Spoiler Alert! For those of you who are squeamish about hunting, stop reading now. Okay, so a couple weeks ago my brother and I headed out to Wyoming to go deer and antelope hunting. We had a great time crawling around agricultural fields trying to get close to some really nice animals. We harvested one nice Mule deer buck that weighed in at about 285# and had a serviceable rack. On the last day, my brother still had an antelope tag so when we spotted a solo buck trotting through the field while we were returning to camp, we decided to go after him. This is where the story has relevance to all my FMA friends. My brother got on his belly and had a great rest. I ranged the buck at 320 yds. He let loose with his 30.06 and I called out “High”. Now, my brother is a hell of a shot so something was wrong. He jacked in another round and shot again as the antelope trotted off about 10 yds. Boom! “High Again”. One more round in the chamber and BOOM! SLAP! “HIT!” We both watched as the antelope trotted off another 50 yards and seemed un-phased. We knew it was a hit but, that buck was not acting like he had been shot. My brother reloaded, one more round went down range and now the buck is on the run. If you have ever seen an antelope run, you know what we were feeling. Let’s just say they can seriously haul ass down the road. Well, three miles later and in another field, my brother finally finds the buck lying down to catch his breath. The 30.06 barks at 50 yards and he puts one right through the neck. The hunt is over. When we got to the animal, we immediately tried to ascertain what had gone wrong. By now we had come to the conclusion that my brother’s rifle had been dropped and the optics were off. We also saw that first hit. He had managed to put a round right through the lower part of the left hind leg. By the giant pool of blood we found under the buck’s body, we could tell he had hit the femoral artery. Since he missed most of the connective tissue and all of the bones, the animal was just bleeding out. Note: with this terminal wound, that antelope managed to run at about 40 mph for 3 miles before he felt like he had to lie down. Even then, he would have bolted again if my brother had not been a good stealthy hunter and gotten the 50 yard drop on him. The point for all of you is – and I tell my students this all the time –my hunting experience tells me that you cannot rely on arterial damage to stop a motivated attacker. I have seen antelopes and wild pigs shot clean through the heart run a mile before falling over. They are operating on adrenaline and whatever oxygen is left in their lungs. I watched a friend jump on a wounded wild pig and thrust a 6” knife right into its heart only to have it continue to struggle and try to get away. It wasn’t until I put a .45LC through the back of its head that it finally stopped. Just like a game animal struggling for its life, an attacker who is determined to take you down may not even be aware that he has sustained a terminal arterial wound. In my class, I try to emphasize structural damage and control so the attacker loses the ability to function. A quick gunting cut to the brachial artery may be effective but you will have to deal with this bleeding, wounded assailant for quite some time before he passes out. However, if you can reach the gunting shot, you can likely also thrust into the hip joint and not only get the femoral artery, but also take out some of the ligaments that connect the femur into the hip socket. That will structurally limit the attacker’s mobility and may provide an opportunity for you to escape. It is risky, yes. But, in a SHTF moment you have to eliminate the threat as fast as possible and not hope for your assailant to succumb to death by a thousand cuts. BTW, I brought home 60 lbs. of meat after butchering both animals. That’s a story for another day.