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jt24

Running shot

33 posts in this topic

Since I have missed the last few shots at deer moving, how far do you lead them? I know when there running isnt really the best shot but during muzzleloader having to take shots like this are a common thing. I am talking 60-80 yd shots and not on a dead run.

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Really depends on the situation, but at 60 - 80 yards and not on a dead run I'd guess around 6 inches, maybe twice that. Kind of depends on if they're trotting, bounding, walking fast, what angle you have to shoot at, etc.

This should go without saying but you shouldn't take any shot you're not sure you'll make.

This is just a guess, but I'll bet you're pulling your head up off of the open sites, which means you're also bringing the gun barrel up, which means you're shooting over the deer. Shooting high is the most common way to miss.

Good luck getting it figured out.

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In my opinion. Never take a shot at a deer that you aren't sure will put them down for good pretty quickly. If they are moving fast enough that you need to "lead" with a muzzle loader. You need to pass it up and wait for a different shot. Otherwise you end up wounding a lot of deer, or putting a shot in a place that destroys the meat.

First thing you should ask yourself is why are they always running?? Are they scenting you? Did you move/get spotted? Are you setting up near a thoroughfare that spooks a lot of deer?

These are all more important questions then how far to lead the deer.

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Troy, you hit it right. There ARE more important things. We should ALWAYS strive to take an easy, close, standing shot. Blasting away at a running deer 75-80 yards away, in cover, is just not a good idea. You may have seen a comment within the past week regarding a "hunter" who casually mentioned he had fired something like 32 or 34 shots "so far this season" and had not harvested a deer yet! I would be totally ashamed to admit something like that.

You are correct that slow stalking, checking the wind, silence etc. will help you make that 30 yard standing or walking shot. Then its a piece of cake. Something to REALLY brag about is telling your pals how "it was so close there are powder burns on the hair." Now THATS a hunter. grin.gif

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I don't know, but some Shooting Clubs/Gun Ranges have a "Running Deer Shoot" a few times each year.

Try to participate for practice and advice.

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If it is not running full out, put the sight on the front edge of the deer. If it is running full out, you need to swing through just like a pheasant and the amount of lead will depend on the distance and speed. It is really a feel and experience thing. I agree that most misses are high. It is very easy to do. Also - despite what some people say, EVERYONE misses from time to time. Practice is the best remedy for that!

I would love to go to a range that has the moving target. Does anyone know where they are?

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Running shots are not recommended. Although, I have practiced shooting them with old tires rolling down a hill, painted with plywood center. Not many holes end up in them at first.

It's alot of fun.

mnsprtsmn

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jt24,

I don't know what type of terrain you are hunting in, but I would suggest that if these runners are being pushed by something other than yourself, you could get them to stop by whistling or bleating at them. Especially if they don't know you are there.

Sometimes, even if you were the reason they started running, at 60-80 yds they might feel curious enough to stop and look back if they aren't too spooked.

It doesn't always work but I'll bet if this happens several times in a season for you, you'll get enough of them to stop so you can fill some tags. grin.gif

A side note on your lead: Its better to miss in front of em than hit em too far back. A lot of variables there so I would err on the side of more lead than you think you need.

And yes, like PerchJerker said, it is very easy to shoot high. Like both eyes open and your face not down completely on the stock because you are concentrating on the whole deer and not the sweet spot. Burned myself on that last week. Humbling.

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I agree with the sentiment that taking low percentage shots is not recommended and it is a personal judgement call. If you are having so much trouble hitting on the run then it would seem this qualifies as low percentage. There are ways to practice and I would recommend doing so until you get your level of confidence up. I'm sure you would feel sick to find out that you've been leaving deer for dead. I personally won't take a running shot. I just don't believe I could be confident that I would make a clean kill.

I agree with the whistling or making a noise. This can often times stop a deer cold. I remember one time when my dad had jumped a deer and even shot at it. When it came past me at full speed, I accidentally made a noise and it hit the brakes right there.

Another thing to keep in mind. When you jump a deer in the woods, they usually don't go very far. Most likely just out of view and then quite often they'll circle back to see what spooked them. I got my first buck this way. After jumping the 8-pointer and two does that were with him, I just waited where I was. It didn't take very long at all and I got another opportunity at him.

Bob

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If you have to ask how much to lead, then you should not shoot.

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Swinging through is the best advice. You can do mathamatical calcs, but it comes down to estimating a lead finding it then pulling the trigger to often your delay in pulling the trigger is a unknown variable that throws your calcs out the window. If you can hunt rabbits with a 22 and scope or open sights. Its in this that you learn to have your eyes, gun, head and barrel all move as one focusing on the same point. Just like a shot gun, rifles must fit you also. When I was younger all we did was drive deer all day, lot of the guys said when the deer hit a opening they picked out and the deers head hit the scope they shot. Those shots ended up ussally in the ribs. Sometimes in the guts, but then the hunt was on. Now you were hunting/tracking one single cripple and the pressure was on to kill it when it came out. Sorry i digress. Me, I shoot best with a fluid motion. Killing running deer is an art not a science you pull the trigger when it feels right not in a calculated panic. In the days before bait piles and stands, we had a name for those that would not or could not shot kill a running deer: Hungary

Hang tough not everybody likes to sit in a tree and wait for a pig to come to trough.

The fact you are asking question is the right step. Pity those that don't know the fun of watching a buck slide on his chin 15' feet after you poleaxeled him. What is next? No shooting flushed birds or buzzing bluebills.

good luck

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Quote:

I have practiced shooting them with old tires rolling down a hill,


EXACTLY

Big Al put it right also,thats where practice will get ya..

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I practice with ballons on a windy day. I have my wife let them go and blow across the field. You would be amazed at what you will learn. It is an incredible advantage for shooting the yotes also.

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I didn't even have to read any posts. Just seeing the subject is going to automatically make 90% of the posters cringe. I party hunt durring the 3b gun season in houston county doing my part in controlling the deer population. Myself and 9 guys do drives. I would venture to say that almost every deer we shoot is running. I feel you shouldn't take a running shoot outside of 50 yards. If you are hunting with a muzzleloader I don't think you should be taking a running shot because you don't have a follow up shot. With a shotgun, you wound a deer you have time to get a second and third (in my case 4th 5th 6th shot). I would like to add 21 adult does and bucks and no wounded.

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its not common, only lucky if u killed it but 9 out of 10 times u just crippled it mad.gif

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No doubt dogs. Some people just don't know what deer hunting is. Pushing a slough, grove, ditch, etc. They don't get up and walk often. I usually shoot 1 shell just to get them running. I have to give them a fair chance. grin.gif

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I'm not going to chastise for asking the question, I'm sure that everyone thats telling you not to take the shots has never done it wink.gif. When you have been given advice, its been good. Whistling can sometimes get the deer to stop, as will a loud bleat with the mouth, sometimes, even yelling BAH. Knowing your gun is also a big part, I shoot a lot of trap and bird so my swing is natural. If its not natural to swing, again, I'd start practicing.

However, I am also wondering why the deer are always 80 yds away and running. If it were me, I'd move so the deer are within 50 yards. For me personally, a running deer within 50 yards is not a difficult shot, outside of 50 and I won't take it.

Instead of tailoring your shooting to the deer, try and tailor your hunting location, stand, scent control, etc.. to the deer. It might not be as easy, but it WILL gaurantee greater success in the long run. You might eventually hit on that really sweet spot where you can hang a stand and usually see deer out of it every time. Hope that helps. If you give us more information about how and where you are set up, we can give you more help, this forum is great for that.

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I am going to go at this mathematically so bear with me.

Assumptions:

70 yard (210 ft) shot

Deer running at 10 mph (They can run up to 30 but you said just a trot)

Ground is level

Deer and shooter are perpendicular to each other

Shooting a rifle that is 2700 fps muzzle velocity

Effects of gravity and air/wind resistance neglected

The Math:

10 mph = 14.67 ft/s (10*5280/3600)

It takes .078s for the bullet to travel 210 ft (210/2700)

In .078s the deer travels 1.14 feet (.078*14.67)

Lead the deer about 13.68 inches in this case so a foot in a good place to start since you won't have the ideal case described above.

Another interesting note... if the deer is traveling 20 mph then the lead DOUBLES; 27.36 inches or about 2.25 ft.

This is why people miss or shoot in the guts. A vast UNDERESTIMATION of lead is made by many hunters resulting in wounded deer.

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First of all thanks to those of you who anwsered my question! Second, I never said it was a high percentage shot nor do I make it a habit of doing it! I have taken 1 shot but have seen others do it and just asked a question! I didnt ask if it was right or wrong or whatever! I have bow hunted primairly and only have started muzzleloader these past few years so dont tell me whats a HIGH percentage shot! I am sure none of you have ever wounded a deer and not found it! Next time if someone asks a question, answer it. I dont need to here all the other garabage! Oh and by the way I got 2 yesterday and both were moving and I got them to stop!! wink.gif

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Sorry, I am one of the ones that got on your case. I just sounded like you made a habit of it.

Quote:

Since I have missed the last few shots at deer moving,


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Here's one to get some of you going...and food for thought - I once shot a doe running all out in a field at approximately 250 yards. She was quatering slightly away from me. I lead her 10 yards with a 30.06. It went in the hind quarter and came out the front shoulder. Dead deer. Yes, the lead was 10 yards and it wasn't enough. Most of the deer I have killed have been moving. I will say that I have never missed one standing still though.

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No need to get too bent out of shape. Naturally I can only speak for myself but I believe that as fellow sportsmen and women we have a desire to share what we believe is good sound advice. Sometimes, what we have to say may not be what the recipient wants to hear but maybe needs to hear anyway and maybe what we believe to be good advice really isn't. Well, we're all human.

We don't know you or your skill level. For all we know you could be a highly trained marksman capable of repeatedly putting rounds in a 3" bull at 100 yards moving at 50mph. You could also be one of those at the shooting range that can't stay on the paper much less hit the bull and yet believes they are ready for hunting.

Judging from some of the information shared in other posts about hunters sighting in and how poorly many of them can shoot even when shooting at a fixed target and yet still believe they are proficient, it can be hard to believe the average hunter is able make a good clean shot at a standing deer much less one that is running. Anyone that feels cocky enough to think they are a good running shooter needs to try target shooting at a moving target, especially from a distance of 70 yards or more. They might be surprised at how difficult it really is to hit an 8" diameter bull accurately enough to in all honesty believe they should even be trying to take a running deer. Remember too that a deer's vitals aren't moving at a constant horizontal plane. They are bounding so the moving target you practice on should be bouncing vertically as well as moving horizontally. Good luck.

As fellow sportsminded people the last thing we want to do is promote activities that might increase the potential for wounded animals and shooting at runnig deer is one of them. I don't think anyone is trying to insult you our your intelligence. Just sharing.

Regarding the mathematical example. I don't know squat about black powder shooting but my guess is that a 2700fps muzzle velocity is not likely achieved so the lead needed using a muzzleloader could be considerably more than this example.

Bob

Edit: Reminds of a story from my youth. A friend asked me to go with him to Montana on a hunting trip. We were licensed to take antelope and one day we had one on the run. Bear in mind that these things can maintain about a 50mph+ speed. This antelope was all out running broadside and my friend hit it on his third shot. We paced it off afterwards and it was over 450 yards! Not only that but he hit it just above the eyeball. That is a very small target area on an antelope to say the least. To this day he claims it was his experience and not luck. In his words, "It was 70% skill."

I challenged him to set up a pop can so he would be shooting at the bottom of the can from 450 yards and I bet him $100 bucks that he couldn't hit it seven out of ten times. You know, he never took me up on that challenge.

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There's no real answer to this question. There are way to many variables to look at when shooting at a running deer. How fast is the deer running, how far away, at what angle the deer is running, and finally your rifle ballistics. These factors all need to be considered and most of the time you have only a split second to decide when to pull the trigger.

In my opinion, it boils down to experience. In my 20 years of deer hunting, I've killed around 35 deer and all but maybe 2 were shot while running. The guys that don't shoot at running deer obviously don't hunt in SD or Southern MN. It's really hard to get a deer to stop and turn broadside after kicking it up out of a slough or grove. crazy.gif

My best advice to you would be to get your ML out and hunt with it more than one time a year. Shoot it, and shoot it often.

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good rule of thumb Leed them a deer length for every hundred yards if they are at a full out run (35-40 mph).

So at half that speed, around 15-20 mph, you would want to lead about 2.5 feet for every hundred 100 yards.

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That is what I was taught as well, although I was also taught to "bah" like a sheep, whistle or bark to get them to stop. It's amazing how silly you sound in the woods "bah-ing" like a sheep but when that deer stops, you don't seem so silly.

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