View Full Version : Deer anatomy and shot placement

Hutch~n~Son Archery
04-30-2012, 07:45 PM

It's good to know where all the parts are.
Found this on another site thought if would be good one here.


Hutch~n~Son Archery
04-30-2012, 07:47 PM


04-30-2012, 08:12 PM
Good pics Bill. I think alot of guys are misinformed about the shoulder bones, and shoot a bit farther back than neccessary.. I always aim for a vertical line above the leg on a broadside shot. I know alot of guys go for the "crease" behind the leg though, or even farther back. Not saying I always hit there though. lol

04-30-2012, 08:21 PM
Those are great diagrams, great for shot placement, Bill only problem is in my part of the country he needs to walk at least one more year!!......:p

04-30-2012, 08:51 PM
Nice find Hutch! I'm sure it'll help clear up some questions. And Thermo... you're nuts dude! lol

04-30-2012, 09:48 PM
Good pics Bill. I think alot of guys are misinformed about the shoulder bones, and shoot a bit farther back than neccessary.. I always aim for a vertical line above the leg on a broadside shot. I know alot of guys go for the "crease" behind the leg though, or even farther back. Not saying I always hit there though. lol

I was going to say the same thing. I like to try for the green circle while most people I believe are looking at the yellow. I know that if I am shooting at green and happen to hit a little bit back, it is still lungs or low it is heart ... while if I was shooting yellow and hit back it is liver or clear gut shot.

The major portion of the vascular system runs at the green circle while the lungs are in that entire zone. You are almost guaranteed to drop em within plain sight if you put a good shot on em there.


Lung Buster
05-01-2012, 05:53 AM
Great pic's i think shot placement is huge but after the shot is important also! Oncevyou get down and find your arrow you have to be able to identify what kind of shot you made by the color and smell of the blood you find! Too many times people want to run right after the animal they have wounded instead of identifying what kind of shot they made and giving that animal the amount of time needed to expire without jumping it. Deer hunting magazine had a great show on shot placement and how to identify your shot and how much time you wait before tracking the animal.

05-01-2012, 10:19 AM
you're absolutely right. A lot of hunters don't know gut shot blood from lung shot or what, or if they should give more time for that animal to settle and expire before beginning to track.

05-01-2012, 07:24 PM
Very good point about the blood. I've had dozens of people ask me how I know a lung shot, from an artery shot, from a gut shot. It's all in the blood. Thankfully, I don't know a gut shot from experience, but I have helped track a few.

05-02-2012, 12:20 AM
there is a lot of info to digest just from those pictures. lots of folks have killed deer with good and bad shots. i read a lot several years ago about physiology of deer and what that means to how a deer's body reacts to various types of shots.

so based on that i felt personally that slightyly high and back was in the middle of the lungs and a much higher percentage shot because it was a bigger area and more tolerant of errors. so what i learned was that heart shots meant that a deers body slows down to conservce itself and live longer

a lung shot the deers body speeds up respiratory and heart rate both trying to supply the deer with oxygen to its body. therfore the deer dies quicker in my mind.

so if a hunter has good shot placement, the deer will die (usually), one maybe faster than another depending on shot placement and many other factors like whether the deer was calm or high strung etc.

so through my experience the first deer i killed was really close to my stand and i had a really vertical shot and i made it going between the shoulder blade and spine through the chest cavity. that deer bled prolifically and only went maybe 60 yards.

another deer i shot was a little high and back yet in the lungs, and barely flicked when the arrow struck it and jumped when the arrow struck a small cedar tree behind it. the deer made a swirled jumping manuveur and ran maybe 40 ish yards with a prolific blood trail.

another deer i shot i was following the deer with my sight pin (very slow grazing walk) and my release arm bumped the tree i was in and poushed slightly to the back of the deer and went off i sawthe arrow strike the deer towards the back of the ribcage, an imediately thought uh oh, liver. so i waited 45 minutes be fore i got down to get my arrow. i sloooowly made my way over towards the cedar tree the deer crossed in front of pulled my arrow out of the ground and took 2 more steps toward the tree and spooked 2 deer, one of which was the deer i had just shot which had bedded not 20 yards from the tree in a small ravine.

she left a prolific blood trail for severl hundred yards and i was able to recover her but i waited for a couple of hours before i finished trailing her.

she probably would have expired quicker ha i known more about what i was doing with a liver shot than what i had.

another deer i shot through the lungs at may 15 yards he kicked and made all manner of commotion when he tore out of there. he was very alert and reacted when my bow went off and it was a good shot maybe right at the top of the green circle. there was hardly any blood trail but the deer went maybe 50 yards and piled up where there was blood everywhere.

anyway i have heard many tales of deer being shot in the lungs and going on for great distances, an many other things. so a good shot can sometimes turn into a bad shot just because deer are incredibly tough animals and other factors like pushing a deer or maybe the deer was in a more anxious state than a relaxed state etc etc.

but having a wealth of info and guidance from more experienced hunters and sometimes just learning things the hardway, but it is great when we can collaborate and share pictures like this to better understand what constitutes the real target for shot placement on a deer cetainly helps us to be better hunters, however i know things just happen and don't always go as we would like because we are not perfect nor do we live in a perfect world under our control at all times.

which i think anyone who has hunted for any length of time can attest to. i hope that somebody benefits from my experiences and sorry i did not mean to be long winded but just thought i would share my personal experiences about different shot placements and results.

i don't mean i am right or infallible just saying what some of my experiences have been, and truly i can say no two deer hunts are alike. so your results may vary from mine.