Whitetail Deer Vitals Diagram

Regardless of whether you shoot a $1,500 bow or a $300 bow there is one thing I think we can all agree on and that is shot placement is key.

Although my current hunting rig is a higher end rig, my backup rig would fit nicely on display in an archery museum. It doesn’t sport any of the fancy bells and whistles that my current bow does simply because my backup bow is a traditional bow!

So what’s the point of all this? Well in recent posts I’ve discussed simple accessories that can help you improve your form, I’ve spoke about getting into a practice routine, how to set up your bow using walkback tuning or my new favorite French tuning, and gone into broadhead tuning. With all of that under your belt the only thing left to do is pick the right spot on a deer to hit. So here it is:

The picture above shows a whitetail deer with its muscular, skeletal, circulatory and organ systems. Study this diagram well because it will be invaluable to you once you’re in the field and a deer shows up in front of you. Lets take a look at the next diagram to get a better view of what we want to hit and what we want to avoid hitting.

In this diagram you will see the main components that lie underneath the deers skin. You want to pay attention to how the shoulder blade lies in relation to the deer’s heard and lungs. When I see a deer I try and draw an imaginary line across the center of the deer’s body and then a vertical line up from behind the deer’s shoulder. I aim right below this imaginary cross hair and this puts me in the area of where I want my arrow to hit without chance of hitting the shoulder on a broadside shot. On a quartering away shot you have a great opportunity to take out both the heart and lungs ensuring a very quick kill, just remember not to take extreme quartering away shots and always aim further back than you would on a broadside shot. A good rule of thumb is to aim for the opposite front leg on a quartering away shot. One other thing I’ll say, is don’t take a quartering towards shot on a deer, no matter how good of a shot you think you have the risk of injuring and loosing a deer is far greater than the chance of making a quick clean kill.

Take a moment to go over these diagrams and refresh yourself throughout the season and you will start making better shots in the field and watching your deer drop in sight. The best way is to practice on a 3D deer target so you can visually see how the arrow will travel through the deer. Get out there and start practicing now!

Posted in Deer Hunting
2 comments on “Whitetail Deer Vitals Diagram
  1. Those are great diagrams and will help beginners out immensely with their shot placement.

    I agree that quartering away are the best shots to take, but not always the easiest ones to have in front of you.

    This diagram will help out everyone, regardless of what way the deer is facing.

  2. Hi Marc:
    I just put up a diagram of a deer last Thursday on my blog and it’s animated. Every hunter needs to know where to put the shot on a deer and make it a good one. Thanks for sharing.

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