.243 Winchester Shot Placement on Deer

According to the many short articles I have read on the .243 Winchester suggest that because the .243 is easier on felt recoil that the shooter will have more confidence, enhanced accuracy etc. I agree with that! Light Caliber Shot Placement on deer with the .243 Winchester should always be “ideally” the double lung shot and broadside or slightly quartering away as with all calibers. A large magnum caliber needs lots more of perfect practice to make long range kill shots in the field conditions as the recoil must be dealt with. That said, if competent with a larger caliber, use it! More delivered energy and a larger caliber allows more latitude on shot placement as in a head on frontal shot taken with a large caliber capable of deep penetration but can result in more meat damage too.

A doctor bowhunter once shared the medical term for double lung hit is a bilateral pneumo-thorax. The lungs cannot inflate and carry oxygen because air enters the bullet holes as the air is attempted to inflate the lungs. Accordingly, the animal loses consciousness and dies a fast painless death. Recovery of this animal is often less than 50 yards from where the deer was shot. Of course you can shoot them surgically in the heart with a much smaller invisible target the size of a fist and shoot low and miss and a few more inches hit the shoulder bone. Or you can shoot for the larger oval of the lungs. When I hunted Africa, all my kills were one shot with rifle and bow and arrow and I shot them all in the same place. The Lungs!  If the bullet or broadhead does its job of either mushrooming or slicing wound channels then death is moments away. My most spectacular double lung hit on a Pennsylvania 6 point buck was with my bow, and the deer ran 60 yards and expired after being hit with a 4 blade Muzzy broadhead at 20 yards. The arrow was painted bright red from tip to knock. Of course the deer ran those 60 yards in less than one minute. Watching your bullet hit deer after the shot is critical if it takes off. Just like in bowhunting, if you are in a tree stand, take out your compass and take a bearing on where you shot and where you last saw your game. A fast broadside kill makes for better venison and less damaged meat. © 2015

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About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.