, which is +2" at 100yd and -2" at 400yd. In SWVA, I did 1/4" low at 25yd which gives point blank again at 100yd. The first sighting has covered me on everything I can need, but back home in the Blue Ridge, a 200yd shot was never gonna happen. With the above, I've had 100% success shooting bedded deer in the shoulder. Have never had one get up, but I will caveat that that's a sample size of probably 6-8 deer. 

 

I plugged in a 200 yard zero for a high-BC 155gr .308 bullet at 2900fpsMV and it's 20+ inches low at 400yd.

 

http://www.shooterscalculator.com/ballistic-trajectory-chart.php?pl=[Preset+Name]&presets=&df=G1&bc=0.435&bw=150&vi=2900&zr=200&sh=1.5&sa=0&ws=0&wa=90&ssb=on&cr=600&ss=50&chartColumns=Range~yd%3BElevation~in%3BElevation~MOA~FBFFF5%3BElevation~MIL%3BWindage~in%3BWindage~MOA~FBFFF5%3BWindage~MIL%3BTime~s%3BEnergy~ft.lbf%3BVel[x%2By]~ft%2Fs&lbl=basic&submitst=+Create+Graph+

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kgb

Last time I was in PA for hunting season I drove past a doe bedded down on a hillside below a paved road.  Backed up to get a good look at her and she at most ducked her head a little.  Weather was getting a little raw and I think she just wanted to sit it out where she was.  Thinking of a possible shot in such a situation I figured the only thing offered would be at the spot right under her chin as she looked straight at me with her head up relatively high.  Have never taken a neck shot, I'm in the broadside through-the-lungs/heart camp, but had that deer been a legal setup for me I would have taken it given a steady rest.  

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E.Young
7 hours ago, kgb said:

 

🤷‍♂️ Never shot that far, that's just the math I got at at the range about ten years ago. -20" doesn't sound right, and I've always hit as close as I can expect at a bit under 200, but I'm not a marksman or a math guy. 

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casts_by_fly
16 hours ago, E.Young said:

 

🤷‍♂️ Never shot that far, that's just the math I got at at the range about ten years ago. -20" doesn't sound right, and I've always hit as close as I can expect at a bit under 200, but I'm not a marksman or a math guy. 

 

The trajectory drops off fast the further you go.  Minus 20" is actually pretty good for a 308.  A high BC 155 gr bullet in a 308 at 2900 is a pretty hot load.  A more normal 150 gr HP 308 load is going to be around 2800 fps at the muzzle and the BC will be a lot lower.  You'd be talking nearly 30" low at 400 yards with a 200 yard zero at that point.  And that assumes your gun can hit the speed rating printed on the box.  Most loads are coming out of a 24" barrel.  I don't know about you, but I don't hunt with a 24" barrel. 

 

For reference, growing up we had a farm where shooting ridge to ridge was common when deer were pushed from one farm to the next.  It was 400 yards top to top dead level.   And shots were often 350-400 where they would first stop.  We shot 30-06, 165 ballistic tips chronographed at 2950 at the muzzle.  4" high at 100 yards was 4" low at 350 and by 400 you had to hold level with their backs to hit vitals (calculates to 10" or so low).  That's how my dad's gun was set up.  My was dead on at 200 and you'd have to hold over their back at 400 (I didn't shoot that far much).  When they'd stop at 350 it was level with their backs to hit vitals.

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casts_by_fly
On 10/14/2020 at 12:12 PM, dgfavor said:

Hunting on Monday morning I glassed up what appeared to be a real nice buck ...

 

 

Sooo, long story but question is...at that range, with deer bedded and no clear vitals (we did have clear head and upper neck for discussions sake), with that weapon/bullet/etc...what shot is good?  is any shot good?  what are ballistics for such close range?  We have no regrets, we had a great experience, we did not wound a really magnificent deer and I'm thinking we will learn something from it.  What say anyone? 

 

You made the right call for you in that situation- if you're not sure then don't take the shot.  Going foreward though, let's get you sure.

 

At that range, the bullet has so much energy that the 'unpredictable' options will be in your favor.  Bullets are designed to expand at a working range of speeds.  I wouldn't count on certain bullets to expand at great range when they have slowed down a lot- it takes energy to expand a bullet.  Some bullets will over expand (some say 'blow up') at higher speeds than design speed.  On a close range deer and a 143 grain bullet I wouldn't worry about overexpansion.  A laying down deer that is showing you its front end in any orientation is done.  Put the bullet in center of mass and the deer isn't going to get up.  If it is brisket forward you're going straight down the body taking heard and lungs.  If it is broadside you're either into heart and lung or you're breaking the shoulder.  A shot into the middle of the neck will take minimum 1 of spine or artery, maybe both.  The only shot I wouldn't take is a headshot.  I've seen more than a few deer that have been hit in the mouth/jaw area from people taking headshots.  That's not a kill shot (at least not until it starves to death).  To kill a deer with a headshot you have about a golf/tennis ball sized area that you have to center.  That's too close for me with a deer gun (with a squirrel gun that's a different story).  If you can't see the front end because of grass/brush then I agree that's not a shot to take, but the upper neck is perfectly fine.

 

thanks

rick

 

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Chukarman

Doug, I don't believe that Lillian would cuss, let alone go on a cussing streak.

 

If this was a one-time only opportunity, I would likely take the shot at close range. But this buck is in your neighborhood and is unlikely to go far. It will be fun to hunt him again and see if you can outwit him.

 

Good luck and post a picture when you 'git her done'.

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Tim Frazier

This is a great story and one that created memories, so that's a win right there!  Being that we shoot lots of deer up close here in Ohio and PA I always check POA at 25 yards.  I'm sure many don't but it goes back to when we had to use slugs for me.  I would have no hesitation with a good neck shot with a high velocity round or big heavy slug (45-70, 44mag) but I have passed up shots on game others would feel comfortable with.  It's all based on your experience.  

 

Ultimately though we don't hunt for sustenance and memories and time in the field are the true trophies.  So awesome story, or at least the first chapter of the story!

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