Kill shot?

Forums Hunting Kill shot?

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    Siscakidd
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    So i was out with the pistol again today and took this squirrel with a head shot,if you look at the close up you will see two distinct holes the first shot was from 25 yds right below the eye and what seemed odd to me was the squirrel did not seem to die from this shot,a normal head shot would result in him twitching and flopping around till it expired ,but this did not happen he just dropped to the ground and seemed to be suffering quite a bit,so i placed another shot a little further back on the skull and that put him down…..was my first shot just to far forward? Did i not hit a vital enough area? I am second guessing using this pistol to hunt with,that shot with my wildcat would have lead to instant death,anyone else ever have this happen?

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    Imold
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    The 1st shot might of only hit the nazel cavity area and just missed killing it by a centimeter or two, just one of those weird shots that don’t happen very often, it’s kind of one of those what the heck moments when you think it should of been lights out, dont think it had anything to due with your pistol just a freak shot, penetration looks ok.

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    Imold
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    Should of asked but did you find the pellets inside or were they pass through shots.

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    Grin_Reaver
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    It would have bled out in a few more seconds. for sudden lights out you must hit the brain, neck/spine (preferably near the brain). I have seen critters with completely shattered heart and lungs survive for half a minute. Point is placement is more important than power. Expanding pellets may also help you.

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    Siscakidd
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    “Imold”Should of asked but did you find the pellets inside or were they pass through shots.

    
No…i did look in the head,don’t think they pasted through 

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    Siscakidd
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    “Grin_Reaver”It would have bled out in a few more seconds. for sudden lights out you must hit the brain, neck/spine (preferably near the brain). I have seen critters with completely shattered heart and lungs survive for half a minute. Point is placement is more important than power. Expanding pellets may also help you.

    
Good point…i will get some expanding pellets, thanks

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    Alan
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    Let’s not put too much stock in brain shots always being fatal, or that heart/lung shots aren’t. Assuming so, is anecdotal.

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    Kitplanenut
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    For what it’s worth. From deer and elk on down, if it’s something I’m going to eat I always go for a lung shot. Reason is that a lung shot animal will bleed out internally and the meat is less gamy. Give it a try. makes a difference. sylvan

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    Imold
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    40 plus years of hunting the only head shots I’ve ever done were on squirrels and rabbits but that’s because I was either using a 410 or 20 gauge at the time other then that I never do head shots on game animals.

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    Bundes10409
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    wow russian airgun

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    BeachGunner
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    Depends on the angle (if the squirrel was quartering away perhaps?), but the shot is too far forward and down. Agree that is may have hit the nasal cavity and maybe a bit of lower brain. 

    Don’t be discouraged. No, I think you can hunt away with your pistol. If you are confident in your ability to hit the kill zone, then do so. I exclusively use head shots on squirrels, unless the circumstances prevent it, and I have been pretty successful to date. 

    If a profile shot is presented, aim at the low ear canal. You’ll hit deep brain and maybe even clip the spinal column where it joins the brain. They’ll drop like a statue and never move again on those ones. If facing you, I aim at the brow of the more forward eye if they are at an angle. 

    Just keep at it. Experience is the best teacher. 

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    Siscakidd
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     If a profile shot is presented, aim at the low ear canal. You’ll hit deep brain and maybe even clip the spinal column where it joins the brain. They’ll drop like a statue and never move again on those ones. If facing you, I aim at the brow of the more forward eye if they are at an angle. 

    thanks for tips….gonna chalk it up being rusty with a pistol and I just pulled the shot a little to the right.

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    Smaug
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    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Siscakidd. I can’t find it now, but if you find a squirrel anatomy image that shows where the brain is, it goes up to the eyes, maybe a little further. We refer to them as zombie squirrels here; the ones that should have been dead but weren’t.

    I think you DID hit brain with that shot, but you hit the “newer” part of the brain. (speaking in an evolutionary sense) This part of the brain is teachable and is responsible for critical thinking, but not necessarily life support. I’ve hit squirrels like that before, and also one or two where the pellet cut a groove across the top of the skull. In those kinds of cases, they go down, eyes open, kind of twitching and bleeding. internal bleeding creating pressure on the brain, that kind of thing.

    This is why I stopped going exclusively for head shots on nutters. You’ve got to get the right part of the head and be confident you can get it there. I figure on maybe a 3/4″ kill zone. From the side, go for the ear hole, that’s about the center of the main part of the brain. Or as Beachgunner said, even a little lower is OK, as long as it’s behind the jaw. From the back, just about anywhere will do. From the front, if you have a top-down shot into the brain, that’s good. From the front, I usually don’t take them unless I know I have PLENTY of power to spare. I prefer a heart/lung shot instead, in those cases. Heart/lung are 100% fatal and your kill zone is at least doubled. It’s just that they can run a ways when lung shot, so the recovery ratio is not as good. (esp. if you’re pesting them out of your back yard, and can’t go tracking them all over the place)

    With expanding pellets, you have to know you’ve got enough power to penetrate through one side of the animal at least. If you’re shooting domes into the head and they’re not going through, I don’t think I’d go to expanding pellets yet. Usually domes will sail right through the head. You’ve got to have enough power to drive them deep enough first.  That has to happen without losing accuracy too. With brain shots, expanding ammo is not really a big help. It’s more of a help with body shots; tears them up inside for faster internal bleeding. But you’re not really depending on internal bleeding for brain shots, just brain damage.

    How many FPE is that gun? What caliber? 

    Beachgunner is also right on about power. They say that only 3-6 FPE is needed to kill a nutter, but that’s with perfect shot placement. Out in the real world, More power gives more room for error. I find that 20 FPE in .22 or 15 FPE in .177 gets the job done reliably. It’s enough power to expand hollow points, enough power to send most shots right through the boiler room, and enough power to cause collateral damage where less power might not do it. I hit one yesterday morning (#1) Take a look at that one. It went in just behind the jaw pivot and rather lower than I would normally prefer. But… it was a .22 and moving out at 20 FPE. That is a big impact for a little squirrel noggin. If that shot were made with my HW30s (6 FPE, .177) it may not have been fatal.

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    BeachGunner
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    Agreed. Extra power allows more room for error on the shot. I think whether or not the kill zone is bigger on the heart/lungs is debatable. If you go to YouTube and look up the Squirrel Hunter’s Channel (guys from the UK that whack them relentlessly from feeders they set up around the countryside), he actually dissects out the squirrel’s heart and shows it is a smaller target than the brain. In his opinion it is shear “madness” to go for anything other than the head shot!! 

    I don’t know if I’d go that far, but for me, I agree the the brain shot works better. If you are off a bit, like you were on your pistol shot, you still have a downed squirrel, usually in a comatose or shocked state. You can walk up and give them another to finish the job. I’ve attempted heart/lung shots that were not effective, and they ran off up in the trees or elsewhere. Some of that may be my own lack of experience as to where the heart and lungs are in relation to the presentations offered, but I can see the head and don’t have to guess what I am shooting at. 

    I will take a heart/lung shot if I cannot take a solid head shot. I’m just not as confident with them, and think the head shot does the job very well 95% of the time. 

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    Siscakidd
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    The gun is in .22 I was using Diablo field 16 gr pellets, think it’s between 14-18 fpe, it is a new gun to me and it’s been a long time since I shot a pistol with any regularity,but I have taken 10-12 critters with it already  both head and Heart lung shots…this one just surprised me.like I said I am just use to how the wildcat in .25 hits um and that shot placement would have been instant lights out,but that’s the difference between using a 50 ish fpe gun and 16 fpe gun,not as much concussion on impact, just gonna get some more trigger time before I go out with it again,thanks for all your input guys!!

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