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Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
Deer's Reaction to Being Shot and Where to Shoot

Whenever a bullet strikes your intended target - like deer - if carefully observed, (9 times out of 10) its reaction will tell you if you hit your mark or not.

Heart or Lung Shot
Upon being hit in the heart or lung area, most deer will usually jump or bound forward - kicking out with their hind legs. This shot produces a bright red frothy blood trail with pink or white flecks of lung tissue in it.

Liver Shot
No deer can survive a shot to the liver. Reactions include running a short distance with its head high or well forward before dying within 100 yards. Blood trails tends to be very dark red / thick and glutinous.

Stomach or Gut Shot
Gut-shot deer usually hunch-up and stagger away into nearby cover with their head held low. This poor shot usually produces a lot of green-like splashes of rumen from the stomach - content that sometimes has a lot of pines, acorns, or hair, but with very little blood.

Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
Where to Shoot

Found the following links that hopefully will be helpful to everyone:

Deer / Elk Anatomy Overview: http://www.bowhunting.net/NAspecies/elk2.html

In looking at a deer or elk's circulatory system and bone structure, there appears to be two good spots to shoot for:

1. Heart and Lung area slightly behind the front leg / near the top of the shoulder.

2. Spine / Base of Neck Area. Following the forward portion of the front leg 1/2 to 2/3'rds up to where the neck meets the spine. There are a lot of major support bones in this area that when broken, should anchor the animal very quickly.

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