© By Othmar Vohringer
The first important step in learning to make a one-shot-kill is to know where the vital organs are located in a whitetail deer. While it is true that almost any gunshot and arrow can kill a deer you always want to aim for the vital area of a deer, the heart and lung area.
The vital area of a deer is actually quite large – roughly a 6 to 7 inch circle - consisting of lungs, heart and liver. It is the responsibility of every hunter to make fast and clean killing shots. The hunter who sees a big buck and just throws his rifle up or pulls the string back on the bow and then aims somewhere upfront of the deer is a poor excuse for a sportsman. I know things can go wrong and mistakes happen to all of us when we hunt long enough, but aiming carelessly or not knowing where the vital area is should not be an excuse for loosing or wounding a deer.
The best way to learn about the vital area of a deer is to study one of the many charts available on the Internet or use a life-sized deer target that shows the vital area on it. When you look at a vital organ chart you will notice how small the heart is and that it is located very low in the chest area, only about two inches above the brisket. Most hunters think that the heart is much larger and located higher up in the chest. Memorize the location of the lungs and how the shoulder bones covers almost a third of the lungs and all of the heart. On the chart below you can see the outline of the vital areas, lung, heart and liver and where they are located. Take note of how vital areas slightly change in position and size of a deer that stands broadside, facing you front on and quartering away from you. You also will notice that on the quartering away deer the aim point is quite far back. The more severe the quartering away angle is the farther back you have to aim. Would you aim at the same point as on a broadside standing animal the bullet or arrow would only penetrate the tip of the lungs at such severe quartering away angles.
When you practice with your gun or bow use a life sized deer target and observe where the bullet or arrow enter and exit when the target stands at different angles and positions to you. This will quickly give you an idea where you have to aim in order to assure as much vital organ damage as possible and with that bring about a quick and humane kill.
This blog post has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
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