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So I’ve gotten the bad news that shoulder surgery is happening and will be in mid September. Torn rotator cuff and bone spur to be fixed. Right shoulder and i shoot right handed. I figure duck hunting for this year is done but wondering if I can be ready for Missouri rifle season in November. Doc said he wouldn’t advise shooting until late November, which deer season would be over. Got a couple nice bucks on camera and if I’m not in my stand my brother or brother in law will shoot them. LOL

So the question is for those who have had shoulder surgery. Is it likely I can be shooting in November. Usually use 6.5 creedmoor but thinking about going to .223 and 70ish grain bullet.

Thoughts from the experts?


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Throw a muzzle break on it. I used a tikka ctr with muzzle break 2 months after shoulder surgery. recoil was barley noticible.

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Main reason I have a brake on my .06, but I had shoulder replacement, not just a repair. Follow Dr's advice. I sure would not push it. Missing one deer season isn't a big thing. I had to give up my elk season this coming year.

What about the pushing and pulling and dragging the deer out?

How about taking a youngster out and being a mentor instead of you hunting.


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Why not just schedule the surgery for after the hunting season?

It's your choice and your schedule, not the surgeon's.



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I’ve had both shoulders done and shooting a rifle after a couple months was no problem (35 Whelen, 7MM STW, and 300wby). I think you’re far more likely to run into issues climbing into a treestand, dragging out a buck, carrying your rifle for lengthy periods of time or other incidental things. Plan on having help.

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I just had shoulder surgery in early July. I would say Nov is optimistic if your surgery is Sept. I have 2 tags for Oct and 1 in Nov. My plans are for left handed Contender and possibly lefthanded with a bipod using a 6.5x47 Lapua. The deer will be on private land, and after crop harvest, so he will let me drive to the critter. The antelope drag will be an issue. I am researching carts, sleds, winches/capstans. I have a self imposed limit of 1 year on shooting magnums.
Your shoulder might be different. I dislocated mine, tore 3 rotator cuff muscles, detached the bicep and shredded the labrum.


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Originally Posted by texas_hawg
thinking about going to .223 and 70ish grain bullet.

Thoughts from the experts?


The ,223 is your huckleberry, but you dont need a bullet that heavy. A well constructed 55-60 grainer works just fine. The basic Hornady 55gr SP with cannelure is an old favorite.


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1.5 months post-op?
There's so many variables and various repairs/techniques but your tendons would/should be at the latter stage of healing at 6-ish weeks. You'll still be far from "recovered".

Twer it me, I'd listen to my doc and I'd start practicing as a lefty if I was insistent on being in the woods for the November rifle season.


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Ditch the rifle, and get ya' a revolver.

Somethin' in the flavor of a mild shooting .44 Special or .45 Colt. grin

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Start practicing with your off hand. I have shot a couple deer left handed simply due to the circumstances and the deer’s location without issue. Run through a few hundred 22 shells lefty and then switch to your rifle - it won’t be a big deal.

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Appreciate all the feedback. Lots of things to think about. Luckily I’ve got enough family and a young nephew that will hunt with me that I’ll have the deer dragging covered.


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Had surgery on my off shoulder a year ago. I would not recommend shooting on a repaired shoulder. Just my 2 cents.

If you can live with the discomfort of your shoulder then I would reschedule until after deer season. Do it on your timeline not the doctors.

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Originally Posted by ingwe
Originally Posted by texas_hawg
thinking about going to .223 and 70ish grain bullet.

Thoughts from the experts?


The ,223 is your huckleberry, but you dont need a bullet that heavy. A well constructed 55-60 grainer works just fine. The basic Hornady 55gr SP with cannelure is an old favorite.

I don't know Tom... I've always been partial to the Speer 70 grain SMP and the Sierra 63 gr SMP.....

28 grs of H 380.....the Speer is about 2800 fps and the Sierra 2900+ fps...

But I've always been partial to the SMP bullets...


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i have a Ruger Precision 6.5 Creedmoor that came with a break on the barrel , this rifle has very little recoil you will be able to use something like this rifle, besides this rifle shoots 5 shot 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards very easy too. i have had both my shoulders have this surgery you are having ,1st 2 weeks will suck after that you will get better . make sure you have a good soft chair to sleep in because laying down won`t be possible ,take your medication and stay ahead of the pain otherwise it will be very nasty, don`t be a tuff guy ,do all your therapy as required you will do fine.good luck,Pete53


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OP - do you have a AR lower?

I would not hesitate to take my 6.5 Grendel deer hunting at reasonable ranges. It doesn't really kick.

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I've had both rotator cuffs repaired, as previous posters have advised schedule surgery after hunting season. I delayed mine for other reasons, surgeon was O.K. with doing it on my schedule, in the meantime it may be advisable to do some physical therapy to maintain shoulder strength. Follow your doctor's advice as to how soon post surgery to resume shooting. After waiting the advised period my doctor gave me the O.K. to shoot without restrictions. I hunt with 12ga., .30-06 and .35 Whelen without any problems post surgery. Good luck !

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I was shooting 2 months after surgery In late March, drawing my bow now. I am sure all situations are different
Off shoulder is a good idea. I did it one time with irons on a muzzleloader. Just the way the deer came in, never practiced just did it. I am sure that would work

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I had an injured shoulder and was about to go on a big game hunt. Even a .222 hurt. I resolved the problem by using my pecs to take more of the recoil by moving the rifle more to the left of my right shoulder and shooting with the elbow locked down instead of up so the muscles were more flexed. It worked.

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Originally Posted by skeen
Ditch the rifle, and get ya' a revolver.

Somethin' in the flavor of a mild shooting .44 Special or .45 Colt. grin

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This right here. And it will give you a good excuse to brush up your skills especially if the surgery is strong side and you must go to weak side.


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Is a crossbow an option?

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