Mathews Inc.
High shoulder shot?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
WVFarrier 05-Jul-21
12yards 06-Jul-21
Buckeye 06-Jul-21
MichaelArnette 06-Jul-21
Lost Arra 06-Jul-21
Brotsky 06-Jul-21
WVFarrier 06-Jul-21
12yards 06-Jul-21
carcus 06-Jul-21
spike78 06-Jul-21
soccern23ny 06-Jul-21
[email protected] 06-Jul-21
DonVathome 06-Jul-21
joehunter 06-Jul-21
LBshooter 06-Jul-21
Zbone 07-Jul-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 07-Jul-21
Ollie 07-Jul-21
Missouribreaks 07-Jul-21
[email protected] 07-Jul-21
GF 08-Jul-21
From: WVFarrier
I fell down the youtube rabbit hole today and ended up watching a bunch of videos on high shoulder shots (brachial plexus). There were several showing these shots using a bow, it was pretty interesting. Im wondering if anyone here has made a successful kill with a bow using a shot to the BP

From: 12yards
High shoulder shots for me have ended badly. Usually through the "chops". I don't aim high shoulder. Too much non-vital high shoulder where the spine drops down lower. Or I'm not understanding where you are referring to on the animal. Maybe a diagram would help.

From: Buckeye
With a firearm Maybe. Too much meat loss tho.. An arrow no way. I would rather take a poke at their noggin before I would take that shot. Post a link please.

It can work really well with the right rifle but is a terrible shot to try for with a bow imo. There are no vitals in the shoulder.

I’ve had 3 run ins with high shoulder shots. Two bucks survived to the best of my knowledge and the 3rd I shot and killed a week later.

All with 575+ grain arrows and single bevel CC broadheads

From: Lost Arra
High shoulder archery shot = I missed.

From: Brotsky
I missed one in that spot once and was lucky enough to kill him. Arrow passed through both shoulder blades but broadhead did not poke out the far side. Took out the top lobe of the lungs is all on autopsy. The recovery was a rodeo and I would not have found him if it were not for a single drop of blood my daughter found on a leaf that gave me the final clue I needed to root him out. I ended up finding him about 200 yards from where I shot him bedded down, he expired in his bed about 90 minutes after the shot. This was with a fixed 3 blade out of a 70# Xpedition bow and a 515 gr arrow pushing right at 300 fps. Saying the blood trail was sparse is exaggerating it, it was almost non-existent.

From: WVFarrier
Yeah, all the years I have bowhunted I had never heard of anyone doing, hence the curiosity

From: 12yards

12yards's embedded Photo
12yards's embedded Photo
High shoulder can mean above the vitals. Maybe you get lucky and spine the animal.

From: carcus
Ive had a few, most ended badly

From: spike78
Every time I hear high shoulder shot I think of that Dan Fitzgerald show I think Down for the count. Of course he was also shooting 80lbs and a heavy aluminum arrow. Dropped the deer in its tracks.

From: soccern23ny
I hit one with an arrow last year about almost the same spot as the pic that @12YARDS posted.... maybe even an inch higher.

The deer ran about 150 yards, died. Took me 1.5 hours to find and I estimated he lost less than a cup of blood. I'd barely find 1-2 small drops every 5-10 yards. My arrow broke and I recovered both ends at the shot site. Upon quartering I found that my arrow had entered very high and jussssst behind the shoulder and went through some cartlidge like material(thin bone?). It didn't have an exit wound but i found it went through the deer entirely all the way to the other shoulder... made it through the muscle, but got stopped by the hide/skin on the other side. It was pretty interesting. Enough force to pass through the 98% of the deer but get stopped by the hide on the other side.

I would want to hit lower behind the shoulder for sure. Very similar to @Brotsky story. First drop of blood I found was 20 yards from where I hit him and he was square broadside at 20 yards.

Arrows don't kill by hydrostatic shock

From: DonVathome
Many people have no idea how much nonlethal space is above the lungs. I shot a doe one year with a bullet hole in her back I would SWEAR had to hit lungs (from my experience butchering over 50 deer at that point). It did not. On an average doe if you shoot from the ground and hit 4" below the top of the back you will not find her. 5" Maybe. 6" spine - maybe.

From: joehunter
Lots of room upstairs. Non of it good.

From: LBshooter
Put a wensel woodsman though the high shoulder a pass through, nothing but meat and fat on the shaft. She ran out of sight , no blood whatsoever. A firearm high is a different matter but an arrow, nope.

From: Zbone
I agree, a high hit is a miss... Late winter after all season close deer that show up at feeder carry wounds and most of the wounds are high hits which most survive...

High Shoulder with a bow is bad news. To much open air there

From: Ollie
High shoulder hits rarely have a happy ending.

Poor choice.

BP is the solid upper shoulder blade. A bullet placed there will drop a deer in its tracks and all of the nerves to the spine and up the neck are connect in that area. Not a recommended arrow placement. An arrow placement might do the same thing if one is very lucky but the BH needs to be fully penetrate the BP to cause damage and death.

From: GF
High shoulder hits are why some people think roundball are ineffective.

If you can hammer the spine hard enough to short out the CNS (or if you sever the spinal cord far enough forward), you can get a not immediately fatal knockdown, but it’s a non-lethal hit on its own.

So (one man’s opinion), you’d have to be Judgement Challenged to take that shot on purpose. With a bow.

It can definitely drop a deer like a sack of hammers if you use a potent enough firearm and a stout enough bullet…. which is occasionally useful. But a lot of DRT deer have jumped up and run off.

I shot my first-ever deer that way and basically lost both shoulders. Haven’t taken it since.

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