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moose optimum shot placment

14 Mar 2016
@ 10:42 pm (GMT)

Craig Sturgeon

I have been hunting various game for years (since 12yrs old, currently 38) ranging from squirrel, rabbits, coyote, wolf, black bear and as large as moose. With reading through the web site as a new found source of fantastic information i soon realized quickly i know shit about humane kill shots on large game as the moose, along with accurate and precision shooting. I have recently brought "The practical guide to long range shooting" as an addition to my arsenal of information to develop the correct skill sets to become (with a large amount of practice) a proficient shooter / hunter of course with the addition of the previous volume Nathan has published.

What i need to discern 100% is the correct kill shot on the moose as everything i have been told or information gathered seems to lead me in the wrong direction. Basically everything tells the hunter to aim broad side, left of the shoulder and through the rib a cage to heart and double lung. As this sound like a preferred shot by many a hunter, it seems to me there is likely a better opportunity for a quicker kill than slamming a projectile directly through the bones of the rib cage and risk a ricochet to a part of the carcass that would promote a long and painful kill.

can someone please direct me to either a web site that depict an anatomically correct illustration of what i need to know complete with the autonomic plexus for this particular ungulate.

cheers to respondents;

Blaze a trail and see what follows you.


15 Mar 2016
@ 03:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: moose optimum shot placment
Hi Craig, I think one reason for this "tight behind the shoulder" shot placement on Moose is due to the often mild cartridges that have been used over the years with light jacketed bullets. This shot placement does ensure that the bullet gets in and gets the job done however killing can be very slow.

To keep shots forwards (not talking neck junction), you do need a bullet capable of holding together should it encounter ball joints. Many small bore bullets (and low SD medium bore bullets) can fail to pass any further and fail to effect a kill.

You can kind of see how one person might say that a small bore is fine while another states that a medium or big bore is imperative for large animals like Moose. You have two factors- shot placement and expectations.

I sometimes define it as getting the job done versus doing the job with style.

Getting to the point, if you use the front line of the front leg (see photo in game killing section) and use a hefty bullet traveling at a good speed, your Moose will drop quickly.

Its only an inch or so forwards of the mid line but it makes a big difference.

As for height, aim to strike dead center. No worries if the bullet strikes a bit high or low. The High strike can cause a very fast kill providing it is not too high.

The trouble is, most people these days lack the confidence to take the forward shoulder shot.

Perhaps have a go on a White Tail deer one day, just for starters. You can try with a cartridge or load that ordinarily does not produce on the spot kills in your past experience. A scoped .30-30 perhaps.

15 Mar 2016
@ 03:26 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: moose optimum shot placment
Craig, I also wanted to say, thanks for buying the Shooting book, I appreciate the support.

Certainly a lot more to it that being able to bash a steel plate. The more these sniper schools pop up, the harder this is to get across.Lately I am seeing more and more where the new schools are going wrong. Its quite a shame really.
15 Mar 2016
@ 10:44 am (GMT)

Craig Sturgeon

Re: moose optimum shot placment
Nathan: quite the prompt response. i shall try such a forward shot when i am well into developing the correct techniques. what you say is so true concerning shooting schools/ranges teaching shitty skill sets. this is why i have been in search of a gent like yourself that provides evidence based research versus "here say". the range that i am currently a member of employs range officers that think they are a Hathcock type/calibre while showing me shooting styles you are strongly swaying me from adopting. this past weekend i started applying what i have read from your last book in your series. i have to say that getting out of old habits is harder than ya think. also to employ proper shooting stances is a funny feeling when i have been doing this wrong for so long. practice and time will tell.

thanks very much for the help thus far.
15 Mar 2016
@ 02:29 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: moose optimum shot placment
Craig, a friendly tip: don't waste your breath trying to quote Nathan's "Hold That Forend" article to the AR club or the 600 yard steel gong crowd. Learn from my mistakes, brother. Just embrace your pariah status and take your satisfaction from your clean kills.


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