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Bowhunting Shot Placement

Oct 25, 2013

Knowing where to shoot a deer with a broadhead is a responsible bowhunter’s obligation. Proper shot placement is even more critical during the rut when an opportunity can open and close faster than a blink of an eye. Going into the woods with a game plan of where to aim when an animal presents itself and a familiarity of your proficiency with a bow will calm the nerves when the time to release your broadhead towards the buck-of-a-lifetime arrives. 

One myth that some archers subscribe to is that kinetic energy kills. Yes, kinetic energy is important, but cranking up the poundage on your bow will not allow for a larger margin of error and is not an excuse for poor shot selection. A broadhead kills a deer by penetrating and puncturing vital organs. This is why most archers wait for a heart or lung shot. Explosive energy to the rear end of a deer will not quickly kill it, but adequate energy to pierce the lungs, heart or major arteries will cause an animal’s blood pressure to drop rapidly and deprive the brain of oxygen. This is why a well-placed shot from a recurve bow will kill a deer effectively – even more so than a poorly placed shot from a modern compound bow with extreme levels of kinetic energy.

The rut is an exciting time to bowhunt deer. The events of a successful harvest can unfold quickly and lead to those heart-pounding moments we all seek from our tree stands. But we must know how to remain calm under pressure. Chances are, you will not have the opportunity to settle your nerves before you shoot, but taking the time to understand shot placement and practicing over and over and over until making the right shot becomes second nature will allow for more confidence when the moment of truth tests your bowhunting abilities.  

With enough practice, any deer hunter should be comfortable with their abilities. Don’t trade increased energy and velocity of your bow for the price of accuracy. Remember, speed impresses, but accuracy kills.

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