QuietKat all-terrain e-bikes
Ham shot??
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
crankn101 25-Nov-09
Zbone 25-Nov-09
Bake 25-Nov-09
INbowdude 25-Nov-09
ryanrc 25-Nov-09
rattling_junkie 25-Nov-09
crankn101 25-Nov-09
Chuck Desbiens 25-Nov-09
Jimbob 25-Nov-09
Kurt in Memphis 25-Nov-09
bigdadee 25-Nov-09
Striker@home 25-Nov-09
Zeke Fantuz 25-Nov-09
TD 25-Nov-09
Zeke Fantuz 25-Nov-09
mn_archer 25-Nov-09
crankn101 25-Nov-09
razorhunter 26-Nov-09
kellyharris 26-Nov-09
mn_archer 26-Nov-09
DLN 26-Nov-09
straight_arrow 26-Nov-09
nalgi 26-Nov-09
Sage Buffalo 27-Nov-09
crankn101 27-Nov-09
Huntsman 27-Nov-09
crankn101 27-Nov-09
Zbone 27-Nov-09
crankn101 27-Nov-09
grizzlyadam 27-Nov-09
KJC 27-Nov-09
havaseat 27-Nov-09
JHP 27-Nov-09
Big Buck Nailer 27-Nov-09
JHP 27-Nov-09
Zbone 27-Nov-09
crankn101 27-Nov-09
Zbone 27-Nov-09
crankn101 27-Nov-09
Zbone 27-Nov-09
crankn101 23-Oct-13
crankn101 23-Oct-13
Knife2sharp 23-Oct-13
Kurare 23-Oct-13
Kurare 23-Oct-13
Shiras@home 23-Oct-13
TD 23-Oct-13
Woodswise work 23-Oct-13
crankn101 23-Oct-13
XMan 23-Oct-13
drycreek 23-Oct-13
Banjo 23-Oct-13
Banjo 23-Oct-13
Bill in MI 23-Oct-13
TD 23-Oct-13
LBshooter 23-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 24-Oct-13
Hardcore 24-Oct-13
sir misalots 24-Oct-13
sir misalots 24-Oct-13
WV Mountaineer 24-Oct-13
elkmtngear 24-Oct-13
woodguy65 24-Oct-13
crankn101 24-Oct-13
MNRazorhead 24-Oct-13
cope30tyee 24-Oct-13
cope30tyee 24-Oct-13
TD 24-Oct-13
crankn101 24-Oct-13
BUCKeye 24-Oct-13
bowhunter55 24-Oct-13
drycreek 24-Oct-13
RK 24-Oct-13
APauls 24-Oct-13
Kurare 26-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 26-Oct-13
TradbowBob 26-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 26-Oct-13
brunse 26-Oct-13
Straight Shooter 27-Oct-13
npaull 27-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 27-Oct-13
Pig Doc 27-Oct-13
Straight Shooter 27-Oct-13
brunse 28-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 28-Oct-13
TD 28-Oct-13
bdfrd24v 11-Nov-13
bdfrd24v 11-Nov-13
Pat Lefemine 11-Nov-13
Woods Walker 11-Nov-13
TurkeyBowMaster 11-Nov-13
TurkeyBowMaster 11-Nov-13
Woods Walker 11-Nov-13
TD 11-Nov-13
weekender21 12-Nov-13
Magilla 12-Nov-13
TurkeyBowMaster 12-Nov-13
Woods Walker 12-Nov-13
bdfrd24v 12-Nov-13
crankn101 21-Sep-18
Franklin 21-Sep-18
elk yinzer 21-Sep-18
bowyer45 22-Sep-18
From: crankn101
25-Nov-09
This will go along with the frontal shot topic,but even more outlandish.

About 3 seasons ago I accidentally hit a deer in the ham, the results were a dead deer about 55 yards away. Since then I have talked to roughly ten hunters from different states with the same experience. I have never heard of a deer hit in the ham and not recovered.

I would like to hear if any of you guys have had an experience with a ham shot, And the results.

Would you take a 20 yard or under shot for the ham?

Please only first hand experience hunters need respond.

From: Zbone
25-Nov-09
Boy, I’ll probably take a lot of flack for this but – can recall at least 5 deer I "ACTIDENTLY" shot in the hams (2 with bow, 3 with firearms), and recovered every one of them. Am not advocating ham shots like Chuck Adams once did, just stating the facts.

From: Bake
25-Nov-09
I would never intentionally take that shot, but I hit my first deer in the ham years ago. She ran 40 yards and fell and left the biggest bloodtrail I've ever seen.

I just got lucky and hit the artery. But it was just luck, again I would never take the shot on purpose. Like last year I hit a buck way back and got lucky and hit the artery that runs along the spine and the buck fell in 100 yards. But I would never intentionally aim there

Bake

From: INbowdude
25-Nov-09
I would not intentionally take a "ham" shot unless the critter was already wounded from a poor shot and I was trying to put it down quickly. Hit the femeral and game over. Like Zbone, I've unintentionally hit the femeral and recovered each one. I could probably come up with many scenarios where it would be an appropriate shot under certain circumstances, but I probably wouldn't take it as a first shot. Too much good meat to let get all bloody. JMHO

From: ryanrc
25-Nov-09
2 deer shot in the hams(not on purpose) neither was recovered.

25-Nov-09
A few years ago I hit a doe in the ham and she ran about 100 yards and laid down. She struggled to get to the tree line and I finished her off there. When I got to her she never attempted to run or maybe she didn't have the muscles to run anymore. It was an unfortunate incident and one that I hope never happens again but I was shocked at how debilitating the shot was with a Grim Reaper. I would never advocate the shot.

From: crankn101
25-Nov-09
Awesome responses so far. I thought people would be coming out guns blazing.(at me)

25-Nov-09
My pal hit a branch that resulted in a ham hit, at the end of a very good blood trail was a dead buck (scored 165).

From: Jimbob
25-Nov-09
if you hit the femoral artery then its game over, this is right in the middle of the leg close to the femur bone.

My Dad gut shot a moose and it didn't go 80 yds. When we opened it up a waterfall of blood poured out. Turns out he shot high and hit the main artery (descending aorta) that travels through the abdomen (this artery is what feeds the femoral artery). Anyways the shot was extremely effective yet I would never consider taking it because the artery is maybe 0.5" diameter. The femoral artery is even smaller and this is what your hitting in the ham to make it a killing shot.

conclusion - the kill zone of the ham is very small.

25-Nov-09
I made a terrible shot and hit a deer in the center of the ham. The arrow did not pass through and fell out 10 yards after the hit. I waited 4-5 hours to start tracking. I had a good blood (not great, but no 'hand-and-knees) trail for roughly 150-200- yards. He went into a thick area with chest-high grass and was hiding under a downed tree. One point-blank shot and it was over.

I definitely consider myself lucky to recover that deer, but was also surprised at how quickly he bedded and couldn't get up.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From: bigdadee
25-Nov-09
OK,I'll be the brave one. In the 70's and early 80's almost all paper targets we used in tournaments had the femoral artery drawn in and I used that basis to kill my first deer through both legs. He didnt travel 15yds. Never took the shot again then this year I hit a branch with the bow limb and missed the doe I was aiming for. About 15 seconds later the six point 10yds in front of her starts shaking and falls over dead. Turns out it went through both hams. I was very lucky both times.

From: Striker@home
25-Nov-09
I made this shot on an antelope this past August. In hindsight, considering the strength of the wind, I took an ill advised shot and the arrow kicked badly as I got hit by a gust as I released. The end result was the shot you see below.

Photobucket

The buck only made it about 50 yards. I couldn't believe the devestation caused by the Slick Trick broadhead. It shattered the femur into tiny peices of shrapnel. My buddy, who is a riffle hunter, made the observation that he hadn't seen too many bullets cause the kind of damage the broadhead caused. Long story short, while I would never intentionally take the shot, it was effective and made up for my poor decision.

Photobucket

Ironically, a friend hit his elk in the same place in September. I could actually hear the blood pouring out of the animal like paint out of a bucket. He expired in short order. While the arrow was removed before the photo, you can see the blood on the ground near the hindquarter as a result of the shot.

Photobucket

From: Zeke Fantuz
25-Nov-09

Zeke Fantuz's embedded Photo
Zeke Fantuz's embedded Photo
I accidentally hit a buck in the ham last year. He was broadside and looking the other way when I released, but I believe he heard my arrow pass through the mesh on my blind window, and he had enough time to turn quite a bit before the arrow hit him. 36 yards, 60lb. bow and 100gr. Shuttle T-Lock. I hit the femeral artery on the way in and the arrow passed through about mid body on the other side. The blood trail was good and the deer died within 80 yards. I would not intentionally take this shot, but if something goes wrong with the arrow in mid-flight(string jump, turning away), I would prefer it to a gut shot.

From: TD
25-Nov-09
Over many years I've hit more than a couple, I guess a few in the hindquarters. Only ever recovered one. And it went down fast and pumping. Actually aiming for the spot would be like aiming for a pencil.

Contrary to popular opinion I have never taken a shot aimed for the hindquarters and would never recommend it. But stuff happens. If a person gets lucky, well, they got lucky.

25-Nov-09

Earl E. Nove....mber's embedded Photo
Earl E. Nove....mber's embedded Photo
I don't think this one was ever recovered. the arrow was the next day.

In comparison to the artery the Ham is huge. Shooting the artery intentionally is like hitting a needle in a hay stack.

From: Zeke Fantuz
25-Nov-09
I agree. Sometimes unavoidable stuff happens, and I'd rather be lucky than good when it does.

From: mn_archer
25-Nov-09
Doesn't anyone hunt for the meat too? Why would one intentionally ruin the best meat when he doesn't need to?

michael

From: crankn101
25-Nov-09
earl...Shooting the artery intentionally is like hitting a needle in a hay stack.

That is a very accurate comparison.

From: razorhunter
26-Nov-09
I would never intentionally take a ham shot.....but I strongly disagree about it being the BEST meat....you need to be introduced to BACKSTRAPS,LOL....besides,if it were a good shot to take,you are better off messing up some meat than losing all of it by not shooting the deer at all.

From: kellyharris
26-Nov-09
My dad killed his first deer with a bow back in the early 70's with that a ham shot...

I have never taken this shot with a bow nor will I ever...however in shotgun season shooting a 385 grain slug at 2000 ft per second I have shot 2 does but they were both from directly behind aiming thru the front. Both just dropped...

From: mn_archer
26-Nov-09
What are backstraps?

michael

From: DLN
26-Nov-09
I hit a smaller doe in the ham this year-(not sure what happened to cause it)it fell over at the shot,but got up and ran away looking fine.When we started tracking found some blood for a long ways, but it slowly trickled out.Followed trail for at least 400 yards before it quit-never recovered.Hit her in center of ham,obviously did not hit artery.

26-Nov-09
If you are hunting for anything, shouldn't your main purpose be to eat the animal? If you shoot it in the ham, don't you think this defeats the purpose a bit seeing as how on a whitetail deer the bulk of the meat is here. I will also admit the first deer I ever took with a bow at age 12 hit a branch and deflected into the ham. It died within 30 yards with a 5 foot blood trail width. Intentially shoot there, not a good idea.

From: nalgi
26-Nov-09

nalgi's embedded Photo
nalgi's embedded Photo
Two thoughts. A ham shot ruins alot of meat. On the other hand recovering the animal is the objective. I dont know how, but my arrow passed through and got stuck in the offside ham. I lost the entire Quar :(

From: Sage Buffalo
27-Nov-09
The stories here would tell a much different tale of it being a needle in a haystack.

However, I agree that this shot would ruin too much meat and that's something that should be considered.

From: crankn101
27-Nov-09
I think I was able to recover most of the meat on my ham shot deer, but cant remember for sure. Im probably not as picky as most when it comes to salvaging deer meat, I just kind of cut around the wound and wash it out real good.

I cant stand seeing the waste of meat. The TV show rifle kills through both front shoulders is kinda ridiculous.

From: Huntsman
27-Nov-09
Intentionally shoot at the ham?…good grief.

“This will go along with the frontal shot topic, but even more outlandish”

Comparing the two shots is not even in the same ballpark…

27-Nov-09
Sage Buffalo,

What this post shows a lot of is those lucky enough to recover an animal after a "Ham" hit.

What it doesn't show is all the unrecovered animals hit in the hind quarters. I can tell you for sure in 40 years of bow hunting I have been in on three ham hits, not of them recovered. One was mine the other two were someone else's.

Femoral artery hits are lethal,, there is no evidence here that a ham hit without the femoral artery is anything but a muscle hit.

From: crankn101
27-Nov-09
Earl... This is supposed to be about the ones that were recovered and the ones NOT recovered. It seems to me a pretty high percentage of ham shots are lethal.

From: Zbone
27-Nov-09
A thing I’ll add from my experience with ham shots is – treat them like a gut shot animal. Give them at least 12 hours before taking up the trail. If you cut the major arteries, they die fairly quickly, but if you don’t, they can and will travel a long ways if pushed.

From: crankn101
27-Nov-09
Zbone- So you have recovered one that wasnt a artery shot??

From: grizzlyadam
27-Nov-09
I have hit two deer in the ham both by accident of course, never found either one, also there was very little blood to follow. I have found every gutshot deer I have tracked. A buddy of mine ham shot a doe a few years ago that we recovered, there was a minimal blood trail to follow, the deer only went a few hundred yards, and there was a lot of internal bleeding. To intentionally aim for the hind quarters on any game animal is a unethical decision that only a scumbag would attempt.

From: KJC
27-Nov-09

KJC's Link
I shot a doe this year through the ham. 30 yard shot. Just as I was releasing a spike scent checked her and she jumped forward. She went about 12 yards and fell over. I went from sick to my stomach to elataed to confused all in about 10 seconds.

From: havaseat
27-Nov-09
60s that used to be a fairly common tactic,before stands became popular. 55-70 lbs. most of heads bear zwickies,ma3s would penetrate to liver/lungs and thats a lot of veins, i dont recall one hit and losing deer or meat.,,oddest was on way out lady took running shot at doe, clipped her tail hairs,on arrow recovery ,,blood trail located gusher,had severed artery at tail base, ma3 w/epoxy razors, hams ars a powerful muscle group with great blood flow,,lethal wound ,

From: JHP
27-Nov-09
Been privy to 5 ham shots in my 35 years of deer hunting. One of those was a gun shot. Four of the five were recovered and all recovered were within 100 yards. Seems to be a very lethal shot to me. I would never shoot a deer there intentionally though. Three of them were mine with a bow and all 3 were recovered. Saw 2 of them go down in sight.

27-Nov-09
I shot a doe last year in the ham with a 270. verygruesome exit hole but the deer dropped straight down and could not get back up. unfortunatly the job had 2 be finished with a pocket knife. Ham shots in my opinion should never be made except by accident because they make the deer suffer. My shot placement of choice is the neck. Deer dies instantly and no blood trail. Taxidermist can repair hole

From: JHP
27-Nov-09
Neck shot is very poor selection with a bow. Have seen several deer lost with neck shots from a bow.

From: Zbone
27-Nov-09
crankn101 - Yeah, a button buck with a 16 gauge shotgun slug back when I was a kid.

First let me say the closer to the center of the ham, the quicker they seem to die. Three just happen to be close to center if I remember correctly and didn’t go far.

Of those three, one was running 10-point with that same 16 gauge when a kid. Hit him with the 5th and last slug in the tube of am old Remington 11-48 and knocked him down. (lucky shot) He had a hard time trying to get his back legs under him giving me time to run up and finish him. I was around 12 years old at the time and one proud happy camper…8^)

Long story short - another was my first deer kill when I was a small kid of 8 or 9 years old. (Please don’t crucify me, I was only a kid without proper parental guidance) Deer were very scarce in the late 1960's as was hunter ethics at the time. It was late Sept. and shot a small button with a .22 rimfire single shot rifle while squirrel hunting. One shot, the deer walked a few yards, laid down and died within sight. As said, it's a long story… but if I remember correctly, the little bullet was almost dead center in the ham broadside.

The other near center was with an arrow on a nice 4x5 on an evening hunt in late January a couple years ago. Seen the hit and knew it was bad but was able to watch him travel about a hundred yards or so in the snow and could tell he wasn't doing so good. Snuck out of the tree and abandoned the area to return in the morning. Picked up the blood trail in the snow a blind man could follow the following AM and found him just a few yards further from where I lost sight of him the evening before. (I may have a picture of that shot location somewhere)

The other arrowed was my first traditional bow kill in November 1988 on a basket racked 7-point. It was off center in the ham on an evening hunt. Tracked and pushed him that evening and lost the blood trail. Rain washed the blood trail over night once I resumed tracking the following morning. Searched all morning into afternoon and basically gave up the trail when I happen to jump him out of a thicket. To make another long story short, I ran out of arrows and ended up drowning him…But anyhow, he was still alive over 12 hours after the hit, but I don’t believe he would have survived if I hadn’t eventually found him…. (should have said “primitive kill…8^))

Mind you, I had no intention of hitting these deer in the hams... Just wanted to clarify that...

Okay, back to the button buck with the shotgun...8^)

I could write a book...8^)

Hit him during gun season in a light snow. Had no idea where he was hit, only that he left a blood in the beginning. Chased him all the rest of that day but never got another crack at him.

Took up the trail the following morning and had a hard time tracking him even in the light snow. Many times he quit bleeding and was trailing solely on tracks which was hard to decipher from other deer at times. I kept pushing him out ahead off me and only got glimpse of him a few times. He made huge loops over a mile sorta like a rabbit hounded by dogs.

Finally on the third day, I jumped him out of his bed and downed him for good. If I remember correctly I was around 14 or 15 at the time and was the longest tracking job of my life to date. Would have never found him if it hadn’t been for the snow. If I remember correctly, the hit was midway in the back of the ham.

Whether he would have survived or not, don’t know. I believe I just wore him down. I’m still very proud of that little button buck…8^)

Okay - Would never intentionally shoot one there with an arrow, but do have second thoughts with a firearm as a last resort and all that was presented. Matter of fact, almost did just that a couple years ago during a deer drive.

I was on stand, when a big, I mean big buck come through pushed with a group of does. He was near Booner caliber.

They came through at a trot and stopped broadside at about 40 to 50 yards. He stopped where there was a big tree covering his vitals and all I could see was his head moving and his broadside back end.

They paused there for a minute or two, and believe me, I had plenty of time to steady the crosshairs on the center of that ham. I could have drilled it with my scoped setup.

Believe me, I almost pulled the trigger. I figured it would knock him down and incapacitate him to where I could run up on him and finish him like the 10-point.

I didn’t take the shot….Of course when they broke, they went straight out away from me and never stopped.

If I had a do over, I now would have pulled the trigger…

I know I’m going to get flamed by some for these stories and after tonight won’t be near a computer until Tuesday to defend myself. Our gun season begins Monday, and I’m going…8^)

crankn101 – you asked for it…8^)

From: crankn101
27-Nov-09
Zbone-Those are some sweet stories!! People need to remember this was pre-internet and even before most magazines were out, so the learning curve took longer to figure out on your own.

But a .22, C'MON MAN!!! Sorry couldnt help it.

From: Zbone
27-Nov-09
Swear - True story, and it was a long shot too. At least 50 yards, but it felt like more like 70 back then.

I can remember it as vivid as yesterday.

I freaked when it laid down and died... Went running through the woods screaming for grandpa...8^)

That taught my dad ya gotta watch what you say around kids. "I'd like to see one with a gun in my hand"...8^)

This was either September of 1968 or 1969. Remember, deer were very scarce and a rarity to see back then.

I was born in 59 and didn't see a live wild deer until I was 7. So, basically I grew up with the deer population. Maybe that is why I have such a strong attachment to them...

From: crankn101
27-Nov-09
I believe you, its just pretty funny.

From: Zbone
27-Nov-09
It was an adrenaline trip until I found my grandpa over on the other side of the woods. Was the first season, may have be the first time I was allowed to hunt on my own, separated from my grandfather or dad.

It was a crazy experience, one I’ll never forget.

I’d tell events that happened after, but too long and not enough time.

As said, could write a book. Been chasing these critters adidly, sometimes obsessively over 40 years and have lotz of stories…8^)

Have a good weekend everybody.

From: crankn101
23-Oct-13

crankn101's embedded Photo
crankn101's embedded Photo
My nephew just hit one in the ham and it exited towards the liver on the opposite side. The deer traveled under 20 yards and died. This was just yesterday AM and his first buck with a bow and in no way intentional.

From: crankn101
23-Oct-13

crankn101's embedded Photo
crankn101's embedded Photo

From: Knife2sharp
23-Oct-13
I've had two experiences, one was a deer and the other a black bear.

First the deer. I hit a nice in the ham once, he was walking slow and he was about 30 yards and I didn't try stopping him first. I guess I thought my bow would be faster, but regardless he took off and I saw the arrow hanging down from his hind quarter. I only got a few inches of penetration. Others told me if I hit the femoral artery he would die quickly. Apparently I didn't, and I was able to track him the following morning for about 400-500 yards across a field and along the ridge of a ravine. I did find his bed off the knob of that ravine, but nothing afterwards. The pool of blood was pretty small. There were several places along the way that he stood for periods of time and he even doubled back once.

The first bear I shot was standing broadside at the bait in front of me. When I shot and the arrow penetrated the vitals, he quickly spun towards me and ran by me. He went about 70 yards behind me and stopped. After a while I could hear him walking through the swamp and he was heading away from me. When I got down the arrow was just beyond the bait and the broadhead wasn't on the arrow. I was using the Rocket Steelhead and they have really short threads. We found him the next day and he went about 250 yards. This is the distance he went from the initial shot. The arrow exited out his opposite thigh and it did have the 'x' in the hide, so the head stayed on thought the bear, but I have no idea where the head went. When we butchered him we did notice the femoral artery was cut.

From: Kurare
23-Oct-13

Kurare's embedded Photo
Kurare's embedded Photo
Entrance wound:

From: Kurare
23-Oct-13

Kurare's embedded Photo
Kurare's embedded Photo
Exit wound: Distance traveled after the shot: less than 20 meters. I had classic double lungers run 2 - 3 times further than this one...

From: Shiras@home
23-Oct-13
Accidental one last year after a deflection and the deer was never recovered...

From: TD
23-Oct-13
Not a place to shoot for obviously.... unless you can hit a hidden pencil that you have a rough idea of where it might be every time.

But these stories all make a solid point. No matter what kind of hit it was, good, bad or horrible... the follow up must be relentless and with the attitude that there will be a dead animal at the end of the trail, or out there somewhere, and it must be recovered.

A buddy hit a buck in the neck.... we followed a nearly nonexistent blood trail for several hundred yards, took us several hours to go that far. We found that buck with a grid search, I think it took 5+ hours. Finally just stumbled upon buckets of blood and he was right there close by. The broadhead moving around in his neck, shaft hitting brush etc. must have finally caught the jugular and it was over in seconds.

What was essentially a non-fatal hit turned near instantly fatal. It would have been an easy one to give up on as we knew it was in the neck, we talked about how if good things in the neck are hit it's normally over fast. This was not over fast, I think it was near a quarter mile away were we found him.

Never give up. Relentless. Single minded of purpose. No matter where the hit. Sometimes they are not recovered, that's an undeniable fact. But that should never be from lack of effort.

23-Oct-13
I hit a Pronghorn in the hind quarter this year. Quartering away and a 30+ mph wind at 45 yards combined for a shot I shouldn't have taken. When it hit the ham my heart sunk but that quickly changed when I saw his whole leg turn red from the blood rushing out. It was devastating and over very quickly.

It's not a shot I would ever take but it worked out for me on a terrible hit.

On another note, I don't see how a hole from a broadhead ruins any meat at all. I kept the entire quarter on mine. So what if it has a slice in it? A broadhead doesn't do the sort of periferal damage a rifle does.

From: crankn101
23-Oct-13

" unless you can hit a hidden pencil that you have a rough idea of where it might be every time."

I think its safe to say the kill zone on a ham shot is much larger.

From: XMan
23-Oct-13
One ham shot deer and a 50 yard recovery.

From: drycreek
23-Oct-13
I have never had to take a shot on a deer " as a last resort ". I always thought that was reserved for something dangerous. Hmmmmm......

From: Banjo
23-Oct-13
I hit a 6 pt bull in the ham, he came running in and I didn't want to take a running shot so I cow called to stop him but he was only about 20yds away, he startled and jumped away from me and turned broadside at 25 yds. I was already at full draw and right when I pulled the trigger on the release he spun his rear to take off and the arrow hit him in the hind quarter. We waited about 5 hours before we looked for him and when I found him he was still alive but not going anywhere.

From: Banjo
23-Oct-13

From: Bill in MI
23-Oct-13
I believe Chuck Adams made a comment years ago about never losing an animal to a hind quarter shot...

From: TD
23-Oct-13
"I think its safe to say the kill zone on a ham shot is much larger."

What other vital is there in a ham besides the artery? Unless you happen to hit that, a ham shot is just a meat shot, no vitals. Never seen a meat hit kill anything.

If you killed a deer with a pure ham shot you got lucky and hit an artery. Some of these shots aren't even really hitting that femoral in the ham, they are hitting as mentioned, the dorsal aorta, after maybe maybe hitting part of the ham. Only a couple arteries back there. If you hit one consider yourself lucky. They are about the size of a pencil.

I've killed deer, goats and a cow elk with exit holes in around the ham. But the entrance went through the chest and caught some good stuff. There are vitals that can be hit with entrance or exit in the ham area. Guts often hit in the ham area. I would not call any of that a vital area of the ham.

Ham alone? All you have is that artery. Meat hit isn't killing anything unless they die from infection weeks later, even with a rage....

From: LBshooter
23-Oct-13
My first kill was a shat in the ham. I didn't pick a spot . The ham has the femoral artery running through it and I hit that. I remember the blood just poori g out and she laced dead about 50 yards away. Now, would I purposefully take that shot? I don't think so, but luckily that first doe was recovered.

24-Oct-13
The only senerio I can really think of where you might consider purposely exicuting the ham shot is when you really want to kill the deer and he is quartering towards you and is looking at you and his next move is spinning and getting out of there. The hamblaster is the shot you should take in that case not BigDans shot because the deer will most likely wheel and put the shoulderblade into play. The shoulderblade is a lot less deadly than a gut/ham combo hit. Hamblaster...remember it.

From: Hardcore
24-Oct-13
Looks like kurare had some fawn mignon. I've shot one and had a busy shoot one in front of ham in the flank and both fell within 50 yards.

From: sir misalots
24-Oct-13
I hit one with a 44 mag revolver sharply qtring away. Aimed for the last rib and hit left (just right of the anus) Severed the femoral and was the best blood trail ever

My cousin hit one broadside thru the ham with a trad bow and wensel woodsman. Complete pass thr but no blood other than a speck or two. Found her next morning at the lake dead.

Low percentage shot that works. But dont to be an intentional target.

From: sir misalots
24-Oct-13
I hit one with a 44 mag revolver sharply qtring away. Aimed for the last rib and hit left (just right of the anus) Severed the femoral and was the best blood trail ever

My cousin hit one broadside thru the ham with a trad bow and wensel woodsman. Complete pass thr but no blood other than a speck or two. Found her next morning at the lake dead.

Low percentage shot that works. But dont to be an intentional target.

24-Oct-13
I can think of 4 with a bow. All accidents. 3 recoveries and 1 not found. When it does happen, it should be by accident And you should be praying for the femoral artery. It is over quick. I hit a elk there one time. Watched it fall. So regardless of animal, if you luck up in a bad situation, the only thing your going to lose is the blood shot meat. God Bless

From: elkmtngear
24-Oct-13

elkmtngear's Link
Here's one that went badly for me this Season. I must have dead centered the ball/socket...very little penetration. High winds were blowing my bow around...no excuse, I screwed up!

I'm sure this buck is just fine, that's the only thing that makes me feel a little better about it.

Shot video is around the 11:30 mark...you can see my arrow stuck pretty rigid in the ball socket area when the buck runs off.

Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)

From: woodguy65
24-Oct-13
Add 1 more, I shot a nice buck in the ham 3 years ago - had a complete pass through as well. It was certainly not an intentional shot. It was a complete surpise (ham hit)to me when I found the buck within 50 yards dead. This was the bloodiest blood trail I had ever seen from all the deer, pigs and deer I have ever shot, and obviously hit the artery.

From: crankn101
24-Oct-13
"What other vital is there in a ham besides the artery? Unless you happen to hit that, a ham shot is just a meat shot, no vitals. Never seen a meat hit kill anything."

Open your mind...A guy above seen one recovered after the tail was just nicked.

And where does all the blood go after the artery? Just disappears at that point?

I bet more deer are lost with "perfect" double lung hits vs solid ham hits. Meaning you never know for sure exactly where your arrow hits...perfect double lung might be brisket while a solid ham shot might be back straps.

From: MNRazorhead
24-Oct-13
The lungs are a much larger target and just as lethal. Please don't purposely aim for the femoral.

I hit an antelope through the meat of the hams. Just missed the femoral by 1/2 inch. I wasn't aiming there, but the arrow ended up there due to the antelope reflexes being quicker than an arrow. I was lucky to find him alive the next day and after a LONG chase/tracking was able to put a kill shot in. It was not something I would like to repeat.

I think the responses above do not represent a true picture of how many hind quarter shots are lost. It's much easier to post about how you hit something there and recovered it, but not so much to tell/re-live the story about one that you didn't recover.

From: cope30tyee
24-Oct-13

cope30tyee's embedded Photo
cope30tyee's embedded Photo
I took a steep quartering away shot this last year and the deer started to walk as I released. I hit it in the ham. I followed a huge blood trail to a dead animal.

Pics to follow

From: cope30tyee
24-Oct-13

cope30tyee's embedded Photo
cope30tyee's embedded Photo

From: TD
24-Oct-13
"Open your mind..." To what exactly???

You advocating a ham shot? "Expanding your kill zone"? If you are, just spit it out.... already have one on board for a gut shot into the hams....cuz if it's good deer you just HAVE to get an arrow in em somehow.... who knows, maybe you'll get lucky...

I don't know how many hind quarter hit trails you've been on, I've been on many over the last 40 years, on several different species. Some get lucky, hit an artery, wild blood trail and dead quickly. Most.... no. Some were essentially gut shots and were hurting, we were able to get on em and finish the job. Others were sparse to nonexistent blood trails and no recovery.

There is no comparison to a chest hit and a ham hit. None.

The only thing I would suggest a person take from this whole thing is if stuff happens, hit a stick, animal jumped, pizz poor shot... well stuff happens. You might get lucky and hit something good and it all goes down fast. I would give a sigh of relief and say a lil prayer of thanks for the good fortune. Cuz that's what it was.

But mainly no matter how poor the hit, and a ham shot IS a poor hit, you follow it like there is a dead animal at the end of it and you have to find it. Relentless is the main thing that comes to mind.

WRT "opening my mind" I know of a bull elk killed by scaring it with a nick to it's hide on it's front leg and it choked on it's cud and died. Wouldn't recommend that one either. Even with a rage...

From: crankn101
24-Oct-13
""Open your mind..." To what exactly???" Its NOT just a pencil sized kill area, its NOT.

Fred Bear recovered every animal he ever hit in that area. Did he get lucky and hit that pencil every time? Not happening.

People get stuck in their ways and cant see anything with an open mind anymore. No offense, but the 40 years experience explains a lot, Youve been there, done that and know it all. while I take info from non-biased people and form my own conclusions.

Much the same reason we still keep voting democrat or repub. They both suck but we have been trained for decades that those are the only 2 options.

From: BUCKeye
24-Oct-13
Done it accidentally twice. I did not recover either deer. I know for a fact that one of the deer lived for at least 2 years afterwards.

From: bowhunter55
24-Oct-13
I've hit 2 deer in the hams,both shots from the deer moving after the release. Both deer were recovered within 80 yards with massive blood trails. That being said,I would never intentionally take that shot.

From: drycreek
24-Oct-13
You said only experienced hunters need post, then you asked would you take a 20 yd. shot or less. I have no experience with ham shots, but I would not take one purposely because I have never seen the deer I " had to shoot ". My ego doesn't control my trigger.

From: RK
24-Oct-13
Drycreek x 10

From: APauls
24-Oct-13
Hit one with bow recovered 5 years later after double lung "follow up" shot. In the meantime he got the nickname "Hopalong."

Another with the 7mm Rem mag that needed another 2 rounds. Thanks to a foot of snow for tracking that that was able to happen. So I would have to say bad experience x2

Comparing a femoral artery shot to a lung shot is ludicrous. Wou might compare a femoral to a neck shot, but in the neck you have the added chance of spining the thing. Though the neck moves faster. Either way I can't believe I am discussing the chance of aiming at either of those areas!

From: Kurare
26-Oct-13
Hardcore, it is a fallow deer doe, not a fawn (although it might look a bit like one)

26-Oct-13
If the Hamblaster keeps gaining momentum at this pace, it will be the prefered shot placement by this time next year. Rage might even sho egor shooting yrannasorous rex getting it in the ham.

From: TradbowBob
26-Oct-13
My first deer was an accidental ham shot. She spun after hearing the bow and I thought I missed. I went to get my arrow and found a blood trail that looked like somebody had gone through the soods with a fire hose full of blood.

Fred Bear is reputed to have said that he thought that the ham shot was a good shot. he said that the hams contained the highest concentration of blood vessels of any part of the body. That being said, I wouldn't intentionally take the shot, but I later killed a pig with a similar shot.

TBB

26-Oct-13
How do you handle a hungry man??? Hamblaster. Dont fret over a little bloodshot meat...blood shot meat is good. I will go on record to say bloodshot is the best and tastiest meat on the deer. There's flavor in the blood.

From: brunse
26-Oct-13
I killed a bull elk shot through the lower hind limbs. Went through both. Did not hit the femoral artery(too low). Maybe the tibial. Definitely a very vascular area.

I don't advocate waiting. I started on the trail right away. Blood trailing slowly ready for follow up. Every time the trail got weak, he was bedded close. Ended up pushing him to near exhaustion after two or more miles. He stood me off at 15 yards to finish him. One Interesting point, after the 15 yard perfect broadside shot, he walked downhill 150 yards and bled exactly three drops. Amazing to me.

Meat was fine. Did not lose much.

27-Oct-13
"Fred Bear recovered every animal he ever hit in that area." Are you for real? You really believe that Fred Bear never lost an animal?

DJ

From: npaull
27-Oct-13
Here's the problem - there are really two separate questions here and they are being confused/conflated.

1) Is a femoral artery shot lethal? Answer: Absolutely, and fast.

2) Are ham shots that miss the femoral artery (or vein) typically lethal? Answer: Maybe sometimes, but slowly.

See the problem?

DON'T FRIGGIN DO IT. The femoral artery is tiny compared to the ham. It is NOT a reliable target.

27-Oct-13
Do it....do it...do to....its good for you!!!

From: Pig Doc
27-Oct-13
"I bet more deer are lost with "perfect" double lung hits vs solid ham hits."

Total BS. As every intelligent poster has pointed out, the femoral artery is too small to target as a lethal shot. If you hit it you are nothing but lucky.

You guys with accidental ham hits need to spend some more time practicing. In most cases you missed your shot by 3 feet.

27-Oct-13
TBM- We all knew that you have questionable hunting tactics but now we all know that you are unethical as well! Purposely taking a shot aimed at the ham is unethical, no matter how close or how big the animal might be!

DJ

From: brunse
28-Oct-13
Missing by three feet likely involves uncontrollable circumstances rather than a lack of practice.

28-Oct-13
A 26 mile guuuuun....ug, I almost puked. I can't even say gun, let alone use one. But I do have to admit...I have a confession to make. I still love the smell on burnt powder. Please someong invent a devise that sets a bit of puwder on fire at the shot of a bow.

From: TD
28-Oct-13
""Fred Bear recovered every animal he ever hit in that area." Are you for real? You really believe that Fred Bear never lost an animal?"

I'd have a hard time with that one. I've never recovered every animal I've hit in the ham over the years....and I haven't shot at near the animals Mr Bear did in the day. They lost a lot of animals, 70+ yard shots instinctive, etc. much of it just trying to get an arrow in a animal, may get lucky and hit something good, may weaken it for a follow up shot. If you lose it you just went on after another one. Just they way it was back in the day. Remember the poison Pod? Fred Bear. Got tired of losing animals I would guess.... ("it's a joke son, I say it's a joke..." Foghorn Leghorn) No sacrilege intended...

WRT how far off, depends. Most ham shots I've been involved with were on the ground, quartering away to hard quartering away shots that were either pulled, animal spun (sometimes they spin and don't "drop") hit a stick or whatever. A pull of just a few inches takes you from the last couple ribs into the ham, normally the outside of it. Badly pulled you get more into the inside where the artery lives. That shot normally goes into the gut as well and can hit many things along the way, including getting all the way into the chest cavity as well.

Angles from trees I'm not familiar with. I would imagine the hind quarters have less tendency to block the vitals as on the ground. "Over the hip"... speaking of open minds and set in my way... there's a shot that stirs things up a bit.... =D

From: bdfrd24v
11-Nov-13

bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
Well pretty interesting that I read this thread about 10 days and thought to myself, how the hell would one miss one so bad to hit it in the hams. (that said I'd never taken a deer with the bow) Just my second season out with a bow, so I really had limited life experience.

8 am this Saturday I had a buck come crashing through about 60 yds out, hot on a doe into a pine thicket. Couldn't get him off the doe. About 20 min later he comes back down out of the thicket, down a steep hill on a trail that puts him broadside at 26 yds. Was walking slowly from my front and left and I bleated and stopped him dead and released.

From there is when things get interesting. The arrow dove left on me. Why I don't know. Felt the string on my collar, so maybe that effected it, maybe nerves. Wasn't a trophy buck at all (i've gotten a few in rifle) but still a legal buck in bow so I was taking the shot. The arrow smacked him in the ass end and I heard a hell of a crack. He dropped instantly and fell down the rest of the hill.

I watched him get up as I nocked another arrow. Went right along the trail barely able to walk and bedded down 20 yds away in the one area I can't shoot from the stand. SO FRUSTRATING. He stayed bedded for roughly 10 min and then stood up. At that point, I could see the arrow was lodged in one or both of the back legs, could just see the veins. He stumbled just out of site. So with no cell service and the thought that it was a poor hit, I figured best to go get some help. I was confident that the buck couldn't travel far and obviously had no ability to run anymore. So after a solid 45 min, I went to get the other 2 guys I was hunting with. On the way out which was S deer went W I heard some serious thrashing by a pond about 100yds from the shot. Figured best to leave alone and go get the guys.

When we get back, we investiage the shot area, find the initial fall site as well as bright red blood, track for 20 yards and find the bed site that I had witnessed. Continue to find steady, easy to follow blood, but not heavy. Another 50 yds we find the arrow. Covered in bright red blood with lots of oxygen bubbles. Another bed spot here, so we figured time to potnentially stop and let it just die. Given the amount of blood and my observations we deemed it fatal. As we headed out back out we came across a huge bed area of blood on the main road into the stand. The buck had made almost a 270* circle and was heading just into the thick clear cut no more than 50 yds from the stand. At that moment we looked into the clear cut and could see the buck laying on its side in the clear cut. It could no longer get up and was just min from the end. I really cant stand to watch anything suffer any longer than what is absolutely necessary, so I went in and put a final shot with the side arm. He would have been dead within the hour had we not found him.

So for the damage. The shot hit on the right ham, and partially severed the hamstring and nicked the artery. It passed through to the left leg and shattered the bone and cut the artery. we believe the leg had twisted around itself on the left leg and thus slowed the blood trail after that the bedding area where we found the arrow. In the end the buck had traveled roughly 150-175yds in a loop and had lasted 2+hrs from the shot. Again not a good shot, and was fortunate to have not lost the deer. That said, i'm proud of the tracking and I learned a lot from the experience. Small basket 4x2 (6pt)

Note the blood throught the back end. Also had some mass about the size of a golf ball on the top of front leg. Was black. Anyone know what that is?

From: bdfrd24v
11-Nov-13

bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
bdfrd24v's embedded Photo
Well pretty interesting that I read this thread about 10 days and thought to myself, how the hell would one miss one so bad to hit it in the hams. (that said I'd never taken a deer with the bow) Just my second season out with a bow, so I really had limited life experience.

8 am this Saturday I had a buck come crashing through about 60 yds out, hot on a doe into a pine thicket. Couldn't get him off the doe. About 20 min later he comes back down out of the thicket, down a steep hill on a trail that puts him broadside at 26 yds. Was walking slowly from my front and left and I bleated and stopped him dead and released.

From there is when things get interesting. The arrow dove left on me. Why I don't know. Felt the string on my collar, so maybe that effected it, maybe nerves. Wasn't a trophy buck at all (i've gotten a few in rifle) but still a legal buck in bow so I was taking the shot. The arrow smacked him in the ass end and I heard a hell of a crack. He dropped instantly and fell down the rest of the hill.

I watched him get up as I nocked another arrow. Went right along the trail barely able to walk and bedded down 20 yds away in the one area I can't shoot from the stand. SO FRUSTRATING. He stayed bedded for roughly 10 min and then stood up. At that point, I could see the arrow was lodged in one or both of the back legs, could just see the veins. He stumbled just out of site. So with no cell service and the thought that it was a poor hit, I figured best to go get some help. I was confident that the buck couldn't travel far and obviously had no ability to run anymore. So after a solid 45 min, I went to get the other 2 guys I was hunting with. On the way out which was S deer went W I heard some serious thrashing by a pond about 100yds from the shot. Figured best to leave alone and go get the guys.

When we get back, we investiage the shot area, find the initial fall site as well as bright red blood, track for 20 yards and find the bed site that I had witnessed. Continue to find steady, easy to follow blood, but not heavy. Another 50 yds we find the arrow. Covered in bright red blood with lots of oxygen bubbles. Another bed spot here, so we figured time to potnentially stop and let it just die. Given the amount of blood and my observations we deemed it fatal. As we headed out back out we came across a huge bed area of blood on the main road into the stand. The buck had made almost a 270* circle and was heading just into the thick clear cut no more than 50 yds from the stand. At that moment we looked into the clear cut and could see the buck laying on its side in the clear cut. It could no longer get up and was just min from the end. I really cant stand to watch anything suffer any longer than what is absolutely necessary, so I went in and put a final shot with the side arm. He would have been dead within the hour had we not found him.

So for the damage. The shot hit on the right ham, and partially severed the hamstring and nicked the artery. It passed through to the left leg and shattered the bone and cut the artery. we believe the leg had twisted around itself on the left leg and thus slowed the blood trail after that the bedding area where we found the arrow. In the end the buck had traveled roughly 150-175yds in a loop and had lasted 2+hrs from the shot. Again not a good shot, and was fortunate to have not lost the deer. That said, i'm proud of the tracking and I learned a lot from the experience. Small basket 4x2 (6pt)

Note the blood throught the back end. Also had some mass about the size of a golf ball on the top of front leg. Was black. Anyone know what that is?

From: Pat Lefemine
11-Nov-13
Only one ham shot of my own (not recovered) but tracked many ham shots for others. About 50/50 recovery rate and extremely difficult if you don't clip the artery. Advocating this shot is foolish.

From: Woods Walker
11-Nov-13
Hey, what's next? Intentionally aiming for the guts? Why not? It's a big target area and gut shots are almost always fatal.

The deer may be in the next zip code and it may be 3 days later, but it will die.

Oh, I forgot to add, you will probably never see the dee again, let alone find it. Details, details, details...

11-Nov-13
The ham shot is hardly ever purposeful, yet if you look at the data, these wild shots that hit the hams anywhere and everywhere, they still yield over a 75% recovery rate. Consider that shots purposely aimed for the ribcage boast only slightly higher than that, the argument could be made that if the vital part of the ham was purposefully targeted, the ham hits could boast a higher recovery rate than heart and lung targeted areas. With both bow and gun, I have seen about 15 ham hit deer with only one that the shot was on purpose. 14 of those deer were recovered and all but 2 of the 14 were difficult recoverys and both of those were gun kills. I must add that I shoot huge broadheads and that is a factor.

11-Nov-13
The ham shot is hardly ever purposeful, yet if you look at the data, these wild shots that hit the hams anywhere and everywhere, they still yield over a 75% recovery rate. Consider that shots purposely aimed for the ribcage boast only slightly higher than that, the argument could be made that if the vital part of the ham was purposefully targeted, the ham hits could boast a higher recovery rate than heart and lung targeted areas. With both bow and gun, I have seen about 15 ham hit deer with only one that the shot was on purpose. 14 of those deer were recovered and all but 2 of the 14 were difficult recoverys and both of those were gun kills. I must add that I shoot huge broadheads and that is a factor.

From: Woods Walker
11-Nov-13
Where'd you get that number from? Post a link to the study, I'd like to see it.

From: TD
11-Nov-13
Well , I suppose an intentional shot at the ham could screw up and double lung em.....

From: weekender21
12-Nov-13
I shot a decent boar (250lbs) in the ham a few years ago. It was a follow up shot. The boar was quartering severely away and I was on the ground. The arrow penetrated to the fletching and only stopped when it hit the sternum. He made it about 10 yards and fell over. I would never shoot one in the ham on purpose...at least not with the first arrow.

From: Magilla
12-Nov-13
I thought this thread was put up as a joke when I read it, can't believe the response from some "hunters".

12-Nov-13
I got my data from here. I counted up 44 recoverys to 10 unrecovered. That's 82%. I would be willing to bet that poor tracking might have added to the losses, and I would surely bet that had a tracking dog been used several of the 10 would have been recovered. So axidently hit ham shots from stray arrows could result in as high as 90% or even higher. I think purposeful ham shots could near 100% recovery, especially if big deadly bh are used and tracking dogs assist in the recovery. Another factor is the hams don't jump the string...that's the last thing to move. As far as loosing meat....come on man. Blood shot meat is the best.

From: Woods Walker
12-Nov-13
From here??? That means nothing. It's not even a valid statistical sample. Try again. You can make up all the BS you want to support your fantasies, just don't expect the rest of us to buy into it.

From: bdfrd24v
12-Nov-13
I would like to reiterate that my recent experience this Saturday showed that if the artery is hit, it is fatal.

That said, the arrow sailed left on me, and I would NEVER intentionally shoot for the ham, or advocate that it is an ethical shot.

From: crankn101
21-Sep-18
That elk thread made me think of this one...

From: Franklin
21-Sep-18
How about the "Texas Heart" shot....anyone?

From: elk yinzer
21-Sep-18
Yes, great bump. This place is pretty miserable when it comes to entertainment anymore.

How come when some of the tools get aggressive their posts are nuked from BS forever, but we are graced with TBM's delightfully charming brand of insanity from now until the end of time?

And I am 0 for 1. First deer I ever shot in the year 2000. He lived and was kilt with a rifle a month later. The ass is for tranq darts, real stuff goes in the chest cavity.

From: bowyer45
22-Sep-18
I won't recommend the Texas heart shot as some call it, I will say I hit my first elk there, a walking shot at about 12 yds, I didn't lead it near enough, the elk ran 35 yds and fell over. Then I shot a deer years later, which moved as I released hitting the hind quarter, the deer ran about 10 yds and fell dead. Both were shot with the Bear razor head with the bleeders. I also remember reading an article by one of the most famous elk hunters who you all know who purposely shot one there and did get his elk. Thats all I personally know about that subject.

  • Sitka Gear