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I’m not happy taking a head shot when deer stalking!

I am not happy about having to head shoot deer and would like to know what you think about it.

George Wallace
Although with deer stalking the head/neck shot is certainly a tool of the trade, it should only be used when you are absolutely certain you can place the bullet precisely on a pretty small target.

Heads and necks are very mobile so the shot should only be taken at short range and even then it is not something for the occasional stalker.

Accuracy and judgment under field conditions need both practice and experience.

Lots of it.

A responsible, ethical dealer will not downgrade a carcass because it has not been head or neck shot but will cut out any damage and pay you the proper price for the rest.

This is what my butcher used to do and he told me that very little, if any, meat was lost from a shot through the ribs.

I saw a report recently in “Deer”, the magazine of the British Deer Society, suggesting that meat quality is better from a chest shot because the carcass has been properly bled out by the bullet.

With a head/neck shot, it is impossible to bleed the carcass properly because once the heart has stopped there’s nothing to pump out the blood, which will have a detrimental effect on meat quality.