It is important especially for new hunters & up and comming young hunters to
study the game they are going to hunt, to know the anatomy and where they need to place their shot.
It can be the
difference between taking a deer home or wounding and losing your deer.
Whitetail Deer are tough game animals. Anything less than a fatal shot can mean
a lost animal, and even when hit properly, whitetails are notoriously difficult to locate if they run off before dying. As
a young hunter myself once I had shot & wounded a deer only to watch it run off and without snow I lost that animal. That
was the worst hunting day ever losing that deer. So I made it a point to study as much about where the best shots on a deer
were. You can study the pictures I put above for your reference. If your deer is at an angle, visualize
where the lungs lay and shoot for the center of this mass. On a broadside deer my personal favorite shot is the heart / lungs
located directly behind the front legs. It gives you a much bigger target to shoot at . If the deer is comming straight at
me, I try & wait until it turns broadside. That however don't alway's happen & you are forced to make a decision on
a seconds notice. There makeable shots in the front, however if you shoot them in the chest area be prepared to have a very
messy cleaning job ahead of you !!! Personally I will wait for deer to turn or pass on them depending how close that animal
is to me. It's a certainty that as long as there's hunting, game will be wounded and not recovered.
Its a heart wrenching experience when it does happen, one that you Pray "never" happens again. But
when it comes to a quick kill, the single most important factor is bullet placement.
The first step in ensuring accurate bullet placement comes with the decision to squeeze
the trigger. I've heard many hunters through the years talking about the deer they killed at 150 yards or more . I personally
don't take them long shots in the areas I hunt as there are just too many folks out hunting & for me "Safety"
is my # 1 factor in any hunting situation.
Neck shots are equally uncertain, first off you have to sever the spine completely
in order to drop that animal , however the neck shot is a smaller target to hit depending on the distance. I have taken deer
at close range in the neck , but my first choice is alway's behind the front shoulder . I have taken 83 deer to
date, and have shot nearly 85% of these deer in the heart / lungs . I have only lost one deer to date. Hitting a deer in the
shoulder be warned it leaves massive damage to that portion of meat , but the deer will be rendered helpless in most
case. Just behind the shoulder leaves no meat waste , still leaving the animal with a fatal wound. The
heart shot gets a lot of attention, though I suspect most hunters don't actually realize just how low in the chest the heart
lies in big game. While no doubt fatally damaged if hit, the heart offers a small target, and is often covered by the upper
leg. A heart shot leaves the possibility of shooting & missing the heart possibly breaking a leg on the animal & leaving
it to suffer an agonizing slow death. I believe the lung shot is the appropriate shot for 80-90
per cent of the big-game hunting situations in all the 50 states. A bullet hit in the lungs usually results in a one
shot kill I believe. The lungs are a much bigger target , The animal may not drop on the spot , however most lung hit deer
will not travel more than 100 yrds after being hit. While we all prefer broadside shots, as often
as not we face shooting opportunities from various angles. You still want your bullet to enter the chest cavity, however,
so it's important to visualize the path your bullet must take. With an animal quartering toward you, your target
should be somewhere between the base of the neck and the point of the facing shoulder. If an animal is facing you directly,
the center base of the neck is the preferred target. Take your shot with the intention of breaking
the far side shoulder and you'll generally send your bullet through the desired lung region. Now for the last shot & least
desirable shot that I just won't take is the "Butt shot" That is one shot though it may be fatal I just won't take it
!! Its just not worth losing any venison, not to mention the mess it makes. Remember when
it comes to shot placement, the goal isn't simply a freezer full of meat !! it's also to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
I hope I was able to give all you young hunters who read this some good pointers on shot placement & how very important
it is to practice your shooting skills & how its every hunters responsibility to kill the animal they hunt, no matter
what animal he / she hunts as quickly & cleanly as possible.