Sitka Mountain Gear
Would You Take This Shot ?
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
badbull 09-Sep-20
Dale06 09-Sep-20
t-roy 09-Sep-20
wildwilderness 09-Sep-20
HiMtnHnter 09-Sep-20
IdyllwildArcher 09-Sep-20
leo17 09-Sep-20
Quinn @work 09-Sep-20
Quinn @work 09-Sep-20
KsRancher 09-Sep-20
redquebec 09-Sep-20
txhunter58 09-Sep-20
Ermine 09-Sep-20
Shawn 10-Sep-20
Lost Arra 10-Sep-20
Mule Power 10-Sep-20
Ambush 10-Sep-20
Scoot 10-Sep-20
GF 10-Sep-20
Treeline 10-Sep-20
Tilzbow 10-Sep-20
WV Mountaineer 10-Sep-20
Catscratch 10-Sep-20
TRnCO 10-Sep-20
smarba 10-Sep-20
JohnMC 10-Sep-20
Tilzbow 10-Sep-20
APauls 10-Sep-20
12yards 10-Sep-20
Beav 10-Sep-20
WV Mountaineer 10-Sep-20
Ambush 10-Sep-20
KD 10-Sep-20
badbull 10-Sep-20
TRnCO 10-Sep-20
LBshooter 10-Sep-20
T Mac 10-Sep-20
petedrummond 10-Sep-20
Missouribreaks 10-Sep-20
GF 10-Sep-20
IdyllwildArcher 11-Sep-20
soccern23ny 11-Sep-20
Too many bows Bob 11-Sep-20
The last savage 11-Sep-20
GF 11-Sep-20
Will 11-Sep-20
stealthycat 14-Sep-20
Shawn 14-Sep-20
DConcrete 14-Sep-20
TREESTANDWOLF 14-Sep-20
Mnhunter1980 14-Sep-20
TD 15-Sep-20
Tilzbow 15-Sep-20
Shawn 15-Sep-20
IdyllwildArcher 15-Sep-20
TD 16-Sep-20
Daff 16-Sep-20
Hancock West 16-Sep-20
Kurt 20-Sep-20
Shuteye 22-Sep-20
TrapperKayak 22-Sep-20
From: badbull
09-Sep-20

badbull's embedded Photo
badbull's embedded Photo
Would you take this shot at this Colorado mule Deer ? What do you think he might score ? Photo taken a couple of days ago.

From: Dale06
09-Sep-20
Would not take the shot. I’m not an “inches” hunter so don’t have a clue on that.

From: t-roy
09-Sep-20
I’d say no, as well. Using the WAG scoring process, I’d say he’s in the 225”-230” range.

09-Sep-20
195” Gross and probably not unless less than 20 yards. I hate bedded shots, and frontals.

From: HiMtnHnter
09-Sep-20
Nope. Seen too many frontal shots go bad. He'll stand up there is a good chance he'll offer a shot. If not, then at least you aren't chasing a wounded deer.

09-Sep-20
At 20 yards? Sure. Still a nice big target there. Shoot behind the shoulder and you'll still get both lungs. I wouldn't take a longer shot, though.

From: leo17
09-Sep-20
What is behind him? Looks like a washing machine?

From: Quinn @work
09-Sep-20
195"-200" Gross. Why is the front of body appear so disfigured? And no I would not take the shot. I'd wait for him to stand.

From: Quinn @work
09-Sep-20
195"-200" Gross. Why is the front of body appear so disfigured? And no I would not take the shot. I'd wait for him to stand.

From: KsRancher
09-Sep-20
200" and I would pass on the shot

From: redquebec
09-Sep-20
While he's looking right at me like that...no way. If he wasn't looking at me...no way. I have never shot a bedded animal but I have heard many stories about good hits that resulted in a failure to find the animal. I'd play the waiting game.

BTW I had an opportunity just like that on a good whitetail buck. I waited, the wind changed and he BOLTED out of his bed. No shot.

From: txhunter58
09-Sep-20
I would pass. But only because he is obviously a “town buck” ??

From: Ermine
09-Sep-20
Mid 190” buck. Bad shot angle so no I wouldn’t shoot

From: Shawn
10-Sep-20
Under 20 yards shooting 70#s and a nice heavy arrow? Yup I would put it tight up to the shoulder and shoot. My 3 blade scary sharp coc head would still get to vital if I shot a bit left. 60#s expandable, than definitely not. Shawn

From: Lost Arra
10-Sep-20
No shot for me. No idea on scoring.

From: Mule Power
10-Sep-20
I’d shoot because he’s a 200 incher. Haha

I never take frontal shots. If it was a whitetail staring you down like that you probably wouldn’t get a shot but those mulies always pause before bolting so I’d be ready.

From: Ambush
10-Sep-20
Beautiful buck. But he looks like the equivalent of a dump bear, grossly overweight.

I think his nontypical side will push gross score into the high 190”s . But velvet is deceiving.

No shot for me. I’d set up in the washing machine, before first light the next day. Classic case of getting to the bedding area before they do.

From: Scoot
10-Sep-20
I think it'd gross north of 200, but I'm not too good at that game. No, I wouldn't take that shot.

From: GF
10-Sep-20
And risk knocking out power to the whole neighborhood???

My rule of thumb on shot selection is that if I wouldn’t take it on a cow, a doe, or a lop-sided spike, I won’t take it on anything else, either (not that I have had it come up often....).

I have no clue on score; all I know is that if I were ever to get a deer in that class, I’d probably never bother to do it again. Yeah, I know he’s not wider than his ears. Not exactly tragic.

As far as that shot angle is concerned.... Even with a compound and a rangefinder, it’s not great. On a 3D target, I would want to hit him right under the chin, but I don’t think everything would be in the same place by the time the arrow got there.

And a bad hit like that in the suburbs is guaranteed to make it 10 o’clock news. No, thank you.

From: Treeline
10-Sep-20
No shot for me.

No shot = no rack to score.

Would guess him at just over 200” gross.

Beautiful buck. Wait till he stands up. Have seen way too many deer and sheep shot with compounds and trad in their beds that turn into an all day rodeo (or circus!).

From: Tilzbow
10-Sep-20
No shot and if you think your arrow is going to penetrate the point of that shoulder, or the bone within 2” of that point, you’re a fool

10-Sep-20
Yes. I’d shoot him how he lays if he was close enough, midway up on the tip of his left shoulder/neck crease. He’s bedded. He isn’t going to move before the arrow gets to him.

I don’t know mule deer behavior well enough to be certain of most reactions. Except they are retarded in comparison to the whitetails I’ve hunted. He may very well stand and give me a shot. But, 30 yards and less, I can kill him every time by shooting him where I described. So, I would do it with zero hesitation.

From: Catscratch
10-Sep-20
Solid pass for me.

From: TRnCO
10-Sep-20
no shot for me although he's is big enough, just barely..

From: smarba
10-Sep-20

smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
Will he stand and give you better a shot? Perhaps?

Seems like even in this position there is a lot of room to hit vitals and miss big bones. I sketched some bones in yellow and added 2 red dots for potential aiming points. Definitely open for debate. Thoughts?

Honestly, given he was within a range I felt comfortable with (relatively close), I'd probably draw. If he sees me and stands, then reassess aiming point/shot potential. If he is zoned out and I'm decked out in full Sitka camo so he doesn't see me, I think I'm shooting...

From: JohnMC
10-Sep-20
smarba your red dot on the neck puts the arrow in front of the vitals. He may appear to be facing the camera but that is not a frontal shot. His vitals are between quarter to and broadside.

From: Tilzbow
10-Sep-20
The other reason I’d pass is that droopy left ear

From: APauls
10-Sep-20
I'm a HUGE fan of shooting at the first opportunity and feel like I shoot much more readily than most. That being said, I'd make sure my tracking spiders were on speed dial and available prior to taking this one. That near side leg is square over the vitals and shooting behind is guts. Shooting on smarba's frontal red dot is the edge of one lung at best I feel like. Usually they'll stand, take one look around then go if they aren't simply BUSTING out of their bed. Body language doesn't say busting. I think I'd wait.

From: 12yards
10-Sep-20
No shot for me. But any male in front of a washing machine should be shot. Men don't need that kind of negativity in life.

From: Beav
10-Sep-20
No shot for me. Wait him out he may move to the front yard.

10-Sep-20
You shoot Snarbas Ted dot in the front, that deer is dead within 100 yards. There are a lot of vascular plumbing ion the top of the heart. If you send that down his wind pipe like the dot says. He is dead

From: Ambush
10-Sep-20
His body and body language says marijuana and Doritos. Possibly Dotts

And I wouldn’t be too sure it’s in town. Lots of farms have every vehicle, appliance and piece of machinery that was ever used on it lined up in the brush by the original homesite.

From: KD
10-Sep-20
nope

Kim D

From: badbull
10-Sep-20
Thanks for the replies as they offer a lot of food for thought on shooting and also for giving your opinion on the score. He was on private near a home but miles from any town. Not saying where out of respect...... Badbull

From: TRnCO
10-Sep-20
smarba's left red dot needs to be moved to the right a few inches to the dark line "crease" IMO, if you decided to take that shot. A center shot as indicated wouldn't be a center punch with the angle that he is laying.

From: LBshooter
10-Sep-20
If I was within 25 yards I would, further than that I'd probably pass.

From: T Mac
10-Sep-20
No

From: petedrummond
10-Sep-20
Choot you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take looks like 20 yards if you can’t kill this one you shouldn’t be hunting

10-Sep-20
No, not for me and my stickbow.

From: GF
10-Sep-20
Has nothing to do with shooting a stickbow, Mo; that’s just a really sketchy angle.

So I’m in accord with the guys who don’t like Smarba’s heart dot. And I say that with admiration for how well (IMO) he pointed out where the big bones are.

IF you were to clip one of the major arteries, WV is correct about a relatively short recovery job, but if you were to thread it down the windpipe as he suggested, you would likely get one lung.

Lungs are extremely rich in vasculature, but it’s overwhelmingly capillaries - vessels so fine that the blood cells have to line up single file to squeeze through. You have to open up a LOT of those to spill very much blood. Too, the lungs are a low-pressure circuit, and I seem to recall that the larger/largest vessels tend to run more fore-and-aft than side-to-side. Lots of branching, but just as a matter of playing the odds.....

Opening up a carotid artery is one thing; clipping just one of the jugulars is not anywhere near as convincing.

And then there’s this one....

“... you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take...”

Well, no. Just... No.

I’m pretty sure that’s a misquote of Gretzky, who said (IIRC) that “100% of the shots you don’t take DON’T GO IN.”

And yeah, there’s a difference.

11-Sep-20
GF, little vessels all lead to bigger vessels. It's only the periphery of the lungs that don't bleed like crazy, the closer to the heart, you can't thread an arrow through the tangle of large vessels. You can penetrate 6 inches into the shoulder broadside and have them go down quick. I'm not defending the frontal shot on that deer picture above, just pointing out that if you put it anywhere above the heart, no matter the angle, they bleed like crazy.

If I shot that buck, I'd go tight to the shoulder. That's not tough to get lung, liver, and gut on that buck and maybe two lungs. Either way, that buck isn't going far. Ignore the deer's head and look at the body. He's not quartered hard at all. He's on the broadside side of quartered. There's a lot of target there that would kill him.

From: soccern23ny
11-Sep-20
No

11-Sep-20
With a gun, sure. With a bow, it's pretty iffy. TMBB

11-Sep-20
Yep for sure

From: GF
11-Sep-20
Ike - yep; I was oversimplifying, and thinking more about Smarba’s dot than where I would want to hit, which would be directly under the muzzle, half-way between his chin and the ground..... which is awful close to the shoulder joint for my tastes.

With my .54 or .45/70 I wouldn’t sweat it, but I don’t like the tolerances there for archery gear. Especially not trad gear or (for that matter) a mechanical when you’re dancing that close to the bone.

The good thing about reality vs a snapshot is that if you could watch for a while, you would get a much better appreciation for the body angle and if he were to move around a bit, you might well be able to find a 1st-Choice angle.

Also, as my professional Deerstalker friend once pointed out... if you just watch them until they stand up on their own, usually the first thing they do when they get up is to have a pee. So unless his first move is to vault over that box, there will be a more conventional opportunity in the offing if you’re patient.

Last time I got home, I spotted a very nice buck mulie bedded down in a low spot during a snowstorm. No tag, but for fun, I stalked in (basically just belly-crawled straight at him) to about 50 yards; still a rifle shot for me, but when he got up and walked away, the angle WAS there.... Briefly.

From: Will
11-Sep-20
Nope. Quartering to and laying down. That's a rough bit of geometry there that I dont like. Memories are trophies to... and I can eat the next one that gives me a better shot.

From: stealthycat
14-Sep-20
how big a target is there to shoot at and how accurate are you ? come guys can make that shot, some cannot

From: Shawn
14-Sep-20
I still shoot stay off the big leg bones and you can shoot just left of the right red dot. Miss and catch that soft shoulder with a coc head and a heavy arrow he is dead. Shawn

From: DConcrete
14-Sep-20
I’d take the shot in a heart beat.

14-Sep-20
I would just be sick to my stomach if I lost this buck after taking such a marginal shot. I know my limitations.

From: Mnhunter1980
14-Sep-20
I would shoot and probably regret it an hour later:(

But really I do not know the frontal anatomy as well as i should to take the shot with high confidence. I would be willing to bet there is quite a few guys here that know the anatomy well and are much better shots than me that could pull it off with a very high percentage kill.

From: TD
15-Sep-20
Minority of bowhunters hunt on the ground. Trees are a different mentality I guess. Not much experience on frontal angles or several other angles from trees. I'd much rather have that frontal than a close broadside from steep angle above, a shot that many tree hunters would take, which is a high chance of one lung and/or periphery lungs if you don't make the shot. I'm still shooting for that bundle of vessels above the heart. If lungs get in the way that's great too. But I never aim "for the lungs".

It's tight, but 20 yards in? I'd kill him right there...... I'd likely slide maybe a couple inches right of Smarba's dot and inside the near shoulder.... where to aim would be a bit clearer I think in real life and not a grainy photo. He's not moving or jumping the string while bedded. Should be hitting a golf ball there at that range, tennis ball at worse. But you do have to make the shot.

Big ol mech would be the ticket.... prolly wouldn't have to use power tools like you'd need to extract a stinger from the washing machine or whatever that is.... =D

From: Tilzbow
15-Sep-20
So here's part two since he's looking right at you and totally alert....

Does anyone really believe that buck is going to lay there and watch you shoot him from 20 yards? Heck no! As soon as you step out, at full draw, from the big rock/tree/truck you're hiding behind he's going to bolt, run out to 80 yards (minimum) then stop and look back wondering why you disturbed him. Then stot (bouncing run like a mule deer) away. Only chance here is to stay hidden, hope the wind holds, the buck gets up to feed or stretch, stops looking right at the spot you're hiding and gives you a shot.

From: Shawn
15-Sep-20
If he is a burbs buck, yup he will just lay there. He may even let ya move quite a bit and not bat an eye when you draw your bow. I have hunted deer in a few small towns and in people's yards and you can get away with a lot. Shawn

15-Sep-20
I think it's worth stating that this picture is taken off the ground. So it's a shot off the ground. If it weren't off the ground, but rather in a tree, the picture would look completely different. The question wasn't "would you shoot a quartered to, bedded animal from any height," it was the view from the picture.

From: TD
16-Sep-20
I'm figuring drawn and pin on him.... would I shoot. Not would I try and draw after he's staring a hole in you and could I get away with trying..... =D

Although some of these prozac muleys would likely let you do just that..... heheheheh....

From: Daff
16-Sep-20
He seems a little to comfortable with the photographer. I wouldn't take that shot, but I could probably find a snack in my pack to wave around so he'd offer a better shot. That just doesn't present a challenge if it's habituated to man, not really my thing. I would then be compelled to save the antlers due to size, and every time I looked at them I'd have to relive the time when my ethical standards went out the window. I'd rather not be haunted by that buck.

From: Hancock West
16-Sep-20
I think i would at 20yards. Id aim 2-3 inches below white patch on throat. Thru the neck & into the vitals.

From: Kurt
20-Sep-20
I'd say gross 190" and net 10" or more less. And I don't like bedded shots very well (from any angle) from my personal experience and close friend's experiences.

From: Shuteye
22-Sep-20
Since I am shooting a Ravin at 425 FPS I would shoot. The bolt would go all the way through even though shoulder muscle/bone. But I would rather shoot a doe. The gravy would be tough on that thing.

From: TrapperKayak
22-Sep-20
What, shoot (with 63# recurve, Savage DeathMaster) and watch a wounded buck running away, forever lost, and re-thinking that nightmare over and over for the rest of my life. Not a chance.

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