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Shoulder hits

1hornwilly

*Supporting Member III*
#1
In the last 5 years, I have hit 3 bucks in the shoulder only to find a broken arrow about an inch from the broadhead laying on the ground where they took off running. I always aim for the crease, but evidently push or pull the shot a bit on the release (from time to time) only to hear the dreaded "crack"! I've spent days looking for these deer, so not looking to get busted on for leaving a deer I shot, but honestly looking for what may be a simple answer. Where do you guys aim exactly on a perfectly broadside deer? I don't ever shoot quartering to...only broadside or away. How far is too far back to aim? Maybe a dumb question, but I am not to excited about a gut shot either...just looking to be a bit more consistent.
 

jagermeister

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15,270
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#2
I basically aim straight above what would be considered the deer's elbow... maybe a touch behind and above actually. It's a couple inches back from the crease I guess, so it gives me a little more room for error. You definitely don't want to aim more than 6 inches back from the elbow... that's gonna give you a real good chance at a liver shot. Liver shots are deadly, but they're usually not quick deaths... which of course can lead to troubles with recovery. Maybe you are aiming a little too low? The upper leg bone actually angles forward before connecting to the should blade, so there's more room for error if you aim higher than the heart.
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
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#4
In the last 5 years, I have hit 3 bucks in the shoulder only to find a broken arrow about an inch from the broadhead laying on the ground where they took off running. I always aim for the crease, but evidently push or pull the shot a bit on the release (from time to time) only to hear the dreaded "crack"! I've spent days looking for these deer, so not looking to get busted on for leaving a deer I shot, but honestly looking for what may be a simple answer. Where do you guys aim exactly on a perfectly broadside deer? I don't ever shoot quartering to...only broadside or away. How far is too far back to aim? Maybe a dumb question, but I am not to excited about a gut shot either...just looking to be a bit more consistent.
What are you Shooting? Arrow weight? Broadhead? Speed? etc.

As far as aiming. What dot would you Shoot for in this picture? deer.jpg
 

1hornwilly

*Supporting Member III*
#5
Shooting a 10 yr old PSE. Arrow weight 250gr. Muzzy mx4's 100gr. Last Chrono was 265 fps. Not super fast, but I've killed enough deer to know it'll do the job if I don't hit the dang shoulder. I would normally aim between the black and blue dots...thoughts?
 

RedCloud

Super Moderator
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#6
The only problem with trying for the PERFECT heart shot is..you have to wait for them to step forward with that leg extended to get past the leg bone.

On Jack's deer I aim for the black dot and maybe flirt with the front of the red dot :D.
 

Jackalope

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#7
Your aim is Ok But i would aim for the black dot if i were you. Here is one thing you have to remember and what might be happening. The back leading edge of the shoulder blade is the thickest (beside the joint).. It's like a big thick edge running down it. It's actually worse to hit that than to center punch the shoulder blade because the center is very thin. If you catch that bone edge with one blade, the blade will cut into it and wedge itself. Like a knife blade (not tip) hammered into a 2x4. That will rob you of KE in a heartbeat. 1 because the blade get pinched in the bone. and 2 which is the worst, It makes the arrow tilt out of a direct line. A nail is always driven better when hit square. The arrows KE is then being used for sideways movemet instead of forward movement. Doesn't seem like much but it is... Jesse can tell you about it.. He shoots a Mathews switchback and made that exact hit last year.. He however had enough Ke to cut through, but not enough for a clean pass through. It hit the opposite shoulder and bounce back..
You don't have that kind of KE to spare though.. Shoot for the black man..

Your rig is shooting about 54.6 ft lbs at the bow.. 20 yards later i'm sure it's down in the 40's..
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
7,772
265
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#9
willy, what arrows are you shooting? 250 sounds a little light with a 100 grain head.. give me length and manufacturer/model.. i shoot generally center mass on the chest area.
 

1hornwilly

*Supporting Member III*
#10
willy, what arrows are you shooting? 250 sounds a little light with a 100 grain head.. give me length and manufacturer/model.. i shoot generally center mass on the chest area.
milo, shooting goldtip xthunter. 29" I believe...they say they are 8.6gr per inch, so that's where I got the 250. I am thinking about getting a new setup this year and really would like to know more about selecting the right arrow setup...that's a big part of the reason for my questions... I'm short, so draw length is 28". I get technically challenged at this point and don't know which way is up when setting perfect arrow weights and lengths and such. I just had the local bow pro help me out...but I'd like to learn more this year. I can pull plenty to get the job done (up to 65 comfortable), but I want to maximize what it in my hands...and on the chance I hit a shoulder, would love to know I'm still gonna kill that deer.
 

RRJJ

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#15
I've hit 2 or 3 deer in the shoulder and they have all penetrated a good bit. In all instances the deer died within 30 yards. Perhaps it's my heavy arrows and long draw length, or perhaps it's the fact that I stick with only one trusted broadhead...I don't know what the answer is - I just know that when my arrow impacts the vital area I have a dead deer.
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
7,772
265
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#16
Okay i thought you said your total arrow weight was 250....i thought dang man...350 is kind light out of a inefficient bow imho. what you put on the front of your arrow will determine your success with that setup and a shoulder hit. Muzzy's are generally a bone crushing point as opposed to a cut on contact. it just by rupture not slicing.
 

brock ratcliff

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#17
Hit em in the ribs and they die. The ribs extend a LONG way back from the shoulder. I have never unintentionally hit one in the shoulder. In the mid 90s, I got on a penetration kick. I was shooting a nearly 700 grain, 2419 at 265 fps out of a Martin Fury @ 78 lbs. I shot a couple quartered-to, just to see if I could. Shot one right on the front point of the shoulder and blew out the opposite side ham...that was gross. I was shooting Phantoms at the time (long before Muzzy bought and mkted the heck out of them). The broadhead was destroyed, but the deer was dead. I don't shoot that kind of set up anymore. There is a lot of margin for error behind the shoulder, aim a little farther back. 5" of kill zone on both sides in far better than 8' on one and 2" on the other.
 

Curran

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#18
Great thread... I always try to tuck my arrow too close to the shoulder blade and have had that back fire on me before.It's a habit that I'm still working on correcting. I've been forcing myself to shoot just a tad farther back like brock mentioned. There's still a good amount of lungs back there. Of course my favorite angle is a slight quartering away. That allows to use the opposite leg as a reference point before squeezing the release.
 

Hoytmania

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#19
I have always went for the rule of aiming for the heart. Reason for this is when a deer jumps string its first movement is usually down. I have seen evidence of a deer dropping 8 to 12 inches on a 20 yrd shot. If a deer does this and you are aiming for the heart then you will have a double lung shot. If the deer doesn't jump string then you have a heart shot. Either way you have a dead deer.
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
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#20
the kill zone on a whitetail buck deer is freakin huge. i find it funny some think that they have to shoot dime sized groups at them. While that is fantastic, it is not completely necessary. you have the better part of 10-12 inches behind that shoulder that is perfectly suitable to kill a whitetail... the whitetail is a fantastic bowhunting animal. thin skin and huge kill zone...perfect