Whitetail Deer Shot Placement

Our broadheads are made to crash through bone, but no broadhead will ever compensate for poor decision-making in the field. There are some bowhunting shots you should never take, and where to aim at a deer largely depends on geometry. Trauma to the lungs and heart is the goal for an ethical kill. That never changes. How to get your arrow into and through the vitals as quickly as possible does change, and you need to be prepared for different shot situations you may face this season.

Don’t Shoot

It is irresponsible to take a quartering-to, frontal, rear or straight-down shot on a deer. A frontal shot and a straight down shot can reach the vitals if arrow placement is absolutely perfect, but the margin for error is too great and wounding the deer is likely. Another shot every ethical bowhunter should pass on is the “Texas heart shot.” There are arteries in the rear of deer that when damaged, will kill it. But again, this is a lousy shot option. Don’t take it.

Another controversial shot, and one you may have seen on TV is the quartering-to shot. Often times, a deer comes into range quartering-to when calls or rattling antlers are used. It’s our stance that this shot is unethical for most bowhunters to take. There are too many variables. You need to go through the shoulder, often times the deer is looking in your direction and the kill zone is too small. Wait for the deer to turn broadside.

Broadside

Heart and Lung Vital Shot for Whitetail Deer

These are the shot opportunities we see in our dreams. The vitals are right there in front of us, only shielded by breakable ribs. A double-lung shot is the deadliest shot we can take, but some hunters like to aim for the heart in case the deer “jumps the string.” Aiming four inches above the armpit puts your pin on the heart in the lower chest cavity. If the deer reflexively crouches at the sound of the shot and drops down, your arrow will still hit the mid-chest cavity and do damage to the lungs. Accuracy is a must when aiming for the heart because you are flirting with the bone that connects the leg and shoulder.

String jump is an issue for hunters shooting a recurve or compound bow with less draw weight, but most modern bows shoot so fast and quiet, a broadhead has already penetrated the deer before it can react. This is why some folks opt to aim a little higher and two inches behind the leg line for a shot square in the lungs. You can be off a little bit and still do major damage to the lungs. Deciding to take out the heart or lungs depends on your bow setup and how proficient you are with it.

Quartering-Away

Deer Kill Zone on Whitetails

Many bowhunters prefer a quartering-away shot to a broadside shot because the aiming point is clear. Place your pin on the opposite shoulder, in line with the leg about halfway up the body. This will give you the biggest kill zone of any shot opportunity.

Studying the anatomy of a deer and knowing where to aim your broadhead for a clean, ethical kill has never been easier than it is today. There are a ton of resources and hunter education material on the web.

As hunters, we strive for perfect shots all the time. As a broadhead company, we strive to give you the best broadheads to do the most damage and produce the quickest kills. You do your job, and our broadheads will do theirs. That’s a promise.