26 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Maryland
Joined: 11/23/2004
Posts: 8
Heart or lungs ?

Just out of curosity , what do those of you experienced archers aim for ? Actually my question is more along the lines of where is the fastest kill shot with an arrow and why?

I use a PSE Nova with 4 blade Muzzys on carbon arrows and have had more bad shots than I ever have this season. Its been a toughie to say the least . Most of my fast kills have been lung shots or low rear body hits that cause massive bleeding.

My confidence is a bit shaken . I practice and hit rather well but when in the woods this year , Im having trouble hitting the broad side of a barn. Ive been hunting with a bow for quite some time but I guess we all have a bad season ..

One button buck so far this year but many other blown chances eye roll Good deer bad shooting . Its almost embarrasing.

Anyone else?Ever?

Ron

Offline
Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
Heart or lungs ?

FWIW our whitetails almost always duck anyway. I aim low towards the back of the heart. One reason is that where the heart is the vitals are very small. And a lot of non vital tissue that leads one to think they killed another and didn't find it when thats not the case. In aiming low I'm attempting to center the lungs. And I have the most room for error.

Most folks think of vitals as a round target when in reality they are oblong and at an angle. Going lungs leaves killing error each direction.

As to bad years, I used to have those. I haven't had them in a long time. I just had to start mentally performing what I was supposed to do and talk to myself before shooting. And have my mental saying so that each shot is perfect and on track before I draw. Game shooting is way different than targets. Only field experience helps. For me the more I hunted the better I became. Needless to say it took a while till I topped 100 in the number of animals harvested with a bow. But at that point it usually works well. And when it doesn't I know how to find them (gut shot and the like) and when it didn't harm them at all.

I would not concern myself with what gear I use as long as its accurate and you can shoot it well. I also would not concern myself with the speed of the kill. The kill is obviously painless to the animal and you cannot control the deers body functions at the time of the shot which tend to influence how long it takes to die anyway(adrenalin level, fright, amount of oxygen in lungs etc)

Just try for center lungs and go from there.

BTW if you do gut shoot, they have been some of the easiest for us to find if they are not spooked from the first bed. Usually they lay down within 100 yards and are dead after a number of hours. We don't look or even get the arrow( have seen them bed within 20 yards of the hit within sight of the stand and had to wait till dark to sneak out and away). We wait 8 hours and go get them.

Best, Jeff

Offline
Location: Maryland
Joined: 11/23/2004
Posts: 8
Heart or lungs ?

rost495,

I really appreciate your response, the thought and obvious experience put into the answer.

It is easy to get anxious the first few encounters of the year and I believe that to be part of the problem. Remembering that the deer is on its path for a reason is as important as trying to intercept that path . I find that the deer in the area I am hunting have multiple choices in movement and can go a number of different ways . I know where the obvious funnel is in the area and have had good success 100 + yards off that area.

Pinpointing the rut has been tough this year due to weather changes and witnessing behaviors that conflict traditional thinking. Examples of this is seeing does and bucks together but only 1 real pursuit of a buck after a doe. Another is seeing bucks together eg. spikes and 6 & 8 pointers. Both young and older bucks hanging out together in the same areas.

I know some hunters can tell easily and under normal weather conditions it would be pretty easy but this year has been odd.

I will try shooting to the rear part of the heart and see if that helps. Additionally, I will add time to my waiting period ( I usually wait an hour or two ) . Im in no hurry to retrieve them as long as its not to warm .

Thanks again for the response,

Ron

Offline
Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
Heart or lungs ?

Ron

I hunt in TX. Its normally hot during October. I've never seen a spoiled deer due to heat.

I've had the privilege of being able to see what happens on certain hits and how long it takes to die. So on gut shots we have gone before 6 hours and busted deer up or had to finish them off. Thats not as easy as it seems. Lots of times you can see them and get 25 yards or so but they are bedded in thickets with no clear shots. And they look almost dead so we'd shoot, get deflected and be totally amazed at how fast they can vacate and sometimes never be found again. So I've been in on loosing a few. 6 hours is my minimum time. 8 hours we've found each one dead every time(mind you I'm talking whitetails). And since I know they are usually still alive 4+ hours later, though very sick, its not like you are leaving a dead one lay that long. I suspect that in most all cases we waited 8 full hours, that the deer was not dead for more than an hour or so. FWIW.

For our deer I aim about 3 inches max into them from the bottom, never out of white hair. And I stay about 2 inches or so back from the knuckle. Worst cases. Go high hit lungs. Go really high and get super lucky and hit spine. Go forward and hit heart/arteries/veins. Go back and get liver or maybe guts. But we know how to handle all that. Go low? Catch hair or nothing. And thats fine by me too.

As far as I'm concerned anything above and in front of the heart is no mans land or you'd better be really lucky.

Think that shot through. Be positive. Shoot as many animals as you can(read that does or females when legal and available and as many wild hogs as you can) My mantra is simple. I constantly repeat this in my head as I prepare for the shot. Draw, anchor, aim, release, follow through.

Jeff

Offline
Location: Maryland
Joined: 11/23/2004
Posts: 8
This is why Im an archer

You know for certain that gun season has opened in Maryland based upon the following conversation ,which I can testify actually took place In Maryland / Cedarwood Forrest on Nov 27 2004 at approx 5:20 pm.

Hunter 1 says to Hunter 2 : Any luck ?

Hunter 2 replies : Well , I took a shot at a buck .

Hunter 1 responds : How big? Could you see how big the rack was?

Hunter 2 then goes on to say : Well , it may have been a buck , but then again I couldnt really tell what type it was . It may have been a dog or a doe , Im not too sure.

The moral of the conversation is simple : Use much caution while hunting with the mentally challenged . They are fun to watch but can be deadly while armed. eye roll

Be safe folks and practice defensive hunting . Always watch out for the other guy
Wink

Just my 2 cents in an overflowing pot of change ,

Ron

Offline
Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
Heart or lungs ?

FWIW our whitetails almost always duck anyway. I aim low towards the back of the heart. One reason is that where the heart is the vitals are very small. And a lot of non vital tissue that leads one to think they killed another and didn't find it when thats not the case. In aiming low I'm attempting to center the lungs. And I have the most room for error.

Most folks think of vitals as a round target when in reality they are oblong and at an angle. Going lungs leaves killing error each direction.

As to bad years, I used to have those. I haven't had them in a long time. I just had to start mentally performing what I was supposed to do and talk to myself before shooting. And have my mental saying so that each shot is perfect and on track before I draw. Game shooting is way different than targets. Only field experience helps. For me the more I hunted the better I became. Needless to say it took a while till I topped 100 in the number of animals harvested with a bow. But at that point it usually works well. And when it doesn't I know how to find them (gut shot and the like) and when it didn't harm them at all.

I would not concern myself with what gear I use as long as its accurate and you can shoot it well. I also would not concern myself with the speed of the kill. The kill is obviously painless to the animal and you cannot control the deers body functions at the time of the shot which tend to influence how long it takes to die anyway(adrenalin level, fright, amount of oxygen in lungs etc)

Just try for center lungs and go from there.

BTW if you do gut shoot, they have been some of the easiest for us to find if they are not spooked from the first bed. Usually they lay down within 100 yards and are dead after a number of hours. We don't look or even get the arrow( have seen them bed within 20 yards of the hit within sight of the stand and had to wait till dark to sneak out and away). We wait 8 hours and go get them.

Best, Jeff

Offline
Location: S.E. North Dakota
Joined: 11/12/2004
Posts: 24
Heart or lungs ?

aim for the shoulder, or right behind it, and it can't go wrong.....if you hit there..

Offline
Location: Texas
Joined: 09/15/2003
Posts: 17
Heart or lungs ?

I would say the fastest kill shot with an arrow would be the heart. If you put an arrow in a deer and it hits heart or lungs its going to go down. An animal is going to react to your shot if they have the chance so make sure your equipment is very quiet. Speed is not as essetial as a quiet shot is.

A lot of people make the mistake of only practicing at the range on a standing deer target. You need to take that target out intot the woods and set up like you would really be hunting. You may want to even wear what you would when you are really hunting. I practice from a tripod, pop up blinds, and certain stalking cituations where the elevation changes. In each situation try different angle shots. Your not always going to have a big open hole in the woods to shoot thru so put that deer out there and stalk up to it like you would and find out where you need to put that arrow. Shooting this way at deer that have obstacles to deal with will certainly boost your confidence. This is where competing in 3D tournaments comes in really handy.

Good luck with the rest of your hunting season!

Offline
Joined: 10/30/2004
Posts: 117
Heart or lungs ?

Their are a few downsides to heart shots. Not much room for error first. Not like lungs. Secondly I've had heart shots run 200-300 yards. If you take out the main arteries(actually mostly a miss high) they can't go far. If you take out the pressure side of the heart they won't go far. But if you err and hit on the low side of the heart( I think thats the low pressure side) they can go as far OR farther than a center lung that takes out a major artery.

I'm not at all sure on the reasons why on this particular issue, and I feel a bit remiss in not knowing why, but I've seen it happen this way often enough. In fact my last buck was heart hit as it was about the only decent option I had, and he went 200+ yards with basically no blood at all. If it wasnt' wet so we could follow his tracks it would have been really tough and down to a grid search to find him.

I agree on quiet though. Thats almost one of the most important parts. Those speed bows that sound like a 22 short, still aren't fast enough to overcome their noise.

Jeff

Offline
Location: Texas
Joined: 09/15/2003
Posts: 17
Heart or lungs ?

The point I meant to make is that if you hit the heart(or even the lungs for that matter) with an arrow the animal is going to go down. There isn't much of a chance its going to survive. I have seen them go 200-300 yards before on both lung and heart shots. It just all depends on how there adrenaline is going at that time.

Last year we saw a buck get a nice heart shot that didn't even react much to at all. It looked up and then laid down right there and started kicking. It was dead in less than 3 minutes. I remember plenty of times seeing them run a good ways after being hit as well. It's pretty damn impossible to predict what an animal is going to do every time and your right about the chances of success. Its a bigger target to hit than the heart is.

I aim for the heart because if I do hit off target its a bit high. That's a tendency that I have had in my shooting ability that I notice on the practice range and something I struggle with. Its not much but maybe a 1/2"-1" at 25 yards. For judging what happens on the animal when hunting I try to capture it on video on most of my hunts and it will tell me clues as to what happened. Either because of my error or maybe because of the animal ducking from a sound even though my bow is extremely quiet, the animals instints and speeds never cease to amaze me. It just depends and its hard to say which one it really is. I'm good out to 40 yards but I much rather prefer taking no more than 25 yard shots with most of my shots that I have taken lately falling around 12-16 yards. That's why I bowhunt anyway, I love being close to the game and if I wanted to take it farther away I would go get a smokepole.

Offline
Location: Maryland
Joined: 11/23/2004
Posts: 8
Heart or lungs ?

Smokepole . Big smile *snickers * at that remark

It is quite amazing how far they can go after being hit . The first bed or first safe thick spot they lay down is hopefully where they stay but it doesnt always work that way Wink

Ive had hits that led me to believe they had run out of blood only to find the tracks went on and on and on and on and on . I also recently discovered that their ability to swim is uncanny and that they have actually been clocked at 13 mph in the water and that does will actually use islands to give birth if available to protect their young from predators. My hunting grounds are near a resevoir and water is indeed a factor in how fast they die. One deer that I shot eariler this season ( an 8 pointer ) got to water , never to be seen again . Prior to entering the water it seemed he had lost all of the blood in his body , but to my dismay he was like the energizer bunny he kept going and going. Part of the problem was that I was pushing him along . ( hind site is 20/20 )

I indeed plan to practice the 6 to 8 hour wait unless weather ( eg. rain ) causes a loss of trail.

Ron

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Shot placement, Heart of Lungs?redrider403/29/2006 21:35 pm
6 Elk Hunting Secretshuntersjournal411/07/2010 16:23 pm
Attention huntersdobelover011/08/2005 15:12 pm
Attention huntersdobelover011/08/2005 15:12 pm
Where to Shoot Big Game & Their Reaction147 Grain711/03/2005 07:42 am