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How Jim Nelson of South Dakota Took Two Bucks on the Run

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John’s Note: Longtime, avid deer hunters Chris Yeoman, a guide, and Dr. Jim Nelson – both of Rapid City, South Dakota – enjoy shooting deer on the run and think nothing of making several hundred yard shots at running deer.

05 How Jim Nelson of South Dakota Took Two Bucks on the RunThe 2 weeks before I arrived in South Dakota, Nelson already had bagged two bucks, one that scored 158-1/8 on Boone & Crockett and another that scored 170-1/8 B & C. Both of these deer were taken on the run at more than 200 yards in South Dakota. The first deer Nelson let one of his hunting partners, Delana Russell, try to bag. But Delana missed the deer three times before the buck went into a drainage. Nelson and his party moved into a small, thick-cover area and jumped not only that buck but another big buck and 10-other deer.

“The deer came out of the drainage, running full-out and almost straightaway from us,” Nelson reports. “But since they angled a little to the right, I knew I wouldn’t have a very difficult shot.
When the deer were at about 250 yards running down a fence line, I aimed at the biggest buck’s nose and squeezed the trigger. The deer only ran 100 yards before he piled up. The bullet had gone into the back side of the animal’s flank and continued on straight up into the lungs, bringing him down.”

Two weeks earlier Nelson bagged one of the biggest bucks he’d ever taken. This deer was also running almost straightaway. “Normally I would aim for the back of the deer’s head,” Nelson mentions. “However, on this particular shot, I knew the bullet probably would land somewhat off to the right, if I aimed at the back of the buck’s head, because of the angle he was running away. Then I’d miss him. Instead, I aimed for the tip of the deer’s nose. When I squeezed the trigger, the bullet hit him in the center of the neck, and the big buck tumbled.

“When you’re shooting big deer at long distances, you’ve got to have a steady rest, you must take your time, and you must know exactly where to aim. Even then you can’t be absolutely sure where the bullet will land. But from past experience, you can predict where you should hit the animal. In both these cases, I didn’t doubt that I could make the shots.”

08 How Jim Nelson of South Dakota Took Two Bucks on the RunTo get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings,” click here.

For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from

Next: Dr. Jim Nelson Tells Us How and Where to Aim at a Running Buck

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