Thursday, May 13, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Best, Most Ethical "Kill Zones" On a Whitetail

When you're deer hunting -- bow or gun – it's very important that you make a clean, ethical kill. You don't want to be the hunter who wounds a deer, which means you may have to trek for miles, and for hours, and may end up never finding it – AND, the deer will have to endure a long, agonizing death. That means you want an accurate shot that kills the animal immediately.

For a clean, ethical kill, almost all hunters aim for the chest area. That's the cavity that holds the heart and other major vital organs. There is a simple procedure which will maximize your chances of making a perfect kill shot:

You want to target the animal as it walks past, and "quarters" away from you. If you do this (you're shooting at an angle) by aiming at the front third of the body, the projectile – arrow or bullet -- will almost always stand the best chance of ending up in the chest cavity vital organ area.

What you don't want to do is shoot a deer broadside -- as it stands in front of you. If you shoot broadside, there's a better-than-even chance that your arrow or bullet may be just a tad forward or back of the vital organ portion of the chest cavity – and that means you'll just wing or wound the deer. The "angle" shot done while the deer is "quartering" past you is your best choice by far.

Here are some specific examples of why shooting choices other than the "quartering shot" when deer hunting are not as successful:
  • If you shoot broadside, particularly with a bow, your arrow may be partially deflected by the protective bone of the shoulder blade or rib cage because of hitting the wrong spot, or the bow not being powerful enough to drive the arrow through bone structure.
  • If a deer is facing you, again particularly with a bow shot, there is the brisket area with bones, and these bones are simply too hard to pass through and get to the vital area.
  • With a rear or hind quarter shot, there is simply too much distance for the projectile to travel, and/or can be deflected by bone, preventing it from reaching the vital cavity area.
  • With a "straight down shot" from a tree stand (according to guide Phil Schweik this is the least likely shot to be successful), you may very well paralyze the deer by hitting it straight in the backbone -- and that's fine, except that this area is so small that it's almost always missed, and then you're just going to wound the deer.
  • As for a head or neck shot, guide Schweik wouldn't ever advise taking it. It's just too easy to make an error, and the head vital areas are so small that you're almost assured of ending up just wounding the animal; and in the facial area, this shot will cause the deer to suffer immeasurable pain.
We use the term "ethical-kill-shot," because hunters, we believe, are obligated to cause as little suffering as possible in the animals they hunt – and, in addition, making a clean kill means YOU won't have to spend hours – even days – trekking the woods looking for your deer -- and maybe never finding it!

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