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I'm a very new hunter, so pardon my ignorance. My one hunting rifle happens to be a .375 H&H which I chose in part for nostalgia...
I have now taken my first two whitetails with it and I have some questions.

First, for some background, I have always read that bloodshot meat is a product of hitting bone, or very high impact velocity. I've read many times on forums like this how with slower rounds like 45-70 and 35Rem you can "eat right up to the hole" and how they always destroy less meat than a .243. So, part of my .375 decision was the ability to pack plenty of power for Elk but at moderate velocity.

Ok, so my first whitetail seemed to follow this logic. It was broadside, just slightly angled away. The entrance was just behind the shoulder right through the ribs. The exit hit the off side shoulder. Obviously the off shoulder was wasted, but the entrance side had very little damage, it looked like a 2 inch hole saw went through, very cleanly. This was with a factory 270gr round nose, either a Rem Core Lokt or a Federal Power Shok (can't remember which).

Fast forward to this season and I have hand loaded 260gr Nosler Accubonds over 70gr of Reloder 15. This is just above the starting load and should be giving 2600 or so fps at the muzzle. Very modest.
The doe was at 197 yards and angling away at 45 degrees. I would have preferred to wait for perfect broadside but she was spooking and about to go out of sight over a rise. I held as far back as I could without hitting guts to make up for the angle. The bullet entered the 7th rib on the left side and exited just in front of the shoulder on the right side. I was very happy with my shot placement, managing to hit both lungs and miss both shoulders.

Then we skinned it....

The entrance blew a window out of 4 ribs and even though it didn't touch the shoulder, the outer layer of meat covering the shoulder was completely bloodshot. That was the entrance side. The lungs were of course a red smoothie. The exit side was actually less damaged. There was bloodshot around the front of the shoulder but not as much and it was easier to trim away.

So why, with a low impact velocity of 2300 or so, did the bullet hit the ribs so hard to bloodshot a layer over the entire shoulder?

Is the 260 Accubond a super explosive bullet?

Is it because of the angle so the bullet hit multiple ribs?

There's so much for a newb to learn!
 

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I have to agree that generally, the .375 H&H is pretty easy on the meat. I’ve used the .375 H&H exclusively since 1982, though went to a .375 AI in 1990, with most of my H&H kills using the Hornady 270 grain Spire Point.....very little bloodshot meat! When I went to the AI and the additional 250+ mv, at close range the Hornady’s were a bit to fragile for close range shots. Lots of bloodshot meat, and due to the very wide frontal area on the expanded bullet......penetration suffered! I went with the Barnes mono’s in the AI.

I’ve never used Accubonds, so can’t really give any input on them in the H&H! Perhaps you could try the Barnes 250 grain TTSX, you’ll likely see less bloodshot meat and tissue damage....though the kills may not be DRT, as they are anything but explosive! memtb
 

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Here are a couple of suggestions to try.
Soak the blood shot meat in a cold brine For a few hours. Remove the meat and give it a message. Make fresh ice cold brine and soak a couple of more hours. This should remove most of the blood from the meat, leaving it edible as sausage or even burger, if mixed with good meat.
Another suggestion is to cook it up as is for your dog. Dogs only have half of the amount of taste buds humans do. They will not turn up fresh venison.
From the scientific point. The meat takes on that iron metallic taste from the blood that has been forced into the fibers. The blood does contain many impurities from metabolism. These impurities also cause the bad flavor in blood shot meat.
Andrew
 

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Congratulations on your successful hunts. You may be mistaking clotted blood on the meet as bloodshot meat. If you can scrape the thick coagulated blood off the meat and it's pink, it is good to eat. Bloodshot is bruised meat. The meat itself is dark. Bullet or bone fragments cause it and a slow death can increase the affected areas.

Any expanding bullet will cause more meat damage than non-expanding bullets. Obviously striking bone will a non-expanding will send bone fragments through the meat. Accu-bonds are expanding bullets but usually retain a fairly high percentage of their weight. Nobody would categorize them as a fragmentation bullet. You may be using Accu-bonds that are designed for slower impact speeds? Core loc and hi shock are designed to shed more weight.

I do not have direct personal experience with the 375 H&H but I hunt with another medium bore, the 338 WinMag and large bores like the 444 Marlin. An impact speed of 2300 fps is still pretty quick. The 444 is fairly fast for a straight wall lever gun cartrage and it's muzzle velocity for a 270 gr bullet is about 2300 fps. A 45-70, 444 and 35 rem will all be less than half that velocity at 200 yards.

38/375 caliber is about as small as I would recommend for a solid or non-expanding bullet but you may want to try something heavier and slower with a flatter nose. Solid/non-expanding FMJ may not be legal to hunt with in your state?
 

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By the time the bullet gets to the opposite side it has expanded quite a bit. A whitetail ribcage and lungs are not going to slow it down much. When it impacts the shoulder the muscle tissue has a lot more little capillaries in it that burst. That causes the bloodshot. The bullet has changed to a mushroom with a big frontal area.
 

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Years ago an old friend reported success hunting whitetails with his .375 H&H using heavy cast bullets at moderate velocity. I now hunt Virginia whitetails with a 45-70 with heavy soft points at about 1500 to 1700 fps. There is little tissue destruction or blood- shot meat with a careful heart/lung shot. My muzzle loader loads are with about the same bullet weight and fps. Results are similar. Admittedly, there are differences in the rifles and the bullets, but I think a heavy bullet and reduced velocity at moderate ranges will provide the results you are looing for. Nevertheless, a shoulder shot may be necessary and will result in some bloodshot meat, but a slower heavy bullet is less likely to have the violent expansion you don't want. In my 60+ years deer hunting, I have seen a lot of tissue destruction from my friend's shooting and I have always wanted to minimize that. In my opinion, you are on the right track and a review of reduced loads for the .375 may prove useful. The full house loads can be saved for some if the beautiful Idaho elk like I saw when I was young. The elk I took years ago was with a .338 Win. Mag. and was hit with a heart/lung shot and with little blood/shot meat fortunately. That friend was converted to his old Winchester .375 H&H for deer. You may have made me want to try out mine now.
 

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I've only shot one animal with the Accubond bullet, an elk with the 165 gr. 30 caliber. Bullet hit a rib on the right side and stopped in the left lung turning it to jelly. Never found an exit so I'm guessing the bullet stayed in that lung. About a one inch hole at the entrance. My hunting partnet took three elk on different hunts shooting the 160 gr. Accubonds with very little meat damage and bloodshot meat. I've shot 7 elk over the years, one with a .300 Win. mag.200 gr. Speer Hot Core, no info on meat damage as the elk was stolen when I went back to get my truck. The one mentioned with the 30-06/165 gr. AB and 5 with the 225 gr. barnes TSX bullet which runs 2710 FPS average at the muzzle. Very little meat damage on three if the elk but two were neck shots, on planned, one accident when a scope crapped out on me. At 350 yards I held for a high lung shot and the elk went down. Ws shocked when I saw where the bullet hit with extensive damage. The other elk was running dead away and the shot was about 75 yards. The bullet hit at the base of the skull and nearly took the head clean off. About half the neck meat was destroyed. The TSX usually does a clean job of killing but hit a solid bone and you could have a mess on your hands. As far as penetration, the first elk I shot was quartering away and the shot hit at the short ribs and exited between the neck and the off shoulder. There was very little damage and the bullet was not recovered. I haven't recovered a TSX bullet yet.
Paul B.
 
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Well, a 260gr ballistic tipped bullet at 2600MV imparts 3902ME and at 100yds still delivers around 3370ft lbs of energy. On thin skin game, that is a lot of impact energy with the bullet still traveling at 2416fps. Add that a ballistic tipped bullets expands violently, it doesn't surprise me you have blood shot meat.

If you're going to stick with the 375H&H, I'd go with a round nose soft point (no ballistic tip) or a flat point round nose, or a non-expanding cast bullet with a flat point. And slower is better considering 260grs will penetrate here til Christmas.

Or, pick up a 30-30 or 35REM for white tail and use JSP round nose flat point bullets for white tails. I've taken Roosevelt Bull Elk with a 32SPC 170gr CL soft point at 125yds. Ate right up to the hole.

Jack
 

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A word of caution with soaking meat in a brine. Many years ago I soaked venison in brine. I rinsed in clear water, then wrapped and froze it. When I thawed the meat to consume I found areas on the meat had not frozen completely and didn't look very appetizing. I have not soaked any since. What I lose to blood shot meat I lose unfortunate as it may be. Losing a little bit of shoulder meat is not a great loss IMO. I have also heard of soaking in milk but have not tried it.

Good hunting.
 

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A word of caution with soaking meat in a brine. Many years ago I soaked venison in brine. I rinsed in clear water, then wrapped and froze it. When I thawed the meat to consume I found areas on the meat had not frozen completely and didn't look very appetizing. I have not soaked any since. What I lose I lose unfortunate as it may be. Losing a little bit of shoulder meat is not a great loss IMO. I have also heard of soaking in milk but have not tried it.

Good hunting.
You are absolutely correct. Soaking the meat in brine increases the fluid content of the meat. This will cause bigger ice crystals to form, causing the meat to look bad and possibly be useless.
If brining cook the meat shortly after doing so And do not freeze.
Andrew
 

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Can't figure it. Shoot most deer with #1 buckshot, average distance 30 yards. 40 grain pellet at about 1050 FPS, and pick up a lot of blood shot meat. Say three pellets hit the shoulder area, the side the pellets struck on is generally largely waste. Pellets will usually be found against the hide on the off side shoulder, the pellets having simply pushed thru, can eat right up to the bullet (pellet) hole on that shoulder. These pellets are usually sort of flattened on one side, and think that flattening happens on contact with the deer on that onside shoulder, transferring most of its energy causing the blood shot in that shoulder. Going over to .358 Win/356 with a 200 gr at around 2400 fps, some of these .358 bullets are hard, and you can eat right up to the bullet hole because they are not expanding much nor transferring much energy, hence lack of blood shot. Turn that around to 180 gr Speer at the same basic velocity, being a fast expanding bullet, dumping a lot of energy, equals relatively a lot of bloodshot meat. Yet, if a deer is struck with one #1 buck in the shoulder/lung that you know causes blood shot, you probably will never find many of those deer, but if struck by the .358 hard bullet, with no bloodshot meat, that deer will always be found somewhere close by. High shock bullets or buckshot is preferred here, cuz of the steep thick brushy terrain, want game down fast, will take bloodshot meat as an acceptable trade off.
 

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I have a different take on reduced loads for hunting! I’m not “the sharpest knife in the drawer”.....so, I’m a devote follower of the KISS philosophy! We (wife and I) use one bullet, one load, one zero for all of our big game hunting. This way, if a hurried shot presents itself, we don’t have to think about trajectories and impact! This may not be important to the hunter that hunts only the thickets of the east or south, but I suspect that in Idaho you experience hunting similar to ours.......shots from feet to hundreds of yards!

My wife (.338 WM) and my .375 AI have near identical trajectories with our hunting loads! We use a 300 yard zero......giving us a “hold on hair” aim point out to 400 yards. As we hunt together, I can quickly (hopefully fairly accurately) guesstimate ranges, until they are way out yonder! These are our “only” hunting rifles (again the KISS philosophy) , used on all game from Antelope up through elk/moose. This makes those quick decision shots pretty easy out to 400! Beyond 400, hopefully we have time for the rangefinder to help with the math! 😉 We’ve taken a few animals at fairly close range....using the Barnes bullets helps minimize tissue damage and bloodshot meat, unless you hit heavy bone......then all bets are off! memtb

We use the occasional light loads, mostly cast, for varmints or plinking......no pressure shots and a miss isn’t something that will haunt us for years! 😁 memtb
 
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Let's not overthink this one. You're shooting a 165-185 pound Northern Whitetail with .375 H&H full power African/Alaskan loads and getting bloodshot meat. Maybe 4200+ ft/lbs of energy is just a little overgunned for deer.

Handload a softer slug (Sierra 200, Hornady 225) designed for the .375 Winchester and launch at 2000-2200 ft/sec. These should kill quite reliably, and recoil would be half. Handload a 255 grain cast slug at 1800 ft/sec. Meat in the freezer.

If you are in Bear Country, Grizzly or Black, keep some of the African/Alaskan full power cartridges handy. You might need them after gutting your deer. That smell carries for miles on the wind.
 

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I'm a very new hunter, so pardon my ignorance. My one hunting rifle happens to be a .375 H&H which I chose in part for nostalgia...
I have now taken my first two whitetails with it and I have some questions.

First, for some background, I have always read that bloodshot meat is a product of hitting bone, or very high impact velocity. I've read many times on forums like this how with slower rounds like 45-70 and 35Rem you can "eat right up to the hole" and how they always destroy less meat than a .243. So, part of my .375 decision was the ability to pack plenty of power for Elk but at moderate velocity.

Ok, so my first whitetail seemed to follow this logic. It was broadside, just slightly angled away. The entrance was just behind the shoulder right through the ribs. The exit hit the off side shoulder. Obviously the off shoulder was wasted, but the entrance side had very little damage, it looked like a 2 inch hole saw went through, very cleanly. This was with a factory 270gr round nose, either a Rem Core Lokt or a Federal Power Shok (can't remember which).

Fast forward to this season and I have hand loaded 260gr Nosler Accubonds over 70gr of Reloder 15. This is just above the starting load and should be giving 2600 or so fps at the muzzle. Very modest.
The doe was at 197 yards and angling away at 45 degrees. I would have preferred to wait for perfect broadside but she was spooking and about to go out of sight over a rise. I held as far back as I could without hitting guts to make up for the angle. The bullet entered the 7th rib on the left side and exited just in front of the shoulder on the right side. I was very happy with my shot placement, managing to hit both lungs and miss both shoulders.

Then we skinned it....

The entrance blew a window out of 4 ribs and even though it didn't touch the shoulder, the outer layer of meat covering the shoulder was completely bloodshot. That was the entrance side. The lungs were of course a red smoothie. The exit side was actually less damaged. There was bloodshot around the front of the shoulder but not as much and it was easier to trim away.

So why, with a low impact velocity of 2300 or so, did the bullet hit the ribs so hard to bloodshot a layer over the entire shoulder?

Is the 260 Accubond a super explosive bullet?

Is it because of the angle so the bullet hit multiple ribs?

There's so much for a newb to learn!
I use the same cartridge and for game that does not need the potential power of the 375HH I use a 300 gr. hard cast round nose bullet and 35 grains of IMR4198. Works really well on both Whitetail and Mule deer. The hard cast lead bullet pokes a nice hole and does not expand much at all. Works for me.
 
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