Yeti

When have you shot game animals on the move? What rifles have you used? How close and how fast?

Mustangs Rule

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I was 16 wandering about my family’s New England dairy farm hunting woodchucks with a Remington Model 12 pump 22, octagonal barrel no less.

In the just baled hay lot, a big fat woodchuck was dining. He saw me in some bushes along the fence line and took off running as fast as a woodchuck could.

Something in me said start shooting. I did. He died

Next with a Marlin 336 Texan with the straight grip in 35 Remington, a white tail buck jumped up in some second growth on our farm. Something in me said shoot. I did. He died.

There has been a lot of critters I shot while moving in my hunting life. Th last blacktail I shot came out before dark to eat sweet filleree, before night started reversing the sugar the sun made all day.

I had discovered the isolated patch in my scouting before season opened and was stalking close, 30 yards, through some dwarfed oaks as the sun was setting,

The deer could not see me with their heads down browsing but all that changed in a heartbeat. The buck just broke into fast walk and was gonna be long gone in another heartbeat

My Sako .308 Carbine was ready with some Lapua Naturalis 170 grain round-nose bullets. My scope was set at 2X. Something in me said shoot. I did. He died.
 

antlerradar

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SE Montana
I had been hunting this buck all fall and only saw him one time until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was walking down a draw and jumped him at about fifty yards. Something in me said if you are going to shoot this buck you had better do it when he hits that clearing. He was running all out, but since he was going up a very steep hill, all out was not that fast. When he got to the clearing I put the crosshairs just in front of his shoulder and pulled the trigger. Maybe a 100 yard shot off hand. horns_sky.JPG
 

Chad Gus

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Clark County WI
Not a rifle, but a recurve, i was around 12 years old. Me and my best buddy, his name is Chad too, were hunting rabbits across the road from our farm. I was standing on one end of an old barn foundation he on the other, his old basset hound bud just got a rabbit going out of a plum thicket. He ran it past me at 17 yards and i stuck it right through the heart, i never hunted rabbits again with a bow after that shot, figured I'd quit while batting a 1000. My buddy still brings that shot up to this day.
 

thomas89

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I never knew if I hit it or not on the run, but shot a 10-point buck when I was like 16. Sucker was watching his doe run away across a field and I happened to catch him standing in the brush. Took my first shot with him standing, a huge buck running across an open field was more than my teenage nerves could handle and I emptied that 870 as fast as anyone could. Ran out of shells and was pleading for him to go down, which he eventually did.

Shot this cow in some thick timber one year. Snuck in on a little herd and glassed her through the pines. They all blew out and I managed to stay on her. Soon as I saw brown hit a little gap I took a shot. 270 Winchester, maybe 80 yards or so, didn’t know I hit her until I got up there and saw her laying. First shot was a bit high in the lungs but gave her one more in the neck to finish the job quick.
 

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Birdbander

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Langston, Michigan
Nearly 4 decades ago when I was 14 years old, opening morning of deer season. I was sitting in a box blind in a fence row between two harvested corn fields. Over the rise and out of my sight to my right several shots rang out. Shortly a doe and buck appeared running one behind the other, almost at top speed about 80 yards out just barely angling away from me moving right to left. I whistled hoping to slow or stop the buck, instead the both went into a full speed flat out run. I was too young and too dumb not to attempt the shot.
I had a Marlin 30-30 with open sights. I placed the sight just ahead of the buck, slid it along the window rail to keep pace and pulled the trigger. Incredibly the buck's front legs collapsed and his hind end flipped him over a full summersault. He stood up and for a moment was motionless. I fired again and saw dirt fly beyond the deer, I'd shot over its back. The doe had kept going into a dip and out of sight, the buck followed but at a slowed pace. I never saw him stumble and lost sight whhe entered the depressed area.
The doe quickly reappeared on the same line heading north and went over a rise & out of sight. The buck never reappeared. I waited 15 minutes, an eternity to a jacked up 14 year old, then walked to where I'd last seen the buck.

Tracks were easy to spot from a fair distance and by the time I was within 10 yards of the track line I could see blood sprayed everywhere.

Following the tracks I cleared the rise and could see the buck in a heap, clearly dead. I approached cautiously, confirmed it was dead then looked it over.

The first shot had hit it in the neck, creating an impressive impact/exit wound.

I've thought of how lucky and how stupid I was every since when I think of that day. I've never shot at a running big game animal since.
 

Don Fischer

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Unless it's a very close shot, I make it a habit not to shoot at running game. Did one time at a cow elk. She ran past me at maybe 5 yds and I shot her in the chest, went right down. Shot her with my 6.5x06 and a 140gr Hornady Interloc bullet. While I was stationed in Germany I used to go to the Ramstien AFB Rod and Gun Club range and they had a running boar target there. It taught me that me shooting at running game was a waste of ammo so I simply decided I'd never do it unless it was a sure thing. So one cow elk at about 5 yds running past me.
 

OntarioHunter

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Last year I shot this buffalo bull on full run at about sixty yards, just behind right shoulder with 250 gr .375 that lodged against rib cage inside opposite shoulder. Blew up both lungs. Shot him a second time in the chest when he turned for us. That bullet exited bottom back end of rib cage shattering his left hind leg at the knee. He still tried to come but only spun around four or five times before sitting on his butt then tipping over. 20210822_094314.jpg
In 2019 I shot this African gemsbuck incoming at 15 yards with my 30-06 Springfield. Unclear if she was charging or we were just in her way. I hit her again running by at 12 yards. Both shots through the heart. 2019-08-24 gemsbuck.jpg
Three months later I shot this muley buck on the run at about 75 yards on the fly and dropped him on the spot. First shot at him standing didn't clear the ridge I was shooting behind. 16 November 2019.JPG
2020 I shot this coyote with my 30-06 running full tilt at fifty yards through the heart, exactly where I expected to hit it. 20201129_110147.jpg
1985 I shot this whitetail buck through the heart on the run at maybe forty yards. He was about to run me over so I took a sort-of shot to turn him for a broadside and easily put him away with follow up. big_buck & Ethyl.jpg
1980 took this bull with one shot to back of head at base of skull going away at 70 yards. 1980 bull.JPG
All but the buffalo were taken with the same gun, the WWII Springfield 30-06 Dad built for me in 1962.
 

Sask hunter

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607970B9-D13D-4996-A4BC-269CF35B8B5F.jpeg
The last animal i shot running. BFCECB8C-C85F-4CFA-B45A-E0AE42749955.jpeg
Shot this guy running at about 25 yards after I had hit him once already not hard to hit them running when they are that close.

I have shot lots of deer and coyotes running. Deer with my 300 win mag and 165’s coyotes with 22-250. I have shot running deer out to 383 yards and a coyote at 475 once but lots of coyotes running at 300-400 yards
 

Don Fischer

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Last year I shot this buffalo bull on full run at about sixty yards, just behind right shoulder with 250 gr .375 that lodged against rib cage inside opposite shoulder. Blew up both lungs. Shot him a second time in the chest when he turned for us. That bullet exited bottom back end of rib cage shattering his left hind leg at the knee. He still tried to come but only spun around four or five times before sitting on his butt then tipping over. View attachment 229968
In 2019 I shot this African gemsbuck incoming at 15 yards with my 30-06 Springfield. Unclear if she was charging or we were just in her way. I hit her again running by at 12 yards. Both shots through the heart. View attachment 229969
Three months later I shot this muley buck on the run at about 75 yards on the fly and dropped him on the spot. First shot at him standing didn't clear the ridge I was shooting behind. View attachment 229970
2020 I shot this coyote with my 30-06 running full tilt at fifty yards through the heart, exactly where I expected to hit it. View attachment 229971
1985 I shot this whitetail buck through the heart on the run at maybe forty yards. He was about to run me over so I took a sort-of shot to turn him for a broadside and easily put him away with follow up. View attachment 229972
1980 took this bull with one shot to back of head at base of skull going away at 70 yards. View attachment 229973
All but the buffalo were taken with the same gun, the WWII Springfield 30-06 Dad built for me in 1962.
I like that rifle!
 

OntarioHunter

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I should add that as far as I can recall in over fifty years I've never attempted a shot at a running animal and missed. At fifty yards I did hit a running spike poorly back in '76 and didn't get it. Turns out I hit it very poorly just creasing the back of one leg and brisket. Two other fellas got him on the same mountain the following week. They were sliding the frozen carcass down the mountain when it almost ran me over. After chatting with them I happened to notice the bull was hit twice but they had dropped it dead with a neck shot.

This bull, my first, I also shot in the head going away, maybe 35 yards. I already hit him twice: once in the neck followed by Texas heart shot, both standing. He didn't have much gas left by the third shot but if he got any deeper into that canyon I'd never get him out. He needed to go down right there! Had to wait two weeks for weather to cooperate before returning for front quarters with rented horse. Stupid kid, I cut off all the ribs on front quarters. By myself I almost didn't get that poor horse loaded. Took three attempts. It looked like shit but I got er done. Gave me the incentive to buy my own outfit and learn to do it right. That was 1971. elk1c.jpg
Edit: Correction. I did miss a running shot at a kudu bull last year, maybe sixty yards. He jumped an old overgrown fence just as I fired. I knew I would miss as soon as I shot. Got him late that same afternoon standing 440 yards.
 
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Don Fischer

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Jack O'conner was supposed to be a good running shot. Story was he practiced on running jack rabbits. I suspect there are a lot of guys that are pretty good shot's at running game, I'm just not one of them. If I were to try jack's method here, I wouldn't get in much shooting, not a lot of jack rabbits around here any more. ya know I did shoot at a moving deer one time. It started to run and slowed down coming to a fence. Let it get in the air over the fence and shot it through the chest. Clean forgot about that one. Shot was maybe 30 yds and the deer ran off on the other side but I was pretty sure I would find it dead withing a short distance. Did to! It went about 30 more yards and laid down dead! if I sound down about taking running shots it because I've never worked on it much and am pretty bad at it if the animal is very far off. Found it more to my liking to try for a shot standing still or pass on the shot generally!
 

OntarioHunter

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Jack O'conner was supposed to be a good running shot. Story was he practiced on running jack rabbits. I suspect there are a lot of guys that are pretty good shot's at running game, I'm just not one of them. If I were to try jack's method here, I wouldn't get in much shooting, not a lot of jack rabbits around here any more. ya know I did shoot at a moving deer one time. It started to run and slowed down coming to a fence. Let it get in the air over the fence and shot it through the chest. Clean forgot about that one. Shot was maybe 30 yds and the deer ran off on the other side but I was pretty sure I would find it dead withing a short distance. Did to! It went about 30 more yards and laid down dead! if I sound down about taking running shots it because I've never worked on it much and am pretty bad at it if the animal is very far off. Found it more to my liking to try for a shot standing still or pass on the shot generally!
Don't get me wrong, I do not advocate for running shots at big game. All my life I have been an avid wingshooter. A shotgun is not the same as a rifle but the principles are the same, particularly follow through. Nowadays I also annually shoot a couple thousand rounds at the trap/skeet/clays range. I am quite confident taking a running shot but only if a GOOD opportunity presents itself. Would I shoot at anything running two hundred yards away? Absolutely not. Not even half that distance.
 
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RaiderRich

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Apr 7, 2020
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Nevada
Upstate NY I have killed a few whitetail on the run during deer drives or otherwise spooked deer that weren't spooked by me but happen to run past me. Used shotguns with slugs on all that and never a longer shot than say 40 yards. I don't see myself ever shooting at an animal that is running, while looking through a rifle scope out west. That is just a recipe for heartbreak.
 

OntarioHunter

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Upstate NY I have killed a few whitetail on the run during deer drives or otherwise spooked deer that weren't spooked by me but happen to run past me. Used shotguns with slugs on all that and never a longer shot than say 40 yards. I don't see myself ever shooting at an animal that is running, while looking through a rifle scope out west. That is just a recipe for heartbreak.
I shot all my animals with scope attached and deadly. Turn it down to 3x, ensure the gun fits, and you'll shoot the scoped rifle just as well as the shotgun at moving game. But again, they need to be good shots at same range you're shooting deer with a shotgun.
 

2rocky

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Jul 23, 2010
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IMG_4467.jpg

  • Ruger M77 .300 Winchester Magnum. Redfield 2-7 scope. Nosler 180 gr Partition (Federal Premium)
As dawn spread across the upper reaches of the ridge, The bulls began singing out. Instead of setting up lower on the ridge, we continued to climb up to the trail I saw the bull traveling the morning prior. As we began to traverse the side hill took the lead and began to see elk cows below and in front of me. I motioned to dad that we were into the elk and continued to scan the hillside in front of me.

What I didn’t count on was that the bull we had been hearing would come out of the timber BEHIND my father and I. I heard the rocks rolling above me and saw cows below me look up. I followed their gaze and saw elk crossing the saddle above me. I wheeled and brought my rifle to my shoulder just like I was quail hunting. I had one shot and fired before the bull disappeared over the finger.

My father called to me, 30 yards behind…”You hit ‘im?”

I responded: “I was on him when the shot went off”.

But my thoughts were on the lack of a reaction from the elk. Before I could follow up, I began hearing rocks clattering, and I saw dust rising from the next saddle. I jogged around the finger to watch my elk rolling head over heels from 9500 feet elevation down PAST ME, until he finally came to rest 500 vertical feet below where he had been when I shot.
IMG_4452.jpg

When we examined the elk, I could see the bullet entered under his “elbow” on the left side, punched through the thick Brisket bone, through the left lung, and major arteries, through the right lung, through the shoulder bone and muscle until coming to rest under the skin on the right side at the point of the shoulder. You can see the bump on the right shoulder that is the bullet under the skin in the picture above.


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  • This was a family hunt, with my two daughters along. I made one of my best running shots on this buck. Distance was 50 yards left to right quartering. Bullet entered behind the ribs and broke up. Got liver and lungs, ran another 50 yards. Most memorable part, the girls finding shed antlers early in the hunt. The Whole Story
  • Ruger M77 .300 Winchester Magnum. Redfield 2-7 scope. Remington 150 gr. Core Loct

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280 yard uphill shot. Hit on second shot running going away, top of the shoulders, breaking the spine and anchoring him on the spot.

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I’d spent three years unsuccessfully hunting weekends and after class at the University of Idaho. On one of the final weekends of the season, I ventured into the river canyons and began rattling. I first spied a doe who came to the horns but soon saw this bucks antlers behind her. He spooked and ran uphill from left to right. I put the crosshairs ahead of him and pulled the trigger as he entered my scope. The bullet broke his spine behind the last rib,and he dropped on the spot.

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From a deer Drive in Marin County CA in ....1988 or 89...
  • On the ridgetop of the Bridge Canyon, I heard the dogs start barking and Corbin Glazier shouted “Comin’ to ya John!……Almost to the top…..You should seee him sooon….Why aren’t you Shhhoooottttinnn’?” Then the buck came out of the trees from left to right. I missed my first shot and he turned and ran straight/quartering away 12 to 10 o’clock . I swung through him like a quail and he disappeared in a heap. I hit him behind the right ear.
  • Model 64 Winchester 25-35
 

Doublegunner

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Nov 1, 2018
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Rifle was a cz 527 carbine in 7.62x39. Distance was about 60 yds and the blacktail was on a slow trot away from some other hunters. After he was hit went about 40 yds and piled up.
 

88man

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Jan 31, 2011
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Pa
I shot a lot of game running over the years being from Pa as we often drive deer. A few of the kills I remember vividly being luck or skill but they were pretty cool harvests at the time.
> 3 shots at a running 6pointer buck at 150 yards on the other side of a river. All 3 shots from the 308 rem model 7 would have been a 6 inch group low behind the shoulder.
> a doe my friend jumped up between us at 25 yards explodes from the laurels all while I was on the cell phone with my wife at the time I spun and fired one shot hitting her base of the neck and she tumbled end over end. Same 308.
> Few doe and smaller bucks 35 to 20 years ago with the bow moving on deer drives none of them full speed all close inside 20 yards all one shot kills. One in particular I jumped myself from its bed and drew and fired and heart shot her at 15 yards she was full speed.
> Jumped a doe from her bed in the green briars in a big burn while flintlock hunting basically solid green briars waste to chest high and she held tight and jumped at less than 5 yards I mounted the 50 cal renegade flintlock and cocked and fired upon full mount and the round ball hit her in the back of the head/base of the skull at 10yards.
>A 100lb boar hog in florida bolted from an oak hammock I fired one shot at around 75yards away with a 256 winchester lever rifle I think they were 60 or 70 grain softpoints the bullet hit him just behind the ear. DRT
> another hog in florida we jumped while running a jeep looking for hogs that were doing damage at a large vegetable / fruit farm anyway my cousin filmed this one as the hog was running away across a flooded pasture I waited to shoot until he said he was on him and the browning 243 85 grain partition smacked the hog somewhere in the vitals at about 225 yards and he did a death circle and the classic hog kicking> Then my buddy says look at him splashing like a tarpon.
> saw my dad when I was 12 pull up and fire 2 super quick shots and a nice 8point buck as it broke out across an opening 75 yards away and both shots basically hit the heart and the buck tumbled and flipped on the second shot. Classic rifle winchester model 88 in 308.

I have been to many target rifle range running deer shoots and in the 1980's and early 90's we practiced shooting moving targets all the time by rolling tires down hills and having competitions with the guys we hunted with on basket balls and volley and old bowling balls etc.

good stuff those were the days
 
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