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Elk shot placement thread
Last fall (it seems to me) there was a thread that had lots of photos and discussion about shot placement on elk. I've searched, but I can't find it.
Anyone have a link? I'm headed to CO this year for my first elk hunt, and I'd like to review what the experts here at bowsite had to say.
Thanks in advance.
search under "point of aim"
I've looked back, and found the threads. The photos were purged, though, it looks like.
So, thanks for your photo. (Is that where to put the finishing shot? LOL).
I'm sure there is some truth to the thought that these are "just big deer" and point of aim should be the same ... but it's good to hear from people who have "been there."
Norseman- is that your handywork? ;) Great shot.
yeah, my crude attempt at photo editor art.
Great thread. I remember reading the one from last year. It would seem there would be alot of frontal shots on elk if you are calling them in. Some people posted pros and cons on frontal shots.
I also have my first elk hunt this september and would like to read some input on different shot angles..
Hunterdad, Broadside, Broadside, Broadside or slight quartering away. Please No head, butt or quartering to shots.
Try and get BB onto this thread he had the best pictures and advice on this topic.LC
I'm glad someone started this again. Also a first timer. Any info helps. 61 days til we leave.
Just this past week I hiked up and took a few photo's of some elk. It won't be long before they loose their summer coat and so hopefully we can take advantage a bit of the light hair, as it lets you see their makeup a bit better (bone structure).
Look closely at the elk pictured above and see if you can make out the bone structure in its front leg. That is of major importance to understand if you want to be able to take advantage of the most deadly area on a broadside shot.
Study the above picture a bit and be sure you understand the front leg structure. The next few pictures I post will better help you understand this, if you don't already know. It’s of major importance to a bowhunter! (So learn it WELL)
Here's the same picture, but I've outlined in red, the make up of the front leg bone structure. I've placed a red dot in what I would advise is the best hit on an elk that is standing as pictured. (I am a terrible artist, but all I had to do was outline what the summer coat reveals, therefore its pretty accurate.)
The majority of guys will shoot that shot around the black dot I've placed on this photo.
On this photo, of the same small bull, one can easily see that the bone does not go straight up the front leg like many believe. Again, study it closely and you will be able to see the make up of the front leg and shoulder.
Here's the leg bones and shoulder blades marked in solid black on this photo, and I've placed a red dot on the area that if you hit you will most likely watch the bull go down within sight. Many people will shoot farther back because they don't want to hit the bone.
On this photo, one can see pretty easy, the side ways V that allows you to shoot more forward than most. That area is the most deadly area on a broadside shot. Again I place a red dot on the area I would like to hit, given that exact shot.
Can you begin to notice the > ?
Where would you want to hit this elk if you had this shot from 10 yards? (That's just about the distance of this elk from my camera.)
For those that want, place a dot where you want to hit and explain why you place your dot where you did.
People think the leg bone goes straight up? Have they ever taken an animal apart? It's the same structure from dogs to buffalo...
Good pictures, what's the story with the bull? Caught in the V of a tree?
I like this location, trying to leave some room for error in case I am low or left, also the far leg is back some and I want to miss that on the way out!
Steve, the little bull just stopped and stretched when I took that photo. He was walking between two trees. Here's the very next photo I took of him as he continue towards me.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
wow, he really looked hung up in that photo! lol
Thanks for sharing
Steve, if you look close at that last picture, and then at the one in which you thought he was hung up, you will see the two trees he was between in both photos.
Here's a pretty good picture that shows this gals front leg and shoulder bone make up.
He is too cute to shoot, ha. I must be getting old.
And on this one I have outlined the approximate bone structure and placed a red x where I would like to hit and black x where many would shoot.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Thanks, BB, for responding to the thread. Your photos are great.
Here is a pic of a whitetail showing the bone structure.
Here's a link to an elk shot placement guide. I couldn't copy & paste the pictures as they're in PDF format. This is the best I could do......
Check it out; I tried to be sure the link works! :-)
Excellent thread gentlemen!!!
CurveBow, thanks for the link, Very nice sir....
IMO most dots shown are a little far forward, yes I know the leg bone curves out of the way, but still the center of the lungs is further back then you are aiming and if you hit far forward you hit leg bone = lost elk, if you hit to far back = liver, found elk if you are good at tracking.
A quick look at the circulatory system seems to confirm that.
BB I would have aimed at slightly left of the black x
I have a question, from memory the ribs only cover lung cavity right? So a quick look at the bone chart of an elk show middle of ribs is 4" or more back from everyones red dots, even acounting for the angles on some shots.
Don, here's a picture of the skeletal of an elk. Notice again the make up of the front leg and how far back the ribs go.
DonV - check out the link I have in an above post. After the sleketon page, there's a cut away with all the internal organs. You can see the relationship to bones and organs.
Here's the circulatory system. Notice the area impacted if one hits straight up the middle of the front leg. It is the most highly vascular area in the chest and most times the animal will fall within 3-5 seconds.
My son shoots his animals there, and it’s been years now since he shot anything that we haven't been able to watch fall. If people really understood how deadly and how fast that area works for you, most would quit shooting behind the shoulder. Since I learned about that shot, I have yet to hit the bone, that so many of you fear.
I personally think the odds of hitting the bone, on close shots, to be very less likely than hitting the guts, if one is shooting the crease. There is actually as much or more area for error on that shot than on the behind the shoulder shot.
Liver shot elk can die fast if you’re lucky, but can be lost very easy too, especially if jumped or pushed the elk after the shot. I will opt forward every time because of the results I have experienced on both hits.
By any means, keep it as far forward as you feel good about. And don’t be afraid to learn, as there are better ways than many of us presently use, that will result in faster kills and far less critters lost. This happens to be one of them in my belief.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Knowning what you know, from a treestand, where would you want to hit this elk?
May many of you be so lucky as to get this good of shot this season!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Straight up the crease about mid-body. You can kind of see a dark tuft of hair on BB's picture, that's right where I'd put my pin.
I'd shot him hit in the spine so he drops just like I see on TV. LOL 8*) Just kinding, I like the "dark tuft" of hair also.
"Shoot him in the spine" sorry for the Typo's
I agree with BB, most shoot too far back in relation to the lungs and heart.
Here is where I would put this shot with some room for error in any direction.
If you had this shot this fall, or one very similar, where do you think would be the best place to put your arrow. Place a dot if you know how. If you don't, it's time you learn:-)
Hint: consider that you are above the elk, and the elk is quartering away. This has a great influence on where one should aim or want to hit!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
After placing my dot and looking it over, I am probably too far to the right. I would move it to the left a little. The ribcage angle becomes a factor on these quartering away shots and I don't care to shoot through the guts to get to the vitals. makes it a tough shot. I don't care for severe quartering shots on elk period.
Teach us BB.
I love these threads... Always willing to learn.... Kenny
Id try and sneak one in just behind the last rib. Never had this shot before. Great thread!
that is a pretty severe qtr shot. Careful. stay away from the guts by not shooting to low it will stop your arrow in a hurry. Dont shoot to far forward or you will miss all the vitals.
Aim a little left and a little more than midway up the animal and you will get the angle that will get the liver and the lungs
Looking at the circulatory system drawing, I would say the center is a little back from the front leg. I do not care for heart shots, like when they happen, but lungs are a bigger target so I aim for them. Tracking them 20 more yards is ok.
Again the lungs expand to fill the void (see old posts about "the void") so I think that any hit in the rib cage means a lung hit, but far back shots tend to result in very long blood trails, not enough lung is hit IMO. Still my point is the center of the rib cage is nowhere near where yous guys dots are. I am trying to learn, not argue.
Can someone please place some lines on the back of the lungs on a broadside elk?
I think I need to aim a little more forward, right now I plan to hit about 4" behind the back of the front leg on a mature bull.
I am heading to an apartment to do some work and heading to Colorado early in the morning to place a stand or two at my favorite wallows-waterholes, so this may be one of my last posts until after I get back.
Here's a bull I placed a large red dot and that's the area I would like my arrow to hit. I think I would watch the critter go down if I put it in that area. The black dot is an area where many bowhunters would want their arrow.
It's late in the evening as you can tell by the picture. The bull is muddy and a hit farther back than the red area in my opinion, although vital, could require not finding the bull until the next morning. I HATE leaving a critter as big as an elk lying on the ground all night, as you compromise the eating a bunch.
Which would you prefer?
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Margin of error on the broadside.
I stay in front of the yellow line no matter what. Long tracking jobs on elk are not fun.
BB have a safe trip... I think I would shoot just a touch back from youres, but not much. Kenny
I would think the lungs would lay some thing like this "Yellow". "Black" being the spine, "Red" heart and aorta.
Don, why 4" behind the front leg?
At the very least never go behind the front leg, at the best go right up the front of the front leg on a broadside shot, and if you want some margin, then go right up the center of front leg. Once you start doing that and see the results, you will NEVER shoot behind it again, except on quartering away shots.
My bow ed instructor taught me that many years ago, and since I learned that, I watch most critters I shoot go down within sight. That happened rarely previous to that time.
I don’t have time to do a good example right now, but here’s a picture I used in the past to demonstrate what I am trying to show. Look close at the picture above. The red is the lung area and the purple is the liver and front edge of the diaphragm. I placed a black dot on an imaginary line up the middle of the front leg, where I think most bowhunters should aim on broadside shots. I placed another black dot what would be 4” behind the front leg. Notice how much room you have before you hit bone going forward of the front black dot, and how little you have going back on the second black dot before your are in the guts.
Many bowhunters aim way too far back on broadside critters. I think the reason for this is what I call rifle mentality. “Just place your bullet right behind the front leg!” If one really studies the anatomy of the critters they hunt, most every bowhunter will move his shot forward of where they were originally taught. Once you start to experience the quick kills and fast deaths, you will never return to behind the shoulder. I truly believe that. Through the years I have received many thanks from guys who tried what I advocated when they saw and experienced the results.
FACT: More animals are lost on broadside shots than any other shot. It’s not that it is not a good shot, but rather too many aim to far back and if a critter moves it is usually in the direction their heading and thus many hits are back in the guts. I would much rather take my chances on a seldom hit front bone, than chancing loosing a critter because I shot too far back. Gotta run!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
BB you are right the black dot was exactly where I would aim, have to get that out of my head FAST
buffalo I think the lungs are a little more forward then that but you are closer to what I thought
What about aiming where the green dot is on above pic?
Also, a rule I have for quartering away shots (not steep quartering away - I pass on those) like the one stickflngr used from BB is to aim so my arrow will end up square on the fat leg. In other words if the front leg comes forward aim so after you arrow pass through the elk it hits right above the opposite side leg as you see it. This may be a tiny bit further back then some of you but it is easy to remember and will surely hit lungs.
I have seen more deer lost due to hitting brisket - to far forward, then guts and it made me tend to aim a little back, I have also seen leg bones hit and deer never recovered. I have done well with deer & elk lately, 19 of last 20 shots in the lungs, the only miss hit the front leg of a doe that what slightly off the angle I thought she was when I shot.
I do have to add that on BB's last pic showing the diaphram, that vertical line is definetly a solid lung hit on a mature bull. In other words the left (rear) black dot would be a solid lung hit. I hit both my elk at least that far back and it was solid lung.
Do you agree?
Buffalo, here's a picture of how the vitals really lay in relation to the bone structure. Notice how far the lungs go back, and also how far forward they go. WE ALL need to UNDEARSTAND this part of the animals we hunt, as its as important as any part of bowhunting!
The picture above is used in bowhunting education. It's not my rendition of what I think, but the REAL facts. It will behoove all of us to learn and put this information in action when hunting. It will allow more taken game and far less wounding. It is a win win for all!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Close?? Most diagrams show the lungs shaped somewhat like this.
The main problem I see with hunters is they aim way too high. The shadow of the under belly makes the elks depth 1/3 less. In the heat of the moment, most quickly pick a spot half way up of what stands out on the side of the elk. This actually puts them 2/3 up the side of the animal. Now if you shoot too far forward, you will hit the shoulder blade, which on elk is a big no-no.
BB's teachings on how to look for the bone structure on the side of the elk not only points out that you can shoot further forward then you thought, it also trains your eye to look lower on the bottom 1/3 of the animal. Then you don't have to worry about that damn shoulder blade and thoughts of "behind the shoulder or crease" We need to get this "midway section" of the elk out of our minds on broadside shots.
this fall look close for the lower leg bone structure. Stay calm! Pick a spot! Aim small! and it WILL happen.
I pay close attention to the position of the leg closest to me if its forward you can tuck it in the "V" But if it's back further than the offside leg then it positions the joint that connects the scapula and leg bone further back. I made the mistake of not noting the position of the leg on a big muley I killed a couple years ago and centered the ball joint. It stopped my arrow with about 2" of penetration, luckily it was my insurance arrow after my first good hit.
I know this is an elk thread, but I think the picture above will, at the very least, illustrate a point, as deer, elk, moose and antelope are basically made up pretty similar on the front leg and scapula.
Here's a picture of an antelope with the REAL leg bones laid over a picture of an antelope to show how the leg bone really ties into what we are talking about. Although its just an antelope, it is the same basic principle on an elk.
I got tied up waiting for a return call and now I really have to run.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
that should do the trick SOG.
But that bull is slightly Qrt away and down from you. to insure the opposite side lung, I would aim a couple inches lower and straight up from the opposite side leg.
Heres another elk really showing the bone structure in the leg.
Right at the top of the pump station shooting for the off leg.
Dam, I am lousy with graphics.....a tad higher on my shot.
Just one little thing to add. If you do slip up and hit the bone in most cases the animal will survive to hunt another day. Usually. I've even seen cases of the shoulder or leg broken and seen the animal (we're pretty sure anyway) the next year or so limping around, but very much alive.
Gut shots, to my knowledge, pretty much 100% fatal. At some point anyway.
Great thread, great info BB. Thanks.
SOG, nice photo.
This one really shows how using the opposite leg for reference is a good rule of thumb. It would be nice to have him stop in that position! Walking shots can get risky.
BB, if you're still around I outlined crudely where I thought I was seeing the bone/shoulder of that young elk. You seem to give a little more openiing than I saw. Am I looking at muscle or Bone?
So guys let me see if i've got the general idea on this. If I have a perfectly broadside shot and I go straight up the back of the leg, as tight as i can keep it 1/3 of the way up, I should be alright? First time elk hunter here. Anything will help.
yes you'd be fine. I would rather be up the middle of the front leg than behind it in a broadside shot. If the near side is to you, like the most recent pic, then I'd go for the back of that leg. JMO
"So guys let me see if i've got the general idea on this. If I have a perfectly broadside shot and I go straight up the back of the leg, as tight as i can keep it 1/3 of the way up, I should be alright?"
Well, very seldom do you get a perfectly broadside shot opportunity. Invariably, there is always some angle to the shot, quartering to or away. By understanding the anatomy and the location of the vitals, you can visualize the path the arrow should take and aim in that manner, instead of following some rule of thumb, but it's better to shoot them low and forward into the chest than high and back. That's what BB's trying to impress upon you.
First timers have to contend with adrenalin and the desire to get an arrow into an elk. In time nerves settle down and decisions based upon experience are easier to make, but there is a learning curve that all have to get past. If you want to make a good shot, my suggestion to you is to try to stay in control of your emotions. When the moment comes, SLOW DOWN and make sure of your shot. After all, that's the point of all the preparation, scouting and effort, to get to the point of releasing the arrow, so make it count. Take the time to look for limbs in your shooting lane and do your best to accurately estimate the correct distance.
Many bad hits are due to incorrect yardage estimation. Elk are big critters and they always look like they're closer than they are. Bad guess too often = high hit and long track. Don't be too proud to use a LRF and use it before you have to draw your bow if possible.
You can't take back a miss or a bad hit, you just have to live with the results.
Wow, is that a push me-pull you??
I'm shooting a Ross Cardiac at 74# and Gold Tip 75-95 with a Montec BH. Calming the nerves is going to be pretty tough. I've only seen 2 elk in the wild in my life and both of those were last year mule deer hunting.
Wait until you have a bull standing at 25 feet and screaming right at you! It's pretty tough to even hit a horse-sized animal even at that close range the first few times you have that happen...trust me I know!
I'm trying to think of anything I can to get used to their bugles. I've been watching all the videos I can find. Elknut's videos are hopefully going to get me thinking more about what each sound means than thinking THERE IS AN ELK! Just to be safe I think I'm taking an extra pair of underwear in my pack. Pretty sure the pair I have on will be messy.
great thread as always, wish the guys on tv would read it:)..... saw a couple of guys talking about walking shots....almost every deer i've ever shot has been walking....think about how calm they are when strolling through the woods, if you make a sound, be it a mouth grunt or "earp" like on tv, or cow call at real close range when thay havn't seen a cow, they usually stop and are "very alert" because they aren't quit sure what they just heard.....then when they hear that bow go off, in the micro second that it takes their brain to say "bad noise" they have moved down and forward enough that most shots are high and back a few inches or more from where you were aiming.....as long as they are calmly walking, I keep my pin tucked in tight to BB's ">" right up against the leg bone, and at the sound of the shot they usually stop about a 1/2 second after the noise registers, thats when the arrow makes contact, right where it should.....just remember to follow through just like your swinging on a bird with a shot gun.......good luck to you guys and gals heading to the mountains this year...D2
Here is another picture that shows pretty good bone structure as well as a great shot angle! Great thread guy's!
Whump Sez: If I ever go elk hunting I will know where to shoot um. Very Informative thread for us greenies. Thanks for taking the time and effort---excellent. Whump Sez; Hunt safe.
"First timers have to contend with adrenalin and the desire to get an arrow into an elk. In time nerves settle down and decisions based upon experience are easier to make,"
Grey Wolf, this is so true. I still get the shakes when I have a whitetail doe close in! I still getting when I'm out early season just scouting and have elk danger close! I'm thinking if I ever get to the point that I don't need to calm myself a little bit before I let the arrow go, I'll quit. I don't see it happening though! These are great threads.
Maybe I havent had enough coffee yet but, looks like this shot should hit the off shoulder and require very little tracking... Kenny
FYI most of your red dots are not centered in the lungs according to the circulatory chart on the link above IBEF, the center looks to me to be 1/3 up along the back of the front leg roughly. Just curious.
My plan is to aim 1/3 of the way up with my vertical wire even with the back of the leg. Sound good?
Kenny, I like your spot!! even without coffee 8^)
Yea but without coffee I would have missed all together!!!!!!!! Kenny
Here's a picture from a trail camera that shows the front leg-shoulder pretty well. Study it closely, because behind what many think is the bone is the sweet spot!
And here I've outlined the bone as best I can. If you hit in the black area, you will probably watch the elk go down. Many people will aim on or behind the blue line because they just don't realize the anatomy or the physiology of the critters they hunt.
I suggest you keep your aiming point forward of the blue line on a shot like pictured above. I think you will be amazed at the results!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Well ... I started this thread, and I really haven't contributed much since ... but again, thanks.
I think we all tend to aim a bit too far back, and as someone above noted, that is a "rifle" mentality.
BB ... it looks like you aim for the heart or the hilum of the lungs, rather than the more posterior and less vascular portions of the lungs. I know from my experience on deer that this is a very quickly fatal shot -- the animals usually drop within sight. My question is: Would you point this out to a group of kids taking a hunter safety class, or would you, in that case, prefer the more forgiving "lung shot", even with it's attendant longer blood trails?
And ... by the way ... keep posting. I don't think one of my threads has ever hit the 100 mark, and this one is real close!
Thanks again everyone, I've learned quite a bit.
I definitely would suggest this to all, as it IS the most forgiving shot, all things considered. Most of the area in the black is top of the heart or higher and in front of the heart. If you take those arteries out, the animal usually will go down in less than 5 seconds, and many times in about 2-3 seconds.
Like I mentioned before, if an animal moves upon release, it most often goes forward and not backwards, therefore the arrow hits farter back. If one shoots the crease and that happens, there is very little margin for error, before one is in the guts.
The problem I see is too many guys shoot broadside shots at far ranges, and that really increases the chance of a gut shot. But if one is shooting at an elk at 30 or less yards, then he should be able to able to put an arrow close to a line right up the middle of the front leg. If one does that and misses forward 4 inches, he still hits home. If one takes the same shot and shoots the crease or behind the crease and misses 4 inches back then he could well be in trouble. If one misses 6 inches either way, then they would be in trouble, but I truly believe more critters will be lost with a shot that hits too far back than a shot that is too far forward.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
I have to say Bill, I have been shooting the blue line for a number of years. I even teach the anatomy in my Bow Ed classes. I am going to try this "new" aiming point if I am lucky enough to drop the string on a good bull this year! I look forward to a short blood trail! Have a great day!
BB I would never take that shot! But I won't shoot a cow put a quarting to you photo up. hows the new RED hot rod?
Chad, I can't beleive you still shoot the crease or behind it on broadside shots.
Dan, here's a small bull, quartering to you, taken off my buddies trail camera, at one of our waterholes just the other day.
The truck sure runs down the road. I took it to Colorado the other day to our elk area. It ran good, but I only saw 3 elk and all were cows. Usually I see 10 times that many and most are bulls. I'm not worried, as it was hot and it's still early. Take care, and tell your Mom I say hi.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Here's a bull, whose photo was taken from a treestand, at less than 10 yards. If would want to hit in the black area on this shot. I think those that would shoot the crease on this shot would be pushing the envelope, not realizing the danger.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Here's a bull that is quartering away, at about 20 yards. Here's where I would want to hit him. I like my arrow to exit just in front of the bone structure of the off side leg.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
Yeah, I know Bill. The crease has worked for me for so long but this has been eye opening to me. I don't believe I will shoot the crease ever again. I know I have learned from this thread. Thanks for once again teaching me something new. I will take a picture of my next harvest with the shot placement! Have a great day!
I'm no expert, but I think everyone would be suprised of actaully how big the kill zone on an elk is. I'd say about an eight inch circle would be about right. Both lungs = dead elk.
Crunchy, no doubt about it, an elk has a huge vital area, but you can double lung an elk very high or very low and loose them very easily. All double lungs shots are not equal. If you’re in the middle of the lungs your chances are very good he will go down within a hundred yards. If you’re at the top or bottom, good luck, in most instances, as your going to need it!
Have a great bowhunt. BB
There is no doubt that BB's shot placement will put them down in a hurry. But a shot in the crease will do the same thing.
Both areas of placement stand a very good chance of hitting the heart and both lungs. However BB's spot (could) but not always ruin some good shoulder meat. A shot in the crease will only hit rib meat.
In either case, keep them in tight and you will have success.
BB, I appreciate your pics and comments as it really helps to look at the animal as it is discussed. I've finally got a digital camera and will be having fun with it. I understand your comment about high in the lungs but could you please elaborate on the low lung hit being one that will need luck in recovery. I've always thought of a low double lung shot, with any weapon, to be a slam dunk.
I just can't resist touting the shot that creates so much controversy when shot placement is discussed…that being the frontal shot. We always hear bowhunters condoning this shot as a no-no. However, if you will educate yourselves as to the bone structure on the front end of the Wapiti you will learn that this is also a very viable shot also.
For those that are all puffed up, preparing to unleash that speech about how “unethical” anyone would be even thinking about attempting a frontal shot, save your breath. Many of those who have been involved with this shot will speak of the effectiveness, when taken under the correct scenario.
WE have a winner!!!!!
sounds like your pulling for a battle Huntsman.........:)
I'm not going to argue that shot with you, but I will say that I will not intentionaly run an arrow into the guts, thereby creating a bit uglier field care job than needed, if I can wait for one of these other shots. Just doesn't make sense to me as I "aim" to keep things as clean as possible.:)
I'm sure you can get someone to argue the ethical value of that shot! good luck!
Guys-This has been one of the most enjoyable and educating threads we have had in a long time. And Huntsman, did you save the best or most controversial for last? For what it's worth I pulled off that shot at a blackie walking towards me at 15 yards. Stem to stern and he piled up real fast.
:) ...ah, Bullhound. All you have to do is not have your bow tuned. If you can achieve the full-corkscrew on those arrows you don't get enough penetration to get though the liver into the guts. :)
If you use the gutless method of cleaning an elk you wouldnt have to deal with it at all Bullhound. lay him on his belly, lay out the hide, quarter, trim off the rest of the meat and leave the guts in the ribs laying belly down.
20 yards or less, not looking directly at me, Im squeezin that trigger and watching that bull go down within sight.
Who has a front bone stucture photo?If he was close enough I would take the shot.I have killed a few deer that way
IMO the bottom portion of the circle is a little to low and on the breast bone/big ball of cartilage.
I am still of the opinion that I want no heavy bone within 4" of my point of aim (assuming an 8" kill zone). The shot through the triangle above the leg just presents too little margin for error IMO if you hit high or low (which is common with hastily estimated yardages).
Neither too high of double lung, or too low of a double lung hit is a slam dunk. In most cases it will kill the critter, but finding it can become a big problem.
I've seen several bull elk that were hit very high (just behind the crease) that were never found. One of them was my own, one was a buddies. I felt both were good hits, but after long, tedious tracking jobs, both animals were lost. And both were followed for at least a 1/4 of a mile, so it wasn't that they died within 100 yards, but could not be found like has happened on other occasions and to other hunters.
The lungs are not as highly vascular on the tops and the bottoms as they are in the center, and thus the problem.
One evening, my buddy and I were sitting a water hole. He was actually in some sage brush right at the water hole, and I was sitting the main trail that lead to the water. Above us on the hill we could see no less than 10 bulls and perhaps 40-50 cows and calves.
About 4 pm a bull headed from the herd and headed down the tail I was sitting. I let him pass so my buddy Clair could get a shot. As he watered, Clair put an arrow just behind the crease, but rather low. The bull ran and bedded just 80 yards from me. I actually passed up a couple bulls that night because I didn't want to scare Clair's bull. About 7:30 that evening, with dark approaching I snuck down to Clair to see what he wanted to do. His bull was still alive, with head up. We decided to get Clair in a small finger of Quakes that wasn't too far from the bull. I would then head towards the bull who was laying out in the open sage. The bull got up and ran past Clair who put another arrow in him and in 5 minutes he was dead from Clair's second arrow. Upon examination we found his first arrow had hit the bottom of both lungs but he lived for almost 4 hours before he was put down with a 2nd arrow. Had he been jumped within an hour, I doubt very much one would have retrieved that bull. We were lucky in the fact that he laid down where we both could see him.
I have learned, I am way better off taking my chance with the leg bone, than the guts. I would much rather be closer to big bone, than to the guts and I think most others would be too. One has to witness the results to really understand. Once you do, you will never again purposely hit behind the crease, unless it's a quartering away shot or your shooting from such long distances you need the buffer. I don't shoot long distances, so that's not a concern with me.
Have a great bowhunt BB
Bullhound, that's a perfect hit on a bull standing in that position. There are still those, whose mind won't let them shoot that far forward, and yet would take the shot just behind the shoulder. I doubt with that angle they would even clip a lung.
Have a great bowhunt. BB
BB, I have to admit though that I'd not like to take that shot outside 20-25 yards. That triangle shrinks pretty fast if he's quartering any more at all.
It doesn't matter whether you use the gutless methoid or not. You need to retrieve the tenders and rib meat which are exposed to anything that is let loose inside an animal on a gutshot. I don't like the guts opened up if I can prevent it.
The North Am Edition of the Perfect Shot does show room for an arrow on the Frontal Shot. I have not had it on an Elk, but others in SW have had great success , as the bulls often run to you offering a Frontal Shot if one is at full draw. They claim you will not lose the elk if you get it Between the shoulders.
BB and I have agreed to disagree on this subject before, so I'm not looking for an argument.
That said, the picture above clearly shows that the center of the lungs is almost directly above the top of the crease. As such, this shot provides for the greatest margin for error and will continue to be the spot that I aim for. I have always recovered a double lung hit elk, so that is not a concern for me.
I will concede that BB's V-shot MAY provide a quicker kill, but it also has a smaller margin for shooter error. If I aim at my spot and miss 4" to the right, I hit BB's spot and enjoy a quick clean kill. Conversely, if I aim at BB's spot and miss 4" to the right, I'm merely crippling an elk.
My thoughts exactly GG. I will add that I think that diagram may show the vitals being compressed more forward than they actually are which understates the margin for error to the rear. This buck jumped the string and the arrow passed through about where the white mass is on the diagram (rumen?) and centered the liver (125 yard recovery).
You can see the entrance hole in the picture right in front of the point of the rear leg and behind the shadow. While the buck was slightly quartering away, the arrow still exited in the mid part of the rib cage (well behind the crease).
It should also be noted that the diaphragm and rear part of the lungs are not in a fixed position. I have no idea how far the diaphragm moves as an elk breaths, but I bet it's a considerable distance considering the size of their lungs.
For the greatest amount of error make sure the elk is inhaling just before you release :-)!
Perhaps I don't know what you guys are calling the crease. Look closely at this elk and please mark where you think most people would call the crease.
I have placed a blue line where I consider the crease. Am I wrong? Or is this pretty close to where you consider the crease?
This is a little more accurate.
Now going back to Gray Ghost's diagram, I have placed a blue line where I would consider the crease on this animal. I have placed a green dot where I would like to hit. As noted in the picture, the two dots are not that far apart. Gray Ghost's dot, in my mind, is forward of the crease and really not that far from where I aim. I like to aim up the middle of the front leg to the front of the front leg, depending on the critter and the distance.
If the GG's dot is where he would like to hit, and if it's where Matt would like to hit, then our thinking is as close as our dots.
My whole purpose of contributing to this thread is make people realize there is no bone straight up the leg, and that forward shots are better, for a number of reasons, than shooting behind the crease. If one shoots behind the crease, considering most critters move forward, or if they shoot, by mistake farther back, you have a gut shot critter, which take longer to die and are much harder to track.
Since I have been shooting farther forward, I have hit the bone that connects to the scapula twice. In both instances I have recovered the critter within 25 yards. I have gut shot one antelope which moved upon release which took over 6 hours before he died. Had I been shooting behind the crease on that shot, it is likely I might never have recovered him.
I just want people who shoot close shots to understand, especially on elk, which are large critters, and have large vitals, that one can shoot where I aim and miss by 4" and still not hit the bone they fear. If one is shooting 60 yards shots, which I don't do, then they might need a larger margin of error. But time and experience have proven to me, that one looses a lot less critters on close shots than on long shots, so that's where I plan to limit my shots.
Have a great bowhunt BB
I agree 100% with Gray Ghost and have been saying that. I definetly do not want to argue with guys who have taken more elk then I have seen but I think the crease is where to aim. All the charts I find show center of lungs is NOT front of the crease, also I too think the lungs definetly go back further then that diagram shows, I know they do on deer, and my last bow elk was hit in lungs far back and I was amazed at how far they went, I am 100% sure they were further then that diagram shows.
Also I think the crease gives a much bigger margin for error. Aim here and if you: - miss high: lungs, low: lung, back: lungs/liver, (dead elk but may require some more tracking) forward you hit BB's spot.
If you aim straight above leg and miss: - miss high: shoulder hit, low: leg bone hit, forward: leg bone hit, back lungs.
Why aim for a tiny spot, almost surrounded by bone that is not the center of the lungs? I think many guys have been making this shot, with great success (and rightfully so because it is a deadly shot) for many years and think it is the best, which is why I am seeing live game with dots there, but not anatomical charts.
Clearly not only is the crease the center of the lungs but it also gives more margin for error.
both hits if done right put an elk down quick, but any error and crease aim is likely better.
I find it funny everyone loves the elk to go down within sight. If my elk goes 50 yard or 100 yards I do not care as long as he goes down quick.
I am fairly sure the blue area would result in a lung shot, although far back, elk might go 200-300 yards, not good but I do think blus is lungs.
Look at bone diagram too, ribs cover lungs, not guts, center of ribs is pretty far back.
I do not want to argue but I do think crease is the way to go, I am open to suggestion so please find a diagram showing lungs or circulatory system with the center being where many are showing it - above the leg. I cannot find any diagram to give me that impression. Everyoneis putting red dots above the leg and saying center of lungs - please put that red dot on an anatomical drawing of an elk and you will see it is not the center.
Don, the center of the center of the lungs is not above the leg. You are right on that count. Where I like to shoot might be center of the lungs height wise, but not lengthwise. I hope that makes sense. But look at the picture and you will see why I choose to aim where I do. I have already explained the vascular reasons.
Again, more critters are hit and lost on broadside shots than on any other shot and most of those lost are because people either hit too far back, too high or too low. Few are lost because hunter hit too far forward.
Got to go walk my dogs.
Have a great bowhunt BB
BB....what you consider to be the crease is a good 2-3" back of what most folks consider the crease. Its the crease in the hide created by the bone structure.....GG marked it pretty well above. Its more of a diagonal than a vertical line.....not much different from where you prefer....maybe 2" diff. left to right or right to left depending on which way the animal is facing.
On whitetail....when I hit the crease they go down quick......20 yards or less. If I hit high....I'm still golden. If I hit back......usually not further back than the diaphram. If I hit forward....I have 3-4" before I'm busting through bone.
Given all that....I think Ya'll been talking about pretty much the same spot....but I am persuaded that I should strive for better accuracy and move my point up and forward of the crease a bit......good stuff
I compliment your efforts. I also agree we may be splitting hairs, here.
But, I still believe that your ideal aiming spot (red dot above) is too far forward. Yes, it's an extremely lethal shot, and it does demonstrate there is not bone directly above the leg, but it's not the ideal spot to aim, IMO.
I consider the black dot about perfect.
I can't believe that you guys have been hunting and somehow killing elk for as long as you have by shooting them where you place your dots. To effectively kill an elk, you have to shoot it between the red and black dots. That's the spot that will kill em' fast. I thought everybody knew that.
The outer ring is what I consider the margin for error for most archers in hunting situations. As you can see, anywhere within this ring is a lethal shot. If the same ring was around BB's shot, a good portion of it on the left side would not be lethal.
this is my sweet spot
I think that you folks are splitting hairs. You are close to shooting the same spot.
"But time and experience have proven to me, that one looses a lot less critters on close shots than on long shots, so that's where I plan to limit my shots."
I think this (BB's quote) is really the more important lesson that alot of bowhunters should pay attention to.
mmmm....three hairs to the right...I mean come on now.....really.......
Guys-BB put up an elk on July 20th with a severe quartering away angle standing in a wallow. Three or four guys put red dots on their kill shot but to me they are all way to forward. I think I would want my arrow to go just in front of the right rear leg.
What kind of deer is that? Where was it taken?
I see the point that BB is making here. I have always known about the bone structure of the legs of big game animals, but always shot for the crease for 2 reasons:
1 - Indoctrination from books, magazines, target manufacturers, videos, etc. They always show the "bullseye" behind the shoulder.
2 - Lack of confidence in my accuracy to hit double-lungs but miss the bones.
Over the past few years, I have been practicing a lot more with broadheads and have gained more confidence.
This thread came up around this same time last year and BB talked about his preferred shot being a bit higher and forward of the typical "bullseye".
I shot an elk last year and hit exatly in the spot of which BB talks. The elk was down in seconds just out of sight (50 yards).
The reason why this shot kills so much more quickly and efficiently than your "behind the crease" shot is that it takes out the mass of ateries and veins at the top of the heart and lungs. It is a devastating shot. Your typical double-lung shot is very lethal as well, but it is my experience that elk live longer, travel farther after the shot, and don't leave as good of a bloodtrail when shot behind the crease.
Elk Hunter, it is a columbian blacktail taken in N. Cal.
In 1996 I missed a *big* forkie (legendary for making bow hunters look stupid) on the ranch I hunt. One of his two running mates was a small 3 point. The ranch owner and I watched that 3 point grow and develop over the years, and I was fotunate enough to kill him in 2004. At that point he was 10-11 years old. He remains one of my favorite trophies.
Hitting where you want and need to hit is very important. Something else we always want to keep in mind is that we owe it to our quarry to shoot good flying arrows tipped with reliable, sharp broadheads if and when things go bad. For me this is a snuffer ss. I got away with a horrible hit last year that luckily turned into a 150 yard blood "interstate" and a dead elk. I hurried a shot at an alert quartering away bull that turned at the shot and ending up taking the arrow in one of the worst places. I got lucky and hit a major artery. Again, if we do make a bad hit, we owe it to our quarry to use the best equipment we can.
glad it turned out good for you Heat. Very good point. I've been a user of Muzzy for years but am testing Slick Tricks. Very impressive BH.
This is a shot of the bull I got in 2004. He was 22 yards away, walking right to left. He had just bugled, then I stood up a bit to clear a bush, he looked at me & I shot him. He ran about 45 yards before piling up in a cloud of dust. Once I reviewed the hit, I thought I had messed up big time as I hit forward of my aiming spot, just behind the leg, 1/3 of the way up. As I had stalked this bull from about 100 yards away, I think I was excited and peeked at the shot, causing the left hit.
My partner & I boned out the bull that evening and packed him out the next morning. Note that the "crease" is clearly visible. Unfortunately, I didn't learn my lesson well and last year aimed behind the crease at 12 yards on a slow walking bull. I think I stopped my arm from panning and released. Long story short - elk tracked 400+ yards, searched for the rest of the day but the bull was not recovered......
Curvebow On that shot in the photo above, Did you hit any bone at all?
Great photo curvebow. The photo really shows the margin of error you have going forward of the crease. I have taken a couple of bulls hit in the very same spot and they do go down very quickly if hit there.
The sweet spot I normally aim at on a broadside shot is the same as bullhound's in the calf photo just a few posts above. It has worked well for me.
I shot my last bull in the same spot as CurveBow's bull. Mine was quartering to me at 9 steps. While waiting for him to move slightly the shot went off. He was dead in less than one second. The broadhead removed the arteries coming of the the top of his heart.
Great thread guys, thanks.
LOL on that last one.
Here's my take on some of them.
This one is the tough one. It's not a good angle and I wouldn't shoot if he is walking. I would try to wait him out.
However, if he stopped in this position, this is where I would place it.
I must say this is a EXCELLENT thread.
Psycho - no, no heavy bone contacted. The arrow, aluminum 2317 from a 67# Matthews Featherlight with an old 150 grain 2-blade Thunderhead with a 1 1/2 inch cut, passed through the offside shoulder by about 10". I recovered the fletch end of the shaft from the bull, but the broadhead end must have flopped someplace when he hit it on a tree running off. Regardless, it worked very well and he dropped quickly.
leaving tomorrow, learned today, will make a slight adjustment in my shot placement. thanks guys, bill v
Great pics sundevil!
Quartering away I just aim to hit the far leg, most times this is a good plan - a tiny bit forward is ok but for ease of memory while excited this works for me. I have to say I shoot about 2" back further then most.
I know this is an Elk thread but i used the info here and shot my mule deer in front of the crease the arrow exited in the crease on the off side the buck ran less than 40 yards and piled up in sight
this is a great thread. i always try to aim for the opposite leg myself. the recent sept hunt i found myself 20 yrds in front of this bull. i took the frontal shot. the bull only went 40 yrds and was down in under a minute.
":) ...ah, Bullhound. All you have to do is not have your bow tuned. If you can achieve the full-corkscrew on those arrows you don't get enough penetration to get though the liver into the guts. :) "
Sorry Huntsman, I did not get this until now. Man, you gotta be good at de-tuning your set up just right to get the "perfect cork screw"! :)
I may have missed this in this long thread but it seems to me that many people are trying to shoot way to close to the heavy leg bones up front. What if your off? You can't see those bones and the scapula is much bigger than what some of these drawings are showing. Point is, you try and squeeze one too close up front, sooner or later you will hit leg bone and get no penetration and a lost elk. I think people preach too much as to what's ethical. You should only shoot an elk if it's standing if it's 90 degrees to you and put the arrow exactly inch behind the front leg bone and exactly 7.5 inches from his belly line otherwise it's and unethical shot and you shouldn't take it and if you do your an evil person.
Bottom line, learn the anatomy, if your comfortable with the shot, take it. You can wound an animal from any positon, EVEN BROADSIDE.
Here is a picture of my 2007 bull. He went down under 40 yards!
I forgot to mention I was in a treestand above the elk about 25 feet. The shot was under 20 yards out. Here is a slightly different pic. You can see the entry point just under my top cam. Great thread guy's. I have enjoyed the discussion.
My gosh Chad, do you know how lucky you are that you didn't hit the big bone that runs all the way up the leg:-)
What a nice bull. Did you pour mud on it to cover up all the blood:-) Shane shot one some years back that just left a wallow and it looked just like your bull with a bit smaller antlers.
By the way, you hit that bull just where I would like to hit mine if I ever get the chance to take an elk again.
Have a great bowhunt BB
Yea BB, I tried to cover him up so the bears would not find him till I got back with some help!! Pretty gnarly old bull. He destroyed that wallow! It sure was fun! I don't know how I missed that big ole bone! I think I shot through it!? LOL. I know it was one very lethal shot. Nothing like watching a monarch go down in seconds!
Oh, one other thing! I am sure you will get another chance! Hopefully on a moose too!
LOL. Nice bull Silent Stalker, how did you ever miss that big leg bone? And the huge scapula? LOL
Mossyhorn, you might want to go back and read the entire thread. The point of the thread is "learning the anatomy" so you understand where the bones are. As BB and others have pointed out, and IMO, most people tend to shoot too far back.
I participated in a long tracking job this past season where a hunter had taken a 25 yd. broadside shot and hit what he guessed to be 6 to 8 inches behind the crease and 1/3rd the way up. Unfortunately, the carcass was found more than a week later, and the bull had traveled a great distance. Because of the deteriation and bear damage, the shot location was not verified, but this thread came to mind. The hit was fatal but most likely well behind the lungs.
Sorry to hear about the lost bull. Indeed we must stay out of the large bone structure but as this thread has brought to light, there is a lot of room in that "pocket" that a lot of bowhunters avoid. I know it worked out well for me and at 20-30 yards a bowhunter should be able to hit that every time IMO. Have a great day guy's!
When I took my shot on my first bull of my life, I used the references made on this thread by BB and others to determine shot placement. and wouldn't you know.....:)
Looks like you stuck him good! Nice shot and congrats on your 1st of many bulls to come!
he was quartering in a bit, and i hit him on a downward angle also.
he went exactly 40 yards full tilt, at dropped like a light.
i should also add, that the arrow (a/c/c 3-71) never did a pass-thru, in fact the whole arrow was inside of him and it was totally broken in two.
Here's my '07 bull. I hammered him just above his elbow. He didn't make it more than 45 yds from where he took my arrow. He expired in less than 45 seconds. This was not a pass through shot. I had at least 5" of arrow sticking out of his chest. Disection proved the heart was desimated.
Great shot shredder, nice looking bull!
Nice shot guy's! Nice to see them go down so quick! Thanks for the pictures!
I just shot an elk at 30 yards over the weekend in the spot indicated by BB in this post as the ideal shot placement and I must say that I am now a believer. The elk died within 5 seconds and less than 20 yards. Complete pass through with a 100 gr standard slick trick.
Here is a picture.
i was always told to tuck it in the crease but this season i will be aiming a little bit more forward than i usually do thanks for all the pics
GregE - thanks for bringing this back to the top. BB - thanks for all the advice on this thread. Everyone else - GREAT information for this newbie who is heading out for his 2nd season and has yet to draw his bow on an elk. I can now visualize picking that spot in my head, even if up/down/quartering, etc.
Probably one of the most enformative threads i've seen. I learned a lot about bone structure and shot placement. I've always been scared of that front shouler and have hit 3 livers because of it. not anymore. now that I have a mental pic of the bones, elk are gonna fall a lot quicker for me. thanks a million for the info. I LOVE THIS SITE!!!
It's much better to think it through ahead of the shot opportunity........ then shoot with confidence!!!
That 3D pic is not an elk. Every year someone posts that image to illustrate a point concerning shot placement on an elk.
The shape of the sternum is wrong. The size, shape and placement of the ribs, especially the opening created by the first ribs, is incorrect. The illustration is not even close to the anatomy of an elk, or any other deer.
Great thread. Thanks to all. I haven't drawn on an elk yet, but I definitely would have aimed farther back. I thought I knew the anatomy, but clearly was wrong. Thanks for the red dot pics and the bone/organ diagrams.
What about shooting at a steep angle at a elk from a treestand?............I have a stand place on a hillside were a watersource is that the elk use and the shot will be about 12 to 15 yards at steep angle, can a shot slight forward of the crease be possable without hitting the shoulder blade?......sorry, I dont have a picture of a animal at the angle Im talking about.
I haven't killed an elk yet, but have shot many muleys, whitetails and pronghorn and bear. My father shot a whitetail doe many years ago with a .308, she was walking up an opposite hill away from my dad and his shot missed her spinal column by an inch or so. Now the hydrostatic shock from a bullet does a lot of damage, and her heart was completely exploded, but here lungs were untouched. She managed to keep on her feet for about a quarter mile because her lungs were still functioning. She was leaning on the poplar slash in the area to keep moving. Once she was recovered there was virtually no blood left in her body. Witnessing how far a whitetail can go without a heart has convinced me to always eliminate both lungs. I shoot a relatively light arrow at 367 grains at 256 fps and I won't touch a quarterting shot on an elk, in my opinion I don't have enough kinetic energy to get a pass through on quartering shots on elk.
Best case for me, double lung near the heart... maybe I will nick a main artery or vein. But I will always go for the double lung at least for now...
Great thread excellent discussion that every ethical bowhunter should be totally intrigued by!
Just curious, since some of these less than perfectly broadside shots appear to place the opposte leg in the path of the arrow it seems that compete pass through won't happen?
I just think in terms of tracking, two holes and no arrow is better than one hole plugged with an arrow.
For everyone that takes these shots what percentage are pass throughs and what grain arrow and fps are you shooting?
Thanks... great thread
My last 2 bulls, the arrow stopped on the off side shoulder. Only had 2 pass throughs in over a dozen bulls.
Great thread guys. Very insightful1
Best thread yet. Thanks guys!!!
Hope I get to put BB's idea to the test this weekend. Going way back in for some big mulies. I'll report back.
Up one more time for those still waiting to get out.
Wish I would have read this years ago.......always have aimed at crease and any bad shots have been too far back not too far forward..Example; killed a nice bull last year; first shot I aimed for the crease at 50 yards and hit him a bit low and back........followed him (500+yards-good blood) and nervously put a second arrow in him from 30 yards. I thought the shot was too far forward but he only took 5 steps up the hill and then tumbled back over. I have the hide showing the 2 hits and can post pics. 2nd shot was right where BB explains and I thought it was too "forward"!! Don't be scared of the bone be scared of the guts!!
This was a very informative thread. I still wonder about that straight on shot....
I joined just so I could reply to this one. I took a straight on shot this year on a bull. It was extremely effective. Here is where I shot him.
ok guys great thread, very educational on shooting part. Now would one of you like to tell an old codger how to put the red dot on the picture ? hahaha
Heres some pictures of my elk disected
heres a front veiw. the stick is where the bottom of spine is. lots of arterys in this area!
I know this is a old thread but the information in here will be a good review as elk season is right around the corner.
After returning from Africa I shot my animals here the same and they are dead my elk went 10 yards. Good info in here.
Very good thread and lot of good pictures of elk to get me wound up even tighter than I already am!
Boy this is an old thread, but it has timeless information in it.
In 2009, just prior to my Colorado 61 elk hunt, I hiked up early one morning to sit one of my tree stand I have above the city.
I arrived 20 minutes late, so I just slowly snuck towards my stand, when I noticed a spike standing at the waters edge. He was almost broadside and had not seen me, so I drew my bow, but when I did he turned just slightly towards me. Once he moved that way, I knew I had to aim a couple of inches farther forward, than I would, had he stayed perfectly broadside
Notice in the photo how far forward the hit is. I cleaned off the blood, but you can still see where the arrow entered his body. He ran less than 30 yards and fell over.
There are still lots of people out there, that still shoot way too far back. Keep it forward and you kill far more animals, with far shorter blood trials, and in most instances, you will see them fall over.
I will add a bit more in a day or so and show a good example of why you want to keep the arrow so forward, and not at the crease as many hunters still seem to do.
Have a great bow hunt BB
BB you are so right i always aim straight up the front leg on a broadside shot or to punch out the of side leg on all other angles. Not an elk but this is on the money
I usually place my shot elk in the freezer.
Sorry had to say it.
Great thread with good info guys.
BB, Thanks for reviving this string. Excellent information that we all should review before each season.
In the heat of the moment I have to find a way to recall this....
This thread is so old, I've moved and changed my Bowsite handle ... I am the original "thread owner" ...
I was just checking this again, too ... because of all the great information and discussion. Hopefully, it comes in handy this year.
Good luck to all.
Here's a good example, of a critter that could be lost pretty darn easily, had I shot for the crease, or even a bit farther back, where many hunter's still aim.
I know its an antelope, but for sake of this conversation, let's just pretend its was a bull elk.
This elk came in close and gave me what I thought was a broadside shot. Because I have learned how important it is to shoot forward, I aimed right up the front of the front leg of this bull, and that's exactly where I hit as you can see in this photo.
(remember this is a bull elk, not an antelope)
The red dot is where my arrow entered the bull, and was I ever amazed when he didn't go down in 2 or 3 seconds, which is pretty much standard with a broadside hit like that.
Thankfully he stayed in an opening and I watched him go down about 100 yards out. When I walked up to my bull, I saw why he lived so long and didn't go down immediately, like most do, that are hit in that manner.
Here's how my spike (or is it a two point?) looked when I walked up to him.
Now let's analyze the hit a bit. In my eye, the bull was standing broadside, but in reality he either turned fast, or in the heat of the moment I missed judged the way he was standing. I think the second scenario occurred. But either way, my arrow ended up on a much different angle than how I had perceived it.
Now lets take that a step farther and say I shot the crease. Now we have a bull that is one lunged and who knows how far he will make it, and how good the blood trail will be. In my mind, I know I poofed him, so I get on the blood trail, after a decent wait, and in 100 yards, when I haven't yet found him I just can't believe it. So I continue and soon I jump him and now he's geared up and knows a predator is after him, and with his will to live, he puts a ton of distance between he and I. The blood trail becomes scarce, and hard to follow. Has something like this ever happened to you? Now you are wondering, "What the heck happened" as I saw my arrow and know I hit both lungs!
Had I shot even father back, than the crease (and there are still a lot of bowhunters that do) you can imagine the nightmare it would become.
I say keep that aiming point way up front on on broadside shots and save your self and the critter this pain.
Have a great bow hunt. BB
Good points thanks bb this is great for shots quartering to and broadside. If u took this shot on a quartering away in the heat of the moment your arrow would have gone under his shoulder blade and maybe one lung.
Good post aim forward. These posts have me leaning away from my usual 2 inch cut mechs. As a nice fixed head will do better on a shoulder hit more forward border and really on a elk 2 inch or 1 inch to far back equals no elk.
Thanks again bb great thread!
Let's say you came upon this buck, feeding away from you at a very close distance. Where would you want your arrow to hit? What do you think is the best hit on a shot like this?
If that shot presented itself, I'd be lucky to get the arrow on the string!
rchunter, you wouldn't have far to track him with that hit.
Myself, I would prefer to be just a bit higher.
Wow, a buck like that I'd definitely try and drill him with a snyper instead if a red paintball... but I'd thank BB for giving me the "spot" to pick!
Keep the photos coming, and thanks for the pics BB! I'm sure I'm not the only one who follows your posts like a hound on a cat trail!
Whitetail hunters need to hold closer to the shoulder considering the shoulder structure of an elk. It was an adjustment that took a little time.
pretty good pic of shoulder
Say it was elk season and you had a bull standing like this. Place your dot in the spot you most would like it to hit!
Have a great bow hunt. BB
correct me if I'm wrong, but this is roughly how I visualize the leg bone and shoulder blade.
Always a great thread to review prior to your elk hunt. The best (quickest) way to put down an animal of this size short of a bullet to the brain or spine is to cause a massive bleed out within the chest cavity. The shot BB is advoating on broadside or any reasonable quartering away shots will essentially (a) deflate both lungs perforating a wider cross section of that organ, making oxygenation of blood drop, (b) cut either the top of the heart or slice through the Aorta or Vena Cava causing very rapid bleed out, filling the chest cavity and (c) immediately dropping arterial blood pressure thus starving the brain of oxygenated blood. All of this insures a very quick death and easy retreival. After all, arrows kill by hemmorage damage, and nothing compares to this type of hemmoraging.
IMO hitting and slicing open an aorta will have the immediate effect of filling the chest making it impossible for the elk to be on its feet more than 15-30 seconds due to lack of brain perfusion. The last one I shot this way bolted away on a full run but only could make it 150 ft before collapsing. It's the shot I always try for if give the right circumstance but you must know your anatomy and be able to visualize where everything is situated within the animal in any given position. It needs to a fluid perception as muscles and skeletal structures twist, flex, extend and contract on the living target.
Keep up this thread, it is sure to help some be better hunters.
Bump, for the new elk season.
I've never seen this thread, excellent info and discussion!
BB, you're an asset to us all!
...and to top it off there's no bitching at eachother!
+1 Surfbow...this thread was a great resource when I was revising before recently taking my IBEP Field Day; I firmly believe the information and experience of BB and others helped me to correctly answer the 'shot/no-shot' tests
Good luck and good hunting
Kenneth (A British Bowhunter and Proud of It)
Thanks X-Man! We can all use a refresher!
I got a late start hunting elk and felt the urgency to learn everything I can in a short period of time since '08. I saw bb's thread a few years ago on shot placement and not sorry I did. out of the 5 I've killed, 4 were shot right thru the > and I watched or heard each one of them go down. 2 went no more than 30-40 yards and 2 went 20-30 yards and piled up. this years bull was a hard quartering to shot with the arrow entering in front of the front leg bone knuckle in front of the > and lodged somewhere inside the animal. the bull went maybe 20 yards and fell over dead.
Don't feel quite so robbed by my 26 yard shot on this 3-D bull. The 10 scoring ring was on the shoulder? All 3 arrows were too far back and low. Target was quartering slightly as you can see by the arrow placement. I felt the manufacture was nuts! Who wants to get near those big bones especially with a 52# trad bow? My arrow (yellow & barred white) should be 3" closer to the shoulder from what I gleam from all of this. Looks like I would have caught bottom lung behind the hart with the 15% angle of entry.
On many videos you see shot placement backwards of the front leg (perfectly broadside) which is from what I experienced (and many other as well) a marginal bow-hit. It might work on whitetails which tend to have their lungs extended a little bit farther back. But on many other ungulate this spells a less than perfect kill. A hit right above the middle of the front leg (again broadside) like shown in many examples above will certainly drop the animal much quicker. All the arteries, top of the heart, and center of the lungs are located there. Very effective indeed.
This thread should be a feature on bowsite and then posted to the elk threads every year around this time!
Shoot a few turkeys and ivpromice the you want be conserned over these horse size critters.
And the village idiot shows up on this thread...Pat can we finally get rid of him? This is about elk and big game, not yard birds!
Bump! Need to keep this near the top.
'But with your help and generous donations, we can help people like TBM become integrated and valued members of the Bowsite community...'
Surely I am not the only 'Siter who can't help but see the irony in each and every post?
Sitting here watching Archers Choice. Elk hunting in NM and the bull comes straight in and stops at 20 yards sharply quartered to. Hunter is talking about how calm he is and how he knows he can make this shot. Arrow hits perfect and the guy knows the bull is dead before he even gets turned around. 5 seconds and 5 or 10 yards and the bull is down!
Second hunter shoots a bull with the perfect quartering away shot at 33 yards but the bull is walking slowly and the usual, "I hit him a little far back." Bull doesn't go far but isn't dead. They have to make a sneak and get another arrow in him while he's on his feet again.
Had either of these bulls been lost, I wonder which hunter would have been chastised the most for taking an unethical shot? :)
For TV, it always seems to be "I hit him a little far back"...Lol!
11 years later.... holy bump!!!
Killed my last 2 bulls quartering towards me, one at 19 yards other at 51. Watched them both die inside of 30 yards from impact.
Killed my last 2 bulls quartering towards me, one at 19 yards other at 51. Watched them both die inside of 30 yards from impact.
And once more......... Up for ELK season prep
Exit hole aim point still works quartering away and uphill :)
Good Lord ... I started this thread ... in ... 2007? Wow ... I'm getting old. But thanks again to all who posted. There's some good insight here. And subsequent to this thread, I've met and hunted with a bunch of you, drank a few beers with more. Thanks, Bowsite!
I'm glad this thread hasn't been "archived". Learned a lot! Hope I get to put it into practice!
I grabbed a couple pictures from a different thread started by coelker (hope he doesn't mind). What do you guys think of this shot placement? On the right track?
Sorry, got the one without the dot. Here it is.
Both dots put them down quick.
For me both are flirting with too far forward. Especially the first shot. I’d aim back on both.
I agree Cazador. I'd aim for the off leg.
Ditto back a touch aim for off leg in first pic
Both pictures are perfect if the elk was broadside. You’re getting one lung and hopefully some good stuff in above and in front of the heart.
Let's have some more fun. Opinions on these spots? Pictures taken from "Taste of elk country"
Little bear. You’re too far forward on both in my opinion. You have zero room for error there. A good rule of thumb is to a opposite leg on a quartering away target. Broadside, if you’re straight up the middle of the leg you get equal room for error forward and back.
Little Bear's Link
I think your dot on pic #1 is about perfect. Aiming for the offside leg moves the arrow further back towards liver and guts, the steeper the “away” angle becomes. Use the center of the lungs as the rotation and aiming point in my opinion.
What's do you guys think of this post from PA?
I don't like PA's video. Black dots are too low and far back.
Didn’t take long to realize it was for sure produced by Pennsylvanian’s.... more specifically Pittsburghites.
I agree 12yards. Their black dot doesn't correspond to this picture seen above in this thread. I wanted to get some other feedback from bowsite guys. So where is BB...already in the mountains??
Little Bear I agree with UCS that both are to far forward. I pic I would move dot back to align with opposite leg. Second shot I would move back about six inches.
“What’s do you guys think of this post from PA?”
I think it’s a perfect example of someone putting out a video that shouldn’t be putting out a video.
I think PA game and fish needs to talk to a few of the elk killers on bowsite and redo their video.
I'm done shooting for the center of the V. As I understand it, this is straight up from the center of the leg. Which is a great shot when you make it. Which I have done and they were short recoveries. I drank the Kool aid. If you hit forward, you take out both lungs. If you are a little bit back you take out both lungs and don't hit guts. If you hit low you might break a leg but the animal lives. Now I'll tell you what happens if you hit high. You hit scapula. And there is no guarantee that the animal lives, nor that you find him.
I found that out the hard way on 2 elk in CO. Lots of blood (at first and where they bedded over night. 6 to 8" of arrow penetration thru the scap too! On both animals. That's why I say no guarantee the animal lives.
In the future I will be shooting just a little bit back. Those 2 scap hits would have been high double lung hits and short recoveries. And my kill percentage would be higher than it's current 60-70%