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Dispatching with head shot. Anyone do it?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Egghead_Jr, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Egghead, DH has shot numerous birds with head shots, just not chickens lol ;)

    In theory it would be the same. He says, "a head shot is only stopping brain function, so the throes will still happen as long as there's blood flowing through the heart. Yes, behind the eye, directly, is where you want to aim, and to contain them in a small pen because even with a head shot, they will probably still run"...

    I hadn't thought about what if you miss... You'd have an injured traumatized bird with adrenaline ruining the meat.

    I'd still personally stick with the tried and true neck wringing, but I'm also not the one who does it; he kills, I clean. So its up to him how theyre final minutes are; if its easier on him and the birds, I would tell him to go ahead, but I'm not so sure I want him doing it that way ;)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    You really don't want to shoot a bird in the head.
    Get a cone, even a modified highway cone if you have to. Screw it to a tree, capture your bird, hold it upside down til it gives up, put it in the cone with it's head hanging out, and slice the jugular.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My Honey has dispatched several birds that way, with a pellet gun. He's a great shot, sounds like you have that part nailed.

    The flapping/throes were hit or miss, seemed like. I was usually in the house cause I did the finish work in the kitchen. Not sure exactly where he'd put the shot on the head. I just know some would simply drop, bam, like their strings were cut. Some would flop and flap. Yep, it would work the rest of the pen up when that happened.

    I'd say you'd simply have to try it and see how it works for you. It is possible.

    Something to keep in mind about catching birds to cull...I read somewhere where the person went out at night after they were roosting. Instead of crating them, she hobbled/trussed them and left them on the floor of the coop. They could move a little, but were much easier to catch in the am. I'm not sure if that would create more stress for the bird vs being crated or not? But maybe something to consider.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Had to give it a go. While hitting a few targets my cheap bi-pod broke...took the shot anyway. Needless to say I was 1/2" low so needed a second shot. Bird was a bit distressed but kept head up trying to figure out what and where from it happened so not a long time between rounds. Very little fuss with good placement I can say but surely wont be doing it again anytime soon. Maybe next year and a new barrel clamp on bi-pod.
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Ken has done it a couple of times last year when we first had to cull some roosters. I'm a hunter myself, but I wouldn't try it. He, however, has superior marksman skills and had no difficulty at all. He used his pellet gun. The others were confined to the coop, and the one he was taking care of was in the run. Close shot, clean shot, and the "after -mess" was minimal. By the way, we live in town and even that was no issue. The last time we culled we did the knife thing....he shook his head and said he's going back to the gun next time.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Yeah, once I got the clean shot it was very quick. If the bi-pod hadn't broke I'm sure it would have been the first. Guns very front heavy so hard to shoot unless with a bi-pod or railing. Was making 75ft shot. Any who, stopped with that smallest one and weighed, 5.5lbs headless and 3lbs 14 oz completely cleaned out. Maybe the water scald was just right or the head shot made plucking super easy. Easiest time I've had on saddle feathers. Will do it again this way but not this year. All my equipment worked well, turkey fryer for water and first time using exacto knife to clean. So I'm ready to grab the last of the culls and make a morning of it soon. Will use dag crate and grab them pre-dawn.

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Why TF were you shooting from 75 FT?
    How about PBR?

    This isn't about a skill shot. It's about dispatching a chicken quickly and cleanly.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I think you missed the part where I had equipment failure. If all was well then there is no "skill" involved in 75ft shot. With scoped rifles close range is extremely difficult as the line of sight is one to two inches above the projectile until the two line up then projectile is above line of sight until it drops. Granted I'm set up for shooting half a mil dot below target at 75ft but with 12x44 half mil dot scope that's not a problem. The error occurred due to malfunction of bi-pod and the water was to 155F, cutting board out...took the shot anyway. Thankfully the first shot didn't really injure though he moved to a tree 100ft away where was taken by the second shot that was instant kill- 10 seconds of flutter. I'll definitely do it again but not until next year and with new clamp on bi-pod currently on order.

    This cockerel was the easiest I've ever plucked. There is definite plus to pithing. Instead of chasing down to capture, put upside down in cone, pry mouth open then inserting a thin knife or awl to pith the bird (without practice may take several attempts) I opted for a pellet and a bird that was foraging at fence line where I'd lightly scattered some cracked corn in a long line to space out the birds. Definitely a humane way of dispatching. Was lucky there was no major injury on my shot but have no doubt it's a one shot one kill with bi-pod attached and no "skill" involved with proper equipment. Skill shots are free standing or shots over 100ft where wind really comes into play.
  9. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2013
    I did a head shot last year, that blankety-blank rooster was asking for it. Got him from less than 12" away and he flapped all over. The others were freaked--not by the shot, but by the flapping. Once he was dead, I tried to chop his head off and was glad that wasn't how I planned to kill him- my chopping aim is awful and I didn't realize how hard it would be to get thru the feathers. Next time I plan on hobbling the feet so I can easily catch one at a time, then hang upside down in a cone or sack and take the shot, I also won't let the others see me do it.
  10. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    What's so hard about putting it in a cone and lopping its head off with hedge shears?

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