Contributors to this thread:
Frequently, in conversations with the general non-hunting public, I describe the vitals of a given animal as the size of a volleyball (deer), a basketball (elk), and a beach ball (moose). These are not only very rough approximations, but the vitals are irregularly shaped, and parts are covered by leg bones, etc.....but many people think of circular archery targets, so I used circular objects for my conversations. I'd value opinions from the bowhunting community. In terms of inches, if you had to estimate the size of a deer's vitals, what is your best guess for the diameter of the vitals? Elk? Moose? I realize that a liver shot or a gut shot is lethal, but for purposes of estimating the heart/lung area (what I refer to as the vitals), what's your best guess?
softball-deer volleyball-elk basketball-moose
I’d go with the op on his sizes
I think volleyball is a bit generous on a deer, and a basketball is maybe a bit light for an Elk.
Let me get you a visual real quick…
So what we have here…
The buckskin is from a Northern Minnesota farm country Whitetail that went about 185 pounds dressed out… On an actual scale. It measures 4 foot six from where the base of the tail would be to the base of the skull.
The elk underneath it is my cow; a full 5 feet across, and 6 foot six from base of tail to base of skull.
People seem to forget that even a calf elk is one damn big freaking deer!
Mature adult animals:
Deer - volleyball, Elk - beach ball, Moose - average car tire
That said, a softball would be my choice for determining effective range on any of the above!
I tend to think more of a football shape for deer.
I like your generalizations regarding size. I agree with your balls.....
However, I like MTNRCHR's smaller balls, as I believe his comparisons work better from an "aim small, miss small" concept. Either way, I am in agreement with your balls.
Jake that's a pretty good estimation. I would say a deer is slighter smaller then a vball but close. So you made good examples.
Why in the world are you talking about vital size? Just curious.
Don, As I mentioned in the original post, sometimes when conversing with non-hunters, they will ask "just how big is target that you are aiming at?" While we are all disposed to answer, "aim small, miss small", that doesn't work for someone that is not a bowhunter, as they cannot relate. However, as soon as I put it into terms like those mentioned, they can at least comprehend the approximate size of our "target".
I have nonhunters ask me, "How many arrows does it take to bring down an elk?" They have a hard time comprehending what it is we do.
Lou that is the question I get from non hunters universally and have for 35 years. The old how many arrows question. The answer is always the same. Just one and they don’t stand around waiting patiently for number two to arrive on the scene.
Never had anyone ask about vital zone size personally.
You’d think that people would be so used to seeing “Indians” rolling buffalo like jackrabbits in the movies that they wouldn’t even ask. ;)
A big ol' pregnant doe is visiting my garden, checking it out. My wife says I should have killed it during hunting season. She is correct.