Make the First Shot Count

One of the most important steps in learning how to make a one-shot kill is to learn the vital areas of the white-tailed deer’s anatomy so that you will know where to aim.
Make the First Shot Count

deer hunting shot placement

It is the responsibility of all hunters to make a fast, clean kill. The hunter who sees a big buck, throws up his rifle, aims at any spot on the deer and shoots is a poor excuse for a sportsman. No hunter should ever pull the trigger of his rifle on any big-game animal unless he is sighted-in on a vital area and is reasonably sure the shot will hit there.

The best way to learn the vital areas of a deer is to study a vital area chart or a target which has the vital areas on it. Notice how low and small the heart is on the body of a deer. Most hunters think it is higher and larger. Memorize the location of the lung area and how the shoulder covers part of the lung. Note the locations of arteries, spine and liver. Take note of these vital areas of a deer standing looking at you and quartering away.

Next, go to the zoo or wildlife farm and study live deer. Visualize where you would aim on the animal. Check yourself with a vital area chart.

The final step in learning vital areas is to order several life-sized deer targets that have the vital areas drawn on them. Set the targets up on a rifle range. Begin picking a vital area on the deer target and shooting for it. When you check the target you can tell quickly if you’re placing your shots in vital areas or not. Practice until you’re confident that you know where the vital areas are on the deer and that you can hit them with your first shot. Always pick your spot of aim on the deer.


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