The Pernicious Lure Of The One-Shot Kill

This rant was inspired by Mike, who put four shots in a grizzly even though the first one was perfect. His guide gave him exactly the right instruction—on any dangerous-game animal, you keep shooting until there is no sign of life. More than one hunter has ended up in the obituaries after firing one "perfect" shot and letting it go at that.

And I’d take it one step beyond that. If you have an animal down, and dying, you shoot it again and end its suffering. There is nothing worse in the sport than watching someone stand over a creature that is expiring and refusing to fire a second, merciful shot because he wants a one-shot kill.

There is only one thing you can decently do if you have an animal down—end it. Right now. Even if it spares the creature only a few seconds of suffering, you are obliged to pull that trigger.  Sorry to preach, but I have seen a number of very bad sights over the years and they all involved some poor animal writhing in pain for the sake of some “hunter’s” ego.