Whitetail Shot Placement

Putting It Where It Counts

It goes without saying that shot placement is extremely important when talking about successfully harvesting whitetail deer.

The following are samples of common hunting situation angles and optimum shot placement.

Walking Away (steep angle) : About 45% of the heart-lung area is exposed. The tendency is to shoot too far forward. Aim along an imaginary line exiting between the deer's front legs


Shot Placement 1

Quartering Toward (steep angle) : About 55% of the heart-lung area is exposed, but is protected by the shoulder bone. The deer would probably see you move to prepare for the shot. Low percentage bow shot. Watch out for the antlers!


Shot Placement 2

Quartering Away (steep angle) : About 55% of the heart-lung area is exposed. Aim along an imaginary line exiting low on the far shoulder. In this position the deer is not likely to see your movement. Very high percentage bow shot.

Shot Placement 3

Quartering Away (ground shot) : About 60% of the heart-lung area is exposed. Aim along an imaginary line through the deer's far shoulder.


Shot Placement 4

Quartering Toward (ground shot) : About 65% of the heart-lung area is exposed. Aim for the near shoulder. Don't try this shot with a bow; you'll hit the shoulder bone.


Shot Placement 5

Head On (ground shot) : Only 35% of the heart-lung area is exposed, this shot is too risky for archers. Although some disagree, I feel this is a good gun shot.

Shot Placement 6

Broadside (ground shot) : With 100% of the heart-lung area exposed, you have a target roughly the size of an 8 inch paper plate with room for error. By far the best shot to take.


Shot Placement 7

Back to Deer Anatomy from Shoot Placement

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