19 replies [Last post]
Location: Ottawa
Joined: 05/07/2006
Posts: 8
Waiting vs. chasing

I can't really say for sure about deer, but I can show 3 examples which help prove the validity of waiting. In my younger days, i did extensive bear hunting (bears were considered a pest and we got a $5 bounty for the ears).Also, i used to guide for spring bear. When you shoot a bear, if you wait, they will crawl into the densest cover they can find, and hide, waiting to die. if you chase them, they will run until they drop. i have seen this dozens of times. Ruffed grouse are another example - if wounded, they will try to hide as deep as they can, and lie there to die. if you chase them, they will go as far as they can. the final example - I had 2 dogs that died when i was younger. In both cases, the dogs hid away from us, in a quiet place, and waited to die. i don't know what would have happened if we had disturbed them (just so you don't think I let my dogs die, one had been hit by a car, and we found her dead that evening, under our porch, the other is a bitch that had just had pups. She brought the pups to my mother, one at a time, then asked to go outside. We found her dead behind the garage).

Anyhow, I'm a firm believer in waiting. However, if it turns out I'm wrong, and this can be proven, i will gladly change my methods. Anything to prevent game from suffering needlessly.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3213
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

Well the bottom line for rifles is to use enought gun, use a good bullet, get close enought to place it well and this waiting to track business never happens.

The quickest killing shot for any cartridge may not be the best shot. That would be the neck shot. Break the spine and the deer drops like lighting. Miss the spine and it may go down but may also get up again and run off. The best target is the heart /lung area. It's a large target and I've never seen a really good cartridge fail to stop a deer in short order with this shot. The problem with it is that it's sometimes well protected and requires a bullet that can make the trip with enough left to destroy the lungs. I say lungs as I've never heart shot an animal but understand they are prone to running for some distence. Every well hit lung shot I've seen has resulted in a deer dead within just a relative few yards.

Now that shot may enter thru a shoulder or a paunch. Not good choices but many people shoot like that. THE BULLET HAS TO MAKE THE TRIP!!!! A light 24 cal bullet might not do it. A better choice in my opinion would be a 25 cal with a 115gr or up bullet.

It is also my opinion that the shot should be taken well within the max point blank range of the cartridge your using, with a 6" target. I practice at 300yds and beyond but seldom shoot more than 150-200 yds, it's never required! Not that I haven't, but I was young and foolish long ago. If the max point blank range of your cartridge is say 275yds and your shooting 6" groups at that range, get with 150 to 200 yds and it is a really easy shot to place well.

Now bear in mind that just because you shot at the chest just behind the shoulder, the shot may not hit the lungs. The animal may be quartering toward you and you may actually go thru the diaphram and into the gut. Thats an animal that may run even tho it appeared to be well hit, it wasn't!

My experience is that 7mm cartridges using 150gr bullets and up are more relaible sudden killers than say 25's with any bullet. Not that it doesn't happen, just not as often.

So, after choosing the cartridge and learning to use it well then getting closer than you need to, it's all still for naught if you don't really study where to place the bullet to do what you want. People that are really good at killing know exactly how to use what they have. That's why some people can drop a deer faster with a 22 RF than someone else can with say a 30-06! With some this is all self evident also and they don't mention it. They just tell you, ie; the 223 rem is a great deer cartridge.

There are several very important things to learn, including when not to fire, and when they are learned, tracking becomes a thing of the past. I've never seen a shot I had to take!

Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 66

There is a rule that if an attacker is within 12ft you are gonna get hit stabbed aka hurt. Since most police officers, undercover agents etc, work within this 12foot general rule they know that the amount of risk has increased greatly. So if they tell you to stop don't come any closer now ya know one of there reasons.
Wow talk about good ole days. As far as bear I would be all about waiting 2 cigars before going after any bear. There is an increase of black bears attacking not just running away. Maybe it is greater pressure or it could be they have had enough, dunno. I know the animal if shot in the vitals will die I just want it to die closer but for bear,,,,, I can walk. We had some anatolian guard dogs meanest or kindest dogs I have ever seen. They would wander away dig a hole lay down in it to die how's that for odd.

I am still unsure of going after a deer quickly but it is very obvious that there is allmost a fear of tracking. This is a part of hunting you need to accept it. When I guided in MT this was a big part of my job. A mega magnum will not sufice. I would allways cringe when someone would show up with a brand new magnum rifle. This bigger is better/smaller more accurate is a dead horse and has been beaten into a small spot on the ground. I hunt with a black powder (with a flint) also a big wooden stick and a string and it even has a sharp piece of rock on the end of another piece of wood. If you hunt enough there will be those shots you thought were good but in that few sec of brain calculations it did not go so well, or that animal has a more will to live than you thought possible and off you go, hoping for a good blood trail.
I feel for any hunter who hunts near large bodies of water. There are many small ponds and wide rivers even a swamp with those gawd awful thorns, where I used to hunt. This is where our curiousity started. We were loosing too many deer in the rivers and wanted to try different things to stop this.
I know about 5 hunters with 243's frangible bullets and they allways go for the backbone/neck. The bullet or fragments of bullets hit the neck and down it goes. They are very succesful. Still it is not my cup of tea.
Everyone has their experience/opinion and good ideas about how to be a good shot or where to place the bullet. I agree with most of these opinions. But my curiousity is after the shot.
Still curious if anyone knows of a large survey or test in any country that has been done on this question? I would gladly change my ways too and I will allways be looking for a better way. Till then where's my zippo?

I have had shots I had to take.
I have had shots I wish I had not and if you have never wished this, I am humbled at your presence.

Location: Illinois
Joined: 07/09/2005
Posts: 60
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

Its not a 12ft rule, its actually 21ft. The FBI did a studythat is used in courts across the country that a suspect with bad intentions can cover 21ft before an Officer can break leather and shoot. Even with the 21ft. rule they still suggest that you side step the attack to avoid getting stabbed, because the chance of stopping the suspect who is in a forward motion with a bullet before he stabs you is slim.

Interesting topic though. And my personal story si that I lost a really big buck last year because I got out of the stand to quickly and bumped him from where he layed down. That could have been hunter error (not as good of a shot as I thought). Although I can't help but wonder if I had waited a while to get out of the stand if I would have had another nice trophy on the wall. Brick Wall,)

Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 66
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

Could be my aicixelsyd acting up been a while since I was told that and I do remember being told to side step the attack which if not practiced humans will rarely move left or right. Sorry about the trophy. good shot bad shot let em stiffen up or push em to make em bleed dunno. If the deer is never found it makes for too many variables for me to believe one way or the other. Then when it is found whatever we did is believed to be the right way. There are many ways to skin a cat I do know that and what works for one may not work for someone else. With mulies if I hear a thump I know I am gonna have steaks but with whitetail I wait and hold my sights for a little while where the animal went down and if I see it move I accept the loss of meat and send another bullet on its way. Dunno if this is the best way. 2 years ago I hunted with a 357 carbine soley and thought I might be undergunned but I never had to shoot a second time. 10 deer and about 12 pigs in all so I now have some opinions on fast new fangled bullets. Lots of variables.

Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
Joined: 02/11/2006
Posts: 85
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

well I guess I'll put my two cents in.....I will never jump up and pursue a deer again...especially if I don't see it drop.....a few years ago I shot a beautiful seven point whitetail up here in PA with my bow at about 10 yds.....it was perfect shot....double lung and out the other side.....the area was extremely thick and I watched him run off till I couldn't see him anymore...I jumped down and found blood everywhere along with my arrow that was completely drenched....I knew I had a great shot and started after this buck....the blood trail was so thick that I could see it 20ft. in front of me...well after about 80yds...this buck jumps up out of some thick stuff and continues running....I walked over and found a big puddle....I thought to myself...wow, he'll be dead the next time I see him....I followed the trail for a good 300yds. and again he jumps up and takes off running again.....and again I found a pool of blood and the blood trail was still thick....I could not believe that this buck was still going...it was unbelievable......well to make a long story short I jumped that buck one more time and I the trail started getting very thin to the point where I couldn't find it anymore and it was getting dark out not too mention the wind kicked up and leaves were dropping everywhere....I never did find that buck and I chased him for just over a mile.....I couldn't believe it.....and I won't ever make the same mistake twice!

Location: Montana
Joined: 03/09/2006
Posts: 111
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

Same type of incident here, not whitetail but same result with not waiting. I shot my best praire goat 10 or so years ago as a young man, and drove right up to it after 5 or so minutes of high 5'ing and hooping & hollering. I had hit him (I thought, cause thats where my cross hairs were) through the lungs or heart, cause it dropped like a stone, and didnt even twitch. Happened to be the last shell in my .270, and I didnt reload it due to the total lack of movement of the animal. As we were getting out of the truck about 15 feet from my beautiful 15" goat, he picked up his head, looked me square in the eyes, gave me a smirk, as if to say, "FOOLED YOU!" and took off like a bat outta hell. Tracked/Trailed/Looked him for about 4 hours, and never saw hide nor hair of him again. I did see a rather large pool of very deep red colored blood, very thick & clotty, as if my shot may have ended up farther back that I intended. Learned TWO very valuable lessons that day. I give all my downed animals 20-30 min & NEVER AGAIN will I walk up to a fallen game animal with no loads in my rifle, EVER. Besides getting away, way too many other things can happen.

Location: St. Louis County
Joined: 01/10/2006
Posts: 337
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

I have yet to hear or read of a hunter losing a deer because he waited too long to track one.

Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 66
old school wait then track ???? or maybe not

the article was put out by the Alabama fish and game then you can at least read it maybe not hear it on how more were lost due to waiting then going after imediatly and this was all bow hunters. Again the only large scale effort put forth to answer this question. Not just a single persons incident.

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