well ahead of time what represents a good first shot will make you a more aggressive
and successful deer hunter. Knowing when not to shoot will make you a more ethical
deer hunter. Many of us focus on the horns and not the shot placement for a humane
maturity of a deer hunter can better be judged by the kinds of shots he passes
up than the size of the bucks he has taken. These tips are designed to help you
evaluate every situation and knowing a good shot from a marginal one. Making
the right moves and taking the best shot at the right times requires pre-planned
SHOT (for guns only)
shot presents gun hunters with three vital targets. A shot in the chest will hit
the heart or lungs. A bullet in the neck will usually break the neck or cause
enough shock to drop the animal instantly. It could also destroy the esophagus
and/or carotid artery or jugular vein.
head-on shot is not good for bowhunters. Unless the arrow hits the chest dead-center,
which presents a very small target, it can easily deflect off the bone.
SHOT (bow and gun)
hunters can drop deer instantly with a broadside shot by putting a bullet through
the shoulder blade. A well- constructed bullet will pass through the blade and
broadside shot is also good for bowhunters, but it doesn't leave much room for
error as the quartering-away shot does. Arrows that pass through the vital organs
produce quick, clean kills. Aim for the heart, knowing that a high shot will still
hit the lungs. Archers must avoid the shoulder blade.
archers, the quartering-away shot offers the best chances for success. Even if
the arrow hits a bit too far back, it can angle forward into the chest cavity
for a quick kill. When taking this shot, the point of aim should be through the
deer to the opposite shoulder.
is also a great shot for gun-hunters. As with the bow, the gun-hunter's point
of aim should be through the deer to the opposite shoulder.
with the head-on shot, the quartering-toward shot is good for gun hunters. A shot
high in the chest will usually break the base of the neck and travel through the
lungs. A lower shot will hit the heart.
this shot should be avoided by bowhunters, a properly placed arrow can hit the
lungs or heart, making for a clean kill. However the target again is very small.
If possible, avoid this shot and wait for a better opportunity.
WISE SHOOTING DECISIONS
quick, certain kills should be the main goal of every gun and bowhunter. Keeping
the following facts in mind before taking a shot will help you make wise decisions.
shooting at deer with bow and arrow, aim for the heart regions. If the deer "jumps
the string" by dropping sharply before bounding away, the arrow will still
average whitetail deer, weighing about 150 pounds, carries about eight pounds
of blood in its circulatory system. Massive hemorrhage is necessary to bring the
deer down quickly.
deer must lose at least 35 percent of its blood, or 2.75 pints in a 150 pound
deer before falling. The better the hit, the quicker the loss.
blood carries high levels of vitamin K1 and K2 in early autumn. Vitamin K is an
anti-hemorrhage agent, which greatly aids blood clotting.
whitetails produce high levels of B-endorphin, which supports rapid wound healing.
Endorphins consist of morphine-like chemicals from the pituitary gland, allowing
the animal to control pain.
particularly in northern areas, have thick layers of tallow along the back and
below the brisket. This can plug wounds, preventing a good blood trail.
string tracking device attached to a bow and arrow is sometimes useful in recovering
game. However, the string does affect the arrow flight on long shots
good old fashioned common sense, patience and looking beyond the horns will often
times produce the right conditions for your to harvest your next trophy buck.