Where To Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow – Recommended Kill Zone Shot Placements

Deer hunting with a crossbow is a challenging and equally rewarding endeavor that calls for a lot of skill and knowledge to properly execute. And, as more and more crossbow hunters hop into the deer hunting bandwagon, one of the most contentious topics of discussion is where to shoot a deer with a crossbow.

Besides the crossbow safety concerns, hunters need to understand other variables like range, which add fuel to an already volatile fire. Of course, there are numerous anatomical positions where you can shoot a deer and kill it in a humane fashion, without causing superfluous and enduring agony to the animal.

On the same breathe; there are other zones that are evaluated as riskier than others. Today, we’ll help you understand where to shoot a deer using crossbow. This will augment your ability to convey clear and accurate killing shot arrangements that never cause unnecessary pain to the deer.

Where To Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow: Ideal Places For A Cruelty-Free Kill

  • Heart and Lungs

For beginners, aiming at the deer’s heart or lung area can deliver a perfect kill shot since the area surrounding these organs is broad. The heart-lung area of the deer has a larger surface area with the highest concentration of essential blood vessels sustaining its life.

What does this mean? Simply put, even if your aim isn’t a hundred percent accurate, one fast kill shot will still bring down the deer without pinpoint precision. Aiming and shooting this area can easily cause volumetric hemorrhage and kill the deer.

If you shoot at the deer’s heart, you’ll disrupt all the blood vessels that supply oxygen to major parts of its body including the brain. A shot to the heart causes an instantaneous death of the deer. Targeting at the deer’s heart significantly reduces the odds of the animal getting up and recovering again.

For someone who’s new to deer hunting, the heart-lung area is a perfect place to aim and shoot. However, shooting at the deer’s lungs first and then trying to aim at its heart is not advisable.

If you do so, there are higher chances that the deer might get up and run away following a total recovery. In some cases, hitting the lungs first might result in a long and painful death for the deer, which is not humane.

Deer hunting tips
  • High Shoulder

The lofty shoulder is also considered one of the best zones to aim and shoot a deer with a crossbow. The deer’s high shoulder is located in close proximity to the spine which anchors the nervous system. Consequently, shooting around this area causes the deer to drop down without a second thought.

If you deliver the shot accurately to the right angle, it destroys the animal’s spine causing severe damage to its central nervous system. The deer will be paralyzed in a matter of seconds, and will automatically fall dead due to trauma.

The problem with the high-shoulder shot is that the area containing the spine is relatively small and aiming at the exact position is no mean feat. You’ve got to aim carefully and shoot quickly so the deer won’t have any time to escape or change its position.

Similarly, you’ll need to have a high-speed crossbow to be able to accomplish the task. A high-shoulder shot has a negative impact, though. That is, if you’re hunting for meat, the shot will cause a severe damage to the shoulder meat due to the bolts striking on it.                

  • Cerebrum (Brain)

Like any other animal, a crossbow shot to the brain delivers a smooth and instant death. A deer has a small head with a brain size of approximately 3 inches long.

This means that any shot to the highest point of the head results in a hit to the brain and a sure death of the deer. Being the center for all motor functions, hitting at the brain halters the deer quicker than any other shot there is.

Even so, the brain region is pretty small and aiming precisely at it can be a very tough task. Without enough practice, it may be impossible to target and shoot the deer’s top of the head for the brain to be hit.

In case you aim at the brain and miss it, the deer will have a traumatic experience. For instance, if you target at the brain and miss low, the arrow will go through the deer’s jaw. Even though the animal may survive and get away, it might eventually experience a long, slow death due to starvation.

On the same token, if the crossbow bolts strike other parts of the deer’s body, the meat might become bad. There will be no harm to the meat if the shot is delivered directly to the head and the deer dies instantly.

deer hunting guideline
  • Neck

Another best zone to shoot a deer with a crossbow is the neck. An accurate shot to the neck causes instantaneous death because the neck houses the animal’s vital components including the spinal cord, vertebrae, and blood vessels.

These three anatomical components prove handy in the existence of a deer’s soul. A well-placed shot on the neck damages these components and the deer drops in its tracks without the possibilities of a recovery.

For instance, if you happen to aim accurately and hit at the deer’s vertebrae, the chances of a deer staying alive again are slim to none. Better still; an accurate shot to this area poses no damage to the meat.

But then again, shooting a deer’s neck is a challenge even for the most seasoned hunters out there. This critical spot of the deer’s anatomy is very small, which makes it difficult to hit with pinpoint accuracy.

If you miss the deer’s vertebrae and hit other parts, it might still die, but the process will be very slow and agonizing. In some occasions, you might need to hit the deer again to ensure a quick and humane death.

Bottom Line

Deer hunting is a challenging and exciting game in equal measure. When determining where to shoot a deer with a crossbow, it’s more than essential to be wary of the basic anatomy of a deer.

All in all, there are several good places to shoot a deer and bring it to a relatively fast and cruelty-free death. However, it all boils down to your goal, hunting style and experience level.

If you’re hunting for meat, the best targets would be the head or neck so the meat won’t be rendered useless. If you’re a beginner, it makes the most sense to aim for a target with a broad surface area, such as the heart-lungs and high shoulder.

Ultimately, you should aim to achieve a quick, precise shot to kill the deer with little-to-no cruelty. This calls for consistent practice to develop confidence and realize your hunting objectives.

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