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Old 03-17-2012, 11:07 AM
Dacotah Eye Dacotah Eye is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Dakota.
Posts: 2,261

I respect your opinions guys and I was hoping mine was worth posting. I should have known better. I usually hunt in a river bottom within 50 yards of a deer trail and shoot from a natural blind with a good rest. Here is another opinion if you care to read it and I'm not saying I'm any type of expert, but it has worked for me for a lot of years. Nuff said.

by Rex Trulove

Created on: October 11, 2010
Expert deer hunters aim for the neck for a few solid reasons. All of them make it worthwhile to shoot for the neck for anyone who is hunting, especially with a rifle, and regardless of skill level.
The first reason is for the sake of the deer. It would be reasonable to assume that most deer hunters aren't out there to inflict needless suffering. This can happen if trying for a body shot. If a shot for the heart is a few inches off, the deer may indeed die, but it could also drag itself a long distance before it does. A neck shot that is a few inches off will either miss the deer or bring it down, most of the time.
Second, since the neck shot kills the deer quickly, there is little tracking involved. Tracking an injured deer for miles, through dense forest, can be more than troublesome. If the deer is dropped within a couple hundred feet of where it was shot, only minimal tracking is needed. That is a lot less effort, which plays well for the deer hunter.

Third, there is far less waste. Few people eat much of the deer neck, because there is little meat there. Deer heart and liver, however, are prized. A shot through the heart, at the very least, leaves very little heart meat to eat, if it is an accurate shot. At the same time, it also spoils rib or shoulder meat, because of the passage of the bullet.
Some deer, like mule deer, can field dress at over 300 pounds. Most are much smaller. If 25 pounds of good meat is wasted because of a body shot, that is a considerable loss of usable meat. A neck shot deer usually has little wasted meat.
It needs to be understood that most deer hunters are after the meat, not the trophy. Trophy hunters may go after body shots in order to save the head and neck for mounting. It is doubtful that they care much about the meat, but it should still be noted that a neck shot is still the better choice.
Severing the base of the neck causes minimal damage to the deer, including trophy specimens.
Expert hunters know all of this. More often than not, it will be a neck shot they use to bring down their buck, and often they may pass up a shot if they don't have a clear neck shot. That is part of what makes them experts. They will even shoot for the neck if they are doe hunting, though the necessity is not as great as with bucks.
As related by Freda Helmers, who was an expert hunter, "If I can't get a neck shot, I won't shoot. I've eaten venison all my life, and I won't waste it because of a stupid body shot. High powered rifles make a lot of damage as the bullet goes through."
Freda had a track record of 37 bucks in 25 years, all legal, and all of them shot through the neck. That includes one dropped on a full run, at an angle, at 500 yards.
Another person, Steve (last name withheld on request) is also an expert. He hunts with a rifle, bow, and muzzle loader. He thinks that anyone who tries to bring down a buck by anything but a neck shot is crazy.
"I've had deer that I could have shot, but didn't have a neck shot," he says. "I let them go. There will be other days. There is no way that I'm going to ruin that excellent buck meat by shooting it in the body, and having tracked an accidentally gut shot buck almost 10 miles, I don't want to repeat the experience."
It does indeed work for does, too, but most expert hunters won't consider shooting a deer of either sex, anywhere but the neck. The benefits are obvious. It isn't always easy, but it is worthwhile.
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
North American Hunting Club
Dale Heath, Master hunting guide
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