WORST to BEST
authors opinion and based on experiences...
The head/brain shot - I personally know of a more than a few who have successfully done it and even some more than once. I heard of only immediate success, but have also seen photos from anti-hunter's and others, from those that blew it. It is a very risky shot and unpredictable. Even with you you think might be perfect placement, head shots often aren't as quick and deadly as one had hoped. Remember it's not like a rifle or shotgun. There is no shock wave of additional trauma no matter how fast of a bow you are shooting. It's a bad death if done wrong and too chancy IMO - ever dispatch a deer in shooting in the head? There can be some stories.
Straight down - the straight under the tree stand shot. First it's very awkward position to shoot from. Next if you hit the spine, great, but you will most likely need a second arrow. Miss the spine, not only do you hit only ONE lung, but chances are you will not have an exit for blood trailing. Do you know how far a deer can go on one lung? You best know where he's going or be good at following foot prints.
Angle towards - though, really tough getting through the top shoulder area and angled down into the vitals. You'll need a heavy arrow and or speed to get penetration and even then, you can't always be certain you'll penetrate heavy bone or which side it might skip to.
Straight Away - this can be a great shot and suggest waiting on the previous mentioned straight down shot to become a straight going away shot. Once again hit spine, awesome, down in sight. The key is to aim far back and if you miss dead center spine, your arrow still angles through the liver and one lung. A one lung and liver hit is a quick and fatal shot. Usually some blood, but the deer won't go far. Back off for a while just to be sure. Take this shot when the deer is approx 15 yards or when you can vision the angle of the arrow going through the center of the chest cavity.
Front On - if close and know you have pin point accuracy, I say bury the arrow. At very least a lung and liver and more, but also a chance at two lungs, heart and liver with very little to NO meat damage. Great blood trails and quick recovery if done right. This shot is preferred from the ground and or the same level as the deer. From the tree stand, aim high on the neck through the body. Picture where you will see the exit of your arrow before releasing and are sure to get far enough back into the chest cavity.
Broadside - yes great of course. I personally prefer a little behind the front leg and about 4-5" up, especially with the front opposite leg clear of the exiting arrow. Don't shoot when closest leg is in line with the chest cavity. Anytime you hit front leg you will most likely get meat loss on the front shoulders and the chance of possible deflection or no penetration.
The Slight Angle Away - thee best! If you can angle the arrow in around the last rib, hit liver, and both lungs, and even possible heart, that animal is dead fast. Lots of blood, quick recovery. This is the best for low poundage bows and traditional gear as well. I still always try avoiding hitting the opposite front leg upon exit. Note on this angle, if using a mechanical head, there is a chance of a blade opening upon the hitting of a rib and the arrow loosing all momentum going forward and your arrow kicking out to the side. I've personally had it happen and know of others it has happened to as well.
In all shots, I always wait for the near leg to be clear of the arrow and also try avoiding the opposite front leg if at all possible to conserve meat. I suggest practicing shots on angles, tree stand, close and far shots on a 3D deer target or better yet on a 3D course away from "home field" advantage.
Bow set up questions, bow mechanics, archery related info, etc.
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