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This happened to me years ago, just wondering if you would've shot at this buck.
I have a nice buck come in to a tarsal gland that I hung in a tree over a scrape. The tarsal gland was a gland from a friend of mine buck he shot a couple days earlier. Came in at 33 yards broadside, tryed to stop him by using my voice to no avail. He was committed to get to the tarsal gland. He stood at that gland sniffing it and licking it at 30 yards but was facing me. The only shot I had was a straight on neck shot. The crossbow I was using shot a 425 grain arrow at 307 fps with a spitfire broadhead. He had no idea I was even there. What would've you done? I past up the shot.
WHAT WOULD'VE YOU DONE?
 

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Tough call but I would probably pass.
Although there is less damage to good meat with a neck shot, the vital area (the spine) is quite small.
Miss the spine and the deer can take off such that you will never find it.
 

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I woulda kept the safety off while aiming at him until he turned to walk away hoping for a broadside shot even if a short view. If no killing shot (broadside) presented itself then he woulda lived for another day. I would never take a neck shot with a crossbow, especially at 30 yards.
 

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IMO, if you lacked confidence in your situation, you made the correct call. Good Job!
 
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Killed him ...
 

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WHAT WOULD'VE YOU DONE?
You are on the ground, dead on? Put your finger in the sternal notch just below your Adam's Apple. Now, push hard. Soft, isn't it? Put a two inch broadhead through that pocket and it rips out the majority of large vessels in/out of the heart and slices open the thoracic and abdominal aorta all the way back to the kidneys. Not likely you'll pierce the spine, but you could "mow" down the motor nerves as soon as they exit the spine. Down he goes. Right range, correct angle, right broadhead, right rack, right temperature? I'd take the shot.
 

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I took this same shot on a 270 pound sow with a vertical bow once. Surprisingly deadly shot. She didn't make it 40 yards before she piled up. As I recall, I placed the arrow right where the neck met the chest, in that pocket. That being said, deer are a bit different in how they react to noise. They likely have more "fast twitch" muscle memory, and the chances something goes wrong is probably a higher percentage. If it was the deer of a lifetime, perhaps I would have fired. Hard to say really. The fact YOU weren't comfortable with the shot and passed it up says you did the right thing for YOU.
 

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Duke and his head shots.....the hunter safety courses worst nightmare....lol
Not … with an arrow. Although I've wondered if a Bludgeon arrowhead to the cranium would be fatal. A bullet turns a brain to jelly from the hydrostatic shock or wound channel, even a subsonic .22 rimfire. It's an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved method of euthanasia. As is a shot to the cervical spine. I'm not sure what a broadhead would do. At first thought you'd think it would be lethal. But when you really start to think about it you start to wonder about the margin of error. Way too many variables involved to even consider it.

Taken quite a few cervical/thoracic shots with an arrow though. :)
183375
 
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I would pass at that range and described angle. I’ve had The buck of my lifetime staring at me from 10 yards away (in heavy brush) seconds after I had shot another deer with a compound bow. My life will go on if I see a nice buck, but can’t shoot it. ;) That said, I killed a buck last year that was quartering to at 20, walking toward me after grunt calling. Put the broadhead between the near shoulder and the sternum. He didn’t make it past 25 yards.
 

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If you are not confident don't shoot. I took this shot at 27 yards from a blind in a swamp. In neck and out just in front of rear leg. 25 to 30 yard run and down . Blood was from ground and up 4' high the entire run
 

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If I was on the ground. Yep killed 3 for 3 by aiming daed centre on the white throat patch. The blood trails were insane and dropped in site.
If i was in a tree stand. Nope never. Wait for a better shot...
 

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I shot one line that back in the 90’s with my vertical bow and never recovered it. I won’t take that shot with a bow anymore. Now let me have my gun and it’s all over!
 

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If you weren't sure, you did the right thing by passing.

Depends how everything felt at the time, but I wouldn't automatiaclly pass on that shot.
 

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I agree with the majority. If you are uncomfortable with any shot do not take it. Having said that I once shot a doe facing directly toward me. Nice shot and she turned and ran two hundred yards down the side of a mountain. The wrong side as my truck was on the other. Nightmare getting her out. I have never shot another facing me with a crossbow.

However, I did take the shot with a muzel loader. Deer ran close to 300 yards before expiring. Not a good percentage shot in my opinion. You made a good decision in passing on the shot.
 

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I agree with the majority. If you are uncomfortable with any shot do not take it. Having said that I once shot a doe facing directly toward me. Nice shot and she turned and ran two hundred yards down the side of a mountain. The wrong side as my truck was on the other. Nightmare getting her out. I have never shot another facing me with a crossbow.

However, I did take the shot with a muzel loader. Deer ran close to 300 yards before expiring. Not a good percentage shot in my opinion. You made a good decision in passing on the shot.
I guess it all just depends. Hard to explain really, but I took a frontal shot on a bedded doe who was looking at me and about to bolt. She jacked her head way up upon seeing me, and I placed one of those new at the time, 22-250 polymer tipped varmint bullets right in the center of her throat from about 50 yards. She died where she was laying. Upon retrieval and examination, she had a broken neck and it literally looked like she swallowed a hand grenade that went off in her throat. What a mess!
 

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Not … with an arrow. Although I've wondered if a Bludgeon arrowhead to the cranium would be fatal. A bullet turns a brain to jelly from the hydrostatic shock or wound channel, even a subsonic .22 rimfire. It's an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved method of euthanasia. As is a shot to the cervical spine. I'm not sure what a broadhead would do. At first thought you'd think it would be lethal. But when you really start to think about it you start to wonder about the margin of error. Way too many variables involved to even consider it.

Taken quite a few cervical/thoracic shots with an arrow though. :)
That brain is looking rather small for a frontal arrow hit. There are too many variables that would likely lead to a bad outcome IMO. On a deer there isn't much frontal head mass as you well know. Then if you add antlers to the equation, that eliminates a straight down head shot from a tree stand with an arrow. It doesn't take much for a bullet or arrow to deflect off a skull. If you don't hit the skull with the proper angle, the bullet or arrow could actually skip right off leaving nothing more than a flesh wound. Would the blunt force trauma be enough to disable the deer for a follow up shot? It's very possible, but not guaranteed.

The bludgeon head approach would likely work, but again, it would have to be a squared up hit, or it too is likely to skip off the skull. If you think about it, they use those air piston contraptions to dispatch livestock before processing. So in theory blunt force trauma works and is considered "humane" I suppose. I shoot these poly "Stun darts" out of my blowgun and they hit super hard considering they are only coming out at about 200 fps. A similar type tip from a 400 fps Xbow would wreck something. LOL! That being said, I doubt it would fly well past 20 yards due to the large frontal surface area. If you ever watched Tim Wells, AKA "The SlockMaster", in his Relentless Pursuit show intro, he smacks a huge grizzly right between the eyes with an Oneida bow, shooting fingers. The shot looks to be at least 60-70 yards, and he absolutely demolished that beast. Dropped him like a stone right in his tracks! Then again, Tim Wells is a world class archer who can consistently shoot flying game out of the air with a bow. Oh, and he's a bit crazy too boot! :ROFLMAO:
 
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