DOUBLE LUNG VERSUS A HEART SHOT C.J. Winand
Executing a good, clean shot depends on your level of experience and proficiency. But, with today's bows archers are more accurate than ever before. If you have the opportunity for wither a heart or a ling shot, is one better than the other? I asked a doctor friend of mine who also hunts. He always encourages hunters to aim for the lungs over a heart shot. He believes the benefits of a double lung shot are vastly improved when compared to a heart shot.
The doctor explains, "From a physiological standpoint when there is trauma to the heart the body automatically responds by shutting itself down. This causes the blood in the body to move slower." In other words, all the arteries, veins and major organs retain the blood they currently possess. When a deer is hit in the heart, blood circulation decreases and less blood exits the body. Therefore, a heart shot deer may not bleed as much compared to a lung shot.
Conversely, "on a double lung hit, the wound causes the heart to beat harder. This is mainly due to the loss of blood pressure. As the body tries to compensates for the loss of blood pressure to supply the brain with blood, the heart pumps harder. Whenever the heart beats faster, more blood is lost and a hunter has a better chance of finding the animal."
By no means does the doctor suggest that a heart shot is not effective. The fact is a heart shot is lethal. Choosing the lungs over the heart is simply a good rule of thumb to remember whenever you are picking your shot. The lungs also provide a larger target area that gives hunters an easier shot as compared to the smaller sized heart.
With this information in mind I asked the doctor his opinions on the waiting game after a confirmed hit? Like most of us, he suggested waiting 30 minutes. Whenever hunters push deer, the type of shot and the amount of adrenalin within the animal determines how far a deer will run. The further away a deer runs often times lessens your chances of finding the animal. Again, depending on your set up and the evolution of modern broadheads (especially expandable heads), many times there's no need to wait when the deer falls within sight. But that's another topic within itself.
What is the difference between a gun and a bow and arrow hit? The doctor explains, "Unlike a bullet hit, when a deer is hit with a broadhead, many times he doesn't know he's hit, he just knows something is wrong. There is no adrenalin surge associated. The deer weakens from blood loss and lies down. If you give him enough time to "bleed out", that's where your blood trail will lead. If you track too soon and jump the deer, or he sees or smells you, this is where a rush of adrenaline keeps him moving. Increased adrenaline can cause a deer to escape from you and move quite a distance after the bleeding has stopped. This can make deer pushed too soon very hard to find."
While we are on this type of topic, lets see other thoughts... mechanical or fixed blade heads? Any particular maker you stand by?
I used to use Spitfire mechanicals.. but being I also hunt hogs, I swapped to muzzy fixed blades. I stuck a pig at perfect broadside, in the kill zone and got about 3" penetration with mechanicals. Since switching to fixed blades, I am usually poking out the other side or passsing thru.
When I first swapped I tried Satalite fixed blades.. pulled them out of my first kill and the blades were mangled or broken off. Switched to Montec G-5 blades, then over to muzzy because of the lower cost.