Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

where to shoot a deer\ side rifle shot

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by plainsman, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. plainsman


    Jul 25, 2005
    All shots are side shots, I ask this because even when I see hunting shows, I believe they are aiming for the heart, and deer ultimately run off for a spell. I think shots just entering right behind the front leg seem to anchor them immediately. Of course, from the standpoint of harvesting meat, is one shot prefered over the other.

    Rifles are 308's and 3006.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  2. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    It is a visualization exercise. The Heart and lungs are located between the front blades and several inches down. You need to plan your shot so that the bullet path goes through that area. Front quarter is in front of the blade, rear quarter is behind the blade, if needed because it is a true broad side shot you need to shoot through the blade.

  3. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    My last two deer had good meat content because both were taken with neck shots. Last one was a lucky shot taken at 375 yards that clipped his neck as he was grazing. Had his head been up when I took the shot it would have passed right in front of his chest. Prior year was close enough for a solid shot to the base of the skull/ top of neck area that dropped him on the spot.

    A quartering shot is better because it misses most of the meat in the front shoulder by going through the ribs. A broad side shot generally has to pass through the shoulder to drop them quickly and this destroys meat. Whatever you do, do not shoot them in the hind quarters.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  4. I've heard before that even with a straight up heart shot (read: zero oxygenation), a deer can operate until the brain becomes hypoxic, which can be up to 20 or 30 seconds. At a rate of speed that's up to 30 mph, that deer can run around 400 yards! That's a long way to track through the briars, though most tracking ends within 150 yards. For me, the best aiming point is to look at the front leg, follow the rear line of the leg straight up to a point about 4" over the tip of the elbow. This should effectively scramble the vitals and shorten your walk. I also know several guys who always aim just behind the shoulder blad about 6" down from the topline, which hits lungs and spine and (they say) drops them in their tracks. Also buggers some of the shoulder.
  5. branden

    branden AMERICA **** YA

    Jan 1, 2003
    I've shot several deer with my 260, 30-06, 25-06, all heart/lung shots and ALL of them ran some distance. Some 25 yards, some 100 yards. Always wondered why they didn't just drop.

    HOWEVER, this year I took my lever action 44 mag Marlin out, shot a deer with open sights at about 80 yards...He literally dropped like a sac of potatoes. I found it humorous that a 44 mag dropped him and the 30-06 and the like and they still ran a ways.

  6. I personally find full broadside expose the most area for a target, guartering away or ahead reduces the target area dramatically as the angle becomes more sharp. Full behind or ahead should be avoided at all cost.

    In a heart/lung shot, you shouldn't waste any useable meat since very little to none meat are available around the ribs area for processing.

    And yes nothing stops deer dead in it's tracks.Maybe a 12ga slug gun. Only deers that I shot that dropped in their tracks, where front brisker, neck and head and one 12ga behind the liver ( that deer fallen pretty much on the spot but was kicking for a few seconds ) . All lung shot deer to include my 12ga slugster ran somewhat..
  7. I've been deer hunting with a .44 mag pistol for about 25 years now.

    From what I've seen the .44 mag drops them as fast or faster, with less tracking than a .30-30 or a .30-06. Almost all of them have run less than 25 yards after a solid chest hit with the .44 mag. I've seen quite a few hit with the .30 cals that go further.

    Neck shots usually drop them on the spot. The one exception was low in the throat and took out the wind pipe and jugular, he ran for a little over 100 yards. But it was the easiest tracking I have ever done. There was about 1" of snow on the ground and every time the deer exhaled there was a 6' wide red spray in the snow.

    Only chest shot that dropped a deer on the spot for me was a big doe I shot with my .54 cal muzzle loader. Used a 425 gr Buffalo bullet and 110 grs. of 777. She was quartering towards me. Bullet entered in front of the right from shoulder, broke the shoulder, went through the lungs, top of the heart, liver, stomach, gut, broke the left rear hip and came to rest under the skin. It went pretty much the whole length of the deer diagonally. Recovered bullet was over an inch in diameter. She was a mess to clean, but dang did she go down fast.
  8. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    This is false. If Eric would allow "graphic" pics, I would post them of the the entrance and exit holes on the deer I hit in archery season as well as the nice little "X" going almost dear center through the heart. It also clipped on lung. It only hit ribs and insides.
  9. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL

    Thats definately true of heart shots. Mine ran about 100yds with no heart and one lung. Hit just behind his elbow. (Leg was foward, so it was kinda of an "arm pit" hit. With 4" high off the elbow you'll miss the heart, but both lungs would be toast.
  10. I've had 2 deer that ever just dropped. One was with the .30-06, and I hit higher than I'd intended, getting lungs and (I suspect) enough spine to cause a spinal shock that put him down long enough for the lack of O2 to kick in. The other was a doe at about 125 yards with my Thompson Center .50 cal muzzleloader shooting a Barnes sabot. That doe was hit in the boilerroom, right at the top of the heart and both heart and lungs looked blenderized. She never even kicked, just dropped and met Jesus.
  11. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    This shows the parts pretty well. Which is why I said a full broad side shot GENERALLY destroys some meat if you go for the heart lung shot. The front shoulder tends to get in the way either going in or coming out.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  12. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

    Nov 18, 2003
    Bad-Lands Ranch
    I like to shoot them here.

    This deer was bow shot.

    It was quartering to me pretty hard, so I aimed a little front.

    Anyway, this buck went about 30 yds and laid down. I collected him 30 minutes later.

    Buckets of blood....
  13. That anatomy photos shows your statement is false. If you hit a deer in the heart, your miles away from the shoulder. The only way you might destroy a shoulder if your in a tree stand shooting down,but then that wouldn't be a broadside shot.

    The last deer I shot with a 50cal muzzlelaoder was a broadside, and higher up than heart and here's the damage. The shoulder was still good meat, only thing blood shot was the lower body.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  14. frank4570


    Jun 25, 2004
    I am looking at the same thing. The rifle I took this year was my .458 Socom. That's a 300 gr HP at about 1700fp. Shot was just behind the shoulder. Deer bounced, then ran about 20 yards.
    I am starting to think that there is no way to be sure they go right down with a lung/heart shot.
  15. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear Protective G'pa CLM

    Won't disagree when it comes to knowing where to aim. But many people think the heart and lungs are higher up in the body so they shoot through the shoulder. I have helped process a lot of deer where the hunter destroyed a portion of the front shoulder either going in or coming out.
  16. They don't in my experience.

    But with most rifle calibers, and large bore handguns, a heart lung shot that penetrates through the deer leaves a lot of blood and are very easy to find. Also even though they don't "drop in their tracks" they usually don't run very far and you find them within 25-50 yards.

    The only thing that generally drops them in their tracks is a spine, neck, or brain (not just head) shot.