Where To Shoot A Deer? 4 Facts About It

You could even just shoot at the heart and brain.

Even though millions of years have passed, deer bodies haven’t changed much. Fossil evidence shows that the first ancestors of deer with antlers lived between 15 and 30 million years ago.

Even though they have changed a lot, it looks like most of their organs are still in the same places, at least where their heart and lungs are.

As hunters today, it doesn’t matter to us how the bodies of ancient deer species helped them stay alive. Because we know how modern whitetail deer are built, we can guess where they’ll be hiding.

And we generally do. But the exact, deadly aiming spots change depending on the direction of the animal and whether we’re using a bow or a deer rifle.

Where to Shoot a Deer With a Bow

Every single one of our bullets should go straight for the heart, lungs, or both. This is clear when you picture a deer standing with its back to you.

Check out the last rib and the blade of the shoulder. Between these two points, you’ll find all the targets you need to complete your task as an ethical hunter.

Where To Shoot A Deer

Even though the shoulder blade is a popular target right now, you still can’t shoot heavy arrows or arrows with fixed blades at it. If you follow the standard shooting advice and aim for the right shoulder crease, you don’t have much room for error.

Instead, it’s helpful to know how much space there is between the back of the shoulder and the chest wall for the lungs. Move your point of aim 4 or 5 inches back from the shoulder crease on a deer that is facing you straight on.

This will give you more room for error. It doesn’t matter much if you move a few inches forward. If you cut off a few inches, you might lose liver, lungs, or both.

Another thing to think about is how high to aim. Imagine drawing a line down the middle of the deer’s body, like an equator that separates the northern and southern hemispheres.

That midpoint will put you right on target, but if you cheat your aim point down a few inches, you may be more likely to hit the bullseye. If you aim for the deer’s vital organs, you’re likely to hit the target right on. Even if it doesn’t, you will still get everything you need.

Where To Shoot A Deer

The problem comes when you’re on the ground and the deer doesn’t pose correctly. Then you’ll have to move your point of contact and see if the new angle still gives you a clear shot at the vitals of the target. The best choice is quartering-away deer, which also happens to be my favorite.

If the angle isn’t too steep, you can move your pin back a few inches to make sure it hits the target and kills it. If you have to aim straight at the liver to reach the far lung, that’s about as steep an angle as you want to go, so you should definitely stop.

When quartering to a deer, you have to “dance” with your shoulder blade all the time, which makes the situation more dangerous. You’ll have room to breathe with just a little quartering-to.

But keep in mind that you shouldn’t shoot from an angle that forces you to hug the shoulder or, even worse, try to shoot through it. Again, I know that there are people who like heavy arrows who support these shoots.

However, they do this with a lot of certainty in very specific situations, so their advice isn’t really useful for the average hunter.

Where To Shoot A Deer

Where To Shoot a Deer With a Gun

Those who want to use a gun have a lot less choice about where to kill a deer. Even if you hit the shoulder with a pea shooter, it’s not a big deal as long as the bullet goes into the chest and hits the lungs or the heart.

Gun hunters, on the other hand, only need to hold their weapons in the middle of the deer’s body, in the shoulder crease.

There are the same kinds of things to think about for quartering-away angles as for bowhunters.

With a quartering-to shot, you have a little more freedom because you can aim for the shoulder. This should give you a clear shot at the target.

Some hunters find that the shoulder shot works best, whether they carry a rifle, a shotgun, or a muzzleloader. If you hit the deer with this shot, it won’t move, so you won’t have to follow the blood trail.

But as you get closer to the front of the deer, the chance of a shot that doesn’t kill it goes up because you have less room for error.

Don’t try to kill the deer with the shot. Instead, aim for its vital organs. If you aim for the ribs and vitals, you have a much better chance of leaving your deer behind in less than the length of a football field. If you aim slightly to the side, you eliminate the chance of a nonlethal hit.

Envision the Ideal Exit Wound

No matter what weapon is used, the best way to make a good shot is to think about where the entry wound needs to be to make the best exit wound.

This sets up an A-to-B chain of reasoning that shows if it is safe to take out the important organs or not. This is a tried-and-true way for experienced hunters to think about their shot choices.

If you start with the best exit wound, it’s easy to figure out where your arrow or bullet would have to go. If it fits through the door, it’s ready to go. If you are still worried or think that the angle is too high or dangerous, you should stop and think about it.

The Three Shots You Should Never Take

We will do our best to make sure that the deer die quickly and without pain. Even if a lot of people on YouTube swear by a certain shot, or if we really want to hang a buck with that shot, we can’t. You should never do any of these three.

Don’t take a “Texas Heart Shot” on a deer whose back is so slanted that you can see more of its tail than its side. If you put one in him, he’s probably going to die, that’s for sure.

Where To Shoot A Deer

Even though the deer’s internal organs, such as its main arteries, blood-filled muscles, and intestines, are all on its back, this is a stupid, ugly shot that could kill the deer.

The frontal shot is something that a lot of elk hunters talk about. This is because elk are much bigger than whitetails, so they are usually shot while standing still. The average deer weighs only a quarter to a third as much as an elk, and they are often shot from a tree stand.

When you take a frontal shot, there isn’t much room for error. The deer will almost certainly be looking right at you, and even a small mistake in where you aim can hurt your chances of a successful recovery.

Avoid making headshots. Don’t bother. Since a deer’s head is so small and moves quickly, it’s easy to make a terrible mistake when shooting at it.

Deer with arrows stuck in their heads or mouths blown off not only hurt the reputation of hunters as a whole, but they also show that some of us are complete and utter idiots.

If you’re willing to risk a head shot, do the rest of us a favor and trade in your hunting gear for a set of golf clubs.

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