Where To Shoot A Deer Bow Hunting

As an avid bow hunter, I understand the importance of knowing where to shoot a deer for a quick, ethical kill. Making a clean shot is not only crucial for the well-being of the animal but also for the success of the hunt. In this article, I will share my personal insights and deep knowledge on where to aim when bow hunting for deer.

Understanding Deer Anatomy

Before we dive into the specifics of shot placement, it’s essential to have a good understanding of deer anatomy. As a bow hunter, you should be familiar with the vital organs and skeletal structure of a deer. The key areas to focus on are the heart, lungs, and liver.

The heart is located slightly behind and below the shoulder blade, while the lungs extend from the heart towards the back of the rib cage. The liver sits just below the lungs on the right side of the deer’s body.

The Broadside Shot

When it comes to bow hunting deer, the optimal shot opportunity is a broadside position. This allows for a clear shot into the vitals and increases the chances of a quick, clean kill. In a broadside shot, the deer is standing perpendicular to you, offering a clear view of its vital organs.

When taking a broadside shot, aim behind the shoulder, approximately one-third of the way up from the bottom of the deer’s chest. This spot will likely pass through both lungs and possibly the heart, leading to a quick and humane kill.

Quartering Away Shot

There may be instances where a deer presents a quartering away shot. This occurs when the deer is facing away from you at an angle. While this shot can still be effective, it requires careful consideration of shot placement.

When taking a quartering away shot, aim for the opposite shoulder from your position. This shot angle allows for the arrow to penetrate the chest cavity and reach the vital organs. Avoid aiming too far back, as it may result in hitting the liver instead of the lungs.

Avoiding the Shoulder Blade

One of the most common mistakes made by bow hunters is hitting the shoulder blade when shooting at a deer. The shoulder blade is a dense bone that can cause deflection or arrow penetration issues, leading to a non-lethal shot or a wounded animal.

It’s crucial to avoid shooting directly at the shoulder blade or any bone. Instead, aim for the vital organs located behind the shoulder to ensure a successful and ethical kill.


Knowing where to shoot a deer when bow hunting is essential for a successful hunt and ethical harvest. The broadside shot offers the best target for aiming, with the aim point behind the shoulder, and quartering away shots should be carefully considered for appropriate shot placement.

Remember, as responsible hunters, it’s our duty to make clean, ethical kills to minimize the suffering of the animals we pursue. Take the time to practice your archery skills and study deer anatomy, ensuring that your shot placements are accurate and effective.