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Thread: where to shoot a deer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default where to shoot a deer?

    Hi Im new to cross bow hunting but not new to Hunting. Most of the videos Ive watched seems that the deer take a long time to die. ive shoot a truck load of deer (reds & Fallow) with a rifle and 90% of them died on the spot.Why do people in the videos shot the deer so low and far back. Will a crossbow bolt penetrate the flat part of the shoulder blade? Experience has taught me this is where you shot if you want the deer to drop on the spot . Also will a crossbow bolt break bone or will it just drill a whole through it.
    I know european hunters always shot behind the shoulder and the deer run before die.Is shooting behind the shouder just to save meet.
    Dont want to start contreversy just want some advice.With new hunters to rifle i always tell them to line up the leg and lift your aim 2/3 up the body.
    My set up does about 245 fps with a 100grain wacem 20" carbon bolt

  2. #2
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    Well, since an arrow kills by cutting rather than shock, you need to hit where you will get the most blood.
    Either in the lungs or heart is preferable.
    The blades will cut through ribs and smaller bones but not so much the heavier/thicker bones.
    Picking you shot is much more important now.
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  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Old habits die hard

    I understand that when bow hunting a pass through shot is ideal. for years no matter what I hunt from rabbits to big red stags I have always tried to hit at least one shoulder its almost imprinted in my DNA so much so that I never really think where I am shooting it just happens automatically. This weekend when I get big red in my sights the radar is going to home in on that front shoulder. Im thinking that if I hit the front shoulder on the way in the arrow probably wont pass through.
    Red deer are quite a bit bigger than whitetails although not particularly difficult to kill and are probably more likely to go down on the spot. The smaller deer seem to be a bit tougher. It could be that the bigger deer take a bit more of the punishment rather than the tree on the far side.
    Some years ago I spent some time in austria where they convinced me that shooting behind the shoulder was the way to go. When I returned to nz I shot the first deer I saw behind the shoulder and he took off back to where he came from, found him stone dead 100metres in the bush. Since then I have gone back to shooting them in the shoulder. You waste a bit of meat but you dont have to carry them so far. For this reason I have set my arrows up for penetration with 100 gr wacem tips. I just abit worried that Im going to line up a deer aim for the shoulder and have the arrow bounce off.

    Our local archery supplier was advertising a trail string set up has anyone every tried this?
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Gun shots drop deer on shoulder shots because of the shock that travels through the skeleton from the bullet impact. Arrows do not hit with anywhere that kind of force. Arrows kill by making the animal bleed to death. If you are going to archery hunt, you need to shoot for the lungs/liver/heart, behind the shoulder and not through it. Any videos where you see an animal drop on the spot from an arrow was a lucky bad shot, not a skilled good shot.
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  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Default yea i wonder about that

    Yea I watched some videos and the only one that dropped the dear on the spot got ripped to bits by the experienced bow hunters. I guess the shot to look for is the quartering away shot. I think I will need to sharpen up my tracking skills. The forest I hunt is pretty thick if you see a deer its normally in range for a crossbow. The good thing is the deer hold to you are right on them.
    Im feeling pretty excited about my first bow hunt . Ive got my gerber carnavoure tracking light, my muzzy earth scented body wash and shampoo , my dirt spray , camo face paint is there anything Ive forgotten-LOL
    I have a heatseeker that Ive had for years but have never had to use are these things any good or a waste of time?
    Last edited by greatwhite; 10-16-2012 at 10:13 PM.

  6. #6
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    I used tracking floss when I used a vertical bow many years ago, made it much easier to retrieve a missed shot is all.
    On a hit, the floss/string tends to break off rather quickly and you still have to have good tracking skills.
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  7. #7
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    I've had good and bad shots at deer. I prefer a clean miss to a near-side shoulder hit. My best hit was on a quartering away shot, where the arrow took out both lungs and kind of pinned his far shoulder to his ribs... Zero steps taken, but it still took a minute or so to die. My worst hit was a near-shoulder hit... I killed the deer 4 days later, out of pity! She couldn't run, I walked up to within 10 yards of her, in fairly open woods and put one through her heart. Infection had set in, the deer even smelled putrid from several yards away. The meat was all unfit for consumption, purple all the way back to her hams.

    May I NEVER do that again! We owe the animal a clean, if not instant kill. BTW, I once shot a buck in the near shoulder with a .270... Got him the next day. Yeah, the shoulder was blown apart, but there wasn't enough of the 130 gr. bullet left to penetrate the chest cavity... Behind the near shoulder seems to work EVERY time.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Default I think im understanding

    If you are going to hit a shoulder its better to be the far one. With a rifle I have never been a subsciber to the bullet ending up under the skin on the far side. I like a whole in and a bigger hole out. So i wil be aming for the same with a bow.
    Took my crossbow out fo rits first nature walk in the weekend . Sat looking at a shootable deer for ten minutes across a flooded river that I didnt intend to cross .it was at about the range limitof a cross bow so its just as well the river was high as I might have been tempted to have a marginal shot- thats hunting.

  9. #9
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    I realize this is and Old post,
    I've only shot 3 deer with my crossbow...They were all Nuisance permit out of my truck farm garden all probably 10-15 yards under lights 1 in the head...dumb shot 2 between the front shoulders looking straight at me...(Nothing went to waste and they were not poached...Meat went to the elderly DNR permit as well) None of them went anywhere Head shot dropped and kicked alittle. The 2 in the bread basket just kind of folded up nose in the dirt
    My question is Seems too stupid to ask...I'm an "Old school big bore rifle" guy...270 Sighted at 375 Yards...308 @ 425 .223-.243 ...cant remember Through the shoulder and into the vitals...They don't suffer and they don't go ANYWHERE
    My problem IS..............
    I can't seem to find a good target to print off showing the vitals and an exact location.. I don't want tho have to track long...I'm patient enough to let them walk on by.
    Anybody have some pix or print outs from different angles?

    It could be that I'm getting squeemish in my old age...
    I tried to watch some youtube videos...............AFTER ABOUT 10 MINUTES I WANTED TO KILL SOME ONE piss poor shots...Dumb shots...gut shots...
    I just don't want to do that
    Any help guys?
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  10. #10
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    Dec 2013
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    Default

    I've seen spine shoots that drop em strait away.if a human is stabed in back of neck they will drop dead with no blood.aiming for spine is a no no cus chances are you'll miss! i was stubed deep in leg once after aboout ten secs my leg was useless couldn't move it at all .so i guess shooting through shoulder would make it harder to run.i think this is were distance comes in.if only 20_30 meters no crossbow arrow will bounch unless the broadhead fails i guess.aboriginals out in the scrub here would thro there spears at a kangaroos upper legs more then the chest i was told.but kangaroos have big legs.i shoot just behind sholder or try for heart is what i do

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