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Shot placement- anatomy 101
Late season doe mission hunt. 22 yard shot from a stand that is on the edge of an oak ridge. The stand is 24’ up, but off the ridge a little so the shot angles aren’t steep. Had another doe with 2 fawns scrounging for acorns when she came up alone. Of course as she was getting into range, a rouge breeze alerted the other doe and they all got a little nervous. This tidbit also cause me to get hurried a little and I just plain rushed through the shot sequence. Tracked her for 450 yards (ground snow) and it was obvious that she wasn’t fatally hit. Wanted to share the pics in hopes others may learn a bit, these damn things are tough and shot placement is key. She showed up 4 days later and I’m hoping to get another crack at her this week.
how much penetration did you get and what is your setup? Also, shot angle...broadside or quartering towards?
Wow. Looks to be right above the spine. Nothing up there but flesh. Good luck trying to get her again :)
64#. 625 grain total, 3 blade Razorcap (SS version of a woodsman design) complete pass through. Broadhead was extremely sharp, its one of my hobbies- knives, single bevels, 3 blades, etc. Stropped and polished, couldn't get it much sharper. Broadside shot, and I agree Blood, just over the spine and nothing but meat up there.
Scapula and chops. Sore but survivable.
Glad she survived, and I hope you get another crack at her.
Damn still would have thought that’s fatal. Isn’t that a high shoulder shot? With a gun she would have been dead.
Spike, the shock/energy from the bullet would be what drops the deer, in my opinion
Good news is you have an arrow that will penetrate bone. Bad news is there aren’t vitals behind every bone.
It’s the ironic thing about the heavy arrow- bone breaking argument … if you hit heavy bone on a broadside shot, you have most likely missed the vitals anyway. The humerus and scapula more or less frame a portion of the vitals perimeter.
Big mech and you might have her ;)
Sorry tough to resist and prod. I didnt see anywhere he mentions hitting heavy bone. Highly doubt any heavy bone was hit. Spine dips low up front there. Glad to see she’s still going at least
Call her "Scarlet" and give her a pass.
APauls, the only mechanical things I use are channel locks or vise grips..lol. No bone hit, clean pass through, she ran off 30 yards and then walked away with the other deer that were around her. Lost sight of her at 60-70 yards, gave her 1.5 hours before tracking. Never laid down, just mixed in with the other deer at another acorn ridge 450 yards away, Thats where I called it enough.
These type threads are good, IMO. The "How Far How Long" threads clearly showed that we have a lot of members who could become more familiar with deer anatomy.
If a clean pass-through, her chances are better than about any other hit I can imagine which would leave 2 distinct holes…. although seems likely that that left scap would have been broken…. Which would cripple her up pretty good…
@Spike - with a rifle, that’s the kind of hit that occasionally results in a story about a “dead” deer that jumped up and ran off….
The weird thing about “spine”hits is that you can knock them out cold without breaking their spine or damaging their spinal cord (which are the ones that get up and run off), and you can also blow a chunk out of their spinal column without knocking them out. BTDT. The latter, anyway…
Note the difference in the pic Whatthefoc posted and the pic of a real carcass that WapitiBob posted. I find many of the "illustrated" vitals posters to be quite inaccurate.
Spine angle up front is usually illustrated too high. The real carcass pic can't be beat....
On completely broadside shots, I've always aimed three inches behind the elbow and one third up from the bottom. Except bears and then I aim farther back.
Good point - most of the illustrated skeletons do not show the spine dipping that low at the base of the neck. Hey Bob - was that picture you posted of a deer or an elk?
It is astonishing that so many illustrations have so much effort put into something that is so fundamentally flawed.
Ambush, I’m a straight up the leg- 1/3 of the body line guy. Just rushed it as I thought she was going to get out of dodge. Running out of days here in MI to put one in the freezer, winds not good for the ridge spot until Sunday, fingers crossed I get another opportunity!
Good luck and happy hunting!!
Thanks for a great pic and good reminder of actual deer anatomy WapitiBob.
“ I’m a straight up the leg- 1/3 of the body line guy. ”
But as the photo shows… Straight up the leg is a lot more demanding with regard to elevation than it is if you hold a few inches back… Or maybe six.
On a live animal, you can choose the rear-most of thr front legs to line up on, but unfortunately, most 3-D targets do not distinguish and present the forelegs pretty much parallel. So it’s harder to practice that correctly.
Rage and she wouldn’t went 20
Man you couldn’t ask for better after the shot pics and shot sequence description.
Even the drawing vs real anatomy pic are valuable to learn from. That most drawings are usually a little off.
Drr324 with your set up I wouldn’t be afraid of those shoulder, leg bones either. In fact there isn’t a bone on a whitetail to fear with your set up. You could shoot through one length wise.
But of course we all know. There are some areas that are not lethal.
Great discussion and pictures.
The picture I posted was saved to my pc back in the BB anatomy days. No idea who posted the original.
I've always skinned and halved my big game animals before hanging to age. I've used a sawsall to half them in the past, but I prefer a good old hand meat saw because it leaves less bone shavings behind. I learned pretty quickly that most anatomy drawings are way off with respect to the spine in the neck and shoulder areas. And they usually show the diaphragm too far forward, as well.
VPA this morning. 27 yard shot, 30 yard recovery. Had to hug a tree with the pins, thought it might be too far back, but it turned out perfect.
“And they usually show the diaphragm too far forward, as well.”
That’s trickier. The diaphragm is a dome and expands/contracts all the time, so it’s kind of impossible to pin down. No doubt the margins of the lungs fill every nook & cranny right back to where the diaphragm originates, but that’s the extreme fringe and a hit back there is not worth much unless the muscle is drum-tight right in that instant.
I’ve always preferred to stay off of the meaty part of the shoulder because I was planning to eat that. And the less muscle you shoot through, the better the air-flow to help the lungs collapse and the easier to get blood spraying out through your entrance/exit….
And if there is any way you can jam some peas into the aortic vein, that helps shorten the blood trail.